Together4Children Privacy Statement

This privacy notice applies to Together4Children and tells you what to expect from us regarding how we use your personal data and how we keep it safe.

Your Data

We have created this policy which covers how we

  • Collect
  • Use
  • Share
  • Transfer
  • Look after

…your data. The policy also gives you information on how to contact us, and lets you know your rights as a data subject.

Why we collect data

Responding to the Education and Adoption Act 2016, Staffordshire County Council, Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Shropshire Council and Telford & Wrekin Council have joined together to facilitate a working arrangement which focuses on all permanence options, through the establishment of the Together4Children Permanency Partnership.

Services provided by Together4Children include the recruitment and assessment of adoptive parents, support to children who require our services and services to adoptive families who require support.

Undertaking this work means that we must collect and use data about the people we provide services to. Sometimes data is collected in order to provide services and sometimes it is collected because we have a statutory responsibility to do so. The following regulations and statutory guidance place these legal obligations on us:

  • Adoption and Children Act 2002
  • Education and Adoption 2016
  • The Local Authority Adoption Service (England) Regulations 2003
  • Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005
  • The Adoption Support Agencies (England) and Adoption Agencies (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2005

We are responsible for managing the information we hold and we recognise that this information is important to you.  We take our responsibilities seriously and use personal information fairly, correctly and safely in line with the legal requirements set out by the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

Because the partnership collects and processes personal information about individuals, all partners are registered as a ‘Data Controller’ under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). This means that we must make sure you know what we intend to do with your information and who it could be shared with. Each organisation involved in the partnership (together4children) is a data controller in their own right and will publish their own transparency information.  The details of each Authority in the partnership are below:

Staffordshire County Council:

Staffordshire County Council
County Buildings
Martin Street

Stoke-on-Trent City Council:

Stoke-on-Trent City Council
Civic Centre
Glebe Street

Telford and Wrekin Council:

Telford and Wrekin Council
Audit and Info Compliance
Whitechapel House

Shropshire Council:

The Shirehall
Abbey Foregate

How we collect data

Your data may be collected or recorded in various ways, including:

  • On paper
  • Via online form
  • Via telephone
  • Via email
  • Face to Face

Data may be collected directly from you or data about you may be gathered from other sources, and we may need to ask other agencies or organisations for relevant data about you to fulfil our legal responsibilities or to provide services.

Personal information collected will depend on your service requirements, this may include but is not limited to:

  • Personal information (such as name, email address, address and date of birth)
  • Financial Details
  • Personal reference numbers (such as National Insurance or NHS numbers)
  • Employment details
  • Family details
  • Racial or ethnic origin data
  • Images and details of personal appearance and behaviour
  • Case file information
  • Physical or mental health details
  • Details of offences (including alleged offences), criminal proceedings and outcomes
  • Proof of citizenship/residency
  • Religious or other beliefs
  • Personal and work-related references
  • Fostering information
  • Special Guardianship Owner information
  • Connected persons information

How we use your personal data

We will use your personal information for a limited number of purposes and always in line with our responsibilities, where there is a legal basis to do so, and in line with your rights under the GDPR. When we collect personal data from you, we will only use it to provide services you have requested or require. We will not collect any personal data from you that we do not need.

We will use the information you provide in order to:

  • Deliver our services and understand your needs
  • Maintain and update your customer records or contact details
  • Contact you where necessary
  • Obtain your opinion and feedback about the services we provide
  • Ensure that we fulfil our legal obligations

If we wish to use or share your data for any purpose other than that for which is was originally collected, we will provide information on these purposes prior to starting the work. We will strive to make sure that the third party has sufficiently robust systems and procedures in place to protect your personal information.

Sometimes we may not be able to provide a service if you do not provide data.

How we share your data

Where necessary information may be shared with other organisations and partners. In such cases, the information provided is only the minimum necessary. These organisations are required to retain your information in a secure manner and only use it to undertake the services they provide.

Together4Children may share your information with:

  • Other local authorities who have children with adoption plans
  • Together4Children local authority Social Work Teams.
  • Individuals and agencies who are required to provide reference checks.
  • Foreign embassies if living abroad for application checks.
  • Voluntary agencies who work closely with the regional adoption agency.
  • Providers of adoption support services.
  • National Adoption Register.
  • Courts
  • Other statutory services according to your assessed need e.g. health and housing.

At no time will your information be passed to other organisations for marketing or sales purposes or for any commercial use without your prior express consent.

How we look after your data

Under the General Data Protection Regulations, we have a legal duty to protect any information that we hold about you. We take measures to safeguard your data and apply security standards and controls to prevent any unauthorised access to it. Information which you have provided to Together4Children will be stored securely.

Together4Children have an information sharing protocol in place which governs the sharing of data been the local authorities of this partnership. All partners agree to similar commitments towards privacy, security and transparency.

The amount of time data is kept before being disposed of will vary depending on why it was collected, how it is used, and various UK laws. Our retention and disposal schedules give details about how long we keep data.

What are your rights?

Under the GDPR you, as the Data Subject, have the right to:
  • access the information we hold about you. This information is usually provided free of charge but we may charge depending on the administrative costs of providing the information. You have the right to request this in machine-readable form so that it can, if required, be transferred to a third party.
  • request that we rectify any information about you that is incorrect. Simple inaccuracies, such as address changes will be made. Depending on the purpose for processing, records (including statements and opinions) may not be changed. However, there may be the option for you to provide a supplementary statement which will be added to the file.
  • request that records we hold about you are erased.
  • restrict processing of the information we hold about you if you have an objection to that processing, whilst your objection is investigated.
  • request that any information that you have provided to us is given back to you in a format that you can give to another service provider if required.
  • object to processing of your personal information including automated decision making and profiling.

How to contact us

Please contact us if you have any questions about our privacy policy or information we hold about you, or if you have a complaint about privacy or misuse of data.

Email:Data Protection Officer

Post to:

Data Protection Officer
Information Governance Unit
Staffordshire County Council
4th Floor – Staffordshire Place One
ST16 2LP

If you are not satisfied with our response or believe we are processing your personal data not in accordance with the law you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

0300 111 8044