Falkirk Council Social Work Children's Services provide and commission a range of support, care and protection services for children and their families. This support is provided through a range of community and residential based services. In order to provide these services, we need to collect and hold information about you.

This notice provides details of what information we collect from you, what we do with it and who it might be shared with.

Identity and contact details of the controller and the data protection officer

Falkirk Council is the data controller. You can contact the data protection officer at:

Data Protection Officer
Municipal Buildings
West Bridge Street
Falkirk
FK1 5RS

Frequently asked questions


Why do we collect this information?

We need to process your data in order to ensure that the services we are providing are fit for purpose, efficient and effective whilst meeting our statutory and legal obligations. The information is being collected for the following purposes:

  1. To assess individual needs of the child (and family).
  2. To support children (and their families) to manage the health and wellbeing of the child or young person.
  3. To provide or commission support services in the community or in residential based services for children.
  4. To protect children who may be at risk of harm.
  5. To assess and manage applications for adoption, to become foster carers, and kinship carers.
  6. Where we collect photographs, to ensure personalised care and support, capture social events, promote the services and for public information purposes.
  7. To better plan and deliver services.

The legal basis for each purpose is set out below:

Legal basis Purpose
Consent 6
Performance of a contract  
Legal obligation 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Vital interests 4
Task carried out in the public interest 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7
Legitimate interests  

Where we are relying on task carried out in the public interest or legal obligation as the lawful basis for processing, we rely on various pieces of legislation. Some of the key legislation and standards we adhere to are detailed below (as well as related legislation applying to the care and welfare of children in Scotland):

  • Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968
  • Children (Scotland) Act 1995
  • Housing (Scotland) Act 2001
  • Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014
  • Equality Act 2010
  • Children's Hearings (Scotland) Act, 2011
  • Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland (Requirements for Care Services) Regulations 2011
  • Social Care (Self Directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013
  • Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014
  • Carers (Scotland) Act 2016
  • Children & Young People (Information Sharing) (Scotland) Bill 2017
  • Revised Health and Social Care Standards 2017
  • Looked After Children (Scotland) Regulations 2009
  • Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007
  • Criminal Procedures (Scotland) Act 2007
  • Carers (Scotland) Act 2016

As a Local Authority we are also scrutinised by:

  • The Care Inspectorate
  • Health Improvement Scotland
  • Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC)
  • Health and Care Professional Council (HCPC)
  • Falkirk Child Protection Committee

To all of these we report our performance and practice to ensure our standards, conduct and practice adhere to the legislation and public expectation. Where data is used for statistical, performance and improvement purposes, it is anonymised.


What information do we collect about you?

For all of the purposes detailed, we collect basic personal data so that you can be identified. This can include your name, Community Health Index (CHI) number, date of birth, age, national insurance number, photographs, and contact details (including telephone number, email or address including postcode).

In order to support you, we may also collect information about your next of kin, family members, carers, GP, and details of any referrals made. We may also collect more personal or sensitive information depending on the type of service required. For children under the age of 16 we also require to hold information on parents or carers, including contact information and, where relevant, personal or sensitive information.

In order to support your health and wellbeing, we may collect special category (sensitive) data. We mostly record medical/health information which may include any health conditions and history, mental health wellbeing, individual care and support needs, daily pattern or routine, dietary requirements, and any current medication.

Other sensitive information collected can include details on relationship status, nationality, language spoken, racial or ethnic origin, gender, religious beliefs and relationship status.

We may also record any information required in order to provide reports to the Reporter to the Children's Panel, or information on criminal acts or convictions with Police Scotland. This is to ensure public protection.

We keep copies of your communications with us and our responses, and in some cases may also document any verbal conversations we may have with you. This record helps us to make informed decisions, monitor our performance and improve the services that we deliver.

For carers (foster carers or kinship carers) we may also have to hold a record of your bank details, financial transactions, receipts and budget allocation, in line with Falkirk Council financial procedures.

We may also take photographs to ensure personalised care and support, social events and promote the services and public information purposes. However, photographs of individuals will only be used for such purposes with you or your proxy's consent.

This list is not exhaustive and we may, on occasion, get information from other sources not listed above.

We take our responsibility when processing your data very seriously and assure you that we will only collect, hold and use personal data where it is absolutely necessary and reasonable to do so. We will ensure that your details are kept secure and that we maintain effective safeguards to manage access arrangements, providing adequate training to staff who handle the information provided.


Where do we collect information from?

We collect information from you using a variety of different methods, including when you complete one of our forms, when you call, write, email or meet with us. We may also obtain information about you from other council departments or services, such as Education Services, or other agencies noted above.

In order to meet your health and wellbeing needs, we may collect information from those agencies responsible for your health care, such as your GP.

We may also collect information from our partners including NHS, Police Scotland, the Reporter to the Children's Panel, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, the Office of the Public Guardian, providers of care and support and external contractors.

In order to ensure that we deal with any complaints we receive, we may obtain information from The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) or the Care Inspectorate.


Who might we share your information with?

We may share information with our community partners such as NHS Forth Valley, the Reporter to the Children's panel, Police Scotland and care and support providers. We work together with NHS Forth Valley to deliver integrated services through the Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC) policy, overseen by the Children's Commission.

If you have made a complaint, we may need to share your information with the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, and/or the Care Inspectorate.

We also share information with the Scottish Government. This is shared via the Common Services Agency for the Scottish Health Service (part of the NHS), or with the Scottish Government Statistics Branch with whom information is also shared to develop and improve the data available to the Council so it can better plan and commission services. We also share information with the Scottish Government for the Realigning Children's Services programme and with the University of Strathclyde to collaborate on the Permanence and Care Excellence (PACE) programme.

Other organisations or individuals involved with your care and support may also be provided with information as necessary, such as carer and other representative bodies, housing providers, advocacy services, third sector organisations, lawyers, other Local Authorities, other council departments and services.

We share limited personal data with external contractors who are carrying out services on our behalf. Our contractors are required to comply with the law and our own data processing conditions to ensure data is managed appropriately, securely and for specified purposes.

The Council has a duty to protect public funds. We may check your information within the Council for verification purposes and/or for the prevention of fraud. We may share your information with other organisations where we are required to do so for the purposes of the prevention or detection of crime.


Will we send your information outwith the UK?

We do not transfer your information outwith the UK. If it becomes necessary to do so, we would ensure that the appropriate safeguards are in place.


How long do we keep hold of your information?

We keep your information for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for. Below is a summary of the key retention periods.

Information relating to: Statutory cases Trigger File Retention
Looked After Children Accommodated and Home supervision - Client case file Date of birth +100 years
Looked After Children - Throughcare and aftercare Pathway assessments Date of child's birth +75 years
Adoption Client case file Date of order +100 years
Fostering Client case file Date of order +100 years
Kinship carers Carer's case file Termination of placement +25 years
Adoption & Fostering / Kinship carer - assessment files Retention depends on stage of assessment / approval reached Date closed + up to 25 years
Adopters case file Case file Date granted +100 years
Child protection Register Case file Date closed +100 years
Register of Schedule 1 Offenders Case file Date entered on register +100 years
Information relating to: Non-statutory cases From File Retention
Service file - Care Service management records Strategy, planning, monitoring, register of admissions and discharges, visitors books, meetings, correspondence Current year 5 years
Service user file Records documenting assessment of need; preparation, review and revision of a care/support plan for a service user; monitoring and supervision of support; financial transactions undertaken for a service user; liaisons with social workers regarding the type of care being provided to a service user or problems with providing care or support. 1. Last action
2. Death
5 years
Care service records Fire and emergency procedures; Fire drills and alarm tests.
Maintenance of equipment. Daily list of persons employed.
Date and time of death of any service user who has died including doctor certifying death. Medicines kept on the premises.
Current year 5 years
Notification of death, illness and other events sent to the Care Inspectorate Current year 3 years
Child Protection Committee Procedures, practices, arrangements Until superseded 5 years

Please contact the Data Protection Officer if you would like more detail.


What are my rights in relation to the information held about me?

You have the following rights:

  • To see any information held about you by making a subject access request.
  • To withdraw consent at any time, where the legal basis for processing is consent.
  • To data portability, where the legal basis for processing is (i) consent or (ii) performance of a contract.
  • To request rectification or erasure of your information, where data protection legislation allows this.

Do I have a right to complain about the way information has been used?

If you have a concern about the way we are collecting or using your personal data, please let us know and we will try to resolve this. If you are still concerned, you can contact the Information Commissioner:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow, Cheshire
SK9 5AF
0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 if you prefer to use a national rate number

Do I have to provide my personal data to you?

Yes, as we are complying with statutory legislation, legal requirement or contract, we need this information to ensure that we are providing the best quality service.

If we did not collect this information, we would be unable to meet our obligation or provide you with the services you are entitled to.


Do you use any automated processes to make decisions about me?

We do not use automated decision making processes.


This notice was last updated in June 2018.