KEEPING FOSTERING RECORDS
Each carer (and other members of their household) must have an electronic case record from the point of at which they express an interest in registering as a carer with the agency, to the time they leave the agency. Where paper files are also kept, information held in electronic records must accurately reflect the corresponding information recorded within paper files.
All records, irrespective of whether they are physical or electronic, should be securely kept and electronic messaging (e.g. e-mails) should also be sent in a secure and safe way so as to preserve their confidential and professional nature. Care must be taken to ensure that information contained in records is relevant and accurate and is sufficient to meet legislative responsibilities and the requirements of these procedures.
Every effort must be made to ensure records are factually correct. Records must distinguish clearly between facts, opinions, assessments, judgements and decisions. Records must also distinguish between first-hand information and information obtained from third parties. All records held on carers and the children placed with them must be kept securely.
Any paper files/records should normally be stored in a locked cabinet, or a similar manner, usually in an office which only staff have access to. These records should not be left unattended when not in their normal location. All electronic records must be kept securely and comply with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 2018 This will include arrangements such as:
- Password protection;
- Automatic log out of screens;
- Logging off computers;
- Changing passwords on a regular basis.
Where staff are working in an ‘agile’ / ‘mobile’ / ‘hot-desking’ context, care must be exercised to ensure that records or computers are not left on or overlooked by others.