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Hidden Lives Revealed - Former Waifs & Strays Children’s Homes



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The Hidden Lives Revealed website has information on children's homes up to the 1980s, but the site focuses mainly on the period 1881-1918, and includes unique archive material about poor and disadvantaged children cared for by The Waifs and Strays' Society.

The Society, founded in 1881, opened its first children's home at Dulwich in 1882, and by 1918 it had run nearly 175 homes all around England and Wales. Some of these homes were only open for a few years, while others operated for decades.

They varied from small cottage homes in rural locations to homes in the big cities of London, Leeds, Birmingham and Liverpool. Industrial homes, like Standon Farm Home, would teach children a trade, so that they could support themselves in later life.

Around 22,500 children were cared for between 1881 and 1918 alone.


 Children’s Homes - UK

The Waifs and Strays' Society became the Church of England Children's Society in 1946 and is now known as The Children's Society.

The website allows you to search or browse through the histories of the former children’s homes. Many are illustrated with original photographs and drawings. There are also links to fully anonymised case files of some of the children and young people that the Society cared for in these homes.

Check for any former children’s homes  in your one-place study area.


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