Posts Tagged ‘Community Care’

Article: FOI and community care

Thursday, January 13th, 2005

Cry Freedom
Community Care magazine
By Heather Brooke
Jan 13, 2005

Privacy and public accountability may seem mutually exclusive but social care professionals must learn quickly how to straddle the divide. The Freedom of Information Act 2000 is now with us and queries from the public can no longer be refused simply by muttering something about data protection, client confidentiality or commercial confidence.

Although social services departments are used to receiving requests for information from the public or those involved in care cases, other organisations may find the transition more difficult. The act affects more than 100,000 public bodies, including local authorities, schools, the Prison Service and Youth Justice Board, as well as voluntary and private sector organisations.

“This is something that everyone knew was coming, but its true impact was not recognised until it came into force,” says a spokesperson for Voice of the Child in Care. The voluntary group plans to use the act to access information that will help its work as an advocate for children. For example, it could ask a council for its criteria for taking a child into care if the child disagreed with the decision.