WillisPalmer is continuing to provide our expert social work and psychological services during lockdown. We are utilising technology alongside safe working practices in line with government guidance to enable us to continue supporting vulnerable children and families.

Call 01206 878178 to discuss your requirements.
Make an Enquiry
Contact Us

Data breaches in children’s services

By Phil King

We live in a world in which it’s acceptable to share personal data about ourselves with numerous agencies who have a responsibility to use it in ways we would reasonably expect, and to keep it securely. Data Protection law is there to make sure everyone’s data is used properly and legally.

For those people coming into contact with a local authority children services, or any other similar child welfare agency, their shared personal data is likely to be highly sensitive and confidential. They would rightly therefore expect the highest standards of data protection and data security. Those in contact with these agencies may be a parent, child, family member, or a foster carer or adopter. The range and depth of those individuals’ personal data shared with that agency is likely to be very extensive.

A data breach of personal data may vary from the very minor to releasing information that may cause potential or actual harm to an individual, including their personal safety. It can include the loss, destruction or unauthorised disclosure of personal data. A breach can have a variety of adverse effects on individuals which include emotional distress, and physical and material damage. Some personal data breaches will not lead to risks beyond possible minor inconvenience whilst other breaches can significantly affect individuals whose personal data has been compromised. Every case is individual and different as is the impact.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) includes a duty on all organisations to report certain personal data breaches to the relevant supervisory authority, usually within 72 hours of becoming aware of the breach. If the breach is likely to result in a high risk of adversely affecting individuals’ rights and freedoms, those individuals must be informed without undue delay.

Hopefully, agencies will manage any data breaches in a responsible and timely manner, following the law/regulation. The aim should be to rectify the situation in an attempt to return that person as best as possible to their situation had that the data breach not occurred. This may include an apology, reassurances about future security, and possibly financial redress to compensate for any loss, inconvenience, harm or damage, or making arrangements for protective measures to mitigate future risk.

Where difficulties arise in this sort of redress, our expertise within the child abuse litigation service of data management within a range of children’s services may be helpful. We can provide expert reports regarding responsible data protection within a variety of situations, impact of data breach upon an individual/family and what sort of redress would assist.

Make an enquiry

A multi-disciplinary organisation providing independent, high quality social work and psychological services. Contact us with your requirements and speak to a member of our team who will help you today.
Make an Enquiry

Knowledge & Resources

Keep abreast of the latest news in the children's services sector.

Practice guidelines to accompany legislative changes on siblings in care


CELCIS is seeking views to feed into practice guidelines which will accompany some legislative changes to uphold the rights and meet the needs of brothers and sisters with care experience.

Changes are being made to Section 13 of the Children (Scotland) 2020 Act, and the Looked After Children (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2021 and most of these [...]

Read Full Story

Working households no guarantee for lifting families out of poverty


Having an adult in the household in paid work is not sufficient to raise some families out of child poverty in Scotland, official statistics have shown.

While the risk of poverty is much lower for children where someone in the household is in paid work compared to those in workless households, not all work pays enough [...]

Read Full Story

£280 million boost for SEND provision


The government has announced £280 million funding for special educational needs and disabilities provision.

The funding will be allocated to local authorities to enable them to create new places in early years settings, schools, academies and colleges. The funding can be used to contribute to the cost of creating a whole new special school, or by [...]

Read Full Story
Children First is an online resource for professionals working with children presented by WillisPalmer, providing you with the latest news, features and interviews.
Subscribe Today
Delivering a diverse, reliable range of services to children and their families across the UK
D1, Parkside, Knowledge Gateway, Nesfield Road, Colchester, Essex CO4 3ZL
Contact Us

A Mackman Group collaboration - market research by Mackman Research | website design by Mackman

closechevron-downbars linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram