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social services and confidentiality

Posted: Sat May 03, 2014 12:22 pm
by fernypops
Hi I am currently doing an assessment for viability but had the mother call me last night saying she doesn't want me to have the children anymore as she has found out I had reported a bruise to social services last year. When I reported it I asked to be kept anonymous but she has been given all the details including my name and statement I gave when I called and that I had asked not to be named. Are they breaking data protection rules by disclosing things to her even though I asked not to this has caused lots of trouble within the family! Will this cause problems with the assessment the kids are on an interim care order and the social worker told us if they do not go back 2 the parents and don't come to us they are going to be adopted. I am worried she will tell the social worker she doesn't want me to have them and they will say no and have them adopted out. I am unsure of our rights and what to do?

Re: social services and confidentiality

Posted: Wed May 07, 2014 12:10 pm
by David Roth
The social worker should not have provided the mother with all this information, if you had made it clear that you did not want your details disclosed, unless it had been discussed with you, or there was some over-riding reason that made it a reasonable thing to do. You are within your rights to make a formal complaint about what has happened. You may want to consult the Information Commissioner's office - this is a link to the section of their website that is for the general public: http://ico.org.uk/for_the_public

The mother's views do not necessarily mean the children cannot come to you. It will be for the court to decide what will be best for the children. However, if the mother makes it clear that she is implacably opposed to the children coming to you, and she knows where you live and might make life very difficult for you and the children, then that might influence the court.

I think you do need to have a discussion with the social workers about this. Apart from making clear your frustrations at the information they have disclosed to the mum, you also need to talk though the consequences of what has happened, your continued willingness to take in the children, and what support the local authority might provide to make amends for giving out this information.