Recording and Storage of Records Policy Data Protection Policy

Joanna North Associates Ltd – Adoption Support Agency

Updated June 2020

Recording

We keep brief notes of meetings and conversations to ensure accuracy in our work.  This note includes the date, time of meeting and a few lines about the subjects covered in the meeting.  Some of our calls are recorded so that we can improve our customer service and reflect on our work.  This data is also kept safe and will never be used.  We are registered with the Information Commissioner’s office for 2020.

Storage

  1. We take client confidentiality very seriously and we are bound by the Data Protection Act to protect your files.  You can be assured that we will make strenuous efforts to protect your files at all times.  Please see our ‘recording policy’ with regard to the way we record and keep data.
  2. This policy is designed to keep you informed as to how we store your files.
  3. All individual client files are now kept electronically only.  All paper material will be professionally shredded and certificated.  Files before January 2016 will still be in paper form and we have stored these but they are also kept electronically.     Only the director and manager can access paperwork. 
  4. The office is protected by four smoke detectors.
  5. The office has never flooded to date and all possible protection is taken to ensure that this remains the case.  The office is not situated in a flood plane and is uphill from the River and is therefore unlikely except through exceptional circumstances to be subject to flooding.
  6. All of your files will also be recorded electronically with details of each step of the process.    In case of flood or disaster they are therefore recoverable – please see our flood and disaster plan.  The electronic data is kept only in the Adoption Department and is secure with access only for the manager of the team and those whom he has designated. 
  7. A backup copy of the electronic files is taken once a month.   No one else except Jo North, David Oates, David Wright and Alison Schofield  has access to this data and they are all cautious about the sensitivity of data protection.   
  8. If we ever change computers – the hard drive of our old computers will be professionally destroyed so that no one can access information from the hard drive. 
  9. If you have any ideas as to how we can improve the storage of your records or if you have any concerns, we would be pleased to hear from you and please don’t hesitate to talk with us.  We are looking to update our storage systems soon. 
  10. If you have concerns about protection of your data you can make a complaint to the Information Commissioner whose helpline is 03 03 123 1113.
  11. We are asked to keep life long records of Adoption Support Files. 
  12. Any data for destruction is professional destroyed with a Certificate of Destruction.
  13. We will not release the data of third parties or birth relatives and we will ask our clients to respect the privacy of birth relatives if they do not wish to be in touch.