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Privacy Notice

Date policy reviewed: 27/01/2023

  • Introduction

In carrying out our work, we collect, store and process personal information about our foster parents, children and young people, Local Authorities who commission us, other stakeholders and staff.

Individuals (Data Subjects) about whom we hold personal data have a legal right to be informed about how we process their personal data, for what purpose, for how long and what their rights are in connection with this. Personal data is ‘any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person’. This could be your name, your address or details of your circumstances.

Data Controllers, such as Match Foster Care, inform Data Subjects about these rights by publishing a Privacy Policy or a Privacy Notice. This Privacy Notice is intended to communicate this information to you. 

This notice covers, but is not limited to, our foster parents, children and young people, Local Authorities who commission us, other stakeholders and staff.

  • Our registrations

The Data Protection (Charges and Information) Regulations 2018 require Match Foster Care to register with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Match Foster Care is registered as follows:

Registration number: ZA040331

Date registered: 08 March 2014

Registration expires: 07 March 2023

Data controller: Match Foster Care Limited

Address: Severn House, 30-32 Ombersley Street West, Droitwich, Worcestershire, WR9 8QZ 

Match Foster Care is registered with Ofsted.  Our registration number is SC442843.

  • Why your personal data is important to us

Your personal data is important to us because it supports us in our core responsibilities to safeguard children and young people; provide stable family homes for children and young people; make sure children and young people are placed with the right foster parents; support children and young people to achieve their potential and live fulfilling lives; recruit, assess and support people who can be effective and safe foster parents.  

  • Principles of Data Protection

When processing your information, we must comply with the six enforceable principles of good practice. These provide that your personal information must be:

  • used fairly, lawfully and transparently
  • used for specified, explicit purposes
  • used in a way that is adequate, relevant and limited to only what is necessary
  • accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date
  • kept for no longer than is necessary
  • handled in a way that ensures appropriate security, including protection against unlawful or unauthorised processing, access, loss, destruction or damage
  • How we obtain your data

We collect your personal data in two main ways:

  • Directly from you
  • From third parties.

Personal data comes to us in a number of ways. These may include:

  • Directly via our website or social media 
  • Contacting us with enquiries or comments by telephone, email or hard copy correspondence
  • Emailing or sending your CV or application form to a Match Foster Care employee regarding an appointment
  • Providing information via on-line forms or surveys
  • Collecting your data through a contractual or commercial relationship with you 
  • Via a form which could be online as part of our website or a form provided to us as a hard copy or electronically.

Personal data may be given to us through another organisation with which you have registered, and we may be required to process that data in order to fulfil services that you expect of us.

This could include one of the following:

  • Via another authorised body 
  • Via professional bodies with whom there is a sharing of registration for events or activities.

We collect information that you provide by completing forms in writing, email, through our web site or in person. This includes information provided at the time of registering with us, to use our Website, to become a member of staff, to enter into a contract for our services, to support or subscribe to our services, to request materials or to request further services or when you report a problem with any of our communication channels or services.

  • The categories of data that we process

Personal data means any information about an individual from which that person can be identified. It does not include data where the identity has been removed.

We collect the following classes of information:

  • Name and address, email, phone numbers and other relevant personal details and preferences
  • We may collect special category data, such as health information, race or religion so we can deal with sensitive cases appropriately.
  • Staff details relevant to their employment status with Match Foster Care
  • Records of fostering
  • Photographs, recordings, both audio and video
  • Information about our relationship with you, correspondence, meeting notes, attendance at events etc.
  • Financial information where relevant to our needs
  • If you contact us, we may keep a record of that correspondence
  • We may also ask you to complete surveys that we use for research purposes, although you do not have to respond to them
  • Details of transactions you carry out and of the fulfilment of your orders.

To help us improve our services, if you send us personal information which identifies you via email, we may keep your email, your email address and ‘screen’ name. We may also collect information that is available from your browser.  You can access further information about cookies on the dedicated page.

We use analytical and statistical tools that monitor details of your visits to our website and the resources that you access, including, but not limited to, traffic data, location data, weblogs and other communication data but this data will not identify you personally.

We may collect, use, store and transfer different categories of personal data, such as:

  • Personal Data

Under the GDPR, Personal Data is defined as “any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (‘data subject’); by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person”.

  • Medical Data

This may include a medical assessment report and details of any social care support you may be receiving.

  • Special Category Data

This may include information such as first name, surname, maiden name, title, marital status, date of birth, gender, disability, sexual orientation, criminal convictions, race or ethnic origin, religious or other beliefs.  Personal details about your physical or mental health, alleged commission or conviction of criminal offences are considered “sensitive” personal data. We will process any such information only where the law permits us to.

  • Circumstantial and Transactional Data

This may include information such as foster parents’ records, supervision notes, assessment data, annual reviews, allegations and complaints.  This will also include details of payments to and from you.

  • Contact Data

This will include telephone numbers, email address, home address.

  • Family details

This may include contact details and information about relationships.

  • Financial information

This may include bank details, insurance details and National Insurance number.

  • Safeguarding Information

This may include criminal records data, including spent convictions, cautions or warnings, information relating to child protection.

  • Technical Data

This may include internet protocol (IP) address, your login data, browser type and version, time zone setting and location, browser plug-in types and versions, operating system and platform and other technology on the devices you use to access our website.

  • Profile Data

This may include your username and password, your interests, preferences, feedback and survey responses.

  • Marketing and Communications Data and Usage Data

This may include your preferences in receiving marketing from us and our third parties and your communication preferences.  We do not use your personal data for marketing purposes.  Usage data may include information about how you use our website, products and services.

  • Care Data

This may include referral information about children and young people shared by Local Authorities at the time of matching children to families; key documents and information relating to children and young people, including care plan, placement plan, risk assessments, personal education plan, pathway plan and other related reports.  It may include records of the child or young person’s time with Match Foster Care foster parents, including contact records.

  • Education Data

This may include children and young people’s school or other educational information and grades relating to their school performance. 

We will treat any personal data by which you can be identified in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation and Data Protection Act 2018.

We also collect, use and share Aggregated Data such as statistical or demographic data for any purpose. Aggregated Data may be derived from your personal data but is not deemed personal data in law as this data does not directly or indirectly reveal your identity. However, if we do combine or connect Aggregated Data with your personal data so that it can directly or indirectly identify you, we will treat the combined data as personal data which will be used in accordance with this Privacy Notice.

  • Why we process your personal data

We process your personal data in order to ensure that the children and young people who we place in foster care are provided with safe, positive and effective care so that they experience security and are able to achieve their full potential.  We regularly review progress and well-being of children, young people and their foster parents so that we can be sure they are receiving the support and resources they need to achieve these goals, whether from us or other organisations who work with us or commission our services. To achieve this we need to collect, store and process a range of personal data from the people involved in supporting each child or young person, as well as their own personal data.

We will only use your personal data when permitted by law. These situations are set out in Article 6 of the GDPR.  We will use your personal data in the following circumstances:

  • Where you have given clear consent for your personal data to be processed for a specific purpose
  • To carry out our contractual obligations.  This may include contracts with Local Authorities or other external bodies or internal contracts such as Foster Care Agreements with our approved foster parents
  • Where it is necessary for our legitimate interests, or those of a third party, and your interests and fundamental rights do not override those interests
  • Where we need to comply with a legal or regulatory obligations.  Where we are legally obliged to assist our regulator, Ofsted, with their inspections.  Where the law requires, we have a duty to cooperate with Local Authorities who have legal responsibilities to ensure suitable placements for looked after children
  • Where our use of your information is necessary for us to carry out a task in the public interest and the task or function has a clear basis in law
  • Where we believe use of your information is necessary in order to protect the vital interests of a young person or another person.  That is, to protect life.  We share information with the Police, Local Authorities or other agencies where we consider that a child or vulnerable person may be at risk or harm.

We will only use Special Category information when:

  • If have your explicit consent to use it
  • If we believe that we need to use that data to protect your vital interests where you are not able to provide us with your explicit consent 
  • If it is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest
  • If you have previously made that data public knowledge
  • If we need to use that data to establish, exercise or defence legal claims. 

We may process your personal information without your knowledge or consent where this is required or permitted by law.

  • Accessing and sharing your personal information

Your personal data will be accessed on a ‘need to know’ basis. Any internal use of your data will be limited to those who are involved in working with you or need to have access to your information to work on your behalf. Any inappropriate use or access of personal data by our staff is regarded as a serious matter and will result in a disciplinary investigation.

Any information sharing with other stakeholders will be conducted with your privacy at the forefront of our considerations.  We will ensure compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018.

In fulfilling our business needs, we may share your information for any of the purposes mentioned above.

Specifically, information may be shared with, but not limited to:

  • Family and representatives of the person whose personal data we are processing
  • Ofsted and Local Authorities
  • Police, courts, and tribunals
  • The Disclosure and Barring Service
  • Other fostering agencies and services and social workers
  • Data processors who work on our behalf.  Providers of IT and system administration services to our service
  • Our professional advisers, including solicitors, bankers, insurers and auditors
  • Healthcare professionals, social and welfare organisations
  • Independent persons working on our behalf.  For example, independent members of the fostering panel or assessors, training providers
  • Independent agencies, who may or may not work on your behalf.  For example, the Independent Review Mechanism, the Ombudsman, Information Commissioners’ Office, HMRC.

We do not permit 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.

  • The period for which we will keep your personal information

We will only retain your personal information for as long as it is required in relation to the purposes for which it was originally obtained or based on our legal and regulatory requirements.

How long personal information will be retained for depends on the type of information it is and the purpose for which it is being used. For example, if you ask us not to send you marketing emails, we will stop storing your emails for marketing purposes.  We will keep a record of your preference not to be emailed.

In determining the appropriate retention period for personal information, we give regard to the amount, nature and sensitivity of the personal information; the potential risk of harm from unauthorised use or disclosure of the personal information; the purposes for which we process the personal information and whether it is possible to achieve these purposes through other means.  We all consider the legal requirements.

Legal Basis for Retention

How Long we will keep the Record

Case files and other records relating to foster parents

10 years from the date on which their approval is terminated

Records relating to any child or young person in Match Foster Care’s care, required by regulations

15 years from the date of the last entry

Case records for each fostering applicant who is not approved, or who withdraws their application

3 years from the date of refusal or withdrawal of the application

Records relating to staff, independent panel members and assessors

15 years from the date of the last entry

Files relating to cases where Match Foster Care was a party to legal proceedings or otherwise involved in proceedings brought by the local authority 

15 years from the date of closure

Files relating to cases which are of national interest, either because they are subject of a public inquiry or because they give rise to major public concern

Relevant time to support the relevant inquiry or concern

For all other data:


Where we use/store your data because it is necessary for the performance of the contract between you and us

We will use/store your data for as long as it is necessary for the performance of the contract between you and us

Where we use/store your data because it is necessary for us to comply with a legal obligation to which we are subject

We will use/store your data for as long as it is necessary for us to comply with our legal obligations

Where we use/store your data because it is necessary for our legitimate business interests

We will use/store your data until you ask us to stop. However, if we can demonstrate the reason why we are using/storing your data overrides your interests, rights and freedoms, then we will continue to use and store your data for as long as it is necessary for the performance of the contract between you and us or, if earlier, we no longer have a legitimate interest in using/storing your data.

Where we use/store your data because you have given us your specific, informed and unambiguous consent

We will use/store your data until you ask us to stop

  • Keeping your personal data safe

Personal data held by us electronically is stored on secure computer systems and we control who has access to them. Our staff receive data protection training and we have data protection policies and procedures in place to which staff must adhere.

Where we use external companies to collect or process personal data on our behalf, we undertake checks on these companies before we work with them, and establish a contract setting out our expectations and requirements, especially regarding how they manage the personal data they have collected or have access to.

We endeavour to ensure our suppliers do not transfer your personal data outside of regions which do not have adequate Data Protection law.  The data we collect is processed at our servers in the UK.  It may also be processed by organisations operating in the EEA that Match Foster Care has instructed.

We have building entry controls.  We have protocols in place for the safe management and disposal of documents.  We use firewalls and encryption technology for electronic communications and records.

The sending of information via the internet or email is never completely secure.  Although we will do all in our power to protect your personal data, any such transmission is at your own risk.  Once we have your personal data, we operate within strict procedures and security to prevent unauthorised access.

  • Requesting access to your personal data

Under the law, individuals have the right to request access to information about them that we hold. To make a request for your personal information you should contact the officer responsible for Data Protection at Match Foster Care.  Please note that we ask you for copies of your identity documents or undertake validation tasks to prove your identity to be eligible to make a request.

If you are considering a request, please make it is as clear, concise and specific as possible as this will allow us to locate the information you are seeking as quickly as we can. Please note that the right of access is not absolute and there may be occasions when your data may not be provided as it falls under an exemption.

  • Additional rights under the law

The law provides the following rights for individuals:

  • The right to be informed
  • The right of access
  • The right to rectification
  • The right to erasure or the right to be forgotten
  • The right to restrict processing
  • The right to data portability
  • The right to object
  • The rights not to be subject to a decision based solely on automated processing automated decision making and profiling.

Information relating to these rights can be found on the ICO’s website.

  • How to contact us and raising a concern

The Data Protection Officer for Match Foster Care is Jim Bates, Registered Manager.  Jim can be contacted via email Jim@matchfostercare.co.uk or phone 01905 770500.

If you would like to discuss anything in this privacy notice, please contact Jim Bates or write to us at Match Foster Care, Severn House, 30 – 32 Ombersley Street West, Droitwich, Worcestershire, WR9 8QZ.

If you have a concern or complaint about the way we are collecting or using your personal data, you should raise your concern with us in the first instance through the contact details above.

Following contact with us, if you remain dissatisfied please note that you have the right to raise a complaint with the ICO. Information on how to raise a complaint can be found on their website.

  • Information Commissioner’s Office

 Website: https://ico.org.uk/

Telephone: 0303 123 1113

Address: Wycliffe House
Water Lane

  • Last updated

We may need to update this privacy notice periodically. The current version will always be on our website.

Date of Next Review: January 2024