How we use your personal information for Children Safeguarding purposes.
The Council provides services for local communities and the people who live in them. Undertaking this work means that we must collect and use information about the people we provide services to and keep a record of those services. Because we collect and use personal information about individuals we must make sure that they know what we intend to do with their information and who it may be shared with.
We have summarised in this privacy notice some of the key ways in which we use personal information for Children’s Safeguarding purposes. This information should be read in conjunction with the Council’s corporate privacy notice.
1. Who we are, what we do.
The Council is responsible for Part 3 (duty to assess), Part 6 (looked after and accommodated children) and Part 7 (safeguarding) of the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014, as well as The Childrens Act 1989 for responding to reports of suspected abuse or neglect made about children, including Adults, from partner agencies and members of the public.
Members of the public may report concerns about a child(ren) at risk to the Council’s Information, Advice & Assistance Team (IAA), online, in writing, or directly to a social worker / care manager.
Information, Advice & Assistance Team/ care manager / social worker will decide what response is required, for example.
- Whether a discussion is required with the individual in question regarding the concern that has been raised;
- Whether information and advice is appropriate
- Whether a care and support needs assessment or Review should be offered;
- Whether the concern should be referred to the Cwm Taf Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub, often referred to as MASH for consideration under child protection procedures.
MASH IAA is the single point of contact for any professionals who have concerns that an individual is being abused. MASH is a partnership between the following organisations and agencies:
- Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council – Community & Children’s Services
- Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council – Adults and Children’s Services
- South Wales Police
- Cwm Taf University Health Board
- National Probation Service
- Wales Community Rehabilitation Company
When a concern is referred to MASH, a decision is made regarding whether details regarding the individual who may be at risk, the person reporting the concern and any alleged people responsible for abuse / neglect should be shared with any of the partners as detailed above (please refer to section 6 to learn more about information sharing).
The decision is made on the basis of the degree of assessed risk to the individual and whether there are any risks to other individuals, including children, vulnerable adults or to the wider public.
2. What and whose personal information do we hold?
The Council holds information relating to past and present referrals that have been made to the IAA Team and/or MASH. These referrals may include personal information relating to:
- Any person who is at risk (child or adult)
- Any suspected perpetrator(s)
- Family members / Carers
- Any other person or persons at risk who may be living at the property
- Any witnesses
- The person who raised the concern (professional or member of the public)
The type of information the Council holds will vary depending on the nature of the concern, but is likely to include some or all of the following information:
Person who is at risk:
- Name, date of birth and other personal identifiers such as national insurance number, local authority reference number, health reference number.
- Details of any previous involvement with the organisations listed above.
- Disability information (if applicable)
- GP / Social Worker or other professional involvement details
- Domestic abuse history
- Previous convictions
- Risks to other
Professional reporting the concern:
- Name, contact information
- Job title
- Relationship to child(ren)
Details of person causing concern:
- Age, date of birth
- Contact details
- Relationship to child(ren) at risk
Carer / other in the household:
- Name, address, date of birth, contact information (email, telephone etc)
- Relationship to the person at risk
- Relationship to child/adult at risk
Details of the person raising a concern:
- Name and address
- Contact phone number
- Relationship to the individual being reported as at risk
3. Where does the service get personal information from?
There are a variety of ways in which IAA Team and/or MASH receives information relating to a potential concern, these include, but are not limited to:
- The individual who is at risk,
- A family member, friend or neighbour of the person who is at risk,
- A concerned member of the public,
- A professional such as a social worker, nurse, GP or housing officer etc,
If the concerns have been raised by a member of the public, the reporting person will be asked if they are prepared for their identity to be shared with the relevant people. If the reporting person is a member of the public, they have the right to remain anonymous. This does not apply to professionals who must disclose their identity and contact details.
4. What will we do with the personal information?
The Council’s staff in the IAA Team, MASH and/or Safeguarding Team will review the information provided and decide whether any further action is required. This decision will be made based on whether serious harm has been caused to the child(ren) at risk or there is a continuing risk of serious harm.
Where further action is required, this may entail asking a relevant professional to make further enquiries, including making contact with the child/young person/parent/carer and/or guardian and seeking further information from the person who has reported the concern. Further information may also be sought from any other professionals or agencies who have had involvement with the adult at risk and any person alleged to be responsible for abuse / neglect to a child/adult at risk.
Depending on the outcome of these enquiries, a formal criminal investigation may be undertaken by South Wales Police, which could result in witnesses being required to provide testimonies in court, and alleged perpetrators potentially being criminally convicted and/or being reported to their professional bodies and the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) if appropriate.
5. What is the legal basis for the use of this information?
Data Protection law says that we are allowed to use and share personal information only where we have a proper and lawful reason for doing so.
Our lawful basis for processing personal information as MASH in order to meet the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is as follows:
Article 6 1.(c),(e) - to fulfil our legal and statutory obligations under the:
- Part 6 of the Social Services & Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014.
Special Category Information (i.e. information about a person’s race, ethnic origin, politics, religion, trade union membership, genetics, biometrics, health, sex life or orientation):
Article 9 2.(g) - to fulfil our legal and statutory obligations under the:
- Part 6 of the Social Services & Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014.
Article 10 – in line with Schedule 1, Part 2.6(1)(b) of the Data Protection Act 2018.
6. Does the service share the personal information with any other organisation
For concerns that meet the threshold for child protection, information will be shared between the partner organisations within the MASH as listed above. Discussions will be held via a multi-agency strategy discussion. The discussion will decide whether any further action is necessary to safeguard the child(ren) at risk.
We will only ever share personal information where it is deemed necessary to protect a vulnerable person who is at risk. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Sharing relevant information with South Wales Police in order to detect and prevent crime
- Sharing relevant Information with other local authorities where children directly at risk reside in their areas
- Sharing relevant information with Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC Children’s Services when children are identified as at risk
7. How long will you keep the personal information?
For administrative reasons records relating to children are kept in line with legislation for as long as is necessary for the particular purpose or purposes for which it is held.
8. What are my rights in relation to the information you hold about me?
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) gives you important rights, including the right to access the personal information the services hold about you.
View further details on your information rights and how to exercise them.
9. Contact us
If you have any concerns or would like to know more about how the service processes personal information please contact us in one of the following ways:
- By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- By telephone: 01443 490120
- In writing: Safeguarding & Reviewing Service, Ty Catrin, Unit 1, Maritime Industrial Estate, Pontypridd, CF37 1 NY