This policy covers all Shared Parenting Scotland (SPS) use of personal data from enquirers, donors and staff/volunteers. SPS holds personal data from these three categories, although most of this data is held on enquirers. We aim to ensure that all our methods of collecting, storing and making use of personally indentifiable information (PII) is fully compliant with GDPR and any other relevant standards. SPS is a Data Controller and the National Manager is responsible for this aspect of our work, and is accountable to the trustees of the charity. All information is treated as confidential, but if matters relating to child abuse or neglect are revealed to us we are obliged to pass on information to a social work or other statutory child protection agency. Confidentiality cannot be guaranteed where a child is thought to have experienced, or be likely to be at risk of, significant harm.
Categories of data
- staff information for personnel and management purposes
- information from job applicants
- information obtained from phone, email, text, facebook and in-person enquiries and from subsequent contact with these people
- conversation threads from SPS WhatsApp groups
- information from people attending group meetings
- information from trainees attending courses and talks
- information from volunteers including lawyers and other professionals
- information from donors
Types of information stored
- name and address, including phone, email and skype
- marital status
- number and ages of children (not name or date of birth)
- ethnic origin
- employment status
- immigration status
- legal representation details
- case history including details of care of children, nature of separation, relevant allegations or criminal charges, mediation and court details, personal physical/mental health issues relevant to child contact, relevant financial issues and payment of maintenance
This information is obtained direct from the enquirer or from a friend, relation, new partner or referring agency. All information is given voluntarily and staff will not insist on any information being provided. Information is normally provided direct to SPS staff members although it may also come via volunteers. SPS provides appropriate training to volunteers and expects them to comply with this and other policies when acting on behalf of SPS.
Information may initially be noted on paper or in computer files. These notes are all stored securely and shredded or securely deleted when no longer required. The main storage of enquiry information is on the Advice Pro online computer system by a staff member.
The Advice Pro records are stored on a secure password protected case management software operated by ACM Solutions and AdviceUK. SPS is a member of AdviceUK and subscribes to Advice Pro. Only SPS staff members have access to the SPS case data on Advice Pro and they are only allowed to pass on personally identifiable data to anyone else with specific written permission from the enquirer. In urgent circumstances data can be passed on with verbal permission, but this must be recorded at the time and written permission obtained as soon as possible. Written permission can include emails and texts. SPS places high importance on maintaining the confidentiality of this information, and any staff member breaching this confidentiality will be subject to disciplinary action.
SPS can use suitably anonymised examples and non-identifiable overall data from the Advice Pro system in order to provide background information for our campaigning and educational activities, in reports to funders, and for funding applications and other fundraising. None of this use of enquiry data will identify individuals unless they have given informed written permission.
All enquirers will be provided with a reference to our privacy and data protection policy as it relates to storage of their personal data during their initial contact or in the email or other message acknowledging their enquiry, together with a link to our full policy on the SPS web site. If the enquirer does not wish information to be stored they can opt out, that SPS sends enquirers regular information about SPS groups and other activity, and they can opt out of receiving further contact from SPS at any time.
All enquirers will be sent emails and other messages about relevant group meetings and other SPS activities unless they have opted out from this service. Their contact details will not be passed on to any other organisation unless explicitly agreed by that individual in connection with the conduct of their case or provision of any other form of support. SPS may also use these contact details in connection with FNFS fundraising or surveys unless the individual has opted out. Enquiry data obtained on this basis can be stored on an ongoing basis by SPS for as long as is necessary, but all people noted on the Advice Pro database will be contacted at least once a year, and this contact will include a mention that they can have their data removed and/or opt out of receiving further information from SPS.
Attendance at local group meetings and other Shared Parenting Scotland events
People attending local group meetings and other SPS events will be asked to provide basic contact details and to agree to this information being passed on under certain conditions. This information will be obtained on paper or electronically in case of online meetings. Such paper record will be stored securely and the data entered on the Advice Pro, along with notes based on what is said during discussion at the meeting.
All local group meeting will start with a statement that explains why we are gathering this information and a request for attendees to maintain confidentiality of what is said, and requested not to mention personal details oe names of lawyers etc unless necessary.
Referral to other people
Contact details of attendees will only be passed on to other people at that meeting or who may have experience which is of use to the attendee if agreement has been obtained via the attendance form. Even when agreed, the linking of two people after a meeting will only be done with explicit permission from both parties.
Any person making enquiries to FNFS can be linked up with another enquirer or volunteer who can provide appropriate personal support or related experience, but this linkage has to be done with explicit agreement of both parties, and with the offer of back-up support from an FNFS staff member if necessary.
Employee and volunteer information
Personnel, payroll, pension and performance information is held on staff and temporary employees or interns by the National Manager. This information is confidential and will not be disclosed to anyone other than the person concerned except in connection with recruitment or disciplinary processes or in connection with tax, national insurance and pensions. This information can also be provided in connection with a job reference when authorised by the person requiring the reference. Information on applicants is maintained during any recruitment process and for one year afterwards, either in securely stored paper form or in electronic files on a password protected online storage.
Personal information on volunteers, including trustees and trainees on SPS courses is also maintained in this manner and all such people are informed of this storage. The extent of the personal information that is stored is limited to the requirements of the volunteering, training or other activity. This will normally consist of contact information, details of relevant experience and qualifications, availability and any personal requirements, plus a record of their progress during training and any subsequent volunteering or other related activity. Data may also be stored on initial and final attitudes, characteristics and ability relating to the training for monitoring, feedback or evaluation purposes. This data can be provided to funders or other appropriate external agencies but only in an anonymised form with all personal identifiers removed.
Registration and standards
SPS will maintain registration with the Information Commissioner and with any subsequent statutory requirements (registration ZA192949) . SPS is a member of the Data Protection Network. SPS is a member of Advice UK, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, and Children in Scotland and complies with standards operated by these organisations. Public Liability, Products Liability and Employers Liability insurance is held with Zurich Insurance plc.
Any complaints about the actions of staff or volunteers or any other aspect of this policy will be handled by the National Manager and details will be maintained. If the complaint is about the actions of the National Manager it will be handled by a trustee of SPS. All complaints will be acknowledged within 7 days and the complainer will be provided with a response within 28 days. If this response does not resolve the complaint it will be considered by the SPS trustees at their next meeting and a final response issued.
This policy was produced in March 2018 and it replaces provisions about privacy and Data Protection in previous SPS policies. It was approved by SPS trustees at their meeting in April 2018.
It will be reviewed periodically.
Revised in April 2020.