Access to Records Information Booklet

The CLA has compiled a booklet entitled ‘A Guide to Accessing Childhood Case Records’. The booklet is the best source of information available on this topic and may also be useful to Access to Records Officers employed by local authorities.

The booklet is free of charge to care leavers and if you cannot download it then it can be obtained by sending an A5-sized stamped addreessed envelope to the Manchester office. Alternatively, care leavers may choose to give a donation to the CLA. For other individuals, the cost of the booklet is £2.00.

You can download a copy of the booklet, in ‘Word’ or ‘PDF’ formats, here: ATR Guide Word or ATR Guide PDF. If you require any further information please contact

Access to Records Campaign

In 2002 we launched a campaign to improve access to files for children in care and for care leavers. We decided that we would:

  • Set up an Access to Files information database on this website.
  • Get policy statements from all of the main care providers, including local authorities, and put these on the website.
  • Form an Access to Files campaign group. Members of this group would provide advice and help to other care leavers seeking their files.
  • Develop a database on expertise and professional help with tracing records and personal background (e.g. tracing families) as well as files access.
  • Talk to the Department of Health with a view to using their Data Protection Act: Guidance to Social Services ( as the basis of a guide for those in care and care leavers
  • Develop links with organisations that might provide support to care leavers who need it once they’ve accessed their files.

Since that time, we have built up a good deal of expertise within the CLA.