The Elephant in the room – our biggest challenge in relation to consent
98% of young people confirm to us that we offer safe spaces for them to be themselves and make friends while developing new skills. We are really proud of this, of course.
In order to provide safe spaces, we need to know who to contact in the event of an accident or emergency (anything from a trip in a youth centre to a parent not coming to pick up when we are expecting them to) – historically we ask for these details when a young person registers.
We require parental consent for membership of Space from a parent or carer for any young person under 13, however, under the new GDP regulations, a young person 13 or over can consent to us keeping their data and processing it to fulfill our obligations as a youth service. This is line with historical practice, although we have always sought parental consent as a standard for those under 18. This will continue under GDPR, with a move to collecting this information electronically.
The only time that we will use ‘Legitimate Interests’ as the legal basis for collecting data is if we are unable to gather consent directly from a parent of a young person aged 13 and over to use in an emergency. This is because we cannot provide safe services for young people without an emergency contact number, but do not want the delay in getting consent (or sometimes an inability to contact parents) to stop us from providing, sometimes confidential, services to young people.
Please note: Unless a young person directly requests we do not contact a parent we will always keep trying for consent.
Under UK law young people aged 13 and above are entitled to confidential support and guidance (which by definition will sometimes be without parental knowledge or consent)
How we overcome this
Step 1 – Young people over 13 who arrive at our youth centres register their details and pass on an emergency contact
Step 2 – We then use that emergency contact to inform their next of kin that we have their data and request consent in the interests of transparency and to inform them of our privacy statement – Young people who are under 13 have 3 sessions grace to get their parent or carer to give consent via our online form before a lack of parental consent will stop them accessing
Step 3 – That’s it!