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Historical Abuse Systemic Review: Residential Schools and Children's Homes in Scotland 1950 to 1995

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Appendix 4

Recommendation 6

To establish a national records working group to address issues specific to children's historical residential services records. This working group should consist of all relevant stakeholders and may include - but should not be restricted to - former residents, archivists, records managers, social historians, information technology specialists and persons representing social services, education, health and law. This working group should be led by an independent person, or group, with knowledge of records legislation. The terms of reference might include:

  • leading an initiative to ensure that all significant historical records associated with children's residential services are identified, catalogued and preserved;
  • identifying records associated with children's residential services, including public and privately held records, for placement on a records retention and disposal schedule;
  • developing standards and guidance specific to records associated with children's residential services;
  • identifying what records associated with children's residential services may be considered sensitive and developing guidelines on the management of such records;
  • developing a model 'access to records' policy that recognize the particular needs of former residents;
  • developing and instituting processes for regular evaluation and monitoring of record management practices for records identified as significant for protecting children and monitoring their safety, promoting children's well-being and contributing to their sense of identity;
  • developing standards and guidance to protect the integrity of records, particularly those children's residential services records that may be required for evidence in future inquiries, court proceedings, or both of these;
  • developing records transfer standards and guidance for records generated within children's residential establishments; and
  • advising government and administering authorities on matters affecting children's residential services records preservation, such as electronic record-keeping.