What we do with your personal data

Somerset Council provides a wide range of services to the people of Somerset. In order to provide those services, we process large amounts of your personal data. Please see Somerset Council’s overarching Privacy Notice for further details, including the Data Protection Officer’s contact details.

Purpose for processing

We will process personal information about you and your family in order to provide you with the right services and to protect children and young people. These services include:

  • Contact and Referral – to assess and identify the right services for children and young people.
  • Early Support (Children with Disabilities) – to assess and identify the right support services for children and young people with disabilities.
  • CIN (Children in Need) – to assess and identify the right services, and to undertake direct work to support improved outcomes for Children in Need.
  • Child Protection – to assess and identify the right services, and to undertake direct work to protect children and young people at risk of harm and to support improved outcomes for Children in Need.
  • CLA (Children Looked After) – to assess and identify the right services, and to undertake direct work to support improved outcomes for children and young people who cannot live at home.
  • Leaving Care – to assess and identify the right services, and to undertake direct work to support improved outcomes for young people who have been Looked After.
  • Adoption – to assess and identify the right services, and to undertake direct work to support improved outcomes for children who are being adopted.
  • Early Help, Prevention and Supporting Families – to assess and identify the right services, and to undertake direct work to support improved outcomes for children and young people who face vulnerabilities. Please see Early Help, Prevention and Supporting Families (Children’s Services) FAQ Document for more details.

What kind of personal information we store and share

We store and share information about individual children and young people, including their:

  • Name and address
  • Family
  • Education (for example attendance, claiming free school meals, Education, Health and Care Plans)
  • Safeguarding notifications
  • Employment status
  • Health (including mental health)
  • Any criminal incidents or police involvement
  • Housing risks
  • Professional involvement (for example, support from social workers)

We store and share information about children and young people’s family members, including:

  • Employment status
  • Police involvement
  • Health (including mental health and substance misuse)
  • Education status of any other children
  • Housing Provider (if in Social Housing)
  • Domestic abuse
  • Professional involvement

Please see the Early Help, Prevention and Supporting Families (Children’s Services) FAQ Document for more details in relation to the use of personal information for Early Help, Prevention and Supporting Families.

Data sharing

Your personal data is shared with Somerset Council employees who have a business need to have access to the information, (for example Children’s Social Care, health visitors, adult services). It will also be shared with professionals from partner organisations in order to provide you with appropriate services and to protect children.  This may include:

  • Your GP
  • Schools and school nurses
  • Mental health professionals
  • Health visitors and midwives
  • Probation officers, youth justice workers
  • Educational psychologists, psychiatrists, psychologists
  • Housing providers
  • Department for Work and Pensions
  • Drug and alcohol workers
  • Early Years workers
  • The Voluntary Community Sector

Where information is being shared for the healthy child programme and Public Health interventions, the information will be recorded on the Child Health Information Service system. For more information visit: Child Health Information Services page.

Where a child has an Education, Health and Care Plan, information will be shared to help professionals support the plan.

Data will also be shared with Central Government Departments (and agencies working on their behalf), for the purposes of statutory reporting, research and improvement in efficiency and effectiveness of local public services for children and young people. For more information about the Supporting Families National Insights Data collection see Early Help, Prevention and Supporting Families (Children’s Services) FAQ Document.

For details of professionals with access to personal data as part of Early Help, Prevention and Supporting Families see External Transform View Agencies.

Data sharing will only take place when it is lawful to do so and will be done in compliance with current data protection legislation.

Transfers abroad

Your personal information will normally remain within the UK / European Union. If your information needs to be sent abroad, you will be informed prior to any transfer.

Data retention

Somerset Council will retain your information while it is providing you with a service and in accordance with council retention policies and associated statutory guidance.

Occasionally, we may need to permanently retain your data if required to do so by law. At the moment, the law requires us to hold information because of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

All records will be retained until further notice, and once the Inquiry is complete and the legal hold lifted, the retention will return to the periods listed below:

  • Contact and Referral only
    Retention category – 6 years from case closed
  • Contact and Referral and Assessment
    Retention category – 25 years from date of birth
  • Early Support (Children with Disabilities)
    Retention category – 34 years from date of birth
  • CIN (Children in Need)
    Retention category – referral only: 6 years from case closed, assessment: 25 years from date of birth
  • Section 47 (no outcome of Child Protection)
    Retention category – 35 years from case closed
  • Child Protection
    Retention category – 100 years from date of birth
  • CLA (Children Looked After)
    Retention category – 100 years from date of birth
  • Leaving Care 
    Retention category – 100 years from date of birth
  • Adoption
    Retention category – 100 years from date of birth
  • Early Help, Prevention and Supporting Families
    Retention category – referral only: 6 years from case closed, assessment: 25 years from date of birth

Your rights

You have the right to:

  •  ask Somerset Council for a copy of your data
  • rectify or erase your personal data
  • object to and restrict processing
  • not be subject to automated decision-making

However, these rights only apply if the council has no legal obligation to collect and use that data.

If you would like to understand the information that we hold on you, where it came from and access a copy please see Your rights on the information we hold about you page.

You also have the right to complain to the regulator – Information Commissioner’s Office.

If you are concerned about the way your data is being used, you can contact the Council’s Information Governance team on informationgovernance@somerset.gov.uk.

Consequences

In some cases, if you do not supply your information to us, we will not be able to provide you with the services we are obliged to provide by law or any supplementary service you have asked for.

Last reviewed: March 25, 2024 by Adam

Next review due: September 25, 2024

Back to top