Why do we collect and use this information?
Hampshire County Council, Southampton City Council, Portsmouth City Council and the Isle of Wight Council (referred to as Adopt South) are Data Controllers for the purpose of collecting and using information from potential adopters, members of the household, family members, other significant persons and partner agencies such as the Police, Health Services and the Disclosure and Barring Service in order to carry out our statutory functions around the recruitment, assessment and approval of adopters; matching of children in need of adoptive families; and post- adoption support.
Adopt South collect information about you, alongside other members of the household, family members, other significant persons and referees. Adopt South holds this personal data securely and use it to undertake statutory functions as required under the Statutory Guidance on Adoption for local authorities, voluntary adoption agencies and adoption support agencies, including using it to:
- place the needs and welfare of the child at the centre of the adoption process;
- assess your eligibility to adopt;
- establish your Domicile and Habitual Residence Status;
- provide you with detailed information to assist you with your application;
- consider your registration of interest and communicate the outcome with you;
- conduct criminal record checks on you and any adult members of your household;
- obtain health checks to provide a summary of your state of health to satisfy us that you have a reasonable expectation of continuing to enjoy good health;
- seek references, including where necessary, from ex-partners and your adult children (or those of any joint applicant);
- discuss and agree with you any Counselling, Information and Preparation required and put this in place, which may be provided by a third party;
- complete the ‘Stage One – The Pre-Assessment Process’ to make a decision and inform you of the outcome;
- contact you and offer a re-entry interview if needed;
- undertake a Stage Two meeting or pre-planned phone call;
- prepare, in consultation with you, a prospective adopter assessment plan including information about the assessment process, any applicable timescales, agreed training and any other matters that we consider relevant. This may be referred to locally as an ‘agreement’;
- provide any necessary intensive training to you and in parallel, carry out an assessment of your suitability to adopt and produce a report of that assessment;
- make a decision about your suitability to adopt a child and to communicate this outcome;
- produce reports for adoption panels and communicate with you about attending;
- complete matching and proposing of a placement;
- carry out the placement and review process;
- complete statutory returns to central government agencies, such as the Department for Education;
- undertake wider County and City Council statutory duties in support of children and young people’s education and welfare;
- ensure compliance with public authorities obligations under the accuracy principle of the General Data Protection Regulation (Article (5)(1)(d)), making sure records about you and your family are up to date.
Link Maker Systems Limited is a data processor for this information acting on instructions for the purpose of delivering a contract to Adopt South around the hosting and supporting of the ‘Link Maker’ system, which Adopt South uses to process the information provided, as identified under this privacy notice. This includes accessing the system to fix any technical issues to ensure the system is fit for use. More information about Link Maker System’s privacy statement
The following sections provide further detail around the information Adopt South processes setting out what allows Adopt South to do this (lawful basis), who they may share it with, how long they keep it for (the retention period), alongside identifying any rights you may have and who to contact if you think Adopt South are 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 adoption process:
- Your personal information (such as name, address, date of birth, phone numbers, email) and information about your characteristics (such as ethnicity, gender, religion, language);
- Your financial circumstances and living standards (income, details of the tenancy or ownership of your home and any mortgage);
- Your health information (health history, current health and anticipated need for health care, with the date of the most recent medical examination);
- Information about your current or previous involvement with the County Council or other agencies;
- Your disclosure and barring service (DBS) outcome and Police checks (convictions or cautions for a ‘specified offence’ within the meaning of AAR 25(3));
- Information provided through the assessment of the stability and permanence of any relationships.
The lawful basis on which we use this information
Adopt South collect and use the information ensuring that they comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (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;
- Article 9(2)(h)- Necessary for the purposes of ….the provision of …social care….or the management of health or social care systems and services on the basis of Union or Member State Law.
- Sch.1, Pt.2, 6 – Substantial public interest conditions, for processing under the DPA2018.
These articles under the GDPR and DPA2018 are supported by the following specific legislation:
- The Adoption and Children Act 2002 and associated regulations;
- The Children and Adoption Act 2006 and associated regulations;
- The Local Authority Social Services Act 1970.
Under this lawful basis Adopt South does not require your consent to process this information but are required under Article 13 of the GDPR, through this privacy notice, to ensure you are fully informed of why they are collecting this information and what we will do with it.
Please note that no automated decision making (decisions taken without a person involved) occurs for any parts of these activities controlled by Adopt South. Adopt South does use profiling as part of the service but only as established under the statutory process.
Storing and Securing Data
The information provided to Adopt South, for any Council, will be held within Hampshire County Council’s Children’s Social Care Case Management System (CMS). The information held within Hampshire County Council’s Children’s Social Care CMS will be kept in line with Hampshire County Council’s retention schedule and then disposed of as appropriate. The Children’s Social Care CMS is hosted by Hampshire County Council in secure data centres based in the UK. No information leaves the European Economic Area (EEA).
Forms sent electronically (paper forms will be scanned to create an electronic record) will be stored within the Hampshire County Council’s Document Management System (DMS), with any paper versions being destroyed or returned to the data subject as appropriate. The file will be linked to the record created in Hampshire County ~Council’s Children’s Social Care CMS using a reference identifier. The information held within Hampshire County Council’s DMS will be kept in line with our retention schedule and then deleted as appropriate. The Hampshire County Council’s DMS is hosted by Hampshire County Council in secure UK based data centres, which are on site. No information leaves the European Economic Area (EEA).
Where information is provided to Adopt South for the purposes of Adoption Support it will be stored within systems held by the Local Authority with responsibility for the child.
Information will be stored within the ‘Mod.gov’ application for the purpose of supporting adoption panels. This information will only be stored in this secure portal for a temporary period of time whilst the statutory panel activity is undertaken. This information will then be removed from ‘Mod.gov’ once the panel process is completed.
Hampshire 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.
Hampshire 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?
Adopt South will not share information with anyone unless there is a lawful basis that allows them 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.
Adopt South have a statutory duty to conduct checks into your background and into the background of any other adult members in your household. Where criminal record checks identify you or an adult member of your household as having been convicted of a specified offence or police caution in respect of a specified offence, you will not be able to proceed to Stage Two of the process. We will only inform you who is the convicted or cautioned individual of the specific reason for deciding that you are not suitable to adopt. Your social worker should explain to that person that the County Council will not inform you of the specific conviction or caution but will inform them that because of information obtained from the checks the joint application cannot proceed.
Adopt South are required by law under this statutory function to share information about you with Police and Health colleagues to enable the necessary checks under this process to be completed. We will also share reference request forms with any referees you have identified, which will identify you as a potential adopter going through this process. We are also required to share reports containing your information with Adoption Panels.
Depending on the individual circumstances of each situation, Adopt South may have to share this information with other teams within the respective Councils to fulfil other duties and powers to support our work. These might include Children Missing Education (for ensuring the provision of full-time education); Data Protection Team (for personal data incidents); Virtual School (for support 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 held within Adopt South, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org at Adopt South who will confirm which local authority within Adopt South will deal with the request and the contact details and will direct the request to them.
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.
Please note that under the 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.
If you have a concern about the way Adopt South is collecting or using your personal data, you can raise your concern with Adopt South in the first instance or you can go directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office, as the supervisory authority, at https://ico.org.uk/concerns/.
If you would like more information about this service, please visit Adopt South’s website via:https://www.adoptsouth.org.uk/
For further information on how each Council handles personal information, your data rights, how to raise a concern about the way they are processing your information and the Council’s individual Data Protection Officer, please follow the appropriate link below: