Up Close and Policy! Care leavers’ access to childhood records: the British Association of Social Workers, Ofsted, the Care Leavers Association and MIRRA project team
By Elizabeth J Lomas, on 12 October 2020
As you know, MIRRA is trying to make change surrounding social care recordkeeping processes including access and ownership of those records by care leavers. In addition we have been looking at the wider information networks that help care leavers make sense of their lives. This is a journey, which many of our MIRRA research participants have been working on for a very long time. A critical intention of MIRRA from the outset, was to provide an evidence base to help facilitate critical policy changes for the care leaver community. Clearly this work has had a much greater impact because of the role of care leavers as co-researchers at the heart of the project advocating for their needs. We have been grateful for the support of the Care Leavers Association. In addition, from the outset we were able to get key stakeholders involved as advisors.
On Wednesday 14th October, we will be discussing the MIRRA policy journey with some critical players – Darren Coyne (Care Leavers Association), Luke Geoghegan (British Association of Social Workers) and Matthew Brazier (Ofsted). Social workers have been keen to reconsider aspects of their recording processes and the importance of the child’s voice in recordkeeping. In August BASW, drawing on MIRRA guidance, published top tips for recording practices (https://www.basw.co.uk/resources/recording-children%E2%80%99s-social-work-guide ). In addition, Ofsted have taken very seriously the impact inspections can have on recordkeeping processes. This was a great blog post from Ofsted on records https://socialcareinspection.blog.gov.uk/2019/07/24/what-makes-an-effective-case-record/ . MIRRA has reached out and tried to make a difference to on the ground practice, both through the traditional networks of Whitehall but in addition through other critical players from professionals through to charities and local authorities.
We hope that some of you might want to come and join this discussion on policy making within the context of MIRRA. It is on Zoom at 1-2pm Wednesday 14th October. Please sign up at https://upcloseandpolicycareleavers.eventbrite.co.uk.