Early Help privacy notice

Privacy notice specifically for parents and carers, children and young people accessing Early Help services.

This privacy notice explains:

  • how personal information is going to be used
  • what it is used for
  • who it might be shared with and why
  • how long it is kept.

The information you provide helps us deliver our services effectively.

Personal and special category data

The types of personal data we hold may include:

  • personal information (such as name, address, contact details, date of birth gender)
  • special category characteristics (such as ethnicity and disability)
  • reasons for support (such as what is working well and what you are worried about)
  • assessment and plan information (such as further details of your issues and challenges, and how we are going to work together to bring about the changes you want to see)
  • details of events and services that you access through us.

Where appropriate, we also obtain personal information from other sources, such as:

  • partner agencies, for example, those providing health and mental health services, education services, young people and young carer services
  • other WSCC children’s services teams which our existing records show have been involved
  • district and borough councils (if relevant), for example, housing information
  • the police, for example, details of any criminal offences (such as youth offending, domestic abuse, young person missing from home, crime and anti-social behaviour) and victims of youth crime, where consent has been given
  • your child's school, for example, attendance and exclusion information (such as sessions attended, number of absences, reasons, details to support statutory processes), pupil characteristics, and unique pupil number.

Data Controller

West Sussex County Council (WSCC) complies with the Data Protection Act and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It is registered as a ‘Data Controller’ with the Information Commissioner’s Office (Reg. No. Z6413427). 

You can find details for the WSCC Data Protection Officer (DPO) on our Privacy Policy.

The legal basis for processing personal data

Processing is necessary:

  • for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest including your own interest
  • for compliance with a legal obligation, including the prevention and detection of fraud
  • to protect someone’s life
  • where we process special (sensitive) data. This is on the basis of a statutory duty, provision of health and social care and substantial public interest.

The information is required to comply with:

  • Asylum Act 1999
  • Care Act 2014
  • Child Protection Act 2004
  • Childcare Act 2016
  • Children Act 1989
  • Children and Families Act 2014
  • Children and Social Work Act 2017
  • Children’s Act 2004
  • Crime and Disorder Act 1998
  • Education Act 1996
  • Education and Adoption Act 2016
  • Employment and Training Act 1973
  • Equality Act 2010
  • Homelessness Reduction Act 2017
  • Housing and Planning Act 2016
  • Learning and Skills Act 2000
  • Policing and Crime Act 2017
  • School Admissions Code 2014
  • Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014

How we use your personal information

Our Privacy Policy determines how we use personal data. We use it specifically to:

  • provide you with appropriate services, including those from partner agencies
  • review the services we provide to help the development of our service and policies
  • prepare statistics to identify needs in particular areas and share with government and partner agencies, for example, to plan community health care
  • teach and train our staff
  • investigate complaints, legal claims or other incidents (unless we are investigating a complaint you have made, the reports we produce will not include any of your personal details)
  • keep you updated with information about our services, for example, services in children and family centres, Find it Out centres or support for children leaving care
  • administer and protect public funds.

Who we share your information with

If needed, we share your personal information with:

  • teams within West Sussex County Council working to improve outcomes for children and young people
  • commissioned providers of local authority services (such as family support services, youth services, support for young carers, NEET (not in education, employment or training) support, health and mental health services and education services)
  • childcare settings and schools, including free schools and academies
  • partner organisations signed up to our Information Sharing Agreement, where necessary, which may include health visitors, midwives, district councils, housing providers, the police, school nurses, doctors, mental health workers and voluntary organisations
  • government departments, including the Department for Education, Department for Work and Pensions, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
  • Ofsted (in the event of a local authority inspection of children’s services)
  • law enforcement or other authorities, if required by law.

We will not share your information with third parties for marketing purposes.

From time to time, we are required to pass on some of this data:

  • if there is concern that you are putting yourself or another person at risk of harm
  • if the information is required by law, for example, it is essential for the investigation of a crime.

See our Privacy Policy if you require more information about how we use this data.

How long we keep your personal data

Personal data will not be retained for longer than is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are collected.

The council is currently reviewing and updating its retention policies. See our records management page for published retention schedules.

Your rights

See our Privacy Policy for more information on your rights.


See our Privacy Policy for information about making a complaint.

Easy read version

Last updated:
15 May 2024
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