Privacy Notice - Children's Social Care and Early Help Services

This privacy notice tells you about what information we collect about you, how we use that information and who we share it with.

Who are we and what do we do

We provide a variety of advice, support and services for children, young people and families through both statutory (social care) and non-statutory (Early Help) services.

We support children, young people and their families from early pregnancy up until the young person reaches the age of 19 years and for some children and young people who have a disability, up to the age of 25 years.

For the purposes of Data Protection, Cornwall Council is the Data Controller for your information under Registration Number Z1745294.

The type of information collected about you

We may collect various types of personal data about individuals depending on the services you receive and your contact with us, such as your:

  • contact details; including name, address, email address, telephone numbers
  • date of birth
  • proof of identity
  • national identifiers such as; NHS number and NI numbers
  • information about your family
  • lifestyle, social and personal circumstances
  • the services you receive
  • financial details for purposes of receiving or making payments
  • visual images, personal appearance and behaviour
  • housing records
  • education records
  • employment details

This list is not exhaustive and additional information required may depend upon the circumstances of the family. 

We may also collect sensitive personal data that may include:

  • physical or mental health details
  • SEN - Special Education Needs 
  • racial or ethnic origin
  • gender and sexual orientation
  • criminal offences (including alleged offences), including information from the Youth Justice Service
  • religious or other beliefs of a similar nature
  • criminal proceedings, outcomes and sentences

How we collect information about you

Information is collected and shared about you from a number of sources to ensure that we as a service meet you or your family's needs. Information is collected in the following ways and this information is recorded within our electronic case management systems:

  • face to face  
  • by secure email   
  • by post 
  • by telephone 
  • through secure health information exchange
  • online referral form (for professional use only)
  • using assessment tools
  • by secure email from those involved in your care
  • from other professionals
  • from other agencies / charities
  • from other departments within the Council
  • relatives/carers
  • from members of the public making referrals
  • direct link to the NHS Spine to get your NHS number

We can source additional and specialist information securely with our partner agencies and this will be recorded electronically as to how this information was sourced.

Why we need your information

To enable us to provide services to you it is necessary for us to use your personal information to help assess your needs and identify the most appropriate services available.  

To do so we will use the following legal basis for sharing your information: 

  • Processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller Art6 (1)(e) UK GDPR.
  • Where we have a statutory obligation to process your personal data, our lawful basis is defined by Art 6(1)(c) UK GDPR.

Legislation which sets out many of the tasks the council is required to undertake with families can include (not exhaustive):

  • Children Act 1989 and 2004
  • Adoption and Children Act 2002 and associated regulations
  • Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000
  • Children and Social Work Act 2017
  • Childcare Act 2006
  • Children and Families Act 2014
  • Young People's Act 2008
  • Education and Inspections Act 2006
  • Education Acts 1944 and 1996
  • Education and Skills Act 2008
  • Education (Information about Individual Pupils) (England) Regulations (2013) 
  • Education and Adoption Act 2016
  • Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006
  • Equality Act 2010
  • Transport Act 1985
  • The School and Early Years Finance (England) Regulations 2018

For special category data which is more sensitive information, we rely on the following: 

  • Health and Social Care - we use it for the provision of health or social care or treatment or the management of health or social care systems and services Art9(2)(h) UK GDPR.
  • In relation to data relating to criminal convictions, we are authorised by law (in accordance  with the UK GDPR) to process criminal conviction data by relying on the Data Protection  2018 (Schedule 1, Part 3). 

Who your information can be shared with

We will only share relevant information about you with other services where there is a legal basis for doing so.  There are a range of professionals who may be involved in providing services to you and where appropriate will be provided with relevant information about you. Agencies we may need to share information with include the following: 

  • Ofsted
  • Our Safeguarding Children Partnership for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly
  • Health Agencies, including the Child Protection Information System (CP-IS)
  • Police / Youth Justice Service / Probation
  • Court
  • Cafcass
  • Department for Education
  • Department for Works and Pensions
  • Home Office
  • Other Local Authorities
  • Education Providers
  • Home to school transport providers
  • Voluntary sector organisations providing services 
  • Foster carers, including independent fostering agencies
  • Adopt South West
  • Other third-party organisations, as allowed by law other partner agencies that provide services on our behalf
  • Internal services within Cornwall Council e.g. Housing, Domestic Abuse Team Benefits, Adult Social Care

There are other times where we may need to share your information lawfully to individuals as well as organisations. These include: 

  • where there is a serious risk of harm to you or to others
  • where there are concerns for the welfare of a child
  • for the prevention or detection of crime
  • where a court order requires us to share information

Supporting Families

Together for Families may have access to additional funding that could enhance service provision such as 'Supporting Families' and may therefore review your data for the purposes of confirming eligibility.

When we collect the data we will advise you who it will be shared with and why.

This is to ensure that you receive appropriate care, support and treatment. Sharing this information also helps avoid you being asked for the same information more than once.

How do we keep your information secure? 

The security of your personal information is important to us. The records we keep about you are secure and are confidential within the Council. The Council have a range of procedures, polices and systems to ensure that access to your records are controlled appropriately. Anyone who receives information from us is also under a legal duty to only use the information for the purposes agreed and keep the information secure and confidential.

Further information is available in the Council’s corporate privacy notice.

How long we will keep your information

After we deliver a service to you, we have to keep your information as a business record of what was delivered. The type of service you receive will determine how long we have to keep your information. We keep your information different periods depending on law (e.g. the Limitations Act) and how we are advised by Government and these are destroyed securely afterwards: 

Business area

Client specific

Retention period (case closure)

Early help


25th birthday of the person we are working with


Children and families

25th birthday of the person we are working with


Youth justice

25th birthday of the person we are working with


Domestic abuse

25th birthday of the person we are working with

Children's Social Care

Looked after children

75th birthday
If the child dies before 18, 15 years from date of death


Foster carer

10 years from approval ending


Foster carer - not approved

3 years from refusal or withdrawal


Adoption - where an adoption order is made

100 years from date of Adoption Order


Adoption - where an adoption order is not made

An adoption agency must keep the child's case record and the prospective adopter's case record for such period as it considers appropriate.

Where an adoption order is not made and the agency decides to close the child's adoption case record, it should transfer the information from this record to the looked after case record, in which case see Looked After Children.

If the child has never been looked after, the agency should destroy the records when no further action is necessary. An example of when this may be appropriate is if the possibility of adoption of a baby was discussed before the child's birth, but the baby remained with the birth parents.


Children's homes

75th birthday
If the child dies before 18, 15 years from date of death


Child protection

35 years after case closure


Child in need

35 years after case closure


Serious case review

25th birthday


Marketing and e-newsletters

Please see the Council’s Stay in Touch privacy notice.

Business intelligence, profiling and automated-decision making

Please see the relevant section of our Corporate privacy notice.

Protecting your information

Please see the relevant section of our Corporate privacy notice

Your information choice and rights

Please see the relevant section of our Corporate privacy notice.

Further information 

Our Data Protection Officer (DPO) provides help and guidance to make sure we apply the best standards to protecting your personal information. If something goes wrong with your personal information, or you have questions about how we process your data, please contact our Data Protection Officer at

If we have not been able to deal with your query, you can also contact the Information Commissioner's Office: 

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

0303 123 1113

View the Easy Read version of this privacy notice

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