Children: Databases

Children, Schools and Families written question – answered on 12th November 2008.

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Photo of David Laws David Laws Shadow Secretary of State (Children, Schools and Families)

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what estimate he has made of the number of children who should have their personal details shielded on the ContactPoint database; how many children have been identified as children who will have their details shielded; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Beverley Hughes Beverley Hughes Minister of State (Children, Young People and Families; Minister for the North West), Department for Children, Schools and Families, Minister of State (Department for Children, Schools and Families) (Children and Youth Justice) (and Minister for the North West)

The decision to shield a child record will be taken on a case-by-case basis, based on the level of threat posed if information about their whereabouts becomes available.

Local authorities are currently engaging with their local partners to ensure that they understand the purpose of ContactPoint and the reasons for shielding. They will be working with those local partners to identify which of their records require shielding in accordance with the Children Act 2004 Information Database (England) Regulations 2007.

Local authorities are also currently undertaking a local shielding analysis using a structured questionnaire which asks each local authority and local partner "What is your estimate of the number of child records needing shielding?". This analysis is expected to produce a reliable estimate of the children and young people whose records should be shielded on ContactPoint, and is expected to be completed by the end of November.

Very early indications, based on estimates from a couple of local authorities, are that that the numbers of records that will require shielding will be less than 0.5 per cent. but this figure will be refined as local authorities continue make progress with partner engagement.

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