Children’s Social Care privacy notice
We keep this privacy notice under regular review and was last updated in January 2023.
Kent County Council respects your privacy and is committed to protecting your personal data. This privacy notice will inform you as to how we look after your personal data and tell you about your privacy rights and how the law protects you. View an easy read version of this privacy notice (PDF, 1.4 MB).
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 United Kingdom General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018). We are responsible as ‘controller’ of that personal information. 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
- recordings of phone calls to the Front Door service
- recordings of virtual meetings with KCC officers.
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
- manage savings on behalf of Children in Care
- inform you about forthcoming events/activities in Children’s Centres, Youth Hubs, or send you newsletters with information that may be of interest to you, if you have consented for us to do so
- contact parents and carers who have signed up to the Family Hubs Parent Carer panel regarding activities, updates, events and news.
We also work with other Kent local authorities to deliver services, in particular identifying people at risk of financial exclusion and homelessness. To help deliver such services, we are piloting the use of Xantura’s ‘OneView’ data sharing platform. This will provide Kent local authorities with the ability to provide tailored prevention and support and enable Council Officers, who work with you, to understand more about your circumstances to help provide the right care and support.
Read the Xantura Project Privacy Notice for information about the ways in which your data is used for this system.
Reasons we can collect and use your personal information
We collect and use your personal information to carry out tasks to comply with our legal obligations, and to carry out tasks in the public interest. We rely on the following legal bases under UK GDPR:
- Article (6)(1)(c) - Legal obligation: the processing is necessary to comply with the law (not including contractual obligations)
- Article (6)(1)(e) - Public task: the processing is necessary to perform a task in the public interest or for official functions (task or function has a clear basis in law)
- Article (6)(1)(a) - Consent: the individual has given clear consent to process their personal data for a specific purpose.
When we collect or share special category personal data, we rely upon the following legal bases under UK GDPR:
- Article 9(2)(f) - Legal claims or judicial acts
- Article 9(2)(g) - Reasons of substantial public interest. We rely on the ‘safeguarding of children and of individuals at risk’, and ‘equality of opportunity or treatment’ purposes condition from Schedule 1 of the Data Protection Act 2018 when relying on Article 9(2)(g) to process your special category data.
- Article 9(2)(h) - Health or social care
- Article 9(2)(j) - Archiving, research and statistics
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
- The Children and Social Work Act 2017
- The Children Act 1989
- The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017
Obtaining your feedback about the support you and your family has received is subject to your consent.
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
|Recording of incoming phone calls to Front Door||Date of call + 3 months|
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.
- The Kent and Medway Care Record (KMCR) (please the KMCR privacy notice)
- 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
- The Child Protection - Information Sharing service (CP-IS) visit the CP-IS website for more details.
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 UK 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 UKGDPR.
If you would like to exercise a right, please contact the Information Resilience and Transparency Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your right to withdraw your consent
Where we rely on your consent to process your personal information, you can withdraw your consent to our use of your data at any time. You can do this by emailing 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.
UK GDPR also gives you right to lodge a complaint with the supervisory authority in the UK is the Information Commissioner who may be contacted on 03031 231113.
Read our corporate privacy statement.