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Children's Services privacy notice

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What we do and who we are

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Children’s Services have a duty and responsibility to protect and promote the welfare of children in its area. We aim to provide the right help and support to children and their families at the earliest opportunity possible.

BCP Children’s Services teams work closely with one another, with teams across the Council and with Partner Organisations to provide the appropriate help, support and guidance for children, young people and families. Support is provided from early pregnancy up until the young person reaches the age of 19 years and for some children and care experienced young people, including those who have a disability, up to the age of 25 years.

What we use your personal information for

We only obtain and use the information we need to provide our services to you. During the course of providing support for a child, young person and their family we collect different types of information depending on the circumstances.

We will collect enough personal information to provide you with services, this may include but is not limited for the following purposes:

  • informing you about alternative services available in the community
  • protecting children from abuse and harm
  • monitoring and reviewing support and interventions
  • identification of children and young people deemed vulnerable and/or at risk of significant harm
  • carry out data analysis to identify service/community needs
  • managing delivery of services
  • management of concerns or complaints
  • produce statistics.

We are not permitted to collect information we do not need or will not use. If we do not need your personal information, we will not ask you for it. If we use your personal information for research or analysis, we will always keep your details anonymous or use a fake name. We will not sell your personal information to anyone else.

The personal information we collect and use

We only obtain and use the information we need to provide our services to you. In the course of providing support for a child, young person and their family we collect different types of information depending on the circumstances.

This may include but is not limited to the following:

  • personal information; name, address, contact details, date of birth, gender, and personal identifiers for example NHS numbers
  • family information; family relationships and other data necessary for the provision of services.
  • assessment and Plans for children, young people and families
  • information, advice and guidance
  • information during the process of approving, matching and supporting adoptive parents and assessing special guardians
  • information gathered during child protection processes and serious case reviews
  • Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) data
  • Early Years and Education information
  • Special Educational Needs and Disability data.

Special category personal information: Our service also needs to use sensitive personal data also called "special category data" which requires more protection to keep it safe. This is often information you would not want to be widely known and is very personal to you. It includes:

  • sexuality or sexual heath
  • religious or spiritual or philosophical beliefs
  • ethnicity
  • physical or mental health
  • trade union membership
  • political opinions
  • genetic or biometric data
  • criminal history.
  • Vital interests:the processing is necessary to protect children from harm.
  • Public task:the processing is necessary for us to perform a task in the public interest or for our official functions and the task or function has a clear basis in law

Health or social care:the processing is necessary for the purposes of preventive or occupational medicine, for the assessment of the working capacity of the employee, medical diagnosis, the provision of health or social care or treatment or the management of health or social care systems and service.

  • Public interest:the processing is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest
  • Legal purposes:the processing is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims or whenever courts are acting in their judicial capacity.

The law we use to process your personal information

We collect and use your personal information to comply with our legal obligations, and to carry out tasks in the public interest. If we need to collect special category (sensitive) personal information, we rely upon reasons of substantial public interest (safeguarding of children and of individuals at risk, and equality of opportunity or treatment), for the provision of social care, or the management of social care systems or services, for social security or social protection law, and for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims whenever courts are acting in their judicial capacity.

Statutory legislation:

The main legislation that provides us with the statutory basis to deliver our services are as follows:

  • The Education Act, 1996
  • Crime and Disorder Act, 1998
  • Police and Criminal Evidence Act, 1984 (PACE)
  • Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act, 2012
  • The Localism Act, 2011
  • Homelessness Reduction Act, 2017
  • Children Act 1989 and 2004
  • Childcare Act 2006 Section 99 of the Childcare Act 2006 and The Education (Provision of Information About Young Children) (England) Regulations 2009)
  • Children and Families Act 2014
  • Children and Social Work Act 2017
  • Data Protection Act 2018
  • Digital Economy Act 2017
  • Transport Act 1985
  • SEND Regulations 2014
  • Special Education Needs and Disability Code of Practice 0-25 years, 2015
  • Equality Act 2010
  • Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000
  • Children and Adoption Act 2006
  • Early Years Census
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Articles 6 and 9 and associated regulations or statutory guidance.


We have a statutory duty to exercise our legal obligations under section 47 of the Children’s Act 1989 where consent is not required in order to safeguard vulnerable children. If a child is accommodated and then returned; the withdrawal of consent does not affect our legal obligation to retain the child’s record and use the information should further concerns come to light.

Where you have been asked to provide your consent to processing you can withdraw it at any time. If you wish to withdraw your consent, please contact or talk to the officer in the Council who has been providing the service or services to you. If you do not have an officer that you have regular contact with, please make your request to withdraw consent to our Customer Services team.

Remember to tell us which service or services your request applies to, so that we know who to send it to within the Council.

Who we may share your information with

We may share your information but is not limited to the following:



Local Authority

Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO), other Service areas within the Council working with the child and family, *Commissioned providers of local authority services such as Independent Foster Care Agencies, Children’s Homes, Semi-Independent accommodation Providers, Supported Lodgings Providers, Residential Special Schools and Secure accommodation.


Police, Probation, the Court Services, Legal Services, Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunal Service, British Transport Police, Dorset Youth Offending Service (, Department of Barring Services (DBS)


CAFCASS, NSPCC (, Child Protection Information (CPIS), Aspire Adoption (, In-house providers of social care services (e.g. foster carers and short breaks), Pan Dorset Safeguarding, YMCA.


Provide Child Health Information Service, Health Visitors, Midwives, National Health Service, GP/Doctor, Dorset Care Record, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), Health Care and Professions Council (HCPC), Community Mental Health Team, School nurses, Other health and mental health workers.


Academies and Schools (including Virtual Schools) Early Years providers, Welfare Call Ltd, Alternative provision suppliers, transport services (e.g. SEND transport)

Government Departments

Department for Works and Pensions (DWP), Department for Education (DfE), Ministry of Housing, Communities, Local Government, Ministry of Justice, Ofsted, Home Office, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Financial and Housing

Housing Associations, Financial Services, Housing Services.

Other services providing support

Advocacy Services, Other Local Authorities, the Share Foundation, Other Voluntary Services, Dorset & Wiltshire Fire Service, Sharing and Rescue Service, Partner organisations signed up to the Dorset Information Sharing Charter (DISC), Dorset Intelligence and Insight Service (DiiS), Third Party organisations commissioned by BCP Council for ad hoc projects.

*Where services are commissioned, the provider would be a processor of information and also be a controller in their own right, where they collect information for their own purpose.

Your information will not be disclosed to any other organisations, except where we are required and allowed to by law.

We may seek your consent if we are able to offer additional services which we believe are of benefit to you. This will be clearly communicated to you. We will only share your details with these organisations if we have your consent. However, we will share information with the other organisation if we believe:

  • a child would be harmed if we did not share this information
  • to find and stop crime and fraud
  • if there may be serious risks to the public, our staff or to other professionals.

We use a range of organisations to either store personal information or to help deliver our services to you. Sometimes we have a legal duty to provide your personal information to other organisations, for example the court service or Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

How long we keep information about you


Retention Period

Children and young people with a child protection plan

Date of case closure +35 years

Children and young people who have been in the care of the local authority and young people with care experience

Date of birth +75 years

Fostering and Private Fostering arrangements

Date of birth +75 years

Child Health and Disability records

+25 years

Children’s Complaints

10 years

Child work permits

7 years

Admissions data

7 years in accordance with The Limitation Act 1980

All other records relating to children and young people.
Records of children and young people who don’t fall into any of the above categories, including Children in Need and general papers where a statutory file has not been opened

Date of birth + 25 years

Register of persons posing a risk to children and those cautioned or convicted of offences against children

Date of birth 100 years

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) data

10 years

Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) records

70 years

Early Education Funding (retention is in accordance with Financial Regulations)

7 years

Serious Case Reviews Pan-Dorset Safeguarding Children Partnership

35 years

Early Years Portage and Special Educational Needs (SEND)

25 years

Nursery and childcare records

Childminders records

25 years

7 years

Pupils attending BCP Schools (with no contact with SEND, Childrens Social Care)

7 years after leaving school

Management of educational welfare support and school exclusions data

Free school meals

25 years

7 years

Virtual School (as required by the Independent Inquiry into Child Abuse (IICSA)

Virtual school pupil data

95 years

75 years

Caldicott Guardian, Children’s Services

A Caldicott Guardian is a senior person responsible for protecting the confidentiality of people’s health and care information.

The Caldicott Guardian for Children’s Services is Rachel Gravett, Service Director Quality, Performance Improvement and Governance.

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