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'Putting the heart back into the record': Personal records to support young people in care

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Abstract:

The records of children and young people growing up in care have multiple purposes and audiences. Cathy Humphreys and Margaret Kertesz discuss the ways in which the characteristics of the documentation determine the record's usefulness to care leavers as a resource for identity at some point in later life. The Who Am I? action research project, based in Victoria, Australia, explores the extent to which records and current record-keeping practices facilitate this. Two approaches were found to be especially useful: the Knowledge Diamond framework, which harnesses the different knowledge brought by diverse groups to the task of developing principles for record-keeping; and the records continuum (constructing, storing and accessing the record), which provided a concept through which to understand the significance of the archive as a dimension of good practice. It was found that workers' accountability to the children now and in the future risks being overshadowed by the requirements of other stakeholders unless the principles that underpin effective record-keeping are articulated and implemented.

Keywords: ARCHIVES; CHILDREN IN CARE; IDENTITY; LOOKED AFTER CHILDREN; OUT-OF-HOME CARE; RECORDS; RESEARCH UTILISATION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-03-01

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