Guelph Mercury 2014

Wellington County families explore their connections to British Home Children

by Bill Bean, May 21, 2014

“…The shock of dislocation and severance from family, the shame of being identified as worthless and the general lack of nurturing in their new Canadian homes, scarred many of the children, says Sandra Joyce, author and executive director with the advocacy association. The home children then grew up to be adults, who, without having had a good experience of a loving home themselves, tried to be parents of their own families. Like soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder, they had psychological baggage, but did not talk about it.

Her own father was a home child, which “did clear up some things about my dad.” Joyce recounts a lack of love and connectedness with her father, which left her with “the feeling that I had done something wrong.” After his death, she accidentally learned he had been a home child, not an adult immigrant, who had been left at an orphanage by his own father at age nine, and then shipped to Canada. Understanding that experience helped her deal with her own family life.”