Children’s social care privacy notice

Updated: 21 July 2021

Our contact details

Name: Data Protection Officer

Address: Time Square, Market Street, Bracknell, RG12 1JD

Phone Number: 01344 352000


The type of personal information we collect

We currently collect and process the following information:

  • personal identifiers, contacts and characteristics (for example, name, contact details, NHS numbers)
  • health information
  • legal information
  • police information
  • assessment information
  • meeting minutes
  • risk management plans
  • personal relationships (including those of extended family and friends)
  • electronic documents
  • other involved professionals
  • education information
  • reason 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 issues and challenges, and how we are going to work together to bring about the changes required)
  • information gathered during children 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 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 employment status and the type of accommodation they are living in

We also collect special category characteristics such as ethnicity, disability, mental health status and drug and alcohol use in addition to the above.

Criminal offence data will be processed under the 28 conditions of Schedule 1 of the Data Protection Act 2018 which are available for the processing of criminal offence data. These are set out in paragraphs 1 to 37. You will be told where this is used.

How we get the personal information and why we have it

Most of the personal information we process is provided to us directly by you for one of the following reasons:

  • deal with concerns for the welfare of children and as part of our ongoing involvement with children and their families
  • safeguard and support children, and to monitor their progress
  • enable integrated working with other teams and organisations to make sure that you receive the right support at the right time
  • plan and provide the most appropriate level of support to children and their families
  • support individuals to access advice, services and groups, including supporting parents with parenting and with their drug and alcohol use
  • prepare information for the courts as required
  • carry out 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
  • to assess and provide support to our foster carers
  • holding information about foster carers as part of our processing of application and ongoing support for the carers

We receive information directly, or indirectly, from the following sources:

  • members of the public including:
    • extended family members
    • friends
    • acquaintances
    • neighbours
  • professionals involved with children and their families, including:
    • police
    • health professionals
    • housing officers
    • schools
    • NHS
    • other local authorities
    • educational establishments
    • voluntary sector organisations

How the law allows us to 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 on reasons of:

  • substantial public interest (safeguarding of children and individuals at risk, and equality of opportunity or treatment)
  • the provision of social care or the management of social care systems or services
  • social security or social protection law

These legal basis are underpinned by acts of legislation that dictate what actions can and should be taken by local authorities, including:

Lawful basis for processing

Under the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR), the lawful basis for processing is Article 6 UK GDPR:

  • (b) process is necessary for the performance of a contract
  • (c) processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which we are subject
  • (d) in order to protect the vital interests of the data subject
  • (e) a task carried out in the public interest

Special category data

Special category data is being processed under Article 9 UK GDPR:

  • (b) social protection law
  • (e) processing relates to personal data which are manifestly made public by the data subject
  • (f) exercise or defence of legal claims
  • (g) public interest
  • (h) provision of health or social care treatment

You can read the guide to lawful basis for processing special category data on the Information Commissioner's Office website.

Who we share your information with

Information held by the council may be shared with the following organisations:

  • the wider council 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 (where services are commissioned, the provider will be a processor of information and also be a controller in their own right, where they collect information for their own purpose) such as:
    • independent foster care agencies
    • children’s homes
    • semi-independent accommodation providers
    • supported lodging providers
    • residential special schools
    • secure accommodation
  • schools and colleges
  • government departments including:
    • the Department for Education
    • Department for Work and Pensions
    • the Home Office
  • Her Majesty’s court and tribunal service
  • Ofsted - in the event of a local authority inspection of children’s services
  • the police
  • health professionals including midwifery services, health visitors and school nurses
  • probation service

We will share personal information with law enforcement or other authorities if required by applicable law.

How we store your personal information

Your information is securely stored in an electronic database and electronic filing system.

Paper records are held in locked cabinets within our office at Time Square and at the Berkshire Modern Records facility in Reading. The facility is used by all Berkshire Local Authorities for the storage of paper documents requiring long term storage.

We keep a wide range of documents. These include:

  • forms
  • reports
  • email
  • letters
  • case notes

Retention periods depend on the level of involvement children’s social care has with the child, carer or family member. Retention periods are laid out in the council’s retention and disposal schedule.

We will dispose your information by shredding paper records and deleting electronic records from our electronic systems.

Your data protection rights

Under data protection law, you have rights we need to make you aware of. The rights available to you depend on our reason for processing your information.

Your right of access

You have the right to ask us for copies of your personal information. This right always applies. There are some exemptions, which means you may not always receive all the information we process.

Find out more about your right of access from the ICO.

Your right to get your data corrected

You have the right to ask us to correct information you think is inaccurate. You also have the right to ask us to complete information you think is incomplete. This right always applies.

Find out more about your right to get your data corrected from the ICO.

Your right to get your data deleted

You have the right to ask us to delete your personal information in certain circumstances.

Find out more about your right to get your data deleted from the ICO.

Your right to limit how organisations use your data

You have the right to ask us to limit the processing of your information in certain circumstances.

Find out more about your right to limit how organisations use your data from the ICO.

Your right to object to the use of your data

You have the right to object to processing if we are able to process your information because the process forms part of our public tasks.

Find out more about your right to object to the use of your data from the ICO.

Your right to data portability

This only applies to information you have given us. You have the right to ask that we transfer the information you gave us from one organisation to another, or give it to you.

The right only applies if we are processing information based on your consent or under, or in talks about entering into a contract and the processing is automated.

Find out more about your right to data portability from the ICO.

Making a request

You are not required to pay any charge for exercising your rights. If you make a request, we have 28 days to respond to you.

To make a request, contact us by emailing:

Service adjustments

As a public authority and a provider of services to the public, we have a legal duty to comply with the Equality Act 2010.

This means we need to make service adjustments for anyone with a disability who contacts us in any capacity, to eliminate any barriers to accessing our services.

Our lawful basis for processing this information is article 6(1)(c) of the UK GDPR as we have a legal obligation to provide this. Our processing of special category data, such as health information you give us, will be based on article 9(2)(a), which means we need your consent.

We will create a record of your adjustment requirements. These will give your name, contact details and type of adjustment required, along with a brief description of why it is required. Relevant staff can access this to make sure they are communicating with you in the required way.

Please contact should you require service adjustments.

How to complain

If you have any concerns about our use of your personal information, you can make a complaint to us at

You can also complain to the ICO if you are unhappy with how we have used your data by:

  • visiting the ICO website
  • phoning the ICO helpline on 0303 123 1113
  • writing to:
    • Information Commissioner’s Office
      Wycliffe House
      Water Lane
      SK9 5AF