Everyone who works with looked after children will be involved in recording. As a foster carer, you play a key role in the care of looked after children, and you are uniquely placed to record important information during a child’s placement with you.
This new online version of the policy has been designed to enable Nottinghamshire County Council’s fostering service to ensure that you have access to up-to-date information and documents.
It is essential that you keep accurate records, because:
- Records can offer children and young people an opportunity to look back at what has happened during the placement, and to understand why decisions were made, clarify what your role was in the child’s life and improve a child’s identity;
- Recordings can provide an opportunity to reflect, and allow analysis of behaviour; it also allows sharing of information with other professionals to enhance the child’s life, it also assists in continuity when there are changes in care;
- Records can provide accurate information that can be used in plans and assessments about your fostered child;
- The information may be required in court;
- Recording can be useful if allegations are made against a foster carer. It also forms part of ensuring you as foster carers are meeting the accountability and standards expected of your role. Recording also supports your supervision and professional development as a foster carer.
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For further information around recording, please see Recording section of Fostering Handbook
Section 1: Daily Running Record
This is the main section of your recordings and should include the following, as well as anything, which you feel is significant for the individual child and their care. What is significant for each child will vary, however, it is better to record more rather than less information if unsure. The content and quality of your recordings will be discussed with you in supervision. If you are unsure, then please speak with your supervising social worker.
Section 2: Medication Administration Record
This is in addition to the running record as a separate sheet. Please follow the below guidelines and indicate in the running record that a medication sheet has been completed.
- Health Care Assessments and Plans Policy
Section 3: Incidents and Injuries.
There are two separate records to complete for incidents and injuries an incident report and a body map noting any injuries sustained. It is good practice to immediately report, record any injuries sustained to a child whilst they are in your care, Expectations around this should be specifically discussed with you at a placement planning meeting and noted on the child’s digital record, as well as within the safer caring document.
For further information around significant events, please see
Section 4: Child Missing from a foster home.
The National Police Chiefs' Council (formerly the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO)) definition of a missing person is:
Missing - ‘Anyone whose whereabouts cannot be established and where the circumstances are out of character, or the context suggests the person may be the subject of crime or at risk of harm to themselves or another’.
If a child is missing and you do not know where the child is and they are not found within a reasonable time frame: one hour for under 12's and two hours for over 12's (unless stated otherwise in their Placement Plan), you must contact the child's social worker, duty worker or the Out of Hours team on 0800 085 8995.
Missing from a Foster Home Form
For all children in foster care, The Missing from Care policy should be followed - Child Missing and Recovery Orders
Please also refer to the following
- Fostering Handbook - My Foster Child is Missing
- Statutory government guidance on children who run away or go missing from home or care
- Nottinghamshire Safeguarding Children's Board guidance
The Philomena Protocol | Nottinghamshire Police – provides information regarding the Philomena protocol, which aims to help locate a young person as quickly as possible when they are missing from care.
philomena-protocol-form.pdf (nottinghamshire.police.uk) – Philomena Protocol Form. The view is that carers, guardians, and parents will complete this form with as much detail as possible, then keep it somewhere safe – along with a recent photo. The form needs to be regularly updated
The Philomena Protocol GMP Leaflet (Feb 2020).pdf (nottinghamshire.police.uk) – Philomena Protocol Information (PDF)
When a child moves on
When a child or young person moves on from your care, including to family members and on to independence, all records and information relating to this individual must be returned to the Local Authority via your Supervising Social Worker or a member of the Fostering Service. For further information, please see When a child or young person moves on from your care, including to family members and on to independence, all records and information relating to this individual must be returned to the Local Authority via your Supervising Social Worker or a member of the Fostering Service.
For further information, please see Ending a placement - Fostering Handbook