ECEC services reminded of the importance of retaining information about children
The West Australian State Records Office has developed a General Retention and Disposal Authority (GRDA) for Incidents and Allegations of Child Abuse or Neglect document following recommendations made by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
This new document assigns retention periods for records about child abuse cases and allegations and organisations’ actions to maintain a safe environment for children, both of which may be relevant in an early childhood education and care (ECEC) context.
The Commission outlined the importance of retaining information about children and their interactions with organisations, noting that certain information and records “may be critical for responding to disclosures of child sexual abuse, including delayed disclosures”.
State and territory records authorities, the Commission recommended, “should ensure that records disposal schedules require that records relating to child sexual abuse that has occurred or is alleged to have occurred be retained for at least 45 years”.
The General Retention and Disposal Authority (GRDA) for Incidents and Allegations of Child Abuse or Neglect document assigns retention periods for records about child abuse cases and allegations and organisations’ actions to maintain a safe environment for children.
This GRDA applies to all Western Australian State and local government organisations, with non-government organisations also welcome to use the GRDA as a model for their own retention and disposal policies.
The GRDA was developed in consultation with the Royal Commission External Implementation Committee, led by the Department of Communities.
- The categories in this GRDA may overlap with other disposal authorities used by your organisation, including the General Disposal Authorities for State Government and Local Government. If certain records are covered in more than one disposal authority, the longest retention period must be applied.
- A Disposal Freeze for government records relating to children remains in force. The State Records Office is currently working with government organisations to review their retention and disposal arrangements in line with Royal Commission recommendations.
Organisations who require further information or support with the management of records are encouraged to contact the State Records Office via email, to [email protected]