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  • As with any role, a little paperwork is required for foster carers.
  • Diary recording and record keeping help to track a child’s progress and key events in their life.
  • Records can be used for decision making processes as well as in reports and reviews.

What is a daily log?  

Keeping clear, accurate, and professional records is a key part of the role of being a carer and an essential requirement of the job. As a foster parent, you are often the person who is closest to the child and who knows the most about them. Therefore, you play an important role in gathering valuable information about the child that can be used to inform decisions.  

Being the caregiver for a child means that you often have access to personal information such as the child’s worries, likes and dislikes, hopes for the future, as well as habits and preferences. This puts you in a unique position where you are the person who is witnessing key life milestones such as behaviours, personality changes, growth, as well as other positive and negative aspects. By recording this information, it can be shared with social workers and the wider team who are responsible for the health, wellbeing, and safeguarding of the young person.  

A daily diary recording is therefore an extremely useful tool that plays a central part of your job as a carer. We ask our carers to keep daily records of behaviour and activities that we can use to make accurate plans for the child’s future.  

Why are they important?  

Daily diary record keeping is needed as an administrative task to provide important information about a foster child. They are used to: 

What to record? 

The main aim of daily logs is to jog your memory and ensure that you remember what happened on each day. For this reason, it’s important to keep a summary of events, meetings, and appointments.  

We recommend making notes on:  

Contact visits – dates and times of contact visits with birth family when they occur or any other form of contact that takes place. 

Social work appointments – dates and times of visits with social workers, meetings, visitations, and any other reviews. You should also note what was discussed and agreed upon.  

Health appointments – record any illnesses, including symptoms and medication, visits with the doctor, dates of any vaccinations or immunisations, as well as routine checkups with dentists, and other healthcare professionals.  

Notable incidents – if anything occurs during the day that you consider to be an incident, this should be noted. An incident could be to do with behaviour, if a child is acting strange, refusing to eat, or showing any other unusual behaviours from normal.  

Educational issues – if a child is struggling with school or is missing school, this needs to be included in your log. Any meetings with teachers or teacher comments should also be present.  

Disclosures – if a child discloses information to you that you have not yet heard, no matter how minor or serious, please also make a note so that this can be discussed.  

General wellbeing – you may also want to keep a general record of health and fitness, daily activities and hobbies, and other similar topics that may be of interest.  

Advice on record keeping 

In general, we advise carers that organisation is key and they must have access to a computer to write the child’s records!

Try to set aside some time each day to complete your log and get into a routine with it, this way you can make it part of your everyday life.

All carers will be given access to our database where they will have access to information on the child placed in their care. When writing daily diaries carers must try to make it simple and clear so that it will be easier to reflect on. Do not worry too much about spelling and grammar as long as the records are clear. There’s no need for fancy language, just use what you are comfortable with!

Finally, try to be accurate and factual rather than judgmental in your notes and ensure that you are taking the time to note all significant points.  

We support you 

Our team at Fusion Fostering will ensure that you have been fully trained on your role as a carer and know exactly what you need to do. Not only that, we’ll be there to support you at all times throughout your career with us. We can offer personal advice, tailored guidance and one-on-one support for our carers, so any issues with record keeping can be worked on with our team!  

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Fusion Fostering Limited, incorporated and registered in England and Wales with company number 07819299 whose registered office is at Old Mill, Maltravers House, Petters Way, Yeovil, Somerset, BA20 1SH.

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