Care Leavers’ Association says council performance on care records access is variable

Local authorities are providing a “highly variable” service to care leavers wanting to access their care records with some refusing access and others claiming they had met all requests despite keeping no data on the issue.

The Care Leavers’ Association survey of 59 councils found some authorities had admitted destroying care files while one operated an “open file” policy, raising questions about confidentiality.

The survey was published to coincide with the launch of a campaign by the association to promote awareness of care leavers’ rights to access their records. The association also called on councils to use local newspapers to advertise the fact that adults who were once in care can access their files.

Association secretary Jim Goddard said: “Many care leavers are still unaware of their right to access the files kept by local authorities that detail their time in care and family circumstances. Our campaign is aimed at informing them of their rights.”

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