Fostering Privacy Notice

Subject

Anyone receiving information, advice or assistance from Powys County Council Children's Services will have a record kept about them. Children's Services collects personal information to enable us to provide early help, prevention and social care services to children, young people and families.

This document explains why this information is held and with whom it is being shared.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the new legal framework in the EU with effect from 25th May 2018 and provides new rights to individuals concerning their personal data.

All data was previously processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and all individuals had the right to access data held about them. If you wish to access your data, or as a parent your child's data, please contact the Information Compliance Team information.compliance@powys.gov.uk

The Fostering Service approves supports and pays foster carers, and provides them with ongoing support, guidance and training to ensure they are fully skilled to be effective foster carers. The service also works with Powys foster carers and a range of fostering agencies to ensure that children are placed with the most appropriate family.

What does the law mean for you?

The rights that individuals have about their personal data is handled and stored has been changed and enhanced. You have the right to know how the data has been processed and make requests, in certain circumstances.

What do we mean by personal information?

In the course of approving and supervising foster carers, we collect the following personal information when you provide it to us:

  • personal information (such as name, address, contact details, date of birth, gender, language)
  • special category characteristics (such as ethnicity, disability, religion and medical information)
  • family network and relationship information
  • employment information
  • financial information
  • information relating to assessments and approvals for suitability to foster children

We also obtain personal information from the following other sources:

  • the local authority in whose area you live and previous other local authorities where you may have lived
  • other Powys Council departments
  • Disclosure and Barring Service
  • past and present employer
  • social media
  • references (personal and employment)
  • previous partners
  • health
  • schools
  • SSAFA

What is the information used for?

We use your personal information to:

  • process foster carer applications
  • assess suitability to become a foster carer
  • monitor the progress and stability of placements, to safeguard and support children
  • provide ongoing support, advice and training to foster carers
  • prevent or detect crime or fraud
  • assess and evaluate our services
  • inform future service planning and the commissioning of services
  • ensure that foster carers receive the correct payments

Looking after your information

We keep your information securely and it is only seen by staff who need it to do their jobs. Personal information held on paper is stored in places that are not accessible to the public. Only authorised staff can use our computerised information systems and they must follow security procedures.

Sharing your information

The sharing of your information will be undertaken in line with our tasks and in line with legislation.

We will only share information with an organisation if they need it to do their job, or where the law requires us to do so for example Powys County Council's Fostering Service, including Finance, and the wider Children's Services and Care Inspectorate for Wales (in the event of a local authority inspection of children's services). 

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

Other information

Under Section 83 of The Children Act 1989, we are required to provide a subset of the information we hold on children in need of care and support services, including those looked after, to the Welsh Government (WG), Families First and Flying Start data collection.

The data we have to send will vary each year, but will include personal information (with names removed) and details of services provided. WG will use this information to help in planning services for people in Wales, to measure how well services are being provided so that they can be improved and to help conduct research into people's well-being and this may involve combining it with other information e.g. health or education data. 

Legal Basis: for processing personal data

We will consider appropriate lawful grounds for processing your data. Your personal information is required in order that we carry out those tasks as appropriate under the legislation to which Childrens services are required to work. In some cases, this may result in a statutory obligation for information to be provided and collected.

We collect and use your personal information to comply with our legal obligations under The Local Authority Fostering Services (Wales) Regulations 2019. If we need to collect special category (sensitive) personal information, we rely upon reasons of substantial public interest (equality of opportunity or treatment), for the provision of social care, for social security or social protection law, and for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims whenever Courts are acting in their judicial capacity.

If you refuse to provide the data we require, this could result in you not being approved as a Foster Carer.

How long will we retain your information?

Powys County Council Children's Services retain your information for some time after your involvement with the fostering service has ceased.

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

Retention period

Foster carers approved by Powys Council - including any person with whom a child is placed and records of foster carer applicants who are not approved where there were safeguarding concerns identified.

25 years

Anyone who has enquired to become a foster carer or been assessed but not approved but no safeguarding concerns were identified and have therefore not had children placed with them.

3 years

Accountability

We will ensure we demonstrate how we comply with legislation when collecting and processing your personal data.

Your rights

Under GDPR, you have rights, which you can exercise 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)

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

  • ask us to delete information we hold about you
  • 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. 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.

If you would like to exercise a right, please contact the Data Protection Office at the address highlighted above.

Children's Services commitments under GDPR

Powys County Council's Children's Services commitment will be to ensure that the data is:

  • Processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner
  • Collected for a specific and legitimate purpose. It will not be used for anything other than this stated purpose
  • Relevant and limited to whatever the requirements are for which they are processed
  • Accurate, and kept up to date. Any inaccuracies will be amended or removed following approval without undue delay.
  • Stored for as long as required, as specified on our records retention policy
  • Secured with appropriate solutions, which protect the data against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage

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.

Data Protection Officer

Under the new law, the Council must have a named Data Protection Officer who is responsible for data protection matters and available to be contacted by members of the public. If you wish to contact the Data Protection Officer, please email information.compliance@powys.gov.uk

If you want to know more about how Powys County Council uses your personal information then please visit: Data Protection and Privacy

If you do not have access to a computer ask a member of staff to print it off for you.

For independent advice about data protection, privacy and data-sharing issues, you can contact:

 

Information Commissioner's Office - Wales

2nd Floor, Churchill House

Churchill Way

Cardiff

CF10 2HH

 

Tel: 02920 678400

Email: wales@ico.org.uk

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