I want to find out information the Council may hold about me (called 'access to records')
If you are a young person who is in care, or perhaps now you are an adult who was once in care you might have some questions about your past. Suffolk Leaving Care Service want to support you to get the answers to those questions.
Through our experience of working with care leavers we recognise that accessing your records is often a really difficult process to go through, so we have some tips and ideas to help you through. (Suffolk Leaving Care service)
- Firstly speak to your PA or Social Worker, it may be that they can answer some questions for you.
- If you decide to access your records there is a form to fill out. Your PA or Social Worker can help you with this, or you can do it yourself with the following link: www.suffolk.gov.uk/about/privacy-and-data-protection/
- You do not have to pay £10 for the ‘access request’ because you have been in care.
Please be advised that when you request your records, any 3rd party information (information not directly about you) has to be redacted (taken out) unless the 3rd party agrees to the information remaining. This means that sometimes there is lots of information you can’t see, which can be frustrating. It may mean that at times you find it hard to find the answers to the questions you have.
Sometimes, you may find out information that you were not aware of and this can be upsetting.
The Leaving Care Service has trained counsellors available to support you through the process of accessing your files. They strongly advise you to set up some counselling to run alongside accessing your files. Even if you feel you don’t need it, it’s a good idea to get booked up, we can always help you to cancel it if you feel your managing well.
If you don't have a PA or Social Worker you can still follow the same link www.suffolk.gov.uk/about/privacy-and-data-protection/ which will take you to further information and the form to be completed. It might help to have someone fill it out with you. As it states above, accessing your files can be upsetting. If you would like to access counselling it might be a good idea to get in contact with 4YP who offer counselling to people up to 25 years of age www.4yp.org.uk/services/counselling