Missing Looked after Children and Return Home Interviews

“How many missing incidents were reported for looked after children who had been placed outside of your local authority area between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018?

685 incidents relating to 73 Children Looked After (CLA) (this is based on data provided to the Department for Education in the 2017-18 CLA return).

For how many of those incidents was a return interview offered during the same time period?

639 ‘Found notification’ forms where the outcome of the form was ‘a return home interview is required’.

However, information relating to how many return home interviews were offered is not held centrally.  To identify, locate, retrieve and compile this information would require a manual review of thousands of records, even if each one only took five minutes the total time needed would be in excess of the 18 hours specified in the Freedom of Information Act 2000 Section 12 – Cost of Compliance.  Therefore, this information is exempt from disclosure.

For how many of those incidents was a return interview completed during the same time period?”

Recorded information we hold provides a figure of 238 Return Home Interviews (RHI’s) completed in the period requested. We cannot confirm that all completed RHI’s have been recorded centrally and as not all missing incidents require an RHI and that a child may go missing multiple times in a short time period, meaning one RHI may cover several missing incidents, we would have to manually examine all relevant records to identify, locate and collate the information and estimate this would take in excess of 18 hours, making it exempt under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 – section 12 Cost of Compliance.   On the basis of 685 incidents at 5 minutes per incident, we estimate this would take in the region of 57 hours.