Portraits of new arrivals were used as a marker of a child's progress in the Society. Case studies of some children appeared in the newsletter 'Our Waifs and Strays' describing how they had been transformed from a 'potential street loafer' into a productive member of society. These studies were often illustrated with 'before and after' photographs, contrasting their ragged past with their new-found respectability.
Poor children would arrive into homes with all their worldly possessions, which usually amounted to very little. One little girl at the Rose Cottage Home in Dickleburgh arrived clutching only 'a chestnut and a penny'.