NoPast research on care leavers has, understandably, tended to focus on those who are in their mid- to late-teens or early 20s. This reflects the profound impact of central and local government policy on those young people. It also reflects their prominence in contemporary analyses of most of the indicators of social exclusion among young people in the UK - unemployment, homelessness and lack of educational qualifications among them. However, some issues affecting adults who grew up in care apply across the life course. One such issue is the access that former care adults have to their child care files. Indeed, as we shall see, this issue has particular importance for many older adults (in their 30s and upwards). Policy and practice in this field has changed significantly during the past 20¿years and there is a growing awareness of the needs of former care adults in this area. Access to such files can be a significant element in the process of seeking to address identity concerns centring around family and childhood experiences. This paper explores some of these identity concerns and analyses how access to care files both reflects such concerns and attempts to address them
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