Children's Social Care: Children Missing from Care (Professionals) – Privacy Notice

Why do we collect and use this information?

Hampshire County Council is the Data Controller for the purpose of collecting and using information from the Police, Health Services, the voluntary sector, JobCentre Plus and other local authorities in order to carry out our statutory functions around the steps local authorities and their partners should take to prevent children from going missing and to protect them when they do go missing.

We collect information about children who run away or go missing from home or care, their wider family members, alongside information about professionals who are assisting with this process. We hold this personal data securely and use it to undertake our statutory functions as required under the statutory guidance on children who run away or go missing from home or care, including using it to:

  • attempt to identify the location of a child missing from care
  • undertake wider County Council statutory duties in support of your child's education and welfare
  • ensure compliance with our obligations under the accuracy principle of the UK General Data Protection Regulation (Article (5)(1)(d)), making sure our records about you and your family are up to date

The following sections provide further detail around the information we process setting out what allows us to do this (lawful basis), who we may share it with, how long we keep it for (the retention period), alongside identifying any rights you may have and who to contact if you think we're not handling your information in the right way.

The categories of information that we collect, hold and share

The following personal and special category information is processed over the course of the adoption process:

  • personal information about the child or young person (such as name, addresses, date of birth) and information about their characteristics (such as ethnicity, gender, physical description)
  • personal information about the child or young person's wider family members (name, addresses, date of birth)
  • information around the circumstances causing concern and other relevant information

The lawful basis on which we use this information

We collect and use the information ensuring that we comply with the UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA2018) requirements for processing through:

  • Article 6(1)(e) – the processing is necessary to perform a task in the public interest or for our official functions, and the task or function has a clear basis in law
  • Article 9(2) (g) – Necessary for reasons of substantial public interest on the basis of Union or Member State law which is proportionate to the aim pursued and which contains appropriate safeguarding measures
  • Sch.1, Pt.2, 1 – Substantial public interest conditions, for processing under the Data Protection Act 2018

These articles under the UK GDPR and DPA2018 are supported by the following specific legislation:

  • The Local Authority Social Services Act 1970 and Section 13 of the Children Act 2004

Under this lawful basis we do not require your consent to process this information but we are required, through this privacy notice, to ensure you are fully informed of why we are collecting this information and what we will do with it.

Please note that no automated decision making (decisions taken without a person involved) occurs for any parts of these activities controlled by the County Council. The County Council does use profiling as part of the service but only for the purpose of establishing the category the missing individual falls under (such as child looked after, subject to child protection plan).

Storing and securing data

The information provided to us will be held within the County Council's Children's Social Care Case Management System (CMS). The information held within our Children's Social Care CMS will be kept in line with our retention schedule and then disposed of as appropriate. Our Children's Social Care CMS is hosted by the County Council in secure data centres based in the UK.

Forms sent electronically (paper forms will be scanned to create an electronic record) will be stored within the County Council's Document Management System (DMS), with any paper versions being destroyed. The file will be linked to the record created in our Children's Social Care CMS by the use of a reference identifier. The information held within the County Council's DMS will be kept in line with our retention schedule and then deleted as appropriate. The County Council's DMS is hosted by the County Council in secure UK based data centres, which are on site.

The County Council takes its data security responsibilities seriously and has policies and procedures in place to ensure the personal data held is:

  • prevented from being accidentally or deliberately compromised
  • accessed, altered, disclosed or deleted only by those authorised to do so
  • accurate and complete in relation to why we are processing it
  • continually accessible and usable with daily backups
  • protected by levels of security appropriate to the risks presented by our processing

The County Council also ensures its IT Department is certified to the internationally recognised standard for information security management, ISO27001.

Who do we share information with?

We do not share information with anyone unless there is a lawful basis that allows us to do so. Any information shared will be done so on the basis that it is necessary, relevant and proportional for the task being undertaken.

Under this lawful basis of public task, we may have to share this information with local police and other partners in order to undertake the necessary statutory functions for dealing with children who run away or go missing in their area.

Depending on the individual circumstances of each situation, we may have to share this information with other teams within the County Council to fulfil other duties and powers to support our work. These might include our Children Missing Education (for ensuring the provision of full time education); Data Protection Team (for personal data incidents); Virtual School (for support of children looked after); and/or other Social Care teams (supporting welfare, safeguarding and corporate parent functions). We may also share information through the County Council's role in the Hampshire Safeguarding Children Partnership (HSCP) to comply with their statutory duties.

Requesting access to your personal data and your rights

Under data protection legislation, individuals have the right to request access to information about them that we hold. To make a request for your personal information, or someone you have responsibility for, please contact the Children's Services Department's Subject Access Request (SAR) Team.

You also have the right to:

  • prevent processing for the purpose of direct marketing
  • object to decisions being taken by solely automated means
  • in certain circumstances, have inaccurate personal data rectified, blocked, erased or destroyed
  • claim compensation for damages caused by a breach of the Data Protection regulations

Please note that under the GDPR, there is also a right to erasure but the right to erasure does not provide an absolute right to be forgotten. Where the data being processed is for the purpose of "performing a task in the public interest or for our official functions, and the task or function has a clear basis in law" (Article 6(1)(e)), this right does not automatically apply.

Further information

You have some legal rights in respect of the personal information we collect from you. See our Data Protection page for further details.

You can contact the County Council’s Data Protection Officer by email data.protection@hants.gov.uk.

If you have a concern about the way we are collecting or using your personal data, you should raise your concern with us in the first instance or directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office.