At Shining Stars, we are committed to protecting the personal information you entrust to us when applying to foster with our agency.
Shining Stars Fostering Agency is an independent fostering agency, recruiting, training and supporting foster carers and placing looked after children in the care of local authorities with these families. We take our legal duty for safeguarding your personal data and privacy very seriously.
This privacy statement sets out what sort of information we hold on foster carers and applicants applying to become foster carers, why we need it, how we hold it, how we use it, who we share it with and what rights you have in relation to this information. This privacy notice is also available on our website (www.shiningstarsfostering.com)
For the purpose of UK data protection laws- Data Protection Act 1998 (“DPA”) and the General Data Protection Regulations (“GDPR”), the data controller is Shining Stars Fostering Agency Ltd, The Lansdowne Building, 2 Lansdowne Road, Croydon-CR9 2ER.
The information you give to us
We may collect, use, store and transfer different kinds of personal information about you, including:
- Data on your identity- this includes your title, name, date of birth, gender, marital status etc. We collect ID’s to verify the above such as a copy of your passport and driving licence and other form ID’s
- Data on your lifestyle- who lives in the house, languages spoken, number of dependents, employment details, any significant relationships and details of your previous fostering agency/LA (where you have been an approved foster carer in the past)
- Contact Data- this includes your address, email address and telephone number,
- Financial/Monetary Data- such as bank account and credit card details, NI number, ETC
- Data on your Criminal Records including details of any convictions, cautions or warnings,
- Education Data- obtaining information from school in relation to your children’s progress.
- Health Data, this includes a medical assessment report (Medical AH report)
- Usage Data, including information about how you use our website and services,
- Marketing Data, such whether you would like to receive any marketing emails from us and our third parties, and your communication preferences.
Collecting your personal information
We may obtain your personal information by directly speaking with you, such as when you:
- complete an enquiry form to become a foster carer either in paper form or through our web enquiry form
- attend one of our fostering information marketing or training events,
- participate in our assessment process to become a foster carer;
- subscribe to our services or otherwise requesting marketing material to be sent to you, or
- Correspond with us by phone, email, letters or otherwise.
We may obtain personal information via automated technology when you interact on our website by using cookies and other similar technologies.
We may also collect personal information about you from third parties or publicly-available sources, such as:
- Local authorities and other Independent Fostering Agencies,
- Form F assessors and panel members responsible for evaluating your application,
- Your GP,
- Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS),
- your employer
- other referees,
- analytics providers (such as Google),
- search information providers,
- Companies House, LinkedIn and the electoral register.
How we use your personal information
We will only hold and process your personal information that you provide to us in accordance with the DPA and GDPR. Most commonly, we will use your personal information in the following circumstances:
- you have given us consent,
- we need to perform a contract we are about to enter into, or have entered into, with you,
- where it is necessary for our or a third party’s legitimate interests and your interests and rights do not override those interests, or
- where we need to comply with a legal or regulatory obligation.
- The information that we collect directly from you either via telephone or by you completing the ‘online enquiry form’ on the website is stored on our in-house secure database. This is to enable us to support your application to become a foster carer with us and meet our contractual commitments.
Where we store and transfer your data
The information you provide to us via our website or by directly contacting us is transferred to and stored on our in-house secure database and is processed to support your enquiry to become a foster carer with us. Our website and database are both hosted within the European Economic Area (EEA).
We will take all steps reasonably necessary to ensure that your data is treated securely, including taking the following safeguards:
- Secured building entry- staff is required to use security swipe cards to access the building (Regus Croydon)
- Secure lockable desks and cupboards- Desks and cupboards are kept locked when not in use if they hold confidential information of any kind.
- Methods of disposal- Paper documents are disposed of by shredding in a manner that ensures confidentiality.
- Firewalls and encryption. We apply industry-standard firewall protection and encryption technology.
- Where we have given you (or where you have chosen) a password so that you can access certain parts of our site or database or a report, you are responsible for keeping this password confidential. You should choose a password it is not easy for someone to guess.
Disclosure of your information
- We will share your information with others where we are required to do so by law, or to help safeguard the people in our care. The organizations we will share your information with include regulatory bodies to comply with the law and our contractual obligations. These may include local authorities, the police, the Ofsted, education and health authorities
- Independent Safeguarding Authority, as well as people who work with us to help assess your suitability to become or remain a foster carer.
- Providers of IT and system administration services to our business, including CHARMS. our professional advisers (including solicitors, bankers, auditors and insurers),
- HM Revenue & Customs, the Information Commissioner’s Office, regulators and other authorities who require reporting of processing activities in certain circumstances,
- The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS),
- other foster care agencies, social workers
- Form F assessors and panel members,
- Independent Consultants
- Training providers or external events organisers,
- Social media outlets, including Facebook and Twitter,
We require all third parties to respect the security of your personal information and to treat it in accordance with the law. We do not allow our third-party service providers to use your personal information for their own purposes and only permit them to process your personal information for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions. If you do not want us to use your data for “third parties’ as mentioned in the clause you will have the opportunity to withhold your consent to this by writing to us at the address mentioned above, or sending us an email to email@example.com at any time.
What if you cannot or will not provide us with your personal information
It is a contractual requirement for you to provide us with certain information. If you are applying to become a foster carer, this will include your name, address, email address, telephone number, details of any criminal convictions, date of birth, employment details and bank account information. If you do not provide us with that information, we will be unable to accept and process your application. For a placement to made with a Local Authority, we shall require relevant information on the child or young person, if this is not complete, we may not be able to make a relevant match. Further information will be required if a placement proceeds to support the child or young person’s care effectively.
- Our website uses different cookies in order to make it easier to use and to support the provision of relevant information and functionality to you.
- A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers that we store on your browser or the hard drive of your computer if you agree.
- Cookies contain information that is transferred to your computer’s hard drive. Some of the cookies we use are analytical cookies.
- Whether directly or indirectly, all of these web cookie functions are used to facilitate digital marketing functions.
- You can choose to manage the cookies we use on this website through your browser settings at any time.
How long do we store your personal information
The law is very clear that personal information should not be kept longer than is necessary, but in relation to fostering we are required to hold data for a set minimum period of time. This is mentioned below:
Approved foster carers– the case records must be kept for at least ten years from the date on which they ceased to foster.
Where a person has inquired about fostering, but for whatever reason has not gone on to be approved– the case record will be held for three years from the date when it was decided that the inquiry or application would not proceed.
Records in relation to a child or a young person in our care– fifteen years from the date of last entry
- The law gives you the right to access information held about you by us. This is sometimes called a subject access request. Please write to us if you wish to request confirmation of what personal information we hold relating to you. You can write to us at the address detailed above. There is no charge for us providing you with details of the personal data that we hold. We will provide this information within one month of your requesting the data.
- You have the right to ask us to change any information we hold about you that is inaccurate or incomplete.
- You have the right to ask us to erase the information we hold about you (the ‘right to be forgotten’). Please note that this right can only be exercised in certain circumstances and, if you ask us to erase your information and we are unable to do so, we will explain why not.
- You have the right to ask us to stop using your information where: (i) the information we hold about you is inaccurate; (ii) we are unlawfully using your information; (iii) we no longer need to use the information; or (iv) we do not have a legitimate reason to use the information. Please note that we may continue to store your information, or use your information for the purpose of legal proceedings or for protecting the rights of any other person.
- You can exercise these rights at any time by writing to us at the address detailed above or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Third party links
You may find links to some third party websites on our website. These websites should have their own privacy policies, which you should check. We do not accept any responsibility or liability for their policies whatsoever.
Changes to this policy
We may update these policies to reflect changes to the website and customer feedback. Please check our website frequently to see any updates or changes to our policy.
Any feedback, comments and requests regarding this policy are welcomed and should be addressed to our Data Protection Officer by writing to the address at the top of this policy, or by emailing us at email@example.com
Alternatively, you may contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (www.ico.org.uk) for guidance and advice, or to lodge a complaint. Please see their details below:
Cheshire SK9 5AF
Telephone: 0303 123 1113 (local rate)
01625 545745 (national rate)