Members of the Access to Care Records Group were asked by the Department of Education to conduct some evidence based research into the issues for Information and Governance Departments of Local Authorities concerning the disclosure of Care Records to Care Leavers following the implementation of the Children’s Act Transitional Guidance published in 2014.
Between June and September 2015, we held some roundtables at various Local Authority invited venues, when we initially gave a talk, then played a film made about the experience of Care Leavers when accessing their care records, then held some workshops at which the views of delegates were sought.
The government has revised the guidance about how local authorities should respond when a person who has grown up in care asks to see their care file. The Guidance is statutory guidance: local authorities are required to follow this unless there is a good reason not to. This guidance is in Volume 3 of government guidance called Planning Transition to Adulthood for Care Leavers.
It states that care leavers have a fundamental right to access information held on their care records. [Para 4.28]
It makes it very clear that the principles and standards for good practice apply to all care leavers regardless of their age. [Para 4.27]
Join us so together we achieve a fair deal for adult care leavers and their rights and needs to access information about their family history and time in care
What are we doing?
The Access to Care Records Campaign Group (ACRCG) is working with adult care leavers to change the law. It must be more straightforward for adult care leavers to find out from their care records about their time in care and decisions made about them.
Adult care leavers have the fundamental right to know about their personal and family history. Unlike people growing up in their birth family, their care record holds the narrative of their childhood and adolescence and family connections.
We believe, based on the experiences of adult care leavers requesting to see their care records, that the Data Protection Act 1998 is not a suitable framework and process.