References to Chidren’s social care

In the last financial year, 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016


  1. How many children referred to children’s social care had their case closed immediately after assessment?




This is based on the description of assessments which were closed on the basis of ‘No further action’


We should clarify that this does not include cases that were referred to Early Help.


  1. For children that were assessed but whose case was closed immediately after assessment, what were the main reasons which caused them to be referred to children’s social care in the first place?


Please pick most relevant answers, no more than 3:

  1. Domestic violence
  2. Mental health problems (parent)
  3. Mental health problems (child)
  4. Substance misuse
  5. Antisocial behaviour
  6. Disability
  7. School attendance
  8. Neglect
  9. Sexual abuse or CSE
  10. Physical abuse
  11. Homelessness
  12. Missing
  13. Young carer
  14. Other
  15. Don’t know


The reasons from the list are usually only available after assessment and not on referral and before assessment. They are not therefore immediately available.


Therefore to obtain this information would require a manual review of the 3,269 cases referred to in question one. Allowing a review time of 10 minutes per file, this exercise would therefore take 545 hours.


This is therefore in excess of the appropriate time and, pursuant to s.12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 we are therefore not obliged to provide you with this information.


  1. When the case is closed by social care immediately after assessment (i.e. they are not eligible for social care) is there a system or pathway in place in your local authority for children to be automatically referred to Early Help or other non-statutory support.


Please note that early help refers to, signposting to universal or specialist services; one-to-one practical and emotional support for children, young people and parents; parenting support or other services designed to meet lower levels of need.

  1. Don’t know
  2. Yes
  3. No


Yes, there is a process for stepping down cases from social care in Devon. This would either be to a single agency or universal response or, if the case requires a multi agency response, then this would be stepped down through the early help system.


  1. How many children who were assessed by children’s social care and whose case was closed immediately after assessment received preventative early help support?


Between 1st April 2015 to 31st March 2016, 577 assessments were referred to Early Help and an Early Help assessment would have been conducted.