Alliance Support Group

Barnardos Family Tracing Service

ORIGINS is the name of the family tracing and information service from Barnardos.

Who can apply to the Origins Service?

Origins is for people who spent all or part of their childhood in an Irish industrial School and are interested in tracing information about their parents, siblings or other relatives. The service is available to people in Ireland and abroad.

What does Origins do?

Experienced professional staff, offer advice, support and mediation in your search for your family of origin. Around 50% of the cases dealt with by the Origins team have led to reunion with their family of origin. Many of these cases involved reuniting sisters and brothers who were separated as children.

The service is completely confidential.

What Origins does not deal with

The Origins Service does not offer a tracing service for people who were adopted or for those people who were separated from their families but did not spend time in an Industrial school.

Where are Origins?

Offices are based in Dublin however people who use the service live all over the world Staff can meet or speak with you by phone to explain the process and answer any questions you might have.

Does it cost anything?

The service is completely free of charge, and is fully funded by the Department of Education and Science.

What might happen?

There is a good success rate in finding family members. The team is available to offer practical and emotional support and to facilitate contact with family members we might find.

In some cases, the person being traced may be deceased, or may not wish to have contact. Sometimes, after all known avenues are exhausted, no new information can be found.

Origin's counsellors offer support and advice whatever the outcome.

What do you do next?

If you would like to get in touch with Origins about tracing or looking for information about your family of origin, Please contact us by telephone, email or letter. You will be sent an application and consent form to complete.

Otherwise, please download the application and consent form and send it to [email protected].

There is a short waiting list, cases are prioritised by age or other special circumstances, for example, health issues.

Contacting Origins


A: Barnardos, 23-24 Lwr. Buckingham St, Dublin 1.

T: 01 813 4100 (for residents abroad, please call +353 1 813 4100)

F: 01 856 1851
E: [email protected]


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