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Privacy notice for special guardianship


This privacy notice explains what types of personal data we may hold about you, how we collect it, how we use it and who we may share information with. We are required to give you this information under data protection law. This privacy notice should be read in conjunction with the corporate privacy notice.

Achieving for Children is registered as a controller with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Registration number ZA045069

Special Guardianship is an order made by the Family Court that places a child or young person to live with someone other than their parent(s) on a long-term basis. The person(s) with whom a child is placed will become the child's Special Guardian. 

The effect of a Special Guardianship Order is to:

  • secure the child’s or young person’s long-term placement;
  • grant Parental Responsibility to the Special Guardian(s);
  • maintain links with the child’s or young person’s birth parent(s); and
  • enable the special guardian to have day-to-day control and to exercise their Parental Responsibility to the exclusion of all others with Parental Responsibility except another Special Guardian

Personal data we collect

We collect and process the following personal data when you apply to become a special guardian:

  • personal identifiers and contact details (such as name, contact details and address, details of family , previous and current relationships and close relations).
  • special category data (such as racial or ethnic origin, sex life or sexual orientation, and health information).
  • Criminal offence data through DBS checks and overseas police checks
  • safeguarding information (such as court orders and professional involvement, child in care status including looked after or previously looked after early help, social care and health).
  • details of each contact that we have with you and your child, including visits, correspondence, communications and documents.
  • relevant information from individuals involved in your child’s care, including health, education and other care providers, carers and relatives.
  • Employment
  • Financial 

How we use your personal data

We use information we collect about you to assess your suitability to be approved as a special guardian which includes carrying out background checks, process special guardianship payments and carry out annual reviews. 

Legal basis for processing your personal data

The legal basis we rely on for processing your personal data are a public task or to comply with a legal obligation. For special category data, we rely upon reasons of substantial public interest (safeguarding of children and of individuals at risk, and equality of opportunity or treatment), for the provision of social care, or the management of social care systems or services, for social security or social protection law, and for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims whenever courts are acting in their judicial capacity.

You will be asked to sign consent to enable us to access the necessary information to carry out a thorough assessment as required by the regulations.

These legal basis are underpinned by acts of legislation that dictate what actions can and should be taken by local authorities, including:

  • Children and Families Act 2014 
  • Children’s Act 1989
  • Children’s Act 2004
  • Adoption and Children Act 2002
  • Special Guardianship Agencies Regulations 2005 
  • Special Guardianship Support Services Regulations 2005 
  • Special Guardianship Regulations 2005 & 2016 
  • Human Rights Act 1998
  • Equalities Act 2010

How long your personal data will be kept

We only keep your personal data for as long as is required by law and in accordance with our retention schedule. 

Keeping your information secure

We have appropriate security measures in place to prevent personal information from being accidentally lost or used or accessed in an unauthorised way. We limit access to your personal information to those who have a genuine business need to know it. Those processing your information will do so only in an authorised manner and are subject to a duty of confidentiality.

We also have procedures in place to deal with any suspected data security breach. We will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected data security breach where we are legally required to do so.

Who we share your personal information with

We will only share information with these organisations where it is appropriate and legal to do so. Where this is necessary, we are required to comply with all aspects of the Data Protection Act 2018. We share your personal data between Achieving for Children departments and services so that we can keep our information up to date, provide cross departmental support and improve our services to you and your child. 

  • Medical Adviser 
  • Department for Education 
  • Ofsted 
  • Health Agencies and GPs 
  • Any person undertaking a Statutory Inquiry under section 81 of the Children Act 1989 
  • CAFCASS Officers, the Court and officers of the Court 
  • Any person appointed to deal with a complaint or representation in respect of which access to the special guardianship Case Record is required in order to carry out the responsibilities of his or her appointment 
  • An Independent Review Panel convened to consider a Qualifying Determination of a Special Guardianship agency, e.g. where a special guardian applicant has exercised his or her right to challenge a decision of the Special Guardianship agency as to their suitability to become the legal carer for a child or where a decision has been made in relation to the disclosure of protected information 
  • Any person undertaking a Serious Case Review in relation to a child
  • The Secretary of State or persons authorised on his/her behalf, an Ombudsman or regulatory authority. 

Your rights and access to information 

Under data protection legislation you have the right to request access to the information that we hold about you. To request a copy of your data, please read the Individual Rights Requests page and then submit your request using your preferred method of contact. 

You also have the right to:

  • object to processing of personal data that is likely to cause, or is causing, damage or distress
  • have inaccurate personal data rectified, blocked, erased or destroyed
  • prevent processing for the purpose of direct marketing
  • object to decisions being taken by automated means
  • In certain circumstances have inaccurate personal data rectified, blocked, erased or destroyed; and 
  • A right to seek redress, either through the ICO, or through the courts

If you have any questions or concerns about the way we process personal data, or would like to discuss anything in this privacy notice, please contact our Data Protection Officer: [email protected]

If you want to make a complaint about how we handle your personal data, we ask that you give our Data Protection Officer the opportunity to respond in the first instance but you are not obliged to do this. You can make a complaint directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office at