People have a very hard time believing that child snatching aka state kidnapping is actually taking place.But Bob Geldof does!

It may, however, also be helpful to use Freedom of Information requests as a ‘reality check’. Below is information about 4 councils:

1) This Freedom of Information (FOI) request reveals about Norfolk Council:

2005    Counsels Fees Child Protection  £276,580.71
2006    Counsels Fees Child Protection  £307,312.17
2007    Counsels Fees Child Protection  £434,834.62
2008    Counsels Fees Child Protection  £394,175.82
2009    Counsels Fees Child Protection  £437,929.88
2010    Counsels Fees Child Protection  £487,166.29

The work was placed with a variety of Barristers Chambers, but principally
Octagon Chambers in Norwich, and 7 Bedford Row in London.

Google reveals a link between Octagon Chambers and Solicitors from Hell.

2) This FOI request reveals about Denbighshire Council:

Q1. Supervised contact visits: £269,774

Q2. Respite foster care – for children in need (not on child protection plan)
A2. Respite costs with internal foster carers are not collected separately, but included within the budget for overall foster care costs. The proportion of costs in answer question 3 attributable to in house respite would be increased by £816 paid to external respite foster carers. Costs for children in need are not separated from costs for children on the child protection register.

Q3. Local Authority employed Foster carers.
A3. Total cost of In House Foster Carer Allowances for 09/10 was £1,182,517, including respite care. Please note that in house foster carers are not employed by Denbighshire but do receive foster carer allowances.

Q4. Agency Foster carers.
A4. Total spend for independent fostering in 09/10 was £659,031

Q5. Barristers for Care Proceedings.
A5. £50,434

Q6. Playgrounds for children.
A6. Maintenance – £88,500 for 77 sites (including MUGA’s wheeled sports and play areas), Capital – £293,200 on 10 sites

Q7. Assistance with Child carers becoming Ofsted Registered.
A7. Not applicable, Ofsted Registration applies to England only.

Q8. Respite Foster Care – not exceeding 28 days for children on a protection plan.
A8. As in question 2, respite costs with internal foster carers are not collected separately, but included within the budget for overall foster care costs. The proportion of costs in answer question 3 attributable to in house respite would be increased by £816 paid to external respite foster carers. Costs for children in need are not separated from costs for children on the child protection register.

Q9. Residential Family Assessments.
A9. No payments made.

3) This FOI request resulted in data from Milton Keynes Council:

Combining the figures for

  1. Specialist Services Management
  2. Children in Need
  3. Children in Care
  4. Safeguarding and Review
  5. Legal

the following sums were published:

2005: £17,086,826
2006: £20,028,615
2007: £18,378,773
2008: £22,306,335
2009: £23,170,751

Legal costs rose as follows:

2005: £179,111
2006: £556,935
2007: £625,438
2008: £682,587
2009: £888,683

4) This response to an FOI request comes from the Isle of Wight Council and contains the following figures for the 2010/11 budget:

Fostering – payments to foster carers, respite and support to looked after children £1,255,663

Fostering and adoption manager £61,662
Fostering team £597,433
Adoption team £316,881
Reviewing officer £164,647
Contact centre team £259,628
Fosteringfoster carers £1,256,663
Legal costs – court / expert fees £200,000
Agency placements £3,400,142
Adoption allowances £244,758

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