Troubled families evaluation privacy notice

This privacy notices sits beneath the Council’s top level privacy notice and provides information about how personal data is used as part of the national evaluation of the troubled families programme.

This research is being led by the troubled families analysis team at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

Please see the main privacy notice for details on your rights and who to contact at Hackney about use of personal data.


What personal information will Hackney give to MHCLG for this study?

Hackney will share individuals’ personal information – name, date of birth, gender, last known address, national insurance number (if known).

This information will be provided by the council to MHCLG’s partner for the evaluation, Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Individual and family data is identified as suitable when two or more of the following problems that the local services hope to help families with:

  1. Worklessness or at risk of financial exclusion (experience problem debt, have young adults who are NEET)
  2. School absence problems
  3. Children in need (those at risk, on child protection plans, looked after children)
  4. Offending and anti-social behaviour
  5. Domestic abuse
  6. Mental or physical health problems

Families may or may not currently be receiving a service to help deal with problems.

What’s the purpose of this study?

The MHCLG is responsible for supporting families and improving services they receive from local authorities. By carrying out this research, MHCLG aims to find out:

  1. How well services for families with multiple problems are working across England
  2. How those families use public services and what benefits they get
  3. The costs of providing services to families with multiple problems

To do this, MHCLG wants to link information about families with past and future information on the use and benefits of public services.

Please note that any information families provide will not be used to make any decisions about what benefits they get, or services they use, now, or in future.

What will happen to the information provided?

To assess how well services for families with multiple problems are working, what public services families use, and what benefits they receive, MHCLG would like to use personal information to gather information held by other government agencies. This information will only be used for research and will be anonymised so the researchers will not know whose data they have.

This information will be provided by the council to MHCLG’s partner for the evaluation, Office for National Statistics (ONS). They will keep the data secure.

Personal information (name, date of birth, gender, last known address) and some information provided by the council will be linked to information held by other government departments:

  • Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) – to see what benefits families have received including employment status
  • Ministry of Justice (MOJ) – to see what contact families may have had with the criminal justice system
  • Department for Education (DfE) – to see when a child has been in school, how well they are doing at each key stage and whether they are a child in need

MoJ, DWP and DfE will not keep names on file for longer than a month and will not keep records showing families were part of this research.

All information collected about families will be kept strictly confidential. Names, date of birth, gender, address and National Insurance number will be kept separate from all the other information in a secure, password-protected document on a computer system. Individuals and families will be assigned a unique reference number, so that even though a researcher will see all the information, they will not be able to identify a family.

How long will the information be kept by MHCLG?

All personal information held by ONS for this research will be securely destroyed by December 2022. The personal information held by DWP, MoJ and DfE for this research will be securely destroyed after a month and they will not keep records showing individuals and families were part of this research. All data use is strictly within the terms of data protection legislation.

What legally allows us to share this information with MHCLG?

To legally share data for this research, local authorities and MHCLG will rely on the Digital Economy Act 2017.

The collection of personal information by MHCLG for this project is compliant with data protection legislation and processing of personal data is for the fulfilment of public tasks. Processing of more sensitive (special category) data is for reasons of substantial public interest.

What will happen to the results of this research?

The final results of this research will be published on the main government website. Families will not be identified in any research report.

What happens if an individual changes their mind and what are your rights?

You can talk to the Council about whether the data is being used for this project without it affecting your legal rights or routine care. You can also see copies of all the data MHCLG hold about you and ask for it to be corrected or deleted.

Families can speak to their lead worker and/or contact MHCLG’s knowledge and information team about seeing the data or withdrawing from the research by emailing MHCLG’s Data Protection Officer at

If you are unhappy with the way your personal information is being handled you can contact the independent Information Commissioner.

More information

Please see the Council’s main privacy notice for more detail on your rights, who at the Council you can contact about use of your personal data, and how to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Page updated on: 4 August 2022