Disappearing Files Abuse.

The scandal tearing through Britain about missing home office files on alleged child abuse rankles. It’s happening to me.  Now NSPCC wants to make covering up chlid abuse,  by hiding files,  a crime.   I applied to see  the  files that reveal my entire childhood in care and everything of note that happened within it. It conceals eighteen years of the memory of me by those who were my parents, my family – the state. Imagine you had all memory of your first eighteen years held in a box with no parents or family to confirm whether or not it is there and yet you are the only person who knows that it was.

My files are the heart of the story from my birth.  In 2010 I made a BBC Radio 4 documentary in  search for them. Child of The State.   The process was demeaning. I had to apply as a “customer” to “adult services” of Wigan Council. I was then proffered a staff member from one if its worst institutions – wood end assessment centre – who was commissioned to source the files.    I thought there would be an outcome of some kind. There was an outcome but not the one I expected.


11 thoughts on “Disappearing Files Abuse.

  1. Use a Freedom of Information request (called a Subject Access Request) for everything recorded about you by an institution. They legally have to provide you with this information or they are fined a lot of money. I deal with these where I work. If you need any guidance through the process, please get in touch Lemn x

    • What about old passports or other proof of citizenship? I’m supposed to be a citizen of the UK (moved to USA age 3) and no one has any documents… Is this a seperate issue? It seems to me that documents means any documents, including passports. Kashalita at gmail dot com. Thanks

  2. Hiya Lemn,
    The previous comment above is correct, to use Freedom of Information Act but also all former children in care have a legal right to read their ‘State Care’ files. I got to read mine years ago at my local Social Services office, it made for shocking reading. All the best with it!

  3. This is a truly deplorable state of affairs. I’m deeply shocked and appalled by this.
    I thought that I had it tough as a transracial adoptee – but even I managed to gain access to my records two years ago. By applying to NCH who were the agency responsible for overseeing my transracial adoption.
    Yes freedom of information is definitely the way to go. You have the right to get a copy of the information that is held about you. This is known as a subject access request – I think.
    This link from BAAF may also be helpful http://www.adoptionsearchreunion.org.uk/search/adoptionrecords/
    I know it says adoption but you might get something from this, it’s worth a try
    I do hope that you manage to track down your records. Very best wishes

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  5. Lemn,

    I’m sorry you’ve had such a difficult time with this. I work at Wigan Council and know that this is something we’re grappling with for many people. Can you drop me a line when you’re home and I’ll see if there’s anything I can do to help.

    Best wishes,


    • Perhaps you can explain where my records are, while you’re are at it, and everyone else’s records that you have conveniently lost.

  6. While one is in care, what happens to your medical records, your school records, your dental records? Where does one start, if they say they have no records, what has happened to them. Do they think by losing your records of being in care that they then ignore you. My medical and dental and school records show exactly where I was, and when.
    Do these people actually demand proof that we were in these places like wood end before they will even talk to us, let alone take any responsibility for what they did? It seems to me that Lancashire county council an wigan council are doing just that, making it difficult and hoping we will go away.

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