Supporting Families (Children's Services)

Data Controller – Somerset Council – ICO Registration Z5957592

Data Protection Officer

This privacy notice, which builds on existing privacy notices, will help you know what we do with your information and how we use it to understand and provide you with the support you and your family needs.

It covers the processing of personal information under the

  • Supporting Families Programme
  • Digital Economy Act

Using the Somerset Council bespoke systems:

  • Transform Data Warehouse
  • Transform Data View Platform

The Supporting Families Programme

Many families face a number of challenges ranging from repeat school absences to domestic abuse, and those families require early support from a number of agencies. The Council and its partners share information in a secure and robust way to deliver a whole-family approach and where possible help resolve these problems at the earliest stage, preventing them from escalating.

Somerset Council and its partners work together to support families who face the following challenges:

See the Challenges and help table at full width
ChallengeHow we help
Parents or children who are or have been involved in crime or antisocial behaviour.Enabling families to stay safe in the community, reducing crime and Anti-Social behaviour.
Children who have not been attending school regularly and do not positively engage with their education. Support for families where there are children who have Special Educational Needs or Disability.Enabling children to attend school regularly, and receive a good education to develop skills for life. Support Young people with their aspirations and provide support for families if their child or children have Special Educational Needs or Disability.
Children who need additional support, from the earliest years to ensure good early years development.Improving children’s life chances by supporting them at the earliest stage, including maternity support. Ensuring that children live in safe homes. Ensure that children take up their offer of supported funded places at nursery.
Families who are experiencing financial difficulty, are not in work or have unmanageable debt or rent arrears / Families where there is a Young Person who is not in education, employment or training.Supporting parents to take steps towards employment and become work ready. Support children who are Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET) to secure apprentices, traineeships, work or further learning/ Support families with the management of their debt.
Families affected by domestic abuse.Enabling families to stay safe in relationships and children to live in homes free from Domestic Abuse.
Parents and children with a range of health needs, both physical and mental health.Enabling families to live well, improve their physical and mental health, manage long term health conditions and wellbeing.
Parents and Young People who have a drug or alcohol problem.Support to reduce dependency on drugs and alcohol.
Problems with family relationships, parents, or who are in conflict / Children who have caring responsibilities for a family member.Support to improve family relationships and reduce conflict in the home / Signposting to Young carers support groups.
Children who are at risk of or experiencing exploitation or experiencing harm from outside the family / Children who go missing from home / Children who are experiencing neglect or abuse in the home.Support to reduce the risk of exploitation / Support by a lead professional to reduce the risk to the child.
Families who are homeless or living in temporary accommodation / Families where their tenancy is at risk / A Young Person (aged 16 or 17) who is at risk of becoming homeless or is living in P2i supported accommodation.Support to sustain their tenancy or source suitable accommodation.

The Supporting Families programme (previously called the Troubled Families programme) was launched in 2012 and enables Local Authorities and its partners to provide effective service delivery and support for families.

The database was originally built to support the identifying of families who were eligible for the Supporting Families programme, governed by the Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities.

The Troubled Families programme ended in March 2021, with a year extension up to March 2022. The programme has been renamed ‘Supporting Families’ programme. A further extension to the programme was launched in April 2022 for a further 3 years.

For more information on this programme please see Supporting Families – GOV.UK

The Digital Economy Act (DEA)

The Digital Economy Act is a piece of legislation that is designed to support effective information sharing for the purpose of improving outcomes for children, young people and their families.

The objectives are

  • assisting in the identification of individuals or households with multiple disadvantages
  • the improvement or targeting of a public service or facilitation of the provision of a benefit provided to individuals or households; and
  • the improvement of the physical, mental, emotional, social or economic well-being of individuals or households.

We are relying on the Multiple Disadvantages objective of the DEA to onward share information with trusted partners to enable early support to be identified. In order to meet the Council’s objectives of ensuring that the welfare of families is prioritised and vulnerable individuals are protected.

More information about the DEA is available at Digital Economy Act 2017 – GOV.UK

The Transform Data Warehouse

Transform is the name of the system developed and maintained by Somerset Council for the purpose of providing a full picture of the support needed by individuals and families.  It contains personal information on the child, and their family members if the child or their sibling meets one of the criteria listed in the table above.

Transform matches individuals into households and is able to show an overview of the ‘household’ needs. They work to identify opportunities to support families, enable professionals to join up support and reduce the number of assessments for the family.

The data used in Transform is taken from Somerset Council’s internal databases that are already used by Children’s Services.  It also includes data from external partner systems, that are part of the Supporting Families Programme.  It uses existing information that has been collected about you when you asked for help, or when we were asked to support you and your family.

Transform Data View Platform

A front-end viewer provides Children’s services and its partners with high-level information to allow them to understand needs and risks at the earliest opportunity, to be aware of existing support and interventions; and to develop a tailored whole-family approach.

It is important to note that if you or your family do not face one or more of the challenges listed above, your data will not be viewed by other professionals using Transform Data View.

If you or your families do not face any of the challenges listed above, your data will not be displayed on Transform. This is also true where support for those vulnerabilities occurred more than 2 years ago.

Somerset Council recognises that this high-level information sharing supports individuals and families to receive better services. It helps professionals to understand the support being provided to the family and allows them to join up support to improve the services offered.

Through the secure Transform Data View Platform, approved professionals are able to access on a need-to-know basis information about a young person or family that they are supporting. Access is fully audited, and professionals sign up to a user acceptance agreement prior to access to the data. In addition, checks have been made on the professionals who provide assurance that they have a current DBS certificate and are part of one of the professional organisations that have complied with Somerset Councils’ robust guidelines for access.

The Categories of the information held in transform and their source are detailed below:

See the Transform data view platform table at full width
Type of dataSourceVisible on Transform
Police call outs / Criminal activity / Domestic Abuse PoliceCrime flag
Adults missingPoliceCrime flag
Antisocial BehaviourPoliceCrime flag
Young Carers / Child Looked after / Social Care / Early help involvement / Missing ChildrenSomerset Council: Children Social Care and Children’s ServicesIndividual flag
Attendance at School / not on school roll / Electively Home Educated / Pupil referral unitSomerset Council: Education and SENDSchool attendance in a percentage Name of expected school
Youth OffendingSomerset Council: Youth Offending TeamCrime flag
Domestic Abuse You TrustDomestic Abuse flag
Substance / Alcohol misuseTurning PointSubstance misuse flag
Housing providerSomerset Registered Social LandlordsName of Housing Provider
Universal Credit and Legacy benefitsDWPWorklessness flag
Targeted and Specialist support from Health Visiting ServiceSomerset Council: Public HealthName of Health Visitor and start / end date of support
Not in employment / Education / TrainingCareers South WestNEET flag
Adults with Learning Disabilities or Mental Health supportAdult Social CareName of Social Worker, start date / end date of support
Support from other agencies external to Somerset CouncilParent Family Support Advisors / Promise Works / Home-Start / Yeovil4Family / Young Somerset / Yeovil Opportunity Group


'Trusted Partners' who can access Transform Data View

Internal Transform View

All Somerset Council employees with a business need to have access to the system

External Transform View

See the External Transform View table at full width
Agency Job role
Schools and Further EducationHeadteachers, Deputy’s, PFSAs SENCOs and Designated Safeguarding Leads and Deputies
Somerset Foundation TrustMidwives, Safeguarding Service, GPs
One TeamsCo-ordinators
Avon and Somerset PoliceVRU Officers
Young SomersetLead Practitioners
Promise WorksLead Practitioners
Shaw TrustLead Practitioners
Home StartHead of Service
Yeovil 4 FamilyFamily Link Workers
Turning PointLead Practitioners
Yeovil Opportunity GroupManager

For service specific Privacy notices and more information on existing data collection which is done through a range of services please see our pages on privacy notices and cookies.

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

Last reviewed: November 28, 2023 by Helly

Next review due: May 28, 2024

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