Children and Families Privacy Notice

What personal information is being processed and what for

The Children and Families Service collects personally identifiable information whenever you access or sign up to any of our services, request information, make a complaint or participate in activities provided by us. The information we hold about you will depend on the services we provide. This is likely to include:

  • personal information (such as name, date of birth, gender, unique pupil number, NHS number, National Insurance number, address and contact details, any special educational needs or disabilities)
  • more sensitive information (such as ethnicity, language, physical or mental health, religious or political beliefs, criminal offences, free school meal eligibility and eligibility to other state benefits)
  • third party - information which doesn't come directly from the person it is about
  • statistical - numbers of things e.g. population figures, number of pupils achieving qualifications; such information doesn't identify individuals

More specifically, we may collect and hold:

  • details about your needs in all areas of your life (e.g. your care and unmet needs)
  • details of family relationships in and outside of your household and names and contact details of your close relatives and or carers 
  • details of any other services you are receiving
  • information used to assess your situation, such as assessments and reports
  • things that other organisations (such as health or schools) tell us to help us understand your situation and needs and co-ordinate your care services more effectively
  • recordings of any visits or contact you have made or we have made with you. your legal status

We collect the above information to enable us to:

  • carry out specific functions for which we are responsible as the children’s service of the local authority, including to help us assess and identify any unmet needs
  • derive statistics which inform decisions around services for children and families
  • assess performance and to set targets
  • report  on progress made by families through the receipt of services  

Why we are allowed to use your information

The legal bases for processing your personal information are:

  • compliance with a legal obligation (e.g. safeguarding and promoting the welfare of Cheshire East children including those children placed out of authority, or if necessary to protect someone in an emergency, or if disclosure is required by the Police or other statutory bodies).
  • tasks carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority
  • contract for the supply of services
  • consent

Usually, we collect and hold your information to enable us to comply with a legal obligation or because we are acting in the public interest or exercising our official authority. For example, Section 10 of the Children Act 2004 places a duty on key people and bodies to cooperate to improve the wellbeing of children and young people. This includes the sharing of information, where appropriate, to make the best decisions for children and young people at risk. 

If we are entering into a contract with you it will be necessary for us to process your data for this purpose.

If we decide we need your consent to process your data we will contact you separately about this.

If we believe there is another legal basis for processing your personal data we will advise you of this at the time we collect the data from you.

Who we will share your information with

All employees within Children and Families have a duty of care in accordance with our Data Protection policy. This includes respecting that right to confidentiality. 

Any records we hold on you (computer and paper files) can only be seen by authorised staff. Children and Families Services is made up of various professionals and various systems where we will store information.  Our main teams include:

  • preventative Services (Family Service, Early Years and Childcare, Youth Service and Prevention Service)
  • special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
  • children’s Social Care (including Cheshire East Consultation Service, Children in Need or Child Protection, Children with Disabilities, Cared for Children and Care Leavers and Children’s Safeguarding) 
  • youth Offending Service
  • teams supporting the education function
  • commissioning 
  • other internal teams who provide service to children and young people.

In addition to the above the following teams may also have access to information:

  • complaints Team
  • legal services
  • business Intelligence
  • team Information Governance Team
  • finance teams
  • Supporting Families Data Team

We also need to share information about you. The main reason for sharing information is to enable you/your family to receive better integrated services from us. This may be with partner agencies from across the education, health, justice and care services (eg, schools, colleges, police, health visitors, school nurses).

We may also share information with providers that we commission to deliver services on our behalf, eg, Catch 22, or contract with to deliver government funded services, eg. childcare providers.  

Sometimes we need to share your information with other local authorities, local government agencies and central government. 

There may also be situations when the risk to you or others is so great that we believe we need to share your information without delay. If this is the case, we will make sure that we record what information we share and our reasons for doing so. We will also let you know what we have done and why if we think it is safe to do so.

Where any information is shared, we ensure that secure means are employed and that processes are agreed and documented where appropriate in information sharing agreements.

Unless we are required to share information by law, all organisations we pass your information to will have an agreement with us to ensure they meet the required standards set out by legislation.

We may also use your information in an anonymous form (with any identifiable data relating to you removed), for performance monitoring, service improvement, supporting families (family focus) and statutory returns.

Where we get your information from

The majority of data that we receive will be information that you have provided us with.  Dependant upon the nature of the service, we might also seek information partner agencies from across the education, health, justice and care services (eg, schools, colleges, police, health visitors, school nurses).

How long we will keep your personal information

We are required by law to keep records for varying lengths of time depending on individual circumstances. This information is set out in our information asset register

How your information is stored

We have a range of information that is stored in different ways. Most of our information is stored electronically in our case record systems, including Liquid Logic, Servelec Synergy and the Children and Young People’s Database.

These systems have authorised user access, so only certain staff can access them. Storage details of each information source is set out in our information asset register

What happens if you don't provide us with your information

Most of the services we provide are statutory, which means we must provide them. Where services are optional, you will be asked to sign a consent form and will have the option to withhold or withdraw your consent. However, if you do not provide us with information, we will not be able to deliver support to meet your needs. In certain circumstances, we will continue to seek information related to you from all those people and organisations known to you.

Will your information be used to make automated decisions

Your information will not be used for any automated decisions.

We may use some of your information to better target services to your needs, for example, only certain families are eligible for free childcare for two year olds, so we would use information we hold about, eg, families in receipt of certain benefits, to target this initiative. 

Will this information be transferred abroad

There may be cases where we need to liaise with foreign authorities, eg, when a child with links to a foreign country becomes the subject of a child protection plan, has required immediate protection, or is made subject to care proceedings, but safeguards are in place to protect your data. 

Your rights

You have a number of rights regarding your personal data, including withdrawing your consent where we have asked for it. You can also ask for a copy of the information we hold about you and ask us to correct anything that is wrong.

For detailed information about your rights please see our privacy notice.

Page last reviewed: 25 May 2022