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Does anyone know how long Social Services keep records?

(9 Posts)
iknowimcoming Thu 12-Oct-17 13:27:52

Not really sure where to post this but anyway here goes!

When I was a child we had regular (6 monthly maybe) visits from the DSS, this was the only time my mum would ever do cleaning etc --which is totally why I’m a complete slattern now--blush so was quite a big deal and I don’t remember them checking our flat particularly but they would talk to my mum whilst I was there, I don’t remember them specifically asking me questions or anything. My mum was a single parent (my dad was married and she was his mistress although he saw us often) I have wondered a few times as an adult, why SS were involved just curiosity really, it is there any way of finding out now - 40 odd years later? I’m nc with my mum and my dad is dead so no other way of finding out really.

So is it possible there would be records somewhere? Does anyone know? TIA

mintteaandbananabread Thu 12-Oct-17 18:26:29

I would think individual policies would vary by jurisdiction, so it will depend where you are most likely. I found this for Northumberland County by means of an example of their policy:

The policy is specifically to retain the records for 35 years after the case is closed, unless the child is or becomes looked after (in which case the retention policy is 75 years from the date of birth) or adopted (in which case the retention period is 100 years from the date of the Adoption Order)

and another from Scotland where periods range from 5 years to 100 years depending on the action taken (generally the more involvement the longer the retention).

Your best bet is to contact the relevant authority and make a freedom of information request for any records held about you. There may well not be any though.

Good luck.

Polter Thu 12-Oct-17 18:32:31

It's a Data Protection Act Subject Access Request, not FOI.

The records can be quite hard to read so do take care of yourself iknow flowers

mintteaandbananabread Thu 12-Oct-17 18:33:28

Sorry, my mistake.

MissBeehiving Thu 12-Oct-17 18:44:19

My DH (48) accessed his adoption records a few years ago. They are very patchy though - he went into care at birth and was adopted at 2 yo but there were only about 7/8 bits of paper.

iknowimcoming Thu 12-Oct-17 21:06:59

Thanks everyone, I’m still in the same area so I’ll give them a call tomorrow and find out where to go from there hopefully. Thanks for your concern Polter, appreciated, and I must admit your comment did make me stop and think for a minute, and you’re right of course, but if I had to guess I’d say maybe concerns of neglect/benefit fraud rather than anything more sinister. I’ll post again if I find out anything (possibly not details iyswim but more the facts/process). Thanks again smile

Whatshouldmyusernamebe Thu 12-Oct-17 21:08:08

You should be able to access something.

JaniceBattersby Fri 13-Oct-17 00:03:57

SS seemed to have more time back then so it might not be anything sinister. We had a social worker who used to pop in every few months to 'say hello' because my mum had eight kids. Literally no other concerns at all, just sheer volume of kids. Maybe SS were involved with you because your mum was a single parent.

I hope it's something and nothing flowers

JoanBartlett Sat 14-Oct-17 12:43:54

I think some organisations wll charge the £10 for data protection requests (although in my view it would be worth it to see older records like that) but I am not sure if that applies to social worker records and after May 2018 there will be no data protection charges as the law changes. Is your mother still alive? Ifshe is then they may not be allowed to give to you (a different person from her) information about your mother by the way.

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