Download the latest Care Records Guidance under Children Act 1989


At one time Care Records were private and could not be sourced, but over the last 20/30 years, the law has changed to give Care Leavers the right to access records.

The Data Protection Act 2018, as well as the Freedom of Information Act 2000 give rights of access to care records.

Complications, caused by the privacy obligations of 3rd Party data and the rights of other data subjects, whose consent is usually required, create barriers to information for the Care Leaver.

For more information, see the Care Leavers Association website

First of all, the Care Leaver needs to know who was responsible for their care. Usually this will be the Local Authority nearest to where they lived.

Secondly, they need to communicate their intention to see their records, quoting the relevant legislation, to the Local Authority.

Thirdly, the Local Authority will search for their records, and should disclose them within the time period allowed by the Data Protection Act 2018, which is now only 1 month, unless the request is complex or repeated requests are made, in which case the time can be extended by 2 months to 3 months..

We have lobbied to establish good practise which all care record providers should follow when applications for records arrrive. See the Children Act Transitional Guidance here

For a more in depth description of the process see the CLA website here

The Law on the subject is quite complex. There are several competing interests:-

  • The Rights of the Care Leaver
  • The Rights of Third Parties to Privacy
  • The Right to a Fair Trial

For more information on your legal rights, contact us, and we can refer you to a solicitor.

ACCESS TO CARE RECORDS GROUP is an association of individuals dedicated to providing better access to care records for Care Leavers, by lobbying government for changes in law and regulation.

We seek not only changes in legislation and rules designed to frustrate access to the past life of a care leaver, but also endeavour to provide better access when Care Leavers require it.