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Big Ideas: Memory, Identity and Rights in Child Social Care Records

March 14 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


The relationship between archives, memory and identity is complex and contested. Never more so than when the records created and managed by organisations are also the personal records of individuals, equivalent to childhood memories. For the 350,000 people in England who spent their early years in care this is the case. As many as 4000 care leavers of all ages request subject access to child social care and related records each year in order to answer questions about themselves and their families. Recent research suggests that such requests represent up to half of all Subject Access Requests received by local authorities, and that numbers are rising in light of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and the implementation of GDPR.

Managing the creation, use, retention and access to child social care records presents considerable professional, ethical and practical challenges. The MIRRA (Memory – Identity – Rights in Records – Access) research project at UCL seeks to explore them from the perspective of care leavers and practitioners. During this seminar two care-experienced members of the research team will speak about their relationship with their own records and their perspective on the state of social care recordkeeping.  They will talk about the importance of a participatory approach to research, and how the National Archive is co-producing tools that will support social workers and recordkeepers to create more just and equitable records for future generations of care leavers.


March 14
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


The National Archives
Ruskin Avenue
Kew,TW9 4DU
020 8876 3444