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become an extension able to cover many fields not accessible to the court whose growth is restricted by more rigid and formal means of acquiring jurisdiction and funds.
But the child-caring agencies cannot go farther than the vision of the court will allow. Any constructive program must of necessity be based on the co-operation of the court, and on the broad interpretation of the laws under which it operates. Court intervention is necessary in many social adjustments which offer to the child the opportunity to free itself from pernicious influences, and destructive forces. The court acting the part of parental guardianship, passing on the plan and activity of the agency, supervising the program devised for the child, and authorizing its removal, adoption, placing or return, is transacting a public obligation in a mixed function, and is at the same time leaving to the outside agencies the work which they are best fitted to handle.
A picture of the local situation in Cincinnati presents a socialized court, well equipped within its own walls with probation officers, psychiatric laboratories, and model detention rooms. The court registers all cases with the Confidential Exchange and has the opportunity to clear with agencies who have had a previous contact with the problem, thus establishing the same policy that obtains in good case work in a large community. The following is an outline of the working program established by the court in co-operation with outside agencies.
Dependency. The court demands from the agencies that the case be presented in such a form that the only action required is a review of the legal and social evidence, and the ratification by the court of the plan and recommendation of the agencies. Instead of throwing down upon the table the tangled skein of social maladjustment many of the strands have been straightened and smoothed and a completed plan evolved before the question is brought before the judge. The court examines the history as presented by the agency, and upon finding that the features of the case warrant it legalizes the transfer of guardianship to the state and commits to the agency or institution recommended. Therefore the petition in dependency is accompanied by a full history of the case. This includes a diagnosis of the physical and mental condition of the child, and brings with it a united recommendation from all agencies interested, together with a written agreement from the individual or agency which is to assume custodial care. All the data collected is accurate, has been verified, is offered in evidence, and is open to the inspection of the opposing side. The rules of evidence are not set aside in such proceedings. The specific conditions which establish dependency or delinquency under the law must be clearly defined. But in addition the court has before it a complete history, and can therefore base judgment not only on the legal content, but also on the social background of the case, and on the psycho-medico make-up of the child.
Divorce. It has been shown that 30 to 40 per cent of all divorce cases have been known to social agencies, and that the same factors that cause dependency appear in the divorce problem. Therefore the agency is frequently called at divorce and the court avails itself of the contents of the social history of the family interesting results of clearing with agencies and regist
Exchange has been the checking up of perjured testin importance in the divorce court.
Mothers' pensions.—Mothers' Pensions are this department is under the direction of a comm
civic, religious, and social bodies, women's clubs, business and labor interests. This eliminates any charge of political preference or interest in the award of pensions. It is the duty of this group to review all applications, and to base recommendations on reports obtained from agencies, the public schools, churches, etc. The committee then brings to the court a recommendation on the question of pension, and the judge passes on the applicant after reviewing the data presented. The pension fund will this year amount to $192,000 in Cincinnati, and is administered on the basis of an investment for the state. Pensions are granted chiefly to those families where the results will justify expenditure of the fund, and where there is a probability for good returns. When the maximum pension is not adequate, the relief agencies frequently supplement the amount, and much special case work on pension families is done by private administrative bodies, who report back to the court at regular intervals.
The delinquent boy.-With the growing knowledge of the psychological and physiological defects existing in those whose conduct is anti-social, the approach to the subject of individual responsibility is from a new angle. The offender, if it be a boy, is transferred by the probation officer to private administrative organizations, running the entire gamut of welfare movements in the community. This insures intensive study and follow-up work on the case, and is moreover a sound economic measure, since it utilizes existing instruments for betterment, and tends to spread the gospel of the juvenile court. It is also a means of awakening the social conscience, and bringing a realization that the problem is one that belongs to the community as a whole, and not alone to those departments delegated to this special work.
The success of these measures in dealing with delinquent boys must be acknowledged, when we see that out of 1,500 cases in 1921, only 139 appeared officially before the judge, and only thirty-five were committed to correctional institutes. This represents a vital piece of human salvage and indicates how few cases are entirely irremediable. The youthful offender brought in contact with constructive social forces under probation has had a better opportunity for reformation than those exposed to the moral infection of punitive institutions.
The delinquent girl.-A recent survey in Cincinnati by the National Mental Hygiene Council covered a study of the unmarried mother, and the figures indicate that nearly half of the entire group was diagnosed as definitely feebleminded. Such cases demand a far-reaching plan for both the mother and the child. All the constructive machinery available is needed, rather than merely a sentence from the court. When the delinquent girl is found to be pregnant she is transferred by the court to outside agencies especially designated to handle cases of illegitimacy, since the first steps are purely medical and cover chiefly prenatal care, confinement, etc. The court does not act, but leaves it to the agency to bring in a complete recommendation. The girl who keeps her child does not return to the supervision of the court to be classed as delinquent. Her problem has assumed a new aspect. She requires supervision, encouragement, and support for an ind iod of time, and this she is best able to receive from private organizations. the court under the probation officers unofficially by a federations of chu division of the cour
is obliged to give up her child she is returned to quency and her case is supervised by the linquency cases among girls are heard Many of the agencies, clubs, and for regular representation in this
The school.-The Public School, which is perhaps the greatest child welfare agency, contributes a direct service to the court in the early recognition of the delinquent or dependent child. Since every child must come in contact with the school, we have here a wonderful opportunity, a great sieve, through which all juvenile material must pass. The Vocational Bureau, which is a Cincinnati public school department, operates on what it states as the principle: "That if all delinquency problems could be wisely solved, most of the adult problems would disappear." The Vocational Bureau studies the difficult child in all its phases, thus insuring early recognition of the feebleminded, the truant, the underfed, or the maladjusted, and refers special problems to the proper agencies for care and supervision. Many children are thus saved from court proceedings, and are absorbed into the community in a happy adjustment of their problems. Cases which in the last analysis require court intervention appear in a completed form, accompanied by a clearly defined plan or program.
Social significance. The foregoing is a general outline of the working policies of the court in its relation to agencies, and the proceedings have an interesting legal and social significance. Needless to say, there are some formalists who are not in full accord with this program, and who still cling to ideas which lie at the root of legal proceedings against the adult.
It is manifestly impossible to approach the juvenile court and carry in mind any remnant of the mental attitude which is held in criminal prosecution of the adult. The proceeding against the adult aims to establish guilt, to mete out punishment and to exclude the offender from society. The underlying motive is largely a primitive one, emanating from the instinct of the mass or the herd to protect itself against individual offender by forming a defensive group against him. This hostile process is attended by many fixed legal rules, which exclude the introduction of any irrelevant testimony, much of which might throw light on the causal factors which have produced the social breakdown.
Such proceedings belong to a period of formalism, and have no relation to the humanistic impulse which actuates the juvenile court of today. The child's problems cannot be solved if he must work through the ponderous machinery which attaches to legal processes in other courts. The juvenile court is not directly concerned with the question of guilt. Its measures are therapeutic, not punitive, and it aims at the absorption into society of the offending member, rather than at his social exclusion. Against the old herd instinct we have a newer and more altruistic impulse, in which all society gets together in an effort at reclamation. Therefore the most significant aspect of the Cincinnati policy is the direct alliance of the court with the social agencies. This is the very essence of the new humanism in which we have a united effort in behalf of the offender, and in which the stronger members of society recognize their responsibility to their weaker brethren.
It is not claimed that these processes have achieved full success. In this great conference of social endeavor we meet not only to encourage and cheer one another along the way, but also to acknowledge in all sincerity and humility the failures of our methods. It is recognized that defeat comes not only from our own limitations, but also from conditions which have been imposed through centuries, and which have for so long a time antedated the precipitation of the client's problem at our doors. Recognizing the uncertainty of adult reformation, we are turning more and more to the intensive care of the child. Most social effort points toward him, and all endeavor indirectly aims at his salvation and protection.
Cincinnati has this year collected $1,700,000 through the Council of Social Agencies and the Community Chest. Through its co-operative relations with the social agencies the juvenile court practically brings to its children the benefits of this fund, and the contributors may feel that their money is yielding from this channel valuable returns, which will affect the quality of their citizens of tomorrow. The intelligent administration of almost $200,000 in the Mothers' Pension Fund, which is under direct social guidance from the court and from the agencies, together with money from the county for free boarding homes, supervised under the best standards of child care and placingall these together form an asset which provides a concrete basis for this work, which is being conducted with true vision and inspiration.
THE PHILADELPHIA PLAN OF A CENTRAL BUREAU OF INQUIRY AND SPECIALIZED CARE
Helen I. McCoy, Supervisor, Children's Bureau, Philadelphia
Every organization has two main functions: one, its responsibility toward the individual client for which it exists; and two, its responsibility for educating the community.
It is my purpose to discuss the organization of the Children's Bureau of Philadelphia merely in relation to its educational function. In February, 1907, the Children's Bureau was organized as a joint investigating and reception agency for the Seybert Institution and the Children's Aid Society, and as many other child-caring agencies and institutions as cared to come into the fold. At that time the children's situation in Philadelphia was chaotic; there was no perspective as to needs and how they might be met by a more clearly defined program. Standards on the whole were quite poor. Families were broken up needlessly because of lack of knowledge of the real situation, and an endless procession of children with a look of "where do we go from here" printed on expectant or tear-stained faces passed in and out and were crowded without any knowledge of their individual needs into any corner that would receive them.
The Bureau aimed in its function to be a sort of sifting center. Its reception case work was performed for the Children's Aid Society and a number of institutions caring for an average of fifty children each. It did not do the social case work for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, so the reason which made support from the Children's Aid Society sound, did not hold so far as the former was concerned. It performed special service for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in regard to institutional commitments as it did for the court, but the plan was obviously unsatisfactory in that as the Bureau did not control the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children's intake it could not know what the treatment of specific children called for. In fact, the original plan that the Bureau should be the filter through which the various agencies and institutions should accept all their commitments was never actually carried out except in the case of Seybert and later on with two or of the smaller institutions. The Children's Aid Society always received number of special cases from Philadelphia County and the larger number of that used the Bureau received children from time to time on their ow and on their own terms.
The Bureau was controlled by a small executive committee made up of board members from the Children's Aid Society and Seybert Institution and later when the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children came in as a supporting member, it sent representatives from its board. The support was divided as follows: Seybert gave five-twelfths, the Children's Aid Society, five-twelfths, the Society for the Prevention or Cruelty to Children two-twelfths. The institutions paid nominal sums (possibly five to ten dollars a year) which by no means paid the Bureau for the work done. We feel on looking back over twelve years that the Bureau has failed in the essential thing it attempted to do because:
First, it divided responsibility for the proper care of children between itself and the institution or agency taking the child. Treatment depends upon good inquiry. If the Bureau as a separate agency did inadequate case work, it could be held responsible for poor treatment which may or may not have been due to its omissions. There always seemed to be difficulty in getting over from the Bureau to these associate agencies the real spirit and atmosphere of the case. The Bureau tried to pass over all it could of the contents of its social inquiry, but because of a limited staff, the volume of work and the ground to be covered, the information was given largely by letter or by summary, which at best is inadequate in that it gives an imperfect impression of the situation as originally recorded. Much of the early reception work that the Bureau did for its member agencies was exceedingly poor. I concede that the same organization with a larger and more competent staff could have done better. In fact, the Bureau failed to measure with any accuracy the volume of work which the plan of a centralized investigating agency, if properly carried out, would entail, so did not provide adequate staff or adequate support. But this is beside the point in a consideration of principles involved.
Second, the Bureau ignored the feeling of separation and autonomy which inevitably grows up not only between boards, but between the staff of the Bureau and of its member organizations. The tendency on the part of the latter was to forget that the Bureau was an integral part of themselves; that they were members of one body and to regard it as an outside organization upon which they could conveniently unload their intake problems. For a long while the Bureau referred back to an agency only those cases which it was willing to accept without question and the institution or society was spared the pressure which comes from having a variety of applications calling for needs which very often cannot be met. It is, however, the daily sense of unfilled needs that prompts to gradual change and adjustment and stimulates growth, since evolution is carried on through the medium of one's own exertions. If a child is to grow he must exercise his own limbs, his own organs, his own faculties. No one can do this for him, and unless he does it himself it will never be done and obviously the same principle can be applied to an organization. Again, the feeling of separation in some instances degenerated, especially on the part of institutions, into helpless criticism. To take a child was regarded as a favor to the Bureau and the demands on the Bureau in return for removals of children, etc., serves as the most striking illustration not only of the aloofness of the institution from its own problem, but its ignorance of the whole situation and of what a rather insistent and imperious demand involved.
Third, it pauperized institutions by offering to do their investigation for little or no money. Probably nothing that the Bureau did had a more serious effect on standards of social case work for children in Philadelphia than the cheap basis on which it