Diagrama Adoption Privacy Policy

Diagrama Adoption is part of the Diagrama Foundation. As an adoption agency it is a controller and a processor of personal and sensitive information. Please be aware that we treat all personal information with the utmost care and attention. We always act in accordance with the laws, only keep what is necessary for performing our functions and will never share your data unless: we are legally obliged to; it is essential to provide you with a service; or you have consented for us to do so.

The purpose of this policy is to give you a clear explanation about how and why we collect and use the personal information you provide to us, according to the different relationships you may have with us. Sensitive personal data about health, sexual life, race, religion and criminal activity may be collected and will be considered as special category data, which is subject to stringent security and confidentiality measures. In addition to having a lawful basis for holding that information, which we set out below, we hold it because we must process it for the purpose of providing and managing a social care service.

Please know that Diagrama will never sell your personal information to a third party.

As an adoption agency we are governed by many different areas of legislation, including:

  • Disclosure of Adoption Information (Post-Commencement Adoptions) Regulations 2005
  • Adoption Agencies Regulations 1983 • The Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005
  • The Adoption and Children Act 2002
  • Adoption Statutory Guidance 2014

Where legislation requires, we will be obliged to retain your personal and/or sensitive information for the prescribed amount of time. Please refer to our retention of records policy schedule for further information. Data Protection Regulations ensure we do not keep your data longer than we should and that we handle data with the respect and care it deserves.

If you have any queries about this policy or your personal information that we may hold, please contact:

Adoption administration co-ordinator, Diagrama Adoption, Floor 3, Anchorage House, 47-67 High Street, Chatham, Kent ME4 4EE. Tel 0800 802 1910

Alternatively you can contact our Head of Human Resources who has overall responsibility for data protection at:

Diagrama Foundation, Floor 5, Anchorage House, 47-67 High Street, Chatham, Kent ME4 4EE. Email: hr@diagrama.org

Below we have outlined the various different parties whose information we may need to process. Use the links below to pick the role specific to your position for the most relevant section of the privacy statement.

• Visitors to our website

• Initial enquiries

• Adoption applicants

• Referees

• Approved adopters

• Panel members and independent social workers

• Birth relatives

• Children

• Adopted adults

• Fundraisers and donors

 

VISITORS TO OUR WEBSITE

We collect and process the following information on the basis of your consent, obtained when you complete the enquiry form:

1. Contact details and other information you may volunteer through our enquiry forms. We retain your information as long as is necessary in order to manage your enquiry effectively at this stage, in accordance with our Retention of Records policy.

2. Anonymised insights into visitor numbers and trends via Google analytics - this tool measures traffic on our site and may be used to inform our recruitment activities.

Please read the section towards the end of this document which details your right to access the information we may hold about you and your rights to withdraw consent and have your data erased.

This policy doesn’t cover links to third party websites. We encourage you to read the privacy statements on other websites you may visit via diagramaadoption.org.uk.

INITIAL ADOPTION ENQUIRIES

If you are enquiring about adoption we will seek consent to record your information in order to assist you through the initial stages. We will collect a variety of information at this stage, which may be of a personal nature in order to help us, and you, make the correct decision about becoming an adopter. This may include:

  • Full contact details
  • Brief medical history
  • Brief family history
  • How you heard about Diagrama

Your basic details may be recorded over the phone, by email or by talking to one of our representatives at an event. That information is then transferred to our secure database and the original copy destroyed.

We use this information to:

  • Manage your enquiry and update you on progress
  • Deliver support for you throughout the initial enquiry process
  • Provide you with information about our services
  • Inform our marketing and recruitment activities

Should your enquiry be withdrawn by either party, your information will be destroyed within 1 month of date of withdrawal. However, we appreciate the need for some enquirers to take time to consider the decision whether to proceed with an adoption application. Therefore, if your enquiry is not withdrawn we retain your information for 24 months to allow you time to take your enquiry forward.

Please read the section towards the end of this document which details your right to access the information we may hold about you and your right to withdraw consent and have your data erased.

ADOPTION APPLICANTS

When you apply to adopt through Diagrama we collect and process information about you which includes but may not be limited to:

  • Financial statement
  • Family history
  • Life history - including sensitive personal data about health, sexual life, race and religion
  • Medical records
  • References from family and friends
  • Statutory checks, including Disclosure and Barring services (DBS)

We are obliged by law (The Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005 and Equality Act 2010) to collect, use and share this information to:

  • Comply with adoption legislation
  • Monitor equality and diversity (the information provided is anonymised and used only for statistical monitoring purposes which help us make improvements)
  • Provide information about our performance and services to Ofsted
  • Manage your application and update you on progress
  • Ensure our prospective adopters are able to fully meet the needs of the children who may be placed with them
  • Deliver support and arrange training for prospective adopters throughout the application process

We also have a legitimate interest in using this information to:

  • Evaluate our marketing and recruitment activities
  • Provide you with updates on our service, including information about support and training, adoption matters and our organisation
  • Conduct surveys to monitor and improve our services

Unless we advise you otherwise, we’ll only collect and process personal information to carry out these functions.

How we store your personal information

Your personal information is stored on our secure computer systems which comply to the relevant security standards. Any paper documentation is digitised and stored in this system with the originals being destroyed or returned to you. Phone conversations are not recorded but are noted on your personal file. We are committed to keeping your personal details up to date, and encourage you to inform us of any changes needed to ensure your details are accurate.

Sharing of information

Due to the nature of our work we will have to discuss elements of your personal information with third parties (such as referees). We will not discuss your personal information with anyone outside of your application, unless you have given us prior written authorisation to do so or unless we are legally obliged to do so. There may be times when we will need to share personal information with an independent social worker to undertake your assessment. They will therefore be responsible for collecting your personal and sensitive information. When we use independent social workers we follow our safer recruitment process. They will be fully registered and must follow strict guidelines on our data protection policies.

Retention of data

Your personal data is kept on file for as long as we are obliged to by law, in accordance with Disclosure of Adoption Information (Post-Commencement Adoptions) Regulations 2005, Adoption Agencies Regulations 1983, and in accordance with our Retention of Records policy.

  • In the event an application does not result in approval/or is withdrawn prior to panel your information is kept on file for at least 3 years following date of refusal/withdrawal.
  • For adopters that have been approved, but not had children placed – your information is kept on file for at least 10 years from approval being terminated.
  • For adopters that have been approved and had children placed, but which has not resulted in an adoption order, your information is kept on file for at least 10 years from approval being terminated.

Please read the section towards the end of this document which details your right to access the information we may hold about you and your right to object to processing, if applicable.

REFEREES

You have agreed to provide a reference in support of an adoption application. In order to record references we will need to collect your information to verify who you are, in accordance with The Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005. This information may be obtained by means of a written statement, or collected during an interview conducted by a qualified social worker. There may be times when an independent social worker will collect your reference. They will therefore be responsible for collecting your information, some of which may be personal and sensitive. When we use independent social workers we follow our safer recruitment process. They will be fully registered and must follow strict guidelines on our data protection policies. Information collected may include:

  • Contact details
  • Nature of your relationship with the applicant
  • Your reference for the applicant

We have a legal obligation to use this information to:

  • Consider our applications and assessments
  • Ensure we can contact you in relation to our assessments

How we store your personal information

We will hold your information and the reference you provide on our secure computer systems, which comply to the relevant security standards and are retained in accordance with The Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005. Any physical documents will be digitised for that purpose - the original copy will be destroyed. Phone conversations are not recorded but are noted on your personal file.

Sharing of information

We will need to share your reference with third parties for the purposes of progressing the application or where we are legally required to do so. We may have to discuss elements of your reference with Panel members and share it with local authorities, as part of the family finding process.

Retention of data

Referee information is kept, together with the adoption assessment, in line with the Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005. Your name and relationship to the applicant is kept on file for as long as we are obliged to under The Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005.

  • If the application is withdrawn from the process, by either party, the information will be stored for a period of 3 years and then destroyed in line with agency practice.
  • If the applicant is approved as an adopter, but this does not result in them adopting a child, the information will be stored for a period of 10 years from date of approval being terminated and then destroyed in line with agency practice.
  • If the applicant becomes an adopter and an adoption order is granted, the information is kept for 100 years, or 75 years if adoption dates pre December 30, 2005.

Please read the section towards the end of this document which details your right to access the information we may hold about you.

APPROVED ADOPTERS

Once you have been approved by panel to adopt, in addition to the information collected earlier in the application process (detailed above) we may also collect:

  • Details of any training or activities in support of your family finding process
  • Notes on your preferences regarding the children you may wish to match with
  • Outcomes of any potential matches
  • Annual adopter reviews, if a child has not been placed within a year.
  • Photographs

We are legally obliged in accordance with Adoption Agency Regulations 2005 to collect, process and share this information to:

  • Manage the family finding process.
  • Comply with adoption legislation.
  • Deliver support and training to you
  • Provide information about our performance and services to Ofsted
  • Ensure you are able to fully meet the needs of the children who may be placed with you

We also have legitimate reasons to use this information to:

  • Provide you with updates on our service, including information about support and training, adoption matters and our organisation.
  • Produce a personal profile of you, which outlines your offer as an adopter – this will include relevant information about you, which may include some sensitive personal data. You will be fully consulted on the information included in your profile, prior to being circulated.

We will seek your consent to use your information for marketing purposes, including articles in newsletters, advertising and publicity materials.

How we store your personal information

Your personal information is stored on our secure computer systems which comply with the relevant security standards. Any paper documentation is digitised and stored in this system with the originals being destroyed or returned to you. Phone conversations are not recorded but are noted on your personal file. We are committed to keeping your personal details up to date and encourage you to inform us of any changes needed to ensure your details are accurate.

Sharing of information

Your information and your profile will only be shared with relevant agencies and third parties, such as Adoption Match, Linkmaker, local authorities and the courts in connection with progressing the family-finding stage and always in accordance with appropriate legislation. Your information may also be shared with other agencies that you may apply to adopt through in the future. We will not share your personal information with any other third party without your prior authorisation to do so, unless we have a legal obligation to eg. where there may be a safeguarding risk.

Retention of data

Your personal data is kept on file for as long as we are obliged to in accordance with the Adoption Agencies Regulations (AAR) 1983, the Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005 and Disclosure of Adoption Information (Post-Commencement Adoptions) Regulations 2005) and in accordance with our Retention of Records policy.

  • If the applicant is approved as an adopter, but this does not result in the adoption of a child, the information will be stored for a period of 10 years from the date of approval being terminated and then destroyed in line with agency practice.
  • AAR 40 provides that the agency must keep the child’s case record and the prospective adopter’s case record for as long as it considers appropriate. This applies only to adoption case records where the case has not concluded with an adoption order.
  • Where an adoption order was made on or after 30th December 2005, records must be retained for 100 years from the date of the adoption order.
  • Where the adoption order was made before 30th December 2005 records and documents must be retained for 75 years from the date of adoption order and in respect of other cases where no adoption order was made for so long as it considers appropriate.

Please refer to our Retention of Records policy for further details. Please read the section towards the end of this document which details your right to access the information we may hold about you and your right to object to processing your information, in some instances.

PANEL MEMBERS AND INDEPENDENT ASSESSING SOCIAL WORKERS

Please refer to Diagrama’s Employee Privacy Notice for further information.

BIRTH RELATIVES

Diagrama Adoption has a legal obligation to the child and not the child’s birth family. Family information is provided by the local authority responsible for their care. The family information is held within the child’s files in accordance with the Adoption Agencies Regulations 1983, the Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005 and Disclosure of Adoption Information (Post-Commencement Adoptions) Regulations 2005, and is inseparable to the child’s case recording. Information we store may include:

  • Detailed background information of child
  • Parental information and relevant extended family history
  • Risk assessment
  • Contact arrangements

We have a legal obligation to use this information to:

  • Make sure the child is looked after in a safe and secure home
  • Make sure we are providing the best possible service to the child.
  • Document the child’s time with us so they have a detailed record for future reference
  • Deliver support to the child regarding their placement
  • Monitor equality and diversity
  • Ensure we are meeting the needs of all the young people we look after
  • Provide information about our performance and services to your local authority so they can maintain their own records alongside our own
  • Conduct surveys in order to monitor and improve our services
  • Comply with legislation and regulations

We’ll only collect and process personal information to carry out these functions. If you ever want to view the information collected and stored by us you can do so by contacting your local authority or an approved intermediary agency that will be able to advise you.

How we store your personal information

Your personal information is stored on our secure computer systems which comply with the relevant security standards. Any paper documentation is digitised and stored in this system with the originals being destroyed.

Sharing of information

We are obliged from time to time under the Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005, to share your information with key agency partners such as local authorities, police, legal and health professionals. Your information is held as part of your child’s records and to ensure their placement with our adopters is as positive as possible and in line with regulations. We may also be legally obliged to share your information, where relevant, as part of our obligation to process requests for access to adoption records, in accordance with regulations.

Retention of data

Your personal data is kept on file for as long as we are obliged to in accordance with the Adoption Agencies Regulations (AAR) 2005. ANY information on children’s family members will therefore remain within the child’s file and retained in accordance with the following:

  • AAR 40 provides that the agency must keep the child’s case record, including relevant information about birth family, for as long as it considers appropriate. This applies only to adoption case records where the case has not concluded with an adoption order.
  • Where an adoption order was made on or after 30th December 2005, records must be retained for 100 years from the date of the adoption order.
  • Where the adoption order was made before 30th December 2005 records and documents must be retained for 75 years from the date of adoption order and in respect of other cases where no adoption order was made for so long as it considers appropriate.

Please refer to our Retention of Records policy for further details.

CHILDREN

As a young person who is or has been in the care system the professional team who have played a role in your care produce a great deal of paperwork. The information we have gathered about you is really important to retain your life story and we are obliged by law to collect this and store it in a secure manner, in accordance with The Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005 and the Adoption and Children Act 2002. This may include:

  • Detailed information about you as an individual, eg your Child Permanence Report
  • Information about your family members and their background history
  • Risk assessment

We have a legal obligation to use this information to:

  • Make sure you are looked after in a safe and secure home
  • Make sure we providing the best possible service for you
  • Document your time in our care prior to an adoption order so you have a detailed record for future reference
  • Deliver support to you regarding your placement/adoption
  • Monitor equality and diversity
  • Ensure we are meeting the needs of all the young people we look after
  • Provide information about our performance and services to your local authority so they can maintain their own records alongside our own.

We have a legitimate reason to use this information to:

  • Conduct surveys in order to monitor and improve our services

We will only collect and process personal information to carry out these functions.

How we store your personal information

Your personal information is stored on our secure computer systems which comply with the relevant security standards. Any paper documentation is digitised and stored in this system with the originals being destroyed. Phone conversations are not recorded but are noted on your personal file.

Sharing of information

We are obliged from time to time under the Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005, to share your information with key agency partners such as local authorities, police, legal and health professionals. Your information is held as part of your records and to ensure your placement with our adopter(s) is as positive as possible and in line with regulations. We may also be legally obliged to share your information, where relevant, as part of our obligation to process requests for access to adoption records, in accordance with regulations.

Retention of data

Your personal data is kept on file for as long as we are obliged to in accordance with the Adoption Agencies Regulations 1983, the Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005, Disclosure of Adoption Information (Post-Commencement Adoptions) Regulations 2005 and in accordance with regulations.

  • AAR 40 provides that the agency must keep the child’s case record, including relevant information about birth family, for as long as it considers appropriate. This applies only to adoption case records where the case has not concluded with an adoption order.
  • Where an adoption order was made on or after 30th December 2005, records must be retained for 100 years from the date of the adoption order.
  • Where the adoption order was made before 30th December 2005 records and documents must be retained for 75 years from the date of adoption order and in respect of other cases where no adoption order was made for so long as it considers appropriate.

Please read the section towards the end of this document which details your right to access the information we may hold about you and to object to processing in some instances.

ADOPTED ADULTS

As an individual who has been in the care system the professional team who have played a role in your care have produced paperwork which is linked to your time in care. The information we have gathered about you is important to retain your life story and we are obliged by law to collect this and store it in a secure manner, in accordance with the Adoption Agencies Regulations 1983, the Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005, and Disclosure of Adoption Information (Post-Commencement Adoptions) Regulations 2005 and the Adoption and Children Act 2002.

How we store your personal information

Your personal information is stored on our secure computer systems which comply with the relevant security standards. Our current practice is that any paper documentation is digitised and stored in this system with the originals being destroyed or returned to you. However, prior to this change, any additional paperwork relating to your adoption will have been stored in our secure paper archive which complies with the relevant security standards. Phone conversations are not recorded but are noted on your personal file.

Sharing of information

We are obliged from time to time under the Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005, to share your information with key agency partners such as local authorities, police, legal and health professionals. We may also be legally obliged to share your information, where relevant, as part of our obligation to process requests for access to adoption records. Please see the section on Access to Records for further information. It is important to note that there might be birth family who may wish to make contact with you. Please rest assured that we will not share any information with them without your prior consent. If you do not wish us to contact you in the case of a birth family wishing to make contact, then you will need to complete a veto form which will go on our files making it clear that you do not wish to be contacted about this (The Adoption Information and Intermediary Services (Pre-Commencement Adoptions) (Amendment) Regulations 2014).

Please contact our adoption team, if you need any further information regarding this by emailing adoption@diagrama.org

Retention of data

Your personal data is kept on file for as long as we are obliged to in accordance with the Adoption Agencies Regulations 1983, the Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005, and Disclosure of Adoption Information (Post-Commencement Adoptions) Regulations 2005.

  • Where an adoption order was made on or after 30th December 2005, records must be retained for 100 years from the date of the adoption order.
  • Where the adoption order was made before 30th December 2005 records and documents must be retained for 75 years from the date of adoption order.

Please refer to our Retention of Records policy for further details. Please read the section towards the end of this document which details your right to access the information we may hold about you.

FUNDRAISERS AND DONORS

If you support us, for example make a donation or register to fundraise we may collect:

  • Your name
  • Your contact details
  • Your date of birth
  • Your bank or credit card details.

We have a legal obligation to use this information to:

  • Comply with fundraising regulations, including Gift Aid laws
  • To detect and reduce fraud.

We have a legitimate interest in using this information to:

  • Provide you with the services or information you asked for
  • Administer your donation or support your fundraising, including processing gift aid
  • Keep a record of your relationship with us
  • Ensure we know how you prefer to be contacted
  • Understand how we can improve our services, products or information.
  • Let you know about the progress we are making.

If relevant and appropriate we may also record:

  • Information relating to your health (for example if you are taking part in a high risk event)
  • Why you have decided to donate to us. We will never make this question mandatory, and only want to know the answer if you are comfortable telling us.

We will seek your consent to use your information to

  • Ask for future donations or other support.

Occasionally, we may include information from partner organisations or organisations that support us in these communications. We make it easy for you to tell us how you want us to communicate, in a way that suits you. Our forms have clear marketing preference questions and we include information on how to opt out when we send you marketing.

Sharing of information

If we run an event in partnership with another named organisation your details may need to be shared. We will be very clear what will happen to your data if you register for an event where this may happen. Some people choose to tell us about their experiences to help further our work. They may take on a role as an ambassador or media volunteer or attend our support-focused events. This may include them sharing sensitive information related to their family life in addition to their biographical and contact information. Please be aware that we will only share your information in these circumstances if we have your consent to do so.

How we store your personal information

Your personal information is stored on our secure computer systems which comply with the relevant security standards. Any paper documentation is digitised and stored in this system with the originals being destroyed.

Retention of data

We are legally obliged to keep donation and fundraising records for 7 years in accordance with accounting regulations.

RIGHTS TO ACCESS YOUR DATA

You have a right at any time to ask us what personal information we hold about you and you can request a copy of your information. This is known as a ‘subject access request’ (SAR). SARs need to be made in writing and we ask that your written request is accompanied by proof of your identify. We have one calendar month within which to provide you with the information you’ve asked for. Certain exemptions apply – please see information below regarding access to adoption records. If you need us to correct any mistakes in the information we hold about you, please let us know.

In the meantime you have the right to require us to stop processing your personal information. When processing is restricted, we are allowed to store the information, but not do anything with it. You can do this where:

  • You challenge the accuracy of the information (we must restrict processing until we have verified its accuracy). During the assessment you will be the source of information and the information should always be accurate.
  • You challenge whether we have a legitimate interest in using the information. During the course of an assessment all information gathered will be of a legitimate interest.
  • If the processing is a breach of the GDPR or otherwise unlawful
  • If we no longer need the personal data but you need the information to establish, exercise or defend a legal claim.
  • If we have disclosed your personal information to third parties, we must inform them about the restriction on processing, unless it is impossible or involves disproportionate effort to do so.
  • We must inform you when we decide to remove the restriction giving the reasons why.

Access to adoption records

Please be aware that a subject access request does not apply in relation to information held in adoption records as all adoption records are exempt and protected by Adoption Agency Regulations. There are varied conditions on access according to the date of adoption. Further information regarding access and your rights in relation to information held as part of an adoption record, can be made available upon request by emailing adoption@diagrama.org.uk

Please note, in accordance with the law, you must be aged 18 or over to access your adoption records. In addition, if you were adopted before 12 November 1975, you will be required to attend a counselling session with an approved adoption advisor first.

If you were in the care of Cabrini Children’s Society or, as it was previously known, the Catholic Children’s Society (ie not via a local authority) and your records are held with Diagrama, we will provide access to your records within a period of 40 days.

RIGHTS TO OBJECT TO PROCESSING, TO WITHDRAW CONSENT AND HAVE YOUR DATA ERASED.

You do not have the right to object to processing or to have your data erased where we are legally obliged to hold and process your data. Where we process your data solely on the basis of your consent, you have the right to withdraw your consent for that processing.

You can do this by contacting: Adoption administration co-ordinator, Diagrama Adoption, Floor 3, Anchorage House, 47-67 High Street, Chatham, Kent ME4 4EE. Tel 0800 802 1910

You may also have the right to have that data erased (for example where it is solely held and processed with your consent). Where we process your data because we believe we have a legitimate interest to do so, you have the right to object to this processing. In that case, we will stop using the information unless we can demonstrate a compelling legitimate reason for the processing, which overrides your interests and rights or where the processing is necessary for us or someone else to bring or defend legal claims.

Please be aware that any objection to processing may end your association with Diagrama in some circumstances.

RIGHT TO DATA PORTABILITY

Please note that rights to data portability do not apply to this service as Diagrama Adoption does not collect your personal data through an automated process

FURTHER INFORMATION

Privacy notices are long and complicated documents and may not provide detail on all aspects of Diagrama Adoption’s collection and use of personal information. We’re happy to provide any further information or explanation needed. Please contact us using the information at the top of this notice.

COMPLAINTS

Diagrama Adoption tries to meet the highest standards when collecting and using personal information. We take any complaints we receive seriously. We encourage people to bring it to our attention if they think that our collection or use of information is unfair, misleading, inaccurate or inappropriate.

You can do so by contacting our Head of Human Resources, who has responsibility for data protection matters, at: Diagrama Foundation, Floor 5, Anchorage House, 47-67 High Street, Chatham, Kent ME4 4EE. Email: hr@diagrama.org

If you remain unsatisfied with our response you have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office by writing to: Information Commissioner’s Office Wycliffe House Water Lane Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF

Changes to this privacy notice: We keep our privacy notice under regular review. We’ll update if we undertake any new or amended processing. This privacy notice was last updated on: 16/05/2018.