Access to records

We can help you find records if:

  • You are an adult who lived in an Action for Children (formerly known as National Children’s Home) residential care home;

  • you are an adopted adult who was adopted through Action for Children (formerly known as National Children’s Home)

  • you were placed in an Action for Children foster home

  • you were an Action for Children child migrant;

  • you used one of our projects or services.

We hold this personal data in the strictest confidence, and in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulations 2018, and where applicable, relevant Adoption Law and Regulations.

"It is hard to improve on the service I received" - Action for Children service user

What might be in the records?

The records may contain documents such as:

  • an admission form with details of the circumstances leading up to care, adoption or receipt of a service from one of our projects;
  • Information regarding birth relatives;
  • birth certificates;
  • school reports;
  • progress reports and assessments.

It is unusual to find documents on file such as:

  • Photographs
  • Information on the day to day life in the homes or other establishments. Older records in particular, were more often used for storing correspondence, rather than running records.

The Access to Records Service is subject to legal restrictions regarding third party information.

Read how we keep your information safe and secure.

Access to Records Service Privacy Notice


How to apply for records

To apply for records complete our Access to Records form, then send it along with the required identification documents:

  • by email to
  • by tracked delivery to:

    Action for Children
    Access to Records Service
    231 Camberwell New Road
    SE5 0TH 

If you are unsure which agency you were placed in care with, you can see a list of former homes run by Action for Children here.

For other organisations please click here

“I will never forget the tact and kindness shown by the Action for Children worker” - Action for Children service user
"I will never forget the tact and kindness shown by Action for Children worker"

One of our records applicants


We will be able to support and counsel you through the access process, and offer any additional advice or help.


We hold an Old Boys and Girls Reunion every July so that we can stay connected to the people who were part of our branches, nationally and overseas. If you would like to come along to one, register for an invitation by emailing our engagement team.

Negative experiences

Most people formerly in our care have had happy experiences, but for some people this was not the case. If your childhood experiences were painful, traumatic or unhappy, we would like you to tell us.

We're fully committed to taking action when incidents of abuse are brought to our attention or where information provided verbally, or found in the care records indicates that a child, young person or vulnerable adult is suffering, or is at risk of serious harm. For advice on what to do next please read information for adults abused as children. Alternatively contact our Head of Safeguarding on 01923 361500.



If you would like to make a complaint, click here.

Contact the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) Here