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Children's Services (Social Care) privacy notice

This page provides further information on how Norfolk County Council's Children's Services department uses your personal information. By 'use' we mean the various ways it may be processed, including storing and sharing the information.

Further details

We also provide further details in the County Council's general privacy notice on the County Council's website regarding:

  • Who we are
  • How long we use your information for
  • Your rights under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and 
  • How to exercise them 

Alternatively, you can ask us for a copy of this information.

What we use the personal data for

We use your personal information primarily to provide advice and guidance, assessments, services, support and safeguarding for children and their families to better meet the needs of the children and families and to provide the help that they require as early as possible.

This includes the provision of:

  • Services to and monitoring of vulnerable children and young people, including services to children in need, safeguarding, looked after children, children leaving care, children with disabilities, children who are fostered or adopted (This includes surveys and feedback forms to monitor and measure the effectiveness of specific Children's services.).
  • Enhanced and preventative services to children and families on the edge of care to prevent children from coming into care or accommodation such as; Community and Partnerships, Family Support Services, New Roads and other call-in services
  • Specialist services for children and families who may be vulnerable or have higher levels of need such as special education needs or who are at risk of youth offending 
  • The Supporting Families Programme - the Government's national initiative to turn around the lives of families with multiple needs 
  • Services to facilitate in the provision of services to families, for example, transport 
  • Providing multi-organisational safeguarding schemes, such as Operation Encompass

We also use this information to assess the quality of our services and evaluate and improve our policies and procedures.

We may also use information in other ways compatible with the above. Primarily this will include supporting the work of other public bodies providing services to children. We provide more details of the services in the Children and families section of our website.

You do not have to provide information to us for some of these services, but, if you do not provide information, we may not be able to or it may inhibit our ability to provide services to you or your child.

The kind of information we collect and use about you

The information we collect and use includes you and your child's:

  • Name, address and contact details
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • NHS number and other identifiers
  • Personal history 
  • Educational and employment history
  • Family history and social relationships generally
  • Dealings with the County Council including being a child in need, a looked after child - including fostering and residential care, adopted and leaving care 
  • Financial details if necessary

We may also collect data about:

  • Racial or ethnic origin
  • Religious or philosophical beliefs
  • Sexual orientation
  • Health data including any disabilities and medical conditions.

This information is classed as "special category data" under the GDPR. We may only collect and use these types of data when it is relevant. Such data may be collected as part of the case work records and information we hold as part of the referral/assessment/case work records.

We also collect information concerning criminal convictions and offences.

The GDPR includes safeguards to protect the use of your special category data and criminal conviction data. Further details can be found on our website in the document named 'Special category data and criminal offences data policy'which sets out our procedures for compliance with the principles of the GDPR and the retention and erasure of this information.

Who provides this information

The information we hold includes information you have provided to us.

We also receive information from other public bodies and organisations providing services to you or your children.

We may also receive information from your family and friends and members of the public.

How the law protects you and the legal basis for processing your information

We have legal grounds to process this information because it is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest.

The tasks we carry out are under the:

  • Children Act 1989
  • Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000
  • Adoption & Children Act 2002 and associated regulations
  • Childcare Act 2006
  • Children and Families Act 2014 and 
  • Children and Social Work Act 2017
  • Transport Act 1985
  • SEND Code of Practice 2014
  • Care Act 2014
  • Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970
  • Local Government Act 1972 

We have legal grounds to process special category data and criminal convictions data where it is in the exercise of a statutory function and it is in the necessary for reasons in the substantial public interest. The statutory functions are as set out above.

Where appropriate, we may also seek specific consent to use your information in certain ways.  This will normally be where the use of the data is not necessary for the above purposes but may be very useful or helpful to us to provide services. For example, all marketing and feedback where personal information is obtained alongside, and directed at, individuals, and where personal information, such as photographs/videos, are used for publicity purposes.

Who we share your information with

We may also share your personal information with your family and public bodies and other organisations, in particular:

  • Other departments in the County Council, for example, Children's Services (Education) and Adult Social Services and transport team 
  • NHS and other health agencies
  • Norfolk Safeguarding Childrens Board 
  • Education providers (schools and colleges) 
  • District councils 
  • Voluntary agencies and charities providing services to children, young people and/or their families e.g. the Children's Society 
  • Commercial organisations that Norfolk County Council contract with to supply services to children, young people and/or their families
  • Police
  • Courts and other judicial agencies 
  • Probation
  • Youth Offending Team 
  • Other public authorities
  • Dolly Parton's Imagination Library (only applies to information about looked after children until the age of 11 and have been signed up to the programme, at this point their information is anonymised and any personal information is deleted within 12 months)
  • Central government agencies including government bodies responsible for providing funding for eligible services e.g. the Supporting Families Programme (payment by results) particularly:
    • Department for Work and Pensions
    • Department for Levelling Up and Communities
    • Department for Education (DfE) for the Supporting Families Programme and in respect of children in need and looked after children to help the DfE develop national policies, manage local authority performance, administer and allocate funding and identify and encourage good practice. For more information about the data collection requirements placed on us by the DfE go to
    • Children looked after return on GOV.UK for looked after children
    • Children in need census on GOV.UK for children in need
  • If you contact us to report concerns about a family, we may share your information with the family you have contacted us about. If you would prefer your details were not shared please tell us.

Your personal information may also be provided to a third party contracted by the County Council to provide a service to the Council or directly to you, for example, transport providers like Norse Ltd and taxi drivers. These service providers are known as data processors and have a legal obligation under GDPR and to the County Council to look after your personal information and only use it for providing that service. An example of this is the County Council uses a case management system operated by a data processor for its social care services.

We disclose this information without your specific consent as it is reasonable and necessary to do so to fulfil our public tasks or it is otherwise in the substantial public interest to do so.

How we keep your information

The information is stored electronically, on the County Council's records management systems, known as Liquid Logic and Synergy.  Information is also securely stored in other mediums, including email accounts and in paper files.

How long will we keep your personal information for

When the information is no longer needed for the above purposes, it will be reviewed in line with our retention schedule - and appropriate action will be taken.

If we need to use your information for research or reports, your information will be anonymised and any information taken from notes (handwritten or typed) during any consultation sessions will be securely destroyed. The information will continue to be used in a summarised and anonymised form in any research reports or papers that are published. The anonymised information in the papers may be of historic interest and may be held in public archives indefinitely.

If we transfer your personal information to other countries

Apart from the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, we do not transfer your information to countries outside of the UK. When a looked after child is signed up to the Imagination Library to receive books we will share the child's; name, gender, address (which may be a foster placement address), and date of birth, with the Imagination Library. The Imagination Library is based in the United States of America.

The Imagination Library has an 'adequacy decision' for the sharing of this information. This means that your information will receive the same level of protection as it would within the UK. This adequacy decision is under the UK Extension to the E.U. - U.S. Data Privacy Framework. Find out more about the Data Privacy Framework.

Automated decision making

We do not make automated decisions about you and your family.

Changes to this privacy notice

We may amend this privacy notice at any time so please review it frequently. The date below will be amended each time this notice is updated.

This notice was last updated in June 2024.

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