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Advice and Information

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Dudley Council the historic capital of the Black Country
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This Privacy Notice explains how we use personal information about you and how we protect your privacy in accordance with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), introduced into UK law by the Data Protection Act 2018. This notice applies to any activity involving our use of your personal data, for example, collecting, storing, sharing, and destroying it.

What we do

Dudley Council has a wide range of responsibilities to the children and young people within our area. We hold personal data about children and young people who are in our statutory care whether as Looked After Children, or are under a Child Protection Plan as are deemed at risk, and/or any unborn children with a pre-birth Protection Plan.
We also hold personal data because we provide a range of services to children and their families in order to safeguard and promote their welfare (e.g. a family are under stress and struggling to meet their children’s needs, or a child is seriously ill or disabled).

What information we collect

We collect a range of information including some or all of the following:

  • your personal information (name, DOB, ethnicity, unique pupil number, address, telephone, email, NHS number)
  • characteristics (such as ethnicity, language and free school meal eligibility)
  • parents/carers personal information
  • personal information about other members of your household
  • personal information about close relatives
  • details of family relationships in and outside of your household
  • you and your family’s legal status
  • your accommodation
  • details about your physical and emotional well-being and parenting
  • details of any risk issues
  • youth offending information: offences (including alleged offences), criminal proceedings, convictions and sentences
  • medical history
  • health, social care or other services you are getting
  • information about your situation given to us by your family/carers and/or other organisations (e.g. GP, school nurse, Police)
  • reports relating to your situation (e.g. safeguarding and other assessments, Child Protection Plans and Looked After Children reviews)
  • any documents sent to us relating to you
  • educational progress and attainment information
  • special educational needs (including the needs and ranking)
  • school attendance, exclusions and behavioural information
  • Records of phone conversations and/or meetings between you or your carers / representatives and Council staff.

Why we collect your information

We use your data to:

  • enable us to carry out our statutory functions and duties including safeguarding, child protection and corporate parenting
  • identify children and young people that are being harmed or abused, or at risk of harm or abuse identify and comply with safeguarding policies and procedures
  • assess any additional needs a child or young person may have
  • provide a co-ordinated approach to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children
  • produce statistics and reports to research and plan new services. Statistics are used in such a way that individual children/young people cannot be identified from them
  • assess performance and set targets for service improvement
  • monitor and evaluate service provision, and review the quality of care
  • develop welfare/safeguarding policies/strategies with our safeguarding, corporate parenting and early help partners
  • comply with government department research and statistical returns
  • account for our decisions and investigate complaints
  • inform targeted support and services to families, children and young people who are most in need and at risk of harm

Who we share information with

Your data is accessed by staff working for Dudley’s Children Social Care and Early Help Services. Children’s Social Care and Early Help includes a variety of different teams and which ones access your data will depend on what services are involved. The teams include: 

  • The Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)
  • Assessment
  • Care Management
  • Children in Care & Care Leavers
  • Placements, Residential Homes & Contact Centres
  • Children in Care & Care Leavers
  • Emotional Heath & Wellbeing
  • Corporate Parenting
  • Adoption and Fostering
  • Supervised Contact
  • Virtual School
  • Safeguarding & Review
  • Integrated Youth Support
  • Family Support
  • Other Council teams so they can carry out their statutory roles and support our service (e.g. housing, education, Complaints, Business Intelligence, Corporate Finance, Legal Services, Quality Assurance)

We also routinely share your information with external partners and relevant external services including:

  • Other local authorities e.g. in cases of adoption, special guardianship and fostering arrangements
  • Government departments e.g. Department for Education, Department of Health
  • GPs / NHS Trusts / NHS England / Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs)
  • Police
  • Benefit agencies
  • Housing agencies
  • Education providers (e.g. academies, maintained schools, pupil referral units, independent schools and independent specialist providers, FE and sixth-form colleges)
  • Early years providers in the maintained, private, voluntary and independent sectors that are funded by Dudley Council
  • Children centres
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
  • Youth Offending Services / Probation Services
  • HM Courts & Tribunals Service
  • Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass)
  • Education, employment and training (NEET) Support Services
  • Contracted services including those provided by voluntary organisations and community groups working with young people
  • Commissioned social care and/or health services
  • Your legal representative or another advocate (if you have instructed one)

Staff in each area will only access the personal information that is essential to carry out their work and statutory functions but may share data between the respective teams where this is necessary to provide you with services.

All organisations we pass your information to will have an information-sharing agreement with us to ensure they meet the standards of the GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018, and will be covered by a legal basis allowing them to collect, use and share your personal information.

In some circumstances, information may be shared with third parties where there is a legal obligation to do so. If we are worried about your safety and believe we need to take action to protect you from being harmed, we will discuss our concerns with you and, if possible, obtain your permission to disclose this information. We may share this information if we assess the risk to you or others to be serious.

There may also be situations when the risk to you or others is so great that we believe we need to share your information without delay. If this is the case, we will make sure that we record what information we share and our reasons for doing so. We will also let you know what we have done and why if we think it is safe to do so.

Why we regularly share child and young person’s information

We do not share information about our children or young people with anyone without consent unless the law and our policies allow us to do so. 

Education and training
We hold information about young people living in our area, including about their education and training history. This is to support the provision of their education up to the age of 20 (and beyond this age for those with a special educational need or disability).

Under parts 1 and 2 of the Education and Skills Act 2008, education institutions and other public bodies (including the Department for Education (DfE), police, probation and health services) may pass information to us to help us to support these provisions.

Youth support services - Pupils aged 13+
Once our pupils reach the age of 13, we also pass pupil information to the provider of youth support services as they have responsibilities in relation to the education or training of 13-19 year olds under section 507B of the Education Act 1996.

This enables them to provide services as follows:

  • youth support services
  • careers advisers
  • post-16 education and training providers [Pupils aged 16+]

A parent or guardian can object to any information in addition to their child’s name, address and date of birth being passed to their local authority or provider of youth support services by informing us. This right is transferred to the child / pupil once they reach the age 16.

For more information about services for young people, please visit our local authority website.

Department for Education
The Department for Education (DfE) collects personal data from educational settings and local authorities via various statutory data collections. We are required to share information about our children and young people with the Department for Education (DfE) for the purpose of those data collections.

For example for school census:
section 3 of The Education (Information About Individual Pupils) (England) Regulations 2013.

All data is transferred securely and held by DfE under a combination of software and hardware controls which meet the current government security policy framework.

The lawful basis on which we use this information

The legal bases for processing your personal information are:

  • Compliance with a legal obligation (e.g. safeguarding and promoting the welfare of Dudley children including those children placed out of the authority, or if necessary to protect someone in an emergency, or if disclosure is required by the Police or other statutory bodies)
  • Tasks carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority
  • Contract for the supply of services
  • Consent

For more information relating to why the Council processes personal information, please see the Council’s Corporate Privacy Notice available at this link: Corporate Privacy Statement

Collecting this information

Whilst the majority of children and young person’s information provided to us is mandatory due to compliance with a legal obligation, some of it is provided to us on a voluntary basis. To comply with the GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018, we will inform you whether you are required by law to provide certain information to us; if you do have a choice to provide information that is not mandatory, your explicit consent will be requested. You do have the right to withdraw your consent if this is applicable to processing your data. If this is the case, we will let you know.
The parent/carer is responsible for their child’s consent up to age 16. From age 16 onwards the young person can provide their own consent.

Storing this information

Personal data will not be retained for longer than necessary in relation to the purposes for which they were collected. There is usually a legal reason for keeping your personal information for a set period of time – this ranges from months for some records to decades for more sensitive records. If you require more information about our retention schedule please contact us at information.governance@dudley.gov.uk

Requesting access to your personal data

Under GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018, parents/carers and young people have the right to request access to information that we hold about them.

To make a request for your (or your child’s) personal information, contact the Council’s Corporate Information Governance Team;

Lewis Bourne, Data Protection Officer, at information.governance@dudley.gov.uk or by calling 0300 555 2345 and asking to speak to the Data Protection Officer.

Depending on the lawful basis, you may also have the right to:

  • object to processing of personal data that is likely to cause, or is causing, damage or distress
    prevent processing for the purpose of direct marketing
  • object to decisions being taken by automated means 
  • in certain circumstances, have inaccurate personal data rectified, blocked, erased or destroyed; and
  • a right to seek redress, either through the ICO, or through the courts

Withdrawal of consent and the right to lodge a complaint
Where we are processing your personal data with your consent, you have the right to withdraw that consent. If you change your mind, or you are unhappy with our use of your personal data, please let us know by contacting Lewis Bourne, Data Protection Officer, at information.governance@dudley.gov.uk or by calling 0300 555 2345 and asking to speak to the Data Protection Officer.

 

Further information

The GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 give you a number of rights to control what personal information is used by us and how it is used by us. Information about your data rights is listed in the Council’s Corporate Privacy Notice on the Council’s website at the link referenced above.

If you have any questions or concerns about the way we collect, store or use your personal information, please contact in the first instance information.governance@dudley.gov.uk.

For independent advice about data protection issues, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) at www.ico.org.uk .

We reserve the right to amend this Privacy Notice at any time and will keep it under review. If we do make any changes, we will post the current version to our website at this address.