Privacy statement

You are here

The Fostering Network is the UK’s leading fostering charity and membership organisation, bringing together everyone who is involved in the lives of fostered children to make foster care the very best it can be. We have almost 54,000 foster carer and 390 fostering service members, as well as hundreds of other stakeholders and supporters.

 

Our data protection principles

  • We take data protection extremely seriously, and have policies and procedures in place to ensure that we look after all the personal data that we hold.
  • We will never sell any personal data that we hold.
  • You can change your communication preferences whenever you choose, or opt out of any communications you receive from us.

Legitimate interest statement

We have carried out a legitimate interest assessment and have judged that it is in our members’ interest to be kept up to date with The Fostering Network’s work. We therefore use this data to communicate with members about our activity, including information about membership, programmes, events, publications, training, products, campaigning and fundraising.

Members can change how we communicate with them by unsubscribing from any e-newsletters they receive, or by contacting membership@fostering.net or 020 7620 6440 at any time.

All non-members who share their contact details with us through campaigning, fundraising, purchasing our publications and services etc will be given the option to opt in to further communication from The Fostering Network. Non-members can change their preferences by contacting marketing@fostering.net or 020 7620 6422.

How do we collect and use your information?

Membership

When a foster carer becomes a member of The Fostering Network, their contact details are given to us either by their fostering service or by the foster carer themselves. When a fostering service becomes a member of The Fostering Network, the contact details of the named representatives from the service are given to us. These contact details are held on a secure members’ database administered by The Fostering Network until their membership has expired, when the records are made inactive. 

We use this information to communicate with members about their membership, via post, email, telephone or text. We also send members our quarterly Foster Care magazine mailing, via a third party mailing house. The mailing house does not keep any data on its systems longer than is absolutely necessary.

Where we have a member’s email address, we store this on our secure email database, and use it to keep them up to date with our work via our e-newsletters, including information on programmes, events, publications, training, products, campaigning and fundraising. Information about message transaction data – which means details of which messages have been sent, opened and clicked – will be kept securely by us for one year.

We may also contact members by post about our fundraising appeals, again via a third party mailing house. The mailing house does not keep any data on its systems longer than is absolutely necessary.

Occasionally we work with market research companies to collate the views of our members on our membership offer and wider fostering issues. The market research company does not keep any data on its systems longer than is absolutely necessary.

We only share data where necessary with companies that are carrying out work on our behalf, such as mailing houses, IT support and market research companies. Beyond this, we never share any members’ contact details without their permission, nor do we ever sell them to anyone.

From time to time we also ask members to complete surveys via a secure online portal. Completion of contact details is optional; these are kept on the portal for two years and then deleted. Further contact on the survey issue will be in line with preferences given by the respondent.

Members can change how we communicate with them by contacting membership@fostering.net or 020 7620 6440 to update us on their preferences, and can unsubscribe from any e-newsletters they receive.

Members of The Fostering Network also can register to access member-only content on our website www.thefosteringnetwork.org.uk. Their contact details are held on our secure members’ database, while their name and email address are also held permanently on a secure database on our website.

Campaigning

The Fostering Network campaigns to create change to ensure that foster care is the very best it can be. We encourage members and non-members to join us in our campaigning work. Supporters can sign up to our campaign action e-newsletter; their email address is then held on our secure email database, and recipients can unsubscribe from this e-newsletter at any time. Information about message transaction data – which means details of which messages have been sent, opened and clicked – will be kept securely by us for one year.

From time to time we ask supporters to complete surveys via a third party secure online portal. Completion of contact details is optional; these are stored on the portal for two years and then deleted. Further contact on the survey issue will be in line with preferences given by the respondent.

We also ask members and other supporters to take digital campaign actions via a third party secure online portal. Their contact details are stored on the portal for two years. Further contact on campaigning will be in line with preferences given by the respondent.

Children’s contact details

We collect contact details and other relevant information about children and young people who are attending our events. This information is held in paper form in locked storage and online in password-protected folders until the end of the activity or project, when it is destroyed.

We also receive nominations for children as part of our Fostering Excellence Awards via email. These emails are retained in a restricted access inbox for two years. In addition, details are held online in password-protected folders, also for two years.

Cookies

Like most websites, we use cookies to help us improve our website. This means that a website will remember previous visitors, and can make interacting with a website easier, as well as helping us to improve content. People can control and disable cookies through their browser settings.

Donations

As a charity, we rely on funds to help us carry out our life-changing work. When people generously donate to The Fostering Network via third party online fundraising platforms, they can consent for their contact details to be passed to us. We hold these details securely, along with the donation amount and any Gift Aid declaration. If we receive a donation via post or in person, we keep contact details, payment amounts and any Gift Aid declaration securely and shred the paper forms. We keep details of Gift Aid donors for six years after the last donation (this is a Gift Aid requirement), and others for two years.

All donors are asked if they would like to receive our supporters’ e-newsletter by email; their email address is then held on our secure email database, and recipients can unsubscribe from this e-newsletter at any time. Information about message transaction data – which means details of which messages have been sent, opened and clicked – will be kept securely by us for one year.

Events

When people sign up to attend one of our events via a third party event website, their contact details are kept on the password protected website. We can download these contact details and use them to administer their attendance at that event. We store this data on our secure email database or on password-protected spreadsheets, and delete it after two years unless the event is part of a project when we will keep the data in line with project requirements (usually until the project is finished). Information about message transaction data – which means details of which messages have been sent, opened and clicked – will be kept securely by us for one year.

When people sign up to attend one of our events directly with The Fostering Network, we use this to administer their attendance at that event. We store this data on our secure email database or on password-protected spreadsheets, and delete it after two years unless the event is part of a project when we will keep the data in line with project requirements (usually until the project is finished). Information about message transaction data – which means details of which messages have been sent, opened and clicked – will be kept securely by us for one year.

Attendees at events may be asked if they wish to receive further information or invitations from us about future events. If they agree, their contact details will be kept securely for this purpose.

Fundraising

Each year, a wide range of people – members and non-members – kindly choose to support our vital work by fundraising for us. Their contact details are held securely for the duration of their fundraising activity and for the following two years, and are then deleted. All fundraisers are asked if they would like to receive our supporters’ e-newsletter and information about fundraising events by email; if so their email address is held on our secure email database, and recipients can unsubscribe from this e-newsletter at any time. Information about message transaction data – which means details of which messages have been sent, opened and clicked – will be kept securely by us for one year.

Helplines and independent support

When people contact our helplines, their contact and enquiry details are kept permanently on a secure database, in order that we can support follow up or further enquiries from the same individual, and that our advice is formally recorded should this be required or challenged in the future.

When people access our independent support, their contact details and reason for requiring support are kept permanently on a secure database or on access-restricted spreadsheets, in order that we can support the same individual again, and that our advice is formally recorded should this be required or challenged in the future. Paper-based documents may also be kept while the case is open, but are destroyed on closure.

Photos and film

We may take photographs of attendees at our events. This will always be made clear at the event. On occasion we also hold photoshoots, and ask all models to complete permission forms. We only take photographs of children with permission, and only use these photos for the purposes outlined in the permission form. We keep all photographs for three years, or for the duration of a project or programme, whichever is longer. 

We also film attendees at some of our events, and also make bespoke films to showcase elements of our work, which involve our members and others in their personal capacity. We only film children with permission in place. We use these films for up to three years, or for the duration of the relevant project or programme, whichever is longer.

Products and training

When people buy our publications and merchandise they do so via our third party bookshop, which sends out the purchase and stores this information on a secure database. We can access this data to understand sales trends. Purchasers can opt in to receive further information about publications. We send members information about our publications via our e-newsletters, via their contact details kept on our secure email database. Information about message transaction data – which means details of which messages have been sent, opened and clicked – will be kept securely by us for one year.

At times we offer free products to foster carers, such as publications and our handmade quilts. When foster carers sign up to receive these, we use their names and addresses to send the product to their homes and then destroy these contact details.

When people buy our training, we store their contact details securely online or in paper form before deleting/destroying it after two years. A record of which training course members have attended is kept on their member record. Attendees can choose to opt in to further communications from The Fostering Network about training, in which case their contact details are kept on our secure email database. We also send members information about our training via our e-newsletters, via their contact details kept on our secure email database. Information about message transaction data – which means details of which messages have been sent, opened and clicked – will be kept securely by us for one year.

Projects and programmes

The Fostering Network runs a number of projects and programmes which are externally funded and often delivered in partnership with other organisations. For each programme we develop data sharing agreements which are specific about how we collate, store and use personal data.

How to contact us

Changing your communications preferences

Members can change how we communicate with them by unsubscribing from any e-newsletters they receive, or by contacting membership@fostering.net or 020 7620 6440 to update us on their preferences.

Non-members can change how we communicate with them by unsubscribing from any e-newsletters they receive, or by contacting marketing@fostering.net or 020 7620 6422 to update us on their preferences.

Right to be forgotten

Anyone whose personal data we hold has a right to ask us to erase this, known as “the right to be forgotten”. We will respond to any request within a month of it being made verbally or in writing – contact our data protection officer Geoff Wilson on geoff.wilson@fostering.net or 020 7620 6436. We may not comply with the request if we need to keep the data for processing for membership purposes or there is a legal requirement for us to continue holding it.

Subject access request

Everyone whose personal data we hold has the right to access this data. This is known as a subject access request. Individuals can make a subject access request verbally or in writing; contact our data protection officer Geoff Wilson on geoff.wilson@fostering.net or 020 7620 6436. We will respond to the request within one month.

Find out more

The Fostering Network seeks to operate in accordance with all UK data protection laws. If you want more information about these laws, you can find out more from the website of the Information Commissioner’s Office.

If you have any questions or comments about this privacy statement or The Fostering Network’s data protection procedures, please contact our data protection officer Geoff Wilson on geoff.wilson@fostering.net or 020 7620 6436.

Last updated: May 2018

Thank you for your ongoing support of The Fostering Network, which allows us to continue our life-changing work to make foster care the very best it can be for fostered children and the families that look after them.