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3.9.19 Disaster Recovery Plan for Adoption Services


Care Standards Act 2000 indicates each adoption agency is required to have a Disaster Recovery Plan to ensure that closed adoption records are carefully stored, in a lockable room, minimising the potential dangers of theft, fire or flood.


  1. MOSAIC and Electronic Records Management System
  2. Paper Files
  3. Adoption Support Services
  4. Flooding
  5. Security Measures and Fire Risk Management
  6. Lincolnshire County Council Archives

1. MOSAIC and Electronic Records Management System

Adoption social workers for Children for whom the care plan is adoption, now record visits, reviews and assessment data on to the Integrated Children's Services Recording system, this system is password protected to each social worker and is backed up regularly by the County IT staff. The records are systematically locked down when a child becomes subject of an adoption plan to ensure data security.

The Integrated Children's Services Recording system records for the child are also systematically locked down following the making of an Adoption Order.

The I. T. procedure for the following Temporary down time in I. T. systems (planned or unplanned):

  • Availability of a read only back up data base (EMERG);
  • 2 servers will be performing real-time back up therefore providing an increased resilience;
  • Creation of a new CITRIX servers farm that increase capability and allows more people to access the information when the offices are inaccessible.

System crash:

  • A second SAN Server performing real-time back up therefore providing an increased resilience.

Adoption staff who have reports regarding children, prospective adopters and matching information held on computer while they are completing work ensure that they have restricted access to only the Adoption Staff working with a case. All adoption information is password protected. In the event of water damage or fire, it will still be possible to access information retained on the mainframe computer system.

New cases dated from April 2011 are in the process of transferring to electronic records management system to ensure adoption records are appropriately preserved.

2. Paper Files

A copy of the decision sheet and the following documents are collated

  • Child Approval:
    • Letter to birth parent(s);
    • Form E;
    • Medical;
    • Any other documents (school reports, psychology reports etc.);
  • Adopters Approval:
    • Approval Letter;
    • Form F;
    • Medicals;
    • Any other documents (references, previous minutes etc.);
  • Link:
    • Proposal Letter;
    • Link Report.

The agency will retain one set of papers which is placed on agency file (retained by Adoption Business Support Orchard House, Lincoln).

The child's Social Worker (for a child approval and link), will be sent a further set whilst the Supervising Social Worker (for adopters approval and link) will be sent a set for their records.

This procedure ensures that during each significant stage approval, matching and placement there are several copies of information available at other sites, this reduces the risk of loss of information should one site be affected by Fire, Flood or other disaster.

All paper records held by Adoption Business Support are kept in lockable cabinets in at the three Adoption Team offices of Orchard House Lincoln, Louth and Sleaford. There are access controls throughout the buildings.

Our procedure details that when links have been approved and placements made, all surplus material is shredded.

Files are transferred to archives after the granting of an adoption order. These files are securely held in offsite storage Magnum, with a secure transportation and recall service which can retrieve the files within 24 hours.

The risk assessment includes that Magnum are ISO BS5454 "Recommendations for the storage and exhibition of archival documents" compliant, it is a British Standard for the preservation of archival material. Among other things, it specifies temperature and humidity ranges for document storage, shelving schemes, and materials for document containers. BS5454 compliance is better than our own Lincolnshire Archives, which in itself choosing to move off site is minimising the risk of flood and fire.

Not only are they compliant but the offsite storage itself is in an area in Goole that is protected from flooding, this has been proven with flood maps. The flood map is available on request.   They also have a priority account with Harwell Restoration Services who assist in the aid of a disaster to rescue any records, Magnum have yet to use them.

We have considered backing our records up in that form of scanning however, due to the sensitivity of the records, we have chosen not to scan our Adoptions records as this would require in depth investigation which would involve a third party element which we have reduced in sending them offsite in tamper sealed boxes.

3. Adoption Support Services

All information including documentation about adoption support services; information received or given to adoptive parents including signed declarations by prospective adoptive parents are kept separately on post adoption files in a locked room in the adoption Team Office, either in Lincoln or Sleaford. Keys to which are located in the Business Support office in Lincoln and Sleaford.

All paper records held by Adoption Business Support are kept in lockable cabinets in at the three Adoption Team offices of Orchard House Lincoln, Louth and Sleaford. There are access controls throughout the buildings.

4. Flooding

The offices as Lincoln and Sleaford are situated in areas where flooding is unlikely and if needed files can be moved at short notice to prevent damage to files. The adoption team in Louth has been situated on the top floor of the building reducing the risk of flooding.

5. Security Measures and Fire Risk Management

Adoption files are kept in locked cabinets unless in use.

If workers need to leave the room for any extended period of time all cabinets and drawers are locked.

There are regular fire drills and the storage of files in cabinets affords some protection but the backup file located in alternative offices ensures that a copy can be located.

6. Lincolnshire County Council Archives

The Archive Office for closed adoption files has increased security locks. The area has been subject to flooding in the past but adoption files are stored at a safe height to minimise risk of damage. In order to mitigate against this risk, files have been sent to offsite storage with Magnum.

Closed Adoption Files are accessed by request from the Principal Practitioner based in Lincoln, Orchard House. Any professional wishing to access records is required to submit an application form and the Practice Supervisor will decide whether or not to action request. Files are only available for review within the Adoption Team office.