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Foster Carers' privacy notice

Why do I need to know this information?

Norfolk County Council (the County Council) uses your personal information to provide services to you as a foster carer for the Council or someone applying to be a foster carer.  ‘Use’ means how the County Council processes, stores and shares information about you. 

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. 

The County Council’s Data Protection Officer (DPO) is Helen Edwards.

What will 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 also uses this information to prevent, detect or investigate fraud, to assess the quality of our services and evaluate and improve our policies and procedures.  

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 can be found on the County Council’s website.

What information do we collect and use about you? 

In the course of approving and supervising foster carers, we 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 also collects data 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 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). We may only collect this data when it is relevant and for the purposes described above. 

The County Council also collects information concerning criminal convictions and offences.

The 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 GDPR and the retention and erasure of this information.

How does the law protect you and what is the legal basis 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 in the necessary for reasons in the substantial public interest and to meet our public task set out in the paragraph above. 

Who provides this information? 

The County Council receives information from:

  • You
  • The local authority in whose area you live
  • Other County Council departments
  • NSPCC
  • 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 shares 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)

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

Your personal information can also be given to a third party 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 GDPR and to the County Council to look after your personal information and only use it for providing that service.  

How long does the County Council keep your information?

We keep your information securely in line with the retention periods shown below, after which time it is archived or securely destroyed, unless we are required by legal reasons to retain records for longer than the stated retention period.

  • Category: Foster parents approved by the County Council - including any person with whom a child is placed (under Regulation 34 or 38 of the Fostering Services Regulations 2011 – may need to check if numbers are the same) and records of foster parent applicants who are not approved
    Retention Period: Date of last contact with foster carers +75 years
  • Category: Finance and procurement, financial services, payments: all records relating to the payment of foster carers
    Retention Period: 6 years

How is this information stored?

The information is stored electronically on Liquid Logic Adults System; Liquid Logic Children’s System, Liquid Logic Early Help System, NRPF Connect national database and some information is held on a paper file. 

Is this information transferred to other countries? 

The County Council will not be routinely transferring your information to other countries outside of the European Economic Area but, if it is necessary to do so in order to provide a service to you or to safeguards others, we will ensure that appropriate safeguards are put in place before the information is transferred. 

Does the County Council make automated decisions about you?

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

Your responsibility to inform us of changes

It is important that 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 the 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 dpo@norfolk.gov.uk.

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 November 2019.

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