Children's services and early help privacy notice

Ealing Council has a wide range of responsibilities to the children and young people within our area.

We hold personal data about children and young people who are in our statutory care whether as Looked After Children,or are under a Child Protection Plan as are deemed at risk, and/or any unborn children with a pre-birth Protection Plan.

We also hold personal data because we provide a range of services to children and their families in order to safeguard and promote their welfare (for example a family are under stress and struggling to meet their children’s needs, or a child is seriously ill or disabled). We are committed to protecting your privacy when you use our services.

This Privacy Notice explains how we use personal information about you and how we protect your privacy in accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2018. This notice applies to any activity involving our use of your personal data, for example, collecting, storing, sharing, and destroying it.

What information we collect

We collect a range of information including some or all of the following:

  • your personal information (name, DOB, ethnicity, unique pupil number, address, telephone, email, NHS number)
  • parents/carers personal information
  • personal information about other members of your household
  • personal information about close relatives
  • details of family relationships in and outside of your household
  • you and your family’s legal status
  • your accommodation
  • details about your physical and emotional wellbeing and parenting
  • details of any risk issues
  • youth offending information: offences (including alleged offences), criminal proceedings, convictions and sentences
  • medical history
  • health, social care or other services you are getting
  • information about your situation given to us by your family/carers and/or other organisations (for example GP, school nurse, Police)
  • reports relating to your situation (for example safeguarding and other assessments, Child Protection Plans, Children in Need Plans and Looked After Children reviews)
  • any documents sent to us relating to you
  • educational progress and attainment information
  • school attendance, exclusions and behavioural information
  • records of phone conversations and/or meetings between you or your carers or representatives and council staff

Why we collect your information

We use your data to:

  • enable us to carry out our statutory functions and duties including safeguarding, child protection and corporate parenting
  • identify children and young people that are being harmed or abused, or at risk of harm or abuse identify and comply with safeguarding policies and procedures
  • assess any additional needs a child or young person may have
  • provide a co-ordinated approach to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children
  • produce statistics and reports to research and plan new services. Statistics are used in such a way that individual children/young people cannot be identified from them.
  • assess performance and set targets for service improvement
  • monitor and evaluate service provision, and review the quality of care
  • develop welfare/safeguarding policies/strategies with our safeguarding, corporate parenting and early help partners 
  • comply with government department research and statistical returns
  • account for our decisions and investigate complaints
  • inform targeted support and services to families, children and young people who are most in need and at risk of harm

Who we share information with

Your data is accessed by staff working for Ealing’s Children Social Care and Early Help Services. Children’s Social Care and Early Help includes a variety of different teams and which ones access your data will depend on what services are involved. The teams include:

  • Ealing Children’s Integrated Response Service (ECIRS)
  • Single Point of Contact (also known as the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH))
  • Assessment
  • Care Planning
  • Permanence
  • Looked After Children
  • Leaving Care
  • Adoption
  • Special Guardianship
  • Fostering
  • Children with disabilities, Ealing Service for Children with Additional Needs (ESCAN)
  • Early Help including Supportive Action for Families in Ealing (SAFE)
  • Placements
  • Youth Offending Services
  • Think Family Plus
  • Other Council teams so they can carry out their statutory roles and support our service (for example Housing, Education, Complaints, Business Intelligence, Corporate Finance, Legal Services, Quality Assurance). We also routinely share your information with external partners and relevant external services including:
  • Other local authorities for example in cases of adoption, special guardianship and fostering arrangements
  • Government departments for example Department for Education, Department of Health
  • GPs / NHS Trusts / NHS England / Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs)
  • Police
  • Benefit agencies
  • Housing agencies
  • Education providers (for example academies, maintained schools, pupil referral units, independent schools and independent specialist providers, FE and sixth-form colleges)
  • Early years providers in the maintained, private, voluntary and independent sectors that are funded by Ealing Council
  • Children centres
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
  • Youth Justice Services / Probation Services
  • HM Courts & Tribunals Service
  • Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass)
  • Education, employment and training (NEET) Support Services
  • Contracted services including those provided by voluntary organisations and community groups working with young people
  • Commissioned social care and/or health services
  • Your legal representative or another advocate (if you have instructed one)

Staff in each area will only access the personal information that is essential to carry out their work and statutory functions but may share data between the respective teams where this is necessary to provide you with services.

All organisations we pass your information to will have an information-sharing agreement with us to ensure they meet the standards of the GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018, and will be covered by a legal basis allowing them to collect, use and share your personal information.

In some circumstances, information may be shared with third parties where there is a legal obligation to do so. If we are worried about your safety and believe we need to take action to protect you from being harmed, we will discuss our concerns with you and, if possible, obtain your permission to disclose this information. We may share this information if we assess the risk to you or others to be serious.

There may also be situations when the risk to you or others is so great that we believe we need to share your information without delay. If this is the case, we will make sure that we record what information we share and our reasons for doing so. We will also 5 let you know what we have done and why if we think it is safe to do so.

The lawful basis on which we use this information

The legal bases for processing your personal information are:

  • Compliance with a legal obligation (for example safeguarding and promoting the welfare of Ealing children including those children placed out of authority, or if necessary to protect someone in an emergency, or if disclosure is required by the Police or other statutory bodies).
  • Tasks carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority
  • Contract for the supply of services
  • Consent

Collecting this information

Whilst the majority of children and young person’s information provided to us is mandatory due to compliance with a legal obligation, some of it is provided to us on a voluntary basis. To comply with the GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018, we will inform you whether you are required by law to provide certain information to us; if you do have a choice to provide information that is not mandatory, your explicit consent will be requested. You do have the right to withdraw your consent if this is applicable to processing your data. If this is the case, we will let you know.

The parent/carer is responsible for their child’s consent up to age 16. From age 16 onwards the young person can provide their own consent.

Storing this information

Records are kept only for as long as necessary, this is either by law or good practices. For more information regarding records retention, please see the Council’s corporate Privacy Notice.

Requesting access to your personal data

Under GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018, parents/carers and young people have the right to request access to information that we hold about them. To make a request for your (or your child’s) personal information, contact the council’s data protection team at

Further information

The GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 give you a number of rights to control what personal information is used by us and how it is used by us. Information about your data rights is listed in the Council’s Corporate Privacy Notice on the council’s website at

If you have any questions or concerns about the way we collect, store or use your personal information, please contact in the first instance at

For independent advice about data protection issues, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) at

We reserve the right to amend this Privacy Notice at any time and will keep it under review. If we do make any changes, we will post the current version to our website at this address.

Last updated: April 2019