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Recording Policy

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					Children’s Services



Information Management and
Recording Policy




Author:   Katherine Peddie
          Lead Policy & Planning Manager

Agreed by: Children in Need Management Meeting


To be reviewed: January 2009
                                                         CONTENTS
1    POLICY STATEMENT ................................................................................................... 2
2    LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK ....................................................................................... 2
3    DEFINITION .................................................................................................................. 2
4    PRINCIPLES ON WHICH THE POLICY IS BASED ...................................................... 3
  Decision Making ................................................................................................................ 3
  Confidentiality .................................................................................................................... 3
  Open Access ..................................................................................................................... 3
  Sharing of information ....................................................................................................... 4
  Disclosure of files by Legal Services ................................................................................. 4
  Security ............................................................................................................................. 5
  Extent and Legality of Information ..................................................................................... 5
  Retention and Storage of Information ................................................................................ 5
  Equal Opportunities ........................................................................................................... 5
  Supervision and monitoring ............................................................................................... 5
5 HOW THE POLICY WORKS ......................................................................................... 5
  Opening and Maintaining Files .......................................................................................... 5
  Transfer of Files ................................................................................................................ 6
  File Structure ..................................................................................................................... 6
  Chronology ........................................................................................................................ 6
  Case Recording................................................................................................................. 7
  Corrections to files............................................................................................................. 7
  Information ........................................................................................................................ 7
6 RECORDING STANDARDS .......................................................................................... 7
7 MONITORING OF FILES .............................................................................................. 8
  Supervision........................................................................................................................ 8
  Audit of files....................................................................................................................... 9
8 SECURITY OF FILES .................................................................................................... 9
  Nominated officer .............................................................................................................. 9
  Storage ............................................................................................................................. 9
  Missing Files.................................................................................................................... 10
9 FILE CLOSURE, RETENTION, DISPOSAL AND DESTRUCTION ............................. 10
  Retention of Child Care Records. .................................................................................... 10
  Linking of files ................................................................................................................. 10
10      ACCESS TO PERSONAL FILES ............................................................................ 11
  Retrieving Files from other offices and from Archives...................................................... 11
  Closure of files ................................................................................................................ 11
11      ARCHIVING OF RECORDS .................................................................................... 12
12      STRUCTURE OF FILES ......................................................................................... 12
  Looked After Children File Format ................................................................................... 14
  Adoption and Fostering Files ........................................................................................... 16
  Foster Care File (including Private Foster Carers) ........................................................... 17
  Adoption File (Child’s Case File) and Family Finding Files .............................................. 19
  Adopter’s File (Orange coloured file) ............................................................................... 21
  Adoption Support File (Green coloured file) ..................................................................... 24
  Adult Adoption Work (Pink file) ........................................................................................ 25
  Step Parent Adoption Files (Pink Files) ........................................................................... 25
  Contact File (Yellow Coloured File) ................................................................................. 26
Appendix 1: Permission to Access Adoption Records .................................................. 27
Appendix 2: Case File Check for Managers (BIC 550) .................................................... 29
Appendix 3: Case File Check for Managers (BIC 550 Adopt)......................................... 33
Appendix 4: Case File Check for Managers (BIC 550 Fost) ........................................... 33


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1     POLICY STATEMENT
1.1   All records kept by Bedfordshire Children’s Services will be child centred. The
      information will be accurate and complete, and kept safely. They comprise a
      significant source of information for the child in future, as well as being central to
      good social work decision making and assisting colleagues also involved in the case.
      Bedfordshire Children’s Services will ensure that:

             information on customers, held in files, will be stored safely and securely in line
              with the Data Protection Act 1998.
             closed files are retained and stored for the appropriate period of time and
              destroyed in a timely manner in accordance with the provisions of the Retention
              of files Policy
             children, young people and their parents where appropriate, are encouraged to
              contribute their views to be recorded on file
             children, young people and their parents where appropriate, are encouraged to
              access their file
             all policies on case files are publicised
             files contain relevant information fulfilling statutory requirements. Relevant
              standards and actions taken by the Department will be included
             supervision procedures clarify the management responsibilities for each
              customer, using the recording process within the file.

1.2   The paper file is the main record. It is a working document and it is crucial
      that it is kept fully up to date in order to manage the case properly. All
      information electronically held must be printed off and placed in the manual
      record in the appropriate section.

2     LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK
2.1   This policy is in line with the statutory framework described in:

                  Data Protection Act 1998,
                  Freedom of Information Act 2000
                  Adoption and Children Act 2002
                  Disclosure of Adoption Information (Post-Commencement Adoptions)
                   Regulations 2005
                  Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005.

2.2   The policies referred to below are located on the intranet

                 Access to Files Policy
                 Open Case Recording Policy
                 Child’s Case Record
                 Retention of Files Policy
                 Departmental Data Protection Registration
                 Information Sharing Protocol to Safeguard Children and Victims of Domestic
                  Abuse (Bedfordshire Local Safeguarding Children Board)
                 Child Protection and Legal Services Protocol
                 Foster Carers’ Documentation Policy




3     DEFINITION

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3.1    For the purpose of this policy, the term file refers to all cases where information has
       been kept about an individual customer between the ages of 0-21. This includes
       information held on videos, card indexes, day books and judicial proceedings. This
       information is kept when Children’s Services has considered it necessary or
       appropriate, to record information at the stage following a referral to the department.
       When the referral becomes a case allocated a file will be started. Records of all
       work done with a service user will be made in the appropriate section of the case file
       (see section 11).

3.2    For the purpose of this document a case is closed when all resources (including
       allocated social workers) provided by the department have ceased, and where no
       legal case reasons apply.


4      PRINCIPLES ON WHICH THE POLICY IS BASED
       Decision Making

4.1    Good case recording, especially chronologies, is essential for ensuring that all
       decisions are made appropriately, informed by all known information presented in
       context. Chronologies must be completed for all files.

       Confidentiality

4.2    Files will be available only to those professional staff within the authority who have a
       direct need to know about the individual who is the subject of a file. All staff who
       may come into contact with customer files must have signed the confidentiality
       clause within their contract of employment. Please also refer to the SWIFT
       confidentiality policy.

4.3    From time to time the Secretary of State may require the authority to provide
       information we hold on clients to other government departments for monitoring
       purposes. Where possible this will be done in an anonymised format, however there
       may be occasions where personalised information is requested and as such the
       County Council is obliged under Section 83 of the Children Act 1989 to provide this
       information as directed.

       Open Access

4.4    The policy of the department is to be open and honest with customers and to expect
       and encourage them to contribute to the formation of the case file. Apart from
       a small category of non-disclosable information, children and, where appropriate
       their parents, are encouraged to have routine access to their files through open
       case recording.

4.5    Formal requests to access files should be processed according to the process
       described in detail in the Access to Files Policy. There are guidelines in this policy
       for access by children to their files. Children are able to access their files, subject to
       certain restrictions, but they do not have to wait until they are 18.

4.6   Parents with parental responsibility are able to access their children’s records,
      however certain restrictions apply. The person responsible for processing the
      records must ascertain whether it is in the child’s best interests for the parents to
      have access (this should be done in consultation with the social worker). Once a
      child is over the age of 12 years old they should also be asked whether or not they
      agree to someone else accessing their records and should be given the opportunity
      to read through the files before giving access to someone else.
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4.7    The department will publicise the Access to Files policy to customers through its
       leaflet entitled ‘Your Records’. This leaflet must be given to anyone about whom a
       file is opened.

       Sharing of information

4.8    Information may need to be shared with other agencies in some circumstances, on a
       strictly need to know basis. The Information Sharing Protocol to Safeguard Children
       and Victims of Domestic Abuse describes when and how information from records
       can and should be divulged.

4.9    Information will only be given to other agencies or individuals who are not signatories
       of specific protocols, if they can demonstrate a need to know and are willing to
       comply with the standards laid down in the Information Sharing Protocol.

4.10   Case records must show that information has been shared and under what
       circumstances.

4.11   Children and parents / carers will be asked for their consent to gather information
       from other agencies (see Children in Need Procedures). In the event that a referral
       is made which suggests that a child is in need of protection, the over-riding duty to
       protect the child means that information may be shared between agencies in order to
       protect the child.

4.12   Service users and carers will receive written copies of any written assessments and
       plans within 14 days of their completion.

4.13   Researchers may be given general information from records where individuals
       cannot be identified from the information given. Permission for this type of research
       must be obtained from the Assistant Director Children in Need. Any researcher who
       has access to files must also have signed a confidentiality clause and be made
       aware of the Department’s policies on case files.

4.14   Where researchers are commissioned to undertake specific projects on behalf of
       Children’s Services, they will be vetted appropriately and be able to provide copies of
       their enhanced Criminal Records Bureau checks upon request. Usually data will be
       provided in anonymised format, however where necessary, the County Council will
       write to clients to secure their agreement for the sharing of personal information held
       on file.

4.15   Where a customer moves to another area or local authority, the relevant case file
       information will be transferred within 2 days for urgent cases or 2 weeks for routine
       cases of the notification of transfer.

       Disclosure of files by Legal Services

4.16   Where a request for access to Children’s Services records has come from a court,
       either on behalf of a party or as a result of a court order, then this will be dealt with
       by Legal Services.

4.17   Where Legal Services are already involved in a case and requests / orders are made
       for disclosure of information contained in casework records, then these will be dealt
       with by Legal Services.

4.18   If requests for disclosure of Children's Services records are made by the police, then
       these will be dealt with by Legal Services in accordance with the Protocol between

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       the Local Authority and Bedfordshire and Luton Police on this subject. Children’s
       Services will be expected to make the relevant files available to Legal Services
       immediately upon request so that requests from the Police can be responded to
       promptly by Legal Services.

4.19   The Policy Unit of Bedfordshire Children's Services will deal with all other access to
       records requests. Should Legal Services be consulted or receive a request for
       access which is the responsibility of the Policy Unit, they will indicate to the person
       making the request that there is a maximum period of 40 days for compliance. This
       information must then be forwarded promptly to the Policy Unit.

       Security

4.20   Files will be kept, at all times, in a secure place which is flood and fire proof (see
       section 9).

       Extent and Legality of Information

4.21   Information recorded on file will be obtained and processed fairly and lawfully, and
       only be held for lawful purposes. All information recorded on files will be legible,
       verifiable, relevant and adequate, (sufficient to convey a comprehensive picture at
       the time of writing) without being excessive. Customers will be encouraged and
       invited to contribute their own views and information to their own case file.

       Retention and Storage of Information

4.22   Information on file will be kept in a secure place, and only accessed by the
       appropriate staff and the customers.

4.23   Information recorded on file will be held no longer than is necessary for the
       registered purpose (see Retention of Files Policy).

       Equal Opportunities

4.24   Case records must identify special needs arising from ethnicity, race, culture,
       gender, age, religion, language, communication, sensory impairment, disability and
       sexual orientation. The language used must be anti-discriminatory and demonstrate
       sensitivity to the needs of all people in the community. Access to records and
       contribution to records for customers with language and communication needs must
       be facilitated by the provision of interpreting services and all policies pertaining to
       case records will be available in all the relevant languages upon request.

       Supervision and monitoring

4.25   Case files are an essential tool in managing cases effectively, and will be monitored
       regularly by line managers to ensure that cases are being managed and recorded in
       line with best practice and agreed policy and procedures.

4.26   Random audits will be regularly carried out by the Heads of Service and by the
       Assistant Director of Children in Need. A regular schedule of audits will be
       undertaken by the Audit Manager as agreed within the Children in Need
       Management Meetings.

5      HOW THE POLICY WORKS
       Opening and Maintaining Files

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5.1   A file will be started by the member of staff to whom an individual has been allocated
      after referral. That person will be responsible for the safe keeping of that file. If the
      case has to be re-allocated, then the responsibility for the file will be the line
      manager’s, until such time as the case has been re-allocated.

5.2   On opening a file the service user is informed of the Department’s policy on case
      recording, including right of access to case files and information sharing. They
      should be helped to understand the purpose and content of their case record and be
      invited to contribute appropriately to it. The customer must be given a copy of the
      leaflet ‘Your records’ and parents should be given a copy of ‘Information Sharing – a
      guide for parents and carers’ and children should be given a copy of ‘Information
      Sharing – a guide for Children and Young people’

5.3   Each file will have a similar format. Cross references will be made where information
      such as videotaped interviews are included or held elsewhere. New entries will be
      added to the file in chronological order, the most recent information at the top of
      each section. All decisions taken are recorded, including the reasoning, date, name
      and role of decision maker.

      Transfer of Files

5.4   See the ‘Transfer Protocol’ for procedures for the transfer of files. Before the file is
      transferred from one team to another, the team manager is responsible for auditing
      the file using the relevant BIC 550 form. This form is to check that the relevant
      information is held on the file; however it is also the manager’s responsibility to check
      the quality of that information.

      File Structure

5.5   Files will be divided into specific sections using pre-printed file dividers (see section
      12). Only the customer name, date of birth and SWIFT ID number, may be recorded
      on the outside cover. Key information such as address details and allocated worker
      name, will be kept on the inside cover of the file on the front sheet.

      Chronology

5.6   A chronology serves 3 main purposes:

             the main tool for timely, focused decision making and management of the
              case
             a summary of the case for another worker reading the file
             as a summary of key events for court purposes

5.7   All files must contain a chronology where key events are summarised. This must
      be kept up to date. Key significant events must be recorded here. Smaller details
      which are not as significant should be recorded in the case recording section of the
      file e.g. telephone calls to arrange meeting date etc

5.8   Events to include in the chronology would be all significant events in the child’s
      life. It is not necessary to duplicate all the information found elsewhere on the case
      file, but the chronology must contain the main points only and refer to the section
      where fuller details are formed. It is important to record on the chronology what the
      impact of the significant event was on the child and any action required, by whom
      and date for completion of that action. BIC 801 must be used for this purpose and
      must be regularly signed by the team manager or their deputy when undertaking
      case supervisions.

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5.9    Chronologies must be constantly updated. It is vital that the chronology is complete.
       Where a new volume of a case file is required the front sheet and all the chronology
       sheets must be transferred to the latest volume. Thus anyone needing to access the
       case file will be able to grasp the whole history of the case very quickly.


       Case Recording

5.10   The work being done on the case and smaller less significant events must be
       recorded within the relevant section of the file. This might include some telephone
       calls, some administration tasks, some simple payments like for a taxi fare, contacts
       with the family etc. Attempts to contact service users, even if they are unsuccessful,
       must be recorded e.g. if telephone calls are made and not returned, or no-one is in
       for a home visit.

       Corrections to files

5.11   Where an error occurs in a written entry, correcting fluid should not be used.
       Mistakes can be struck out with a single line, and initialled by the person making the
       entry. Staff members will only correct entries that they themselves have made, and
       not those of other staff. Historical factual inaccuracies need to be highlighted and
       then amended and signed by the person who has delegated case responsibility at
       the time the inaccuracy was found.

5.12   Customer queries about errors or inadequacies in the notes should be dealt with
       according to the ‘Access to Records’ policy. Where the inaccuracy is historical and
       relates to interpretation of a decision made, the client should be asked to put their
       interpretation in writing which must then be appended to the relevant page in the file
       alongside an explanation from the person recording the inaccuracy who will date,
       sign and note their role for the file.

5.13   Staff must make every endeavour to ensure that information is recorded correctly
       and that the service user agrees with the information being recorded (see Open
       Case Recording Policy). This will prevent misunderstandings and possible distress
       in the future.

       Information

5.14   The source of all information in the file must be identified. Third party sources of
       information must be informed of the department’s open access approach before
       giving information to be recorded. Third party information may then be stored in the
       non disclosable section if the third party requests that. Any other information which
       the customer may not see for any reason must also be stored in this non-disclosable
       section. See the Access to Files policy for guidance on exemptions to access by
       customer.

5.15   All information must be legible, verifiable, relevant and adequate (sufficient to convey
       a comprehensive picture at the time of writing) without being excessive. All
       contributions to assessments and care plans including disagreements and their
       resolution are recorded whether from users, carers or other professionals.

6      RECORDING STANDARDS
6.1    In maintaining the quality and content of case recording the social worker will ensure
       that:

       1.   Each file has a front sheet containing core information including the key worker.
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      2.   The file gives clear, chronological details of referral, investigation, assessment,
           decisions made at conferences and other significant meetings.

      3.   The file has an up to date, relevant chronology which summarises all
           significant events in the child’s life.

      4.   The chronology is updated within 24 hours and should indicate where more
           detailed information on the event is stored. This must include references to life
           story work, copies of certificates and other legal documentation

      5.   The file is constructed with agreed sections (see section 12)

      6.   The records separate out content, opinion and third party information.

      7.   Information gathered is evaluated and analysed

      8.   Records are updated within 2 weeks.

      9.   In cases where court proceedings are anticipated or ongoing, case notes should
           be recorded contemporaneously if possible, or within 24 hours.

      10. All contributions to assessments and care plans and reviews, including
          disagreements and their resolution are recorded (i.e. from service users, carers,
          other professionals etc.).

      11. All decisions are recorded, including who made decisions, their name and role,
          when (date) and for what reasons. Any dissenting opinion must also be
          recorded.

      12. The LAC reviews must be signed and must be recorded on file that all
          appropriate documentation has been sent out following review.

      13. Contributions from the person/people who the file is about or relates to will be
          regularly sought and recorded clearly.

      14. When access to a file or document has been given this must be recorded on the
           chronology and on SWIFT (see Access to Records Policy).

      15. The case is regularly supervised by the line manager

      16. Copies of case supervision notes will be signed and dated by the social worker
           and their line manager and stored on the file (and attached to the SWIFT client
           profile notes).

      17. Non-disclosable information is held within a plastic wallet at the back of the file.
           When access to records is being given to clients, this should be removed,
           however the file should still be read to ensure that non-disclosable information is
           not contained within the body of the file.


7     MONITORING OF FILES
      Supervision



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7.1   Team Managers will be required to examine all open files at a minimum of three
      month intervals during the course of supervision sessions. This process should be
      recorded by the team manager signing the file on the chronology and indicating that
      they are satisfied with the management of the case and the recording of the case.
      As a result any relevant issue or decision raised at supervision must be recorded on
      the file using the case supervision record form. Team managers will be required to
      provide a list to service managers at each formal supervision session of the files
      which have been seen and the date of review.

      Audit of files

7.2   (See appendix 2 for file audit tool)

7.3   A random Audit of reports, assessments and care plans will be collated by the
      service managers every 6 months, to ensure consistent application of standards
      across their service.

7.4   A random selection of 12 case files will be assessed by Heads of Service every 6
      months to ensure that the standard of recording, assessment and decision making is
      to a consistent standard across their service.

7.5   4 case files from each service (Intake & Assessment and Family Support, North and
      South and Children Looked After and Children with Disabilities) will be assessed by
      the Assistant Director Children in Need every 6 months to ensure that consistent
      standards are being applied across the county.

      Check Of Files against SWIFT

7.6   To ensure the accuracy of information stored on SWIFT, team managers will be
      required to make a monthly check of a random selection of files against the data
      base.

8      SECURITY OF FILES
      Nominated officer

8.1   The Office Managers are the nominated responsible officers in the department who
      are responsible for ensuring the secure storage and disposal of files. Any queries on
      security of records should be directed to the appropriate officer.

      Storage

8.2   Files, when not in use, must be kept in metal filing cabinets that can be locked. No
      file should be left out of the locked cabinets overnight. If a file is removed from the
      office, it must be signed out in a register by the worker with responsibility for the file,
      or their manager. Files must be kept in a safe place and returned to the office as
      soon as possible and signed in at the register. Files should not normally be taken
      home, and should never be left in a car, not even in a locked boot. When a member
      of staff is working on a file, consideration must be given at all times to the security
      and the confidential nature of the file. If a file is left unattended for a short period of
      time the file must be closed.

8.3   Computer screens and print outs must be located in positions where passers-by and
      casual visitors cannot read personal data. Passwords should not be shared in
      accordance with the County Council IT Policies. If the member of staff is leaving
      their desk for any length of time, they should ideally save and come out of the
      records they are working on or lock their workstation by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del and
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       clicking on ‘Lock Workstation’. This will require a password to log back into the
       screen.

8.4    Copies of documentation and printouts should be disposed of in such a way that
       unauthorised disclosures do not occur. This is usually by shredding before disposal
       and using the red confidential waste sacks. Case records or information on clients
       such as notes made during telephone calls should never be disposed of in the waste
       paper bin.

8.5    It is the responsibility of the team administrators to ensure regular collection of the
       red confidential waste sacks.

8.6    Staff must not store any customer personal information on their home computer.

8.7    The location of files must be recorded on SWIFT

       Missing Files

8.8    If a file cannot be found, the key worker must initiate a systematic search in
       conjunction with the administrative supervisor for the area/unit. If the file cannot be
       located, the Team Manager must be informed and a duplicate file set up. The
       circumstances in which the original file was lost, and the steps taken to locate it,
       must be recorded clearly on the duplicate file. If, after two weeks, the original is still
       lost, the Head of Children’s Services must be informed, and a decision made if, when
       and how to inform the child and other appropriate parties, of the loss of the file.

8.9    The search will start with the last known documented evidence of the file’s existence,
       and content, and will seek to identify not only the whereabouts of the file but also if
       any policy has not been adhered to and whether any disciplinary action needs to be
       taken. A log must be made on SWIFT of the action taken to locate the file, by whom
       and when.

9      FILE CLOSURE, RETENTION, DISPOSAL AND DESTRUCTION
9.1    When a file is formally closed the file and its contents must be transferred
       immediately to an area of designated secure storage. It should be indicated on the
       IT system that the file is closed and the length of time the file needs to be retained.
       Where appropriate files will be sent for archiving in accordance with the Retention of
       Files Policy.

9.2    Closed adoption files must be transferred into the record management system via
       the Office Manager Adoption and Fostering who will ensure that they are archived
       securely (accompanying RC2 forms must be filled in, indicating the length of time the
       file is to be stored for, as well as indicating the date the file was opened. A copy of
       the form will be returned from the record management system).

9.3    Individual records may be retained longer than stated in the Retention of Files Policy,
       in exceptional circumstances only, with the specific approval of a senior manager,
       (who must authorise this in writing detailing their reasons for this).

9.4    Any confidential material for destruction needs to be shredded and put into red
       confidential sacks for shredding.

       Retention of Child Care Records.

9.5   See the Retention of Files Policy for details on the retention schedules of Children’s
      Files.
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9.6    It should be indicated on the IT system that the file is closed and that it has been
       sent for archiving and transferred to the Record Management System.

       Linking of files

9.7    When information is held and recorded separately on a customer e.g. in a family
       resource centre, children’s home or out of county placement, that information must
       be returned to the area administration officer after the client has left the placement.
       The area administration officer will then ensure that the information is linked with the
       main client file held on the same person and securely retained and stored together.


10     ACCESS TO PERSONAL FILES
10.1   See Access to Records Policy

       Retrieving Files from other offices and from Archives

10.2   It is important to remember that files contain the personal information of children and
       their families and ideally should not be posted. Where files are needed from
       Archives or from another team, this should either be done in person to ensure that
       the files are held securely or a signature must be obtained from the courier.
       Occasionally, clients will request that files are sent to them as part of their Access to
       Records request. They must put the request to post the files in writing and
       arrangements should be made with the client to have them couriered securely or
       sent by Royal Mail Special Delivery.

10.3   All teams should use a case file tracer sheet (BIC 804) to sign files in and out of the
       filing system. This should be completed in neat handwriting so that it is possible to
       see exactly who has the file at any one time.

10.4   If Adoption Files are requested, permission must be obtained from the Team
       Manager for Adoption or the Head of Adoption and Fostering Service by completing
       the form (Appendix 1) outlining the reasons why the files are required. Adoption
       Files must not ever be given directly to the client, solicitors, other authorities or to
       unauthorised members of staff without this permission.

10.5   If a member of the public requests personal records directly from Archives, they must
       be signposted to the Access to Files Officer or to the Adoption Service in order to
       make that request.

       Closure of files

10.6   A file is deemed as closed once the case reason no longer applies, all allocated
       resources (including allocated social workers) provided by the department have
       ceased, and where no legal case reasons apply. (See Process for the Closure of
       Cases)

10.7   A memo is required to be sent to the adoption/fostering panel outlining why de-
       registration is required. In the case of foster carers an exit interview is to be
       undertaken and made available to the panel.

10.8   Minutes of the adoption/foster panel will be made available to the delegated
       administrators responsible for updating approval lists.


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10.9   A de-registration checklist form must be completed after foster carers are de-
       registered. This is to ensure equipment and relevant information is returned to the
       department and to allow inventories to be updated.

10.10 Closed files should immediately be also closed on SWIFT.



11     ARCHIVING OF RECORDS
11.1   Certain records must be retained by the County Council for a length of time required
       in statute. These records will require archiving in line with the Retention of Files
       Policy. All teams are required to keep a log of the archiving reference numbers for
       any files they have archived to facilitate locating the files in the future. It is also good
       practice to log this information on SWIFT.

12     STRUCTURE OF FILES

12.1 All files must be structured in the same way as per the details on the following pages.
     Records held on file must be in date order under each of the divider headings with the
     most recent at the top.

12.2 Pre-printed coloured dividers are available for use by all teams from the Policy Unit to
     ensure consistency. These must be used and teams should not be purchasing or
     handwriting their own file dividers.

12.3 All certificates whether birth or education achievement etc must not be punched but
     placed in plastic punched pockets before being filed in the appropriate section.




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      Intake & Assessment, Family Support, Children with Disabilities and Leaving
      Care File format
INTAKE & ASSESSMENT / FAMILY SUPPORT / CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES / LEAVING CARE
  LOCATION        CONTENT                            FORMS TO INCLUDE
INSIDE        CHRONOLOGY
COVER ON      GENOGRAM
LEFT:
ON RIGHT:     SWIFT FRONT SHEET
SECTION 1     REPORTS                    Case recording
                                         Profile notes
                                         Log sheets
                                         Contacts
                                         Visits
                                         Case transfer / closing summaries
SECTION 2     REFERRALS /                CAF / Initial / Core Assessments
              ASSESSMENT                 S47
                                         S17 & S47 Agency Checklists
                                         Risk Assessments
                                         Resilience Matrix
SECTION 3     MEETINGS                   Reports and minutes
                                         Reports / Minutes to Conference,
                                         Review of Arrangements and Minutes,
                                         Family Group Meetings,
                                         Core Groups,
SECTION 4     MEDICAL                    Health Assessments
                                         Health Plans (including Dental, Opticians,
                                          Immunisation records and any specialist
                                          medical records)
SECTION 5     EDUCATION                  Statements of SEN
                                         Certificates of Achievement
                                         Personal Education Plans (PEPS)
SECTION 6     CARE PLANS                 Child Protection Plans
                                         Child in Need Plans
                                         Care Plans / Pathway Plans
                                         Legal Care Plans
                                         Written Agreements
                                         Keep Safe Plans
                                         Allocation Panel decisions
                                         Placement Plans
SECTION 7     LEGAL                      Birth Certificates
                                         Original Care Orders
                                         Witness Statements
                                         Court Orders
                                         Legal Advice
SECTION 8     FINANCIAL                  Include any agreements for financial support
                                         BAP application and decision sheets
SECTION 9     CORRESPONDENCE             Including information from Independent
                                          Reviewing Officers
SECTION 10    SUPERVISION / NON          Case supervision notes (at the front of the
              DISCLOSABLE                 section)
                                         BIC550 Audit Forms
                                      
                                           rd
                                          3 Party information where consent to share
                                          has not been given in plastic wallet


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      Looked After Children File Format

                   LAC FILE 1 (GREEN) – DAY-TO-DAY FILE
  LOCATION        CONTENT                     FORMS TO INCLUDE
INSIDE        CHRONOLOGY           Chronology (BIC 801)
COVER ON      GENOGRAM
LEFT:
ON RIGHT:     SWIFT FRONT SHEET
SECTION 1     REPORTS                    Case recording
                                         Profile notes
                                         Log sheets
                                         Contacts
                                         Visits
SECTION 2     REFERRALS /                CAF
              ASSESSMENT                 Initial Assessments
                                         Core Assessments
                                         S47
                                         S17 & S47 Agency Checklists
                                         Risk Assessments
                                         Resilience Matrix
SECTION 3     MEETINGS                   Minutes of meetings
SECTION 4     MEDICAL                    Day to day medical information (e.g.
                                          correspondence)
SECTION 5     EDUCATION                  Day to day information on education
SECTION 6     CARE PLANS                 Care plan
                                         Keep Safe Plan
SECTION 5     LEGAL                      CICA claims
SECTION 8     FINANCIAL                  Applications from clients for access to CICA
                                          funds
                                         Tenancy Agreements
SECTION 9     CORRESPONDENCE             Including emails from IROs
              (DAY-TO-DAY)
SECTION 10    SUPERVISION / NON-         Case Supervision notes
              DISCLOSABLE                File Audits (BIC 550)
                                         Case manager’s checklists
                                         Non-disclosable information to be held in a
                                          plastic wallet




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                   LAC FILE 2 (RED) – SIGNIFICANT DOCUMENTS
  LOCATION           CONTENT                    FORMS TO INCLUDE
INSIDE           SWIFT FRONT
COVER ON         SHEET
RIGHT:
SECTION 1        IDENTITY                     Birth certificate
                 DOCUMENTATION                Passport details
                                              National Insurance details
                                              Bank Account details
                                              Change of name documentation
SECTION 2        PLACEMENT                    Information from Residential Units / Foster
                                               Placements
                                              Placement with Parents documentation
                                              Placement with Friends or Family Carers
                                               documentation
SECTION 3        EDUCATION                    Personal Education Plans
                                              Copies of school reports
                                              Statement of Special Educational Needs
SECTION 4        HEALTH                       Health plans
                                              Psychologist reports
                                              Medical information (not day to day)
SECTION 5        LIFE-STORY                   Life-story work
SECTION 6        BAP                          BAP application and decision sheets
SECTION 7        REPORTS                      Permanency Reports
                                              Expert reports
SECTION 8        CARE ORDERS                  All care orders (most recent at the top)
SECTION 9        REVIEW OF                    Review documentation
                 ARRANGEMENTS
SECTION 10       LAC                        PP1 / PP2
                 DOCUMENTATION              Essential Information 1 & 2
                                            Action and Assessment records


                                 File 3 Adoption file (Yellow)

See Adoption File (Child’s Case File)


                            File 4 Legal File (on live cases)
           To be used as a working day to day file for whilst in Court proceedings

This file is the Social Worker’s responsibility and should include

Court Care Plans

Any notes written by the Social Worker throughout the court proceedings

Witness Statements




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       Adoption and Fostering Files

12.4   All files used in the Adoption and Fostering Service are colour coded:

       Fostering                                     - Blue
       Adopters                                      - Orange
       Family Finding                                - Blue
       Adult Adoption work                           - Pink
       Step Parent Adoption -                        - Pink
       Adoption Support                              - Green
       Letterbox / Contact                           - Yellow

12.5   The information held on the outside cover of the file should include name, date of
       birth and SWIFT ID and in the case of foster carers the registration number. Do not
       record any contact details nor the allocated worker details on the cover of the file as
       these may change and should be on the SWIFT Frontsheet.

12.6   The structure and content of files will differ according to the area of work being
       undertaken.

       Foster Carer/Adopter Profiles

12.7   Profiles are required to be updated on SWIFT and recorded on file as soon as
       changes occur or are notified.

       Changes to Household

12.8   The aim of this form is for it to be used as an update to the original Form F
       assessment.

       Transfers

12.9   A full transfer summary is to be completed on the transfer of a file to a new worker.
       Changes of manager and allocated social worker are required to be recorded in the
       chronology and foster carer/adopters profile.

       Information about children who are fostered

12.10 Information relating to individual children held by the Fostering team is to be returned
      to their social worker when placements end and stored with / archived with their files.

12.11 Any concerns/complaints regarding foster carers must be recorded and immediately
      referred to the line manager for action to be considered. See Allegations against
      Staff, Foster Carers and Adopters Policy (Local Safeguarding Children Board)
      HYPERLINK WHEN PROTOCOL SIGNED OFF




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       Foster Care File (including Private Foster Carers)


         FOSTER CARE FILE: FILE A- RECRUITMENT AND ASSESSMENT
  LOCATION       CONTENT                          FORMS TO INCLUDE
INSIDE      CHRONOLOGY            Chronology BIC 801, to include date of allocation, any
COVER ON    GENOGRAM              contact i.e. phone calls, visits, checks etc.
LEFT:
ON RIGHT    SWIFT FRONTSHEET
SECTION 1   CASE RECORDING         Report sheets from SWIFT
                                          Transfer summary
                                           (in date order)
SECTION 2       REFERRAL                  Contact and referral from SWIFT,
                                          Application to Foster (BIC 205)
                                          BIC 201 enquiry form,
                                          BIC 204 initial visit.
SECTION 3       CHECKLIST                 Prospective foster carers check list
SECTION 4       CORRESPONDENCE            Correspondence, formal letters / memos etc.
SECTION 5       SUPERVISION               Supervision of social worker, relevant supervision
                                           records of Social Workers
SECTION 6       FORM Fs / PRIVATE         Original signed Form F,
                FOSTERING / REG 38        Signed foster carers agreement (BIC 217),
                                          Health and safety agreement (BIC 206),
                                          Foster carers’ safer care policy (BIC 223),
                                          Dog owners assessment (BIC 207),
                                          Reference interviews
                                          Private fostering agreements
                                          Changes to household (BIC 236)
                                          Placement with friends and family (Reg 38) BIC 240
                                           / 241
                                          De-registration / Exit Interviews (BIC 238)
SECTION 7       ANNUAL REVIEWS            Annual reviews (original signed Annual Reviews,
                                           including any panel minutes)
SECTION 8       PANEL MINUTES             Minutes of panel (BIC 211 / 212)
SECTION 9       APPROVAL /                Approval certificates (BIC 209 / 210), decision
                DECISIONS AND              notices (BIC 213) and exemptions (BIC 237)
                EXEMPTIONS
SECTION 10      CONFIDENTIAL              CRB and statutory checks (BIC 267)
                                          Other information (medical / education / references
                                           etc.)




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                   FOSTER CARE FILE: FILE B- SUPERVISION
 LOCATION         CONTENT                         FORMS TO INCLUDE
INSIDE        CHRONOLOGY        (BIC 801) To include date of allocation, any contact i.e.
COVER ON      GENOGRAM          phone calls, visits (including unannounced visits),
LEFT:                                    reviews, meetings, supervision dates for foster carers
                                         and social workers, record of any access to file and by
                                         whom, any allegations/concerns
ON RIGHT      SWIFT FRONTSHEET
              FOSTER CARER               (BIC 214)
              PROFILE
              PLACEMENT                  (BIC 215)
              PROFILE
SECTION 1     CASE RECORDING              Report sheets from SWIFT, (most recent on top).
                                          Record of contacts with carers, phone calls, visits
                                           (BIC 221), Email correspondence about the case
SECTION 2     APPROVAL                    Approval certificates
              CERTIFICATES
SECTION 3     CORRESPONDENCE                Correspondence, formal letters / memos etc.
                                            Formal emails - e.g. inviting carer to meetings
SECTION 4     CHILD CARE                    Child’s Keep Safe Plan (BIC 453)
                                            Foster placement agreement (BIC 220)
              Each child placed should      LAC documentation
              have a separate               PEPs
              expanding plastic insert      Internet Permission forms (BIC 222)
              with a front sheet which      Medical Consent form (219)
              includes:                     Medical Questionnaire (BIC 245b)
                                            Planning meeting minutes,
                                            Permanency planning meeting minutes,
                                            Case conference minutes and any other information
                                             relating to the child in placement (this information
                                             should be returned to the child’s file or shredded once
                                             the child moves on)
                                            Placement record (BIC 216) / report (BIC 269)
                                            Placement with Friends and Family assessment (BIC
                                             241)
                                            Acknowledgement of receipt of records (BIC 280)
SECTION 5     TRAINING                      List of training courses attended with dates,
                                            List of support groups attended with dates
SECTION 6     FOSTER CARER                  Supervision agreement form (BIC 270)
              SUPERVISION                   Supervision of foster carers (BIC 225)
                                            Completed records of supervisory / unannounced
                                             visits to carers
SECTION 7     SUPERVISION                   Supervisions of social worker
SECTION 8     COMPLAINTS /                  Details of complaints/allegations and outcomes (in
              ALLEGATIONS                    chronological order). (Particular attention must be
                                             given to this section if carers request access to files
                                             as some information may be confidential)
SECTION 9     FINANCE /                     Financial information including copies of lilac forms or
              EQUIPMENT                      BIC 263 / 244 / 245 / 246 / 247 / 262
                                            Foster Carer’s Inventory i.e. equipment
                                             purchased/written off (BIC 221 / 281)
SECTION 10    CONFIDENTIAL                  Confidential,
                                            Questionnaires




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       Adoption File (Child’s Case File) and Family Finding Files

12.12 This file is a yellow hard backed file held by the Looked After Children team until the
      Adoption Order has been granted. Once granted, the Team Manager or their deputy
      will undertake a BIC 550(Adoption) audit of the file before putting into a buff coloured
      file and transferring to the Office Manager Adoption and Fostering (by hand) where it
      will be amalgamated with the blue Family Finding Files and archived according to
      Adoption Agency Regulations. The blue family finding file will be set up with the
      same file headings as per the Adoption file.

                       ADOPTION FILES AND FAMILY FINDING FILES
  LOCATION              CONTENT                      FORMS TO INCLUDE
 INSIDE          CHRONOLOGY
 COVER ON        GENOGRAM
 LEFT:           CHECKLIST OF
                 PROGRESS RE
                 PERMANENCE
 ON RIGHT:       FRONT SHEET
                 FILE CONTENTS
 SECTION 1       CHILD INFORMATION      Referral for family finding
                                        Child’s Permanence Report
                                        Carers’ Profile of Child
                                        Lifestory Work
                                        Any other relevant information about the child
                                         (e.g. PEPs / information which goes to panel /
                                         Educational Statements etc)
 SECTION 2       MATCHING               Matching needs profile
                                        Adoption Placement Report
                                        Photos and publicity
                                        Adverts and flyers
                                        Pre-matching meeting minutes
                                        Matching meeting minutes
 SECTION 3       ADOPTION MEDICAL       Any Medical Reports
 SECTION 4       PERMANENCY             Minutes of all Permanence Planning Meetings
                 PLANNING &
                 REPORTS
 SECTION 5       CONSENT                Consent
                                        Withdrawal of consent
 SECTION 6       ADOPTION PANEL,        Minutes of Adoption Panel
                 DECISION MAKING &      Decision notices
                 NOTIFICATIONS          Notifications to Parents
 SECTION 7       ADOPTION REGISTER      Adoption Register information
 SECTION 8       PROSPECTIVE            Any information on prospective adopters
                 ADOPTERS               Form F (if multiple Form Fs are on file, only the
                                         final Form F of the family who adopted the
                                         child should be kept on file when transferred to
                                         the Adoption and Fostering team – all other
                                         Form Fs should be confidentially shredded)
 SECTION 9       INTER-AGENCY           Any inter-agency (inter-authority placements)
                 AGREEMENTS              documents

 SECTION 10      ADOPTION                     Adoption Placement Plan and information
                 PLACEMENT PLAN                given to Adopters
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                   ADOPTION FILES AND FAMILY FINDING FILES
 LOCATION           CONTENT                    FORMS TO INCLUDE
                                    BIC 280 (Acknowledgement of receipt of
                                     papers)
SECTION 11    ADOPTION SUPPORT      Adoption Support Plan
              PLAN AND CONTACT      Signed contact agreements
              AGREEMENTS
SECTION 12    LEGAL                 Annex A Report
                                    Court Report
                                    Placement Orders
                                    Copy of Birth Certificate
SECTION 13    STATUTORY VISITS &    Reports on Statutory visits and reviews
              REVIEWS
SECTION 14    CORRESPONDENCE        Adoption Correspondence

SECTION 15    SUPERVISION / NON           Supervision records to be held at the front of
              DISCLOSABLE                  this section
                                          BIC 550 Audit Forms
                                          Non-disclosable information in a plastic wallet
SECTION 16    LATER-LIFE                  Anything given by birth relatives or significant
              (Expandable Plastic          people in the child’s life for later life including
              Wallet)                      the Social Worker’s ‘later-life’ letter




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Adopter’s File (Orange coloured file)

                       ADOPTER’S FILE - FILE 1(up to Approval)
 LOCATION             CONTENT                      FORMS TO INCLUDE
 INSIDE         CHRONOLOGY
 COVER ON       FILE CONTENTS SHEET
 LEFT:          (behind chronology)
 ON RIGHT       SWIFT FRONTSHEET
 AT FRONT       FOR EACH APPLICANT
 OF FILE:       ADOPTER’S PROFILE
 SECTION 1      CASE RECORDING            Profile Notes relating to all work undertaken
                                           with the prospective adopters/adopters to be
                                           recorded in chronological order in this section
                                             [Information stored in other sections of the
                                             file should be cross referenced
                                             chronologically with the relevant recording]
                                         
                                         Support visits to the adopters.
                                         
                                         Case summary / closure / transfer
 SECTION 2     REFERRAL                  
                                         Initial Telephone/letter/Email /Referral Form
                                         
                                         Request for Interview
                                         
                                         Initial Interview
 SECTION 3     APPLICATION FORM          
                                         Application Form
 SECTION 4     POST-APPLICATION /      Adoption Application Checklist
               PRE -FORM F             Completed references received
               (Pre-Panel Assessment  Completed medical forms/reports received
               Evidence)               Health & Safety Assessment
                                       Dog assessment
                                       Information from prospective adopters/their
                                          contribution to the assessment/evaluations of
                                          training & feedback
 SECTION 5     FORM F ASSESSMENT This section to contain a full signed copy of
                                      the Form F and supporting documents as
                                      presented to Panel :
                                       Form F Assessment
                                       Ecomap
                                       Genogram
                                       Medical Adviser’s Report
                                       References x3 (interviewed - signed by
                                         referee & assessor)
                                       Assessment Review – signed & dated by chair
                                       Contact –post Adoption Sheet (BIC 327)
                                       Chronology per applicant
                                       Photograph
                                       Pro-forma for matching
                                       Report on Preparation Training
                                       Assessment of Needs for Adoption Support
                                       Social Worker’s declaration (re qualifications –
                                          signed & dated)
                                       Signature Sheet
                                       Related Reports to Panel (eg: Brief Report)
 SECTION 6     PANEL (APPROVAL)        Panel Minutes re Approval
                                       Panel Decision Notices signed by Panel Chair
                                          and Agency Decision Maker
                                       Agency Decision maker’s letter to
                                           prospective adopters
                                       IRM correspondence
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                    ADOPTER’S FILE - FILE 1(up to Approval)
LOCATION           CONTENT                      FORMS TO INCLUDE
SECTION 7     CORRESPONDENCE        Correspondence other than legal
                                       correspondence
SECTION 8     PRACTITIONER          Case Supervision Decision Records -BIC 530s
              SUPERVISION           BIC 550 Audit Forms
SECTION 9     COMPLAINTS &
              ALLEGATIONS
SECTION 10    CRB DECISIONS         CRB – Agency Decision Forms


                     ADOPTER’S FILE - FILE 2 (Post Approval)
LOCATION            CONTENT                      FORMS TO INCLUDE
INSIDE        CHRONOLOGY
COVER ON      FILE CONTENTS SHEET
LEFT:         (behind chronology)
ON RIGHT      SWIFT FRONTSHEET
AT FRONT      FOR EACH APPLICANT
OF FILE:      ADOPTER’S PROFILE
SECTION 1     CASE RECORDING             Profile Notes relating to all work undertaken
                                          with the prospective adopters/adopters to be
                                          recorded in chronological order in this section
                                           [Information stored in other sections of the
                                           file should be cross referenced
                                           chronologically with the relevant recording]
                                         Support visits to the adopters.
                                         Case summary / closure / transfer
SECTION 2     ARRANGEMENTS /             Adopter’s Review of Approval
              AGREEMENTS                 Documents signed by the Adopters and the
                                          Department
SECTION 3     MATCHING                   Pre-Matching Meeting
              PREPARATION                Matching Meeting Minutes
                                         Adoption Placement Report
                                         Restrictions on PR
SECTION 4     PLACEMENT                  Placement Planning Minutes
              PREPARATION                Adoption Placement Plan
                                         Review of Introductions
                                         Adopter’s Notification of acceptance of
                                          Placement Plan
                                         Notification of date of Adoption Placement (to
                                          foster carer)
                                         Inter-Agency Agreements (H1)
SECTION 5     ADOPTION SUPPORT           Adoption Support Plan + updates
              PLAN
SECTION 6     PANEL (MATCHING)           Panel Minutes re Matching
                                         Panel Decision Notices signed by Panel Chair
                                          & Agency Decision Maker
                                         Agency Decision Maker’s letter to prospective
                                          Adopter(s)
SECTION 7     ANNEX A                    Annex A – with following attachments:
              (as presented to Court)    Updated photos (adopters & child)
                                         Final Adoption Support Plan
                                         Medical Adviser’s comments
                                         Supplementary Court Report(s) if required
SECTION 8     LEGAL AND COURT            Adoption Order(s)
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                       ADOPTER’S FILE - FILE 2 (Post Approval)
                                          Legal advice
                                          Legal costs
                                          Legal correspondence
SECTION 9     FINANCE                     Financial assessments
                                          Invoices
                                          Adoption financial support agreements and
                                           notifications
SECTION 10    FAMILY FINDING              Family Finding Summary
                                          Flyers /Adverts/ Adoption Register
                                          CPRs and related paperwork (children under
                                           consideration)
SECTION 11    CHILD INFO FOR              Copy of BIC 280 (Adopter’s acknowledgement
              CHILD PLACED (per            of receipt of key documentation relating to
              child)                       child from the LAC/Fieldwork Team)
                                          Contact agreements
              NB: If the child is placed  Later life letter
              on an inter-agency basis  LAC Care Plan relating to adoptive placement
              a separate file is          Review of Arrangements post-placement
              required                    CPRs and related paperwork (placed child)
              for the child
SECTION 12    CORRESPONDENCE              Correspondence
SECTION 13    PRACTITIONER                Case Supervision Decision Records -BIC 530s
              SUPERVISION                 BIC 550 Audit Forms
SECTION 14    COMPLAINTS &
              ALLEGATIONS




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Adoption Support File (Green coloured file)


                              ADOPTION SUPPORT FILE
 LOCATION      CONTENT               FORMS TO INCLUDE
 INSIDE        CHRONOLOGY
 COVER ON      GENOGRAM
 LEFT:
 ON RIGHT      SWIFT FRONTSHEET
               SIGNED CONSENT
               TO SHARE
               INFORMATION FORM
 SECTION 1     ADOPTION SUPPORT
               PLAN
 SECTION 2     CASE RECORDING           Profile Notes
                                        Work being undertaken with client
 SECTION 3     DIRECT WORK              Include any pictures and worksheets completed
               (PLASTIC WALLET)          by the young person
                                        Reports of direct work commissioned
 SECTION 4     REFERRALS/ASSESS         Referrals
               MENT                     Assessments
                                        Risk Assessments
                                        Resilience Matrix
 SECTION 5     BACKGROUND               Background information to the case
               INFORMATION              historical information about birth family including
                                         birth family genograms
 SECTION 6     MEETINGS                 Reports
                                        minutes
                                        agendas
 SECTION 7     CORRESPONDENCE

 SECTION 8     EDUCATION

 SECTION 9     HEALTH                     Referrals for counselling
                                          CAMHs
                                          Therapeutic work
 SECTION 10    FINANCIAL                  Include BAP Decision sheets
                                          Adoption Financial Support
 SECTION 11    LEGAL                   
 SECTION 12    SUPERVISION / NON          Case supervision notes
               DISCLOSABLE                3rd Party information where consent to share has
               (PLASTIC WALLET)            not been given




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Adult Adoption Work (Pink file)

                          ADULT ADOPTION WORK
 LOCATION          CONTENT                FORMS TO INCLUDE
 INSIDE        CHRONOLOGY
 COVER ON      GENOGRAM
 LEFT:
 ON RIGHT      SWIFT FRONTSHEET
               SIGNED CONSENT
               TO SHARE
               INFORMATION FORM
 SECTION 1     CASE RECORDING                Profile Notes
                                             Work being undertaken with client
 SECTION 2     REFERRALS /                   Referrals
               ASSESSMENT                    Risk Assessments

 SECTION 3     BACKGROUND                  Information shared with the client
               INFORMATION
 SECTION 4     CORRESPONDENCE

 SECTION 5     HEALTH                      Referrals for counselling

 SECTION 6     LEGAL                         Birth Certificate
                                             Adoption Orders
                                             GRO documents
                                             Legal Advice
 SECTION 7     SUPERVISION / NON             Case supervision notes
               DISCLOSABLE                   3rd Party information where consent to share
               (PLASTIC WALLET)               has not been given


Step Parent Adoption Files (Pink Files)

                        STEP-PARENT ADOPTION FILES
 LOCATION           CONTENT                FORMS TO INCLUDE
 INSIDE         CHRONOLOGY
 COVER ON       GENOGRAM
 LEFT:
 ON RIGHT       SWIFT FRONTSHEET
                FILE CONTENTS
                SHEET
 SECTION 1      REFERRAL
 SECTION 2      CASE RECORDING
 SECTION 3      ASSESSMENTS
 SECTION 4      REFERENCES,
                CHECKS, MEDICALS
                & CONSENT
 SECTION 5      CORRESPONDENCE
 SECTION 6      ADOPTION SUPPORT
 SECTION 7      LEGAL                       Annex A
                                            Legal Advice
 SECTION 8      SUPERVISION / NON-        BIC530
                DISCLOSABLE


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       Contact File (Yellow Coloured File)

                                    CONTACT FILE
 LOCATION            CONTENT                         FORMS TO INCLUDE
 INSIDE          CHRONOLOGY
 COVER ON
 LEFT:
 ON RIGHT        FILE CONTENTS LIST
 SECTION 1       FRONT PAGE             Letterbox Frontsheet

 SECTION 2       CONTACT                 Letterbox Agreement Forms
                 AGREEMENT               Adoption Support Plans
 SECTION 3       CORRESPONDENCE
 SECTION 4       RECORDING
 SECTION 5       RECORD OF               Record of Exchanges form
                 EXCHANGE
 SECTION 6                              Insert as many dividers as required – two
                                        dividers per family member / significant
                                        person in the child’s life who requires
                                        contact
 SECTION 7       REVIEWS
 SECTION 8       SUPERVISION

Early Intervention Files

                          EARLY INTERVENTION FILE
 LOCATION            CONTENT                FORMS TO INCLUDE
 INSIDE          CHRONOLOGY
 COVER ON
 LEFT:
 ON RIGHT        CLIENT DETAILS         Including contact details for agencies working
                                        with the child
 SECTION 1       REFERRAL                 CAF
                                          MAAG Decision Sheet
                                          Initial Contact Sheet
 SECTION 2       DIRECT WORK              Insert a tab for each session worked (i.e. if
                                           there are 6 sessions, insert a tab for each
                                           session)
                                          Notes Sheet
                                          SOUL Questionnaire and worksheet
                                          Activities undertaken by child in a plastic
                                           wallet
 SECTION 3       REVIEW / MEETINGS
 SECTION 4       CORRESPONDENCE
 SECTION 5       CP / CIN                If any referrals are made details to be held
                                          here
 SECTION 6       SUPERVISION             BIC 530 (Case Supervision Record)




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Appendix 1: Permission to Access Adoption Records
                                                                              BIC XXX
Permission to Access Adoption Records
To:    Head of Adoption & Fostering Service
       Bedfordshire County Council
       Adoption & Fostering Service
       Unit 5 Franklin Court
       Stannard Way
       Priory Business Park
       Bedford MK44 3JZ

I request permission to access to the closed adoption case records for:



BIRTH NAME:

DATE OF BIRTH OF
THE ADOPTED
PERSON:

I REQUIRE ACCESS
FOR THE PURPOSE
OF:
[CLEARLY STATE
REASON ACCESS IS
REQUIRED]
I confirm the information requested is not available from any other Bedfordshire
Social Care records.

Signed

Print Name

Jobtitle

Team / Location

Telephone number

Date




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I agree to the above member of staff having access to these adoption records for the
purpose of (state reasons and any conditions) :




Access to adoption records is restricted by statutory regulations. Any information must only be
used for the purpose for which it was intended and stored in compliance with the Data Protection
Act 1998, National Minimum Standards for Adoption and the Children’s Services Recording Policy
2008
Signed

Print Name
Adoption Team Manager / Head of Adoption and Fostering Service
(strike through as appropriate)

A copy of this form must be placed on the file, records or information being released. The
original to be kept by the Adoption Service in the ‘Records Management’ folder.

To be completed by Administrator

Date records
collected

Collected by:

Signed

Print Name

Jobtitle

Team

Location of records

Date records
returned to adoption
service




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Appendix 2: Case File Check for Managers (BIC 550)
(A) INTRODUCTION
1. Name of Case:                           SWIFT No:                     D.O.B:

2. Status of Case:                         Please tick:
                                           Open      Allocation     Transfer
                                           Closing
                                           If other, define:

3. Type of Case:                           Please tick:
                                           i) Child in Need
                                           ii) Child currently on CPR
                                           iii) Child Looked After
(B) GENERAL (Applicable to all cases)
                                                         Code: N/A = Not applicable
1. Front Sheet                                                 Yes     No     N/A
1.1    Date of front sheet?
1.2    Is there a contact report?
1.3    Is there a referral form?
1.4    Is there a chronology?
1.5    Is there a completed BIC 129?
2. Initial Assessment                                             Yes     No      N/A
2.1    Was the eligibility and priority considered
       appropriately?
2.2    Is there an initial assessment on file?
2.3    Was the initial assessment completed within 7 days
       of the date of the referral?
2.4    Countersigned by Team Manager?
2.5    Referrer informed of outcome?
2.6    Family informed of outcome?
2.7    Outcomes specified?
3. Case Recording                                                 Yes     No      N/A
3.1    Filed chronologically?
3.2    Any evidence of checking/counter signature?
3.3    Could you easily make sense of this file and could it
       be understood by service user?
4. Considerations in Initial Assessment                       Yes No              N/A
4.1  Is the child’s cultural/racial background identified and
     taken into account on initial assessment?
4.2  Was eligibility and priority considered?
4.3  Does the assessment appropriately analyse the
     available information and identify needs/risks to the
     child and the parents’ capacity to respond to them?
4.4  Does the subsequent plan/case closure flow logically
     from assessment?
4.5  Does the assessment represent the child’s views?
5. Family Information                                         Yes No              N/A
5.1  Does each sibling have his/her own file?
5.2  Have supervision notes/managerial decisions been
     recorded/filed in case file?
             (C) CASE SPECIFIC (Complete only relevant sections)
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1. Child in Need Cases                                         Yes    No    N/A
1.1   Has a core assessment been completed within
      timescale?
1.2   Is there evidence of inter-agency planning?
1.3   Has a BIC133 been formulated and signed by all
      parties and copied to the family?
1.4   Is child’s cultural/racial background identified and
      taken into account in the assessment?
1.5   Has the child’s educational attainment/development
      been considered in the assessment?
1.6   Has any specific health and development needs, i.e.
      disability been identified?
1.7   Does the assessment appropriately analyse the
      available information and identify needs/risks to the
      child and parent’s capacity to respond to them?
1.8   Does the subsequent plan/closure flow logically from
      assessment?
1.9   Does the assessment represent the child’s views?
1.10 Has the BIC 133 been reviewed?
1.11 Are outcomes specified in the BIC 133
2. Child in Need of Protection:                                Yes    No    N/A
2.1   Evidence of discussions with Review Manager? Has
      BIC 500 and 510 been completed?
2.2   Is the strategy meeting recorded on BIC 126?
2.3   Has the CP enquiry been written up within the core
      assessment?
2.4   Was the timescale for a CP Conference met?
2.5   If the case did not progress to Conference, is there
      clear evidence that a CP conference and a plan were
      not needed?
2.6   Has an analysis of the risks been undertaken?
2.7   Did the relevant professionals attend the
      Conference?
2.8   Was a Core Group held within 10 days of the
      conference?
2.9   Were subsequent Core Groups held?
2.10 Were the Core groups recorded on BIC126?
2.11 Did the Child Protection Plan record objectives and
      specified desired outcomes that are realistic and
      measurable?
2.12 Were clear responsibilities and timescales allocated
      for specified actions?
2.13 Are CP minutes on file?
2.14 Was it distributed within timescales?
2.15 Has the child been seen every 4 weeks?
2.16 Has the child’s views been represented?
3. Child/ren Looked After / Leaving Care                       Yes    No    N/A
3.1   Is there an up to date core assessment?
3.2   Are the details of the child’s current carer/placement
      easily retrieved?
3.3   Is there an up to date LAC Care Plan signed by all
      parties?
3.4   Has the plan been updated to reflect current
      needs/risks to child?
3.5   Are EIR 1 and 2 on file?
3.6   Are PP1 and 2 on file?
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3.7  Is Review of Arrangements on file?
3.8  Was it distributed within prescribed timescale? (see
     date stamp)
3.9  Are child’s reviews up to date and within timescales?
3.10 Is there an up to date Assessment and Action
     Record on file?
3.11 Has BIC 430 been completed in respect of visits to
     see child?
3.12 Are relevant legal documents on child’s current file
     (e.g. birth certificate, court order, NINO, passport
     number and immigration details etc?)
3.13 Has the child safety plan been completed?
3.14 Is there a current health assessment and action
     plan?
3.15 Is there a ‘Placement with Parent’s Assessment
     appropriately completed?
3.16 Is there a pathway plan on file? Has it been reviewed
     every 6 months?
3.17 Is there a PEP review on file?
3.18 Are the child’s views represented?
3.19 Has there been a claim for criminal injuries?
4. Management                                                Yes    No    N/A
4.1  Is BAP decision sheet on file? Does it give a review
     date?
4.2  Is there a Maag decision sheet?
4.3  Has transfer/summary form been completed?
4.4  Was practice consistent with departmental
     policy/procedures? If not, give details
4.5  Is there evidence of managerial input at key stages
     of the case?
4.6  Is there evidence that the SW was being supervised
     and management oversight of the case clearly
     recorded on file?
4.7  Does the file provide evidence of focussed and
     effective use of professional knowledge/skills and
     empathy in engaging and working directly with the
     family?
4.8  Is there an appropriate balance between child focus
     and partnership with parents?
4.9  Is methodology of intervention clear in
     assessment/planning and review?
4.10 Were there resource issues? If so, please identify
     these below
Management/Resource Issues:


Comments/Actions Needed:



Corrective Action Taken Following File Check
(To be completed by Service Manager)




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Name & Signature of Team Manager undertaking File Check:   Date:



Name & Signature of Service Manager:                       Date




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Appendix 3: Case File Check for Managers (BIC 550 Adopt)
To be added

Appendix 4: Case File Check for Managers (BIC 550 Fost)

To be added




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