Fostering privacy notice
This notice explains what personal data (information) we hold about you, how we collect, how we use and may share information about you. We are required to give you this information under data protection law.
Who we are
Rutland County Council (RCC) collects, uses and is responsible for certain personal information about you. When we do so we are regulated under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which applies across the European Union (including in the United Kingdom) and we are responsible as ‘controller’ of that personal information for the purposes of those laws. Our Data Protection Officer is Sue Bingham.
The Fostering Service approves, supports and pays foster carers, and provides them with ongoing support, guidance and training to ensure they are fully skilled to be effective foster carers. The service also works with RCC foster carers and a range of fostering agencies to ensure that children are placed with the most appropriate family.
Personal information we collect and use
Information collected by us
In the course of approving and supervising foster carers we collect the following personal information when you provide it to us:
- personal information (such as name, address, contact details, date of birth, gender, language)
- special category characteristics (such as ethnicity, disability, religion and medical information)
- family network and relationship information
- employment information
- financial information
- information relating to assessments and approvals for suitability to foster children
- previous or current involvement with RCC Integrated Children’s Services, including Social Care and Early Help
Your social worker will explain the assessment process to you and show you the form we use to record these details. You will be asked to give written consent to us taking up criminal record, health and other checks and personal and other references, as without these we cannot lawfully progress your application. We are required to hold this information in your case record.
If you are approved as a foster carer, we will need details of your bank account, and will continue to collect personal information, including records about the children placed with you and how you care for them, training that you undertake, any changes in your health or circumstances, and any complaints or allegations about you. You will have regular supervision meetings and annual reviews, and all this information will form part of your case record.
We also obtain personal information from the following other sources:
- the local authority in whose area you live
- other RCC departments
- Disclosure and Barring Service
- past and present employer
- social media
- references (personal and employment)
- previous partners
How we use your personal information
We use your personal information to:
- process foster carer applications
- assess suitability to become a foster carer
- monitor the progress and stability of placements, to safeguard and support children
- provide ongoing support, advice and training to foster carers
- prevent or detect crime or fraud
- assess and evaluate our services
- inform future service planning and the commissioning of services
- ensure that foster carers receive the correct payments.
How long your personal data will be kept
The law is very clear that personal data should not be kept longer than is necessary, but in relation to fostering we are required to hold data for a set minimum period of time.
For approved foster carers, the case record must be kept for at least 10 years from the date on which you ceased to foster. Where a person has enquired about fostering, but for whatever reason, including withdrawing their application, has not gone on to be approved, the case record will be held for three years from the date when it was decided that the enquiry or application would not proceed.
There may be circumstances in which we decide that the case record should be maintained for more than the three or 10 years required by law. We will tell you if we decide to keep the information for longer.
RCC Data Retention Schedule can be found here
Reasons we can collect and use your personal information
We collect and use your personal information to comply with our legal obligations under The Fostering Services (England) Regulations 2011. If we need to collect special category (sensitive) personal information, we rely upon reasons of substantial public interest (equality of opportunity or treatment), for the provision of social care, or the management of social care systems or services, for social security or social protection law, and for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims whenever Courts are acting in their judicial capacity.
Who we share your personal information with
- RCC teams including Finance and Children’s Services
- Ofsted (in the event of a local authority inspection of children’s services)
- Other Local Authorities
- Fostering Agencies - Regulation 26(1A) gives the fostering service undertaking the current assessment the power to request access to records about the applicant held by the fostering service or adoption agency which granted the approval (provided that the applicant consents).
- We will share personal information with law enforcement or other authorities if required by applicable law.
Under GDPR you have rights which you can exercise free of charge which allow you to can be found here
For further information about your rights, including the circumstances in which they apply, see the guidance from the UK Information Commissioners Office (ICO) on individuals’ rights under GDPR.
If you would like to exercise a right, please contact the Information Governance Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keeping your personal information secure
We have appropriate security measures in place to prevent personal information from being accidentally lost, or used or accessed in an unauthorised way. We limit access to your personal information to those who have a genuine business need to know it. Those processing your information will do so only in an authorised manner and are subject to a duty of confidentiality.
We also have procedures in place to deal with any suspected data security breach. We will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected data security breach where we are legally required to do so.
Please contact the Information Governance Team at email@example.com to exercise any of your rights, or if you have a complaint about why your information has been collected, how it has been used or how long we have kept it for.
You can contact our Data Protection Officer, Sue Bingham, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Data Protection Officer, Rutland County Council, Catmose, Oakham, Rutland, LE15 6HP.
GDPR also gives you right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority. The supervisory authority in the UK is the Information Commissioner who may be contacted on 03031 231113.