Minister Seeks To Allay Fears Over Children’s Database

Beverley Hughes, the Children’s Minister, has responded to criticism about security issues surrounding ContactPoint, the new children’s database. In a letter to Family Law Week she states that:

“ContactPoint will be underpinned by a strict system of checks and meet tough security standards, designed to give confidence both to those using the system and those whose information is held on it. The system will continue to be reviewed by independent experts during build and audited during operation.

The people who will have access to ContactPoint will be authorised practitioners working in health, education, youth justice and social care who are already well used to dealing with confidential information and who need to access it because of their day-to-day work with children. All users will have been security checked, trained and have the necessary authentication.”

She also dismissed claims that the children of celebrities and politicians will be excluded from the database saying that all children will have a record on ContactPoint but that some records may be be “shielded” but only on a “case by case basis supported by clear guidelines.”