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Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many children were (a) on an at-risk register and (b) taken into care in each local authority area in the Government Office for the North East region in (i) 2006, (ii) 2007 and (iii) 2008. 
Beverley Hughes: Figures on the number of children subject to a child protection plan at 31 March, by local authority, are available in table 9D of the annual statistical first release Referrals, Assessments and Children and Young People who are the subject of a Child Protection Plan, England. The publication can be found at the following link:
The number of children that have been taken into care in each local authority area in the Government Office for the North East region in (i) 2006, (ii) 2007 and (iii) 2008 can be found in the following table.
|Children who were taken into care during the years ending 31 March, by local authority( 1)( ,2,3,4) , Years ending 31 March 2006-08 Coverage: Government Office for the North East region|
|1 Only the first occasion on which a child started to be looked after in the year has been counted.|
(2 )Figures exclude children looked after under an agreed series of short term placements.
(3) Children deemed to be "taken" into care are those who started to be looked after as the result of a care order (full or interim), police protection, emergency protection order or child assessment order.
(4) To ensure that no individual can be identified from statistical tables, we use conventions for the rounding and suppression of very small numbers. Numbers at Local Authority level have been rounded to the nearest 5 and numbers at region level have been rounded to the nearest 10.
SSDA903 return on children looked after
To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families pursuant to the answer of 22 January 2009, Official Report, column 1701W, on
children: protection, when Ministers plan to make their decision on intervention; and what steps he plans to take to publish that decision. 
Beverley Hughes: It is the responsibility of the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) to make sure that an executive summary of the Serious Case Review is completed. It should be written by the independent person commissioned to write the overview report. The LSCB should make sure that the executive summary includes, as a minimum, information about the review process, key issues arising from the case and the recommendations that have been made.
Beverley Hughes: The Sure Start Childrens Centres Practice Guidance already highlights families experiencing domestic violence among those groups of families that find it hardest to access the services they need. It encourages centres to ensure that parents or other family members have access to appropriate support and to offer assistance through referral to helplines and counselling, or informal group support sessions, held at the centre itself. The guidance also provides details of the 24 Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline and the Mens Advice Line and Enquiries (MALE) which provides support for men in abusive relationships.
The Government recognise the strong links between child protection concerns and domestic violence and stresses the need for awareness of those links in its inter-agency guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children (2006) which is available to all organisations working with, or who come into contact with children, including Sure Start Childrens Centres.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what his Departments average response time to a letter received from (a) an hon. Member and (b) a member of the public in each year since it was established. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The Cabinet Office, on an annual basis, publishes a report to Parliament on the performance of Departments in replying to Members correspondence. The report for 2007 was published on 20 March 2008, Official Report, columns 71-74WS. Information for 2008 is currently being collated and will be published as soon as it is ready. Reports for earlier years are available in the Library of the House.
With respect to correspondence from members of the public, the Department cannot provide the requested information within disproportionate costs limits, but we do aim to respond to all written correspondence within 15 working days. Statistics on the handling of letters from members of the public is published in the Departments annual report.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what progress has been made on plans to ensure that the target for full-time equivalent headcount reductions, referred to on page 109 of the Departments 2008 Annual Report, will be met. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The Department will reduce its headcount through a voluntary early release scheme to meet its targets. Since its inception, 118 employees in 2007-08 were released with a further 24 early releases planned in 2008-09 and 58 releases in 2009-10.
|Directorate||Staff (full-time equivalent)|
Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much his Department and its predecessors spent on entertainment and hospitality in each year since 1997. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The departmental action plan focuses on the key improvements required in our culture and ways of working. It addresses the gaps identified through the Capability review process and other departmental reform. The Capability re-review undertaken in June 2008 confirmed the Department had made good progress in closing the capability gaps. The report of the re-review is published/publicly available and includes a response from the permanent secretary.
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The Department was set up as part of the machinery of government changes on 28 June 2007, so figures only apply from 1 July 2007. Sickness absence data for the Department since its inception, including the average number of days are published on the Departments website at:
Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families with reference to the written ministerial statement of 25 November 2008, Official Report, column 49WS, on departmental expenditure limit (2008-09), what the budget was for each of his Departments budgets under (a) RfR1 and (b) RfR2 (i) before and (ii) after the changes announced in the written ministerial statement. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: Changes to budgets are set out in Part II (Changes proposed) of the DCSF Winter Supplementary Estimate which was published as part of HC 1163 Central Government Supply Estimate 2008-09 Winter Supplementary Estimates dated 25 November 2008.
Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families with reference to the written ministerial statement of 25 November 2008, Official Report, column 49WS, on departmental expenditure limit (2008-09), which non-departmental public bodies have had their budgets increased as a result of the changes announced in the Statement. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: Four non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) had their budgets increased as a result of changes announced in the written ministerial statement referred to: the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA); the National College for School Leadership (NCSL); the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDAS); and the Childrens Commissioner. In addition the Childrens Workforce Development Council (CWDC) received a budget for the first time.
Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what use (a) his Department and (b) service providers under contract to his Department make of (i) 0844 and 0845 telephone numbers and (ii) revenue-sharing telephone numbers for calls from members of the public; for which services such numbers are used; what prefixes are used for revenue-sharing numbers; how much revenue has accrued from revenue-sharing numbers in each of the last five years; what consideration his Department has given to introducing 03-prefixed telephone numbers for calls to all such services; and if he will make a statement. 
The DCSF does not participate in revenue share schemes associated with non-geographic telephone numbers and therefore derives no revenue from the use of these numbers. The Department does use non-geographic telephone numbers such as 0870 and 0845 for its public inquiry line and other entry points. However, the Department has never received any income from the use of these numbers and does not offer refunds to callers. Its important to note that, in accordance with Central Office of Information (COI) advice, in most cases the Department offers alternative non-telephone methods of contact such as email and letter.
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