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Frequently Asked Questions

How can I access the material listed in the catalogue?
Material listed in the catalogue can be viewed by appointment only at our Records and Archives Centre in London. Appointments can be made by contacting the Records and Archives Centre and outlining the research you wish to undertake - it is preferred that requests reflect bona fide interests or projects.

Please see the Contact Us page for details of how to get in touch.

Do you provide an enquiry service?
We provide an enquiry service for people searching for information about The Children’s Society’s history. Due to staffing levels, we have to limit the time that we spend on each enquiry and, in some instances, will recommend that you visit the archive to view relevant records in person or arrange for a professional researcher to do so on your behalf.

Before getting in touch you might want to take a look at our Hidden Lives Revealed website, which contains a wealth of information about our history and archive, including a selection of digitised material.

I used to be in the care of The Children’s Society or was adopted through The Children’s Society - can I see my records?
If you have previously been in the care of The Children’s Society or have been adopted through The Children’s Society and are looking to access your own records, please contact our Post Adoption and Care Team (Tel: +44 (0)20 7232 5288, Email:

My parent, grandparent or other ancestor was in one of your care homes - can you provide me with any information?
If you have a deceased relative who was formerly in our care, The Children’s Society Records and Archive Centre is able to provide you with a summary of their case file. Please see the Contact Us page for details of how to get in touch. Due to limited staffing, case file summaries can take up to six months to complete.

If your relative is still alive, they will need to contact our Post Adoption and Care Team to access their records (contact details above).

Are all of your records included in the catalogue?
No. Many of our records have not yet been catalogued. These are listed on a separate accessions database, which is not available online. Please contact us if you are unable to find what you are looking for in the catalogue so that we can search for relevant material in the accessions database.

Why are some records closed?
The main reason for closing records is that they contain (or may contain) personal information about living individuals. In such cases, the records have to be kept confidential to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998.

In some cases the Archive may be able to exercise discretion and allow access to closed material for research purposes. Accordingly, even if the material you’re interested in is designated ‘closed’, it is still worth getting in touch.

How do I search the catalogue for a specific person?
See the How to Search the Catalogue page for instructions on how to find a case file for a specific person.

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