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2.2 Case Records for Looked After Children


Record Keeping in Children's Specialist Services Procedure

Access to Records Procedure

Producing Chronologies and Recording Significant Events (with ICS Guidance)

Issuing of Privacy (Formally Fair Processing) Notices in Children’s Specialist Services Procedure


This chapter was amended in March 2017 to acknowledge the requirements of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse to retain files whilst the Inquiry is sitting or unless otherwise advised by it. (See Retention and Safekeeping of the Child’s File).

Establishing a Child’s Case Record

Wirral Council is required to establish and maintain the child’s written case record for each child Looked After by them. Records are the basis for a clear and common understanding of the plan for a child, the arrangements made, the agreements reached, the decisions taken and the reasons for them.

The case record must include:

  • The child’s first Care Plan, including any changes made to that plan and any subsequent plans to include the health plan, Placement Plan and Personal Education Plan;
  • Reports obtained under Section 7 documents created as part of the assessment of the child’s needs or of any review of the child’s case including education assessments;
  • Any Court order relating to the child such as a Care Order or order relating to Contact;
  • Details of any arrangements for the Local Authority’s functions to be discharged by an independent fostering provider or provider of social work services.

Retention and Safekeeping of the Child’s File

Important Note: The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (see Wirral LSCB 'Child Sexual Exploitation Procedure') requires all institutions to retain their records relating to the care of children for the duration of the Inquiry under Section 21 of the Inquiries Act 2005. There is therefore an obligation to preserve records for the Inquiry for as long as is necessary.

(See Letter to Chief Executives of Local Authorities).

The case record must be kept until the 75th anniversary of the child's date of birth, or 15 years from the date of death in the case of a child who dies before reaching the age of 18.

Wirral Council must secure the safe keeping of the child’s case record and take the necessary steps to ensure they are treated as confidential. The 1989 Act requires authorities to give access to records duly authorised by the Secretary of State and to guardians appointed by the Court.

The Data Protection Act applies to both paper / manual and electronic records.

Click here to view Children's Services - Retention of Records.