The Worcester Family Mediation Practice
Privacy Notice

What data do we store?

The Worcester Family Mediation Practice hold personal data at different stages of the mediation process:

When a mediation referral is received, the data held comprises limited information relating to:

  • individuals who have approached us for mediation services, and
  • the potential mediation participants related to the individuals who have approached us for mediation services

The information held, at this stage, is limited to sufficient information to communicate with those individuals and to enable us to check that our being engaged as family mediators would not give rise to a conflict of interest, and is thus restricted to

  • Names
  • Addresses
  • E-mail addresses
  • Telephone numbers
  • Details of solicitors acting for potential mediation participants

At a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting, we obtain from potential mediation participants further data, which we may additionally store on their behalf if they decide to enter into the family mediation process with us. That information will include:

  • Details of mediation participants, their children and other relevant family members, including:
    • addresses,
    • dates of birth, cohabitation, marriage, and separation
    • occupation,
    • place of study
    • name at birth (if required for Legal Aid purposes)
    • town of birth (if required for Legal Aid purposes)
    • National Insurance number (if required for Legal Aid purposes)
    • issues of health matters, if relevant to the mediation
    • issues of learning difficulties, if relevant to the mediation
    • financial data, if relevant to the mediation
  • Details of other professionals with whom we may communicate as part of the mediation process, including:
    • Financial advisers
    • Accountants
    • Counsellors/therapists

If you decide to enter family mediation, we may obtain and store additional detailed financial and other data.

What is the legal basis for us storing data?

The basis upon which data is held by us at the referral stage is that it is in the public interest to give all potential mediation participants access to the mediation information and assessment process introduced by the Children and Families Act 2014, s10.

If you decide to enter family mediation, which will involve you signing an Agreement to Mediate, then the basis for our holding personal data will be contractual

Why do we need to hold personal data?

When a mediation referral is received, data is held by us to enable us to communicate with potential mediation participants and their solicitors and to check that our being engaged as family mediators would not give rise to a conflict of interest.

If you attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting, the data obtained from you will be held to enable us to provide information regarding the family mediation process, to assess whether family mediation is suitable as a dispute resolution process for you, and (if appropriate) to enable us to offer legally aided mediation services.

If you decide to enter family mediation and sign an Agreement to Mediate, then our reason for holding information is to enable us to manage the family mediation process and to produce relevant documentation on your behalf.

We may also retain data for lawful research and statistcal purposes in accordance with the terms of the Agreement to Mediate.

How do we protect your data?

Where personal data are held in computer files, those files are stored on a file server in our Administration Room, which is a locked room to which only authorised persons have access. The file server is protected by a firewall and safeguards are maintained on our behalf by the experts at Gecom Limited. If personal data is required to be taken out of the office in a portable form (such as back-ups held off site) it is stored on encrypted external drives. Administration staff and our family mediators are able to access the file server remotely through a password protected remote desktop connection.

Where data are held on paper, files are stored in our locked Administration Room. Paper files are only removed from our office where necessary in order to conduct mediations at other locations or where access to them is required by a family mediator to undertake drafting or other preparation work. In those circumstances strict rules are applied to protect personal data from unauthorised access, including that paper files must not:

  • be left in unattended vehicles
  • be left at residential addresses in rooms to which visitors may have access

Retention of data after a file is closed:

Paper files are retained for a period of one year in our locked Administration Room in order that we may deal with any enquiries that may be raised by participants and to enable us to re-open the file should participants decide to return to mediation during that period.

Computer files are retained for up to seven years so that we may deal with any enquiries that may be raised by participants, answer any concerns of complaints raised with us, and to enable us to re-open the file should participants decide to return to mediation during that period.

Before the conclusion of the seven year period, all computer data is destroyed save for such information as may be required to to check that our being engaged as family mediators would not give rise to a conflict of interest.

Some Promises

Your data will never be passed to a third party without your consent, and will never be sold by us

Your personal data belongs to you, and we are happy to provide you, free of charge, with a copy of the information that we hold. If you discover an error in any personal data that we hold we will, of course, rectify it upon being told. In some circumstances, you may have a right to ask us to erase data or to restrict the use to which data is put.

© 2018 The Worcester Family Mediation Practice

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