CrynodebThe purpose of this research is to explore the potential issues and concerns associated with the long term storage of electronic social care records, with particular regard to records stored by Children’s Services Departments within Local Government.
The aim of the study is to develop a set of recommendations for Local Authorities regarding the long term maintenance of Children’s Social Care Records.
The objectives of the research are:
1. To establish the level of awareness of information professionals currently working within Local Government, regarding the potential issues posed by the requirement to ensure the long term integrity, confidentiality and accessibility
of electronic social care records.
2. To identify policies and procedures that Local Government organisations already have in place which assist in the maintenance of electronic social care records.
3. To undertake a documentary analysis of these policies and procedures, to identify gaps in provision and to consider what if any, further policies and procedures may be required.
4. To identify ways in which senior management, records managers, information managers, archivists and technical staff are already working together to address potential issues and concerns and to establish any gaps in such collaboration.
A qualitative cross-sectional design comprising a focus group, semi-structured interviews and a documentary analysis is used to undertake the research. The results identify some key areas of risk and some areas where the awareness of information professionals regarding the wider context within which they operate might be raised. The need to raise the profile of this work within Local Government is highlighted.
The conclusion includes recommendations for Local Authorities which could assist in meeting the challenges of maintaining long term electronic social care records. The study design is reviewed and the validity and transferability of the research findings considered.