Fostering Service (Foster Carers)

Privacy Notice

Why do we collect and use this information?

Hampshire County Council is the Data Controller for the purpose of collecting and using information from you, wider family members and other professionals and agencies (such as health and education services, voluntary agencies and the police) in order to carry out our statutory functions around providing fostering services.

We collect information about you, alongside other members of the household, family members and other relevant persons. We hold this personal data securely and use it to undertake our statutory functions as required under Schedule 3 Foster Services Regulations 2002 to:

  • 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
  • evaluate and improve our policies on children’s social care
  • complete statutory returns to central government agencies, such as the Department for Education
  • undertake wider County Council statutory duties in support of children’s education and welfare
  • ensure compliance with our obligations under the accuracy principle of the General Data Protection Regulation (Article (5)(1)(d)), making sure our records are up to date

The following sections provide further detail around the information we process setting out what allows us to do this (lawful basis), who we may share it with, how long we keep it for (the retention period), alongside identifying any rights you may have and who to contact if you think we’re not handling your information in the right way.

The categories of information that we collect, hold and share

The following personal and special category information is processed over the course of the placement:

  • 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
  • previous or current involvement with Hampshire County Council’s or Other Local Authorities Children’s Services, including Social Care and Early Help

The lawful basis on which we use this information

We collect and use the information ensuring that we comply with the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA2018) requirements for processing through:

  • Article 6(1)(e) – the processing is necessary to perform a task in the public interest or for our official functions, and the task or function has a clear basis in law
  • Article 9(2)(g) – Necessary for reasons of substantial public interest on the basis of Union or Member State law which is proportionate to the aim pursued and which contains appropriate safeguarding measures
  • Sch.1, Pt.2, 1 – Substantial public interest conditions, for processing under the DPA2018

These articles under the UK GDPR and the DPA2018 are supported by the following specific legislation:

  • Sections 10, 11 of the Children Act 2004
  • national minimum standards, under section 23 of the Care Standards Act 2000
  • Fostering Services (England) Regulations 2011
  • The Care Planning, Placement and Case Review and Fostering Services (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2013
  • Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations Volume 4: Fostering Services
  • Care Standards Act 2000
  • The Local Authority Social Services Act 1970
  • The Equality Act 2010

Under this lawful basis we do not require your consent to process this information but we are required, through this privacy notice, to ensure you are fully informed of why we are collecting this information and what we will do with it.

No automated decision making (decisions taken without a person involved) occurs for any parts of these activities controlled by the County Council. The County Council does use profiling as part of the service but only as established under the statutory process.

Storing and securing data

The information provided to us will be held within the County Council’s Children’s Social Care Case Management System (CMS). The information held within our Children’s Social Care CMS will be kept in line with our retention schedule and then disposed of as appropriate. Our Children’s Social Care CMS is hosted by the County Council in secure data centres based in the UK.

Forms sent electronically (paper forms will be scanned to create an electronic record) will be stored within the County Council’s Document Management System (DMS), with any paper versions being destroyed. The file will be linked to the record created in our Children’s Social Care CMS by the use of a reference identifier. The information held within the County Council’s DMS will be kept in line with our retention schedule and then deleted as appropriate. The County Council’s DMS is hosted by the County Council in secure UK based data centres, which are on site.

The County Council takes its data security responsibilities seriously and has policies and procedures in place to ensure the personal data held is:

  • prevented from being accidentally or deliberately compromised
  • accessed, altered, disclosed or deleted only by those authorised to do so
  • accurate and complete in relation to why we are processing it
  • continually accessible and usable with daily backups
  • protected by levels of security ‘appropriate’ to the risks presented by our processing

The County Council also ensures its IT Department is certified to the internationally recognised standard for information security management, ISO27001.

Who do we share information with?

We do not share information with anyone unless there is a lawful basis that allows us to do so. Any information shared will be done so on the basis that it is necessary, relevant and proportional for the task being undertaken.

When undertaking the assessment, we are required by law to contact a range of professionals and agencies to provide information in order to make a full assessment of your application. We will only contact those services necessary, relevant and proportional to your individual circumstances but could include:

  • County Council and District Authorities services, such as public health, housing, sport, culture and leisure services, licensing authorities and youth services
  • NHS organisations, including the NHS England and clinical commissioning groups, NHS Trusts and NHS Foundation Trusts
  • the police, including police and crime commissioners and the chief officer of each police force in England and the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime in London
  • The governing bodies, management committees/teams or proprietors of educational establishments and early years education and childcare providers
  • the British Transport Police
  • the National Probation Service and Community Rehabilitation Companies
  • Governors/Directors of Prisons and Young Offender Institutions
  • Directors of Secure Training Centres
  • Principals of Secure Colleges
  • Youth Offending Teams/Services
  • Current/previous employers
  • Hampshire Fostering Network

We also share data with Ofsted on a statutory basis as part of their annual collection of data from Local Authorities (LAs) and Independent Fostering Agencies (IFAs). All data is transferred securely and held by Ofsted under a combination of software and hardware controls which meet the current government security policy framework.

Depending on the individual circumstances of each situation, we may have to share this information with other teams within the County Council to fulfil other duties and powers to support our work. These might include our Children Missing Education (for ensuring the provision of full time education); Data Protection Team (for personal data incidents); Virtual School (for support and promoting the education of children looked after); and/or other Social Care teams (supporting welfare, safeguarding and corporate parent functions).

Requesting access to your personal data and your rights

Under data protection legislation, individuals have the right to request access to information about them that we hold. To make a request for your personal information, or someone you have responsibility for, please contact the Children’s Services Department’s Subject Access Request (SAR) Team. Find out more about accessing your records.

You also have the right to:

  • prevent processing for the purpose of direct marketing
  • object to decisions being taken by solely automated means
  • in certain circumstances, have inaccurate personal data rectified, blocked, erased or destroyed
  • claim compensation for damages caused by a breach of the Data Protection regulations

Under the UK GDPR, there is also a right to erasure but the right to erasure does not provide an absolute ‘right to be forgotten’. Where the data being processed is for the purpose of ‘performing a task in the public interest or for our official functions, and the task or function has a clear basis in law’ (Article 6(1)(e))’, this right does not automatically apply.

Contact Details

If you would like more information about these services, visit our adoption and fostering pages.

Further information

The above information is the specific privacy notice for this service. For more information about your rights in relation to your personal data, see the County Council’s general privacy notice.

You have some legal rights in respect of the personal information we collect from you. See our Data Protection page for further details.

You can contact the County Council’s Data Protection Officer by email [email protected].

If you have a concern about the way we are collecting or using your personal data, you should raise your concern with us in the first instance or directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office.