Children's Services

What we do

We provide a range of services including:

Safeguarding and social care

  • Safeguarding (Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) and Assessment and Support to children in need of help and protection) 
  • Permanence (Children in our Care, including Fostering and Adoption Services) 
  • Quality Improvement Service 

Inclusion, learning and achievement

  • Inclusion Service (Primary & Secondary School Behaviour Support, Attendance Advisory Services and the Virtual School for Children in Our Care) 
  • Special Education Needs Assessment & Review Service  
  • Special Education Needs Outreach Service 
  • Education Psychology Service 
  • Children with Disabilities Service 
  • School Improvement Service 
  • Direct Services to Schools – provides a platform for Schools, organisations and individuals to commission both development opportunities and services from teams across Royal Greenwich.  

Early help

  • Early Help to children and families 
  • Youth Offending Service 
  • Pause Project 
  • Reduction in Serious Youth Violence and Exploitation Team (ReSET) 

Strategy, Performance and Commissioning

  • Performance Analysis Service - analysis of data and intelligence of our activities to inform, plan and measure outcomes. 
  • Complaints and Information Governance 
  • Joint Commissioning - strategic and operational commissioning of services from our partner agencies to help deliver improved outcomes for children 
  • School Admissions, Place Planning Systems & Resilience Service - coordinating school applications and provision of sufficient school places 
  • Early Learning and Childcare Service - meeting our duty to provide childcare to working parents. 


The Royal Borough of Greenwich is participating in the Children's Social Care Innovation Programme which was launched by the Department for Education. This programme is helping the Royal Borough of Greenwich to develop innovative ideas that will help us improve outcomes for children and their families. 

Children's Services has developed SafeCORE as part of this programme SafeCORE is currently working with families who are living with the effects of domestic violence and abuse. 

Find out about services provided to children, young people and families

Why we need your information and how we use it

There are several legal reasons why we need to collect and use your personal information. The information you provide helps us to support your family and make sure that we meet our legal duties and responsibilities, for example to carry out a social care assessment. 

We then use this data to: 

  • provide you, your family and schools with appropriate services 
  • measure whether our services are improving life for children and families 
  • help us develop and improve our services 
  • complete statistical returns to Government departments. 

Generally, we collect and use personal information when: 

  • you, or your legal representative, have given consent 
  • you have entered into a contract with us 
  • it is necessary to perform our statutory duties 
  • it is necessary to protect someone in an emergency 
  • it is required by law 
  • it is necessary to deliver health or social care services  
  • you have made your information publicly available 
  • it is necessary for court cases 
  • it is to the benefit of society as a whole 
  • it is necessary to protect public health 
  • it is necessary for archiving, research, or statistical purposes. 

We will only collect and use personal information if we need it to deliver a service or meet a legal requirement. 

If we use your personal information for research and analysis, we will not use personal identifiers, for example it will be anonymous unless you've agreed that your personal information can be used for that research. 

What is our power to obtain and use personal data?

Our legal basis for using your personal data is under “legal obligation" and “public task”.  Under the Children Act 1989, the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, the Childcare Act 2006, Section 115 and Section 14 of the Offender Management Act 2007, the Fostering Services (England) Regulations 2011, Children and Families Act 2014, and the Care Act 2014 local authorities have the duty to provide relevant social care services for: 

  • service delivery - establishing whether there is a need to safeguard the wellbeing of children and young people within the authority area and supporting the wellbeing of children and young people 

  • service planning/improvement 

The legal reason for us to collect and use this personal information is: 

  • you, or your representative, have given explicit consent.  Parental consent is now required for the processing of personal data of children under the age of 16.  Silence or inactivity does not constitute consent; clear and affirmative consent to the processing of private data must be provided. By completing a valid application form, you are giving your consent. 

  • it is necessary to perform our statutory duties, or it is required by law (see above legislation) or it is necessary for employment purposes 

  • it is necessary to protect someone in an emergency 

  • it is necessary to deliver health or social care services or it is necessary to protect public health 

  • it is necessary for archiving, research or statistical purposes.  When it is for research purposes it will be anonymised data only. 

  • it is necessary for the prevention or detection of fraud/crime.  Special category data is processed under the provision of health and social care treatment and management as defined in Art 9 of the GDPR.   

Where the lawful basis for the use of personal and special category data cannot be considered as a 'public task' or “legal obligation”, consent will be sought as the lawful basis.

What type of information we collect
  • name 
  • address & post code  
  • date of birth 
  • gender  
  • ethnicity 
  • email address 
  • telephone contact numbers 
  • details of special educational needs and/or disabilities 
  • educational provision 
  • medical information 
  • social work case records 
  • counselling records 
  • details of parent/carer 
  • additional emergency contact details 
  • additional information (free box) in support of application which can include any detail from the applicant 
  • details to provide you or our child with a service e.g.  school transport. 
  • Referrals from other agencies 

This list is not exhaustive. 

Who we may share your information with

In certain circumstances, when necessary or required by law, we will share the data you provide, or request your personal data from other departments or other authorities such as: 

  • Other Council departments e.g. Housing, Community Safety, Adult Social Care in carrying out our statutory responsibilities. 

  • Central government departments e.g. Department for Education, Department of Work & Pensions, Department of Health.  

  • The NHS, GP and hospitals.  

  • Law agencies e.g. Police, UK Border Agencies, HM Courts& Tribunal Service.  

  • Schools that pupils attend and other education providers 

  • Organisations the we have contracted with to provide services to you on our behalf or when required to discharge our statutory responsibilities. 

  • Regulatory agencies i.e. Ofsted, Care Quality Commission, Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman, Information Commissioner’s Office.  

The above is not exhaustive. 

Some information is used to complete statistical returns to Government departments and is also used to help us develop and improve our services. In this situation no personal information is included. 

Sometimes we have a legal duty to provide personal information to other organisations, for example: 

  • if we take a child into care 

  • if the court orders that we provide the information. 

We may also share your personal information when we feel there is a good reason that is more important than protecting your privacy. This doesn't happen often, but in such circumstances, we would share the information and we may not seek your consent beforehand - for example, to protect a child, young person or adult thought to be at risk or to assist the police when investigating a crime. 

How long we keep your information

This depends on why we hold the information. Below is an example of how long certain types of information is held. 

Category Retention period
Adoption 100 years
Children in Our Care 93 years
Supervision Orders 21 years
Adults applying to be adopters or foster carers 25 years from date of closure
Foster carer records 35 years after ceasing to foster
Child Protection Plans and Schedule 1 Offender list 70 years
Child Protection case files, section 47 reports, conference decision and minutes, Core group minutes 35 years from closure
Child and Family Assessments 35 years from closure
Children in Need plans 10 years from closure
Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (who were Children in Our Care) 10 years from closure
Youth Offending Service 25 years from date of birth or 10 years after last contact
SafeCORE and ReSet Any of the retention periods in this table may apply and is dependent on previous history of Children's Services involvement.
Special education needs files 35 years from closure
School admissions (appeals and exclusions) 25 years from last action
Early help 7 years from closure
Complaints files 6 years from closure
Child sex abuse See below*
Direct Services to Schools 1 year from last date services or training was accessed, 7 years from closure for Outreach Counselling Services

*The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

On Thursday 12 March 2015 the Home Secretary established a statutory inquiry under the 2005 Inquiries Act with the aim of conducting an overarching national review of the extent to which institutions in England and Wales have discharged their duty of care to protect children against sexual abuse. 

The Inquiry is independent of government. It is supported by a Panel, Victims and Survivors Consultative Panel, and other expert advisers. The Inquiry will cover England and Wales. A wide range of public institutions will be investigated including local authorities, the police, the armed forces, schools, hospitals, children's homes, churches, and charities. 

On 2 July 2015 Enquiry Chairperson, Justice Goddard wrote to every Chief Executive of a Local Authority in England and Wales, requesting that the organisation: 

'retain any and all documents; correspondence; notes; emails and all other information (however held) which contain or may contain content pertaining directly or indirectly to the sexual abuse of children or to child protection and care. 

For the purposes of this appendix, the word children relates to any person under the age of 18.' 

Consequently, agencies must not destroy, and must make available for inspection, all reports, reviews, briefings, minutes, notes and correspondence in relation to: 

  • allegations (substantiated or not) of individuals, organisations, institutions, public bodies or otherwise who may have been involved in, or have knowledge of, child sexual abuse, or child sexual exploitation 
  • allegations (substantiated or not) of individuals having engaged in sexual activity with, or having a sexual interest in, children 
  • institutional failures to protect children from sexual abuse or other exploitation 
  • statutory responsibilities for the care of children in public or private care 
  • the development of policy on child protection 
  • the development of legislation on child protection 
  • the determination of the award of Honours to persons who are now demonstrated to have had a sexual interest in children or are suspected of having had such an interest. 

All of these document types, in whatever format, must be 'retained pending further requests from the Inquiry.' 

Although agencies may have their own records retention schedules for the destruction dates of files, the instructions received by the Inquiry constitute a legal hold as defined by section 12.3 of the code of practice issued under Section 46 of the Freedom of Information Act. As such all records that fall within the above categories are retained, and not destroyed, until directed otherwise. 

This means that any retention period will be extended, if the information concerns child sex abuse, beyond the period stated in the list above. 

Version date
1 December 2020