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LevelSub sub fonds
Ref NoTCS/F/02
TitleRecords of Residential Care Homes
Creator NameThe Children's Society
Extent1 box, 767 volumes, 171 files and 528 items
DescriptionThese records were created by The Children's Society's children's homes and their local management committees (called variously Home, Local and House Committees). In addition to establishing homes, the organisation also took over the management of existing homes and so some of the records predate the founding of The Society.

The survival of records is variable. Often no records survive for homes which were open for a comparatively short space of time or which closed before the 1970s.

Record series which can be found amongst this material include:
House Committee minute books and papers
Admission and discharge registers
Visitors' books
Dietary diaries
Plans and photographs
Gift books and Pound Day books
Annual reports
ArrangementThese records have been arranged by home. Sometimes the records for more than one home have been catalogued together; this is in cases where it is clear that there was a continuity of administration from one home to another.
Administrative HistoryThe Waifs and Strays Society (later The Children's Society) opened its first two homes in 1882: Clapton Home for Boys in East London and Dulwich Home for Girls in South London.

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, children were received into the homes via three routes:
* Voluntary cases, where a family member or other concerned adult (often a member of the clergy or social worker) would apply for a place for the child.
* Via the Guardians of the Poor Law, who could choose to house children with voluntary agencies rather than in their own workhouses. The Guardians would pay a fixed amount for each child (equivalent to the cost of maintaining the child in the workhouse). Some Waifs and Strays Society Homes were certified for the reception of such children.
* In the case of industrial schools, children were sent by the magistrates for a range of reasons including truancy, petty crime and living in immoral surroundings. The children were paid for out of central government funds. Industrial Schools were eventually replaced by Approved Schools.
With the disbanding of the Guardians of the Poor Law in 1930 and the increasing responsibility of local authorities for children's services, more children were placed in the care of the organisation by local authorities. The 1969 Children's Act set up the Assisted Community Homes system and some Children's Society Homes became part of that.

Different types of home:
* Receiving Homes - homes to which children were sent prior to a longer term place being found in another home.
* Training Homes/Industrial Homes - homes specifically for older children in order to train them to earn their own living. Amongst others, St Chad's in Far Headingly, Leeds trained "delicate girls" in machine knitting and also provided laundry training, whilst the Islington Home for Boys provided training in shoemaking, carpentry and tailoring.
* Convalescent Homes - usually located in the south of England, on the coast.
* Family Homes - mixed sex units, which allowed brothers and sisters to remain together. Prior to World War II the homes were generally single sex, apart from those for children with disabilities and for very young children. After 1946 more homes became mixed units. Alice Brooke Home in Scarborough was the last of The Children's Society's Homes solely for girls, with boys only arriving in 1969.
* Nurseries - became more prolific after World War II when there was an increase in the number of babies and toddlers needing places.

Different types of resident:
* Children with physical disabilities. From 1887 to the 1980s The Children's Society operated residential homes for children with physical disabilities. During the 1970s and 1980s, The Children's Society continued to provide support for children with physical disabilities in what were then termed "mixed units", which also housed non-disabled children.
* Diabetic children. From 1949 to 1971 The Children's Society provided residential care for diabetic children at St Monica's, Kingsdown, Kent; Carruthers Corfield House, Rustington, Sussex; and St George's, Kersal, near Manchester.
* Children with learning difficulties. The Edward Rudolf Memorial Home opened in south London in the 1930s to provide places for children with what were then termed "behaviourial problems".

Full histories of all the residential care homes managed by The Children's Society are available as Name Authority Records or via the Hidden Lives Revealed website at
Related MaterialRecords created by The Society's head office, which relate to individual homes, can be found in TCS/F/07, TCS/F/08 and TCS/J/03

The Children's Society Records and Archive Centre holds records relating to the running of later social work projects, although these records have not yet been catalogued. Please contact the archivist for more information.
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