REGISTRATION DEPARTMENT A/FWA/C/E
Very few records of the Registration Department survive. The remaining files were deposited in the Greater London Record Office in November 1983 (Acc 1898) with the records of the Enquiry Department.
For minutes of the Conference of Registrars, the Provisional Registration Committee, and the Registration Sub-Committee see A/FWA/C/A/33/01-04. For annual reports 1910-1925 see A/FWA/C/B/01/008-010.
The object of mutual registration of assistance was the exchange of information between charities, hospitals, and poor law authorities to prevent overlapping of cases. The first district registry was established by Chelsea C.O.S. in 1904. By 1907 there were six district registries in London. The Administrative Council of the C.O.S. authorised the establishment of a Central Registry at Central Office in 1909. The first meeting of the conference of Honorary Registrars was held on 18 February 1909. In February 1911 the C.O.S. Provisional Registration Committee was formed to replace, though not to supersede completely the Conference of Registrars. This in turn was replaced by the Registration Sub-Committee in August 1915. By February 1911 there were 29 District Registries working in close cooperation with C.O.S. Some 1,150 agencies were involved - Boards of Guardians, churches, missions, charitable societies, School Care Committees, and health societies. They sent to the district registries weekly or monthly lists of cases assisted. When it was found that two or more societies knew the same family, both were notified in the hope that they would be able to cooperate. The Central Registry received reports from 58 hospitals and other general organisations. On the abolition of the Boards of Guardians in 1930 and the transfer of their responsibilities to the L.C.C., at first the L.C.C. Public Assistance Committee favoured cooperation with voluntary agencies and paid a grant to the C.O.S. in respect of the Mutual Registration of Assistance in selected areas. A Labour majority on the L.C.C. reversed this policy in 1934 and on 31 March 1935 terminated cooperation in the registration of assistance.
The first Secretary of the Registration Committee, D. Radford Sharpe, was also Head of the Registration Department at Central Office. He resigned in August 1917 and was replaced by the Hon. Gertrude Lubbock.