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Fostering Privacy Notice

Who are we and what do we do  

Fostering Services is part of Gateshead Council. We are based at the Civic Centre, Gateshead and provide the following services:  

  • managing the applications of potential foster carers 

There are three main parts to this:  

  • the fostering application process 
  • foster carer payments  
  • the fostering  panel  

The Panel makes recommendations on the following: 

  • fostering suitability  
  • matching of long term foster placements 
  • variations in approval categories 
  • annual reviews 
  • re-registration or deregistration of foster carers 
  • authorising payments when appropriate 

What type of information is collected about you   

We collect personal information to understand your needs and provide services. Information may include: 

  • information relating to suitability to either be a foster carer or be matched long term (Fostering) to a named child 
  • name 
  • address 
  • email address 
  • telephone number  
  • date of birth 
  • marital status 
  • occupation  
  • banking details  
  • National Insurance (NI) number 
  • tax code 

We collect the following special category data: 

  • criminal proceedings, outcomes and sentences 

How we collect information about you 

We collect information about you from various sources to ensure that we meet your needs, including: 

  • face-to-face contact 
  • secure email  
  • by post   
  • telephone  contact 
  • an assessment form called a Form F, including both personal assessment and background checks 
  • Inland Revenue as part of the verification process of foster carers' placements if requested 

We can source additional specialist information securely from partner agencies. We will record details of the sources of such extra information. 

Why we need your information  

Our purpose for collecting your personal data is to enable us to:  

  • undertake the fostering recruitment process 
  • assess potential applicant's suitability to be an in-house foster carer 
  • make payments for services provided to looked after children and children accessing short breaks 

The lawful basis for our processing is: 

  • legal obligation to which the data controller is subject 

Our lawful basis for processing of sensitive personal data is:  

  • employment, social security and social protection (if authorised by law) 
  • reasons of substantial public interest (with a basis in law)   
  • health or social care (with a basis in law)  

The legislation the service is obliged to comply with includes: 

  • Foster Services (England) Regulations 2011 
  • HMRC - Compliance Handbook Manual CH15400 
  • National Minimum Standards for Fostering Services (England 2011) 

Who your information may be shared with (internally and externally) 

Our Corporate Privacy notice explains information sharing the Council carries out. This sharing fulfils statutory obligations, legal requirements and service delivery. Fostering Services can share your information with:  

For Applications 

  • the Duty Placement team so that foster carers can receive placements 
  • the Looked after Children's teams who manage the children that foster carers look after 
  • representatives at the Fostering Panel who review your application to be a foster carer and any reviews 
  • the Revenue and Benefits to apply Council Tax exemption for carers 
  • the Independent Review Mechanism (IRM) for de-registration and appeals cases 

For the Fostering Panel  

  • members of the fostering panel 
  • external fostering agencies  
  • other local authorities  
  • Ofsted  
  • third-party health agencies 

Our lawful basis for this sharing is the performance of a task in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller or legal obligation and your consent is not required.  

If we wish to share your information with other council services or third parties for purposes outside of those listed above we will ask your permission. 

How long we keep your information  

We keep your information for as long as we need to provide services to you. We may also need to keep your information in accordance with legal or other obligations. Where we have no need to keep your data it will be securely destroyed. We keep a Record of Processing Activity (a requirement under the GDPR). This sets out the specific retention periods applicable in different circumstances. For more information please contact:  

Under Fostering Services Regulations 2002 we must keep your information for a minimum of 75 years. This is from our last contact with the successful foster carer. 

For payments, under HMRC - Compliance Handbook Manual CH15400 we must keep your information for a minimum of 6 years. This is from date of the payment record creation. 

Where your information is held  

We hold personal information in secure electronic systems on Gateshead council servers and on the Mosaic System. Mosaic is a cloud-based electronic Social Care System used by Children's Services and Early Help Service.  

Protecting your information  

For more information, please see our privacy notice.  

How you can update your information  

Our delivery of efficient services depends on the accuracy of your information. 

Please inform us of any changes to the following: 

  • email address 
  • personal circumstances  
  • postal address 
  • any of the other information we hold 

Please email 

Your information rights  

Please see the relevant section of our Corporate privacy notice.  

Marketing and e-newsletters  

Please see our email marketing privacy notice.  

Business intelligence, profiling and automated-decision making  

Please see the relevant section of our Corporate privacy notice.  

Protecting your information  

Please see the relevant section of our Corporate privacy notice.   

Data Protection Officer

Data Protection Officer  

Civic Centre  

Regent Street  


NE8 1HH  

0191 433 3000 

Information Commissioner's Office  

The Information Commissioner is the UK's independent body for upholding information rights. Visit their website to find out more about your rights under Data Protection law, and what to expect from us. 

For privacy practices or data protection rights concerns, contact the Information Commissioner's Office:  

Information Commissioner's Office 

Wycliffe House 

Water Lane 



SK9 5AF  

0303 123 1113 or 01625 545 745