This Privacy Notice tells you about what information we collect about you, how we use that information and who we share it with.
1. Who we are and what we do?
Foster with North East is a regional collaboration partnership between the following local authorities:
- Together for Children on behalf of Sunderland City Council
- Darlington Borough Council
- The County Council of Durham
- The Borough Council of Gateshead
- The Borough Council of Hartlepool
- Middlesbrough Borough Council
- The Council of the City of Newcastle Upon Tyne
- The Council of the Borough of North Tyneside
- Northumberland County Council
- The Borough Council of Redcar and Cleveland
- The Council of the Borough of South Tyneside
- The Council of the Borough of Stockton on Tees
Foster with North East provides a central front door and support hub for enquiries, applications and initial recruitment processing of prospective Foster Carers. It allows the above authorities to work together to widen the pool of prospective Foster Carers who can provide loving and stable homes for children in need, and to use the network to match children with the right families much more quickly. It also provides support for prospective Foster Carers going through the process and information for those considering Fostering.
For the purposes of data protection, the partner local authorities are joint data controllers with respect to personal data processed by Foster with North East.
2. What type of personal information do we collect and how do we collect it?
The following information may be collected from the enquirer:
- Full name of enquirer including middle names
- Any other name known by
- Date of birth
- Full postal address
- Email address
- Preferred contact telephone number
- Other phone number (optional)
- Dates of key stages in the Fostering process
- Reasons for not proceeding to the next stage
If applying with a partner or spouse
- Partners full name including middle names
- Any other name known partner is known by
- Partners date of birth
The data will be collected through an on-line enquiry form and from enquiries received over the phone. Monthly updates about stages of your journey will be provided by professionals.
3. What is our lawful basis to obtain and use your personal information?
The lawful basis for Foster with North East to process your data is provided under Article 6 of the UK GDPR:
1(c) processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which the controller is subject
1(e) processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller
Local authorities rely on statutory provisions which confer implied and express data processing powers across a broad range of legislation when supporting children in need. Specific laws in relation to local authority - supported Fostering include:
- Children Act 1989 (as amended)
- Fostering Agencies Regulations 2005 and National Minimum Standards
4. What is your personal information used for?
Information you provide will be used for the following purposes:
- To respond to your enquiry to the Foster with North East service and commence your application to foster.
- To support applicants' journeys from enquiry to formal fostering application,
- To pass formal fostering applications to the appropriate partner local authority for completion, and
- To provide communications such as advice, guidance and newsletters about the service. You can opt out of receiving these communications at any time by contacting us.
- To support in the independent evaluation of the Foster with North East service your data will be shared with the Department for Education and an independent evaluator. We use your data to contact you to invite you to participate in research that is relevant to you. You are under no obligation to participate in any research we invite you to. We will not contact you about research using your data if you tell us not to
5. Will your personal information be shared?
Foster with North East will share your personal data with partner local authorities above to deliver these purposes but will not pass your information to other organisations without a legitimate lawful reason to do so.
As your query and application progresses, it will be necessary to share personal data about prospective adopters with social workers and others in your relevant Council's Fostering Service to support the application process.
Your application will be processed by the local authority you have applied to through Foster with North East, and the relevant agency will process all subsequent information provided by you and received from others in respect of your application. Information collected after your initial enquiry will not be routinely shared between the other local authorities.
Foster with North East will share your personal information with the Department for Education and the independent evaluator for the purposes of evaluation and research in respect of the service. The Department for Education also acts as a data controller.
6. How do we keep your information secure?
The information you provide is held safely and securely and in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018.
Information provided to the Foster with North East hub is held on a secure database hosted by Together for Children on behalf of Sunderland City Council and can only be accessed by authorised members of staff through secure password controls.
Information transferred between the Foster with North East hub, the appropriate local authority Fostering Service and the Department for Education (DfE) and its independent evaluator will be through secure, encrypted channels.
Each of the partner local authorities has a range of procedures, policies and systems to ensure that access to your records are controlled safely and securely.
Anyone who receives information from Foster with North East is also under a legal duty to only use the information for the purposes agreed and keep the information secure and confidential.
7. How long will we keep your personal information?
After we deliver a service to you, we will keep your information as a business record of what was delivered.
Information will be held by the Foster with North East hub for reporting purposes and will be retained for a maximum period of seven years following the date of your last contact or the completion of your fostering application, whichever is later.
Information passed to the local authorities, the Department for Education and its independent evaluator will be held in accordance with their retention and destruction schedules.
8. Is Personal information processed outside of the UK?
All hub information and backup information is held in the UK. We do not process your data outside of the UK.
Foster with North East may contact you with information that may be helpful or of interest to you in connection with your enquiries and/or fostering application. We will not use or pass your information to others for marketing or sales purposes, or for any commercial use without your express consent.
You are free to opt out of these contacts at any time.
10. What are your information rights?
Your Information Rights are set out in the law. Subject to some legal exceptions, you have the right to:
- request a copy of the personal information held about you
- challenge and request correction of inaccurate information;
- ask us to erase your personal data;
- place a restriction on our processing of your data, and;
- object to processing of your data;
To learn more about these rights please see the Information Commissioner's Office website.
To exercise your rights, please contact the relevant adoption agency - contact details are provided in the Appendix to this document.
If we have not been able to deal with your query, you can also contact the Information Commissioner's Office:
Information Commissioner's Office
Water Lane Wilmslow
Telephone: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745
Together for Children / Sunderland City Council
Access to Files Team
Darlington Borough Council
Durham County Council
Information Management Team
Data Protection Officer
Hartlepool Borough Council
Hartlepool Borough Council
Middlesbrough Borough Council
The Data Protection Officer
Newcastle City Council
Newcastle City Council
North Tyneside Council
Northumberland County Council
Information Governance Team
Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council
Data Protection Officer
South Tyneside Council
Stockton on Tees Borough Council
Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council