Cheshire East Fostering Service privacy notice

At Cheshire East Council we take your privacy seriously and will only keep and use your personal information for reasons the law requires or allows.  We are a data controller for the personal information we hold about you in relation to the Fostering Service.  In order to comply with data protection legislation we must be sure you understand how we use this information.

What personal information is being processed and what for

The purposes for which the data will be used are:

  • The recruitment, training, assessment and approval of persons wishing to become foster carers, including those persons who wish to become foster carers for family members –referred to as family and friends foster carers or connected foster carers.
  • Support and supervision of all foster carers registered with the city council.
  • Training and development of all foster carers registered with the city council.
  • Placement finding and matching exercises for children requiring placements with foster carers registered with the city council.

Why we are allowed to use your information

You have applied to be assessed as foster carers or have been approved as  foster carers and have entered into a Foster Care Agreement with us and we cannot fulfil the expectations of the fostering role without collecting and processing your data.

The Fostering Services (England) Regulations, 2011 say we must collect and process your information for these purposes and we have a legal basis under GDPR Articles 6.1(e) and 9.2(h) 

Who we will share your information with

  • Where you agree to the placement of a child from another fostering service we will share your information with that fostering service.
  • We are required to provide your data for the purpose of statutory data collection by external agencies including OFSTED.
  • If you apply to another fostering agency for the purposes of fostering or adoption the agency can ask to see the information that Cheshire East holds about you.
  • Where directed to by the court in any family proceedings.
  • Foster panel – which could include both Cheshire East or another agency’s panel if a match with a child from another area was being considered.

We also utilise your information for data analysis to inform our placement sufficiency strategy and the business performance of the fostering service. 

You should be aware that we have a duty to protect public funds, which include allowances and discretionary payments made to foster carers.  We may therefore use the information we have for the prevention and detection of fraud.  We may share this information with other bodies for these purposes. We may also share this information with other parts of the council or other relevant organisations for purposes which may include enforcement.

Data protection law provides you with certain rights, however not all of these rights will be available to you in all situations.  Where we are under a legal duty to use data for a particular purpose you will not have the right to prevent it being used in that way.

Where we get your information from

As part of any assessment under the Fostering Services (England) Regulations 2011 we are required to collect information from a variety of sources including the Disclosure and Barring Service; other Local Authorities where you may have lived; Medical information from a General Practitioner or Consultant; previous court involvement.  

You will be asked to sign consent to us accessing the necessary information to enable us to carry out a thorough assessment as required by the regulations and associated guidance.  This list will never be exhaustive as it is informed by the assessment that we are carrying out which is different for each applicant and their household. 

How long we will keep your personal information

This information is set out in the Fostering Services (England) Regulations 2011. In addition we will keep your information for a period of time (1 year) where you do not proceed from enquiry to application to enable us to complete our statutory annual fostering return.

View the Council’s Information Asset Register for Data Retention information

How your information is stored

Your information is stored on Council computers in a number of settings, including  the council’s case management system; shared drives; excel spreadsheets.

What happens if you don't provide us with your information

If you do not provide us with the information in the Fostering Services (England) Regulations 2011 we will not be able to process your application to foster any further and your application will cease.

Will your information be used to make automated decisions

Your information will not be used for any automated decisions.

Will this information be transferred abroad

It is unlikely that your information will be shared outside the EEA and this would only occur if you were being assessed to care for a child living outside the EEA or you lived outside the EEA and were being assessed to care for a child from Cheshire East.

Your rights

You have a number of rights regarding your personal data, including withdrawing your consent where we have asked for it. You can also ask for a copy of the information we hold about you and ask us to correct anything that is wrong.  

For detailed information about your rights please see our  privacy notice.

Page last reviewed: 21 October 2021