Children's and Safeguarding service privacy notice

Cambridgeshire County Council discharges many of its responsibilities to support children and young people (CYP) in Cambridgeshire through its Children’s and Safeguarding service. This sits within our People and Communities directorate and includes the delivery of:

  • Early Help – including services delivered through Child and Family Centres and the provision of family support services, career and post-16 services and Educational Welfare services
  • Safeguarding – including services for children in need of help or protection, those looked after by the Local Authority and those who have left Local Authority care

 Our responsibilities as a Local Authority in regard to children and young people living in Cambridgeshire are described in The Children Acts, The Children and Families Act 2017 and other pieces of legislation summarised in statutory guidance “Working Together to Safeguard Children”. We have a legal duty to collect and process information where this is necessary to prevent harm to a child and we are required to work with other organisations to support the health and wellbeing of children and young people. We are also required to plan, monitor and maintain the quality of our services.

In order to carry out these tasks in the public interest we collect and process information about children, young people and their family members as described below. The staff who have access to your information use it only as they need to in order to do their jobs and with strict regard to your privacy. We also process information about professionals working with children and families or who are involved in planning and delivering services in partnership with us. This information might include contact details and records of training or recruitment.

In Cambridgeshire we always take a “whole family” approach to working with children, young people and their carers in order to provide support as effectively as possible. This approach usually involves a family having a named “lead professional” who is responsible for co-ordinating their support.

What information do we hold

The Council collects and processes personal information about all children who attend an education setting in Cambridgeshire. Further information about how we handle information about children who attend schools and settings in Cambridgeshire can be found in our Education Service Privacy Notice. The Education Service notice also covers the work we do to provide advice and guidance to young people in regard to education training and employment opportunities.

When you request or engage with support from our Childrens and Safeguarding Services we also record information about

  • family circumstances and relationships,
  • identified difficulties or relevant health needs (such as whether a parent smokes)
  • details of plans for support and the people involved in these
  • records of discussions with or visits made to families and information about their contact with us, such as attendances at groups or courses
  • records of discussions about you that we have with other people as part of your support
  • children’s NHS numbers (If you are receiving support from Children Social Care then the NHS may share your NHS number with Children Social Care. By using the same number the NHS and Children Social Care can work together more closely to improve your care and support. We will use this Number in an integrated care record system across a number of support services including GP’s, hospitals, community matrons, district nurses and social care practitioners. If you wish to opt-out from the use of your NHS Number for social care purposes, please talk with your social worker)

This information is gathered from children, young people, their family members and other professionals who know them. We need this information in order to provide you with services you have requested, have consented to receive or that we are required by law to provide you with. Your signature on or participation in an assessment of need, or support plan such as an Early Help Assessment, Family Support Plan or Single Assessment, or a referral to our services indicates to us that you want to receive a service from us.

If you are registered with, or have accepted or helped us deliver services at our Child and Family Centres or from any of our District or Safeguarding teams we will provide you with information about these services on a regular basis but if you do not wish to be on our circulation lists please let us know.

 Who we share information with, and why

When you are receiving support from us we will share information with other agencies where this will enable us to provide you with the best support possible. You should be made aware of who we are sharing information with as part of your support. Depending on circumstances the agencies we might share information about you with are

  • Education Providers
  • Health Agencies (Our statutory functions include responsibility for Public Health and may require the sharing of relevant information with bodies such as the NHS and voluntary organisations to support the health, wellbeing and care needs of children and young people.)
  • Voluntary Service Providers
  • Police
  • Probation services
  • Youth Offending Service
  • Legal Services, for example in regard to court proceedings for looked after children
  • Other Local Authorities or District Councils

We will always inform other professionals who work with children and families who your “lead professional” is if they enquire. This is make sure that you have to tell your story only once and to prevent you having to take part in numerous different assessments.

Similarly to all Local Authorities we participate in a national programme to demonstrate the impact of whole family support and to claim and receive funds for our services from the government. When children are referred to us for support we ask our local partner organisations to help us identify whether their family might qualify for inclusion in our Troubled Families (TF) programme. To do this a restricted and small number of staff share information with

  • Department of Work and Pensions and local Jobcentre Plus for them to confirm back to us whether an adult is receiving out of work benefits. To do this we keep a record of relevant National Insurance Numbers
  • With housing providers, for them to confirm whether a family has stable housing and District Councils to confirm whether a family has presented as homeless or been in temporary accommodation
  • With the police, to identify whether anyone in the family has been involved in incidents of anti-social behaviour, domestic abuse and whether there has been any call out to the family home for any reason.

We include any families who meet the criteria for this programme, in the programme cohort. Meeting the criteria for being included in the programme does not affect the type of support a family gets. We work with all families in the same way whether their circumstances mean we can include them in the programme or not.

We share information we hold about families who are included in our TF programme with the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government. This is for the purposes of a national evaluation with the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Further information about this is available at the end of this privacy notice.

We collect and analyse feedback from people who use the services we commission or deliver but no-one will be identified in any research or analysis based on this and which we share with partners or make publically available.

We will not give information about you to anyone outside the Council without your consent unless required to do so by law, to deliver our statutory functions, or to deliver the services which you have requested. We have a legal duty to collect, process and share information with our partners where this is necessary to prevent harm to a child or to prevent a crime.

If you ask us not to share information we will always try to respect your wishes but in some circumstances this may limit the services we can offer you.

How long do we keep information for?

Different services retain information about the people they support, for different lengths of time but we keep information for only as long as it is needed. This will be based on either a legal requirement (where a law says we have to keep information for a specific period of time) or accepted business practice. We continue to record information about all families throughout their support and will keep this information for at least 2 years after our contact with them stops. This is so that we can evaluate the impact of our services locally and plan future services with our partners.

Social care records are usually kept for at least 25 years.

Your Rights

Under Data Protection Legislation you have the following rights:

  • Right of access (to receive a copy of your personal data)
  • Right to rectification (to request data is corrected inaccurate)
  • Right to erasure (to request that data is deleted)
  • Right to restrict processing (to request we don’t use your data in a certain way)
  • Right to data portability (in some cases, you can ask to receive a copy of your data in a commonly-used electronic format so that it can be given to someone else)
  • Right to object (generally to make a complaint about any aspect of our use of your data)
  • Right to have explained if there will be any automated decision-making, including profiling, based on your data and for the logic behind this to be explained to you.

Any such request can be submitted to the Data Protection Officer. Whether we can agree to your request will depend on the specific circumstances and if we cannot then we will explain the reasons why.

If you are unhappy with any aspect of how your information has been collected and/or used, you can make a complaint to the Data Protection Officer.

You can also report your concerns to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

To contact our Data Protection Officer


Phone: 01223 699137.

Write to: Data Protection Officer, Information and Records Team, OCT1224, Cambridgeshire County Council, Shire Hall, Cambridge, CB3 0AP

NHS National Data Opt-out

Alongside your Right to Object (see “Your Rights” below), the NHS National Data Opt-out Programme gives you the right to opt out of your confidential patient information being used for reasons other than their individual care and treatment (such as for research and planning purposes). Patients and the public will be able to use the national system from 25 May 2018. All health and care organisations will be required to uphold patient and public choices by March 2020.

Troubled Families Programme and the National Impact Study

What’s the purpose of this study?

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is responsible for supporting families and improving services they receive from local authorities. The Evaluation of the Troubled Families Programme will support the MHCLG in finding out

1. How well services for families with multiple problems are working across England

2. How those families use public services and what benefits they get

3. The costs of providing services to families with multiple problems

This will help improve services. MHCLG uses information about how families with multiple problems use public services, including the benefits they claim. Personal details (such as your names) will be needed for this, but the researchers will not know whose information they are looking at.

If your family has two or more of the following problems that the local services hope to help families with your information will be shared with MHCLG:

  • Worklessness or at risk of financial exclusion (experience problem debt, have young adults who are NEET)
  • School absence problems
  • Children in need (those at risk, on child protection plans, looked after children)
  • Offending and anti-social behaviour
  • Domestic abuse
  • Mental or physical health problems

A family may or may not currently be receiving a service to help them deal with any of these problems. Information provided as part of this study will not affect the services a family receives or any benefits or treatment they may get now or in the future.

How and why is information shared?

To support the National Impact Study (NIS) local authorities provide a file containing basic information about individuals in families assessed for the programme. This information is sent securely to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) which acts as a data processor. This file will include personal information (name, address, DOB), eligibility criteria met (which of the six headline problems in the Financial Framework) and the type of intervention provided. The information gathered from the local authority will be linked with the information on families benefits and on contact any adults or children in the families have had with the criminal justice system

ONS match the information provided by local authorities to the following national datasets:

  • The Police National Computer and Prisons Database (held by the Ministry of Justice) - to see what contact you may have had with the criminal justice system
  • The National Pupil Database and Individualised Learner Record (held by the Department for Education) - to see when your child has been in school, how well they are doing at each Key Stage and whether they are a Child in Need.
  • The Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study (held by the Department for Work and Pensions) – to see what benefits you have received and whether you have been employed
  • Hospital Episodes Statistics, Mental Health Minimum Dataset (held by the Health and Social Care Information Centre)
  • National Drug Treatment Monitoring System (held by Public Health England)

ONS build a dataset ready for analysis by MHCLG. This file is sent securely to MHCLG who analyse the data. Aggregated analysis will be provided to local authorities via the TFIS online data system.

What will happen to information and for how long will it be kept?

MoJ, DWP and DfE will not keep information on file for longer than a month and will not keep records showing families were part of this research.

All information collected will be kept strictly confidential. Name, date of birth, gender, address and National Insurance number will be kept separately from all the other information in a secure, password-protected document on a computer system. Families will be assigned a unique reference number, so that even though a researcher will see all their information, they will not be able to identify anyone.

All personal information held by ONS for this research will be securely destroyed by December 2022. The personal information held by DWP, MoJ and DfE for this research will be securely destroyed after a month and they will not keep records showing families were part of this research.

All data use is strictly within the terms of data protection legislation. To legally share data for this research, local authorities and MHCLG will rely on the Digital Economy Act. The collection of personal information by MHCLG for this project is compliant with data protection legislation and processing of personal data is for the following reasons. MHCLG will rely on the following reasons for processing personal data and additional special category data below:

A. Lawful basis for processing personal data under Article 6 GDPR

The processing is necessary for this reason:

(E) Public task: the processing is necessary for you to perform a task in the public interest or for your official functions, and the task or function has a clear basis in law.

B. Additional condition for processing special category data under Article 9(2) GDPR

Special category personal data may be processed if:

(g) processing is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest, on the basis of Union or Member State law which shall be proportionate to the aim pursued, respect the essence of the right to data protection and provide for suitable and specific measures to safeguard the fundamental rights and the interests of the data subject;

C. The DPA 2017 will provide a lawful basis to process criminal offence data (as required by Article 10 GDPR)

The local authority will collect the personal data under the public task basis (to fulfil their functions, in this case deliver services to troubled families) and agree to share this data with MHCLG under the public task basis (to fulfil our functions as a Government Department, in this case to improve services for troubled families).

Families rights

Families can talk to their local authority about whether their data is being used for this project without it affecting their legal rights or routine care. They can also see copies of all the data MHCLG hold about them and ask for it to be corrected or deleted.

Families can speak to their lead professional and can also contact MHCLG’s Knowledge and Information Team about seeing their data or withdrawing from the research by emailing MHCLG’s Data Protection Officer at

If they are unhappy with the way their personal information is being handled they can contact the independent Information Commissioner.

What will happen to the results of this research?

The final results of this research will be published on the main government website. No-one will be identified in any research report.