Seeing your records

Can I see my file?

Yes. The law says you have a right to see personal information held about you by the Council unless we think it would be emotionally harmful to you or cause harm to you or another person, or the law says we can’t. 

If you want to see your records either talk to your social worker, or contact Alison Parker (Complaints & FOI Manager)


Telephone 01454 865924

Your social worker may be able to answer questions you have about what has happened in your life.  You can ask your social worker if you would like to see notes of any meeting your social worker has with you. You should also be given notes of your reviews.  If we decide you cannot see something or we can’t answer your questions then your social worker will explain why to you. 

 When you are 18 you will be able to see the records kept on you, and your social worker will talk to you about what support you need to read and understand the papers.

Why do we keep records about you?

Your social worker needs to keep a record of your health, education, family members, foster placements etc. so that in future they can look back and see what has happened to you and have a record of your time in care. If there is a change of social worker your new social worker can look on your file and find out about you. Your social worker also keeps notes of visits with you and of meetings about you. We also collect information about how we work with you so we can see where we need to improve and to plan and provide services. These records show the actions that the Council takes and how we comply with the law. 

What is in my file?

When a child or young person is looked after by South Gloucestershire Council, we will have care notes and other relevant documents, records of review meetings, any relevant legal documents, a record of the people you have had contact with and any decisions that would have been made about you, your needs and plans.

Can I see my file even after I have left care?

Yes. You have the right to see your records even if you are no longer in care or if you are no longer receiving a service from the department. The Children and Young People Department have to keep records of all children who have been in their care. The law tells us how long we have to keep our records about you - if you have been looked after by us we have to keep our records about you until you are 75 years old. 

Who else can see information on my file?

Your file is confidential and the information in it will not usually be shown to anybody outside the Children and Young People Department unless we need to share information about you. Your records are kept safely and securely and the information in them will only be shared with those who need to see them as part of their work.

We may share information on you with other agencies who are involved in planning and providing services for you. Other organisations, such as the Courts, may require personal information for legal reasons. Others, like Ofsted, who check how we are working, may also request records.

Other people who believe there may be information about them in your file may ask to see anything on the file about them. If there is information on your file which is just about them then the law says they are allowed to see it. If your parents ask to see your file and you are old enough we will ask you if you agree to this and we will take your views into account. We may allow them to see parts of your file if we believe it is in your best interests