FOI Request Child Protection Conferences
Under the Children's Act 1995 (Scotland), an initial protection conference must take place within 21 calendar days of the initial intervention. Would it be possible to see the percentage of cases which met this statutory requirement for 2009/10 and 2014/15?
The Children's Act (Scotland) 1995 doesn't contain a statutory duty for Child Protection Case Conferences. The Scottish Government has produced National Guidance for local authorities on Child Protection, but this is a national framework to ensure consistency of practice and is not statutory.
The request asks for the percentage of cases where an ICPCC takes place with 21 days of the 'initial intervention'. This is a vague statement and does not adequately define what 'initial intervention' is. Cases where a CP concern is raised, upon assessment, do not always proceed to an ICPCC and, sometimes existing cases escalate to a CP level. 'Initial intervention' would imply that all cases should follow the same route which is not the case.
Under section 16 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, Duty to be Helpful, we can offer the following information:
Our own local guidance states that an Initial CP Case Conference must be held 21 calendar days after the decision has been made to convene one, or 14 calendar days, if it is an existing case. The decision to request an ICPCC is only recorded in the child's file and not within our electronic data management system. Therefore this information would be exempt under Section12 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002- Excessive Cost of compliance.