Privacy Policy

Who We Are

Our service users and supporters are very important to us, and this notice sets out how we collect, use your personal data and keep it safe. We will not sell the personal data you provide to us.

When Family Friends receives information about you we become a “data controller” of your personal data.   Family Friends is registered as a Data Controller, with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), Registration Number 78154709.

This notice may change from time to time and if it does, we will make every effort to alert you and share the revised notice with you.

If you have any data protection queries, please contact us by email at info@familyfriends.uk.com or by calling us on 020 8960 9099.

Read more about the data we process and store:

 

Families and Children – Your Personal Data

  • We use your personal data to provide you with our befriending and mentoring service, and to make sure that the support you receive is safe and effective.  This is our main aim as a charity. We use your personal data to do this on what is called ‘a legitimate interest’ lawful basis, namely we use your data in order to provide the service to you.  You can ask us if you want to know more about this.
  • The person who refers you to Family Friends will provide us with some information about you and your family, including your family history, on a referral form, over the phone or by email.  Before making the referral, the referrer will ask you for your permission to share this information with us.  In order to understand your needs and requirements and to match you with a volunteer who can provide you with the right support, we will collect more information about you and your family during our first home visit.  We will visit you again during our assessment visits (usually 2 and 8 months assuming a 12 month service) when we will complete an assessment form to make sure we are on track.  At each meeting we will explain why we are collecting personal data, what we will use it for, who we will share it with and how long we will keep it.
  • We recognise that children are capable of providing information about themselves and we will also explain this to them as best we can.

How we use your personal data:  

  • As part of the referral process to Family Friends, we will have access to information provided to us by the referrer which may include details of your family’s specific circumstances and difficulties such as whether or not there are any long term mental health issues, if there is a child protection plan or if there is any historical or on-going domestic violence by a household member.  The referrer will have obtained your consent before sharing this information with us.   
  • So that we can identify your needs, match you with a volunteer and provide you with a befriending or mentoring service, we will use your name, postal address, email address, telephone number, next of kin, and the referral source.   We will also need you to share with us your relevant family history which may include details and records of care and support, including notes and reports about your health.
  • In order to provide you with the best service possible we will also need to be aware of and use certain sensitive information that needs special protection, and may include, for example, ethnicity, religious beliefs, disability, mental health issues and domestic violence.   As part of making the referral we receive information about family history including special category data.  We can only use this sensitive information with your consent which we will ask for at our initial meeting with you.  
  • It may be that in order to provide the best possible service to you or your child, we need to work closely with and seek further information from other people who may be supporting you such as counsellors or health care professionals.  We will only approach these third parties with your consent.
  • We use anonymised case studies in our annual review and to support our applications for funding, as these are a great way to show how through our respect, encouragement and support, families discover their strengths, resolve difficulties and build on their coping skills.  We always involve families in developing case studies, and ask their permission to use these.  
  • Similarly, we use certain data to carry out our contractual reporting obligations to our funders as required under our agreements with them but we will not share names, addresses or contact details of any of the families we support.   
  • to seek your views or comments on the services we provide
  • to apply for and secure funding to continue providing our services
  • We always need to report our activities to the board of trustees in order to ensure that Family Friends is run with good governance and best practice.
  • There may be services provided by other organisations that you could benefit from.  If we think this is the case we will ask you about making a referral to those other organisations, and we will only do this with your consent.  
  • Seasonal Hampers - the Junior League of London and the Shepherds Bush Housing Group offer seasonal hampers to our families.  We will ask you if you wish to receive a hamper, and then with your consent we will share the gender and age of your children with the Junior League so that they can make up an appropriate hamper, and with the Shepherds Bush Housing Group so that they can arrange delivery.  We will ask for your personal data be deleted once the Hampers have been delivered.
  • At times we may have to use or share your information without your permission. If we do, we’ll always make sure there’s a legal basis to do so, such as:
    • to comply with the law (e.g., if a court orders us to share information or when there is a suspected safeguarding issue),
    • to protect someone’s life (e.g., sharing information with a paramedic if a service user is unwell).

How we keep your personal data safe

  • Family Friends implements appropriate physical, technical and organisational measures to maintain the safety of your personal information.
  • Information about you or your family is only accessible by staff at Family Friends and by the volunteer who supports you.  Personal data is held electronically including on the encrypted case management system called “Salesforce” which is only accessible by Family Friends staff and fundraising consultants engaged by Family Friends using a secure user name and password.  Hard copies of forms and files are stored in locked filing cabinets in the Family Friends office.
  • Family Friends uses a third party company to provide IT support and back up for Family Friends’ electronic files.  Currently, the files are backed up in the UK and we have a contract with our IT services provider to ensure that they only have authorised access and to ensure the info is kept secure and is confidential.

How long we keep your personal data:

  • The personal data we use to provide the service to you shall be kept for 16 years after our last contact with you.  We retain the data for this period so that we may have relevant family history in the event a parent requests the benefit of Family Friends’ service for a second time.
  • We may retain personal data where this is necessary for compliance with a legal or regulatory obligation to which we are subject. We ensure that any information that is no longer needed for the purpose for which it was collected is deleted or destroyed in a safe way.

Volunteers – Your Personal Data

  • If you apply for a volunteer role at Family Friends you will provide us with personal data as part of the application process.  If you are successful in your application, we will put together a file about your engagement with Family Friends.  We keep the information in this file secure, and will only use it for matters that apply directly to your engagement.

How we use your personal data:

  • We will use the information you give us to process your application, to monitor recruitment statistics, to manage your engagement as a volunteer with Family Friends so that you can support the family you are matched with.  We do this on the lawful basis of ‘legitimate interest’, namely that we use your data in order to provide the service to the service user.
  • If we want to disclose information to someone outside Family Friends - for example, if we need a reference, we will tell you beforehand, unless we are required to disclose this information by law.  
  • We require all our volunteers to undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check in order to comply with our legal obligation to undertake safe recruitment.  We will tell you this at the point of the DBS check application.
  • Four times a year,  we are contractually required to provide some of our referrers and funders with a list of all volunteers involved with Family Friends including details of the role you fulfil, and the date you started working with Family Friends, the type of DBS check, the date of check and reference number.

How we keep your personal data safe:

  • Your personal data is held electronically and is only accessible by Family Friends staff using a secure user name and password.  Hard copies of forms and files are stored in locked filing cabinets in the Family Friends office.
  • Your personal data may be stored on the Family Friends mobile phone which is only accessible to staff at Family Friends for the purpose of helping manage the support you provide to the family with whom you have been matched.
  • Family Friends uses a third party company to provide IT support and back up for Family Friends’ electronic files.  Currently, the files are backed up in the UK and we have a contract with our IT services provider to ensure that they only have authorised access and to ensure the information is kept secure and confidential.

How long we keep your personal data:

  • We retain your personal data for a period of 10 years after your last period of volunteering.  We retain the data for this period so that we may have a record of the support you have provided to Family Friends should you wish to volunteer for us again in the future.

Employees and Contractors – Your Personal Data

How we use your personal data:

  • If you apply for a role at Family Friends (as an employee or consultant), you will provide us with personal data.  If you are successful in your application, we will put together a file about your engagement with Family Friends.  We keep the information in this file secure, and will only use it for matters that apply directly to your engagement.
  • we will use your personal data information you give us to process your application, to monitor recruitment statistics, and we do this on the basis of ‘legitimate interest’ namely our interest in recruiting suitable candidates to work as part of our organisation with families.
  • We use your personal data to manage your employment or engagement with Family Friends so that you can fulfil your duties/work and are remunerated for them in accordance with the terms of your agreement.   We will do this on the lawful basis of ‘contract’.
  • We will use your personal data to fulfil our statutory reporting duties as an employer, including doing right to work checks, making tax and national insurance deductions and providing a safe workplace.   We will do this on the basis of ‘legal obligation’.
  • If we want to disclose information to someone outside Family Friends - for example, if we need a reference, we will tell you beforehand, unless we are required to disclose this information by law.
  • We require all our staff to undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check in order to comply with our legal obligation to undertake safe recruitment.  We will tell you this at the point of the DBS check application.
  • Four times a year,  we are contractually required to provide some of our referrers and funders with a list of all staff and volunteers involved with Family Friends including details of the role you fulfil, and the date you started working with Family Friends, the type of DBS check, the date of check and reference number.  We will do this on the lawful basis of ‘legitimate interest’ namely that we need to disclose this information to our funders in order to secure funding for the Family Friends’ service.

How we keep your personal data safe:

  • Your personal data is held electronically and is only accessible by Family Friends staff using a secure user name and password.  Hard copies of forms and files are stored in locked filing cabinets in the Family Friends office.
  • Family Friends uses a third party company to provide IT support and back up for Family Friends’ electronic files.  Currently, the files are backed up in the UK and we have a contract with our IT services provider to ensure that they only have authorised access and to ensure the info is kept secure and is confidential.
  • We also use a third party to undertake payroll activities on our behalf and we have a contract with them that ensures that they do not have unauthorised access and to ensure the information is kept secure and is confidential.

How long we keep your personal data:

  • If you are successful in your application, we will keep your file during the course of your employment or engagement with Family Friends and thereafter, according to our record retention guidelines. You can contact us to find out more about this.

Supporters, Donors and Fundraisers - Your Personal data

How we use your personal data:  

  • When you support Family Friends in any way whether by making referrals, providing a service or funding, donating or fundraising, we collect information about you from different sources including:
    • directly from you
    • information that is in the public domain such as Linkedin.
  • the personal data we process can vary between items/functions and may include, but is not limited to:
    • your name and contact details (including postal address, email address and telephone number);
    • information about your activities on our website and about the device used to access it, for instance your IP address and geographical location;
    • We do not hold your bank or credit card details. If you make a donation online or make a purchase, your card information is not held by us, it is collected by our third party payment processors, who specialise in the secure online capture and processing of credit/debit card transactions;
    • If you make a gift aid declaration, information as to whether you are a UK taxpayer so we can claim gift aid; and
    • any other personal data shared with us.
  • When we promote awareness of our charitable objectives by email we will contact you to make sure you are happy for us to communicate with you in this way and will give you the opportunity to opt out of these communications.
  • we may use your information for a number of different purposes, which may include:
    • sending you our monthly or annual newsletter;
    • providing you with the services, products or information you asked for
    • keeping a record of your relationship with us;
    • conducting analysis and market research to better understand how we can improve our services, products or information;
    • checking for updated contact details against third party sources so we can stay in touch if you move;
    • seeking your views or comments on the services we provide;
    • notifying you of changes to our services;
    • sending you communications which you have requested or that may be of interest to you. These may include information about campaigns, fundraising appeals and activities, upcoming events which we organise or in which we are involved and promotions of our services.
    • processing grant applications.
  • Data protection laws recognise certain categories of personal data as sensitive and therefore requiring greater protection, for example information about your health, ethnicity and religion.  We will always ask for your consent before we can process it.
  • We do not usually collect sensitive data about you unless there is a clear and valid reason for doing so and data protection laws allow us to. For example, we may ask for your health information if you are taking part in an endurance event.
  • Where appropriate, we will make it clear why we are collecting this type of information and what it will be used for.

How we store your personal data:

  • Your personal data is held electronically and is only accessible by Family Friends staff using a secure user name and password.  Hard copies of forms and files are stored in locked filing cabinets in the Family Friends office.
  • Family Friends uses a third party company to provide IT support and back up for Family Friends’ electronic files.  Currently, the files are backed up in the UK and we have a contract with our IT services provider to ensure that they only have authorised access and to ensure the information is kept secure and is confidential.
  • We do not sell or rent your information to third parties.
  • We do not share your information with third parties for marketing purposes.

How long we keep your personal data:

  • We keep your information for no longer than is necessary for the purposes it was collected for. The length of time we retain your personal data for is determined by operational and legal considerations. For example, we are legally required to hold some types of information to fulfil our statutory and regulatory obligations (e.g. health/safety and tax/accounting purposes).  We review our retention periods on a regular basis.

Website Visitors

  • We use Google Analytics (GA) to track site user interaction. We have GA code installed on our site which creates one or more text files on your computer (called a “cookie”). The cookies contain an ID number which is used to uniquely identify your browser and track each site you visit that has GA enabled.
  • We use this data to determine the number of people using our site and to better understand how they find and use our web pages. With this information we can continually improve the information that we provide on our site and the processes for actions such as contacting us and donating. We can also use it to increase the number of new people finding our site.
  • Google analytics stores the following data:
    • Time of visit, pages visited, and time spent on each page of the webpages
    • Interactions with site-specific widget
    • Referring site details (such as the URL a user came through to arrive at this site)
    • Type of web browser
    • Type of operating system (OS)
    • Flash version, JavaScript support, screen resolution, and screen color processing ability
    • Network location
    • Document downloads
    • Clicks on links leading to external websites
    • Errors when users fill out forms
    • Clicks on videos
    • Scroll depth
  • Google also collects information about you from its Doubleclick tracking and profiling service, from ad-supported apps on your Android or iOS device, from your YouTube and Gmail activity and from your Google account. This data is put together and used to make inferences about your age, gender, interests, hobbies, shopping habits and living circumstances. 
  • Your rights: If you already have GA cookies, they will be updated with the latest information about your visit to the site.  As we cannot access any personal data about you ourselves, we are not the Data Controller for your Google Analytics or Doubleclick profile data. You would need to contact Google directly for this information.  You have the right to object to this tracking and to stop it happening. If you would like more detail about the methods used however, please get in touch at info@familyfriends.uk.com.
  • How do I prevent being tracked by Google Analytics?  If you are uncomfortable with this tracking, you can take the following actions:

Social Media Users

  • You may come across Family Friends naturally on Facebook, Twitter or through your own networks, or you may be presented with an ad from us. We target ads at audiences that look like they have an interest in befriending and mentoring. We do this to inform, educate and engage new potential supporters. 
  • We used social media in order to communicate with our families, volunteers and supporters and this is hugely valuable for Family Friends.  However, social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are commercial companies and we want to remind our users that information that is shared on timelines, on our page or in private messages may be used or sold by these companies for commercial purposes.

 

Your Rights and Your Personal Data

At any time, you can do the following by contacting us on info@familyfriends.uk.com:

  1. ask for a copy of the personal data we hold about you,
  2. request that we correct any personal data that may be inaccurate or out of date,
  3. object to direct marketing by contacting us directly,
  4. where there is a dispute in relation to the accuracy or processing of your personal data, restrict the processing of your personal data,
  5. ask that we provide you with your personal data and where possible, to transmit that data directly to another data controller (known as the right to data portability),
  6. have your personal data removed (known as erasure or the ‘right to be forgotten’) when it is no longer necessary for Family Friends to keep it,
  7. object to processing carried out on the basis of legitimate interests,
  8. object to the use of automated decision-making and profiling.

Where you have provided consent to be contacted or to receive a service, you will be entitled to withdraw that consent at any time although this may result in Family Friends not being able to provide the service to you.     
If, at any point, you are unhappy with the way that we handled your personal data and we are unable to resolve the issue, you can make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office by calling the helpline on 0303 123 1113.