Sandwell Council Homes
The Metropolitan Borough of Sandwell was created in 1974 as part of a reorganisation of local government in England and Wales. The new area incorporated the towns of Oldbury, Rowley Regis, Smethwick, Tipton, Wednesbury, and West Bromwich. The new Sandwell Council took over the operation of social services in the borough, including the children's homes previously run by the West Bromwich and Warley and Borough Councils.
Children's establishments run at some time in their history by Sandwell Council.
- 27 Tame Rise, Brandhall Estate, Oldbury
- 34 Pedmore Walk, Lion Farm Estate, Oldbury
- The Hollies, Coopers Lane, Smethwick
- Lee House, 139 Bearwood Road, Smethwick
- Park Corner, 53 Walsall Street, Wednesbury
- Crest, 181 Church Vale, West Bromwich, West Bromwich
- 23 Beeches Road, West Bromwich
- 85 Ladbury Road, Yew Tree Estate, West Bromwich
- 95 Bratt Street, West Bromwich
- Charlemont Close Reception Centre, Pennyhill Lane, West Bromwich
The involvement of local authorities in the running of children's homes dates from 1930, when they took over the running of the poor relief system previously administered by Boards of Guardians. Surviving records for council-run children's homes may be held in each council's own internal archives. Prior to 1991, however, when a legal requirement was introduced for councils to retain records of children leaving their care, the survival of such records is very variable. Contact details for local authorities in the UK can be found on the website of the Care Leavers Association (CLA). The CLA also provides guidance on accessing childhood care files, which are normally only open to the individuals they relate to.
Locating local authority records has been complicated by the various local government reorganizations that have taken place in recent times, such as the abolition of the London County Council in 1965, and the major nationwide restructuring in 1974 in which many administrative areas were created, amended or eliminated.
Older records may sometimes be placed with the relevant county or borough record office. Many of these repositories have online catalogues of their holdings and also contribute to the National Archives' Discovery database. Note that records containing personal data usually have access closed for a period of fifty years or more.
Older material relating to Sandwell Council homes may exist at:
- Sandwell Community History and Archives Service, Smethwick Library, High Street, Smethwick B66 1AA.
Some records relating to council-run homes, for example inspection reports (though not resident lists etc.), are held by The National Archives (TNA). A closure period may apply to these records.
- Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain s Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
- Urquhart, Gloria (2020) Nobody's Child: The True Story of Growing up in a Yorkshire Children's Home
- Cooke, Allan Institutionalized in a Children's Home: Skellow Hall 1950-1963 — a true story of a child and children in a home (2012, Authorhouse)
- Cummings, Les Forgotten: The Heartrending Story of Life in a Children's Home
- Limbrick, Gudrun The Children of the Homes: a century of Erdington Cottage Homes
Except where indicated, this page () © Peter Higginbotham. Contents may not be reproduced without permission.