Privacy / Confidentiality policy
We will not share your information with anyone outside of Cheshire East’s Information, Advice and Support Team unless you tell us we can.
If we feel it would be helpful to talk to another professional on your behalf, we will always seek your permission and check what you are happy for us to share.
The information shared with us will not be passed on to anyone else without your express permission unless there is reason to believe there is a risk of harm to a child, a young person or a third party.
The information we record
When you contact us, we will ask you if we may write down some details which are stored electronically. With your permission, we store these on a computer so we can refer to them when we need to.
The kind of written information we keep about you includes: name, address, telephone number, how you heard about the team and an outline of your enquiry.
The kind of information we keep about you/your child or young person includes: the child/young person’s name, date of birth, gender, ethnicity, school, year group, and area of SEN/disability.
Practical arrangements to ensure confidentiality
All records containing confidential information are kept in a secure computerised database accessed only by the Cheshire East Information Advice and Support (CEIAS) Team.
Paper records of meetings/discussions are destroyed once the electronic system has been updated. When confidential records are no longer required they are destroyed as confidential waste, using the provided shredder bins.
Observations or information about the family are not recorded or communicated unless they are directly relevant to the issue under discussion or there is a Safeguarding/Child Protection concern.
The CEIAS telephone line is used only for CEIAS calls; no one else has access to this line or to the answer phone service attached to it.
Disclosure of confidential information
All confidential records are governed by the Data Protection Act 1998. In the event of case notes being requested by parents under the Freedom of Information Act, the Manager of CEIAS will send the requested notes directly to parents/carers.
If we receive a request for information from Local Authority Officers for legal reasons, e.g. judicial review, it will go to the head of service, or if absent, to the CEIAS Manager, who will consider the request and, with the parents’/carers permission, direct that, where necessary, the relevant information be extracted from the electronic file, and sent to the relevant officer, with a copy of it sent to you.
The information you give will not be passed on to others without your express permission. This permission should be given in writing (including email). It will be kept for future reference if it is ever required.
CEIAS will always obtain permission from parents/young people to access records from other professionals; these are often required in order to build a background of the case and to provide appropriate support.
CEIAS will not tell any other person or agency that a parent/young person has approached the Service without parental/young person’s agreement.
The only time we would pass on information without your permission is when the law says we must (for example, when a child’s safety is at risk). These exceptional circumstances will be considered in line with both the Data Protection Act and the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Examples of these exceptions are as follows:-
- The parent/young person describes a situation which raises concern about the safety of a child,young person or vulnerable adult
- The parent/young person is in immediate danger e.g. suicide
- Information has been shared, which, if disclosed may prevent a crime or assist in the detection of a crime
There is a legal obligation to pass on concerns regarding Child Protection to the relevant safeguarding professional. The individual would be informed if this has occurred (unless it could put the child at greater risk).
On initial contact the confidentiality statement will be verbally shared with parents either over the phone or face to face.
A copy of the confidentiality policy will be displayed on the CEIAS website.
Use of data
CEIAS maintains an electronic recording system which is password protected and accessed only by CEIAS staff to enable us to monitor take up of the service, to identify any policy issues and provide usage statistics (in an anonymous form) to third parties.
All CEIAS staff are responsible for ensuring that all service information given to third parties is produced in an anonymous form, so that individuals cannot be recognised.
Sometimes we will ask you for feedback, some quotes (anonymous) may be used in our promotional materials.
Records are retained for as long as involvement is active and for a maximum of five years after involvement ceases. They are then disposed of confidentially.
The Policy will be reviewed annually by the CEIAS team; any amendments should be agreed and recorded in the minutes of the meeting.
Date of Policy: December 2017
Date of Policy Renewal: December 2018
K P Porter CEIAS Manager