Digitalising Childhood First charity’s archives case study

Supporting a forward thinking charity improve access, compliance and work practices whilst enhancing security and digital recovery

About the customer

Since 1983, Childhood First, a registered charity, have been delivery exceptional outcomes in the care, education and treatment of children suffering with severe emotional and behavioural disturbance as a result of early life trauma. Their aim is to transform the lives of children and young people who suffer severe emotional and psychological difficulties, so that they can fulfil their potential and enjoy life.

Headquartered in London, Childhood First currently operate four residential therapeutic centres. Together they provide specialist integrated therapeutic care, education and treatment for children and young people aged 5 to 19.
Read more about Childhood First here:

The Background

BPMS initially made contact with Childhood First as part of our ongoing commitment to the charity sector.  Childhood First maintained paper records covering every pupil in their care, both currently and historically, furthermore the nature of the records required their retention indefinitely. This resulted in a huge archive of highly sensitive information. It was considered that in paper form the archive was less accessible, difficult to manage and potentially vulnerable. In addition, the files took up a large amount of space within the charity’s various premises.

The Challenges

The charity wanted to achieve the following:

  • Enhanced security and disaster recovery provision of highly sensitive filing.
  • Immediate and reliable central access.
  • Certainty of file accuracy.
  • Complete GDPR compliance.
  • A reduction of space given over to archiving.
  • Increased efficiency and cost saving in respect of working practises.


It was clear from the Childhood First project brief, that they sought a comprehensive modernisation of their archiving practises. In addition, the looming GDPR deadline led to a desire to ensure the organisation were fully-compliant and prepared for when the new data legislation came into force. Having taken the time to understand the specific requirements and challenges facing Childhood First, BPMS devised a bespoke solution to meet their needs.
First, BPMS digitalised the entire Childhood First archive of both current and historic pupil records. Each record was referenced using the pupils’ name together with other unique identifying characteristics to ensure accurate and immediate retrieval.

BPMS provided a full bureau scanning service to digitalise the existing hard copy archive in a controlled manner, allowing access to key information throughout the process.

Once converted to electronic media, each file was provided with unique identifying index criteria to enable immediate and accurate retrieval, safe in the knowledge that each record was complete and up-to-date.

In addition, BPMS provided software to Childhood First which enabled them to control access to the sensitive information, ensuring it is secure and only accessible to those with the necessary authority.


BPMS worked closely with Childhood First from initial discussions through to successful implementation and we continue to support the organisation on an ongoing basis.

Childhood First are now assured that pupil records critical to their mission delivery are managed in a secure and compliant manner. In addition, significant efficiencies in working practices have delivered measurable benefits in cost and space saving.

“A very professional and efficient service is something BPMS have been providing us for many years. Their “can do” attitude is always a comfort and their time-tested procedures have proved, beyond doubt, their worth. BPMS keep us on track with their proactive approach and their calls are always welcome. We look forward to continuing our relationship with BPMS for many years to come.”Records Manager, Childhood First Trust

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