Your data: children's social work - adopters, foster and kinship carers

Why we need your information and what we will do with it

This notice is for kinship carers, foster carers and people who are seeking to adopt or who have adopted children. Aberdeen City Council collects and holds your personal information to allow its Children’s Social Work service to provide you with advice, guidance and support, about becoming a carer or adopter and to assess your suitability. We will use it to assess your own need for support, plan and deliver that support and also to monitor the support you are giving to the person you care for.

We will need to get information from members of your family, doctor, or any other relevant person, and we may need your financial information in order to carry out this assessment. As part of the assessment process your information will be shared with the Adoption and Fostering Panel, and the court. Your information may also be shared with other agencies that the child you are adopting or caring for, is involved with.

We work with other agencies in planning and delivering these supports. We also use your information to verify your identity where required, contact you by post, email or telephone, maintain our records, manage any funding of services and your contribution to these and to demonstrate to our own auditors and external regulators that we are providing proper services in accordance with the law. All recording will be done in accordance with the Council Social Care Case Recording Policy and Procedure.

We receive information from partners which is added to our records. In some cases, information will be added to our records using automated processing, to speed up the time it takes to deal with simple processes. Decisions about you are not made using automated decision-making.

How your information will be shared

Social care and child protection often involve the support of a number of agencies. The main agencies that we will share information with are education, health and the police. For example, this may mean that we must share information with your nursery, school, or family doctor. This will only ever be limited, relevant information. Because this sharing of your information is done to meet our statutory obligations under legislation that is there to protect children and young people there is often not a choice about whether we share information with relevant agencies. Unless there is a really good reason not to, we will explain to you why we are sharing information about you and who with. Where there are choices about sharing we will clearly explain these to you (or, depending on your age, to your parent or carer), and support you to make an informed choice.

In addition, we may share information with some other agencies depending on your individual circumstances. These may include your housing provider, particularly if aspects of your support relate to housing adaptations or other housing-related issues, the Department of Work and Pensions in terms of benefits you may receive, Police Scotland and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. We may share information with any provider of care and support to you or the child you care for. We may share information with The Care Inspectorate if concerns are raised with them about certain services provided to you or your child. We will also share information with other services in the council, or other local authorities, where we are working with them to support and provide services to you. Where your case is transferred to another local authority area, we will also share with them relevant information about you.

We may also have to share your information with The Scottish Children's Reporters Administration, the Scottish Courts and Children's Panels and where necessary other local authorities. We are also legally obliged to share certain data with regulatory and law enforcement bodies, where this is necessary and appropriate. For example, this may include sharing data with Disclosure Scotland, Police Scotland who may be investigating a crime, or The Care Inspectorate who are responsible for regulating our work and helping us improve our services to you.

Your information is also analysed internally to help us improve our services and outcomes for service users. We also work with partners on specific, targeted projects and initiatives to help us improve the social work services we provide, and the outcomes for our service users. This normally involves project partners analysing personal data on our behalf. We control the way that partners use and manage personal data throughout through our agreements and arrangements with them.

Additionally, it may sometimes be the case that, during the process of supporting you, you and your Social Worker may decide that it would be beneficial to refer or support you to access another agency or organisation for further help or support. To do this on your behalf will normally mean the Social Worker sharing some information about you with that service or organisation. If this is the case, this type of information sharing will always be discussed between you (or your parent or carer) and your Social Worker, on a case by case basis, and will normally be done with your agreement.

If your case is transferred to another local authority area, we will share with them relevant information about you to ensure that they can fulfil their statutory responsibilities to support you.

All information sharing will be done in accordance with our corporate policy, procedure and practitioner guidance on information sharing.

How long we will keep your information for

The Council has a records retention and disposal schedule which sets out how long we hold different types of information for, these are set out below.

Please be aware that, for now, where we have information which relates to children who have been in residential care or who have been otherwise looked after by Aberdeen City Council (or any of our predecessor bodies) from 1930 to the present, we are currently not destroying any of our records. This is because the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, which is looking at the abuse of children in care in Scotland, may need to use this information as part of their work. This will be the case for the duration of the inquiry and until further notification from the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.

Retention of information for foster/kinship carers and adopters
Process Retention period
Initial inquiry, interview and background prep with no concerns or with concerns, including where an applicant withdraws from the process. 10 years from date of case closure.
All carer and adoptive records beyond initial interview. 25 years from date you cease being a carer/adopter.
All carer and adoptive records once a child has been placed with you. 100 years from end of carer placement or the granting of the adoption order.

Your rights

You have rights to your data, including the right to ask for a copy of it. See more information on all the rights you have, and how they work in practice. If you would like to access your social work records, you can ask your current social worker, or you can make a request.

If you don’t currently have social work support from Aberdeen City Council, but have done in the past, we can provide support to you when you access your social work records.

You also have the right to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office. They are the body responsible for making sure organisations like the Council handle your data lawfully.

If you have a query about how we have handled your personal information, you can email the Council's Data Protection Officer on or write to:
Data Protection Officer
Aberdeen City Council
Level 1 South
Marischal College
Broad Street
AB10 1AB

If your complaint is not about a data protection matter, see how to make a complaint about Social Work services.

Our legal basis

Wherever Aberdeen City Council processes personal data, we need to make sure we have a legal basis for doing so in data protection law. Aberdeen City Council understands our legal basis for processing your personal data as Article 6(1)(e) of the General Data Protection Regulation because delivering Children’s Social Work services are part of our public task. Sometimes we process your data because the law says we have to, in these cases our legal basis for processing is Article 6(1)(c). This is because we have a range of duties and powers under the following laws:

  • Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968
  • Carers (Scotland) Act 2016
  • Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007
  • Children (Scotland) Act 1995
  • Social Care (Self-Directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013
  • Adults with Incapacity Act 2000
  • Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014
  • Looked After Children (Scotland) Regulations 2009
  • Foster Children (Scotland) Act 1984
  • Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007
  • Related legislation applying to the care and welfare of adults and children in Scotland.

In delivering these services, the Aberdeen City Council is also likely to process special categories of personal data. Our legal basis for doing so as Article 9(2)(h) of the General Data Protection Regulation, because processing is necessary for the provision of health or social care or treatment or the management of health or social care systems and services.

This will sometimes involve passing information about you to providers who we commission care and support services form to meet the needs of you or the child you care for. We make sure that they process your data appropriately through our contractual arrangements with them.

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