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Care Directory

On this page we collect a range of resources you may find useful when commencing a search for your records, or trying to make a connection with a Family Member.

Family Action is not responsible for the content of external websites and the inclusion of a link to an external website from this directory should not be understood to be an endorsement of that website or the site’s owners (or their products/services).

General Register Offices/Ordering Certificates
Government Agencies
Information Commissioners
Organisations offering support and advice
Groups for survivors of abuse
Family Research
Legal Advice
Tracing Services
Tracing relatives and friends in Northern Ireland
Tracing relatives and friends in the Armed Forces
Tracing relatives and friends outside the UK
Tracing mobile apps
Directory Services
Books: memoirs and personal experiences
Statutory Guidance

General Register Offices/Ordering Certificates

General Registrar Office for England and Wales

Government Office holding copies of all registrations for England and Wales, including births, adoptions, marriages, civil partnerships and deaths.

Government Agencies

“Find My Local Council” search pages

Government site allowing you to see which local council and district council corresponds to a given postcode.

ACRO – Access to criminal records

Site detailing how to request the records held about you by the police.

Information Commissioner’s Office Guide to GDPR

This guide explains the relevant guidance for the Data Protection 2018, which may be relevant for care leavers investigating their records

NHS Death Registration Queries Website

You can use this service to find out if a birth relative or adoptee is recorded as having died in England, Wales or the Isle of Man.

NHS Medical Records Website

Website detailing how to request your medical records.


Ofsted regulate intermediary services provided by adoption support agencies, as well as care homes.
0300 123 1231

Search Probate Records

Government site allowing you to find a probate record, also known as a ‘grant of representation’, for someone who died after 1857. Probate gives someone the legal right to deal with a deceased person’s property, money and possessions (their ‘estate’).

Information Commissioners

Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) England

The ICO is the UK’s independent body set up to uphold information rights
0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 (national rate)

Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) Northern Ireland

Information Commissioner’s Office – Northern Ireland
0303 123 1114 (local rate) or 028 9027 8757

Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) Scotland

Information Commissioner’s Office – Scotland
0131 244 9001

Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) Wales

Information Commissioner’s Office – Wales
0330 414 6421

Organisations offering support and advice

Care Leaver’s Association

Support organisation for care leavers, offering advice, information, training and guidance as well as access to social networks supporting care leavers.
0161 236 5665

Coram Voice

Organisation helping to get young carers’ voices heard in decisions that matter to them and work to improve the lives of children in care, care leavers and others who depend upon the help of the state.
020 7833 5792

Scottish Care Leaver’s Covenant

‘Alliance’ of stakeholders aiming to close the gap between policy and practice for care leavers.
0141 444 8547

Scottish Through Care and After Care Forum

Scotland’s national membership organisation for all of those involved in the lives of young people leaving care.
0141 465 7511

The Care Leavers’ Foundation

A UK organisation which provides support in the form of modest grants to care leavers aged 18 to 29 who are in crisis , or want to take control of their lives and develop new skills
0167 854 0598

Voice of Young People inCare (VOTPIC)

Ireland-based organisation aiming to promote the rights and improve the lives and outcomes for children and young people in care.

Who Cares? Scotland

Voluntary organisation, working with care experienced young people and care leavers across Scotland.
0141 226 4441

Groups for survivors of abuse

In Care Survivors Service Scotland

The In Care Survivors Service Scotland, a project of Wellbeing Scotland, is a trauma specialist counselling and advocacy support service for adults who have suffered childhood abuse in a care setting.
0800 121 6027


Helps men who have been sexually abused and raises awareness of their needs
0203 598 3898

The National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC)

NAPAC (the National Association for People Abused in Childhood) offers support to adult survivors of all types of childhood abuse, including physical, sexual, emotional abuse or neglect.
0203 096 7645

Family Research


Paid members’ service for the UK, offering access to one billion searchable UK family history records. Part of the global network – which as access to 20 bullion searchable family history records.

British Library

Includes services for requesting electoral rolls for previous years. Advance notice is required.

Cyndi’s List

Lists useful genealogical resources on the web.

Family Research

News and research regarding genealogy.

Family Search

Free service run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Requires registration but you don’t need to be a member of the church to use the service.

Find My Past

Ancestry service featuring a range of research services, including DNA testing.


Free genealogical information for the whole of the UK.

National Records of Scotland

Official Records of the Scottish government. Includes information regarding family history and registrations of births, deaths, marriages etc.

Salvation Army Family Tracing Service

Agency providing support with searches for family. Not suitable for adopted people, but can be accessed by those who were in care.
020 7367 4747


Official Scottish Government site for searching government records and archives. Apply for copies of official certificates and to research family history, biography, local history and social history.

The National Archives

The UK government’s official archive, including access to history resources and information.

Legal Advice

Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL)

Support available for people who were in care who require support with taking legal action regarding an incidence of abuse.

ICO Guide to Data Protection

Useful guide regarding how data protection legislation works – including the rights to request amendments and erasure of data.

Tracing Services

BBC Family History Website

Learn the basics you’ll need to get started with family research, from drawing up your family tree to exploring the archives.

British Newspaper Archive (BNA)

The British Newspaper Archive is a partnership between the British Library and findmypast to digitise up to 40 million newspaper pages from the British Library’s vast collection.


Family history research and birth relative search service.
07741 190 000

Family Search

FamilySearch is a non-profit family history organization dedicated to connecting families across generations

Genes Reunited

Family tree and genealogy website

HM Government Services and Information

Probate records for documents and wills (England and Wales)

Kathy Wilshaw

Researcher offering tracing services.

London Metropolitan Archives

Holds thousands of files for people who were in care or adopted through either the London or Middlesex County Councils from the period 1926 to 1965.
020 7332 3820

Free resource intended as the home for global Jewish genealogy

Tracing relatives and friends in Northern Ireland

Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

Tracing relatives and friends in the Armed Forces

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

The CWGC have extensive archives documenting the history of the organisation, the individuals they commemorate and the cemeteries and memorials they maintain. Casualty and cemetery databases hold documents recording the details and commemoration location.

Forces Reunited

People finding website for the armed forces

HM Government Services and Information

Military Service Records

Royal British Legion

The country’s largest Armed Forces charity

Tracing relatives and friends outside the UK

Children and Families Across Borders

The work of CFAB includes, for example, reuniting family members who have been separated by conflict and war and facilitating the reconnection of children with parents who have separated. Support and advice from an inter-country social work team
0207 735 8941

GI Trace

This website is for tracing American GI fathers, grand-fathers or wider family members.

Library and Archives Canada

Record collections include: Birth, marriages and death, Census and enumerations, immigration and citizenship, land, military heritage and people databases.

National Archives of Australia

The collection includes records about military service, immigration and the First Australians.

National Archives of Ireland

The National Archives collects, manages and preserves the public record of Ireland, ensuring its availability both as a resource and to safeguard citizens’ rights.

National Library of Ireland

The NLI holds the Catholic Parish Registers. Staff offer a free Genealogy Advisory Service and for visitors there is a Genealogy room and access to online resources.
+353 1 6030 256

Origins tracing service

Origins Tracing Service is for people who spent all or part of their childhood in an Irish Industrial School and are interested in tracing information about their parents, siblings or other relatives.
(+353 1) 813 4100

US National Archives

Resources of the National Archives include Census, ethnic heritage, military service, immigration, naturalization and land records. Documents can be searched and copied.


International Telephone Directory

Tracing mobile apps

My Heritage

Family research mobile app


Family Tree Mobile App


Family Tree Mobile App

TreeView mobile

Family Tree Mobile App

Directory Services

Paid service allowing you to search for individuals

BT Phonebook

Free directory service.

Books – memoirs and personal experiences

A Boy Called Graham

London: Blake Publishing, Gaskin G, 2005, ISBN: 978-1844541447

Boy: One child’s fight to survive in the brutal British care system

London: Ebury Press, Cooper N, 2015, ISBN: 978-1785030789

But We All Shine On: Them remarkable orphans of Burbank Children’s Home

London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Hewitt P, 2014, ISBN: 978-1849055833

Foster Kid: A Liverpudlian childhood

London: Sphere, Barber P, 2008, ISBN: 978-0751539127


London: Jonathan Cape, MacVeigh J, 1982, ISBN: 9780224019972

Growing Up in Care (The Practice of Social Work 2

Oxford: Basil Blackwell, Kahan B, 1979, ISBN: 9780631121619

Hackney Child: A true story of surviving poverty and the care system

London: Simon & Schuster, Daniels H and Livingston M, 2014, ISBN: 978-1471129834,

In and Out of Care: The experiences of children, parents and social workers

London: BAAF, Fisher M, Marsh P, Phillips D and Sainsbury E, 1986, ISBN: 9780713453409

My Name Is Why

London: Canongate , Sissay, L, 2019, ISBN: 978-1786892348

New beginnings and other writings on being in care

Can be found here
2017, ISBN: 978 1 910039 62 5

No Way Home: The terrifying story of life in a children’s home and a little girl’s struggle to survive

London: Vermilion, Martin S, 2007, ISBN: 978-0091917371

Not Just a Name

London: National Consumer Council, Fletcher B, 1993, ISBN: 9780948231803,

Out of the Rubble

Edwards PJ, Edwards PJ, 1999, ISBN: 9780953478705,


London: Barnardo’s 1988

Rootless: An autobiography

London: Hutchinson, Arrow, Oldfield B, 2004, ISBN: 978-1784755065

Something that Never Went Away: Reflections on adoption, being in care and searching for family members

London:NORCAP, Harris P and Waterman C eds, 2009, ISBN: 978-0950990194

Tainted Love: A true story of kids who survive neglect

Daniels H and Livingstone M, Daniels H, 2014, ISBN: 978-1471129889

The Banana Kid

London: BAAF, Mason-John V, 2008, ISBN: 978-1905664375

The Golly in the Cupboard,Manchester

Manchester: Tamic Publications, Frampton P, 2004, ISBN: 978-0954764906

The Looked After Kid

Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing, Hewitt P, 2014, ISBN: 978-1849055888

The Lost Boy: A foster child’s search for the love of a family

London: Orion, Pelzer D, 2014, ISBN: 9781409151401

Time to Listen: The experiences of young people in foster and residential care

London: ChildLine, Morris S and Wheatley H, 1994, ISBN: 9780952494805

Who Cares? Memories of a childhood in Barnardo’s

London: Time Warner, Fever F, 1994, ISBN: 978-0751508796


‘Care just changes your life’: factors impacting upon the mental health of children and young people with experiences of care in Northern Ireland

Child Care in Practice, 13:4, pp 417 –434, Mullan C, McAlister S, Rollock F and Fitzsimons L, 2007

A childhood on paper: managing access to child care files by post-care adults

Adoption & Fostering, 32(2), pp. 50–62., Goddard J, Feast J and Kirton D, 2005

From care to university

Children and Young People Now, 22 October, pp.18–19, Rowntree N, 2009

In Care and After: A positive perspective

London: Routledge, Chase E, Simon A and Jackson S, 2005, ISBN: 9781134262403

It’s My Journey: It’s my life, it’s my identity! Care leavers and access to social care files

Manchester: The Care Leavers’ Association, Access To Care Records Campaign Group, 2016

Life in Children’s Homes

London: Ofsted, Morgan R, 2009

Making It Alone: A study of care experiences of young black people

London: BAAF, Ince L, 2001, 978-1873868515,

The Truth is Longer than a Lie: Children’s experiences of abuse and professional interventions

London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Mudaly N and Goddard C, 2006

Statutory Guidance

Department for Education Planning Transition to Adulthood for Care Leavers Volume 3

see Chapter 4 para 4.21 to 4.39

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