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Privacy Notice - Early Help and Targeted Services | Early Help | Sandwell Council

Early Help

Privacy Notice - Early Help and Targeted Services

Sandwell MBC Early Help and Targeted Services Privacy Notice

When and why we may need to share information:

We will only ever share yours or your family’s personal information if it is a legal requirement and the organisation accepting the information accepts their legal obligation for data protection and if there is a risk to any respected individual’s welfare.

Who may we need to share your personal information with?

This privacy notice tells you how Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council (SMBC) handles yours and your child’s personal information; this personal data will be collected and may be shared as follows:

Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)

If you or your family have been referred to the MASH, we may need to share your personal information with the relevant agencies working within MASH in order to make an informed decision regarding individual cases.

The MASH aims to improve timely exchange of information to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.  Agencies that form part of the MASH include Children’s Social Care, Education, Early Help, Child Sexual Exploitation Team, West Midlands Police, Probation Services, Point of Access Children and Young People Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Referral Team, Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group, Sandwell Women’s Aid, iRiS (Drug & Alcohol Services), Swanswell (Drug & Alcohol Services), Sandwell and West Birmingham Acute Trust, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council Housing Services and Black Country Partnership Foundation Trust, therefore it is vital information is kept up-to-date to promote the safeguarding of families.

Targeted Services and Early Help

Sandwell’s Targeted Services and Early Help, working on behalf of Sandwell MBC, work with families across Sandwell to offer early help and support.  Families using our service benefit from targeted support at the earliest point of identified need.   In order to ensure the best support for families, we need to share information within the LA and with our partners – this means sharing personal records that relate to families and their support needs.

How we use your information

We use and share information held about you in the following ways:
• To provide and operate our Targeted Services and Early Help Service including Team Around the Family
• To provide you and your family with information, products or services that support and help your family.
• Your information may be shared with other relevant agencies to enable you to receive appropriate services that support and help your family. These services may include: police, children’s centres, nurseries and schools, health services, housing associations, other voluntary organisations, probation, registered social landlords, youth offending teams, and the Department for Work and Pensions.
• Data may be shared between the LA and its partner agencies in support of the Sandwell Early Help Strategy. This strategy aims to deliver services at the right time and to ensure the early need of children and families is effectively identified and supported.
• To government departments, other publicly funded organisations, and appropriate voluntary sector organisations where this will enable the organisations concerned to provide services or information to you in accordance with the aims and objectives of the national ‘Troubled Families’ initiative.

Your personal information will be handled securely and shared strictly on a need to know basis only by those specifically authorised to do so and will not be kept longer than is necessary. You have the right to ask to see personal information held about you. 

(The Early Help initiatives aim to provide services for families and better utilisation of LA and related services. The identification of families that require Early Help support is in the legitimate interests of both the data controller and the data subject.)

Department for Education

SMBC is required to supply the Department for Education, information on individual children who come into contact with Children’s Services.  The information is used to help undertake research, produce statistics, and plan services as well as inform on budget setting.  The data collated and submitted to the DFE will include personal characteristics and details of services provided; the individual name of the child will not be included in the returns. Where the child has a Unique Pupil Number (UPN) the UPN will be collected in each return.  Collection of the UPN enables DFE to extract education information from the national pupil database held by DFE and to add it to the information in the returns submitted by local authorities.

Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG)

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council also supports the Government’s ‘Troubled Families’ initiative for families with additional needs and therefore we will need to share certain information between Council departments and with other organisations (such as housing, health, education, employment, and criminal justice partners). Any such sharing will be done proportionately and lawfully for the purpose of identifying those families who meet the initiative’s criteria and most need this support.
All data will be transferred, handled and stored in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. Legally binding agreements are in place between Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), and the research organisation (ONS), and agreements are in place between Government Departments, to ensure that all parties comply with the strict rules on handling, transferring, storing and destroying the data under the Data Protection Act 1998.

Further information on the national ‘Troubled Families’ initiative can be found on the GOV.UK Website

Finally, your information may also be shared with third parties and other Council departments to prevent fraud, or where required or allowed by law. 


How do SMBC protect your personal information?

All employees working in or with Targeted Families Support are under a legal obligation to secure your details when using and disposing of it. Staff who are authorised to have access to SMBC’s secure databases have been trained in accordance to the law and within the rules set by SMBC on data security and information sharing. 


Your rights

All data will be processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act and all individuals have the right to access the data held about them.  If you wish to access your data, or as a parent your child’s, please put your request in writing and send it via email to contact@sandwell.gov.uk or via post to the address detailed at the bottom of this letter.

If you require further information regarding how we handle your personal data or have any query, please contact the Information Management Unit, Council House, Freeth Street, Oldbury, B69 3DE

If you are not satisfied with the way data has been processed you can write to - Data Protection Officer, Department for Children, Schools and Families, Caxton House, Tothill Street, London, SW1H 9NA.


Changes to this Privacy Notice

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council may revise this privacy notice to ensure that it is kept up-to-date. If any amendments impacting the way we use your personal information occur, we will endeavour to inform you by updating this notice.

Pages in "Early Help"

  1. Early Help Assessment (EHA)
  2. You are here Privacy Notice - Early Help and Targeted Services
  3. Privacy Notice - Troubled Families
  4. Early Help System (eCAF)
  5. Training
  6. Information Sharing
  7. Contact us