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Privacy notice - fostering service

Who are we and what do we do?

Middlesbrough Council has a fostering service for children and young people who need a safe, secure, and stable home.

What type of personal data do we collect and how do we collect it?

We use personal data such as contact details, personal details, family details, information about lifestyle and social circumstances, goods and services provided, financial details, employment and education details, housing needs, visual images, personal appearance and behaviour, student and pupil records, business activities, and fostering case file information.

We gather ‘special category’ information about racial or ethnic origin, religious or philosophical beliefs, and health data, data about sexual life or sexual orientation, and we use ‘criminal convictions and offences information’.

Most of the information we use is gathered directly from the children and young people who need to be looked after and their families and from the people who apply to become, or work for us, as foster carers. We also gather information about independent foster carers who have been recruited and provided to us by other fostering agencies. We receive information from other organisations, like health providers or law enforcement agencies.

How the Law allows us to use your personal data

We use personal data to comply with our ‘legal obligations’ or where we are undertaking a ‘public task’. We use special category data on the basis that we are ‘providing health or social care services’ and we use criminal convictions and offences information for our ‘statutory or government purpose’. Some of the laws that place obligations on us or provide us with powers include the Children Act 1989, Children Act 2002, Children and Families Act 2014, and The Foster Services (England) Regulations 2011.

What is your personal data used for?

We use personal data to recruit and assess foster carers who we might use for the different types of fostering that we provide including Futures for Families, short-term, long-term, respite, short break care for children with disabilities, supporting a parent and child, and supported lodgings. We also use the information we gather to help us safeguard children and to support foster carers and regularly check that they can continue to look after children safely.

Will your personal data be shared?

We share personal data with other organisations to help us to provide a fostering service. Some of these organisations include courts and tribunals, current past and prospective employers, customs and excise, family, associates or representatives, healthcare professionals, healthcare, social and welfare organisations, other fostering agencies, law enforcement and prosecuting authorities, legal representatives, ombudsman and regulatory authorities, and professional advisers and consultants. From time to time, we are also asked to respond to checks and provide information about foster carers if they apply to work for another fostering agency.

How do we keep your personal data secure?

We use the following measures to ensure that your personal data is secure: data protection and security policies, information security incident reporting, data and device encryption, system and data access controls, user accounts and passwords, physical and environmental security, staff vetting practices, staff training and awareness, data back-ups, ICT network penetration testing, and business continuity and disaster recovery plans.

How long will we keep your personal data?

We only keep your personal data for as long as the Law allows or where we have anonymised the information. For more information about ‘Records Management Retention Schedules’ visit our website.

Is your personal data processed overseas?

We do not send your personal data outside of the European Economic Area.

Marketing

We will never use your information for direct marketing purposes. We only respond to you directly where you have made an enquiry about becoming a foster carer.

What are your information rights?

Your Information Rights are set out in law and, subject to some exceptions, you have the:

  • Right to rectification - to ask for information to be corrected
  • Right to erasure – to have your personal data deleted
  • Right to object – to how you data is used
  • Right to restriction – to request limits on how your data is used
  • Right to portability – to request that we move your data to another organisation

You also have the right to request a copy of the personal information that the Council holds about you (Subject Access Request) by visiting the data protection page.

Making a complaint

If you have any concerns about the way we are collecting or using your personal data, you should raise your concern with us in the first instance or directly to the Information Commissioner's Office. Visit the website of the Information Commissioner's Office.

Contact

If you would like to discuss anything in this privacy notice or your information rights, please contact:

The Data Protection Officer
Middlesbrough Council
PO Box 500, Middlesbrough, TS1 9FT
Phone: 01642 245432
Email: dataprotection@middlesbrough.gov.uk

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