In this blog, I am going to be talking about what it is like to have access to your own personal records from social services and the impact that this can have on you if you access them at the wrong time. This is my own personal experience as for a lot of us we can all have different types of experiences from one another, but I hope that from people reading this blog, they will be able to think about getting hold of their records from their local authority when the time is right for them and not before.

As someone who has being in care and now classed as a care leaver, I have recently been able to ask my local authority if I can have access to my records to find out some information about why I was placed into the fostering system, as I have forgotten, and I was really wanting to know why this happened. As someone in care, I found out that we all are allowed to have access to our records at any time that we feel ready to access them. To do this all we need to do is send an application in and ask for how much of our records we would like, and any specific requirements of the records we are wanting to access.

From my own experience of doing this, I felt that I was doing the right thing getting access to my records as I really wanted to know why this was the case, but what I did not understand was the negative impact that this could have had on me, or more specifically the upsetting feelings that my past presented to me when reading these records.

when I accessed mine and read the files that I wanted too, I was shown some information that made me really upset as it was part of my life that I forgot, but also a lot of my own history that I never knew anything about. This can happen for a lot of young people who get their records as you are looking at your own history and some of it can be upsetting either because it was hidden from you or like me you have forgotten what has happened.

The reality of looking at your records is that there is a lot of moments that you are going to feel upset and even scared, because you are remembering things that are either good or terrifying, but the worst thing about it is that when reading your records, you should never be alone, because a lot of the time especially in my own experience, reading your records and even seeing past history in writing, it can be surprising effective of hurting you the more you know then leaving it and waiting till you are older and have people around you that you know will be able to support you through reading the records and the aftermath that could come from this.

So, some advice from one care experienced person to another…. If you ever want to get hold of your records, always feel free too because they are your records and you have the right to know what is there, however always make sure you are strong enough to find out this information, because there can be a negative backlash of reading and knowing your past, especially some that you do not know about or cannot remember as it can open a wound that has been closed for a while.

By Anonymous Care Experienced Blogger

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