We have been helping the most vulnerable and
neglected children for more than 140 years.
Home from home
Shocked by the plight of homeless
children on the streets of London in 1869, young Methodist minister
Thomas Bowman Stephenson decided to take action. With the help of
two Methodist friends, Alfred Mager and Francis Horner, he
converted a disused stable block into The Children's Home.
Stephenson's vision was of a
family-style system of childcare which would be disciplined but
loving - unlike the hated workhouses. Professional from the start,
Stephenson's recognition of the importance of professional training
was a significant contribution to the development of childcare in
Over time, our work has shifted
away from children's homes towards community-based projects like
children's centres, supporting vulnerable families and trying to
prevent potential problems. Previously known as the National
Children's Home and as NCH, we have always been active in forming
national childcare policy.
Some things don't change
Today we continue to support and
speak out for children, young people and parents in tough
circumstances and we'll be doing this for as long as it's needed.
We are still guided by Stephenson's legacy, but face the challenges
of a very different society. Because of this, we've changed our
name to Action for Children to better describe what we do.
Find out more