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How Long Do Social Services Keep Records UK?

How many social services records can be found in the UK? There are over one billion records on individuals living in the UK, so it’s no wonder why people often ask how long social services keep records.

This is a very good question, and it is understandable that you might want to know how long they keep your records.Here, are some frequently asked questions about how long social services keep records for.

How many records are there in the UK?

We know that there are one billion records on individuals living in the UK, and this makes things quite complicated. However, we’ll do our best to describe the records that are kept in the UK, so that you can better understand the entire process. All the personal data (how, where, when and why) are gathered by the government – this data includes: Information about your age, gender, and place of birth, and

Information about your GP registration and details of medical history (including conditions) This information is not only stored in one database, but it’s often held in different databases.

For example, it can be located in data bases containing information about individuals in prison, who are prescribed medicines, and who are taking or have taken certain types of medication.

How long do social services keep records for?

The answer to this question is actually quite simple.Social services typically keep records for approximately 18 months from the date they are created. This is due to them dealing with huge volumes of requests and only being able to keep track of about 10% of the requests they receive.

To give you an example, if social services received a request about a previous care order and it was a new request, then they would keep that record for 3 months. However, if it was a request about a previous care order and it was a case where there was a concern about neglect or abuse, then they would keep that record for 5 years.

Do they keep paper copies of records?

Sometimes, social services can keep paper copies of your child’s records, depending on how much evidence they have. If they need to, they can use evidence found in the form of cards or folders, depending on the child’s age.

The important thing to note is that they will generally only keep paper records until they’ve exhausted all avenues of investigation.

If they no longer have the evidence, they will not be able to use it. Therefore, it is of the upmost importance to take the time to ensure that all evidence and cards are returned as soon as possible, as the quicker it’s returned, the better the chances that evidence may still be relevant to the case.

What are the pros and cons of keeping records for a long time?

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of keeping records for a long time.Does the Office of National Statistics keep records of UK citizen births and deaths in perpetuity? No. This can be useful in some cases when researching or collating data,

as such data would be useful for immigration statistics. However, it would not be useful for the bulk of the population as the majority of births and deaths would be recorded digitally in our electoral roll.

However, this type of data can still be used in the same way when working with population data in-house for projects.The National Archives do keep records for the entirety of a person’s life, as long as you stay in the UK for more than a year.


As you can see, social services keep records for a period of between five and ten years, with a maximum of fourteen years for the most serious cases. Social services can continue to hold records if you go on to register as a dependant, gain full custody of your children or if your child is taken into care.

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