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need of further cooperation between the two agencies in order that the child might be returned as soon as possible. Even when this is done and the child is returned, the family agency must exercise adequate supervision over the child to see that he might adjust himself properly in his rehabilitated home. It is quite obvious that according to this method of operation the carrying through of each case to a successful finish will depend largely upon the harmony and the smoothness of this cooperation between the two organizations. This raises the question as to the best methods under which this cooperation may exist.
Methods of cooperation. At the present time there is a difference of opinion as to what is the best method to follow. In Cleveland, for example, the children's bureau makes all of the investigations for the admission of children to all of the institutions in the city. In this method there is an economy of effort and operat-L ing expense. There is an economy of effort, for since the bureau has complete control of the intake of all institutions, it has first-hand knowledge of the vacancies in each one. By virtue of this fact it is able to place children directly in those institutions where vacancies exist, rather than to waste time and effort going from one institution to another before a place can be found for the child. This is especially helpful in cases of emergency such as occur in times of sickness, death, and desertion. This plan affords a further advantage in communitywide planning for the care of certain types of cases.
There is economy of operating expense. Because of its centralized plan the bureau can operate with a smaller staff than would be required if the institutions had to make their own investigations. Because of its working relationship with other organizations it can summon practically all of the resources of the community to assist it in making the proper selection of children for placement. For example, the services of a central medical dispensary are available at all times.
It might be said in criticism of this method that on account of the volume of work done it is difficult to meet the immediate needs of each child when he is removed from his own home. This difficulty is met in Cleveland by placing all children needing care in an institution until such time as the proper kind of foster home might be secured or the children might be returned to their own homes. While placement in an institution might afford opportunity for the children to receive medical care, discipline, and general preparation for placement in private homes, yet it is hardly probable that all would need to be confined in the institution for a certain length of time. Some, no doubt, could be placed immediately in private homes, and thus be afforded the advantages of normal home life.
A second method is that followed by the Philadelphia children's bureau and organizations opposed to centralized investigation, who feel that an agency does better work with its cases if it handles them from the very beginning. It is held that this plan is especially desirable in large cities, where it would be practically impossible for a central investigation bureau to give its cases the personal atten
tion they demand. According to this plan each child caring agency should make its own investigations to determine whether or not the child concerned is a fit subject for placement. In this way it is argued that a more direct and personal understanding can be arrived at in each individual case, and because of this first-hand knowledge and understanding there is more assurance that those advantages which were lacking in the child's own home will be supplied in the
The difficulty with this plan is its operating expense. It is generally admitted that economy of dollars in social work is bad business if clients are thereby deprived of the advantages they should have, yet in spite of this fact most social service organizations find themselves handicapped because of this lack of funds, and any scheme which involves a greater outlay of money is to be questioned as to its practicability. This handicap might be overcome by a long process of educating the public regarding the necessity of appropriating more funds for this kind of work, but we in Minnesota who have recently emerged from a long and unsuccessful struggle with our legislature for funds to carry on even a more necessary kind of social work realize how difficult a task this is.
But even if the necessary funds are available there is still a question as to the wisdom of this procedure. If this method is to be followed it will be necessary for the case worker to see her case through to a successful finish, and in order to do this she will have to be thoroughly familiar with the technique of both family work and child placement work. But since social work has reached the stage of specialization in these two fields, it will be difficult, if not impossible, for the same worker to excel in both of them. Hence a division of the two fields seems advisable.
Perhaps it would be better to have the family work and the children's work grouped together under the one organization. This would serve as a compromise between the two methods just outlined and would seem to be a more satisfactory solution of the problem. In this way specialists in each department might function in their own field as parts of the same organization with a better understanding and a closer coordination of effort. This is the method followed today in many Catholic and Jewish centralized bureaus.
In securing material for this paper, questionnaires were sent out to six Catholic and three Jewish central bureaus operating in nine of our large eastern cities. Information was asked regarding the methods used in determining when children should be cared for outside of their own homes, and, if removed from their own homes, the kind of care they should receive. Eight of these questionnaires were returned giving practically the same answers. Each bureau has its family department and child placement department. The family department makes all of the necessary investigation before the child is removed from his own home, and continues to supervise the family from which the child has been removed, with a view toward returning him to his own home at the earliest possible convenience. The child placement department, on the other hand,
makes the selection of the foster home for the child on the basis of the information received from the family department regarding the child's history and background and does all the followup work necessary either to adjust the child permanently in a foster home or to return him to his own home at the proper time. One of the bureaus gave reasons for the division of the work as follows: "This division of the work is based upon the principle that the family agency has the resources, personal and financial, for doing the job, and has as its highest aim that of keeping the family intact. It reserves for itself the right of doing all of the case work toward this end, and except in cases of serious emergency, or where immediate removal of the children is patently indicated, it attempts to work with the family in order to obviate the removal of the children."
All bureaus questioned seemed to feel there is an advantage in having the two departments under the one organization, for when there is question of the removal of a child both departments are so situated that they can work hand in hand for the best interests of the child. There is a better understanding on both sides of what is considered a common problem, and less danger of friction than might otherwise exist if the two agencies were separate organizations. Under this plan there is a further advantage in the easy access which the family agency has to the children's department for assistance not only in cases in which the removal of children is indicated, but also for those of their cases in which highly specialized case work with children in their own homes must be done.
Kind of care. The same facts which help us to determine when a child should be removed from his own home should guide us in the selection of a home that will be most suitable for him. This principle will permit no such arbitrary arrangement as placing those under a certain age in institutions and those above that age in private homes.
By institutional care we no longer mean care only in homes for dependent and neglected children, such as our orphan asylums offer, but care also in hospitals, training schools, and correctional institutions. If the investigation discloses that the child is crippled or is suffering with an infectious or contagious disease, he should be given hospital care. If he is definitely feebleminded he should be cared for in a special institution rather than in an orphan asylum or private home. If he presents a social problem, such as incorrigibility, he should be given a period of training in a correctional institution. And finally, if there is need of immediate removal, or care for a short period of time outside of his own home, he might be placed in an orphan asylum.
If the child's needs can best be met by private home care there are the following types of home to be considered: the boarding home, the free home, and the adoptive home. The boarding home should be used for the child who is eligible for temporary care in a private home. If this home is well chosen it will afford not only the best opportunity for the development of the normal child, but in many instances for the problem child as well. The child, for example,
who presents a behavior problem which is due to the incompetency of his parents should not be deprived of normal family life, but should be placed in a home with foster parents who are able to give him the proper guidance and direction until such time as it might be deemed wise to return him to his own home.
The free home affords practically the same kind of care as the boarding home, with the exception that it is not usually available for the problem child. Both types of home should be supervised carefully by the child caring agency in order that the foster parents might be assisted and directed in caring for their charges. In this way misunderstandings which might necessitate untimely removals will be prevented.
The adoptive home is used when the child is in need of permanent placement outside of his own home. Great care should be used in the selection of this type of home, for here the child is to take root and become a member of the family, hence the necessity not only of a careful selection but of careful followup work for a time to see that the child is properly adjusted.
The question is often asked today, Will this widespread use of the carefully selected private home ultimately obviate the necessity of institutional care for children, such as is afforded in orphan asylums? For the present, at any rate, there seems to be sufficient demand for such institutions to justify their existence. Although children are no longer kept in them for a long period of time, they seem to serve admirably for emergency placements. When there is question, however, of building new institutions, I believe there is more serious consideration given to the respective merits of the two systems, and when the cost of building is compared with the cost of providing children with private home care, the latter is usually considered the better investment.
Conclusion. This paper attempts to show the necessity of family case work on all applications for the admission of children to institutions and private homes, and the need of close cooperation between the family agency and the child caring agency in all such cases. The methods used by two outstanding organizations engaged in children's work have been briefly dealt with and compared with that used in Catholic and Jewish centralized bureaus. If we are agreed that the selection and placement of children must be done by two agencies, each one specializing in its own field, then it necessarily follows that the closest cooperation should exist between the two organizations, otherwise the children involved are apt to suffer.
COUNTY PROGRAMS OF CHILD CARE
At the Baltimore National Conference of Social Work in 1915 Mr. C. C. Carstens presented a report under the title of "A Community Plan in Children's Work." Today, ten years later, this epoch-making report stands as our best guide when considering questions dealt with therein. Mr. Carstens set forth certain principles as fundamental. While these cannot here be quoted, they should be studied in detail by all interested in the subject under consideration.
The report clearly sets forth that a community should provide for destitute, neglected, delinquent, and defective children, should be provided with a staff of social investigators, and a juvenile court with probation service. It further recommends the creation of a state board of children's guardians to supervise or administer aid to mothers; to receive as wards of the state needy children requiring care outside their homes; to board such children or place them in free foster homes, or to provide institutional care according to their needs; to become guardian of all illegitimate children, securing for them support and protection; to license and inspect maternity homes and hospitals, and, when necessary, to maintain a receiving home, or homes, for the temporary care of its wards.
With the state as the unit of administration, it was suggested that local administrative agents should be stationed in various smaller geographical areas, the county, on the whole, being the most practicable unit; that county boards of public welfare be appointed to perform the various duties of a social nature connected with programs of public health, of education, relief to the poor, of child protection, probation, and recreation, and further, that the county board should act within the county as the agent of the state board of children's guardians. The case work function reserved exclusively to the state was the placing of children who had been committed to the guardianship of the state.
Since this memorable paper was written, several states have put into practice the suggestions therein contained, with modifications to meet local situations, traditions, and institutions. Possibly the most significant of these are found in states which have established programs entirely under public control, although there are significant developments in which private agencies have had a part. I desire to consider a few outstanding features of the child caring programs in North Carolina, Minnesota, and Dutchess County, New York, because they present three types of state and county relationship in public child caring administration. By a curious coincidence all three laws were passed in 1917.
Of these, Minnesota follows most closely the form suggested by Mr. Carstens. The State Board of Control, through a Children's Bureau which it has