- Acorn Fostering Services Ltd (AFS) is a private limited company, registered in England under company number 04940971. Our registered office is Acorn Fostering Services, 78-80 Burley’s Way, Leicester LE1 3BD.
- We operate as an independent fostering agency, recruiting, training and supporting foster carers and placing looked after children in the care of local authorities with them. Depending on who you are, we may collect, process and share information about you, some of which could be sensitive personal information about you and your family.
- AFS takes your privacy seriously. This policy outlines the use of personal data under the Data Protection Act 1998 (“DPA”) and the General Data Protection Regulations (“GDPR”)
- For the purpose of DPA and GDPR we are the data controller and any enquiry regarding the collection or processing of your data should be addressed to Acorn Fostering Services, 78-80 Burley’s Way, Leicester LE1 3BD
- By using the website you consent to this policy.
Information we collect
- We collect personal data on this website only if it is directly provided to us by you the user. Normally you will only provide such details if you wish to become a foster carer. We will use your information to support your application to become a foster carer with us and to help us advertise appropriately.
- Where your enquiry is progressed further, we will ask you to provide further information directly and will obtain information about you from other sources, such as, but not limited to, local authorities, the Disclosure and Barring Service, your GP, your friends, family, personal referees and your employers etc. We will combine this information to form a detailed picture about you, your past and your suitability to be a foster carer. It may also be necessary for us to gather information about you if you are or have been related to someone who wishes to become a foster carer with us. This allows us to contact you to help establish the full character of our carers.
- We will also gather and use information about the children and young people placed in our care. This information will be used to ensure we provide the safe and supportive homes we believe all young people deserve, as well as to ensure the safety of our foster carers, our staff, and the people we work with.
- We also 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
Use of your information
- We may hold and process personal data that you provide to us in accordance with the DPA and GDPR.
- When you contact us using the tracking telephone number on our website, your call is stored with us as a recorded call for no more than 60 days which is deleted within a 60 days window. The actual data of the user’s number (ie name, telephone number, county, date and time of contact) is kept no more than 90 days then deleted. We use your information to contact you to discuss your interest in fostering and monitor the traffic.
- The information that we collect directly from you either via telephone or by you completing the ‘apply online form on the website is stored on our in-house secure database. This is to enable us to to support your application to become a foster carer with us and meet our contractual commitments.
- Where it is decided that your enquiry will no longer progress we will close your enquiry and delete from the database the personal and sensitive information we have collected from you after 60 days of the closure of enquiry. We keep unidentifiable data for monitoring purposes such as the date of your enquiry, your county of residence, date of initial visit if any undertaken, and where you heard about us ie google search, word of mouth, or any event etc.
Where we store and transfer your data
- The information you provide to us via our website or by directly contacting us is be transferred to and stored on our in-house secure database and our inhouse secure network drive. The data is processed to support your enquiry to become a foster carer with us. Our website, network drive and database are all hosted within the European Economic Area (EEA). The information however may be maintained or processed by staff operating outside the EEA who work for one of our suppliers.
- We will process, disclose or share your personal data only if required to do so by law or in the good faith belief that such action is necessary to comply with our contractual obligations, legal requirements or legal process served on us or the website.
- Other than the reasons stated above, we do not use or disclose identifiable sensitive personal data, such as race, religion, or political affiliations, without your explicit consent.
- 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.
- We will also share information about the young people in our care where required by law, to support the education and health of our looked after children, and to ensure personal safety.
- Where required, we will pass information we hold about our foster carers to organisations such as Foster Talk, Fostering Network to register you with them as a member of our agency. In this case we will pass limited information, such as name, and contact details. Where required, ie in relation to a claim, we will also share the relevant information about our foster carers with our insurers.
- If you do not want us to use your data for “third parties as mentioned in the clause 21, you will have the opportunity to withhold your consent to this by writing to us at the address detailed in clause 4, or sending us an email to email@example.com at any time.
- Please be advised that we do not use or publish information about identifiable individuals collected for our monitoring purposes but may use aggregated statistical information where required.
Controlling the use of your data
- If you have given us consent to use your data for a particular purpose you can revoke or vary that consent at any time. If you do not want us to use your data or want to vary the consent that you have provided you can write to us at the address detailed in clause 4 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org at any time.
- We take our responsibilities to protect your privacy very seriously. Technical safeguards, such as firewalls, antivirus software, and data encryption are used to help ensure that your information is kept safe and only disclosed to people who are authorised to view it.
- Where we are required to share your information with third parties, we will take reasonable technical and organisational precautions to prevent the loss, misuse or alteration of your personal information and we will try to ensure that we only share it in ways that are secure.
- The transmission of information via the Internet or email is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of data while you are transmitting it to our site; any such transmission is at your own risk. Once we have received your personal data, we will use strict procedures and security features to try to prevent unauthorised access.
- Where we have given you (or where you have chosen) a password so that you can access certain parts of our site or database, you are responsible for keeping this password confidential. You should choose a password it is not easy for someone to guess.
Third party links
- You might find links to 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.
- A web cookie (also known as an HTTP cookie) is a tiny snippet of data that gets added to the user’s web browser when they visit a certain website. The code is stored in the user’s browser over a period of time set by its creators (or until the user deletes it), and changes the way the browser interacts with certain pages. This technology is used to facilitate various functions, including activating retargeting ads, storing stateful data (e.g. a filled in and submitted contact us form), retaining data previously entered into forms (used for autocomplete functions), saving user preferences and recording user activity.
- 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. For more information about how to do this, and about cookies in general, you can visit https://ico.org.uk/for-the public/online/cookies/
- The DPA and GDPR give you the right to access information held about you by us. 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 in clause 2, 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 change the permissions that you have given us in relation to how we may use your data. You also have the right to request that we cease using your data or that we delete all personal data records that we hold relating to you. You can exercise these rights at any time by writing to us at the address detailed in clause 4, above, or by email to email@example.com.
- If you have any concerns about the way we have handled your data, you can raise a complaint by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. In your email, you should describe the concerns you have.
Changes to this policy
- We may update these policies to reflect changes to the website and customer feedback. Please regularly review these policies to be informed of how we are protecting your personal data.
Version 1.1 May 2018
Reviewed September 2021