Achieving the elements ensures that your organisation has safe practices in place to record and store information. Tick the elements your organisation has in place or use the examples provided to help develop practices for safeguarding children and young people. 


Have you considered?

Answer

Do you keep a record of each contact that you have with a child or their family?

We suggest

Think about what level of record keeping would work best for your group/organisation. Use the examples to help you develop suitable templates or headings for your records.

Do your records clearly distinguish between fact and opinion?

We suggest

Review your records to check whether they make a clear distinction between fact and opinion. If not, do some awareness raising with your staff and volunteer group to help them improve in this area.

Do you keep personal information, other than the individual’s name, separate from information about other people?

We suggest

Use the example to make sure that you and your workforce know what constitutes personal information. Develop a system to make sure that personal information about individuals is kept confidentially and discretely.

Are your records are signed and dated by the person who makes them?

We suggest

Using the example, develop a policy and procedure for creating records. Make sure that it includes a requirement for staff and volunteers to sign and date them. Undertake random checks to make sure that your records are being signed and dated.

Do you have time limits for making records?

We suggest

Consider what would be a reasonable time limit, bearing in mind that the sooner the record is made after the contact, the more accurate it will be. Build this time limit into your procedure, using the example to help you. Make sure that staff are aware of it and follow it.

Do the children and families in your organisation know that you keep records and the reasons why?

We suggest

For an example of this, have a look at the way Childline explains its confidentiality promise to young people.

Resources

Do you have a policy for granting children and families access to their records?

We suggest

Use the example to develop a policy and procedure on access to records. Make sure that when they create records,  staff  take into account the fact that children and families may see the information that is written about them. Ensure that there is enough support to facilitate children’s and families’ access to their records.

Do you store hard copies of personal records and portable electronic equipment securely?

We suggest

Use the example to develop a simple policy and procedure for keeping records securely. Make sure that your workforce is aware of what is expected.

Do you protect your records by security measures such as user names, passwords and encryption?

We suggest

Use the example to make sure that you are safe and secure in how you store information electronically. Seek advice and help from an IT support service if you are not sure what to do.

Do you make sure that information that may be needed in an emergency is readily available?

We suggest

Use the example to develop a way of making sure that you have vital information easily available when you need it.

Do you record any concerns that a child may be in need or at risk of abuse?

We suggest

Use the example to make sure that you have a watertight procedure for recording concerns about a child.

Are records of concerns and your response to them placed on the child’s file?

We suggest

Each child that you have concerns about should have their own file. Records of your concerns and your response to them need to be kept on the relevant file.

Resources

Do you confirm in writing any referrals to a statutory agency within 48 hours?

We suggest

Use the example to ensure that your procedure complies with this requirement.

Do you have a clear policy on time limits for retaining records?
Do you destroy personal records securely?

We suggest

Make sure that your records are destroyed securely, within the correct time limit. Check the example for further information on this.
Is your workforce aware of your expectations on the recording and storage of information?

We suggest

Develop clear guidance for staff on these matters and make sure that they understand them fully.

Resources

Do you support your workforce to meet these expectations?

We suggest

If staff are struggling to comply with your policy on record keeping, ensure that training and support is available to them.

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