This chapter contains guidance for workers in Children and Family Services on recording. It covers the general principles which should inform the way information is recorded on children and families and also contains specific guidance on what information should be recorded in the diary and in relation to visits.

This is a new chapter which was added to the manual in May 2014.


See also Recording (Additional Guidance).

1. Introduction

Recording is fundamental to work with children and families. "It is an integral part of the interventions that we carry out in social care... and has an impact on us, on future workers and on the children and families themselves." (Rooke 2012)

2. Principles

  • Write for the child, it is their record and they may want to read it later;
  • The contents of the record should usually have already been communicated to the parents and child verbally;
  • Tell the story - what happened and why decisions and plans have been made;
  • Recording should include the child's views and convey what life is like for them;
  • Professional opinions should be 'owned' by the social worker;
  • Records should not include too much detailed description, but should include analysis and explanation.

3. Documents

The main ways of inputting information onto a child's record are by recording directly onto the diary record or recording onto report documents. The principles above apply to both. The key report documents that should be on every child's record are:

  • Children's Social Care Assessment;
  • Child / Young Person's Plan (CIN or LAC) or Child Protection Plan;
  • Core Group Working Record (CIN, CP, may or may not be needed for LAC);
  • Chronology.

There are a number of other key documents which will depend on the journey of the child. Please see Process Flowcharts.

3.1 Diary Recording

What needs to be included in the diary record? For all recording of visits, meetings and discussions, include a list of those present; full names and role of professionals; full names of family members and their relationship to the child.

3.2 Visits

These should be recorded by the assigned social worker who has undertaken the visit using the drop down box indicating whether the child was seen and alone. The recording should include observation and opinion. Please include:

  • The purpose of the visit and those present;
  • Home environment (including child's bedroom);
  • The observed interaction between the child and others present;
  • The views of the child;
  • The child's demeanour / wellbeing;
  • Opinion on the child's development and quality of relationships with those around them.

4. Key Decisions (and the thinking that informed these decisions)

These should be recorded by the Team Manager using the Decision Record. Key decisions are those regarding plans for the child. E.g. a decision to accommodate a child; decision to initiate PLO; a change of placement; change of legal status; the notification of a concern regarding a child; or a change in contact arrangements. Please do not record technical or financial arrangements as decision records unless they are key decisions in the life of the child.

5. Reflective Case Discussion

Reflective Case Discussions replace case supervision. These discussions take place either in the Team Weekly Meeting or outside of the meeting between the Team Manager, the Social Worker and others as appropriate. The arrangements for Reflective Case discussions, a structure for the Reflective Meetings and guidance on recording the discussions is described in the Interim Supervision Guidance. The Team Coordinator records the Team Reflective Case Discussion on Liquidlogic including reference to current risk and protective factors including:

  • Key areas of discussion;
  • Actions agreed.

Reflective Care Discussions which take place outside of the Team Weekly Meeting will be recorded by the Team Manager using the same format.

6. Case Summaries

It is good practice to complete summaries on Liquidlogic in order to track progress over time. These may assist in preparing for a Reflective Case Discussion.

7. What NOT to include in Diary Recording

  • Diary recordings that focus only on detailed description without analysing what that means for the child;
  • Be cautious about copy and pasting email communications where content is not appropriate for diary recordings;
  • Detailed information about attempted contacts with other professionals or family;
  • Details of financial arrangements are not directly relevant for the child;
  • Think about every recording before putting it on Liquidlogic. E.g. if a parent visits the office to pick up a bus token, is that relevant to record on the child's record?
  • Carefully consider issues of confidentiality in relation to very personal and sensitive information, particularly for older children and young people and consider the language used.

Trix procedures

Only valid for 48hrs