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Released On 27th Nov 2019

Accessing your Care Records

Survivors who were sexually abused as children often grew up in difficult family circumstances and frequently were put in to care or fostered.  Multi-disciplinary agencies including Social Services, doctors and the criminal justice system would have been involved and the care system generated extensive amounts of documents.   

Many years later those survivors rightly want access to their Care Records.   Obtaining those records can be a difficult and stressful exercise.  At Robsonshaw we frequently are asked to obtain care records on behalf of survivor clients who want information about, for example: -  

1.  Mrs S was abused as a child and wanted to know whether the local authority knew about it.  She also wanted to know what steps were taken to protect her.

2.  Mr D wanted to find out if anyone had been convicted or suspected of abuse against him in the past.  

3.  Ms T was in foster care and abused by her foster parents.  She wanted to know which local authority placed her in care. 

You have the right to care records that are about you personally, although in some cases, this can be refused if they would be likely to cause serious harm to you or someone else. You may also not be able to see information which would reveal the identity of an individual who has provided information about you in confidence to the authority.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (“IICSA”) is holding a series of road shows for anyone who has struggled to access their childhood records.  Many survivors have told IICSA’s Truth Project about the difficulties they have faced trying to access medical, care and social services records.  Indeed, during its hearings IICSA has heard evidence of care records being lost, destroyed, hidden and changed.

The public hearings will discuss problems about accessing records and what needs to be improved in the future. They are designed to create a supportive, friendly space for informal discussions and emotional support staff are available throughout the events.

Preliminary findings from IICSA have heard from survivors that have recommended less red tape and easier access to information from all agencies for victims and survivors, including access to their personal records relating to their time at the institution(s) they were in.

The events are taking place in Manchester, London, Cardiff and Exeter.

Those wishing to attend, who are not currently members of the Inquiry’s Victims and Survivors Forum, must first register to become a member of the Forum 

If you want to know more about how to access your care records please call Robsonshaw for a free, confidential and no obligation chat and ask for Samantha Robson or Robert Shaw on 01392 345332 or email sam@robsonshaw.uk or robert@robsonshaw.uk