Everyone working for Early Help Services has a legal duty to keep and process information about you in accordance with the law.
Some families that we intensively support in Early Help are classified by us as Troubled Families, and their progress is tracked in order to evaluate the effectiveness of our help. In order to do this we need to share information within the council and with partners.
The personal data of individuals and families on this programme is linked with information from public agencies such as the NHS and health organisations, Department for Work and Pensions, the Police, and the Ministry of Justice.
The data is anonymised to reduce the risk of individuals being identified and is only used for carrying out research for the National Impact Study by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. You will be clearly informed if you are part of this programme.
Can I see my records?
The Data Protection Act 2018 allows you to find out what information is held about you, on paper and computer records. This is known as “Right of subject access” and applies to your personal records.
If you wish to see your records you should contact the Data Protection Officer.
You are entitled to receive a copy of your records free of charge, within a month. Information will be processed within the EEA and will not be shared with overseas recipients.
In certain circumstances access to your records may be limited, for example, if the records you have asked for contain information relating to another person.
Do I have other rights?
The Data Protection Act 2018 allows you other rights: for example if there is an error in your records you have the right to make sure it is rectified or erased.
You have the right to be told if we have made a mistake whilst processing your data and we will self-report any breaches to the Commissioner.
If you would like to know more about how we use your information, or if for any reason you do not wish to have your information used in any of the ways described in this leaflet, please tell us.
Data Protection Officer Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, 01642 774 774 InformationSecurity@redcar-cleveland.gov.uk
You can also complain to the Information Commissioner.
Why is information recorded about me?
We use information about children and families;
- To enable us to carry out specific functions for which we are responsible and to provide you with the best service possible
We keep records about you to assist us with;
- Our service delivery and ensure we provide the right service at the right time
The information may be written down or kept on a computer and can consist of;
- Name, address, date of birth, nationality, etc
- Unique identifiers such as National Insurance number or NHS number
- Referral and assessment forms
- The other occupants in your home
- Notes about any relevant circumstances you have told us about
- The service you have received from us
What is the information used for?
We record your personal information to enable us to provide the right early help interventions and support to you and your children.
This includes a wide range of services which we have a public duty or legal obligation to provide such as; early childhood services through family hubs; whole family support through key-working; universal positive activities through the youth service and specialist support for pre-school children with SEND. It is crucial that children and their families benefit from high quality services at the earliest opportunity.
This is to prevent difficulties from escalating or circumstances deteriorating to such an extent that children become at risk of suffering significant harm. It is important that your records are accurate and up to date as they will help us to make sure we provide you with the right help, advice and support from an initial referral through to providing direct services.
How long for?
In order to provide you with our services, we rely on our legal obligations and public tasks. Early Help services in the local authority have a duty under Section 10 of the Children Act 2004, to have arrangements in place to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, including sharing information with partner agencies which must be proportionate to the need and level of risk.
In addition, the Childcare Act 2006 outlines our duty to provide early childhood services to improve outcomes including child development, parenting skills and child and family health life chances.
Your details will be kept and updated in accordance with our legal obligations and in line with statutory retention periods. Information will only be shared with third parties if they have a genuine and lawful need for it.
Occasions when your information needs to be disclosed (shared) may include:
- Where the health and safety of others is at risk
- When the law requires us to pass on information in the best interest of the welfare of a child(ren)
At the point of referral for early help, information will be shared with key partners such as health, police, education, and other agencies in order to better understand the level of service required to meet the needs of your family circumstances.
Local authorities, under section 10 of the Children Act 2004, “have a responsibility to promote interagency cooperation to improve the welfare of children.”
This includes having due regard to the SEND Code of Practice for children aged 0-25 covered under section 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014.
In addition, Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015, in chapter 1, Section 22 states “that effective sharing of information between professionals and local agencies is essential for effective identification, assessment and service provision”.
We will also follow the Caldicott Principles in how we handle personal data. Anyone who receives information from us has a legal duty to keep it confidential.
However, we are required by law to report certain information to appropriate authorities — for example:
- Where a crime has been committed
- Where there are serious safeguarding concerns about a child or young person
- Where a formal court order has been issued.