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callously sins against its own moral and physical welfare," says Dr. Healy. It is our task to see to it that this child has, as far as is humanly possible, every opportunity that we try to obtain for every child born in legal marriage. The first step in thus equalizing opportunity is to create such a public opinion that the child shall no longer be punished for acts committed by its parents. Concretely, we should drop the term the illegitimate child as we have dropped the terms the worthy and unworthy poor, or as the term bastard has been dropped from the Minnesota law. We should think of this child as a dependent child, needing our careful study and thought to give him understanding, love and opportunities for same, normal home life or its approximation. If the above described standards of parenthood can be reached or even approximated, and if both parents wish it, there seems no doubt but that the marriage of our child's parents is the ideal solution.
// Normal Standards Cannot be Attained
If these standards can not be reached, however,—if such marriage can not be on a sound basis of love and mutual respect, it seems cleai that the marriage of the parents should never be urged or even encouraged. Given this decision, we must try to build up just as much of a family life as we can, keeping the child with either the mother or father, according to which one can more adequately attain our standards. For the first six to ten months it is usually vital to keep the child with the mother, except in the case of a defective mother. In the majority of cases, judged from our present knowledge, it would seem wise to keep the child with the mother after that, or at least to allow her to keep constantly in touch with the child and to have the maximum responsibility for its care and development.
Here we must emphasize the value of arousing in the mother a sense of joy in the developing life of the child and the realization that she may still attain a high standard of parenthood. Those of us who have the privilege of being parents ourselves know only too well the difficulties that arise in adequate child training and the vital role that joy has in arousing in us and in our children mutual understanding and love. What more wonderful sight than to see parent and child absorbed in spontaneous play together! For the father as well as for the mother, such a joyous attitude toward the child can do much in building a sound foundation. But how can such joy be aroused if either parent constantly thinks of the child as a burden, the result of a crime and the cause of continued ostracism? We must minimize the past and emphasize the possibilities of the future. Granted that the parents can not attain the first, or the fifth of our standards, other standards of responsibility and joy still remain open to them and it is our privilege to work with both, to help them to attain the highest standards of parenthood still within their reach.
In order to do this safely, instead of punishment, we must have made a very careful diagnosis of the cases of both parents, whenever it is possible to reach both. We must have a scientific analysis of all the facts in their lives which have led up to their parenthood. As the aim of the juvenile court is that no child should be punished, but studied and understood and helped, so these parents must be studied and understood and helped, their weak points discovered, their potentialities found and their cases so treated that in accordance with their needs and limitations, the essentials of normal living will be supplied to them. Above all, in this group as in every other, we must apply that vital principle of social case work, individualization of treatment. In applying any general rules that may be laid down, this principle of individualization must be kept constantly in mind, for every individual case must be judged on its own merits.
In an article in the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science for May, 1918, certain principles of case work with the illegitimate family have already been discussed by the present writer. In this paper as in that article, it must be stressed that for the sake of the child the mother must be given wider opportunities for normal living than is usually the case at present. We fail so often in our case work with this mother because we turn to the easiest thing, domestic service, and we place her there with her baby regardless of whether she is fitted for this work or whether in such a position she can give adequate care to her child and have opportunities for adequate pay, normal hours of work, companionship, recreation and future development. Certain studies which have been made in the past seem to show that more illegitimate mothers come from domestic service than from any other occupation. Such a conclusion cannot be accepted until further analysis is made and especially until it is known exactly what proportion of women are to be found in domestic service. It is, however, undoubtedly true that domestic service is an occupation in many cases having low standards in all the points mentioned. Whenever an unmarried mother seems especially fitted for domestic service, we should see that if possible she is given further training in domestic science and then placed under standardized conditions. In fact, whenever possible we should consider vocational training for the unmarried mother, that she may more adequately fulfill the responsibilities of parenthood in the future.
Prospective Research; A Tentative Program
The problem of work, other than domestic service, for the unmarried mother does not differ, in the opinion of the writer, from the problem of work for any mother with a young child or children. This problem is one needing careful study, and the Philadelphia Conference on Parenthood, therefore, is gratified to report that at its request, the Bureau of Social Research of Seybert Institute and the Carola Woerrishoefer Department of Social Research of Bryn Mawr College, are to co-operate during the winter of 1918-19, in a study of Mothers in Industry, with an especial emphasis on the effect of industrial life of mothers upon the home.
While waiting for the results of this and other studies, experimentation will have to be carried on in placing children in boarding homes with their mothers, the children being cared for by the boarding mothers, while the child's own mother may work at the occupation pursued before the birth of her child. Pensions for such mothers supplementing support from the fathers of their children, may be tried in some cases. It is possible that the movement of women into industry, due to the war, may make necessary a scientific creche for the care of children, with far higher standards of child care and child training than those of our usual day nurseries at present.
Such a program as that outlined above, does not mean for one moment that we lose sight of the values that are at stake, or that we plan to meet them with mauldin sentimentalism. The poison ivy will remain the poison ivy, no matter how carefully we water it and tend it, and the moral imbecile will remain the moral imbecile, no matter what opportunity is given him or her. Such a scientific understanding of the congenital limitations of human beings is not placing a stigma upon them however, but is understanding the facts—an essential in any sound program of treatment. The treatment of the feebleminded illegitimate mother or father has not been discussed here, however, as they differ in no vital way from other feebleminded individuals, and the problem of their treatment can more properly be handled by those studying the entire problem of feeblemindedness.
Constructive Social Measures
One vital question still remains to be asked before we close our discussion: Can we, by our attitude, do constructive work which will cut down the amount of illegitimacy? A trained public opinion has demanded a higher standard of public health, and it has obtained it. In the same way a trained public opinion can demand a higher standard of social morality, and it will secure it. Just as we have learned that in treating a case of typhoid fever, it is part of our work to go back of the individual patient who is sick, and find the impure water supply, or the infected milk supply that is causing typhoid fever in that community, so we must go back of individual cases of immorality and find the social causes at work in the community producing these social evils. Such work has been done since the outbreak of the war around the cantonments. There are social causes at work within the control of the community which can greatly reduce immorality and illegitimacy. These are known so well to this group that I shall only mention certain of them, dwelling for a moment on one or two whose value seems to the writers underemphasized by even this trained group. The proper diagnosis and care of the feebleminded is a problem that has been considered by this Conference for years. Proper housing facilities are known to have a direct connection with social morality. An adequate wage for both men and women offers opportunities for normal life, which is vital in the prevention of illegitimacy. Vocational education and vocational guidance will in the future be given to every boy and girl, so that he or she will find that place in industry for which they are best fitted and which offers them constantly widening opportunities.
It is in the field of sex and parenthood, that the writer feels this group can especially exert so much influence. First must come an understanding and recognition of the significance of parenthood as a social force. The president of a leading woman's college is said to nave stated that such a per cent of her students had entered teaching, that so many had entered professional life, and so many had done nothing of significance, but had merely married. In another woman's college, when a young mother asked for a course in psychology, so that she might be a better mother to her children, she was told by the head of the department of psychology that he had no interest in anything of that kind. If this is true for mothers, a large majority of whose time is devoted to their children, how much more is it true of fathers? Yet, even so, we all know of the increase of criminality since the war, in part due to the absence of the father's training. If the home is the best place to be found for the training of our children and if the training of our children is one of the most vital things in building up the character of our national life, must we not take parenthood more seriously? To attain such a set of standards as outlined here, or to attain even part of them is no small task. The daily training of the child in character and for social service demands preparation on the part of both father and mother.
This Division has already spent one session in listening to the excellent paper on the neglected child, by Mr. Towne. Can anyone fail to realize how inadequately fitted were the parents of such children (even though legally married) to enter upon the task of parenthood, when the state granted them a marriage license? Can we not begin before this step is taken to educate both our boys and our girls for intelligent, responsible parenthood? Formerly it was believed that boys only should be trained for professional life and girls only should be prepared by their mothers in their homes for parenthood. Adequate education for both sexes today must recognize that neither the industrial life, nor parenthood is the exclusive prerogative of either sex, but that both girls and boys need to be educated thoroughly and intelligently for self-support and for the work of preparing the next generation.
In the opinion of the writer, a changed attitude on the part of thoughtful people on these points would have a vital influence, not only in preventing the social phenomenon of illegitimacy, but in greatly raising the standard of all parenthood.
To this discussion Mrs. Kate Waller Barrett, Alexandria, Va.; A. Medorah Donahue, Baltimore; Rev. A. M. O'Neill, Rochester, and C. C. Carstens of Boston also contributed.
MENTAL AND PHYSICAL DIAGNOSIS OF SCHOOL CHILDREN*
Mrs. Helen T. Woolley, Ph.D., Director, Vocation Bureau, Public
The ideal demand to be made upon school systems, and doubtless the real demand of the future, is that every school system be supplied with sufficient service of the physician and the psychologist to give every child the benefit of a thorough mental and physical examination. No school system at present comes up to this demand in either field, mental or physical.
Physical or medical examinations of school children are far better provided for than mental examinations. Every city school system, and most rural systems, have some provisions for the services of a physician. With the present ideals and attainable equipment it is fair to demand that every school have a medical service which will at least detect and treat, if the parents so desire, gross defects such as tonsils, adenoids, deafness, poor vision, enlarged glands, weak lungs, heart lesions, orthopedic defects of the more evident type, malnutrition and skin diseases. The medical service ought also to be able to diagnose all common infectious diseases, and see that the proper protective measures are adopted. A service that falls behind this standard is unsatisfactory even in the light of present possibilities.
At present only a few of our larger school systems are supplied with well trained psychologists for mental diagnosis. None of the psychological laboratories are sufficiently manned to grant all the requests for examinations which come from the schools. None of them even approach the possibility of making a thorough mental examination of every child. A fair demand at present is that every school be supplied with skilled psychological service, sufficient in amount to allow of the examination of every child who shows marked variations from the normal in any direction. By skilled psychological service is meant a department whose head is a thoroughly trained experimental psychologist and in which the assistants are university graduates with some special training in experimental psychology. A training in Binet tests alone is entirely inadequate.
At present mental tests are more useful in indicating the degree of
*A summary of the report of a sub-committee of the Division on Children, consisting of the following members: Helen T. Woolley, Augusta Bronner, Grace Fernald, Kate Gordon, Major M. E. Haggerty, Mrs. Vinnie C. Hicks, Solomon Lowenstein, D. P. McMillan, E. A. Peterson, Rudolph Pintner, Edward K. Strong, Jr., Jessie Taft, Elsa Ueland, J. E. Wallace Wallin, C. V. Williams.