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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.

The London Innovation and Improvement Alliance (LIIA) Child Level Insights

The London Innovation and Improvement Alliance (LIIA) is a standing partnership of London Local Authorities, working together for the benefit of vulnerable children in the capital. Part of the LIIA project is a pan-London Sector-Led Improvement analysis team, hosted at Waltham Forest Borough Council, who produce pan-London analyses for the London Directors of Children's Services.

The project exists to help the London Directors of Children’s Services to deliver their statutory obligations under section 17 of the Children’s Act 1989 “to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in need in their area” and section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 to deliver the “public sector equality duty”. It aims to do this by:

  1. Accelerating service improvement – by enabling the identification and prioritisation of opportunities for improvement, and the identification of good practice in other boroughs;
  2. Monitoring equalities – by enabling comparative analysis of the odds of key social work interventions (e.g. Section 47 Investigations, Child Protection Plans, Care Orders) being used with families of different ethnicities;

Purpose for processing your information

To assist with the project, the local authority shares pseudonymised data of children and young people with the LIIA. Although these are at an individual level, strong measures are in place to ensure individuals cannot be re-identified from this data. The output analysis is fully anonymised by LIIA before they are shared with London Directors or Children’s Services and/or other parties.

The lawful basis for this processing is “the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller” as set out in the Data Protection Act 2018, article 6(1)(e) and explained by the Information Commissioner’s Office here.

Specifically, the public tasks are:

  • “to safeguard and promote the welfare of children within their area who are in need” – a statutory duty under the Children’s Act 1989
  • To deliver the “public sector equality duty” outlined in the Equalities Act 2010 including the needs to “advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it” and to “take steps to meet the needs of persons who share a relevant protected characteristic that are different from the needs of persons who do not share it”

The lawful basis for processing special category data is ‘substantial public interest’ (article 9(2)(g) of the GDPR and 10(3) of the DPA2018). The substantial public interest considerations are ‘Safeguarding of children and individuals at risk’ and ‘Equality of opportunity or treatment’.

We process the following information

Your personal information is only used for a specified purpose(s) but if we intend to use it for any other new purposes we will normally ask you first.  For instance in some cases, the Council may wish to use your information for another purpose such as related to improving and developing services, or to prevent or detect fraud.  In any event our processing will always have a demonstrable lawful basis.  Where practicable and reasonable we will always seek to inform you of any significant proposed changes to how we process or intend to process your personal data, in order to ensure full transparency over how we handle your information.

For the Child-Level Insights project, the following pseudonymised data of children and young people is shared with the LIIA:

  • Unique identification number(s) (only known by the local authority)
  • Age
  • Month of birth or expected month of birth
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Post code sector
  • Children Social Care Referrals and assessments (e.g. dates, outcomes)
  • Safeguarding events (e.g. dates and outcomes of S47 enquiries)
  • Child in Need (Cin) episodes (e.g. start, end, need code)
  • Child Protection (CP) and Child Looked After (CLA) Episodes (e.g. start, end, categories of need or abuse, types of support provided)
  • CLA Placements (e.g. start and end, provider, post code sector)

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. For further details, please refer to the Children’s Services Privacy Notice.

Who the information is shared with

We share the above-mentioned pseudonymized data of children and young people with the London Innovation and Improvement Alliance (LIIA) for the following purposes:

  • accelerate service improvement and monitor equalities as required under section 17 of the 1989 Children Act and section 1 of the 2010 Equality Act.
  • make arrangements to secure continuous improvement in the way in which functions are exercised, having regard to a combination of economy, efficiency and effectiveness, ‘the duty of the best value’
  • support Local Authorities to meet their Sufficiency Duty in respect of Section 22G of the Children Act 1989.

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 to provide you with the necessary services in line with our stated retention policy. The shared pseudonymised data will be retained for six years by LIIA and then deleted.

Your rights and access to your information

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

The Data Protection Act 2018 also gives you additional rights that refer to how the council holds and uses your information.

Consequently, under certain circumstances, by law you have the right to:

  • withdraw consent and the right to object and restrict further processing of your data; however, this may affect service delivery 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

Information about how to submit a Subject Access Request.

Further details on how we comply with the Data Protection Act 2018.

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 the following email address if you wish to send a complaint: [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). You can report a concern by visiting the ICO website.

Changes in your 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.

Published: 10 November 2022

Last updated: 10 November 2022