Children’s Social Care privacy notice
This notice explains what personal data (information) we hold about you, how we collect, how we use and may share information about you. We are required to give you this information under data protection law.
Who we are
Kent County Council (KCC) collects, uses and is responsible for certain personal information about you. When we do so we are regulated under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which applies across the European Union (including in the United Kingdom) and we are responsible as ‘controller’ of that personal information for the purposes of those laws. Our Data Protection Officer is Benjamin Watts.
Children’s social care is provided by Integrated Children's Services and comprises a range of services that offer specialist support to children, young people and families. Support is provided by children’s social work teams, Fostering and Adoption services, the Family Drug and Alcohol Court, the Leaving Care service, and Virtual School Kent. Our services may be provided face-to-face or virtually. We work in an integrated way with other children’s services teams in KCC and with partner organisations to ensure we deliver the best possible outcomes for children, young people and families in Kent.
Personal information we collect and use
Information collected by us
In the course of providing specialist support for a child, young person and their family we collect the following personal information when you provide it to us:
- personal information (such as name, address, contact details, date of birth, gender)
- special category characteristics (such as ethnicity, disability, mental health status, and drug and alcohol use)
- personal identifiers (including NHS numbers and Port-Reference and Home Office numbers)
- details of family relationships, including those of extended family and friends
- reasons for support (such as what is working well and what you are worried about)
- assessment and plan information for children in need (such as further details of your issues and challenges, and how we are going to work together to bring about the changes required)
- information gathered during child protection processes (during Section 47 enquiries/investigations and Child Protection Conferences)
- episodes of being looked after (such as important dates and information on placements) and information gathered during these episodes (such as reviews)
- outcomes for looked after children, such as whether health and dental assessments are up to date, strengths and difficulties questionnaire scores and personal education plans
- adoption information, including dates of court orders and decisions and information relating to post-adoption support provided
- information on care leavers, including their education and employment status and the type of accommodation they are living in
We also obtain personal information from the following other sources:
- details of any young person reported missing from home, from the Police
- referral and involvement information from partner organisations
- attendance and exclusion information (such as sessions attended, number of absences, reasons, details to support statutory processes) pupil characteristics, and unique pupil number, from your child’s school
- involvement with other KCC children’s services teams from our existing records
- information from commissioned providers of social care services
- court decisions relating to our statutory legal duties
- details of any child or young person in care placed in Kent by other local authorities.
How we use your personal information
We use your personal information to:
- safeguard and support children, and to monitor their progress
- enable integrated working with other teams and organisations to ensure you receive the right support at the right time
- plan and provide the most appropriate level of support to you and your family
- support you to access relevant support and advice, services and groups, including supporting parents with parenting and with their drug and alcohol use
- prepare information for the courts as required
- evaluate and quality assure the services we provide, and improve our policies on children’s social care. This will include seeking your feedback on the services you and your family have received
- inform future service provision and the commissioning of services
- analyse service provision and effectiveness, and model patterns of service involvement to support future service delivery planning (see the pupil Information privacy notice for more details)
- undertake our statutory duties to refer young people and families as required to local housing authorities to reduce homelessness
- support the provision of free bus passes to children in care and care leavers
- register your family at your local Open Access Children’s Centre/Youth Hub so that additional support can be accessed easily, if you have consented for us to do so
- inform you about forthcoming events/activities in Children’s Centres or Youth Hubs that may be of interest to you, if you have consented for us to do so
How long your personal data will be kept
We keep your information securely in line with the retention periods shown below, after which time it is made inaccessible to system users or securely destroyed, unless we are required by legal reasons to retain records for longer than the stated retention period.
Children and young people with a Child Protection Plan
Date of birth +40 years
Children and young people who have been in the care of the local authority (Looked After Children and Care Leavers)
Date of birth +75 years
If the child/young person dies before the age of 18 records will be retained for 15 years from their date of death
Date of birth +100 years
Private fostering arrangements
Date of birth +75 years
Private foster parents where parents made own arrangements for child to be fostered
Last contact with the Private Foster Parent +10 years, or date of death of Private Foster Parent + 2 years
All other records relating to Children and Young People Records of children and young people who don’t fall into any of the above categories, including Children in Need, and general papers where a file has not been opened
Date of Birth +25 years
Register of persons posing a risk to children and those cautioned or convicted of offences against children
75 years from the date of the caution/conviction
Reasons we can collect and use your personal information
We collect and use your personal information to comply with our legal obligations, and to carry out tasks in the public interest. If we need to collect special category (sensitive) personal information, we rely upon reasons of substantial public interest (safeguarding of children and of individuals at risk, and equality of opportunity or treatment), for the provision of social care or the management of social care systems or services, for social security or social protection law, for scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes, and for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims whenever courts are acting in their judicial capacity.
These legal bases are underpinned by acts of legislation that dictate what actions can and should be taken by local authorities, including:
- The Children and Families Act, 2014
- Children and Social Work Act, 2017
- Children Act, 1989
- Homelessness Reduction Act, 2017.
Obtaining your feedback about the support you and your family has received is subject to your consent.
Who we share your personal information with
- teams within KCC working to improve outcomes for children and young people
- in house providers of social care services, such as in house foster carers, short breaks and KEPS
- commissioned providers of local authority services (such as Independent Foster Care Agencies, Children’s Homes, Semi-Independent accommodation Providers, Supported Lodgings Providers, Residential Special Schools and Secure accommodation). Where services are commissioned, the provider would be a processor of information and also be a controller in their own right, where they collect information for their own purpose.
- partner organisations signed up to the Kent and Medway Information Sharing Agreement, where necessary, which may include health visitors, midwives, district councils, housing providers, police, school nurses, doctors and mental health workers
- government departments including the Department of Education, Department of Work and Pensions, and the Home Office
- Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunal Service
- Ofsted (in the event of a local authority inspection of children’s services)
- The Share-Foundation
We will share personal information with law enforcement or other authorities if required by applicable law.
The Children and Young People (CYP) Integrated Dataset
The CYP Dataset is owned and managed by KCC and contains personal data and special category information about children attending KCC schools, and matches additional personal data from multiple data sources within KCC to the pupils.
The aim of the dataset is to allow statistical analysis and research to:
- support and inform council transformation by ensuring the holistic characteristics and needs of the child population are fully understood
- provide appropriate levels of insight, evidence and evaluation in order to embed knowledge and understanding of children and young people’s needs and issues into service programmes and projects, including the commissioning of new services
- inform future service delivery planning and integrated working in order to improve outcomes for children and young people.
KCC has robust processes in place to ensure the confidentiality of our data is maintained and there are stringent controls in place regarding access and use of the data. The child-level dataset is not shared outside of KCC. All personal data is stored in secured electronic files with restricted access. Only pseudonymised data is used for analysis. Outputs and analysis take the form of aggregated data, and are for the purpose of KCC teams and partners working to improve outcomes for children and young people.
Under GDPR you have rights which you can exercise free of charge which allow you to:
- know what we are doing with your information and why we are doing it
- ask to see what information we hold about you (subject access request)
- ask us to correct any mistakes in the information we hold about you
- object to direct marketing
- make a complaint to the Information Commissioners Office
- withdraw consent at any time (if applicable)
Depending on our reason for using your information you may also be entitled to:
- ask us to delete information we hold about you
- have your information transferred electronically to yourself or to another organisation
- object to decisions being made that significantly affect you
- object to how we are using your information
- stop us using your information in certain ways
We will always seek to comply with your request however we may be required to hold or use your information to comply with legal duties. Please note, your request may delay or prevent us delivering a service to you.
For further information about your rights, including the circumstances in which they apply, see the guidance from the UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) on individuals’ rights under GDPR.
If you would like to exercise a right, please contact the Information Resilience and Transparency Team at email@example.com.
Keeping your personal information secure
We have appropriate security measures in place to prevent personal information from being accidentally lost, or used or accessed in an unauthorised way. We limit access to your personal information to those who have a genuine business need to know it. Those processing your information will do so only in an authorised manner and are subject to a duty of confidentiality.
We also have procedures in place to deal with any suspected data security breach. We will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected data security breach where we are legally required to do so.
Please contact the Information Resilience and Transparency Team at firstname.lastname@example.org to exercise any of your rights, or if you have a complaint about why your information has been collected, how it has been used or how long we have kept it for.
You can contact our Data Protection Officer, Benjamin Watts, at email@example.com, or write to: Data Protection Officer, Sessions House, Maidstone, Kent ME14 1XQ.
Read our corporate privacy statement.