Case management records should provide a complete account of involvement in order to provide evidence of all allegations and of actions taken to safeguard children, to assess and manage risk and to monitor practice. All recorded information should be typed, accurate, factual and concise. It is important to differentiate opinion, assessment or judgement from facts. The records are in relation to a member of Church personnel against whom a suspicion, concern or allegation has been reported, and therefore should be catalogued as such.
Each file should contain:
1. File index (S4.35) This section should give a detailed list of all of the contents of the file as they are received.
2. Case summary information sheet (S4.36) This section includes an overview of the case to allow the reader to become familiar at a glance with the details of the complainant and respondent, as well as the roles of key personnel in the safeguarding structure who are involved with the case. It is suggested that there should be a separate case summary information sheet for each complainant. An annual summary is suggested if the case is active.
3. Case record narrative (S4.37) This section is the account of all actions taken and contact made with all relevant personnel. It should detail all contacts in relation to the case in list format, including by telephone, email, by letter and in person.
4. Copy of child protection referral form (S4.34) This section should include a copy of the appropriate form that was sent to the statutory authorities and the NBSCCCI.
5. Chronology of when allegations were made and responses (S4.38) This section should be a list detailing the date and nature of the allegations received from the complainant, and the date and details of the respondent’s reply if/when informed.
6. Assessment reports and management plans This section should include hard copies of any assessment reports relating to the respondent, including, for example, psychological assessments, credibility assessments, copies of preliminary investigations, interim and permanent management plans decrees, precepts etc.
7. Minutes of meetings This section should include hard copies of written records of any internal meetings about the case – which can be shared with the respondent – with dates of any meetings held with the advisor and any relevant child safeguarding information.
8. Third-party information This section should include hard copies of written records relating to information – which must be kept confidential from the respondent – such as case management advice, the initial statement from the complainant, legal advice to the Bishop, correspondence and vota sent to the CDF and the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (CICLS), and dates of any meetings held between the support person and complainant, including relevant child safeguarding information.
9. Correspondence in chronological order The chronology referenced in this section acts as an aid to assessing risk and to reviewing action taken. The file should be sectioned as detailed by Points 1–9, with reference to all information logged in the index sheet and referred to in the narrative account. Third-party and confidential information must be securely placed in the appropriate sections, so they can be easily removed if access to the records is requested by someone who is deemed to have a bona fide interest in the case file.
All record-keeping must be compliant with data protection legislation, and must be stored confidentially in line with Appendix 3.
Case File management is the responsibility of the DLP. The relevant forms may be accessed in Section 4.