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Freedom of Information Request

Formal policies or guidance in place to support digital or online contact arrangements

Received: 10 May 2022

I am conducting research (post pandemic) exploring advancements made by local authorities in policy and practice due to the increased use of digital/online contact arrangements. The research objectives are to collate evidence and examples of local authority policy, guidance, and training. The research aims to compare and disseminate recent developments highlighting examples of good practice.

I am submitting the following 4 FOI questions to 152 LA's across England.

1. Please could you confirm whether your local authority has formal policies and/or formal guidance in place to support digital or online contact arrangements specifically? (Y/N). If yes, please could you answer the following questions.

0. Do you have formal policies and or guidance do you have in place to guide practitioners and professionals regarding digital contact? Yes/No
1. Do you have formal policies/guidance supporting kinship carers, foster carers, special guardians, or other carers regarding digital contact? Yes/No
2. Do you have formal policies/guidance supporting birth parents of children who are being cared for or have been adopted regarding digital contact? Yes/No
3. Do you have formal policies/guidance supporting children and young people who are being cared for or have been adopted regarding digital contact? Yes/No
4. Other Yes/No Please specify


2. If your LA answered YES to any of the above (1a-1e), please may I have a copy(ies) and if they are now included in your publication scheme or otherwise publicly available please could you direct me to relevant links with titles of documents.


3. Do you provide any training or training course(s) to equip the digital literacy/competence in support of online/digital contact arrangements for any of the following groups:
0. children and young people in care? Yes/No
1. birth parents of children and young people in care? Yes/No
2. carers including kinship, foster, special guardians, and other carers? Yes/No
3. practitioners and professionals involved with digital contact arrangements. Yes/No
4. siblings, grand parents or other family members involved with digital contact arrangements? Yes/No
5. other Yes/No (please specify)


4. If your LA provides training programmes for any of the above groups in support of digital/online contact arrangements, please can you provide any information and signpost me to any links or online advertising, or supply any other leaflets, or course content relating to questions (3a-3f).

This research is part of a PhD ESRC funded project exploring developments in digital/online contact arrangements. . The working title of this study chapter is: How local authorities are managing digital/online contact arrangements for children and young people experiencing care. And the study is inspired by recent social distancing which necessitated an increased use of digital/online contact arrangements for children and young people experiencing care during the pandemic. Research indicates that some local authorities have developed guidance and policies based on recent intensified learning and experiences. This research takes the opportunity to reflect upon these developments, with the aim of collating and disseminating best practice for managing and supporting digital/online contact arrangements.

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you need further clarification, and in the meantime very many thanks in advance.

Outcome / Documents

  • Response (all information to be supplied) - application/pdf - Download