How we use your personal information for Fostering Services purposes
The Council provides services for local communities and the people who live in them. Undertaking this work means that we must collect and use information about the people we provide services to and keep a record of those services. Because we collect and use personal information about individuals we must make sure that they know what we intend to do with their information and who it may be shared with.
We have summarised in this privacy notice some of the key ways in which we use your personal information for Fostering Services purposes. This information should be read in conjunction with the Council’s Corporate privacy notice.
1. Who we are, what we do.
The Fostering Service and its Foster Carers are part of a dedicated team of professionals who support over 600 looked-after children and young people in Rhondda Cynon Taf.
We recruit, review and support individuals to provide safe, supportive and caring homes for children and young people who, for a range of reasons, are unable to live with their birth families.
2. What and whose personal information we hold?
Within fostering services we hold information on all the people involved from receiving an application through to placing a child. This will be yourself, family and friends, your employer, whoever will be around you and the child(ren) that you provide a home for.
The types of information we hold and process will typically include:
You – the applicant
- Your personal details such as name, date of birth, address (including previous addresses) contact details
- Household composition
- Employment details including an employer’s reference
- Income details
- Bank details for payment purposes
- Education details
- Health Visitor if you currently have a child under the age of 5 years old
- Landlord check if you rent your home
- SAFFA – if you have ever been in the armed forces
- DBS check result
- Personal references
- Ex-partner details and references (if applicable)
- Our medical advisors’ comments and completed reports in relation to your health status
- A comprehensive self-reported summary of your life from birth to date, your motivation to foster and the skills you possess
- The recorded minutes of the foster panel and decision as to why you have been approved
- Fostering Network
- RCT Insurance Department
- RCT Training Department
- An annual review of your fostering career (as long as you remain registered)
- Details of any interaction between you and your supervising Social Worker
- Details of payments we make to you
- Details of training you attend to evidence your personal development in line with your approval status
Family, friends (anyone actively linked to your application / fostering role)
- their names, address, contact details
- DBS result if they actively support your fostering role or are a household member aged 16+
- Details of the support they may provide to you
You the child
- your name, date of birth, address
- your parents details
- The circumstances leading to your current placement
- If the placement is meeting all of your needs
3. Where does the service get my information from?
Generally we will receive information about you from;
You – at the time of your application
We will ask you to share with us your personal details in relation to yourself and your household composition. We will ask you for the details of people we need to contact during the assessment and ask for your written consent to do this.
Childcare Social Workers for the children / young people you care for will be asked for their views on the care you provide.
When your family member/friend applies to become a foster carer they will provide us with your name and address so that we can contact you to ask you to provide a reference for them.
You – the child
Depending on your age we will mostly get your information from existing Children’s Services records in relation to you, from you or your parents or current care givers.
4. What will we do with your personal information?
We will use your information to;
Potential/approved foster carer
Undertake an assessment of your application to become a foster carer. Once you are an approved foster carer we will use your information to match you with a child who needs a home. If you are assessed as a connected person or kinship carer you will only be assessed in relation to a specific child / young person. We will share your information with Fostering Network to provide you with membership and access to free legal advice and support. And will share your bank details with our Payroll Department in order for payments to commence.
If your approval is terminated due to concerns about the care you have provided we will have a legal obligation to share this with other agencies for safeguarding purposes.
When your family member/friend applies to become a foster carer they will provide us with your name, address and telephone number so that we can contact you to ask you to provide a reference for them.
You – the child
To ensure that your placement is meeting your needs
5. What is the legal basis for the use of this information?
Data Protection Law says that we are allowed to use and share personal information only where we have proper and lawful reasons for doing so.
Our lawful basis for processing personal information in order to assess and approve you as a foster carer is to comply with our legal obligations under the;
- Childrens Act 1989
- Children Act 2004
- Local Authority Fostering Services (Wales) Regulation 2018
- Social Services & Well being (Wales) Act 2014
- Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016
- Wales Safeguarding Procedures
6. Does the service share my personal information with any other organisation?
In order to provide fostering services we work very closely with a number of organisations, these include;
Potential/approved foster carer
We would share your personal details to obtain statutory checks during the assessment process and updates once approved and to assist with any allegations should they be made. In addition to these partner agencies on approval we would share your information with;
- Another Local Authority if you resided in their area as required by regulation
- Fostering Network to secure membership on your behalf
- RCT Insurance Section to ensure you are covered by our Public Liability Insurance
- RCT Leisure Services should you wish to benefit from free membership
- RCT Lifelong Learning to enable you progress your professional development plan
- Disclosure and Barring Service
- Our Partners, such as Health, Police
- Care Inspectorate Wales
Disclosure and Barring Service, we would ask you to complete your details in order for this statutory check to be made.
You – the child
We would share your personal details with other statutory agencies involved in your care such as Health Services, Education and some voluntary agencies
7. How long will my information be kept?
This will depend on the service we provide for you.
Potential foster carer
We will keep your records for 5 years post your application being terminated.
Once you are a foster carer we will keep your records for 10 years post the date of your termination as a foster carer. However if reference to you as an active foster carer providing care for a child looked after by this authority is recorded within their record this will remain on that record until it’s disposal. The current retention period is 75 years post their 18th birthday.
This will coincide with the above statement.
You – the child
Your information will be held on your own Children’s Services record only. If you are a child looked after by this authority these records will exist for 75 years post your 18th birthday.
8. Your information, your rights
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) gives you important rights, including the right to access the personal information the services hold about you.
Click here for further information on your information rights and how to exercise them.
9. Contact us
If you have any concerns or would like to know more about how the service using your personal information, please contact us in one of the following ways:
By email: FosterSuppTeam@RCTCBC.gov.uk
By telephone: 01443 425006
In writing: Fostering Service, Ty Trevithick, Abercynon, Mountain Ash CF45 4NE