This article has been fact checked by an experienced birth injury attorney. Sources of information for the article are listed at the bottom.
For any content issues please Contact Us.
The cerebral palsy life care plan is an integral part of ensuring your child will have every opportunity to live life to the fullest. It provides extensive diagnoses and evaluations, plans for care and treatment, goals for the future, and a plan for record-keeping and documents, for financial and legal purposes. 
The Importance of Record Keeping
Your child’s life care plan will act as a road map for the future, a guide that will get her to a better life. It provides guidelines for the care she needs, the treatments that will most benefit her, and the educational, social, and behavioral interventions that will give her the best quality of life.
With something so important, record keeping has to be a component. Keeping records of everything in the care plan, from medical records to government aid documents, allows parents to continue to give a child the best opportunities.
Keeping records and documentation helps with the organization so that you can grab what you need at a moment’s notice. It also helps parents provide critical information to caregivers, information like a child’s medications, or dietary needs.
Record keeping allows a child’s medical team to make the best, most informed decisions about ongoing care and treatment.
Cerebral palsy life care plan record-keeping is also important for legal and financial reasons. Documentation is usually required to seek government assistance and benefits, to ensure maximum coverage by health care plans, to get the most out of tax credits, and for planning for future financial needs.
For legal purposes, the documentation in the life care plan will be a crucial part of a medical malpractice case if you are seeking a settlement for your child.
The documents will also be necessary for making future estate plans, should care and guardianship need to be transferred.
About Medical Records
Among the most important types of documentation that parents will need to gather and organize in the life care plan are medical records.
Doctors are only required to keep medical records for a patient for a certain number of years, so if you switch doctors, you are at risk of losing those records.
For the care of someone with a chronic condition like cerebral palsy, you must ask for records to be transferred any time you switch to a new medical caregiver.
As a parent, you also have a right to have a copy of medical records. Always ask for updated copies of your child’s records to keep as documentation in your life care plan. This way, you will always have a complete medical history for your child, and you will not have to worry about those records being lost or destroyed once a doctor’s office is no longer legally required to keep them.
There are a few components of medical records that doctors have a right to deny to patients or their guardians. These include personal notes and observations the doctor has made that are not part of an actual diagnosis. Mental health or substance abuse records or any information that a doctor believes may cause a patient to harm herself may be denied to parents or the patient.
Keeping copies of your child’s medical records is essential for her care so that you can ensure all future medical caregivers know her history.
These records are also crucial for making your legal case of medical malpractice. For this purpose, documents related to the diagnosis of cerebral palsy and related to the cause of the cerebral palsy or the brain damage that caused it is essential.
Records to Keep in the Life Care Plan
In addition to medical records, there are many other types of documentation that you need to ensure are kept and organized within your child’s life care plan.
Medical records should include all diagnostic records, proof of what caused the cerebral palsy, all medical evaluations, all medical examinations, and all test results. In addition to these, you should keep a variety of other types of records.
Be sure to keep a record of all types of evaluations of your child. For instance, in addition to medical assessment, keep a record of behavioral, educational, and psychological evaluations.
Keep a record of all treatments and therapies that your child has received, including medications.
Keep financial records for all expenses associated with your child’s care, from the costs of doctors’ appointments to the travel expenses for treatment and therapy to the cost of nutritional supplements.
Keep all legal documents, health insurance documents, educational documents and records, records related to in-home care, daycare, and other similar services.
Keep a record of taxes, financial and estate planning, and any legal advocacy or government or non-profit aid.
In short, keep documentation and records for everything related to your child’s well-being, care, treatment, and planning for the future. This includes a lot of paperwork, but it is crucial. Keep it organized, ideally both in paper form and digital form.
Record keeping is one of the more tedious aspects of developing and maintaining your child’s life care plan, but it is important. It will help you stay organized during so much information and will also ensure that you can keep track of everything that is being done for your child.
Keeping detailed records and documentation will also help you get the resources your child truly needs as you set goals and plan for her future.
- Katz RT and Johnson CB. (2013, April 13). Life care planning for the child with cerebral palsy. - PubMed - NCBI. National Center for Biotechnology Information.
Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23910487