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Foster Carers' privacy notice

What this document is for

This privacy notice provides details on how we, Norfolk County Council (the County Council) uses your personal information to provide services to you as a foster carer or someone applying to be a foster carer.  

Who we are

The County Council is the "data controller" for the personal information we hold.  This means we are responsible for deciding how we "process" (collect, hold, use and disclose) your personal information.
The County Council's address is Norfolk County Council, County Hall, Martineau Lane, Norwich NR1 2DH. 

What we use your personal information for

The County Council uses your personal information to:

  • Process your foster carer application
  • Assess your suitability to become a foster carer and approve you as a foster carer for the County Council
  • Pay you as a foster carer
  • Provide you with ongoing supervision, support, guidance and training to ensure you are fully skilled to be an effective foster carer
  • Ensure that children are placed with the most appropriate fostering family
  • Monitor the progress and stability of placements to safeguard and support children

The County Council may also use information in other ways compatible with the above.  Primarily this will include supporting the work of other public bodies providing services to migrants and refugees.  More details of the services are available on the County Council's website.

What personal information we collect and use about you

In the course of approving and supervising foster carers, we may collect the following personal information:

  • Personal and contact details such as name, address including email address, telephone number, 
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Language
  • 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 the County Council's Children's Services department

The County Council may also collect information about your: 

  • Racial or ethnic origin
  • Religion or faith
  • Health data including any disabilities and medical conditions

This information is classed as "special category data" under the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR). We may only collect this data when it is relevant and for the purposes described above. 

The County Council may also collect information concerning criminal convictions and offences.

The UK GDPR includes safeguards to protect the use of your special category data and criminal conviction data. Further details can be found on our website in the document named 'Special category data and criminal offences data policy' which sets out our procedures for compliance with the principles of the UK GDPR and the retention and erasure of this information.

Who provides this information?

The County Council may receives information from:

  • You
  • The local authority in whose area you live
  • Other County Council departments
  • Disclosure and Barring Service
  • Past and present employers
  • Health
  • Schools and colleges
  • Social media
  • References (personal and employment)
  • Previous partners
  • Adult children

Who might we share your personal data with?

The County Council may share your personal information with:

  • Departments within the County Council 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)
  • Dolly Parton Imagination Library (your address will be shared with Imagination Library. If this scheme applies to a child in your care, you will be provided with more information about this scheme and an option to opt-out should you wish)

Your personal information may also be shared with third parties contracted by the County Council to provide a service to the County Council or directly to you. For example, contractors providing information technology to the County Council. These service providers are known as data processors and have a legal obligation under UK GDPR and to the County Council to look after your personal information and only use it for providing that service. 

How the law protects you and what the legal basis is for processing your information

The County Council has legal grounds to process this information without your specific consent as it is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest.

The tasks are carried out are under the:

  • Children Act 1989 
  • Fostering Services (England) Regulations 2011
  • Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010

The County Council has legal grounds to process special category data where it is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest and to meet our public task set out in the paragraph above.

How long does the County Council keep your information?

We keep your information securely in line with our retention policy. When your information is no longer needed for the above purposes, it will be securely deleted.

If we need to use your information for research or reports, your information will be anonymised and any information taken from notes (handwritten or typed) during any consultation sessions will be securely destroyed. The information will continue to be used in a summarised and anonymised form in any research reports or papers that are published. The anonymised information in the papers may be of historic interest and may be held in public archives indefinitely.

How is this information stored?

The information is stored electronically on the County Council's systems. We may also keep some paper records.

Is this information transferred to other countries?

Apart from as part of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library we do not send your information outside of the UK and EEA.

If this scheme applies to a child in your care your address may be shared with the Imagination Library, in order to provide the service to the child. The Imagination Library is based in the United States of America. We have a contract in place with the service, however we cannot guarantee the same level of protection over your information as you might experience within the UK. This is as the information may be intercepted by United States government agencies.  

Does the County Council make automated decisions about you?

The County Council does not make automated decisions about you and your family.

Your responsibility to inform us of changes

It is important the personal information the County Council holds about you is accurate and current.

Please keep us informed if your personal information changes during your working relationship with us.  You can do to help us with this by:

  • Telling a social worker when any of your details change; and
  • Telling a social worker if any of the information held on you is wrong

Your rights under UK GDPR

You have the following rights (but they do not apply in all circumstances).  You have the right to:

  • Be informed about the processing of your personal information.  This is why you have been given this document.
  • Have your personal information corrected if it is inaccurate and to have incomplete personal information completed 
  • Object to the processing of your personal data
  • Restrict processing of your personal information
  • Have your personal data erased ("the right to be forgotten"). This right is subject to several restrictions which will be discussed further with you if you choose to exercise it
  • Move, copy or transfer your personal information ("data portability") in limited circumstances 
  • Request access to your personal information and information about how the County Council processes it
  • Withdraw any consent you have given for the processing of personal data at any time

If you want to exercise any of these rights, please contact the Information Compliance Team by: 

Questions or complaints

If you have any questions about this privacy notice or how the County Council handles your personal information, you can write to DPO, Norfolk County Council, County Hall, Martineau Lane, Norwich NR1 2DH or email

You also have the right to make a complaint at any time to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), the UK supervisory authority for data protection issues. The ICO can be contacted:

  • By writing to the ICO, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF 
  • By telephoning 0303 123 1113 
  • Via the ICO website

Changes to this privacy notice

The County Council keeps this privacy notice under regular review and will provide you with a new privacy notice when any substantial updates are made.  The County Council may also notify you in other ways from time to time about the processing of your personal information.

This notice was last updated in April 2023.