Published in 1999, this text explores the impact of access to child care records, specifically upon adults who grew up in the care of Barnardo's. Most of the adults studied had reached their middle years with little or no knowledge of their family background or reasons for admission to care. The book researches the links between quality of care in childhood and the intensity of "need to know" about origins in later life. It looks at the complex process of assimilating information, and the need for such information to be imparted with skillful judgement and sensitivity. The implications for service provision for those seeking access to their records is highlighted, as well as for current child care practitioners. Requests for access to care records at Barnardo's have grown from around 1500 a year prior to 1995, to several thousand in one month alone following media publicity about the opening up of Barnardo's records. Other organizations are just beginning to recognize the growing demands for this service. This text aims to use these studies to examine the impact, particularly upon sense of identity, of ignorance about one's origins and the effects of acquiring such information later in life
Part 1: Literature Review 1. Secrecy and Openness in Child Welfare - A Historical Perspective 2. Searching for Origins and Access to Birth Records 3. Separation, Loss and the Experience of Substitute Care 4. Heritage, Identity and Self-esteem Part 2: The Study 5. Methodology 6. Introduction to the Findings 7. Looking Back to Childhood 8. Motivation for Seeking Information 9. The Impact of Receiving Information Part 3: Themes And Thoughts 10. Themes Arising from the Study 11. Implications for Practice
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