Historical records

Historical records

If you received care or support from Children 1st (formerly known as the RSSPCC) we can help you to access your records. We hold records from throughout our history and can also assist in searching for the records of relatives who were in contact with our services in the past. Due to the passage of time some of our records are incomplete, but if you make a request we will endeavour to find any relevant information to your case.

To request records from the Children 1st archive please download and complete the following documents, and return to us at the above address.

Download request for records form (MS Word)

Children 1st/RSSPCC archive and historical records
Frequently Asked Questions

If you received care or support from Children 1st (or the former RSSPCC) we can help.

We hold records from throughout our history and we will also assist in searching for the records of relatives who were in contact with our services in the past.

We have forms - listed above - to help you start the process.

We will help you by keeping you informed with each step that we take and we promise that we will support you throughout the search, through to its conclusion.

Once we have received your written request/completed request form and your ID, we will do our best to comply fully within 40 days, however if it is impossible to conclude the process within this period we will let you know by phone or letter.

Yes, we take your privacy seriously so you will need to provide copies of two documents which prove your Identity before we can pass on information from our archives. Examples of proof of identity would be a Passport, Birth Certificate, Driving Licence, recent Utility Bill or Bank Statement.

If you are searching on behalf of a relative and they are not deceased we will need a signed letter of consent from them and copies of two items of proof of their identity too.

If your search involves a deceased family member we will require a copy of the death certificate as well as proof of your own identity.

If you make a request for records we will do all we can to locate any information that we hold about you. However due to the passage of time, it is possible that some or all of your records may be incomplete or were subject to previous destruction policies.

If we are unable to find your record we will contact you by phone to discuss this, and will write to you with details of the searches we have conducted.

No, not always.

If there is confidential information about a third party i.e. a family member, this may be removed from any documents that we hold before we can give them to you.

In the first instance and if approved by yourself, we will call you to advise that they have been found or if preferred we can contact you in writing.

We may offer to meet with you in person to discuss the records, though if this is not something you would be comfortable with we will respect your wishes and send them out by post.

No, it is unlikely that all your questions will be answered.

There are gaps in records for several reasons and the information that we hold can be limited, but it is possible that the information that we can provide gives you some of the answers you seek and an important link with the past.

We understand that requesting and receiving records can be a difficult experience and we are committed to giving any support and advice that you may need to help you through the process.

Yes, but only in very exceptional circumstances.

The Data Protection Act 1998 allows the viewing of records to be postponed in exceptional circumstances, where there is evidence of a real risk of endangering the physical or mental wellbeing of the subject or of another individual as a direct result of reading the records. In such unusual circumstances we would be obliged to:

  • Show why we feel there would be such a risk.
  • Ensure that the person seeking access is well supported by us.
  • Look to review the decision to withhold records within a reasonable time, so that access could take place when the risk of serious harm is less severe.

If you are unhappy with the service that you have received during any of the process, you can make a complaint to Children 1st.