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Privacy notice

Impact evaluation

What Works for Children’s Social Care has commissioned NatCen to carry out an evaluation of the Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC), a court approach that supports parents in overcoming substance misuse and aims to keep more families together.

This privacy notice sets out how we will process information for the impact element of this evaluation. In line with GDPR (the EU General Data Protection Regulation), it explains the legal basis of this study for data processing; who will have access to participants’ personal data; how this data will be used, stored and deleted; and who you can contact with a query or a complaint.

For information about how data will be processed in the implementation and process element of this research, please refer to our separate implementation evaluation privacy notice relevant to this part of the evaluation.

What is the legal basis for processing my data?

This research is being carried out by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen). It is funded by What Works for Children’s Social Care (WWCSC). You can find out more about NatCen at https://natcen.ac.uk/ and about the WWCSC at https://whatworks-csc.org.uk/.

NatCen is the data controller and data processor for this impact evaluation, and is responsible for the collection, processing and storage of the data. The legal reason for processing the data under GDPR Article 6 1e is ‘legitimate interest’. This means that we believe there is a good reason for us to collect and manage this data, and that this data is needed to evaluate and learn about the FDAC. Using this data won’t interfere with individuals’ interests, rights or freedoms.

How and why will the data be collected?

This impact evaluation aims to assess the effectiveness of the FDAC intervention. Its findings will inform the WWCSC, Department for Education, Local Authorities, and FDAC sites. To understand how the FDAC approach influences outcomes for parents and families in comparison with standard care proceedings, we will collect data on:

A. Parents who have had care proceedings through a Family Drug and Alcohol Court. Parents’ data in this category will be collected and shared with us by the Centre for Justice Innovation (CJI). You can read CJI’s privacy notice for collecting and using parents’ and children’s data here.

B. Parents who have been through standard care proceedings. Data on standard (non-FDAC) care proceedings cases will be collected and shared with us by 31 local authorities (LAs) across England which have an FDAC court site, to enable comparison between FDAC and non-FDAC outcomes.

Data collected from CJI and LAs will be used to understand the impact of FDACs compared with standard care proceedings. The evaluation will estimate how FDACs influence reunification of children with parents by the end of care proceedings, as well as parental alcohol and substance misuse. This will be done by comparing FDAC cases (using the data shared by the CJI) with a counterfactual group of business-as-usual cases not receiving FDAC (using the data from Local Authorities).

What types of personal data are we collecting?

We will be collecting court case data from CJI and Local Authorities. This data will be pseudonymized, meaning that it cannot be attributed to a specific person by the research team. The information be at three different levels: case-, parent-, and child-level.

  1. 1.    Case-level data will include:
  • Court dates (e.g. date of court issue, date of final hearing); and
  • Court outcomes (e.g. contested final hearing, experts needed).
  1. 2.    Parent-level data will include:
  • Demographics (e.g. age, gender, ethnicity)
  • Background information (e.g. number of children in the household, accommodation status); and
  • Parental substance misuse and type of parental mental health condition.
  1. 3.    Child-level data will include:
  • Demographics (e.g. age, gender, ethnicity)
  • Child’s health and wellbeing; and
  • Outcomes from care proceedings (e.g. final living arrangements agreed).

Who will have access to my personal data?

NatCen is carrying out this research and will have access to the data from both FDAC and non-FDAC cases as outlined above. This data will be shared with the research team through our secure online FTP system, and held in accordance with NatCen’s security policy requirements. Only a small number of staff at NatCen will have access to the data for this project. It will not be shared beyond the research team.

How will the data be used, stored and deleted?

Our analysis of this data will be brought together into a thematic report and presentation for the client, WWCSC. No data in which it is possible to identify individuals (including, for example, names of individuals or places) will be passed on to the WWCSC. The final report will be published on the WWCSC website in late 2022.

Data will only be used for research purposes. NatCen will store and manage all data securely and confidentially in line with GDPR.

The data held by NatCen will be stored securely in the UK, in line with international best practice and NatCen’s ISO 27001, ISO 20252 and Cyber Essentials Plus certifications. Data will not be stored in overseas servers.

All personal data will be securely deleted one year after completion of the project. 

Who can I contact with a query or a complaint?

NatCen’s team are happy to answer any questions you have about this research or how the data will be used. You can contact us at fdac@natcen.ac.uk or 020 7250 1866.

If you believe NatCen has not complied with your data protection rights, you can contact NatCen’s Data Protection Officer, Simon Holroyd, at: dpo@natcen.ac.uk.

Under GDPR, you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office if your query is not satisfactorily addressed by us. You have the right to raise any concerns with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) at:

Address: Information Commissioner's Office. Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF

Telephone: 0303 123 1113

Website: https://ico.org.uk/concerns