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Ref NoCF
Old Ref CodeTCS/F/01
TitleHistoric Case File Series
Creator NameThe Children's Society
Datec1882-21st Century
Extent30,000 files
Description[Please note: To see where the series of case files sits amongst the rest of The Children's Society's records, please see reference code: TCS/F/01]

The Children's Society maintained a case file for each child who was admitted to its care. These were created and managed by Head Office.

Each case file usually contains the application form for admission to The Society's care. In addition the file may contain correspondence relating to the child's admission, correspondence relating to work placement(s), health and education reports, correspondence with the child's mother/father/relatives, and correspondence with the child after leaving the care of the organisation. Occasionally a photograph may be included.

The application forms contain information about the child's family circumstances just before the child entered The Society's care. Information given includes details about family members and their earnings. There is also a statement from someone who knew the child, discussing why it was thought they needed to enter care.

All application forms came with a medical form for the child; medical forms from 1911 onwards are more detailed than earlier medical forms. Additionally, a medical form was filled out whenever a child was considered for emigration.

Please note that these files were created and maintained by the Head Office. In general, they do not include records created or received by the homes where the children were placed. For example, correspondence from parents which was conducted with the matron of the home is only found in the case file if the matron or the parent chose to forward it to Head Office.

During the application process, each application was allotted a sequential application number. This is often the number referred to in the supporters' magazine, Our Waifs and Strays, in the "Cases needing help" section. Successful applications were then allotted a different case number.
ArrangementThe series of case files are arranged according to case number, which was allotted to each child upon admission to the care of The Society. The files are therefore arranged roughly in order of admission date.
Related MaterialFurther records relating to The Children's Society's social work function can be found under refernece code: TCS/F/01

See TCS/F/11 for documents that may have been removed from individual case files.

From the 1970s case files for children participating in community-based social work projects were created and managed by the relevant project. These are held either by the project or by the Records and Archive Centre on behalf of the project. Please contact the archivist for more information.
Publication NoteDigital copies of a selection of case files can be found on the Hidden Lives Revealed website:
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