Required and recommended document retention periods.

Legally Required Retention Periods

Subject area

Retention period

Legal basis


Accounting records

Three years for private companies, six for public limited companies (PLCs)

Companies Act 1985 (s.221)


Case records for approved foster carers

At least 10 years from the date on which their approval is terminated

Fostering Services (England) Regulations 2011

Case records for people who are not approved as a foster parent, or who withdraw their application prior to approval

At least three years from the refusal or withdrawal

Fostering Services (England) Regulations 2011

Adoption records where an adoption order is made

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