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Birmingham children’s services reprimanded following confidence breach

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has issued a reprimand to Birmingham Children’s Trust Community Interest Company (BCTCIC) after personal information of a child was disclosed to another family.

When the instance occurred, BCTCIC, which is owned by Birmingham City Council, was working with two neighbouring families. Following a meeting, a child protection plan was disclosed to one family that contained both personal and criminal allegations relating to a child from the other family.

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When this happened, the ICO launched an investigation were experts found that BCTCIC failed to have appropriate policies or sufficient practical guidance in place to ensure the security of personal information.

Sally-Anne Poole, head of investigations at the ICO, has said that the actions from Birmingham Children’s Trust Community Interest Company was ‘ a violation of privacy that would have caused distress to both the child and their family.’

She added: ‘‘We expect all organisations processing personal information to ensure they have robust policies and procedures in place to protect it. We will take action when personal information, especially belonging to children and young people, is compromised.’

Following the investigation, the ICO have issued a series of recommendations that will help BCTCIC ensure its compliance with data protection law.

These include:

  • Implement a more granular approach to data protection and create a Standard Operating Procedure with regards to producing social care documents
  • Include a process for any social care product to be independently checked by someone other than the author prior to disclosure
  • Create and implement a corporate redaction policy, which ensures staff have the knowledge and tools, to redact the product if necessary

Full details about the reprimand can be found in full here.

Image: Ethan Thompson

More on this topic:

Councils form a coalition to protect children’s services

Why having a director of children’s services still matters

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