Dear Kent County Council,
Please can you send me any information that you hold regarding advice you have issued to Foster Carers on their obligation to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 and how they can handle information securely - I am looking for guidance that you have distributed to foster carers within the past 5 years.
Dear Mr Taylor
Thank you for your email below.
Kent County Council acknowledges your request for information under the
Freedom of Information Act 2000. Assuming KCC holds this information, we
will endeavour to supply the data to you as soon as possible but no later
than 5^th April 2017 (20 working days from date of receipt).
We will advise you as soon as possible if we do not hold this information
or if there are exemptions to be considered and/or any costs for providing
the information. Please quote our reference - FOI/17/0445 - in any
communication regarding this particular request.
Carly Wattle | Information Access Officer | Information Resilience &
Transparency Team | Kent County Council | Room 2.71, Sessions House,
Maidstone, ME14 1XQ | Phone 03000 417061 | Fax 03000 420303 |
Dear Mr Taylor
Thank you for your request for information made under the Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA) 2000, relating to foster carer advice. I am pleased
to provide the response below:
Please can you send me any information that you hold regarding advice you
have issued to Foster Carers on their obligation to comply with the Data
Protection Act 1998 and how they can handle information securely - I am
looking for guidance that you have distributed to foster carers within
the past 5 years.
All Kent County Council potential foster carers are invited to attend a
Skills to Foster Course before approval at a Fostering Panel, during this
training potential carers attend a session on Working with Others which
covers confidentiality. To use alongside the PowerPoint presentation
foster carers receive “The Skills to Foster Handbook”, and section 3
‘Working with Others’ (page 93) refers to the Data Protection Act 1998
under ‘Confidentiality’. Once carers have been approved at Panel they are
required to complete the Training Support and Development Standards (TSDS)
within the first year of fostering which in the Usual Topics section (page
69) has the link to the Data Protection Act 1998. This information is
shared with foster carers at the point of approval and worked on
throughout the first year of fostering.
Kent County Council share information on TSDS through the following link
to our Kent Fostering Handbook website:
Carers are required to attend face to face training on Record Keeping
within year 2 of being a foster carer, the training covers all aspects of
Record Keeping and there is a large section on Data Protection which
covers the following information:
The Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) is a United Kingdom Act of
Parliament which defines a legal basis for handling of information in the
United Kingdom (UK) relating to people living within. It is the main
piece of legislation that governs the protection of personal data in
Although the Act does not mention privacy, in practice it provides a
way in which individuals can enforce the control of information about
Most of the Act does not apply to domestic use, for example keeping a
personal address book. Anyone holding personal data for other purposes is
legally obliged to comply with this Act, subject to some exemptions. The
Act defines eight data protection principles
Data protection principles
· Personal data shall be processed fairly and lawfully
· Personal data shall be obtained only for one or more specified
and lawful purposes, and shall not be further processed in any manner
incompatible with that purpose or those purposes.
· Personal data shall be adequate, relevant and not excessive in
relation to the purpose or purposes for which they are processed.
· Personal data shall be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to
· Personal data processed for any purpose or purposes shall not be
kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose or those purposes.
· Personal data shall be processed in accordance with the rights
of data subjects under this Act.
· Appropriate technical and organisational measures shall be taken
against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against
accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data.
· Personal data shall not be transferred to a country or territory
outside the European Economic Area unless that country or territory
ensures an adequate level of protection for the rights and freedoms of
data subjects in relation to the processing of personal data
Carers also attend a New Carers Induction session within the first year of
Fostering which covers the importance of Record Keeping. Foster Carers are
also offered optional E-learning courses on Record Keeping in Foster Care
and Keeping and Sharing Information which covers data protection
extensively. Kent County Council has a record keeping policy which refers
to data protection. Information can be found on the Fostering Handbook
webpage using the following link
Kent County Council activated Egress which is a secure email system for
sharing information. Fostering Teams all have access to this and guidance
was shared with foster carers (please see attached).
If you are unhappy with this response, and believe KCC has not complied
with legislation, please ask for a review by following our complaints
process; details can be found at this link
on our website. Please quote reference FOI/17/0445.
If you still remain dissatisfied following an internal review, you can
appeal to the Information Commissioner, who oversees compliance with the
Freedom of Information Act 2000. Details of what you need to do, should
you wish to pursue this course of action, are available from the
Information Commissioner’s website http://www.ico.org.uk/concerns.
Kirsty-Leigh Robertson| Information Access Officer | Information
Resilience & Transparency Team | Room 2.71, Sessions House, Maidstone |
Phone 03000 418301 | Fax 03000 420303 |