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such cases. Success is achieved in the proportion in which socially minded persons are found as leaders in official and community life.
A program of publicity is needed to bring the work to the attention of men's and women's clubs, church, school, and community organizations, and to secure their indorsement and support; reports, general articles, and editorials should be published in the local press. Obstructionists are found at times in certain county commissioners, judges, or county attorneys, who fear that such boards will interfere with their prestige and prerogatives, or whose egotism seeks to express itself in a desire to name the appointive members of the board. When a county has requested the appointment of a child welfare board, it is the delicate task of the representative of the children's bureau to visit the county and interview persons of judgment and discretion who may serve as members. The boards are almost equally divided as to sex, as the county-commissioner member thus far has always been a man.
Largely, the members of these boards are nobly striving to carry out the duties required of them by law, handicapped as the most of them are by the pressure of their private vocations and by general lack of training. In some instances, due to the want of personality, the ex-officio members are not as cooperative as the appointive members of the board; considering that politics at times produces strange results, it is not to be wondered at if occasionally a county superintendent of schools feels that the work of the child welfare board was improperly imposed on his office without added compensation, or that the county commissioner may feel that his special mission as a member of the board is to guard the treasury of the county. However, we may say that some of the very best members of our boards come from the ex-officio members.
The Minnesota plan of county organization centers around the child welfare board. Though executive powers are conferred on the individual members of the board, the board is intended primarily to act as an administrative and supervisory board for executive agents. While there may be some difficulty in securing the appointment of a child welfare board, the second step, that of securing an appropriation by the county commissioners of public funds for the support of necessary paid workers, is still more difficult. Minnesota now has twenty counties that have paid executives, of which several were initiated by the American Red Cross. Ten of these are now paid for full time services by the county, two by the Red Cross, one by the county and Red Cross, and several are paid by the county for part time only. The number of counties now employing paid executives for their child welfare boards is the high-water mark, although we have been passing through a period of depression and retrenchment in the expenditure of public funds following the impetus given human values by the Red Cross and other organizations as a result of the war. Also, several counties are now favorably considering small budgets for the expenses of the county child welfare boards and, here and there, inquiries are made for part-time workers.
In this connection it is important to emphasize that the development of the county program is done by education and more education. The amount of work that should be done, the need for a good trained worker, the abolition of the antiquated idea that any goodhearted person who is not qualified to do anything in particular may do social work, the recognition that an appropriate salary is needed to retain persons qualified by inheritance, education, training, and experience to work successfully in one of the most difficult fields of life, are facts that must be borne home and pressed down in the mind of Mr. Average Citizen. As noted before in this paper, such education can and must be carried on by timely and well-arranged presentations of the work to all of the various groups of educational, civic, and social organizations of a community or district, and by following up the matter by full reports and articles in the press. Stereotyped matter is of little value. Advantage must be taken of the "moment of interest" created by some gathering in which people are interested. In one county a program was followed throughout three years of presenting the work of the Minnesota child welfare program to the Federated Women's Clubs, Women's Christian Temperance Union meetings, parentteacher associations, teachers' institutes, school officials, and Red Cross annual gatherings in all of their local and county meetings. Such meetings are usually made up of the leaders of the community interested in humanity. For this reason the annual gathering of the school officers of one hundred school districts of the county afforded one of the most favorable opportunities to outline the program, as both men and women chosen by each community as representatives to promote educational interest must have human welfare at heart.
Through the field representatives of the children's bureau, the board of control maintains contact and exercises supervision over county child welfare boards. After the child welfare board is appointed the representative arranges to meet with the board in order to give suggestions as to details of organizations, record-keeping, and manner of carrying on the work. Forms for investigations and reports are distributed and explained. A few elementary principles of case work and the necessity for secrecy as to records are stressed. The responsibility of the child welfare board as a part of the state program is emphasized. The objective of the field representative is to establish in each county a well-organized board holding regular monthly meetings and keeping permanent records in a business-like manner. An endeavor is made to have the board do business as a board, and not as individuals, although a single member or committee may be assigned to perform certain tasks. Where a trained executive agent is employed, the work of the field representative is lightened and simplified. Case work is developed in a measure by the continued followup by the field representative on the cases of the county. This is accomplished by her personal contact with the board in her monthly visits and also by correspondence from the state office. The correspondence of the office relates to requests sent out from the children's bureau, usually accompanied by forms and sug
gestions, asking for investigation of the case of an unmarried mother, the placement of a child in a home, or a report on a boarding home or an alleged maternity hospital. If the return by the child welfare board is imperfect, the matter is again sent out with instructions for additional information. While these methods are probably not to be commended for their efficiency, yet under the circumstances they do tend to harmonize the policies and preserve the standards of the state board of control in the various counties. Also, socially minded and thoughtful members of the boards gradually acquire knowledge as to elementary principles in case work.
The state has recognized the need of education of the officials charged with the enforcement of law for the protection of children by providing that the board of control may at such times as it deems advisable call an annual conference of such officials. Also, the law provides that the expense of the probate judges and of one member of each child welfare board attending these conferences shall be paid by their respective counties. Therefore the board of control has arranged that at each annual session of the state conference of social work special provisions are made for the discussion by county groups of methods and policies. In addition to the state conference, in 1921 a series of regional conferences was organized wherein groups of three to seven counties met at convenient centers for discussion of policies and exchange of experiences. Sixteen such conferences practically covered all the counties of the state, and in 1924 a second series was begun wherein ten such conferences have been held. These conferences have proved to be of much value and have aided greatly in molding public opinion and developing standards of social work in the child welfare boards.
The stability and efficiency of the county work depends also on the extension of the work to persons outside of the child welfare board itself. There should be an effort to secure voluntary workers to whom the executive agent of the child welfare board can turn, who can act as the big brother or big sister to some maladjusted child. Men's clubs, as the Kiwanis, Lion, and Rotary, women's clubs, fraternal organizations, and committees from social groups or classes of churches and Sunday schools, school teachers, should be enlisted in the general program. Only wisely directed action develops strength and power, and the field of the voluntary worker should be cultivated if we would develop our county resources.
THE RELATION OF PROBATION TO OTHER COUNTY
Mrs. Katherine Gibson, State Supervisor of Juvenile Courts, Little Rock
The program maker was generous in her instructions to me when she stated that I was expected to stretch my subject sufficiently to make it cover the particular field of work which I represent. Being a woman, this latitude pleases me, and later I shall use it.
I have found myself wishing that my subject were the relation of the juvenile court to other county social work, for if juvenile court workers are permitted to dream and idealize despite the harrowing human situations with which they daily cope, my own hope is that in time we shall come to the place where detention and court procedure and probation will be forced into the background, and the seeking out and saving or segregating of the seemingly doomed little child will become the chief problem of every juvenile court. Surely this was the ultimate expectation of those persons who waged legislative attacks in behalf of our underprivileged and erring children. Conceding, then, that this was their hope, we shall have to acknowledge that they have reason to be deeply disappointed in the manner with which the members of the judiciary of our several states have met the expectations embodied in the statutes.
We are prone to congratulate ourselves upon our rapid progression from the old methods to the new in handling our wayward children. Much of this pride is justifiable; but I wonder if future generations, looking back upon us, will not consider us as lacking in vision and abounding in stupidity, because of the hundreds of thousands of children whom we annually permit to become court and institutional cases? I hope that my attitude suggests neither pessimism nor criticism. I do not so intend it, for I am certain that each one of us looks forward to the time when fewer and fewer of our children shall come under the jurisdiction of the court or any of its adjuncts, except in a preventive and protective way.
The relation of prevention and of probation to other county social work is one thing in the urban district and quite another thing in the rural one. And inasmuch as rural social work resembles Mark Twain's weather, in that a great deal is said about it and almost nothing done about it, I think I shall confine my discussion to a consideration of rural problems.
Someone has said that social workers can give only half their time to their work, devoting the remainder of it to "getting along" with other social workers. If this be true, the rural probation officer frequently furnishes an exception to the rule, for she often represents the only organized social work in the entire county. But even where this is the case there are certain contacts which must be satisfactorily established if any measure of success is to be attained.
I do not wish at this time to consider cases, which lead us directly into the home, but rather the whole preventive problem of juvenile neglect, dependency, and delinquency. With this thought in mind, I think we may safely say that the first cooperative relationship which the county juvenile court should seek is that of the administration of the public school system. The prime purpose of this relationship should be not for aid in carrying out probation methods, but for the discovery of those children over whom a cloud of social disaster seems imminent.
The school has one decided advantage over the home in locating the handicapped child. Many times the eyes of the home are blinded by an amazing
lack of recognition of the child's deficiencies. This blindness may be the result of a mixture of ignorance, hope, and love. Occasionally it appears to be a direct refusal to acknowledge what the specialist considers a very evident weakness. To illustrate my point: All my life I have been told that a favorite sister of mine has a slight deficiency in her enunciation—a sort of a lisp. But I have never been able to discover it. Parents frequently find themselves in the same position in regard to the mental, moral, and even physical defects of their children. But the teacher, with keen and impartial eyes, should readily detect those traits and conditions which indicate social malady. If perchance the school is manned by teachers who have a nice mixture of wisdom and love added to their discerning powers, the school at once becomes a powerful factor in the process of prevention and probation.
A lack of understanding should be recognized by both educational and social forces as a serious handicap. History itself has proved their interdependence. Yet we seem far from a proper conception of the value of the one to the other. Frequently the educational people feel that the social worker is an intruder (if they are kind enough to refrain from using the word "busybody"), and the social worker in turn is all but overcome by what she terms the stupidity of the teacher; or her indictment may include the whole process of education. Doubtless there is something of truth in both criticisms; but I believe that every social worker recognizes the school as the greatest public institution for the making of citizens, and that we should consecrate ourselves to the task of serving as a complementary agency so that the system may in time be able to meet individual, rather than mass, needs.
If at times we become discouraged (I, myself, plead guilty) because the school will not understand us, because they will not employ teachers who have a practical idea of the whole scope of education, let us stimulate ourselves with the hope that through our constant and occasionally successful efforts we may help to bring about a better understanding and application of those methods which will actually achieve the real purpose of all education, i.e., to produce citizens who have the knowledge and ability to solve, with skill and courage, their own particular problems of human existence in such a way that the pattern of the whole will at once be made stronger and more beautiful.
A satisfactory relationship between the church and the juvenile court, or any form of social work, is more difficult to bring about than that of the school. The school has been forced, as it were, to reckon with ever changing social and economic conditions. It was inevitable that the pinched-faced little boy with the tight, threadbare jacket, as he sat day after day shivering and hungry and failing in his studies, should in time plead his own case. Only a cruel heart or blinded eyes could have resisted his appeal, or that of the mentally deficient child who, try hard as he might, could not be interested in the three R's, but could create more disturbance than all the rest of the children put together. Some effort in behalf of these children had to be made in order that the ma