Fostering

This notice explains what personal data (information) we hold about you, how we collect it, how we use it and how we may share information that we hold about you in order to deliver our services. We are required to give you this information under data protection law. Northamptonshire County Council is committed to protecting your privacy when you use our services. The Privacy Notice below explains how we use information about you and how we protect your privacy.

Northamptonshire County Council (NCC) complies with data protection legislation (the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and is registered as a 'Data Controller' (Reg. No. Z7589390).

Who are we

Children First Northamptonshire is part of Northamptonshire County Council and provides services in the following areas:

  • Adoption and Fostering
  • Help and Protection for Children
  • Early Years
  • Schools and Education
  • Special Educational Needs and Disability
  • Youth Offending Service

The Fostering Service recruits, approves, supports and pays foster carers and provides them with ongoing support, guidance and training to ensure that they are fully skilled to be effective foster carers. We also work with people that are closely linked to children (relatives or family friends) to enable them to become Connected Persons Foster Carers. The service also works with a range of fostering agencies in order to ensure that children are placed with the most appropriate family.

What personal information do we collect to deliver this service?

In order to recruit, approve and supervise foster carers we will collect the following personal information from you (these lists are not exhaustive):

  • personal information such as your name, former names, address, contact details, date of birth, gender, languages that you use, marital status.
  • special category information such as ethnicity, disability, religion, medical information, criminal offences.
  • family details and next of kin
  • current and previous relationship Information
  • employment history
  • lifestyle and social circumstances
  • financial circumstances
  • education history
  • social care history (if applicable)
  • previous addresses
  • housing information
  • proof of identity such as driving licence and passport
  • detailed notes from supervisions between social workers and foster carers
  • scrutiny of social media accounts

We will also seek personal information from other sources including:

  • other local authorities where you have previously lived
  • other Northamptonshire County Council Departments
  • your GP in regard to your health
  • Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
  • previous partners
  • personal referees
  • employer references (past and present)
  • school references (for any children you have)
  • agencies that you have received a service from (if applicable)

How we collect this personal information

We collect personal information in the following ways:

  • face to face
  • request letter through the post
  • request via email
  • application form
  • secure records databases managed by NCC
  • telephone
  • scanning of documents

How your personal information is stored

We hold data securely for the set amount of time detailed in our records Retention Schedule. For more information  in regards to this and how we keep your information safe please check our Records retention schedule.

Purposes of collecting this personal information

  • assessments
  • case closure
  • prevention and detection of crime or fraud
  • service delivery
  • service improvement
  • service planning and research

How we use this personal information in the Fostering Service:

  • record people interested in becoming foster carers
  • process foster carer applications
  • assess suitability to become a foster carer
  • monitor the progress and stability of placements in order to safeguard and support children
  • provide ongoing support, advice and training to foster carers
  • assess and evaluate our services
  • inform future service planning and the commissioning of services
  • ensure foster carers receive the correct payments
  • enable official reporting to Ofsted

How long your personal information is held for

Information which you have provided the council will be stored securely in line with the retention periods shown below after which time it is archived or securely destroyed, unless we are required by law to retain records for longer than the stated retention period. The information will only be used for the purposes stated when it was collected. Information will not be sold, rented or provided to anyone else, or used for any other purpose than that for which it was originally collected unless required to by law.

​Category of information​Retention period
​Foster Carers approved by Northamptonshire County CouncilDate of last contact with foster care, plus 75 years
​Foster Carer applicants that are not approved​Date of last contact with foster care, plus 75 years
​Foster Carer applicants that withdraw from process​3 years
​All financial records relating to the payment of foster carers​6 years

What is the legal basis for the collection and use of your personal information?

We collect and use your personal information in order to:

  • perform a Statutory Duty
  • perform a Regulatory Duty
  • to enable service delivery
  • to enable official reporting
  • to manage funding or grants

The Fostering Service is subject to legal requirements and we collect and use your personal information in order to comply with our legal obligations under the Fostering Services (England) Regulations 2011. If we need to collect special category or sensitive personal information we do so due to reasons of substantial public interest (diversity and equality of opportunity) and for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims whenever courts are acting in their judicial capacity.

Who we may share your information with

If required we will share your information with other Northamptonshire County Council (NCC) departments such as:

  • Adults, Communities and Wellbeing
  • Children First
  • Education and Universal Services
  • Youth Offending Service
  • LGSS Legal
  • Planning and the Environment

We may also share your information outside of NCC with the following organisations (this list is not exhaustive):

  • Adoption Agencies
  • Advocates
  • NHS
  • Immigration
  • Childcare Providers
  • Education providers
  • Department for Work and Pensions
  • District and Borough Councils
  • Fostering Agencies
  • Housing Agencies
  • Local Authorities
  • Ofsted
  • Police
  • Probation
  • Substance Services
  • Northamptonshire Foster carer Associations
  • Voluntary and third sector providers
  • Coram BAAF
  • Fostering Network

Why do we share this information?

In order for the Fostering Service to fully carry out its legal duties and to deliver a service it is a necessary requirement to share this information. If we were unable to use your personal information we would be unable to provide a service, progress an application to foster or provide support during a placement.

We will share personal information with law enforcement or other authorities if required by applicable law.

Your rights

Under GDPR you have rights which you can exercise free of charge which allow you to:

  • know what we are doing with your information and why we are doing it
  • ask to see what information we hold about you (subject access request)
  • ask us to correct any mistakes in the information we hold about you
  • object to direct marketing
  • make a complaint to the Information Commissioners Office
  • withdraw consent at any time (if applicable as this will not be possible in certain circumstances)

Depending on our reason for using your information you may also be entitled to:

  • ask us to delete information we hold about you (if applicable) have your information transferred electronically to yourself or to another organisation
  • object to decisions being made that significantly affect you
  • object to how we are using your information
  • stop us using your information in certain ways

We will always seek to comply with your request however we may be required to hold or use your information to comply with legal duties which will override the requirements of the GDPR. Please note, your request may delay or prevent us delivering a service to you.

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.

We are required under Section 6 of the Audit Commission Act 1998 to participate in the National Fraud Initiative data matching exercise. The data held will be used for cross-system and cross authority comparison for the prevention and detection of fraud. For further information see the National Fraud Initiative webpage.

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.

Requesting access to your personal information

Under data protection legislation, parents, carers and children have the right to request access to information that we hold on them. To make a request for your personal information please contact:

FOI/Data Protection Team
Northamptonshire County Council
One Angel Square
Northampton
NN1 1ED

Email: Dataprotection@northamptonshire.gov.uk

Phone: 01604 368 360

If you have a concern about the way we are collecting or using your personal information, you should raise your concern with us in the first instance. 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 231 113. Or see the ICO Website for further details.

Read our corporate privacy statement for more information.

Contact us

If you would like to discuss anything in this Privacy Notice please contact:

Data Protection Officer
Northamptonshire County Council
One Angel Square
Northampton
NN1 1ED

Email DPO@northamptonshire.gov.uk

Phone number: 01604 368 360