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Privacy Notice - Children's Social Care and Early Help

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council is a registered data controller and we collect and use information personal to you in accordance with Data Protection legislation.

This outlines what you can expect from us when you provide us with your personal information.

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council have statutory responsibility for ensuring the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. On some occasions your family may need support from services who can work with you to offer help and find solutions.

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council's Childrens Social Care department supports children and families in a variety of ways, including, but not limited to early help interventions such as targeted family support, support for vulnerable children. It also provides support from children's social work teams, Child Placement services, Childrens Residential and Leaving Care service. We work in an integrated way with other children's services teams in Stockton Borough Council and with partner organisations to ensure we deliver the best possible outcomes for children, young people and families.

Why we are asking for your information and how will we use the information about you?

We will ensure that we have a lawful basis to collect your personal information and use it to deliver our services to you.

We may collect and use your personal information with your consent. However in some circumstances we do not require consent as we must 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, and for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims whenever courts are acting in their judicial capacity.

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
  • 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 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
  • inform future service provision and the commissioning of services
  • analyse service provision and effectiveness, and model patterns of service involvement to
  • undertake our statutory duties to refer families as required to local housing authorities to
  • refer your family to Early Help so that additional support can be accessed easily, if you have consented for us to do so

 

Who will use your information?

In some instances, we may share your information with other services within the Council as part of service delivery or because we are legally required to do so.

We may share your information with, but not limited to the following:

  • teams within SBC working to improve outcomes for children and young people
  • 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)

  • schools and other partner organisations 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)
  • NHS/NHS Digital
  • we will share personal information with law enforcement or other authorities if required by applicable law.

In addition, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council are connected to the CP-IS which is a national system.

When a child is known to social services and is a Looked after Child or on a Child Protection Plan (including unborns subject to a plan) basic information about that plan is shared securely with the NHS. If that child attends an NHS unscheduled care setting, such as an emergency department or a minor injury unit the health team is alerted that they are on a plan and has access to the contact details for the social care team. The social care team is automatically notified that the child has attended, and both parties can see details of the child's previous 25 visits to unscheduled care settings in England.

This allows health and social care staff to have a more complete picture of a child's interactions with health and social care services. This enables them to provide better care and earlier interventions for children who are considered vulnerable and at risk.

Health staff can see vital information about children based anywhere in England and social care staff can see if a child in their care attends an unscheduled care setting anywhere in the country. CP-IS data may also be used by NHS Digital to match with other known data sets in order to safeguard children, but only where there is a legal basis to do so. Links between local authority systems and NHS systems are achieved using children's NHS numbers as unique identifiers.

 

Prevent Strategy

The Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 places a duty on local government, criminal justice, education, child care, health and social care and the police to all to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. Prevent is part of the Government's Counter Terrorism Strategy known as CONTEST. The aim of CONTEST is to reduce the risk to the UK and its interests overseas from terrorism. If the Council is notified that a Prevent referral has been made about an individual in the borough, they may need to share personal information to ensure, for example, that a person at risk of radicalisation is given appropriate support (for example on the Channel programme). Information sharing will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and is governed by legislation. For more information on the Prevent strategy visit our Prevent webpage.

 

What personal information do we hold about you?

Other organisations may share your personal information with us for the purpose of service delivery or because they are legally required to do so. In the course of providing specialist support for a child, young person and their family we may collect the following personal information either with your consent if accessing Early Help services, or without consent for safeguarding purposes:

  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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 SBC children's services teams from our existing records
  • court decisions relating to our statutory legal duties
  • details of any child or young person in care placed in the borough of Stockton by other local authorities.

We may also hold what is known as special category data which would include information relating to race or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, genetic data, biometric data and health data.

 

How long we will keep your personal information for?

Your information will be held in accordance with the Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council Retention Schedule. For more information please contact us.

 

Access to your information and correction

You have the right to request the following in relation to the personal information we hold. Subject to some legal exceptions, you have the right:

  • to have any inaccuracies corrected;
  • to have your personal data erased;
  • to place a restriction on our processing of your data;
  • to object to processing; and
  • to request your data to be ported (data portability).

If you would to like to exercise any of the rights outlined above contact us. If you would like further information about your rights to your information visit the Information Commissions Office website.

You also have the right to request a copy of the personal information that the Council holds about you. To do this complete our Request a copy of the information Stockton Council holds about you or someone else.

If you have given your consent for us to use your personal information and wish to withdraw this consent contact us.

 

What happens if I don't provide you with my personal information?

If you do not provide us with the personal information we have requested, it may not be possible to deliver our services to you. For more information about how this might affect you contact us.

 

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. 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 breach. We will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected data security breach where we are legally required to do so.

 

If something goes wrong with your personal information or if you have any questions about how we use it contact:

If you remain unhappy about the way which we have handled your personal information and wish to complain contact the Information Commissioner's Office.