Over 480,000 people have experienced care in Scotland since the 1930s, and most are alive today. Many will have positive experiences of their time in care. Others, however, will have suffered abuse and neglect. Care leavers have stressed how important information about care placements and access to records is for their sense of identity. They have also highlighted the difficulties of tracing this information and accessing records. Many residential establishments, however, have closed down and information is patchy. Even where agencies are still operating, records have been lost or are difficult to access. Information about foster placements is also difficult to find.
This project aims to bring together a range of disciplines – child care professionals, historians, archivists, sociologists, information technologists – alongside care leavers, to explore and understand the barriers and issues in tracing information and accessing records.
We have identified three key aspects as the focus of three workshops: The Needs of Care Leavers and Survivors of Abuse; Historical Records and Information on Care Services; and Technical Issues in Developing a Web-based Care Archive and Directory.
These workshops will identify the practical, technical, policy and legislative issues which need to be addressed. These will be taken forward in a final event: Developing an Action Plan with the potential impact of driving change to enable an important resource for all care leavers and their families.