Westminster Information Advice Support Service (IASS) always makes sure we follow the Data Protection Act 1998. Any information which might identify you or your family will only be used for the purposes of providing information and advice to you. Information will be held securely.
You do not have to provide names or other identifying information in order to seek general advice.
The IASS team will not share your information with anyone else without your agreement. This includes staff in Westminster City Council/Tri-borough including the Special Educational Needs Service.
IASS records will be kept separately from other records concerning you and your child that may be held by Westminster Council.
The IASS team will seek your permission before accessing information about your child from other services of Westminster City Council or Tri-borough services.
The IASS will only discuss views or information provided by you with other professionals with your agreement.
The law says that confidential information should be shared for the protection of children or vulnerable adults, and for the prevention of crime.
Anonymous information about the number of contacts and the themes of any discussions may be used to help develop and improve the quality of Information Advice Support Service and other services.
Westminster Information, Advice and Support Service (IASS) are an in-house service that operates independently from the City of Westminster Council. The IASS sits within the Directorate of Children and Young People Services. We offer information, support and advice to children and young people aged 0-25 years old and their families. Those aged 14 and upwards can contact us independently.
- IASS does not stand to gain or lose whatever the outcome of any discussion may be;
- Providing parents, children and young people with enough information so they can make their own decision; not telling them what to do.
- Role of IASS is to help children, young people and their parents participate in their education and advise them on their rights.
The service aims to be impartial in all its dealings; by not favouring any persons or party more than another; but makes sure we are fair and unbiased whilst providing facts and advice based on what the law and SEN Code of Practice says, not offering our own opinions or following local policy.
IASS impartiality is shown by:
- Respecting the views, wishes and feelings of the child, young person or the parents without making a judgement
- Empowering the child, young person or parents to make their own decisions
- Will not take sides or act on behalf of local authority or other agencies
- Not having any vested interest in the outcome of any decisions.
The effectiveness of the service will be monitored and all IASS information will be monitored and reviewed for impartiality by our Advisory Board members. We value your opinion about the information, advice and support we offer. We want you to tell us if you think we are not impartial. To help us check that we are impartial we routinely ask those who use our service to say whether they think we have been biased one way or another.
The central office is located in a LA building but not with the SEND Team. We use working practices to ensure that IASS work is not seen or overheard by other departments.
We will use drop-in surgery facilities around the county to provide independent access for service users. Our policies are published on our website.