The fostering service has and implements a written policy that clarifies the purpose, format and content of information to be kept on the fostering service’s files, on the child’s files and on case files relating to foster carers.
STANDARD 26 - Records
- 22 - Records with respect to Fostering
- 26 - Assessment of prospective foster parents
- 30 - Case records relating to foster carers and others
- 31 - Register of foster carers
- 32 - Retention and confidentiality of records
- 33 - Fostering agency ceasing to carry out fostering functions - notifications and records
- Records are clear, up to date, stored securely and contribute to an understanding of the child’s life.
Staff, volunteers, panel members and fostering households understand the nature of records maintained and follow the service’s policy for the keeping and retention of files, managing confidential information and access to files (including files removed from the premises). There is a system in place to monitor the quality and adequacy of record keeping and take action when needed.
Children and their parents understand the nature of records maintained and how to access them.
Information about individual children is kept confidential and only shared with those who have a legitimate and current need to know the information, and to those parts of a child’s record or other information that they need to know.
Entries in records, decisions and reasons for them, are legible, clearly expressed, non-stigmatising, distinguish between fact, opinion and third party information and are signed and dated.
Information about the child is recorded clearly and in a way which will be helpful to the child when they access their files now or in the future. Children are actively encouraged to read their files, other than necessarily confidential or third party information, and to correct errors and add personal statements.
The foster carer understands the important supporting role they play in encouraging the child to reflect on and understand their history. The child, subject to age and understanding, is encouraged to keep appropriate memorabilia (including photographs) of their time in the placement. The fostering service makes this role clear to their foster carers and ensures they can record, and help children make a record of (subject to age and understanding), significant life events.
Where there is an agency placement, the agency works with the responsible authority to ensure effective integration of information held in the agency’s case files and those of the responsible authority. On receipt of a written request by a child’s responsible authority, the agency immediately provides copies of records and documents in relation to the child.
When a foster carer seeks to move to a new provider, the new provider seeks information from the previous provider about the prospective foster carer, and the previous provider complies with such a request within one month of receipt of the written request.