Children in care – gender, age, reason

In relation to the first 20 cases of children that were taken into care (either interim or full) by your authority in the 2019 calendar year please provide me with the following information in connection with each of these cases.

1. The sex of the child?

Gender  Number 
Female 12
Male 8

2. The age of the child?

Age  Number of children 
0 10
5 *
6 *
7 *
8 *
13 *
14 *
15 *
16 *

The use of the * symbol means that we hold the information but consider that disclosure may identify individuals and be in breach of their Data Protection rights, this is due to the low number overall, the ages requested and the fact that gender information has also been provided. All of this, together with information that somebody who views this disclosure may already have, means there is a possibility that a somebody may identify an individual.

Therefore the information is exempt under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 Section 40(2) Personal Data.

3. If any of the following factors are recorded in the papers you hold on the case as having been a factor in the council’s decision to take the child into care: (a) proximity to a dangerous dog (b) the obesity of the child, (c) a concern the child spends too much time playing computer games and/or on the internet, (d) the child’s home environment is unhealthy due to cigarette smoke, (e) the parents do not care adequately for the child because they spend too much time watching television and/or on the internet or (f) that the child has poor dental hygiene.

Devon County Council do not record the above factors in a reportable and easily extractable way, and do not believe that any of the cases would have reached a legal threshold for being taken into care for any of factors a, and c- f. We have reviewed all cases referenced above and can confirm that b) obesity was not a factor in any of them.

In order to provide advice and assistance, we record the Children in Need (CIN) categories below.

Children In Need (CIN) Category  Description 
Abuse or neglect Child in need as a result of, or at risk of, abuse or neglect
Child’s disability Child and their family whose main need for services arises out of the child’s disabilities, illness or intrinsic condition
Parental illness or disability Child whose main need for children’s social care services arises because the capacity of their parent(s) or carer(s) to care for them is impaired by disability, illness, mental illness, or addictions
Family in acute stress Child whose needs arise from living in a family going through a temporary crisis such that parenting capacity is diminished and some of the children’s needs are not being adequately met
Family dysfunction Child whose needs arise mainly out of their living with a family where the parenting capacity is chronically inadequate
Socially unacceptable behaviour Child and family whose need for children’s social care services arises primarily out of their behaviour impacting detrimentally on the community
Low income Child Child, either living in a family or independently, whose need for children’s social care services arises mainly from being dependent on an income below the standard state entitlements
Absent parenting Child whose need for children’s social care services arises mainly from having no parent(s) available to provide for them. A child whose parent(s) decide it is in the best interest for the child to be adopted would be included in this category