Client Record Information

The Home recognizes the importance of information for our former as well as our current clients. The Home’s records department (otherwise known as Health Information) is responsible for the overall file management of the clients’ records, past and present.

As you can imagine, The Home for Little Wanderers has had many changes and transitions since the late 1800’s and the state of record keeping has changed significantly over the years. Records for this time period are scarce. Research of this type will require a substantial search. Recently, we have located microfilm that goes back to the 1930’s.

There are several questions below about Health Information at The Home for Little Wanderers. Please select your area of interest: 

  1. How do I obtain my record?
  2. What is the charge for copies?
  3. How do I access a family member record?
  4. Does my request have to be notarized?
  5. Can I fax my request?
  6. Can I pick up a copy of my record?
  7. Where can I locate the federal and state laws that govern the disclosure of my health information?
  8. How long are the records kept?
  9. How long will it take to receive my records?
  10. How do I obtain my adoption record?


1. How do I obtain my record?

The request must be received in writing, with your signature. The request must be notarized, before we can release the information to you. The individual must be over 18 years old, and must have legal rights to request a copy of the record.

Please print and complete the client authorization form and send to:

The Home for Little Wanderers
780 American Legion Highway
Roslindale, MA 02131
Attn: Health Information Dept.

2. What is the charge for copies?

There may be a charge involved if your request is for legal, personal or insurance reasons. The current fee is $20 base fee, $.61 per page up to 100 pages and $.32 per page after 100 pages. There is an additional fee for special mailing requests. Please make a check or money order payable to The Home for Little Wanderers.

3. How do I access a family member’s record?

Unless you are the legal representative or guardian for another family member, and you can demonstrate proof of guardianship, you may not access another family member’s records. Each family member of legal age wishing a copy of his/her record needs to request that individually. For additional information, please feel free to call 617-469-8673.

4. Does my request have to be notarized?

Yes, it provides proof of who you are when asking for copies of records.

5. Can I fax my request?

No, once your request is notarized the fax may damage the seal of the notary public.

6. Can I pick up a copy of my record?

Yes, you can pick up copies at our Roslindale office at 780 American Legion Highway in Roslindale. Please call 617-469-8673 to schedule a date and time. Please bring a photo ID if you choose to pick up copies of your records. Our hours are Monday-Friday 7:30am-4:30pm (excluding holidays).

7. Where can I locate the federal and state laws that govern the disclosure of my health information?

There is a website that explains the laws and regulations such as HIPAA and Privacy laws regarding records. Please visit http://www.hhs.gov/policies.

8. How long are the records kept?

Generally, The Home will maintain records for an extensive period of time prior to the record being destroyed. Each state agency requires a definitive time frame. For example, adoption records are kept for 99 years while the Department of Early Education and Care requires us to keep records for 7 years.

9. How long will it take to receive my records?

It can take 2-4 weeks to receive the requested information if you were a client here more than two years ago since the information has to be obtained from archived records. Most of our records are archived. The records are stored at a storage facility and are maintained by a reputable company.

10. How do I obtain my adoption record?

If you were placed through adoption at The Home, please visit the Post Adoption section of our website or contact Susan Wilson at 617-264-5346 or swilson@thehome.org for further details.


Special Notice

To all former clients of The Home for Little Wanderers who were discharged more than 20 years ago:

State regulation allows The Home to destroy records 20 years after discharge or final treatment of the client to whom the record relates.  In addition, economically we are unable to maintain client records longer than the 20 years retention period.

In order to best serve our former clients, we are opting to keep the face sheet and discharge summary from each record destroyed. If you want copies of your full record please see the information above for further details about how to access your records. A fee applies for each individual request.

Adoption records are not included in the destruction of records. Adoption records are kept for 99 years. If you have any questions please contact the Health Information Department at 617-469-8673. Thank you.