Ancestry UK

Children's Home and Child Care Training Centre, Kingston, Jamaica

In 1969, to celebrate its centenary and also the United Nations International Year of the Child, the National Children's Home (NCH) decided to instigate a children's welfare project in a developing country. After some research, the East Caribbean was chosen as the location for this venture, with initial work being carried out in Barbados and St Lucia. This was quickly extended to St Vincent, Dominica, Grenada and Belize, and then in 1973 to Jamaica, where a residential care facility for 44 children was established at Hope Gardens, Kingston. It was accompanied by a staff training centre for senior child care officers from throughout the region although this closed in the later 1970s due to a lack of funding.

By the 1990s, the Kingston children's residence — divided into three units — provided accommodation for 40 children, at least a third of whom were disabled. A further 40 beds were provided in separate section for children with severe multiple disabilities. There was also a day school with 50 places serving both the residential unit and the local community.

By 2011, Action for Children had handed over all its Caribbean work to local government agencies or to the South Caribbean District of the Methodist Church of the Caribbean and the Americas.


Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.

  • Action For Children (formerly the National Children's Home). Can provide access to their own records for individuals who were adopted through the charity or who resided in one of its homes. Help also for those searching for family history information.


  • Bradfield, William The Life of the Reverend Thomas Bowman Stephenson (1913, Kelly)
  • Curnock, Nehemiah The Story of the Children's Home (C.H. Kelly, 1901)
  • Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain's Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
  • Horner, Francis Shadow and Sun (Epworth Press, 1920)
  • Howard, Philip J Philip: a Strange Child (Dalkeith Publishing, 2007)
  • Philpot, Terry Action For Children (Lion, 1994)
  • Walpole, Cecil F. Golden Links (Epworth Press, 1941)