Publication - FOI/EIR release

Association of Directors of Social Work (Social Work Scotland) contribution to Bar Reporters Working Group: FOI release

Published: 7 Sep 2020

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Published:
7 Sep 2020
Association of Directors of Social Work (Social Work Scotland) contribution to Bar Reporters Working Group: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202000063013
Date received: 16 Jul 2020
Date responded: 13 Aug 2020
Information requested

1. All recorded information you hold in relation to the Association of Directors of Social Work (subsequently known as Social Work Scotland) being invited to join or otherwise contribute to the Bar Reporters Working Group. (It may assist you to note the content of Appendix A
here: https://www2.gov.scot/Resource/0043/00435549.pdf).

2. All recorded information you hold in relation to the Association of Directors of Social Work (subsequently known as Social Work Scotland) being invited to contribute to or otherwise inform the development of any and all plans in relation to this role since January 2013 which fall outside the scope of part 1 above.

3. How much funding Ministers have provided to the Association of Directors of Social Work (subsequently known as Social Work Scotland) in each year since 2013.

Response

Part 1
On part 1 of your request, some of the information you have requested is available from material on the Scottish Government website about the Bar Reporters Working Group at https://www2.gov.scot/Topics/Justice/law/17867/reporters  

In particular, a circular issued in 2015 on the Working Group was sent to Social Work Scotland, amongst other bodies:

https://www2.gov.scot/Resource/0048/00488547.pdf  

Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

I also attach the following documents:

  • Document 1 – letter of 12 November 2012 to ADSW regarding the Bar Reporters Working Group.
  • Document 2 -  covering email sent to ADSW on 12 November 2012 regarding the Bar Reporters Working Group.
  • Document 3 – Email to Social Work Scotland regarding the Bar Reporters Working Group on 22 March 2016.
  • Document 4 – Email from Social Work Scotland to Scottish Government regarding the Bar Reporters Working Group on 24 March 2016.
  • Document 5 - Letter to Social Work Scotland of 30 October 2017 regarding training of Child Welfare Reporters.

Part 2
On part 2 of your request, some of the information you have requested is available from published material already available on websites.  Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

In 2018, the Scottish Government consulted on a review of Review of Part 1 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 and the creation of a family justice modernisation strategy.  This consultation included proposals on child welfare reporters (please see paragraphs 2.54 to 2.75).   The consultation and the responses the Scottish Government has permission to publish are at:  https://consult.gov.scot/family-law/children-scotland-act/   The analysis of the responses is at https://www.gov.scot/publications/analysis-consultation-responses-consultation-review-children-scotland-act-1995/

In 2019, the Scottish Government introduced the Children (Scotland) Bill into the Scottish Parliament. This Bill includes proposals for establishing a register of Child Welfare Reporters. Information on the Parliamentary scrutiny of the Bill is available from the Parliament’s website at https://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/112969.aspx

If the Bill is enacted by Parliament, the Scottish Government has made it clear that it intends to carry out a further public consultation on the details of the regulation proposed for Child Welfare Reporters.

I attach the following document:

Document 6 – Email of 3 October 2019 to Social Work Scotland in relation to Children (Scotland) Bill.

Part 3
On part 3 of your request, I attach below a table which shows Scottish Government funding for ADSW and Social Work Scotland since 2013/14.

Financial Year ADSW Social Work Scotland
2013-14* £704,844.80 £0
2014-15 £285,984.00 £183,161.00
2015-16 £0 £249,634.58
2016-17 £0 £464,615.00
2017-18 £0 £496,584.27
2018-2019 £0 £579,090.00
2019-2020 £0 £839,949.72
2020-2021** £0 £53,334.00

*Period  1 January 2013- 31 March 2014.
** Period 1 April 2020 – 16 July 2020


Exemptions
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because exemptions under sections 30(b) [free and frank provision of advice or exchange of views], 30(c) [the effective conduct of public affairs]; and section 38(1)(b) [personal details of a third party] of FOISA apply to that information. The reasons why these exemptions apply are explained in the Annex to this letter.

ANNEX

REASONS FOR NOT PROVIDING INFORMATION

Section 30(b)(i)
An exemption under section 30(b)(i) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. This exemption relates to the free and frank provision of advice.
This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.

We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption.  
We recognise that there is some public interest in release because of the need to be transparent when making Government policy.  However, this is outweighed by the public interest in Ministers being able to receive free and frank advice

Section 30(c)
An exemption under section 30(c) of the FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested. This exemption relates to the effective conduct of public affairs.

This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.

We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption.

We recognise that there is some public interest in release because of the need to be transparent when making Government policy.  However, this is outweighed by the public interest in Ministers being able to effectively conduct public affairs.

Section 38(1)(b)
An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA applies to some of the information you have requested.  This exemption relates to the personal detail of a third party.
This exemption is not subject to the ‘public interest test’, so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.

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