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Foster East Recruitment Hub privacy notice

Bedford Borough Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, Central Bedfordshire Council, Essex County Council, Hertfordshire County Council, Luton Borough Council, Norfolk County Council, Peterborough City Council, Southend-on-Sea City Council, Suffolk County Council and Thurrock Council "Us" have gained funding through the Department for Education (DfE) to implement a Regional Fostering Hub, known as Foster East.

Norfolk County Council will act as the Lead Authority for the implementation of Foster East, which is fully funded by the Department for Education. Foster East contact details are provided at the end of this Notice.

To find out more about the project go to


In 'Stable Homes, Built on Love', the DfE recognised the need to recruit and retain more foster carers to boost fostering capacity. There is a need to transform the way we provide homes for children in care, so they are in the right homes, in the right places. When children cannot stay with their own families, they should have the opportunity to grow up in a fostering placement that can offer a stable family environment, as close to their existing community as possible.

Fostering Recruitment Support Hubs (Foster East) are centrally run recruitment services, working across groups of local authorities. They provide a single point of contact for people interested in fostering in a region, supporting them throughout the recruitment journey from initial enquiry to application.

The aim of the hub is to increase the number of foster carers recruited and provide more loving homes for vulnerable children. They also build and maintain relationships with prospective foster carers if they are not ready to foster at the point they enquire.

Foster East will collect and use your personal data in relation to your position as a person applying to be a foster carer. Before you can be approved as a foster carer, you must be assessed to consider whether you are suitable to foster children and young people. This involves the collection and recording of personal information about you, your family, and persons in your household.

The initial contact and enquiry information collected about you by Foster East will be collected on behalf of your Local Authority by Foster East who are a part of Norfolk County Council. The email address to contact them is

If you are approved as a foster carer, the Partner Organisation (your Council/Local Authority) for your home address will continue to process further personal information to progress your application and they can provide you with any additional information about how they process your data.

Types of personal data we collect about you

If you contact Foster East by phone or complete our initial web-based Contact form and choose to move into our Enquiry stage, Foster East will collect the following information provided to Foster East by you so that we can carry out an initial assessment:

  • Full Name
  • Date of birth
  • Full postal address
  • Email Address
  • Preferred contact telephone number
  • Other phone number (optional)
  • Whether you have previously been known to Children's Services
  • Whether you have a criminal record (Y/N answer)
  • Whether you have applied to be a Foster Carer in the past
  • Life events in the past 12 months
  • Household occupant details (Name/Gender/DOB/Relationship to applicant) including pets. (Please ensure that all family members are aware you will be sharing their information.)
  • Relationship details 
  • Property details
  • Parenting experience
  • Employment details
  • Lifestyle/financial situation
  • Extraneous information
  • Method of contact to the Regional Hub, Foster East
  • Racial and Ethnic Origin
  • Religious and Philosophical Belief
  • Health and Social Care
  • Sexual Orientation

Our legal basis for processing your information

The processing of information must comply with the law relating to confidentiality, data protection and human rights. Having a lawful basis for processing information is an important part of meeting those legal requirements.

Articles 6, 9 and 10 of the UK GDPR, and section 8 of the DPA 2018 set out the acceptable conditions for the processing and sharing of personal, special category, and criminal data. The conditions relevant in the UK GDPR to data processed under this agreement are below.

Article 6 (1) - Personal Data Processing  

(e) Public task: the processing is necessary to perform a task in the public interest or for your official functions, and the task or function has a clear basis in law.

The lawful basis for the processing is provided by: Children Act 1989 "22G General duty of local authority to secure sufficient accommodation for looked after children.

Article 9 (2) - Special Category Personal Data Processing

(h) processing is necessary for the purposes of preventive or occupational medicine, for the assessment of the working capacity of the employee, medical diagnosis, the provision of health or social care or treatment or the management of health or social care systems and services on the basis of F6 domestic law or pursuant to contract with a health professional and subject to the conditions and safeguards referred to in paragraph 3;

The lawful basis for the processing is provided by: Children Act 1989 "22G General duty of local authority to secure sufficient accommodation for looked after children.

Article 10 GDPR: Processing of personal data relating to criminal convictions and offences

The processing will be authorised by UK law if it meets a condition in DPA 2018 Schedule 1: Parts 1, 2 or 3.

This condition is met under schedule 1 part 1, 2 e and f as the processing is necessary for health or social care purposes.

(2) In this paragraph "health or social care purposes" means the purposes of:

  • (a) Preventive or occupational medicine
  • (b) The assessment of the working capacity of an employee
  • (c) Medical diagnosis
  • (d) The provision of health care or treatment
  • (e) The provision of social care, or
  • (f) The management of health care systems or services or social care systems or services

Whilst specific criminal conviction data is not being asked for within Foster East, potential foster carers are being asked if they have a criminal conviction (Y/N). The Information Commissioners Office is clear that information relating to the absence of convictions is still processing criminal conviction data.

We are processing the data as part of our Public Task, except when Foster East is delivering a marketing campaign, in this instance marketing.

The principal legislation concerning the protection and use of personal information is listed below.

  • Data Protection Act 2018
  • UK General Data Protection Regulation
  • Children Act 1989 (as amended) Section 22 (g)
  • The Fostering Regulations 2011
  • The Fostering Services National Minimum Standards 2011

Information sharing/recipients

Foster East will share personal information only with the relevant partner organisation (Council/Local Authority) for the area you would like to foster in:

  • Bedford Borough Council
  • Cambridgeshire County Council
  • Central Bedfordshire
  • Essex County Council
  • Hertfordshire County Council
  • Luton Council
  • Norfolk County Council
  • Peterborough City Council
  • Southend-on-sea City Council 
  • Suffolk County Council
  • Thurrock Council

For the purposes of the Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK General Data Protection Regulation, all participating local authorities are considered to be Data Controllers, in regard to the processing of personal data within Foster East. This is in recognition of the legal obligations for ensuring that personal information necessary for the Hub function, is processed and shared in accordance with data protection laws and related legislation.

Foster East will also share pseudonymised data with the Department of Education and Ofsted for reporting purposes. This means that we will replace information that could identify you with a 16-digit reference so that the DfE or OFTSED will not know who you are but your progression can be tracked without impacting on you.

How we store your information

Your information collected during initial Contact and Enquiry stages will be stored securely on a system called GOSS, this is the chosen platform governed by Norfolk County Council as the lead Local Authority for Foster East. All of your data is processed within the UK / European Economic Area.

Hertfordshire County Council is a Data Processor, acting as the data and performance lead for Foster East and will collect data about your fostering journey post Enquiry stage. The data will be pseudonymised and is collated to evidence fostering outcomes. The data will be securely submitted to Hertfordshire County Council by your Local Authority using an Excel CSV file and shared via our secure systems. The data provided will be collated and uploaded into the GOSS system for further processing by the Foster East team for reporting purposes.

The purpose of this process is to track the outcomes for each potential foster carer post Enquiry stage.

Each Local Authority will remain the data controller for the data they go on to process following the handover from the Foster East team to them. This can happen at different stages of the foster recruitment journey depending on your Local Authority. The Local Authority to whom you are referred to progress your application will have their own privacy notice that explains how they process your data.

Information will be retained by Foster East to allow for continuation of support by the Hub, for example, check in phone calls during the assessment process or offering exit interviews where an individual withdraws from the assessment process.

An example whereby this retention schedule will be utilised would be in the instance where a referral is made to a Local Authority which is deemed unviable due to information disclosed through either the Initial Visit, Application, Assessment or Approval stages of the assessment process which conflicts with local policy. This outcome will be returned to the Hub and captured for the purposes of reporting alongside the reason for not progressing. However, if the applicant would be a viable enquiring carer for another Local Authority in the Foster East partnership, whereby this policy of viability may differ, retaining information gathered will enable the Hub to recommend this enquirer to another Local Authority within the agreement.

Foster East uses DotDigital for marketing purposes. As such, your email address will be held on the DotDigital platform to enable us to send you email alerts and newsletters. You will receive messages from Foster East and may also receive messages from the Local Authority linked to where you want to foster. You will be given the opportunity to opt-in to this service when you register with us and you can unsubscribe at any time by following the links in each email that you receive, or by contacting us at

Foster East will only use your data to promote regional services, data will not be used to market any other goods or services outside of the partnership.


We use cookies on the Foster East website, A cookie is a text file sent to your browser and stored there. This enables the web server to recognise your computer when you revisit our website.

We use cookies for things like collecting website usage data (via Google Analytics and GOSS, our website content management system), which help us to improve the website and to display more relevant content to users based on previous sessions spent our website.

Most browsers allow you to refuse to accept cookies. This may, however, have a negative impact upon the usability of many websites, and may prevent you from accessing some services available on this website.

Foster East (Norfolk County Council) uses Facebook (Meta) pixels, this is a piece of code placed on the backend of a website. When you click on a Foster East advert /event on Facebook your journey to the Foster East website and what you then do on the website is tracked. This is done in a non-identifiable way.

Automated decisions

All the decisions we make about you involve human intervention.

How long we keep your information for 

Data generated by Foster East will be held for the 3 years, and for up to 10 years if you are successful in your application to become a foster carer.

In the event of termination of Foster East as a regional Fostering Hub, each Authority may continue to hold information originating from other parties for which they are Data Controller in accordance with their individual or required retention period.

GOSS interactive will only hold data for as long as they are contracted to do so. At the end of the contract period GOSS will cease to use the data and return all data to Norfolk County Council as lead authority for Foster East.

The Local Authority your information is shared with will hold your information in line with their retention period and you can contact them to find out this information.

Your rights

If you have any queries relating to the way Foster East processes your information, you can contact Foster East at

These queries may be regarding (but not limited to):

  • Exercising your rights in relation to the following:
    • Access to personal data
    • Right to rectification
    • Right to erasure (the right to be forgotten, unless there is a legal obligation to refuse this request)
    • Right to restriction of processing
    • Right to data portability
    • Right to object to profiling

If you have any concerns about Foster East's use of your personal information, you can make a complaint to us at

Or in writing to: Foster East, County Hall, Martineau Lane, Norwich, Norfolk NR1 2DH

Contact number: 01603 222444



You can also complain to the ICO if you are unhappy with how we have used your data.

The ICO's address: Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF

Helpline number: 0303 123 111


Your responsibility to inform us of any changes to your data

Please keep us informed of your personal information changes during your working relationship with us. You can do this by contacting us at or calling us anytime 7 days a week from 8am - 8pm on 01603 222 444.

Opt-out rights for Foster East marketing

If you wish to opt out of email marketing, please contact us on the details provided above. You will also find an unsubscribe option at the bottom of all emails where you can choose to opt out at any time.

Updates to this privacy notice

We may update or revise this privacy notice at any time so please refer to the version published on our website for the most up to date details.



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