Privacy statement

In order to comply with Articles 13 and 14 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), LB Bexley, Kent County Council and Medway Council Regional Adoption Agency is obliged to provide you with information about the processing of your personal data during assessment, and later, approval of adoptive parents. We aim to be transparent about  how we collect data and how we use and share information about you.

Who are we?

Adoption Partnership, south east, is a regional adoption agency formed via a partnership between LB Bexley, Kent County Council and Medway Council to provide a joint adoption service. Kent County Council is the Lead Partner. The adoption agency undertakes assessments of people wishing to become adoptive parents, and provides them with ongoing support and guidance beyond the granting of an Adoption Order. The agency ensures that children are matched with the most appropriate adoptive parents to ensure positive outcomes for children and young people that have been in care.

Adoption Partnership is required to collect and use personal information about individuals, their families and others in their support network, who wish to become adopters. When we do so we are regulated under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018  and we are responsible as ‘joint controllers’ of that personal information for the purposes of those laws.

The Partner’s Data Protection Officers for the RAA are:

Adoption Partnership south east undertakes assessments, for prospective adoptive parents and this includes non-related prospective adopters such as step-parents. Following approval of non-related prospective adopters, the Adoption Partnership provides an offer of ongoing support and guidance to children and families if this is required.

Adoption Partnership south east supports care planning for children in care who have a plan for adoption and  ensures that children are matched with the most appropriate adoptive parents to ensure the best possible family life for children during their childhood into adulthood.

Adoption Partnership south east is responsible for the following:

  • Recruiting and assessing adoptive parents.
  • Family finding and matching for those children in Bexley, Kent and Medway who have a plan of adoption.
  • Providing adoption support to adopted children, adoptive families and adopted adults who live in Bexley, Kent and Medway (where responsibility to assess and support falls to these authorities).
  • Facilitating ongoing adoption mailbox contact for children who have been placed for adoption by Bexley, Kent and Medway Councils
  • Non agency adoptions

The personal information we collect and use

Information collected by us

In the course of approving, matching and supporting adoptive parents we collect the following personal and special category information when you provide it to us:

  • Title
  • Surname
  • Forename
  • Preferred Name
  • Gender
  • DOB
  • Address
  • Ethnicity
  • Contact numbers and email address
  • Marital Status
  • Relationships and sexual orientation
  • System ID numbers generated by data controllers

Within assessments we will also hold a significant amount of additional personal and highly sensitive information such as:

  • details of past offences
  • employment and education history
  • medical history
  • motivation to adopt
  • personal beliefs and views
  • social history
  • parenting capacity
  • personal circumstances
  • motivation to access adoption records
  • experiences of adopting and being adopted
  • Family network and relationship information
  • Employment information
  • Financial information
  • Information relating to assessments and approvals for suitability to adopt children
  • Previous or current involvement with children’s social care services in Bexley, Kent, or Medway

We also obtain personal information from other sources as follows:

  • The local authority in whose area you live
  • Other local authorities with statutory responsibility for safeguarding children and for delivering adoption services
  • Other departments in LB Bexley, Kent County Council, and Medway Council
  • Other adoption agencies previously involved
  • Past and/or Present Employer
  • Social Media (in line with the local authority’s RIPA policy)
  • References (personal and employment)
  • Previous partners
  • Health Services
  • Education establishments and training providers
  • Disclosure and Barring Service
  • Probation service

How we use your personal information

We use your personal information to:

  • Process adoptive parent applications
  • Assess suitability to become an adoptive parent
  • Match approved adoptive parents with children for adoption, to ensure the most successful outcomes for children who have been in care
  • Provide ongoing support and advice to adoptive parents
  • Prevent or detect crime or fraud
  • Assess and evaluate our services
  • Inform future service planning and the commissioning of services

How long your personal data will be kept

We keep your information securely in line with Adoption Regulation 2005 which are reflected in the Lead Partner’s Records Management Policy and Retention Schedule as outlined below:

CategoryRetention period
Adoptive parents, including both Kent Adoptive Agency placements and non-agency placements (step-parent adoptions)On granting of an adoption order and completion of outstanding work, transfer all records to the Records Management Service for 100 years from date of adoption order
Adoptive parents who were ‘counselled out’ or turned down or approved but they decided not to proceed furtherDate approval is terminated +10 years or date of death of adoptive parent +2 years.  In exceptional cases, records may be retained beyond this period on the authorisation of a district manager
Adoption panel recordsDate of adoption order +100 years
Records relating to the adoption and Special Guardianship Finance Support BoardDate of the meeting of the board plus a minimum of 6 years then review
Post-adoption supportDate of adoption order +100 years

Reasons we can collect and use your personal information

Adoption Partnership south east’s processing of your personal data, is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation and the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the Adoption Partnership by virtue of various UK laws including but not limited to:

  • Adoption and Children Act 2002 and associated regulations
  • Children and Adoption Act 2006 and associated regulations
  • Local Authority Social Services Act 1970
  • Local Authority Adoption services (England) regulations 2003
  • Adoption Statutory Guidance 2014
  • The Education and Adoption Act 2016
  • Care Standards Act 2000
  • The Fostering Services Regulations 2011 as amended by The Care Planning, Placement and Case Review and Fostering Services (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2013
  • The Care Planning, Placement and Case Review Regulations 2010
  • The National Minimum Standards for Fostering Services (England and Wales)
  • Children and Families Act 2014

Adoption Partnership south east’s processing of your special category personal data is necessary for the purposes of the provision of health or social care or treatment or the management of health or social care systems and services on the basis of Union or Member State law or for reasons of substantial public interest, or necessary for legal claims.

Who we share your personal information with

  • London Borough Bexley
  • Kent County Council
  • Medway Council
  • Any adoption agency from which children are placed with RAA adopters
  • Any other adoption agency we are liaising with in relation to Family Finding
  • Any adoption agency we are working with to provide adoption support.
  • Therapeutic providers who are undertaking adoption support work
  • Police
  • Other local authorities for statutory checking purposes
  • Education establishments
  • Employers
  • Link Maker (National Agency for matching)
  • Ofsted
  • Health Agencies and GPs
  • Any person undertaking a Statutory Inquiry under section 81 of the Children Act 1989
  • CAFCASS Officers
  • The Court and officers of the Court
  • The Disclosure and Barring Service
  • Any person appointed to deal with a complaint or representation in respect of which access to the Adoption Case Record is required in order to carry out the responsibilities of his or her appointment.
  • An Independent Review Panel convened to consider a Qualifying Determination of an adoption agency, e.g. where an adoptive applicant has exercised his or her right to challenge a decision of the adoption agency as to their suitability to adopt or where a decision has been made in relation to the disclosure of protected information
  • Any qualified person undertaking a Serious Case Review in relation to a child
  • The Secretary of State or persons authorised on his/her behalf, an Ombudsman or regulatory authority
  • Contractor/service provider to support adults who have been adopted or have family who have been adopted

Anonymous information only will be shared with the following organisations:

  • Adoption Support Fund
  • ASGLB – Adoption & Special Guardianship Leadership Board
  • Department for Education

Your Rights

Under the GDPR you have rights which you can exercise free of charge that allow you to:

  • know what we are doing with your information and why we are doing it
  • ask to see what information we hold about you (known as a Subject Access Request)
  • ask us to correct any mistakes in the information we hold about you
  • object to direct marketing
  • make a complaint to the Information Commissioner's Office

Where we process information based on your consent, you have the right to withdraw your consent at any time.

Depending on our reason for using your information you may also be entitled to:

  • ask us to delete information we hold about you
  • have your information transferred electronically to yourself or to another organisation
  • object to decisions being made that significantly affect you
  • object to how we are using your information
  • stop us using your information in certain ways.

We will always seek to comply with your request, however, we may be required to hold or use your information to comply with legal duties. Please note, your request may delay or prevent us delivering a service to you.

You may not, however, have the right to object to the Council using your personal data for statistical purposes where it is necessary for the performance of a public task carried out for reasons in the public interest.

For further information about your rights, including the circumstances in which they apply, see the guidance from the UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) under GDPR.

If you would like to exercise a right, please contact the Information Resilience and Transparency Team at data.protection@kent.gov.uk.

Keeping your personal information secure

We have appropriate security measures in place to prevent personal information from being accidentally lost, or used or accessed in an unauthorised way. We limit access to your personal information to those who have a genuine business need to know it. Those processing your information will do so only in an authorised manner and are subject to a duty of confidentiality.

We also have procedures in place to deal with any suspected data security breach. We will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected data security breach where we are legally required to do so.

Who to Contact

Please contact the Information Resilience and Transparency Team at data.protection@kent.gov.uk to exercise any of your rights, or if you have a complaint about why your information has been collected, how it has been used or how long we have kept it for.

The General Data Protection Regulation also gives you right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority. The supervisory authority in the UK is the Information Commissioner who may be contacted at https://ico.org.uk/concerns or telephone 03031 231113.