Practitioner & Volunteers
Every organisation that holds records about children or adults must have policies and procedures in place regarding the retention and storage of that information. Clear guidelines for the retention, storage and destruction of child protection records are also required as part of safeguarding policies and procedures.
The NSPCC have provided guidance to help voluntary/ community/ faith/ third sector organisations undertsand what is required.
A Serious Case Review (SCR) Carried out in Newcastle identified a difficulty as records from a commissioned voluntary sector organisation had been destroyed when the agency ceased to exist as funding came to an end. This was before the expected record retention period for safeguarding records, but in line with the fact that the records belonged to the organisation and it no longer existed. The SCR recommended that consideration be given to prevent this reoccurring, so if your organisation is commissioned to carry out work on behalf of another organisation, perhaps the local authority, public health etc. you should agree with the commissioners what to include in your policies and procedures around records and their retention for the specific commission, and in the event that the commission is ended and/ or your organisation should cease to exist, what should happen with these records.