Foster care
Carer guide
When a child first arrives
Keeping a diary or written record

Keeping a diary or written record

It’s important to keep a diary or written record of each child’s time in your care, as this will

  • Help the child with their Life Story Work.
  • Help the child if they request access to their records when they leave care or later in life - think about the information we gain from family photos and stories told at family get-together’s - children in care may lose some or all of this history if it is not recorded and kept for them
  • Help you remember events, concerns, achievements you should share with other members of the care team
  • Assist with case planning, health and other assessments
  • Help you to remember where you were and what was happening in the event there is an allegation or concern about you in relation to the child in your care
  • Help you remember the highs of caring and how you dealt with the lows, identify what worked, what didn’t work and area’s you may wish to develop through training

Things to record in your diary can include

  • Positive and happy events - achievements, milestones, celebrations, friends, hobbies and interests
  • Things about the child that make them special - their smile, sense of humour, talents, goals
  • Accidents, injuries and illnesses - what happened, visits to the doctor and the treatment
  • Records of various situations such as family contact, relationships with members of your household, daily routines, school, pets
  • Damage to property or belongings
  • Incidents, including what happened in the child’s own words

Make records as clear, accurate and as fair as you can because they could be used to

  • help inform case planning, placement meetings and reviews
  • help the child with their life story work
  • help a young person who has left care understand their experiences and recognise their achievements
  • Provide reliable information to the courts

You can read more about LIfe Story work here

Want to become a carer?
To become a foster carer your ability to care and nurture a child is what really matters.
To learn more, visit the LWB foster care website