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Children: Databases

Volume 482: debated on Tuesday 11 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families pursuant to the answer of 4 March 2008, Official Report, column 482W, on children: databases, whether details of children of hon. Members are to be (a) excluded from and (b) shielded on Contact Point; and if he will make a statement. (234767)

The Children Act 2004 Information Database (England) Regulations 2007 specify that Contact Point will hold basic identifying information on every child and each ‘participating young person’, ordinarily resident in England.

Records of some children, whose circumstances may mean that they, or others, are at increased risk of harm (for example, those fleeing domestic violence), may be subject to ‘shielding’, whereby any details which could give an indication of their whereabouts, will be hidden from users’ view. The decision to shield will be taken on a case-by-case basis and will be based on the level of threat posed if their whereabouts were to become known. Such a decision can only be undertaken by a local authority which is under a duty to consider the views of the person to whom the record relates, the views of their parent or carer, and of any schedule 4 or schedule 5 body (as specified by the Children Act 2004 Information Database (England) Regulations 2007), involved with the child or young person.