How many women have had children taken into care in Devon in the last ten years

1.I would like to find out how many women in Devon have had children taken into care over the 10 years.

We have interpreted this question to mean how many individual women have had children for whom they have parental responsibility, taken into care by Devon County Council in the last ten years.To collate this information we would need to manually examine all records of the 8,000 or so children who have been taken into care to identify parental relationships and parental responsibility. This would involve cross referencing data in two recording systems due to a recent changeover. Other factors that would have to be considered are :

  • where the system only registers “parent”  we would have identify gender
  • confirmation of parental responsibility
  • there may be two mothers recorded where a same sex relationship is involved
  • that the postal address recorded is within the Devon County Council administrative area

We estimate that the work needed for the above would be as detailed in the table below:

Reason  Time needed 
To develop the necessary reports Up to 12 hours
To review up to 17,000 parental relationships Up to 5 hours
To identify address of mother when child taken into care Up to 3 hours
To confirm multiple mothers/and who has parental responsibility Up to 3 hours
Total Up to 23 hours

As the total time needed is up to 23 hours that is in excess of the 18 hours allowed under the Freedom of Information Act Section 12 – Cost of Compliance. This applies to the response to a full request rather than to individual questions.

Please also see the response to the third question.

2.How many children have been taken into care over the last 10 years.


3.The average number of children per woman who are taken into care (e.g. over the last 10 years, an average of 2 children per woman have been taken into care).

It would only be possible to identify the information required to respond to this request if we had collated the information to respond to Q1. Once we had that information we would have to identify all siblings that came into care at any point over the ten year period. We estimate the total time needed to answer Q3 would be in excess of the 18 hours allowed under the Freedom of Information Act Section 12 – Cost of Compliance, a limit already identified for Q1.

4.What programme(s) the council has taken up to prevent more children going into care, if any.

We do not hold this information.