Return Home Interviews for Looked After Children

Delivery and Outcomes of Return Home Interviews and out of area placements

Delivery

1) Are Return Home Interviews (RHIs) currently delivered to children who have been missing from home or care in your local authority area by:

A third sector agency? No.

If yes, please tell us which agency: Not Applicable as no third sector agency is used.

A team based within your local authority? Yes.

If yes, please tell us which team and/or the role of the professional – The Team is called REACH and they are notified by the police when a child or young person has been reported missing. If the child or young person is not known to Childrens Services, they visit the young person and undertake the RHI. The Teams are staffed by community workers and social workers.

2) In the year 2016/17 RHIs delivered to children who have been missing from home or care in your local authority area by:

A third sector agency? No

If yes, please tell us which agency – Not Applicable as no third sector agency is used.

A team based within your local authority? Yes

If yes, please tell us which team and/or the role of the professional – As above, the REACH Team.

3) In the year 2013/14 were RHIs delivered to children who have been missing from home or care in your local authority area by:

A third sector agency? No

If yes, please tell us which agency Not Applicable as no third sector agency is used.

A team based within your local authority? Yes.

If yes, please tell us which team and/or the role of the professional – As above, the REACH Team

Offered and completed interviews:

How many incidents of children going missing from home or care were reported in your local authority between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018? 3017.

How many individual missing children does this figure relate to, during the same time period? 874

For how many of these missing incidents did you offer an RHI to either the young person or a parent/carer?

This information 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.

How many of those offers of interviews were accepted by the child/young person?

This information 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 these missing incidents was the offer of an RHI declined by the young person or a parent/carer?

Information not held.

For how many of these missing incidents reported between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018 did an RHI get carried out?

This information 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.

How many of the missing incidents were addressed in an RHI within 72 hours of the child returning from being missing?

This information 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.

Please explain briefly how this is measured and any assumptions the 72 hour calculation is based on including:

  • whether you calculate from return or police referral date.
  • if you use hours or days, and if days is this calendar or working days
  • if you make any adjustments for incidents where the young person goes missing again before an RHI can be offered (e.g. exclude these or calculate time after most recent incident only).

The 72 hours expectation is that it is from the date the child/ young person returns. This is counted in Calendar days.

Do you provide or commission any follow-up support for children and young people following an RHI? Yes.

If Yes please give details:

Checkpoint and our internal REACH team will complete follow ups and designate any services needed where the child has consented (where they are not known to children’s social care). Childrens social care may also complete work or referrals as necessary.

What happens to the information collected during an RHI?

The information remains on file and feeds into the MASCE if appropriate, a Partner agency intelligence form may also be completed and sent to Devon and Cornwall Police

What steps are available when vulnerability has been identified?

The REACH Team may make a referral to our Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) if appropriate. An Early Help referral may also be made if consent is given.

Please tell us more about your return interview service. Would you like to see any changes in national guidance? What are the barriers to effective provision? What is working well in your area?

Information not held in accordance with Section 3(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Out of area placements

How are Return Home Interviews (RHIs) delivered to looked after children who are placed outside of your local authority area? (please tick)

a) RHIs are completed by the third sector organisation that also deliver them to children within our local authority area 
b) RHIs are completed by someone in our children’s services but never their social worker  
c) RHIs are completed by someone in our children’s services and that could be their social workerx
d) RHIs are completed by the young persons’ social worker x
e) We spot purchase from the host local authority’s RHI service 
f) We spot purchase from another service  
g) We do not offer RHIs to this group   

h) Combination of the above

i) If yes please provide further information:

 

i) Other 

i) If yes please provide further information: 

 

How many children in the care of your local authority were placed out of area between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018?

There were 303 unique children in care who were placed out of area at some point between 01/04/17 and 31/03/18.

How many children who were placed out of area went missing between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018?

There were 45 unique children who went missing from their out of area placement at some point between 01/04/17 and 31/03/18.  Some of these children had more than 1 missing episode from those placements – in total these 45 children had 141 missing episodes from these out of area placements.

Of that figure how many were offered a RHI?

The Council is unable to provide this information under Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 – ‘Cost of Compliance’.  This is because the information is not held centrally and each missing episode would need to be looked at individually to locate, retrieve and extract the requested information.

On the basis of 141 missing episodes, we estimate that it would take approximately 10 minutes per episode to locate, extract and retrieve the requested information which would take in the region of 23.5 Hours.

How many received a RHI?

The Council is unable to provide this information under Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 – ‘Cost of Compliance’.  This is because the information is not held centrally and each missing episode would need to be looked at individually to locate, retrieve and extract the requested information.

On the basis of 141 missing episodes, we estimate that it would take approximately 10 minutes per episode to locate, extract and retrieve the requested information which would take in the region of 23.5 Hours.

Does your local authority offer RHIs to looked-after children from other local authorities who are placed in your local authority area? (please tick)

a) Yesx
b) No

c) On a case-by-case basis

i) If so please give more detail:

If you selected ‘yes’ or ‘case-by-case’ to the previous question please could you tell us which agency is responsible for delivering RHIs to this group of young people?

A Third sector agency No

A team based within your local authority Yes

We provide a spot purchasing service No

How many looked after children and young people were placed in your local authority area by other local authorities between 31 March 2017 and 1 April 2018?

Other local authorities do not always inform us when they place a child in our area, and even when they do, they rarely tell us when the child leaves the area. Therefore, we do not hold this information.

How many of these children and young people received a RHI? Information not held.

Please tell us more about your return interview service for children placed out of area. Would you like to see any changes in national guidance? What are the barriers to effective provision? What is working well in your area?

Information not held in accordance with Section 3(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.