Privacy notice for children and young people
Our Privacy Notice explains how we process your personal and sensitive information.
If you need help in understanding anything on this page, 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.
We use your information when it relates to family court proceedings, surveys or when you submit general enquiries. This may include information such as:
- Your personal details: your name, address, email, phone number 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 children’s services about any involvement they have 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.
We use this information to carry out our role which is set out in law within section 12 of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000.
Our role is to:
- protect you and promote your welfare in decisions that will be made about you
- give advice to the family courts about you;
- enable you to be represented in the family courts; and
- 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.
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; or
- from other organisations, e.g. the police, children’s services, doctors and schools.
We use this information to:
- give advice and make our recommendations to the court in a letter or report;
- undertake research about family court proceedings; and
- improve the support we provide.
Information may be shared with:
- the family court;
- your parents and carers;
- organisations for research;
- our commissioned services which provide court ordered activities to families such as Child Contact Centres; and
- children’s services if we have concerns for your safety.
It cannot usually be shared with anyone else. This is because information about court proceedings cannot 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, our IT system maintenance, providing our website and communications. We have contracts in place with our data processors which means that they cannot do anything with your personal information unless we have agreed and or instructed them to do so. They will hold your personal information securely and retain it for the period we instruct.
The Family Procedure Rules (Practice Direction 12G) allows us to share information with some organisations for research. This is to help:
- see the effectiveness of family court proceedings; and
- to develop policy and improve our practice.
This data sharing must be approved by the Cafcass Research Advisory Committee which makes sure that:
- research projects are conducted safely and are useful for us and the families we work with; and
- all information is anonymised (your personal details are removed) before research is published, so you cannot be identified.
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.
- 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.
You can request a copy of the information that we hold about you. You can do this by asking your Family Court Adviser or by contacting us. For more information about this and our ‘My Cafcass Journey’ process, please visit: I want to find out what happened in my proceedings webpage.
You also have the right to:
- object to the processing of your personal data;
- request the rectification of your personal data;
- request that the processing of your personal data be restricted; and
- request that your personal data be erased. This is also known as the ‘right to be forgotten’.
These rights are not absolute and only apply in certain circumstances. Please contact our Data Protection Officer using the details provided in the ‘How to contact us’ section of this notice should you wish to ask for more information or
- Your information is kept safe in our secure IT systems and in protected paper storage.
- We send private information by Signed For post or by using encrypted emails.
You can read more about how we protect information in our Information Assurance Policy.
If you have any questions about how we use your information, you can contact our Data Protection Officer:
- by email: [email protected] or
- by post: Data Protection Officer, Cafcass, Ground Floor, 70 Gray’s Inn Road, London, WC1X 8NH
If you are concerned about how we use your information, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office which ensures that organisations comply with data protection laws.