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Children's services privacy notice

Find out how Westminster City Council Children’s Services collect and use personal information about you and your family.

Children's services

Purpose for processing your information

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s and Westminster City Council children’s services collect and use personal information about you and your family. The council is registered as a Data Controller under the Data Protection Act 2018.

This privacy notice broadly explains what information we collect, the purpose for using, the types of personal information and who we may share it with.

It applies to all personal information collected for or on behalf of the council whether by letter, email, face-to-face, telephone, online or any other method.

To understand how your own personal information is used you may need to refer to any personal communications you have received from the council or check any specific Children’s Services privacy notices. Alternatively contact the department directly to ask about your personal circumstances.

How we collect your information

We collect information in a number of ways, for example, by letter, email, face-to-face, telephone, online forms, surveys.

Purpose for using your information

We use information about children and young people to enable us to carry out specific functions for which we are responsible. There are a variety of reasons why we work with families and ways that we collect data to support you and your family. Some of the purposes for collecting your data are listed below in specific Fair Processing Notices.

Legal Basis for Processing

The basis on which we lawfully process personal information is found in the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA’18). The following are examples of special categories of personal information, some of which we may collect and use as part of working with children and their families:

  • racial or ethnic origin
  • political opinions
  • religious or philosophical beliefs
  • trade union membership
  • genetic data, biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a person
  • data concerning health
  • data concerning a person’s sex life or sexual orientation

This information is only used for the intended purpose but if we intend to use it for any other purpose; we will normally ask you first. In some cases, the council may use your information for another purpose if it has a legal duty to do so, to provide a complete service to you, to prevent and detect crimes (e.g. fraud), or if there is a risk of serious harm or threat to life.

Statutory provisions could include:

Section 115 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998

This provision allows the police, local authorities, health authorities and probation trusts to share information about any person for the purposes of preventing crime and disorder.

Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 and Section 11 of the Children Act 2004

The collection of Child in Need, child protection, early help and youth offending data is covered by Section 17 of the Children Act 1989. Local authorities collect and share this information under these implied powers in order to support and/or protect children. Some of this data is likely to meet the definition of Special Categories of Personal Data (under the terms of the DPA’18).

Education Act 1996 section 537A

The collection of school census information.

Welfare Reform Act 2012

The sharing of information with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in relation to worklessness and other benefits claimed by families is covered generally by Section 131 of the Welfare Reform Act 2012. The Secretary of State, or a person providing the services of the Secretary of State, may supply relevant information to a qualifying person for prescribed purposes relating to welfare services or council tax.

The Welfare Reform Act 2012 section 134 allows for longer term data sharing powers between DWP, their service providers and local authorities. Furthermore, Ministers of the Crown have ordinary common law power to do whatever a natural person may do.

Digital Economy Act 2017

The Digital Economy Act enables public authorities to share relevant information on the individuals and families they are working with in compliance with the Data Protection Act 2018 for the primary purpose of supporting the wellbeing of individuals and households.

The following conditions which are set out in the Act must be met:

  • condition 1: the purpose is the improvement or targeting of a public service provided to individuals or households, or the facilitation of the provision of a benefit (whether or not financial) to individuals or households
  • condition 2: the purpose is the improvement of the wellbeing of individuals or households
  • condition 3: the purpose is the supporting of the delivery of a specified person’s functions, or the administration, monitoring or enforcement of a specified person’s functions

Public Task

The following conditions need to be applied:

  • you can rely on this lawful basis if you need to process personal data:
  • in the exercise of official authority’. This covers public functions and powers that are set out in law; or
  • to perform a specific task in the public interest that is set out in law
  • it is most relevant to public authorities, but it can apply to any organisation that exercises official authority or carries out tasks in the public interest

Collecting personal data

The information you provide helps us to support your family and make sure that we meet our legal duties and responsibilities, for example to carry out an educational or social care assessment.

We then use this data to:

  • provide you and your family with help, advice and appropriate services
  • measure whether our services are improving life for children and families
  • help us develop and improve our services
  • complete statistical returns to Government departments
  • administer and protect public funds
  • contact you with details of Research Programmes that may benefit you or your family for you to decide whether to take part or not

The categories of personal information that we collect and use may include the following:

  • personal and family details
  • lifestyle and social circumstances
  • financial details
  • employment and education details
  • NHS number
  • housing needs
  • visual images
  • details of personal appearance and behaviour
  • licenses or permits held
  • student and pupil records
  • case file information

Who we may share your information with

Where necessary we will share information with Council departments and services as well as other organisations such as our partners, third party contractors, government bodies, the police, health and social care organisations, housing associations, landlords, London Fire Brigade and educational establishments.

We will only share information with these organisations where it is appropriate and legal to do so. We will also share information, for example, if there is a risk of serious harm or threat to life, for the prevention and detection of fraud or crime, assessment of any tax or duty or if we are required to do so by any court or law. Where this is necessary, we are required to comply with all aspects of the DPA’18.

Details for Transfers

It may sometimes be necessary to transfer personal information overseas. When this is needed, information may be transferred to countries or territories around the world. Any transfers made will be in full compliance with all aspects of the DPA’18.

How long do we keep your information?

We will only keep your information for as long as is required by law and in accordance with the council’s corporate retention schedule.

Information that cannot identify you

We may also anonymise some personal data you provide to us to ensure that you cannot be identified and use this data to allow the Council to effectively target and plan the provision of services. We may also use this type of data for research purposes although no personal data will be shared.

Your Rights and Access to your information

You have the right to request a copy of the information that we hold about you.

The DPA’18 also gives you additional rights about the information we hold about you and how we use it, including the right to:

  • object to and restrict further processing of your data; however, this may have an impact on the services we are able to deliver to you.
  • request to have your data deleted where there is no compelling reason for its continued processing and provided that there are no legitimate grounds for retaining it.
  • request your data to be rectified if it is inaccurate or incomplete
  • have your data transferred or copied should you move to another authority
  • not be subject to automated decision-making including profiling

If you want to see information stored about you, you will need to submit a ‘Subject Access Request’.

Please send an email to this address for further details:

RBKC: [email protected]

WCC: [email protected]

Personal information collected via online forms

Our policy is to respect and protect the privacy of anyone who visits our websites. Where we ask you for personal information via an online form, this information will only be used for the purpose indicated and will be held in a secure manner. It will not be used for any other purpose without your permission and will not be kept for longer than necessary. If you are concerned about providing your personal information online, please contact us and we will arrange alternative means for you to provide this information.

Use of IP addresses and cookies

Cookies enhance your experience using our websites. Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer by websites that you visit. They are widely used in order to make websites work more efficiently, as well as to provide information to the owners of the site.

We use cookies to audit the use of our website and help us to customise it for your visit. We do not store or transmit any personally identifiable data on these cookies. You can change your cookie setting at any time in the security settings in the browser you use to access the internet. Please note however, that rejecting all cookies may impact your enjoyment or use of this website.

We collect IP addresses* only for the purposes of system administration and to audit the use of our site. We do not link IP addresses to anything personally identifiable, which means that while your user session will be logged you will remain anonymous to us.

Some of our websites are hosted on a digital platform maintained by a company called Open Objects. Open Object sites also use cookies which are collected when anybody visits their websites. When the user’s session has ended no data is stored. The data collected when the website is used is to assist with the user’s experience while navigating the site. No data collected is shared with third parties

* An IP address is a unique string of numbers that identifies each computer

Changes in your personal circumstances

You must notify us immediately if there are any changes in your circumstances and personal details so we can maintain an accurate and up to date record of your information.

If you have any concerns

You have a right to complain to us if you think we have not complied with our obligation for handling your personal information; please send an email to this address if you wish to send a complaint:

For RBKC: [email protected]

For WCC: [email protected]

If you are not satisfied with the council’s response you have a right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Changes to our privacy policy

As the council creates new services, this may generate further need to amend the privacy notice. If our privacy notice changes at any time in the future, it will be posted on this page.

Published: 29 December 2020

Last updated: 14 March 2024