“Please provide the number of Section 47 enquiries opened by children’s social care in each of the last five years (calendar or financial, whatever is available) and a breakdown of the reason for the enquiry, where recorded, for example, criminal exploitation or sexual abuse.”
Number of Section 47 enquiries is provided below:-
2018/19 – 2,334 (please note this figure is subject to change up until 31 July 2019).
2017/18 – 2,058
2016/17 – 1,452
2015/16 – 2,061
2014/15 – 2,083
Historical information on numbers of Section 47 enquires is published annually by the Department for Education and can be found by accessing Statistics-children-in-need
We are unable to provide a breakdown of the reason for the Section 47 enquiry under Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 – ‘Cost of Compliance’. This is because the reasons are recorded as free text, not as predefined choices. Each entry would therefore need to be manually analysed to locate, retrieve and extract the requested information.
On an estimation of 5 minutes per enquiry we believe this would take in the region of 830 hours for the 5 years. This is clearly well in excess of the 18 hours public authorities are required to spend responding to FOI requests.
However, should you wish to refine your request to cover a smaller time period to bring it within the time limit as outlined above, we would be happy to review your request.