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Fostering privacy notice

Introduction

This privacy notice explains what types of personal data we may hold about you, how we collect it, how we use it and who we may share information with. We are required to give you this information under data protection law. This privacy notice should be read in conjunction with the corporate privacy notice.

Achieving for Children is registered as a controller with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Registration number ZA045069

Achieving for Children Fostering is an independent fostering agency that provides foster care for Kingston, Richmond and Windsor and Maidenhead councils. 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.

Personal data we collect

We collect, use, store and transfer different kinds of personal information about you including:

  • Identity data such as your name, title, marital status, date of birth, gender, copy of your passport and driver’s licence
  • Contact details such as your address, email address and telephone number
  • Special category data including your race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious and philosophical beliefs and health information
  • Lifestyle data, such as your current living arrangements, number of dependents, languages spoken, education and employment details, significant relationships and details of any previous fostering experience
  • Financial data such as bank account details, national insurance number, personal insurance details and details of any benefits received
  • Criminal records data including details of any spent convictions, cautions or warnings

How we collect your personal information

We may obtain personal information directly from you such as when you:

  • complete an application form to become a foster carer
  • request information about becoming a foster carer
  • attend one of our fostering information or training events
  • correspond with us by telephone, email, letters or social media platforms

We may also obtain personal information about you from other sources such as:

  • local authorities and other foster care agencies
  • Your GP or medical practice
  • personal and employer references
  • previous partners
  • Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
  • schools
  • sther departments in Achieving for Children
  • the local authority in whose area you live
  • Ofsted if you have been a childminder

How we use your personal data

In order for the Fostering Service to provide safe services, your personal information is used to:

  • Recruit, screen and assess your suitability of persons wishing to become foster carers, including those who wish to become foster carers for family members-referred to as family and friends foster carers or connected foster carers.
  • Support and supervise all foster carers registered with Achieving for Children
  • Training and development of all foster carers registered with Achieving for Children
  • Placement finding and matching exercises for children requiring placements with Achieving for Children registered foster carers
  • Monitor the progress and stability of placements, to safeguard and support children
  • Assess and evaluate services
  • Inform future service planning and commissioning of services
  • Ensure foster carers receive the correct payments

Lawful basis for processing your personal data

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, 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

The legislation, policies and guidance that allow us to do this includes but is not limited to:

  • The Children Act 1989
  • Children and Young Persons Act 2008
  • Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010
  • The Care Planning and Fostering (Miscellaneous Amendments) (England) Regulations 2015
  • Fostering Services(England) Regulations 2011
  • Fostering Services: National Minimum Standards (2011)
  • Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations Volume 4: Fostering Services (2011)

Who we share your personal information with

We will only share information where it is appropriate and legal to do so. We may share your personal information with the following:

  • Ofsted for the purpose of statutory data collection
  • If you apply to another fostering agency for the purposes of fostering or adoption, the agency can ask to see the information that Achieving for Children may hold about you
  • Where directed to by the court in any family proceedings
  • The foster carers address may need to be shared with those with parental responsibility particularly where the child is accommodated under a voluntary arrangement. A discussion will take place at the first placement planning meeting so the foster carer is fully aware of whether disclosure is required.
  • Fostering panel for the purposes of approving your suitability to foster
  • We have a statutory obligation to protect public funds which includes allowances and discretionary payments made to foster carers. In some circumstances we will be required to share information with authorised bodies for the prevention and detection of fraud.
  • GP and authorised NHS services
  • Other local authorities, independent fostering agencies and assessor would be able to view files if foster carers transfer to them or if a safeguarding issue arises
  • Children social work teams for placement finding and matching purposes

How long will we keep your information

We only keep your personal data for as long as is required by law and in accordance with our retention schedule.

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.

Your rights and access to information

Under data protection legislation you have the right to request access to the information that we hold about you. To request a copy of your data, please read the Individual Rights Requests page and then submit your request using your preferred method of contact.

You also have the right to:

  • object to processing of personal data that is likely to cause, or is causing, damage or distress
  • in certain circumstances, have inaccurate personal data rectified, blocked, erased or destroyed
  • prevent processing for the purpose of direct marketing
  • object to decisions being taken by automated means
  • redress, either through the ICO, or through the courts

If you have any questions or concerns about the way we process personal data, or would like to discuss anything in this privacy notice, please contact our Data Protection Officer: dpo@achievingforchildren.org.uk

If you want to make a complaint about how we handle your personal data, we ask that you give our Data Protection Officer the opportunity to respond in the first instance but you are not obliged to do this. You can make a complaint directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office at https://ico.org.uk/concerns/