What records do you need to keep as a paid carer?
When you are working as a self-employed paid carer or running a small care business that employs others, it’s important that you keep thorough records of the work that you have undertaken with your clients, as well as other important details.
There are a lot of different kinds of records that you need to keep and it pays to be organised. Here we will run through some of the most important records that you should have before you start taking on clients.
Contracts and agreements
You will need to have a detailed contract with your clients, outlining what work you will be undertaking, at what times and for what payment. You should keep a copy of this on record and also supply your client with a copy as well. If you are employing staff, you will also need to have individual contracts for each employee that you are working with. There are certain records that you need to keep for anyone that you employ. You can find out more about the kind of documents you need to keep for your own staff on the Acas website.
Policies and procedures
There are various policies and procedures that you need to have in place to work as a self-employed paid carer. This includes things like a Risk Assessment form, which is regularly updated. A risk assessment helps you to identify any health issues or hazards that a client may face, and ways that you are going to minimise the risk. You also need to have a clear safeguarding guidance policy to ensure that your clients are kept safe. We have some detailed advice in our Safeguarding guidance document, which includes how to record any concerns properly.
Being self-employed means being in control of your finances and getting paid. Therefore, you need to be mindful of your budget and keep a log of payments made and outgoings related to your business. You also need a clear and simple way to keep on top of your hours worked and invoices to clients, such as our Timesheet and Invoicing tool.
It’s important to have a clear plan of action with your clients, which means working on a support plan. It might be that you are already part of a support plan or care plan that has been put in place by a social worker, doctor or other person involved in your client’s care, but you should keep records of your desired outcomes and how you can help your client to meet their support plan. We look at this in more detail in our Support planning booklet, which also comes with a template form for recording goals and outcomes, as well as a case study to explain the process further.
Keep your records organised so that you can find what you need straight away. You should have a folder for each client to keep details together. Make sure that you have contact details easily to hand for each client (our new Client Personal Information Form is useful to keep at the front of each folder).
We have a more detailed guide to what records you should have and best practice advice in our booklet Record keeping for paid carers, which is available to purchase from the Document Store now. Get all the key documents you need in one go with The Complete Self-Employed Paid Carer Bundle.