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and conquer the problems of our individual organizations without recognizing, accepting, and incorporating into those organizations the unmeasured strength of spiritual values. Nor can we leave them out when we attempt to interpret the high purpose of social work to the communities in which we serve. To set forth any form of social endeavor clearly and simply, making truth stand out so nakedly that all doubt as to its need is dispelled, requires consecration and fearless leadership.
Therefore, as one connected with a private agency desirous of making child welfare a living thing in the community, I would suggest:
First, a determination to find the correlation that should exist in any given community between private and public agencies. The private agency being willing to be the trail blazer using its resources as a laboratory in which experiments may be tried out to failure or success, and, if the latter is the resultant, turned over to the public agency to be assumed as part of its job, the burden of experimentation, however, not having been an additional tax ot public funds. Is it fair to say in general that the public agencies' job is to keep the community giving to its children the things which have been approved as good, and to restrain the community from giving to its children what has been proven bad? The private agency's job goes farther, it is it which must keep the community continually hungering and thirsting after the newer things.
Second, the importance of a staff of high caliber, well educated, well trained men and women, who realize that "in vain we build the world unless the builder also grows." Especially must the case worker accept the challenge consciously and planfully to interpret child welfare to her community through the direct medium of the foster mother and the neighborhood forces. It is the building which she builds that the community really sees. Heretofore we have been content to have her artisan only; hereafter we also should emphasize her responsibility as hostess. This is fundamental to a plan of exposition to the community. The point for us to emphasize for purposes of interpretation is that the best way to teach is to do. The most vivid media is the actual use of case work, case by case. It is a well-known fact that the most prolific source of foster home applications comes through friends of successful foster mothers who, seeing their good works, become enamored of this concrete demonstration of child welfare and go about singing its praises and seeking to do likewise. More and more the country over we are placing emphasis on the teaching responsibility of the case worker for her own enthusiastic development, as well as for social work; and more and more we are learning that the greatest textbook for preaching and teaching child welfare, as for other subjects, is the laboratory.
Third, the importance of small joint committees of staff workers and laymen, thus stimulating a simple, frank discussion of the meaning of social work and its relation to their own local community. Here is the real bed-rock use of the case committee. It is the community normal school for child welfare.
Fourth, the distinct advantage of the loan by a private agency of one of its
highly specialized workers to some of our non-socially staffed public agenciesthe court, the schools, the commission-thus holding before the community a visible demonstration of the preventive value of intelligent social work. In a certain Connecticut city the private agency loaned a skilled, magnetic worker -may her tribe increase to a staid New England court. Day by day she showed how good case work for children solved many of the court's adoption problems. A whole county was convicted of its child welfare needs by this loan method.
Fifth, the wisdom of developing a board of officers-directors, committeemen-representative of the community at large, not for their financial or social status alone, but because of their broadminded interest in human beings, their tolerance of new ideas, their willingness to drown personalities in the working out of high ideals into practices and laws safeguarding the lives of little children.
Sixth, a continual voicing to the public of the need of education-by executives, by staff, by officers-education of a preventive nature, teaching the higher standards of morals, of health, in the training of children. Much of this can be done through the issuing of annual reports, through letters and pamphlets so designed and compiled as to command perusal, and above all through understanding, consistent use of the daily newspaper, and through those larger broadcasting organs, the churches and the public schools. I cannot say enough of the yet untouched powers within the churches and the public schools. However, our publicity must be built of such human material and told in such simple, forceful, untechnical language that it will be understood by the mass of people without whose aid all the social workers in the country are unavailing. Elihu Root, with no attempt to exaggerate, described the sometimes seeming futility of our "wordy" campaigns in comparing its results to the well-known waste in burning coal for fuel:
The power of coal saved in our locomotives is a little less than 5 per cent and the loss 95 per cent, and if there is that loss in the power of coal in the transportation, you may multiply it by one hundred in order to obtain an idea of the loss of all the vast multitude of words that are poured out upon the people of America day by day and night by night in the newspapers and magazines and books and lectures and classrooms and public meetings-words upon words in fogs, and there is not one-tenth of one one-hundredth of one per cent of them which makes a lodgment and amounts to anything in the minds of men to whom they are addressed.
Only the people read things who do not need to read them. The people who ought to be affected by the speech are bored by it. We keep saying over and over again to each other the things that we agree on, but we never get at the people who don't agree with us. The mobilization of the tools of effective publicity and education demands a publicity program definitely focused from objective to objective, just as we have a plan for our individual children. Right here I might state that one of the acid tests of good publicity, from the standpoint of the private case working agency, is-Do we, in our attempt to educate our communities, exploit our children? One of the children of the Connecticut
Children's Aid Society is a case in point. John was already a problem boy. His story and picture were featured in our publication. The booklet was awarded a prominent place in our doctor's waiting-room. John read about the John who was baffling the Children's Aid Society. John had to be sent to the New England Home for Little Wanderers, his already acute behavior problem became a conscious adventure to him-his riddle is still unsolved to us-unwittingly we exploited him; it was wonderful publicity for some remote sister agency; it was ethically unsound for us. The moral is plain. And this means that the publicity specialist is an integral, vital factor of every complete staff, a person equipped with the technique for interpreting children's work ideals to the community which connotes understanding of and sympathy for not only the general ends of child welfare, but the immediate and more intimate purposes as well. A publicity person so equipped with social work background harmonizes the various elements in the agency and dissolves the conflict between publicity needs and case work standards. It has been a great advance to sell the general idea of child welfare in terms of budgets and finances-it will be a greater forward move to direct, through this publicity specialist, like energy into the interpreting to the community of our standards, ideals, and policies-a real social educational campaign. Most of us, however, will have to enter this program with the dual purpose of money raising and education—but with a hope, ever and ever, of making the educational by-product some day the chief article of merchandise.
Seventh, for the private organization, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of interpreting child welfare and its ramifications through dramatization. The institution folks, pioneering the way for all other forms of child welfare, used the show-case method to great advantage. The suggestion of child welfare to the average American brings to mind a picture, and that picture is a tidy, well-kept orphanage with neat, well-fed, and well-groomed children playing and working within. Up until now this image is indelibly fixed upon our national retina. It is a wonderful testimony to the grippingness of the visual picture method. We are an objective-minded people. We learn by seeing.
Recently a conference made up of a mixed group of laymen and professionals met in the study home of the New England Home for Little Wanderers. The meetings were gone through, so to speak, right in the midst of the children under study at the home. Deducting for any possible exploitation, much constructive work was interpreted to several communities. Many methods of picturization will suggest themselves: (a) cinema; (b) drama; (c) a Parnassus on wheels, similar to the traveling health clinics and partaking of their message; (d) an adaptation of that inspiring program-the American Child Health's personification of health characters-Cho Cho, the Clown, and the rest-who are now as much household characters as the calico cat and the gingerbread dog; (e) the silhouettes, "Building Happy Childhood," "The Child is the Future," etc., are a beginning, but why not picturize some of the common ideals— mothers aid; the normal home; kinship ties—which have gained acceptance
among us? The right development and use of such plants as this and that of the New Haven Orphan Asylum is pregnant of much that may be helpful in this program of interpretation. These institutions with modern plans and plants are great theaters for child welfare interpretation. The play which is being put on is attracting a large audience today. The foster home is the little theater of the child placing agencies. The drama enacted here is yet another means of exposition to the neighborhood public. We have used it a little; we are planning to use it more.
Eighth, I believe that the advent of the community chest in Hartford, representing exemption from raising funds in the chest area, crystallized for the first time the opportunity to sever publicity and education from finance. The removal of the practical necessity of getting moneys, with its attendant demand of time and energy, has meant the releasing of the same amount of time and effort for constructive education. Here is, indeed, a rare opportunity for the launching of ideals, and I believe these ideals are being made so healthy and stimulating that there is no occasion for apathy on the part of the board, staff, or former contributors who through the chest movement have been relieved from but one phase of the organization's plan. There has been a current of thought running through our conferences for the last few years, telling us with authority from many angles that a better-informed public opinion has naturally followed in the wake of community giving. Almost beyond doubt this is true in Hartford, where there has been the proper set-up between the chest and that balance wheel and interpreter, the council. Where the chest is not true to this socialwork Pole Star, the demand is plain: Social worker, make it so.
Ninth, as I have suggested fearless leadership as necessary to the interpretation of child welfare to a community, may I say that the acceptance of fearless criticism from the community is just as essential to the upbuilding of the common good. Nothing can serve us more effectually than the alert criticism of people whose vision we may have helped make clear. Than this there is no surer antidote for a certain smugness among us social workers. Professor Gilbert Murray has said: "Progress comes by contradiction. Eddies and tossing spray add to the beauty of every stream and keep the water from stagnancy."
Finally, looking back over the still short distance the child welfare movement has traveled, we must be aware that we have understood it and interpreted it to but a small devoted minority of the people of any community, and as a result the principles of child welfare have been operative in a limited group of dependent, neglected, and defective children only. When the modern methods of child care, undivorced from spiritual values, are interpreted to the whole community, there will come a real revolution in child life, and it will be a significant truth that from the ranks of the socially disadvantaged child there came the Savior of American childhood. Statistics will grow old, statements will cease to be applicable, laws will fail, but the power to conceive and express truth will never die.
THE INTERPRETATION TO THE COMMUNITY
Virginia B. Handley, Director, State Child Welfare Depart-
About twenty or twenty-five years ago the magazine Life took up the motto of our state, "Alabama Here We Rest," adding, "Everything rest but her children." Happily, Alabama does not mean "here we rest," but "vegetationgatherers," or "thicket-clearers." At this dark period of our history there arose in Montgomery, Alabama, a thicket-clearer with a vision, Dr. Edgar Gardner Murphy, an Episcopal rector, who gathered about him a small group of socially minded men and women who had the exploitation of children, that was so rampant at that time, very much on their hearts. At this time the first child labor committee in America, known as the Alabama Child Labor Committee, was formed, which throughout the years has been one of the greatest social forces of our state. A law was passed that year prohibiting the labor of children up to eighteen years, but, with no facilities for enforcing this law, it was more or less a scrap of paper. However, forging ahead through the years, and through public agitation and education of the textile men themselves, in 1915 an excellent child labor bill was passed. Following the legislature of 1923, Alabama stands as one of thirteen states where the child labor law more than meets the federal requirements embraced in the two measures that have been declared unconstitutional. The report of our child labor inspector shows that, during the year 1924, out of one hundred cotton mills in the state only thirty-seven violations of the child labor law were discovered and corrected.
Step by step the thicket-clearers have forged ahead. Realizing that legislation for children in industry was only a small beginning toward helping the thousands of children in the state for whom nothing was being done, they interested themselves in finding out more definitely what the real conditions among the children of the state were. The only provision for dependent children up to this time was in child caring institutions. Hundreds of children were in these institutions who should not be there, as there were no home finding nor child placing agencies. So, in 1916, this group, which had added to themselves the men's and women's organizations, the interest of the churches and the schools, formed the Alabama Children's Home Society, which sowed the seed that developed later into the Alabama Children's Aid Society. This genuinely fine organization, with Mr. Ralph Barrow as its first superintendent, did excellent work and for four years functioned as a private agency supported by the generosity of the people, and through sound publicity interpreted itself solidly into the minds and hearts of the public.
There still were many gaps in the field, and a coordinated program for social betterment in the state was absolutely necessary, so the National Child Labor Committee, under the auspices of our state university, was asked to come to the