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STANDARD 27 - Records

(Adoption Agencies, Adoption Support Agencies)


  • Records are clear, accurate, up to date and stored securely, and contribute to an understanding of the child’s life.


The agency has and implements a written policy that clarifies the purpose, format and content of information to be kept on the agency’s files, on the child’s and prospective adopters’ case records.


Staff, volunteers and persons on the central list understand and follow the agency’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.


Staff understand and following the agency’s* policy on dealing with requests for access to or disclosure from adoption case records and knows who is responsible for authorising them. They obtain a written confidentiality agreement from the person to whom the agency wishes to disclose the case records or information. This requirement does not cover the child or adopter.

* This standard applies to all adoption agencies. It applies also to those ASAs who were a VAA prior to 30 December 2005 and whose registration was changed to that of an ASA with effect from 30 December 2005, and for whom regulation 16(2A) of the Adoption Agencies Regulations 1983 permitted them to retain their pre-30 December 2005 adoption records on children and prospective/approved adopters.


Entries in records, decisions and reasons are legible, clearly expressed, non-stigmatising, distinguish between fact, opinion and third party information and are signed and dated.


There is a system for keeping records of all complaints made and for handling these confidentially and securely. Records of complaints and allegations are clearly recorded on the relevant files for staff, volunteers, children and service users – including details of the investigation, conclusion reached and action taken. Separate records are also kept which bring together data on allegations and on complaints.