UK Family Law Reform

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----- Original Message -----
From: info@dfes.gsi.gov.uk
To: dave.mortimer@tiscali.co.uk
Sent: Monday, July 03, 2006 4:54 PM
Subject: Case Reference 2006/0233742

Dear Mr Mortimer

Thank you for your email dated 14 June sent to the Home Office and copied to this Department requesting statistical information about child abuse offenders. Your email to the Home Office has been forwarded to this Department. I have been asked to reply.

I note that my colleague Carl Fagan has corresponded with you previously on the questions you have raised and has advised data is collected from Local Authorities annually on "Referrals, Assessments and Children and Young People on Child Protection Registers". The data is collected for the year to 31 March and published under National Statistics in a Statistical First Release and a Volume. The latest volume, for year ending 31 March 2005 was published in January and is available at: http://www.education.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/VOL/v000632/index.shtml. This contains, at England and LA level, numbers of children referred to social services, information on assessments and child protection conferences, and numbers of children moving onto, leaving and on the child protection register. There is also information on age, gender, ethnicity and type of abuse of those on the Child Protection Register (CPR), length of time on the register, and further information about children on the CPR who are also looked after.

On your specific point of how data were collected before the Children Act 1989 and the NSPCC's involvement. As advised previously these details are not currently held by the DfES.

You asked for an appraisal of how successful the changes in the way that data is collected since 1991 have been. The Government is content with the data collection being carried out by local agencies, which is subject to quality control processes.

Child abuse perpetrators are identified by child protection and police investigations and action taken, as appropriate to safeguard children from them including through the Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) and through barring them from working with children (as documented in our previous correspondence).

The Department does wish to monitor the extent of child abuse and neglect and are doing several things to move towards that. We are introducing&nb sp;new child death review processes to look more closely at child deaths and learn more lessons from them. We have commissioned the NSPCC to do some research on what could be done to improve measurement in this area, which will be published later in 2006.

Yours sincerely

Wendy Saunders
Public Communications Unit

Your correspondence has been allocated the reference number 2006/0233742. To correspond by email with the Department for Education and Skills please contact info@dfes.gsi.gov.uk

----- Original Message -----
From: info@dfes.gsi.gov.uk
To: dave.mortimer@tiscali.co.uk
Sent: Friday, June 16, 2006 11:15 AM
Subject: Case Reference 2006/0230615

Dear Mr Mortimer

Thank you for your further email of 2 June.

Unfortunately we do not collect any information on child abuse perpetrators, just on children.

If you are asking more generally about how we decide whether to collect particular data: a case will be put forward by the relevant policy team, which is then scrutinised internally and externally on feasibility, purpose, burden, value for money, duplication and resourcing, before either being approved or rejected.

Yours sincerely

Jill Sewell
Public Communications Unit

Your correspondence has been allocated the reference number 2006/0230615. To correspond by email with the Department for Education and Skills please contact info@dfes.gsi.gov.uk

----- Original Message -----
From: info@dfes.gsi.gov.uk
To: dave.mortimer@tiscali.co.uk
Sent: Thursday, September 14, 2006 10:45 AM
Subject: Case Reference 2006/0267710

Dear Mr Mortimer

Thank you for your further email of 29 July 2006. I apologise for the delay in replying to you.

I am writing regarding your request for information. In that request,
you asked:

1. If the DfES do not centrally collect data on child abuse perpetrators, then how and where do your suppliers of studies collect their data?

2. A list of studies used when "working on child protection policy and guidance"

3. Academic research

4. Serious case reviews

5. Other case information

6. Views of practitioners

7. Including the police

1. I'm not clear what specific piece of data you are referring to but any queries about the methodology used would really need to be directed to author(s) of the report in question.

2. There is no single definitive 'list' of studies used for every piece of guidance or policy development - the studies used would change according to the requirements of the particular piece of work. Departmental publications do generally include lists of references so members of the public can clearly see the sources used. Again, I am not clear which particular piece of guidance you are referring to but departmental guidance (containing references) are publicly available. Many publications can be found at the following website: https://www.education.gov.uk/publications/standard/publicationDetail/Page1/DfES/1081/2004 or you can contact The Stationery Office on 0870 600 5522 for more information on publications.

3. I am not clear which pieces of academic research you are referring to. Those pieces of work which have been used when producing guidance will be listed in the references and the public are free to access such pieces of work themselves.

4. If you are asking to see specific Serious Case Reviews (SCR) as you are probably aware are highly confidential. It is unlikely they will be made available to members of the public, especially as for each SCR, the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) overview report should contain an executive summary which will be made public, but you should direct your request for sight of the reviews you are particularly interested in to the relevant Local Authority. Their contact details can be found on the following website: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/*/http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/

5. I am afraid I am unclear what 'other case information' refers to. If you are able to provide a detailed explanation I can try to help further.

6/7. Views of practitioners (including the police) are taken into account when formulating policy and writing guidance. All consultation documents follow the Cabinet Office's code of practice. These guidelines help to ensure that a common standard exists across government for consulting the public. When government consults it must make sure all responses are carefully and open-mindedly analysed, and the results made widely available, with an account of the views expressed and the reasons for decisions finally taken. I am unclear from your email which particular piece of guidance you are interested in but you may be able to find it at the Department's consultation website:

https://www.education.gov.uk/aboutdfe/departmentalinformation/consultations

However, if you could provide me with specific guidance about the publications you are trying to find I will try to help you further.

Yours sincerely

Jill Sewell
Public Communications Unit

Your correspondence has been allocated the reference number 2006/0267710. To correspond by email with the Department for Education
and Skills please contact info@dfes.gsi.gov.uk

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