Privacy notice for children and young people
What is a Privacy Notice?
It explains how Cafcass uses your personal information.
If you need help in understanding anything you can ask a grown-up who you trust to go through it with you. You can also look at the Family Justice Young People’s Board’s (FJYPB) glossary which explains the meaning of some of the words.
What information do we use?
We use your information when it relates to the family court proceedings, surveys or when you submit general enquiries. This may include information such as:
- Your personal details: your name, address and date of birth;
- Diversity information: This includes information about you, your needs and things that are important to you and includes your ethnicity, your religion and any disabilities you may have;
- Health information: about you from your doctor and other health professionals;
- Local authority information from your local children’s services about any involvement they’ve had with you and your family.
We also collect similar information about your parents and carers which may also include Criminal record information about them.
Why do we do use this information?
We use this information to carry out our role which is set out in law. Our role is to:
- Safeguard and protect you;
- Give advice to the family courts about you;
- Enable you to be represented in the family courts;
- Provide information and support to you and your family.
We may also use your diversity information so that we can better understand diversity matters in our work and ensure we comply with equality laws. We collect your diversity information directly from you or your parents and carers. It is your choice and their choice to decide what information to share with us.
Where do we collect your information from?
We may collect this information:
- Directly from you during meetings with your Family Court Adviser and when you communicate with our call centre;
- From court documents;
- From your parents and carers in telephone calls or face-to-face meetings;
- Other organisations e.g. the police, children’s services, doctors and schools.
If we contact your doctor or school we may need your parent’s consent, but if they do not give consent the court may still order us to collect this information if it is needed for your case.
How will we use your information?
We use this information to:
- Give advice and recommendations to the court in a letter or report;
- Create research about family court proceedings.
- Improve the support we provide.
Our Privacy and data protection information sets out how we will communicate with you.
Who will we share the information with?
Information may be shared with:
- The court;
- Your parents and carers;
- Organisations for research;
- Our Commissioned Services who provide court ordered activities to families such as Child Contact Centres;
- Children’s services if we have concerns for your safety.
It cannot be shared with anyone else. This is because information about court proceedings can’t be shared without the court’s permission.
We use data processors who are third parties who provide elements of services for us, such as, but not limited to, system maintenance, Cafcass website and communications. We have contracts in place with our data processors. This means that they cannot do anything with your personal information unless we have instructed them to do it. They will not share your personal information with any organisation apart from us. They will hold it securely and retain it for the period we instruct.
How do we use information for research?
The Family Procedure Rules (Practice Direction 12G) allows Cafcass to share information with some organisations for research. This is to help:
- See the effectiveness of family court proceedings;
- To develop policy and improve our practice.
This data sharing must be approved by the Cafcass Research Governance Committee which makes sure:
- Research projects are conducted safely and are useful for Cafcass and the families we work with;
- All information is anonymised before research is published so you cannot be identified.
How long do we keep your information for?
We keep information about your case until you or your youngest brother or sister is 25 years old. To find out more you can read our Retention Schedule.
Can we correct your information?
- If you think any of the information we hold about you is wrong, you can ask us to correct it;
- You can contact your Family Court Adviser if the information is incorrect or by phoning our call centre on 0300 456 4000;
- We will correct the information if it is wrong. If there is some information that you believe is wrong, but we think it is right, we will record what you told us about this information.
Can you have a copy of your information?
- Yes, you can get a copy of the information that Cafcass holds about you. You can do this by asking your Family Court Adviser or contacting Cafcass. Our website explains how you can access your information.
How do we keep your information safe?
- Your information is kept safe in our secure IT systems and in protected paper storage.
- We send private information by Signed For post or using encrypted emails.
You can read more about how we protect information in our Information Assurance Policy.
How can you contact us?
If you have any questions about how we use your information, you can contact our Data Protection Officer:
- by email: [email protected]
- by post: Data Protection Officer, Cafcass, 16th Floor, Southern House, Wellesley Grove, Croydon, CR0 1XG
If you are concerned about how we use your information, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office who ensure organisations comply with data protection laws.