How we handle your personal information

How we use your personal information to provide children's social care services


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Our Children, Families and Adults Directorate works in partnership with health organisations to provide social work services. We collect information about you, with your consent, to help us provide these services. Depending on the service, we may also collect information about your family and other people associated with your case.

The Council retains case histories in line with retention schedules, or as long as required by law.

We use this information to help make the right decisions about the service you need and to check the services are helping you as they should. The Council always complies the Data Protection Act 1998.

The Council provides services in partnership with other agencies and providers on your behalf. Social care and health care workers in Cornwall often work together in teams providing care to people living in the community. Sometimes we need to share information held by social care staff needs. This may include other Council departments, the NHS, or other partner organisations. This is to ensure you receive proper care, support and treatment. Sharing this information also helps avoid asking you for the same information more than once.

Your Personal information - how we use it to provide social care services leaflets:

Why do you need information about me?

  • To allow us to undertake accurate assessments and reviews of your social care needs.
  • To ensure you receive services best suited to your needs and circumstances.
  • To help us monitor and improve services.

Why do you need information about other people in relation to my case?

  • To allow us to most effectively assist the people who are providing you with care and support.
  • If you are vulnerable or at risk, to allow us to protect you better.

To whom will you give this information?

  • We will normally only share information about you, or other people related to your situation, with people involved in providing your care and support, or if we are concerned for your safety. Sometimes, we need to share information if there is a risk of harm to others, including children.

Will my information ever be shared without my knowledge?

In the following circumstances, the law allows information to be shared without your knowledge:

  • to aid in the prevention and/or the detection of crime.
  • if your behaviour constitutes a serious risk of harm to yourself.
  • if your behaviour constitutes a serious risk of harm to others, including any children to whom you may have access.

Can I find out what information you have about me?

  • Yes, you can. The Data Protection Act 1998 allows you or a representative nominated by you, to make a request for all copies of the personal information we have about you.
  • If you are a child under 13 years old, the adult with parental responsibilities for you can make a request on your behalf.

If there is an adult with a power of attorney registered by a Court, they can make a request on your behalf.

Whenever your consent to share your information is required, we will always ask you.

How do I get access to information held about me?

Requests for access to information must be made in writing and can either be passed to your social worker or sent directly to the Council’s Data Protection Officer at the postal or email addresses below. You can ask your social worker or another member of Council staff to help you make a request for access.

Need more help?

For more information and advice on how the Council uses your personal information, please contact the Data Protection Officer at:

Ann Smith,  Head of Adult Care and Support, Practice Quality Assurance and Safeguarding, is the Caldicott Guardian for Cornwall Council.

There are four key areas of responsibility for the Caldicott Guardian:

  1. Strategy and governance
  2. Confidentiality and data protection expertise
  3. Internal information processing
  4. Information sharing

The Caldicott Guardian plays a key role in ensuring that the Council and partner organisations satisfy the highest standards for handling personal information. Acting as the 'conscience' of an organisation, the Guardian actively supports work to facilitate and enable information sharing, seeking advice on options for lawful and ethical processing of information as required. Legal and ethical decisions need to be made to ensure appropriate information sharing.

These responsibilities may still lie within the local authority, in a contractual or arms-length arrangement.

You can contact Ann for further information or if you have plans or issues around the matters outlined above, at