Evaluation of Data Protection Act in Childcare Anna Karenina Magcamit 1.) Choose and evaluate four of the 8 Data Protection Act principles, providing examples of how these would be implemented in a child care setting. The importance of confidentiality and Data Protection for home based childcare When working in a childcare setting it is often inevitable to come across confidential information about children and families you are working with. Confidential information is personal information, which should not be shared with unauthorized person or organizations. It also means a child minder should never discuss a child with a friend or other parents. Most common information held by childcare practitioner are name, address, phone number, birth date, record of parent(s)â€™ and/or emergency contact details, the contact details of the childâ€™s GP. All these information is to be kept confidential as individual have the right to keep information of this type private. The purpose of the Data protection Act 1998 is to regulate the use of personal information by business and organizations. In a childcare setting, childcare providers such as child minders will need to comply with the Act as they are often required to deal with and keep a large amount of information on each child. Therefore passing information to a third party without the parents consent is illegal. A court can prevent the disclosure of confidential information by injunction and where appreciate, award damages if unlawful disclosure has been made It is important to comply with the Data Protection principle when keeping childrenâ€™s personal information that is covered by the act. http://www.studymode.com/essays/The-Importance-Of-Confidentiality-And-Data-972526.html Personal data shall be obtained only for one or more specified and lawful purposes, and shall not be further processed in any manner incompatible with that purpose or those purposes. A child care provider should be specific about the reasons for requiring the information to be gathered, and what they are going to use it for. If, after collecting the data, it is decided to use the information for another purpose, consideration should be given as to whether this is fair to the individual. If you wish to use data for an additional purpose, further consent should be obtained from the individual and securely held. Good. Personal data shall be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date. The fourth principle is concerned with the accuracy of information that is held. In everyday business practice this is something which is not always easy to guarantee. However, the Act makes provision for this and asks employers to ensure that data is â€œreasonablyâ€ accurate. How could child carers ensure that their information remains accurate and up-to-date? Personal data processed for any purpose or purposes shall not be kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose or those purposes. This principle contains commonly asked guidance as to how long data should be kept for before it is destroyed. The Act is not specific about the length of time data should be held for, but gives guidance on good practice so that organizations are better informed to write their own policies. Appropriate technical and organizational measures shall be taken against unauthorized or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data. The types of data security used will vary depending on the size of the organization and the number of individuals that information is held on. Information security is concerned with the prevention of data being disclosed to those who may use it for illegal purposes. For example, fraud, identity theft and those working for organizations that could be at risk of harm by information being divulged. The Act requires that appropriate security measures are installed which are sufficient for the information that is being stored. What security measures can the child care setting take to prevent unauthorised processing of data? 2.) Evaluate the need for accurate, legible and up-to-date record keeping, and identify the consequences of non-compliance. It is important to keep records which are up to date to provide accurate, current, comprehensive and concise information concerning the condition and the care required for all individuals. All records which are produced weather written or electronic must be signed and dated; they must also be stored correctly in accordance with that data protection act 1998(The Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) is a United Kingdom Act of Parliament which defines UK law on the processing of data on identifiable living people. It is the main piece of legislation that governs the protection of personal data in the UK. Although the Act itself does not mention privacy, it was enacted to bring UK law into line with the EU data protection directive of 1995 which required Member States to protect peoples fundamental rights and freedoms and in particular their right to privacy with respect to the processing of personal data.) It is vital that records are kept up to date, as this ensures that the individualâ€™s needs are being met, and may also help to reduce the likelihood of abuse; up-to-date is particularly important with regard to medication changes, food requirements and particular needs that a child may have,. In addition, up to date contact information is highly important. There is nothing worse than contacting a parent in an emergency and realizing that the mobile number on the childâ€™s information form is an old one. Practitioners must make sure they record information clearly, accurately and up to date. The parents should have a free access to their children files; information should not be kept for longer than necessarily and always stored in a secure place. Every setting should have policies and procedures about how to record and store information which meet Ofsted requirements and are according with the government law Data Protection Act 1998. The policies should include information about different ways when comes to record information such observations, risk assessment, incidents, medical information about the child or special diet requirements, concerns or information about the child progress, record of any meetings or conversations with the parents and other professionals. Keeping records of every work itâ€™s an essential part of a job when working with children. When recording information practitioner must: consult with the manager if he is unsure check any spelling errors when using a computer , store them in a place where nobody else have access to. keep the information clear, short and as accurate as possible so the other member can carry on if the key person is absent avoid using childrenâ€™s names and pictures to maintain confidentiality when writing in observation sheet the record must show that the childâ€™s needs has been met and identified in case of any concerns about the child practitioner must contact the manager first before making any notes some information needs to be recorded in a specific format or using specific templates according to Common Assessment Framework information which are stored on the computer must have the encryption software which design to encrypt computer data in a way that it cannot be recovered without access to the key. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Describe-Why-Is-Important-To-Record-1818045.html Your whole answer for this question has been taken from the above website. This is plagiarism as you are submitting another persons work as your own. You need to write your answers in your own words to demonstrate your understanding of the subject. If you wish to reference, you should include short quotations that support the points that you have made. You cannot include full answers as a reference. 3.) Explain the different ways of recording digital and paper records in the child care setting. Digital data- Digital data can be slightly more temperamental than paper records, due to the sometimes unpredictable nature of information technology. When recording data on a computer, it is necessary to ensure that adequate and reliable methods of backing up the data are employed so that if the computer malfunctions or becomes damaged, the files can be safely retrieved onto another system. For a home child care provider, the easiest way of backing up data is to use a portable hard drive which can be plugged in to the computer and data saved onto it, it should be stored in a safe place, which is preferably locked, as it will contain confidential information. It is good practice to take a regular (weekly) back up, so that a situation of data loss occurring is minimized. The data that is stored on the computer should be protected by a password. When you switch a computer on, the settings allow for a desktop password to be employed. This should be used so that if the laptop is ever stolen, the data contained within it will be safe. Paper storage- Paper records are generally more accessible, and so should be stored safely and securely depending of the type of information that is recorded. For example, child records and information relating to medication and special requirements may need to be easily accessible. However, financial information, particularly in a larger setting where staff may be employed, will need to be filed away in a locked cupboard or cabinet. 4.) Identify the primary types of data storage for digital and paper records, and evaluate the best option for a home childcare setting. Computer software- The advantages of using accounting software is that many reports are already written into the software that are required to be submitted to HMRC for tax purposes, which can cut down the amount of work when processing the end of year accounts. However, a disadvantage is that sometimes pre-designed accounting software does not give users the degree of flexibility that is required to design their own reports, and can sometimes prove time consuming and complex. As a child care provider, as previously discussed, it will be necessary to undergo regular that are pertinent to the business, and not personal financial records. Manual Records- it is perfectly possible to run a home child care, or larger child care setting, by using a manual accounting system. There are many excellent accounting books available to purchase, especially those through the National Child Minding Association which provides a range of stationery and accounting equipment for home child care providers. For me the perfect type of data storage to run a home child care setting is the Manual records because If updated regularly, manual records are just as useful for preparing end-of-year accounts, but they do not have the flexibility to construct individual reports; for example, a list of expenses month-by-month, or a list of annual income. This will need to be added separately. And not only school expenses or accounting department but also for all the records of the children all throughout the year, some documents need to be signed by the parents and the child carer so it is ideal to have the manual records. References: Data protection act 1998- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_Protection_Act_1998#Offences http://www.studymode.com/essays/The-Importance-Of-Confidentiality-And-Data-972526.html http://www.studymode.com/essays/Describe-Why-Is-Important-To-Record-1818045.html
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