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Placement finding for children in care

What is the Access to Resources Team (ART)?

ART (Access to Resources Team) is a team within Lancashire County Council who are responsible for sourcing fostering, residential and leaving care placements for our children in care. Some of these placements require joint funding with health for therapeutic intervention and all children looked after require timely health assessments to be carried out by our health partners  Our health partners are:  East Lancashire, Greater Preston, Morecambe Bay and Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) - have requested that they are involved as early as possible in the placement finding process to be able to influence placement decisions and enable effective planning of required health services.

What information will be shared?

ART will share anonymised referrals with colleagues in the relevant CCGs, the referrals will contain the following information age, gender, legal status, ethnicity, needs of the child, specific placement requirements, and previous placement history. 

On a monthly basis ART will share a list of children who are placed in residential care with the CCGs. This list is provided to ensure that the CCGs have the correct information so that they can carry out the appropriate health assessment and arrange any additional therapy in an efficient and timely manner.

What are the legal gateways being used to share the information?

Data Protection Act 1998

Schedule 2 condition – Non Contractual Legal Obligation placed on the County Council by the Children Act 2004.

Schedule 3 condition – 8

(1)          The processing is necessary for medical purposes and is undertaken by -

(a)          A health professional,

(2)          In this paragraph “medical purposes” includes the purposes of preventative medicine, medical diagnosis, medical research, the provision of care and treatment and the management of healthcare services.

General Data Protection Regulation

On the 25th May 2018 the Data Protection Act 1998 will be replaced by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The condition for processing under the GDPR will be:

Article 6

  1. Processing shall be lawful only if and to the extent that at least one of the following applies:

 (c)  Processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which the controller is subject;

Article 9

  1. Processing of personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade union membership, and the processing of genetic data, biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person, data concerning health or data concerning a natural person’s sex life or sexual orientation shall be prohibited.
  1. Paragraph 1 shall not apply if one of the following applies:

(h) Processing is necessary for the purposes of preventive or occupational medicine, for the assessment of the working capacity of the employee, medical diagnosis, the provision of health or social care or treatment or the management of health or social care systems and services […] with a health professional and subject to the conditions and safeguards […].

Children Act 2004 - Sections 10 and 11 of the Children Act 2004 place obligations upon agencies including local authorities, police, clinical commissioning groups and NHS England to co-operate with other partners in promoting the welfare of children and ensuring that they safeguard and promote the welfare of children in their area.

Children Act 1989 - For children and young people, the nature of the information that will be shared by ART may fall below a statutory threshold of Section 47 (children in need of protection) or even Section 17 (children in need of services).

How will my information be used?

Your information will only be used to decide whether:

  • The right placement is found with services in place to meet any identified health needs
  • A health assessment is required and allow arrangements to be put in place to ensure this is done on time

What is personal and sensitive information?

Lancashire County Council will share data with the CCGs that is classed as personal and sensitive under the Data Protection Act 1998. Only relevant data will be shared. The Data Protection Act 1998 defines personal and sensitive information as.

Personal information is:

  • Information/Data which relates to a living, individual who can be identified from the data or other data/information that Lancashire County Council holds
  • This could be single elements or a combination e.g. names, addresses, occupation, date of birth could also include opinions about them and intentions towards them.

Sensitive Personal Information/Data is:

  • Physical or mental health, racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, trade union membership, sexual life, criminal allegations or record.

How long is your information stored?

Lancashire County Council will only store your information for as long as is legally required or in situations where there is no legal retention period they will follow established best practice.

File Type


Retention Period


Emails held in Outlook that haven't been exported or moved elsewhere.

1 year from the date received and then automatically deleted.

Children Looked After

The arrangements for Placement of Children (General) Regulations 1991 and the Children’s Homes (Amendment) Regulations  2011

Files of children who are looked after, or who cease to be looked after, before the age of 18 years, should be retained completely intact until the 18 birthday is reached.

75 years from date of birth or if the child has died before reaching 18 years, for the period of 15 years from the date of death or when the age of 18 would have been achieved, whichever is the later.

Further Information

If you would like more information concerning the ART team and their work then please contact them using the details provided below.  (01772) 536842

Your rights

If you would like to request a copy of the information Lancashire County Council holds on you then please make your request in writing to the Information Governance team. Contact and process details can be found here.

If at any point you believe the information we process on you is incorrect you can request to see this information and even have it corrected or deleted. Where possible we will seek to comply with your request but we may need to hold or process information in connection with one or more of the Council’s legal functions.

You have the right to opt out of Lancashire County Council receiving or holding your personal identifiable information. There are occasions where service providers will have a legal duty to share information, for example for safeguarding or criminal issues. The process for opting out will depend on the specific data is and what programme it relates to.

If you wish to raise a complaint on how we have handled your personal data, you can contact the Information Governance team who will investigate the matter. If you are not satisfied with our response or believe we are processing your personal data not in accordance with the law you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Information can be found here (external link).

Further information

Lancashire County Council is a registered data controller with the Information Commissioner’s Office. You can search the register of data controllers (external link) to find out more about:

  • Reasons/purposes for which we process information
  • Type/classes of information we process
  • Who we process information about
  • Who we may share information with

For more details about data protection please refer to the Information Commissioner's Office website (external link).