Big Welcome Privacy Notice

This privacy policy describes how Action for Children protects and makes use of the personal information we collect when you use our foster carer profile service, Big Welcome.

Our commitment

Action for Children is committed to protecting the privacy of its supporters and stakeholders. All your personal information will be treated in accordance with data protection law including the UK Data Protection Act 2018 and the Data Protection (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law 2017 and other applicable data privacy legislation.

We review our privacy policies regularly so this policy may be updated from time to time. The latest version will always be published on this website. This version was updated on 22 January 2024. If you have any questions about this privacy policy, please email [email protected] or write to: Data Protection Officer, Action for Children, 3 The Boulevard, Ascot Road, Watford WD18 8AG.

For Action for Children fostering services, Action for Children are the data controllers for all data entered into the system.

For other fostering agencies or services, Action for Children act as data processor for the data entered into the system. The relevant fostering agency or local authority will be the data controller.

Purpose of processing and lawful basis

Big Welcome is a digital service that allows foster carers to create a profile about themselves and their family home.

Profiles can be shared with social workers and young people as part of the matching and placement process. They allow children and young people to find out information about a potential foster home in a friendly, personable and relevant format. They also allow fostering services to make more appropriate matches with young people.

Under data protection legislation, we must have a lawful basis for processing your personal data. In this case, our lawful basis is legitimate interest. This is to assess the suitability of our foster carers, and support matching of our foster carers with young people being placed in care.

Data we collect

  • Your first and last name
  • Your email address
  • Information you include in your profile
  • Site usage data and information collected from cookies, including device information and IP addresses
  • Login information

How we use it

We collect information through the Big Welcome service in order to:

  • Facilitate the foster care matching and placement process
  • Review and understand how individuals use the service so that we can continue to improve it
  • To contact you in response to a specific enquiry or for feedback about your use of the service
  • To provide marketing material to promote the service or other related services (only with your consent)
  • To ensure the ongoing security of the data held in Big Welcome.

Who we share it with

Your Big Welcome profile may be shared with:

  • Young people you may be matched with and the local authority professionals working with them,
  • Local authorities or other relevant agencies where they need to conduct investigation or fulfil other statutory duties,
  • Professionals in your fostering agency or service - either Action for Children or other fostering services involved in the fostering process - from application and approval through to matching and placement, as well as ongoing supervision,
  • Action for Children’s Big Welcome support team to manage and support the platform.

Your feedback on the service, website usage data and information from cookies may be shared with other organisations engaged to help us improve the service.

We will always ensure that controls are place to protect your data. Personal data will be anonymised, unless you have given us your consent to be named when sharing your feedback.

How long will we keep your information?

We only keep your information as long as we need to. We have a system to ensure that your information is only accessed by authorised individuals authorised in the performance of their duties.

Action for Children has robust Information Security and Data Protection policies in place to protect all the data it holds, including your personal data.

Where Action for Children are the data controller, we will keep your data for:

  • 6 years if you withdraw your application or your application is unsuccessful.
  • 10 years if your application is approved.

We keep access logs with information on who logged in, created, edited or deleted a profile for 12 months.

Where Action for Children are acting as data processor, we will retain data for as long as instructed by the data controller, or until their contract with us ends.

Your rights

If you want to ask us what information we hold about you, update information, withdraw consent, make a complaint or ask questions in relation to your information, please contact someone at your local service or the Data Protection Officer at [email protected] or Action for Children, 3 The Boulevard, Ascot Road, Watford, WD18 8AG. If you are unhappy with our reply to a complaint or want to find out more about data protection and your rights or to make a compliant, visit the Information Commissioner's Office at