Regulation 3 - Form and manner in which information is kept
Question 5: Is the timescale for preservation of records sufficient? What would be a more appropriate timescale?
Scottish Government response/action
Clarification was sought by the respondents about when a case record started. Many felt that there needed to be clarity about this as practice varied. The term "adopted child" implied that a record should be created at the point of the order being made. However a number of respondents indicated that an adoption record should start when the decision has been made that adoption is in the best interests of the child. The creation of an adoption record has, therefore, been linked to the decision of an adoption panel and the information collected and supplied to that panel will constitute the record. Practice around the information collected in a child's plan, which is not relevant to adoption and would not necessarily be placed on a case record for adoption, will be revisited in guidance.
Most respondents indicated that the timescales in Regulation 3 should be increased in light of life expectancy and future proofing legislation with 100 years being suggested as more appropriate. Changes to this Regulation have been made accordingly.
Respondents also indicated that records for those who had been unsuccessful in their application should also be kept. Provision has therefore been made for adoption records for unsuccessful prospective adopters to be kept for 10 years in order that they can be referred to in future applications to that agency or other agencies.
Respondents also identified the need to review the indexes and records to ensure that they are still accessible, especially where they are held electronically. The Regulation has therefore been amended to refer to accessibility as well as ensure they are not damaged.