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The Use of Discretion in a ‘Cinderella’ Service: Data Protection and Access to Child-Care Files for Post-Care Adults

Kirton, Derek, Feast , J Goddard, Julia, Goddard, Jim (2010) The Use of Discretion in a ‘Cinderella’ Service: Data Protection and Access to Child-Care Files for Post-Care Adults. British Journal of Social Work, 41 (5). ISSN 0045-3102. (doi:10.1093/bjsw/bcq122) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)
Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcq122

Abstract

This paper focuses on policy implementation and, in particular, the workings of ‘street-level bureaucracy’ in a small, marginalised area of welfare provision, namely post-care adults seeking access to their care records. The work arises from research mapping UK service provision in this area, via questionnaires and interviews with key actors in local authorities and voluntary organisations. The study was prompted by widespread but largely anecdotal evidence that practices and service provision for those seeking to access their care records varied enormously. While post-care adults may seek access to records for reasons similar to those of adopted adults (curiosity, information on birth family, medical information, care histories and experiences, search and reunion), there is a lack of comparable legal framework and service provision, with reliance instead on the 1998 Data Protection Act (DPA). The intersection of data protection and (child) welfare gives rise to a number of important tensions that are explored, such as those surrounding ‘ownership’ of files and their content, between rights to information and (paternalistic) welfare considerations, and whether the handling of requests should constitute an administrative or a social work task. Finally, we consider the findings, their wider contexts and implications for legal reform and policy change.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1093/bjsw/bcq122
Uncontrolled keywords: Post-care adults, data protection, street-level bureaucracy, rights paternalism
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Mita Mondal
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2013 09:31 UTC
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2020 04:05 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/34461 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Kirton, Derek: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1093-5662
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