In total, over 80 individuals provided data to the project between March 2018 and June 2019. These include 21 adult care leavers. Demographic information was not formally collected from contributors, as the project focused on qualitative narratives of personal experience. However, detailed biographical information could be gleaned from their testimonies. The care leavers ranged in age from 18 to 85 years old; all had experienced foster and/or residential care in England between the late 1940s and 2018. Approximately one third had been in the care of voluntary organizations for all or some of their care experience, and the others exclusively looked after by local authorities. They were in care for varying lengths of time, in different parts of the country and for different reasons. Each person had a unique journey, entering and leaving care at a different age, representing the diversity of care over time and place. This diversity impacted on the types, form and extent of care records available from their respective childhoods, reflecting changes in recordkeeping practices over the 80-year period (Hoyle et al., 2019). The rich data from the 21 care experienced testimonies, although not generalizable, represent a significant and detailed exploration of the issues they wished to raise. Sixteen care-leaver contributors had accessed their care records; four had made a conscious decision not to; and one was in the process of doing so.
Hoyle, V., Shepherd, E., Flinn, A. and Lomas, E (2019) "Child Social-Care Recording and the Information Rights of Care-Experienced People: A Recordkeeping Perspective" in The British Journal of Social Work https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcy115 (Open Access - Free to All)
Shepherd, E., Hoyle, V., Lomas, E., Flinn, A., Sexton, A. (2020). Towards a Human-Centred Participatory Approach to Child Social Care Recordkeeping. Archival Science. 20(4), 307-325. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10502-020-09338-9 Gold Open Access.
Hoyle V, Shepherd E, Lomas E, Flinn A (2020). Recordkeeping and the life-long memory and identity needs of care-experienced children and young people. Child and Family Social Work. https://doi.org/10.1111/cfs.12778 Gold Open Access.
Miriam Antcliffe, Research in Practice Research and Development Officer, speaks to John-george and Darren who share their personal stories of accessing their care files as adults:
MIRRA Research Leaflet: Description and Actions https://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/mirra/files/2019/07/MIRRAUpdatedLeafletWebVersion.pdf
MIRRA Poster: Findings
Case Study reports
Care Leavers Experiences