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remain alive. The very fact that the father is often in position to provide financial resources has kept communities from developing their own facilities to meet this need in an adequate way. Children from widowers' families become social problems in large numbers. Again, institutions and boarding homes must come forward to meet this need in most instances. Where the boarding home is available, the father should have free access to the child at reasonable times, but both he and the foster mother should have their financial relations entirely with the organization under whose supervision the child has been placed. No system of direct contact between parent and foster home for working out their financial plans is, in the long run, adequate. The foster home must have money assured and the organization must command the wholehearted cooperation of the foster home in developing team-work plans.
Then there is the group of children whose parents have neglected them and who, either temporarily or permanently, must be separated under court order from either one or both parents. In some of the states, after the separation has become long enough to justify considering it permanent, these children may also be given for adoption. The tendency, however, exists in many states, and is becoming increasingly marked, to keep the door open for rehabilitation longer and longer, and therefore adoption is not as full a resource in such cases as it used to be, and will probably become a slighter resource in the future than it is even now. These children have in many instances suffered serious deprivations; they are apt to be below par physically; their education has been neglected; they are mentally retarded or below normal. The free home is not as large a resource as it used to be. As a matter of fact, the free home is likely to neglect or exploit such children in such a large number of instances that the institution or the boarding home is more likely to give these children the care they need.
This brings us to the large group of children who deviate in small or considerable measure from a normal development, either physically or intellectually or in their habit development. Many of these children have been placed out in an experimental way, either by the institution or by a placing agency, but they have not proved successful either in a home for adoption or in a free home without adoption. The so-called "unplaceable" fall in this group. The situation in the Middle West, from Illinois to Colorado, inclusive, is interesting in this particular. Their schools for dependent children are full of these children. The habit and guidance clinics have helped us to see this problem more clearly. A special type of service is needed for these children. Fewer of them now go out in an experimental way into adoption or free homes than formerly, for they have special needs requiring special attention. Courts formerly committed all such children that did not meet the conditions of probation satisfactorily in their own homes to industrial schools, but these have been found in many instances to be trouble-makers in such groups; they have become the grit in the machine. Here too we learn that special kinds of service are needed for them, and in in
creasing numbers the boarding home has been turned to for the care of the delinquent child whose home is not able to grapple with the problem.
No single city or state, as far as we have been able to learn, has all the facilities that are necessary to meet the various needs that we have indicated. But with the present development of the theory and art in child care we believe that every community should equip itself with an agency for social inquiry into every application for social service to a child. This equipment need not always be organized in the same way, but in general it should preferably be a separate children's organization with a trained staff rather than a family welfare society under the constant direction of a supervisor trained in children's work. This agency should be equipped to make its own inquiries, accepting always the inquiries of other agencies as far as they have covered the ground. Every community requires clinical service, first of all medical, secondarily psychological, to supplement the social agency in its work. This clinical service can also advantageously serve the court and perhaps the school department. It will often find case problems that cannot be adjusted properly in their own homes, and thus the children's agency becomes the adjunct of the clinic, just as the clinic often is the adjunct of the agency. No children's program is complete that does not provide institutional, boarding, free, and adoption homes, as the need arises. A community that is well equipped with these various resources will less and less need large institutional facilities.
Where family placement is well developed and where a supply of boarding homes on a social service basis is available to meet the needs of the physical, intellectual, and emotional problems, the institution will render its most important service for temporary scientific care and for special education and training. But unless the community is willing to devote its resources to the building up of a carefully selected and supervised staff for home placement, the latter involves substantial risks. Much child placement work has not sufficiently safeguarded the children placed by them. Where it is well done in a flexible program it comes nearer meeting all the needs in child care than any other single form of service.
In many communities the child placing work is either too new, too undeveloped, or not sufficiently safeguarded to justify making it the main resource. Besides providing temporary shelter care and diagnostic service in such communities for years to come, the institution has an important place in the program. It should, however, if it is true to the scientific study of the needs of the child, develop its own careful intake work and its own placement and careful follow up. And in the care of its children it should honestly approximate a family group in size, and not have more than fifteen in any cottage.
The scientific progress that has been made in child study has helped us to individualize our children. That seems to me to be the key to the development of the near future. To build on such a recognition of the child's needs requires
trained service, whether it be in institution or child placing agency. It means that intake service cannot be thought of as an incidental duty of the superintendents or of a board member, nor can placement work any longer be justified when it is but one of the tasks of a district superintendent or an employee. We have now better facilities than ever to learn the facts in the case and the child's needs. Are we willing to face an honest solution?
AGENCIES FOR DETERMINING WHETHER CARE OUTSIDE
Rev. John Doherty, Director of Catholic Charities, St. Paul
The more experience we have in caring for children outside of their own homes, the greater is our precaution in determining whether foster home care or institutional care is necessary. We are beginning to realize more and more how difficult it is to provide the child with a proper substitute for his own home regardless of how poor that home might be. The slogan today in children's work is "Back to the Home." This is so, not because social agencies have discovered something new in their search for an environment that will best satisfy the needs of the child, but because they have arrived at a better understanding and appreciation of the merits of the oldest institution of society, an institution established by God himself for the care of the child, and that is the child's own home.
When a request, therefore, comes to an institution or a child caring agency for the removal of a child from his own home, a very careful investigation should be made to determine why the child should not remain where he is, and if he is to be removed, whether or not the new home will adequately supply his needs. The agency accepting him should know all there is to be known about him, so that upon the basis of this knowledge he might be adjusted properly in his new environment.
The findings of a survey made in 1922 of eight child caring institutions in a city of the Middle West show that these institutions did not make, nor did they have the means of making, a proper selection of the children admitted. Out of 200 cases studied, 165 lacked sufficient social history to warrant the separation of the child from his parent or parents. In 34 cases there was a possibility of keeping the child with his mother by assisting the mother to secure county allowance. There were 156 cases in which the names of relatives and other genealogical facts were missing, the lack of which precluded the possibility of establishing the proper relationship between the child and the members of his family. In some instances no address of parents was given. The survey studies disclosed that in 22 cases there was a health condition in the child's family which
would indicate that the child needed special attention, yet there was nothing in the records of the institution to show this. Other agencies in thirteen instances had discovered symptoms in the children that were not on record at the institution. Likewise, signs of feeblemindedness and insanity evident in the family history were not on record. There was nothing in the institution records to show that in seven cases the children were non-residents and should have been the charge of other communities. On account of lack of information regarding the social and financial standing of the child's family the institutions were not able to determine accurately the amount of money to be paid for the child's care. This information was lacking in 150 cases out of the 200 studied. For example, an uncle who was guardian of two boys paid nothing for their support, although he was vice president of a flourishing construction company. One father who was earning $182 a month had three children in one institution and was paying $9.00 a month for their care. In another institution a mother was paying $20 a month for one child and supporting herself and another child on a salary of $80 per month.
Need of investigating agency.-From the facts disclosed in this survey it is quite evident that a more careful investigation should have been made before these children were removed from their own homes. What should be the procedure, then, in such cases? If, instead of accepting children solely upon the recommendations of parents and relatives, the agencies concerned will consult the confidential exchange it will be found that many of the families from which these children come are already known to other organizations, which organizations, if consulted, will be able to give helpful information regarding the child in question. Some of these organizations may be already following a welldefined plan in the care of the child and his family. If the child is suddenly removed without consulting such an organization, needless to say this plan. will in many cases be entirely upset.
After a careful check-up with all other organizations interested, the agency should endeavor to obtain any other necessary information that might be lacking. If there are no other organizations interested a careful study should be made of the child himself, his family, and his environment. He should be given, first of all, a routine physical examination, and if he presents a mental problem he should be given the usual tests applied in all such cases. His school record should be investigated and particular note should be made of his behavior in the home and the community and the effects that these environmental influences have had upon him.
If the study of the family discloses economic conditions as a reason for the child's removal, every effort should be made to set right these conditions by supplementing with relief from a family agency, mothers' allowance, insurance, workmen's compensation, etc. In cases of neglect, desertion, and non-support, assistance might be obtained through the courts to compel delinquent parents to support their children. If the family history shows evidences of feebleminded
ness or insanity, the child should be given a mental examination and the findings of tests made by a psychologist and a psychiatrist should be used as a basis for determining whether he needs institutional or private home care.
When this kind of investigation is made for each child seeking admission to an institution or a foster home, it will be found that many of them can be readjusted in their own homes; and for those who must be placed out there is at least some assurance that they can be placed in homes that will satisfy their needs.
Kind of investigating agency.—Should every child caring agency or institution be required to make its own investigation? The general opinion seems to be that it should not. It would be deemed unwise from an economic standpoint, for it would be necessary for each institution to employ on its staff one or more workers of sufficient skill and training to make such an investigation. Most institutions would be handicapped in securing the proper staff for this work because of the lack of funds.
Secondly, it would be inadvisable because those engaged exclusively in J children's work invariably view the cause necessitating the child's removal
purely from the child's angle of the problem, and are apt to overlook the bigger family problem and the possibility of solving it in order that the child might remain in his own home.
The method followed by most child caring institutions and agencies is one which permits a family case working agency to make all investigations of applications for placement. This method seems preferable, for family agencies have the more perfect machinery for doing the work. Their highest aim is that of preserving the integrity of the family and they are usually in close touch with all other social agencies whose cooperation may be helpful in doing this. For this reason child caring institutions feel safe in acting upon the recommenda→ tions of a family case working agency, for it is only after family case work has been thoroughly but unsuccessfully pursued that the family agency recommends the removal of children from the family.1
Cooperation. There should be, however, a very close cooperation between the family agency and the child placing agency, for after it has been determined exactly what was lacking in the child's own home, the next step is to decide how this need will be met in the child's new home. A complete history, therefore, should be submitted by the family agency with each child who is in need of foster home care and the selection of the new home should be made upon the basis of this information. The child placing agency will no doubt have to refer frequently to the family agency for advice as it proceeds in the selection of the proper home for the child. The family history may be complete in every detail but there are always points that need further explanation when the occasion arises, until finally both organizations are satisfied that the child is properly adjusted.
If there is hope that the child's own home can be rehabilitated, there is