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6.1.11 Recording by Foster Carers


  1. Introduction
  2. Guidance on Recording

1. Introduction

Recording is an essential part of the care provided by foster carers.

Carers need to provide detailed records of daily events on each child they care for as well as monitor their behaviour, medication they have received and potentially prepare evidence for court.

Each carer is provided with a lockable container to store recording and Children in Care (CiC) documentation in.

Carers are provided with a folder per child which will contain separate daily record sheets where carers must record contact sessions, the medication a child has received, pocket money and specific incidents. Carers should also record other information which they feel is important.

Supervising Social Workers need to review the recording a carer is making during their supervision visits and this recording should be returned to the department when a child leaves the carers.

Training is provided for carers on recording and it is important for all carers to attend this at least once.

2. Guidance on Recording

The following list is not intended to be exhaustive, and you may need to check with your Supervising Social Worker as to what you should record from time to time.

Why Record?

  • To preserve information about a child;
  • To protect carers from allegations.


  • Be factual;
  • Record enough to recall events accurately;
  • All subjects of recording, (children, parents etc) can request to see recording (although this can be refused if it would compromise the safety of a child);
  • Keep all Records confidential and secure. (You have been provided with a lockable box for this purpose).

Records are held by carers for the Authority and should be returned to the authority when a child leaves a carer’s home. At this point the fostering network recommends that Carers should record name, dates the child arrived and left and what information was passed to the authority at that point.

Foster carer’s records have to be kept by the authority for a minimum of 10 years following de-registration. All child in care records must be kept for 75 years.

What should I record?

  • It is important to record anything that could jeopardise the safety of a child or a member of a foster carer’s family;
  • Record the funny and positive things;
  • Be factual not judgemental;
  • Be specific;
  • Note positive improvements;
  • Where everyone is living and who they have spent time with. Record dates a child is away from the home with family, friends, other carers, at school or missing;
  • Record comments children make that are of concern, or concerning details of behaviour;
  • Record details of specific incidents and changes of circumstances including the date, time who was present, who was reported to?
  • Dates of medical appointments, immunisations and length of illnesses;
  • Medication must be recorded in accordance with the Storage and Administration of Medicines (Foster Care) Procedure;
  • Contacts with school;
  • Contact visits, significant interactions between children and parents;
  • Details of professional visits and meetings;
  • Requests for help, support, resources and problems reported to social worker;
  • When babysitters are used and other carers;
  • Involvement with Police;
  • Any theft or wilful damage;
  • Pocket money, foster carers should record the amount given to the child, any deductions and the reason for any deduction in accordance with the Pocket Money Policy.