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Children: Databases

Volume 490: debated on Monday 23 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many local authorities did not meet the shielding policies deadline for ContactPoint of 13 March 2009. (264634)

[holding answer 19 March 2009]: We continue to take a prudent and incremental approach to delivering ContactPoint. Local authorities have been doing preparatory work around shielding for several months, which included assessing how much time would be required to undertake initial shielding activity. We asked local authorities to provide a progress update by 13 March including whether they have robust arrangements in place to deal with shielding requests on an ongoing basis.

Two-thirds of local authorities have reported, as part of this progress update, that they have undertaken the required shielding actions. We continue to work closely with local authorities in order to help them to complete this first phase as soon as possible.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what protocols his Department has put in place for records of details of adopted children on ContactPoint. (264636)

[holding answer 19 March 2009]: In cases where a child's adoptive arrangement may be at risk or the child may be at risk of significant harm if their whereabouts was identified there is a facility to shield the ContactPoint record, i.e. to hide from view information relating to the whereabouts of the child. Shielding decisions should be made on a case by case basis and it would not be appropriate automatically to shield a ContactPoint record simply because a child was in the process of being adopted or had been adopted.