Fostering service - Privacy notice


  • Name of Service - Surrey Fostering Service
  • Directorate - Children, Families, Lifelong Learning and Culture
  • Date of Issue - 7 August 2019
  • Review Date - 7 August 2020


The reasons why we use your personal data

Purpose / function of the service

This privacy notice applies to the Surrey Fostering Service that incorporates / carries out several functions within SCC.

The Fostering Service provides the recruitment and support of foster carers for children in Surrey.

In order for the Fostering Service to provide safe services for a range of entitled users we collect and process your personal data in order for us to:

  • Conduct foster carer assessments
  • Keep children in foster care safe.
  • Carry out audit and research activities
  • Review and improve the service we offer you
  • Comply with our statutory obligations

What processing of personal data is undertaken by the Fostering Service

Your personal data is collected and processed for the purposes of Surrey's Fostering Service to:

  • Screen, recruit and assess potential applicants suitability to foster
  • Conduct statutory background checks
  • Conduct Health assessments
  • Identify families who might benefit from support and training for their own children.

In order to carry out our statutory responsibilities under the different legislative frameworks, provide services and establish good business practices we also collect your personal data for the following:

  • Service delivery
  • Service improvement and planning
  • Prevention & detection of crime / fraud
  • Research
  • Statistical analysis and reporting
  • Safeguarding
  • Vital Interests

The service works to place children with a foster family who are approved and supported by our service, or partner Local Authority, Fostering Agencies and Voluntary Fostering Agencies.

If you are receiving support from Childrens Social Care then the NHS may share your NHS number with us. This is so that the NHS and Childrens Social Care are using the same number to identify you whilst providing your care. By using the same number the NHS and Childrens Social Care can work together more closely to support you and your family.

We will use the NHS number in an integrated care record system across a number of support services including GP's, hospitals, community matrons, district nurses and social care practitioners.

If we are not supplied with the relevant data we will be unable to progress an application to foster and provide support during the fostering process.

What Information do we collect?

In order to ensure that children can be placed in foster families we recruit, prepare, assess and support foster families to do this and to assess fostering support needs we need to collect and manage your personal information including:

Name, date of birth, contact details, occupation / spouses / partners / ex partners, previous address, family members, friends, lodgers, location information, dependants, place of birth, salary, education and employment history, job position / title, passport details, driving licence, visa permits number, vehicle details, insurance documents, details of pets, ethnic origin, religious or philosophy beliefs, data concerning health, exploration of fertility, sexual orientation, criminal offence, financial data, photograph of an individual, National Insurance number.

How we are allowed to use your personal data

We collect and use your personal information to comply with our legal obligations under:

  • Children Act 1989,
  • Guidance and Regulations Volume 4 Fostering Services,
  • Care Standards Act 2000,
  • Adoption and Children Act 2002,
  • Children Act 2004 and
  • Children and Young Persons Act 2008.

Specific requirements relating to placement planning for looked after children are contained in the Children Act 1989 regulations and guidance Vol 2, care planning, placement and case review (June 2015)

As well as in line with the following legislation:

  • Local Government Act
  • Localism Act 2011
  • Mental Capacity Act 2005
  • Mental Health Act 1983, 2007
  • Local Safeguarding Children & Adults Boards Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/9)
  • Crime and Disorder Act 1998
  • Welfare Reform Act 2012
  • Children Act 1989
  • Adoption and Children Act 2002
  • Mental Health Act 1983


To process your personal data, we will explain to you what we are asking you to agree to and why. If we have consent to use your personal data, you have the right to remove it at any time. If you want to remove your consent, please contact us at the following email address and we will deal with your request.

Who we share your personal data with

We may need to share specific information with other agencies or SCC departments. This may be necessary to facilitate the fostering process e.g. other local authorities who wish to have access to your information, or with Ofsted (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.

  • The local authority in whose area you live in
  • Other SCC departments with whom you have been in contact
  • Disclosure and Barring Service
  • Past and present employers
  • References (personal and employment)
  • Previous partners
  • Health
  • Schools
  • Other professionals involved or previously involved with applicants or their children
  • Other Local Authorities, past and present where we are working to support you

Fostering executive

The fostering executive is a representative group of foster carers who also provide support to foster carers. They hold the contact list of carers and provide support within a set constitution. This is not a group that is open to the general public but is limited to those who are linked with Surrey fostering service and where the purpose of all contact is about fostering.

Fostering network

Fostering network membership provides all our carers with access to support, advice, representation and information for foster carers. It is part of our agreement with you that we will provide access to this support and we purchase individual membership with fostering network to provide this for all our carers.

Personal data being sent or processed outside of the UK & EU

It is possible that we may need to process your data outside of the UK and EU for the purposes of the fostering process. Where in these cases we have to share data outside of the EU, we will ensure adequate protections are made.

Retention of data

We will stop using your data when we stop delivering services to you.

Data will be retained in accordance with the countywide data retention schedule.

Other information

For further information on our privacy notices, please see information and privacy.

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