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A bbo tt H . T h a y e r .

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Sm ithsonian In stitu tio n


Publication No. 215

United States Department of Labor
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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Children’s Bureau
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

W. N. DOAK, Secretary





Bureau Publication No. 215


For sa*e by the Superintendent of Documents. Washington. D. C.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Price 10 cents
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

General statement of the problem___________________________________
Nature and extent of juvenile delinquency____________________________
Extent of juvenile delinquency___________ __________________ __
Trend of juvenile delinquency__________ !_______________________
Nature of juvenile delinquency_________________________________
Causes of juvenile delinquency______________
Preventive programs_______________________________________________
Education of public opinion__________________________
Assistance to parents in dealing with early behavior problems______
Social work in the schools________j ________________________
Community influences and leisure-time activities___________
Spirit of the community_________________________________________
The treatment of delinquency.________________________________
The police_____________
The juvenile court__________________________________________
Agencies and institutions caring for delinquent children____________
National, State, and local cooperation in the development of local re­

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis






Juvenile delinquency has become the subject of widespread public
interest. With the rapidly growing concern about crime and law­
lessness in general have come recognition of the fact that crime often
has its beginnings in the delinquencies of children and a desire for
more scientific information on which to base community programs
of prevention and treatment.
The present publication has been prepared by the Children’s
Bureau in response to numerous requests for a nontechnical outline of
what the citizen needs to know about the prevention and treatment of
juvenile delinquency. Designed to replace the briefer outline formerly issued by the bureau in mimeographed form under the title
Community Resources for Dealing with Conduct Problems of
Children, the aim of the present bulletin is to present, in easily
available form, something of the newer philosophy in regard to the
whole problem of delinquency which has grown out of the studies
and findings of the delinquency committee of the White House Con­
ference on Child Health and Protection. Extensive use has been
made of the committee’s report, The Delinquent Child, to which
grateful acknowledgment is given.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


Somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 years ago a 12-year-old
boy was sentenced to death in London. Inexorable justice, as con­
ceived in that day, took account of the law and the crime and ignored
the age and circumstances of the offender. The sentiment of human
pity was not wanting, however, and the reporter indulged in verse
to describe the heart-rending scene:
When he was sentenced at the bar,
The court was drowned in tears,
To see a child so soon cut off
All in his tender years.

Public opinion gradually prevailed against a system which made
little or no distinction in the treatment of children and adults when
guilty of the same offenses and sought a more constructive method
of dealing with young delinquents. The old concept that justice
could be done only when all persons committing the same offense
were treated alike was abandoned in the treatment of children for
the newer idea that justice could be achieved only when all were
treated differently. In theory, for the juvenile at least, justice had
had her eyes unbandaged.
The end of the century which saw young children executed for
what would now be regarded as trivial offenses, both in Europe
and in the United States, witnessed the advent of the juvenile court,
based on the principle of individualized treatment, of saving instead
of punishing the child. The attempt to give to each individual the
treatment demanded by the particular circumstances involved an
attempt to know, to understand the delinquent, and to modify those
influences in his environment that were held responsible for his
delinquency. Thus there developed, first, resources for social in­
vestigation and probation, and later the psychiatric or childguidance clinic.
The present-day treatment of juvenile delinquency represents
great progress over the past, but it is still far from adequate, even
with the availability of all the knowledge acquired by modern scien­
tific research. That practice has not kept pace with theory is indi-
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



cated by the following description of conditions to-day contained
in the report of the delinquency committee of the White House
Conference on Child Health and Protection:
The aims of the last generation have profoundly influenced the treatment
of juvenile delinquency, and the present-day emphasis on scientific study of
the child as a basis for understanding and dealing with his problems has
received widespread theoretical acceptance. Nevertheless, the treatment of the
delinquent child still frequently violates the principles of humanitarianism
and is characterized by the “ common-sense ” or “ trial-and-error ” policy, rather
than by scientific consideration of the causes of his failure to conform to the
requirements of society. There are still widespread, inadequate school pro­
cedures for dealing with truancy and behavior problems; unnecessary arrests;
detention in police stations and ja ils ; juvenile courts, presided over by poorly
paid judges not especially prepared or selected for children’s work and with­
out the services of an adequate number of qualified probation officers; absence
of psychiatric services; inadequate facilities for foster-home or institutional
care; absence of an effective parole system ; more important than all, lack of
a well-rounded and coordinated community program for the development of
constructive, wholesome interests and the early study and guidance of children
presenting problems of behavior and personality. The knowledge we now have
is actually applied in only a few communities and even there to comparatively
small numbers of children. Moreover, even under the most favorable conditions,
we need far more understanding than we now possess of the causes of delin­
quency and the conditions under which it may be ameliorated.1

Through its various subcommittees the delinquency committee of
the conference studied the delinquent himself and the delinquent
in relation to his family, his school, his church, to industry, to com­
munity agencies, groups, and influences, and to organized legal au­
thority. In its report the committee sought to present a new point
of view toward delinquency rather than detailed discussion of
methods of dealing with the delinquent. This new point of view
calls upon the general public to abandon the practice of finding
fault, of laying blame, and to recognize the fact that the causes of
delinquency are natural and universal, that the problems of the
delinquent child are the problems of all children, and that his social
needs—the need for security in his home life, in the affection of his
parents and companions, and the need for recognition, experimenta­
tion, new experience, and achievement—are as real as his physical
needs for food and warmth. The committee classified these needs
tentatively as the need for security and the need for growth—needs
which are universal not only in children but also in adults and in
social institutions such as the family, the school, the church, and
the State. In the words of Dr. Janies S. Plant, who had a large
share in formulating the report, “ I t is precisely as the individual
with his life to lead meets the more rigid, the more fixed, the more
1 The Delinquent Child (report of the delinquency committee of Section IV, The
Handicapped: Prevention, Maintenance, Protection), p. 22. White House Conference on
Child Health and Protection. Century Co., New York, 1932.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis




dominant needs of the institutions which surround him that stress
arises, that tension arises, maladjustment and delinquency.”
The past generation took a great step forward in the treatment of
juvenile delinquency, but the present generation faces problems which
the simpler civilization of an older day never knew. The machine
age, with its emphasis on speed, which has permeated almost every
phase of social living, has created a new environment, in which the
child faces dangers and temptations that make solution of the
problem more difficult.
It is more than ever necessary to study the delinquent not only as
an individual but as an integral part of his environment: His family,
his school, his church, his job, and all the influences of his community.
Responsibility must be placed upon the adult and society, and the
entire social group must cooperate in the attempt to deal with the
delinquent and to surround all children with those influences which
will help to build up in them the strength to meet the stress and
strain and complexities of modern life.
(The problem of delinquency is not a superficial blemish which can
be removed with ease. I t is an indication of weakness and malad­
justment in the whole social organism. We can not hope that it will
be eliminated in this generation or the next. Conditions of modern
v^|r living may even tend to increase it. But this generation may make
important contributions to its solution by continued scientific re­
search in problems and methods of treatment, by education of the
general public in the nature, causes, and extent of delinquency, and
by the mobilization and practical utilization of those resources which
every community can and should possess not only for the treatment
of the delinquent child but for assistance to parents, teachers, and
child-welfare organizations in the wholesome training and education
of children to the end that much unnecessary delinquency may be
The Child, the Clinic, and the Court (New Republic (Inc.), New York, 1925),
pp. 5-16.
White House Conference on Child Health and Protection: The Delinquent Child
(Century Co., New York, 1932), pp. 3-15.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


The term “ delinquents ” in the past has been generally applied to
those children whose misconduct has caused them to be dealt with
by the courts. It is, however, largely a matter of chance and of fam­
ily and social resources whether a child “ gets by ” without coming
in contact with legal authority; whether he is dealt with by attend­
ance officer, visiting teacher, child-guidance clinic, or the police,
without reference to the court; and whether, once in court, he is
dismissed, placed on probation, or committed to an institution. The
definition of the term adopted in the report of the delinquency
committee of the White House Conference was that “ delinquency
is any such juvenile misconduct as might be dealt with under the
Children who come before the courts.

The delinquency committee of the White House Conference esti­
mated, on the basis of the best statistics available, that about 200,000
different children yearly pass before the courts on delinquency
charges. In the area for which Children’s Bureau figures are avail­
able, it is estimated that approximately 1 child in every 100 of
juvenile-court age comes before the courts as delinquent in the course
of a year. The problem is therefore a serious one numerically.
Children who do not come before the courts.

Many children whose conduct is such as to bring them into con­
flict with the law never come to court. Many delinquencies which, if
committed in a city, would come to the attention of the authorities
are overlooked in rural districts. Although delinquency is consid­
ered to be primarily a city problem, studies that have been made show
that it is a serious problem in rural communities also.
It is doubtless true that many children of the well-to-do are saved
from coming before the courts because their families have greater re­
sources and are. often able to obtain special care for their children,
whereas children of the poor are more likely to be referred to court
or committed to institutions when they develop serious behavior
Only a very small proportion of the school children who present
problems of personality and behavior come to the juvenile court.
For example, in one middle-western city the school-attendance de
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



partment in one year handled 583 special cases, of which only 82
were taken to court. In a western city 1,430 cases involving such
problems as truancy, morals, and insubordination were investigated
by the school department during a period of four months, and only
116 cases were referred to the juvenile court. In a third city in one
.year the attendance department dealt with 2,799 truancy cases and
921 juvenile offenders,” but only 134 children were referred to the
juvenile court. The visiting teachers who are now at work in many
communities are dealing with numerous problems of behavior and
social maladjustment among school children.
Many cases handled by police departments are not referred to
juvenile courts. The New York City Crime Prevention Bureau
dealt with 9,846 cases during 1931. Of that number 4,791 were
“ new cases of social treatment.” The number of juveniles referred
to court was 128. In Los Angeles during the fiscal year ended June
30, 1931, out of 5,203 juvenile arrests, only 3,477 were turned over
to juvenile court, probation officer, or other legal authorities.
The boy who is a disturbing element on the street, in playgrounds,
and in other public places; who is careless, destructive, noisy, per­
haps a “ gang ” leader, perhaps a loafer, may get into the juvenile
court, but more often he does not, even though his type contributes
almost one-third of the boys’ cases handled by the court.

No one can state with certainty whether juvenile delinquency as
known to police and courts is increasing or decreasing, because of
the absence of reliable and comprehensive data over a period of years.
Clearly, however, such statistics as are available show no uniform
and alarming tendency to increased juvenile delinquency and youth­
ful ci ime. Agitation about u youth and the crime wave ” is peren­
nial but for the most part is without factual foundation.
The longest series of figures relate to juvenile delinquents in insti­
tutions. From 1880 to 1923 these figures were compiled by the
Bureau of the Census at intervals of approximately 10 years. Differ­
ences in methods of taking the census make comparisons of the
figures for the earlier and the later years inaccurate, but the statistics
for 1910 and 1923 are not seriously affected by such differences. The
figures include persons in or committed to institutions for juvenile
delinquents and persons under 18 years of age in or committed to
prisons and reformatories, jails, and workhouses.
In 1880 the ratio of children 10 to 17 years of age, inclusive, in
institutions for juvenile delinquents to 100,000 population of the
same age was 143.4. In 1923 it was 154.5, an increase of 8 per cent
in 43 years. The increase probably reflects the more adequate provi130062°—32----- 2
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



sion of institutions especially adapted to the care of juvenile delin­
quents in 1923 than in the earlier period. From 1910 to 1923 the
number of juvenile delinquents admitted to institutions for every
100,000 of the population 10 to IT years of age dropped from 171.1
to 161. In both counts some nondelinquents admitted to institutions
wore included.
The 1923 report showed no tendency for the population of penal
institutions to decrease in age. The number of males 18 to 20 years
of age committed in 1923 for each 100,000 of the same age and sex
was 11.7 per cent less than in 1910. Undoubtedly the growth of the
probation system during this period contributed to this decrease.
Between 1923 and 1926 an increase of 34 per cent in the number of
boys 18 to 20 years received by Federal and State penal institutions
was shown by census statistics. From 1926 to 1927 the increase was
only 1 per cent, and from 1927 to 1928, 8 per cent.
The Children’s Bureau has compiled statistics for the years 1915
to 1927, or as much of that period as available data cover, from
annual reports of juvenile courts in 13 cities of 100,000 population
and over. Lack of uniformity in methods of reporting prevents
comparison of the figures of one city with those of another, but the
figures show the trend of delinquency in a given city. Most, but not
all, of the cities showed a higher juvenile delinquency ratio in 1918
or 1919, followed by a decline in the following years, with slight
fluctuations. In 10 cities the ratio was lower at the end of the period
than at the beginning, and only 3 showed a higher ratio at the end
of the period.
A number of juvenile courts throughout the country are now coop­
erating with the Children’s Bureau in a uniform plan of reporting
statistics of delinquency, dependency, and neglect handled by the
courts. These statistics are compiled by the bureau, and an annual
report has been issued on the subject each year beginning with 1927
under the title Juvenile-Court Statistics. While this system of
reporting in accordance with a uniform plan has not yet been
adopted by all juvenile courts, the statistics now available indicate,
for the years 1927 to 1931 and for an area representing about 22 per
cent of the population, whether, from year to year, more or fewer
cases are being handled by the reporting courts.
As an indication of the trend in delinquency, figures from 19
juvenile courts serving populations of 100,000 and over which have
reported comparable figures to the Children’s Bureau during the five
years 1927 to 1931 have been used to show the delinquency rate—
that is to say, the number of cases of delinquency reported per 1,000
boys and girls of juvenile-court age. Comparison of the average
rates for boys shows that from 1927 to 1930 the trend of the rates
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



was upward, but each year of this period the percentage increase
was less. In 1931 the rate was 8 per cent lower than in 1930. Anal­
ysis of offenses, however, showed that the decrease occurred mainly
in truancy, charges of being ungovernable, and acts of carelessness
and mischief. Stealing cases continued to increase slightly. The
general trend in delinquency rates for girls was about the same as
for boys. In the delinquency rates for girls the same general tend­
ency is apparent. There was an upward trend from 1927 to 1929;
the 1930 rate was the same as the 1929 rate, and the 1931 rate was
. definitely lower than that of 1930.
To summarize these various series, it would appear that delin­
quency was not increasing during the early part of the decade 1920
to 1930, that some indications of increase in the latter part of the
decade are apparent, and that the present trend can not be fully
determined until more complete figures are available.

Boys who come before the juvenile courts usually present delin­
quency problems different from those of girls. Figures reported to
the Children’s Bureau by the courts show that the most usual charges
in boys’ cases are “ stealing or attempted stealing” and “ acts of
carelessness or mischief,” whereas the closely related charges of
“ running away,” “ ungovernable or beyond parental control,” and
sex offense ” appear more often in girls’ cases. The figures show
also that the interests and pursuits of children of different ages are
reflected in the types of offenses which they commit. Offenses com­
mitted by girls under 12 years of age correspond more closely to
those committed by boys of those ages than do the offenses of older
girls. The percentage charged with “ act of carelessness or mis­
chief ” decreases as the age of the children increases. An interesting
difference is shown in the ages of the boys and girls charged with
being ungovernable.. The largest percentage of boys charged with
this offense were in the age groups under 10 and between 10 and 12
years of age, whereas'among the girls the age group under 10 showed
a smaller percentage than any other. Truancy among boys and
running away among girls occurred more often among the children
between 14 and 16 years of age than among children, of any other age
group. Stealing, the most common charge, appeared in approxi­
mately the same proportions of boys’ cases in all age groups, although
the type of stealing changed as the boys grew older.

There is no single cause of juvenile delinquency. The foundations
of delinquent behavior are usually laid in very early childhood, the
period which students of child life regard as the most significant in
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



the development of personality and character. Many factors may
contribute to produce delinquency, but the central problem in any
case is, after all, the delinquent himself. Why do children react in
such different ways to the features of their environment? Why are
some able to resist the influences of bad companions and the tempta­
tions provided by unlocked automobiles, easily entered windows,
alluring displays of finery, suggestions derived from newspapers and
movies, or unhappiness or poverty at home, and countless other fac­
tors which contribute to make other children delinquent? Why are
other children unaffected by the “ temptations to right-doing ” which
should serve to immunize them against possible stimuli to bad con­
duct? Clearly it is only through scientific study of the delinquent
himself that we can ever learn how to check delinquent trends as they
may become known or how delinquency in general is to be prevented.
Among the familiar contributing factors are unhappy home condi­
tions. Large numbers of children coming to the attention of juvenile
courts are from homes broken by the death, desertion, separation, or
divorce of the parents, and from homes in which lack of affection and
harmony between parents and other serious emotional problems of
adults make it impossible to satisfy the child’s fundamental needs for
security and development. Another important factor is failure of
parents to understand the child, and parental ignorance of methods
of child training and character development. “ Naughtiness ” among
little children is frequently passed over as something of little im­
portance except for the inconvenience it causes to those with whom
the child comes in contact. Feelings of inferiority, jealousy, fear,
anger, temper tantrums, precocious sex interest and bad sex habits,
disobedience, lying, and stealing are among the common problems
confronting parents of very young children. If not rightly handled,
these habits may develop into defects of personality and character
which will greatly limit the individual’s usefulness and happiness
and may bring him into conflict with the law.
A very high percentage of delinquents are school children. Dis­
satisfaction and maladjustment on the part of the school child often
contribute to delinquency. This maladjustment may not always be
due to the school itself, but may be due rather to some more funda­
mental cause to be found in the child or his environment.
Other contributing causes of delinquency are to be found in com­
munity influences—association with “ gangs ” and undesirable
companions, lack of wholesome recreational outlets, demoralizing
commercialized amusements—and in the lack of a well-rounded com­
munity program for the prevention and treatment of delinquency.
However, as is repeatedly emphasized in the reports of the delin­
quency committee of the White House Conference, it is perfectly
clear that no matter how much delinquency is the result of the
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delinquent’s social contacts, it is inevitably the delinquent himself
and his own mental and behavior patterns that are of predominant
importance. In the words of the committee, u The keenest and
most sympathetic study of these patterns and impulses should be
made. Only through a friendly, abbreviated living of the child’s
life over again with him, following the sequence of time and events,
can there be any sound understanding of the genesis of his delin­
quency. The aim is scientific procedure. If such a study of a
human being is not worth the utmost scientific effort, then nothing
in the world is.”
1. Nature and extent of delinquency.
Children’s Bureau, United States Department of Labor: Juvenile-Court
Statistics. Annual report.
Reckless, Walter C., and Mapheus Smith: Juvenile Delinquency (Mc­
Graw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1932), pp. 18—48; 49-64.
White House Conference: The Delinquent Child (Century Co., 1932), pp.
2. Causes of delinquency.
a. Mental, physical, and emotional factors.
Blanchard, Phyllis: The Child and Society (Longmans, Green & Co.,
New York, 1928), pp. 3-35; 73-95.
Burt, Cyril: The Young Delinquent (D. Appleton & Co., New York,
1925), pp. 207-229; 248-259; 291-568.
Reckless and Smith: Juvenile Delinquency, pp. 81-116.
White House Conference: The Delinquent Child, pp. 59-76.
b. Social and community factors.
Blanchard, Phyllis: The Child and Society, pp. 36-72.
National Education Association: Crime Prevention through Education
(Research Bulletin vol. 10, No. 4 ). Washington, 1932. 69 pp.
New York State Crime Commission: Crime and the Community (Al­
bany, 1930), pp. 128-212.
Reckless and Smith: Juvenile Delinquency, pp. 117-195.
Sayles, Mary B., and Howard W. Nudd: The Problem Child in School.
Commonwealth Fund Division of Publications, 41 East Fifty-seventh
Street, New York, 1925. 288 pp.
Van Waters, Miriam: Youth in Conflict (New Republic (Inc.), New
York, 1926), pp. 88-145.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


There is a growing realization that society is paying too much
for the care of criminals and too little for the prevention of crime.
In its study of the cost of crime the National Commission on Law
Observance and Enforcement found it impossible to arrive at any
reliable figure for the total ultimate cost of crime to the community,
but, as the report points out:
It should not require reenforcement from cost figures to emphasize the vital
need of repeatedly attacking and reattacking our failure in dealing with the
convicted criminal and the still more vital need of steady pressure on the
causes that produce the human wreckage with which it seems so insolubly
difficult to deal.

A complete outline of a preventive program would include refer­
ence to all movements for the improvement of conditions affecting
the family and child life. For example, a basic income within the
attainment of every family adequate to insure minimum standards
of living and the solution of the problem of unemployment would
be important factors in such a program. Better housing, especially
the lessening of congestion, is directly related to the prevention of
delinquency. Extensive studies have shown that delinquency which
comes to the attention of police and courts is concentrated chiefly
in certain areas which lack adequate resources for wholesome com­
munity life. City planning, more careful zoning, and real-estate
developments that give due consideration to community environ­
ment and the provision of such facilities as school sites, playgrounds,
and parks, and of organized facilities for the constructive use of
leisure time, all have their place in a broad program for the preven­
tion of delinquency.
A practical program, however, must be directed toward a limited
number of objectives, those being selected first which seem most
closely related to the problem.

An enlightened public opinion is one of the most important requi­
sites in any successful program for the prevention of juvenile delin­
quency. The public is often inclined to “ view with alarm ” the
misdeeds of the younger generation without stopping to consider its
own responsibility in the matter and to discriminate unjustly against
children going through the courts or receiving specialized institu
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tional care. This attitude is not constructive. The attitude of the
public toward all problem children should be characterized not by
irritation, fear, or censure but by understanding of the child’s need
for protection, education, and guidance, in the community if pos­
sible, in a well-managed institution if necessary. I t is important
that the public recognize the existence of behavior problems in home,
school, and community, and appreciate that home and neighborhood
conditions, such as the patience and resourcefulness of parents, rela­
tives, and friends, the economic condition of the family, the type
of neighborhood, more often than the degree of “ badness,” deter­
mine whether or not a child shall be referred to a juvenile court
and, after hearing, whether he shall be sent home or placed in an
institution. The public will then better realize how unfair it is
that a certain stigma should attach to children dealt with by the
courts which other children, whose conduct is equally in conflict
with social standards, escape.
When the public is brought to an understanding and acceptance
of its own responsibilities in the prevention and treatment of delin­
quency, it will be more willing to give the needed support to that
“ well-rounded and coordinated community program for the develop­
ment of constructive, wholesome interests and the early study and
guidance of children presenting problems of behavior and person­
ality ” which the White House Conference reported as still lacking,
and it will insist upon “ the highest type of service, special knowledge, and sympathetic understanding in juvenile court, probation
office, and institution throughout the N ation” for the child who
violates the law. Distribution of literature, newspaper and maga­
zine publicity, radio talks, lectures, and study-club work will be
found useful in educating public opinion.
1. Promotion of wholesome home life.

There is no substitute for home life and intelligent parenthood in
the rearing of children. It is in the home that the child’s needs for
affection, security, and opportunities for growth or development,
which play so important a part in shaping his personality, are met
or thwarted. Even the most affectionate and intelligent parents
may not always fully understand the child’s needs for security and
growth. Security is founded upon the emotional maturity of par­
ents, upon justice, truthfulness, regularity, order, and serenity in
the home. Opportunities for development can be given the child
only by parents who want to see him grow and give him every
chance to utilize and enlarge his own powers.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



In an age when there is one divorce for every six marriages (about
one-third of the divorce cases involving children) and when death
and desertion play further havoc, it is obvious that many children
are being deprived of their fundamental right to normal home life.
Not only do many delinquent children come from broken homes but
many early behavior problems may be traced to unhappy home con­
ditions. Assistance to parents in dealing with the conduct problems
of children often involves assistance to parents themselves in solv­
ing problems of their own. To promote the stability and happiness
of family life is, therefore, to aid in the prevention of juvenile de­
linquency. The following are among the means which have been
suggested to aid in the promotion of successful home life :
(a) Promotion of economic security through establishment of
wage levels adequate to maintain wholesome living standards, regu­
larization of employment, prevention of industrial accidents and
disease, workmen’s compensation, and similar measures. In an ad­
dress on Child Welfare Standards a Test of Democracy at the
National Conference of Social Work in 1919, Julia C. Lathrop,
first Chief of the Children’s Bureau, said:
Children are not safe and happy if their parents are miserable, and parents
must be miserable if they can not protect a home against poverty.
Let us not deceive ourselves. The power to maintain a decent family living
standard is the primary essential of child welfare. This means a living wage
and wholesome working life for the man, a good and skillful mother at home
to keep the house and comfort all within it. Society can afford no less and
can afford no exceptions. This is a universal neeu.

(b) Preparental education.—Preparation for marriage and par­
enthood is urgently needed. The committee on family and parent
education of the White House Conference recommended that “ in­
struction should be provided by schools and colleges to further the
satisfactions of intelligent participation in family life and to pre­
pare for courtship, marriage, and parenthood.”
(c) Parent education.—Every community should insure oppor­
tunities for parental education which will provide instruction in
the principles of home making, family relationships, and the educa­
tion and care of children.
(d) Public home relief and mothers1aid.—It is a recognized prin­
ciple that families should not be broken up for reasons of poverty
alone. Yet in periods of stress resulting from such conditions as
prolonged illness, irregular employment, or unemployment, the very
maintenance of the home itself and the quality of family life are
threatened for many people unless the community is organized to
afford certain essential protections. Public home relief is a system
by which the community may preserve the home and quality of
family life. The White House Conference committee on dependency
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and neglect recommended that legislation establishing systems of re­
lief and child care be revised to accord with this principle. The
committee stated th a t:
To bring general public home relief to families in which there are children
up to the standards of the best mothers’ aid administration and measurably up
to the standards of unofficial family social work, is one of the greatest needs
and opportunities in improving the care of dependent children in the immediate
future. * * * Whatever forms of workmen’s compensation or social in­
surance may be devised and put into effect, the poor-law official will remain
the residuary legatee of that vast group of families whose particular circum­
stances do not fit into the requirements of any of the special types and forms
of social aid.

So far as legislation is concerned, the principle of home care for
dependent children has met with more ready response than any
other child-welfare measure that has ever been proposed. I t is
estimated that under the mothers’ aid laws now on the statute books
of 45 States more than 250,000 children each year are kept with their
mothers, most of whom but for this aid would be taken from their
homes or would suffer from the inefficiency, ill health, and person­
ality and behavior problems which inevitably follow when a widowed
mother without training or resources strives to be both breadwinner
and home maker for a family of children. Mothers’ aid should be
everywhere available in fact as well as in theory and should be
extended to include all mothers suited to rear their children and
unable to do so without public aid.
2. General education of parents in child care and training.

Parenthood does not automatically bring with it knowledge of the
proper methods of rearing children. Official studies long ago
showed that parental ignorance of good methods of caring for
babies was one of the causes of a high rate of infant deaths,
while the educational work that has been done among parents in
recent years has helped to save many infant lives. However, many
parents who pride themselves on following to the letter the pre­
scribed rules for the physical hygiene of their children overlook
or are entirely ignorant of the value of mental hygiene, and even
among those who realize the importance of early control of behavior
problems there are many who are deeply concerned when their
children lie, steal, or have temper tantrums but attach little or no
significance to such unhealthy signs as undue self-consciousness,
daydreaming, or jealousy. Still less do they realize that these
delinquencies and manifestations of abnormal behavior may be due
to their own attitude toward their children. Yet many cases of
delinquency in children have been traced to the attempt of parents
to make the child’s life compensate for their own failure to reach
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certain goals of achievement; to the fact that the child has for years
been buffeted between the rigid discipline of one parent and the
extreme laxity of the other; to the dominating attitude of one
member of the family group which leaves the child no opportunity
for asserting himself as an individual; and to similar forms of con­
flict between the needs of the child and the conditions prevailing in
his family. Parental attitudes are of fundamental importance. As
is pointed out by the delinquency committee of the White House
Conference: “ This is a difficult period in which parents are trying
to work out their relations of authority with their children.”
Parents need more education as to the effect on the development
of the child of their own attitudes and their relations to each other
and to the child, and attention is being focused increasingly upon
developments in the field of parent education. There are no short
cuts in dealing with delinquency, and however complete the facilities
which the community may provide for the education of parents,
it must be recognized that these constitute but one factor in its
prevention and treatment.
Modern research has made available much material on mental
hygiene and habit training as well as on the general aspects of child
care; and facilities* both publicly and privately financed, are being
developed not only to place theoretical information at the disposal
of the average parent but also to furnish practical assistance in
dealing with the conduct problems of individual children as they
Among these facilities are the following:
(a) Literature on child care and training.—The Children’s Bu­
reau distributes free on request a general bulletin on the care of the
child from 1 to 6, and bulletins on child management which include
discussions of habits and habit training in general, and of the more
common conduct and personality problems of young children, such
as jealousy, fear, anger, disobedience, lying, stealing, and bad sex
habits. Many State divisions of child hygiene distribute these
bulletins and bulletins of their own on child care which include
some material on child training. Many of the women’s magazines
now publish monthly articles on child training and habit formation.
No home within reach of the postman need be without up-to-date
scientific advice on this subject.
(b) Radio talks on child care.—More and more the radio is being
used to carry education into even the most remote districts. The
weekly radio talks of the Chief of the Children’s Bureau and the
broadcasting program of the Department of Agriculture have car­
ried information on this subject into many homes, and the maga­
zines and women’s clubs are making increasing use of the radio for
this type of work for the benefit of parents.
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(c) Gorrespondence courses.—Some of the State divisions of child
hygiene conduct correspondence courses for mothers in the care of
infants and young children. Such information sometimes includes
information on child training and habit formation. The funda­
mental principles of child management should be included in all
general courses relating to children of preschool age.
(d) Educational 'programs in colleges and schools.—The State
universities of Iowa, California, Minnesota, and Ohio; the extension
services of the State colleges in New York, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois,
and Georgia; and the State departments of education in New York,
Oklahoma, California, and Ohio are among those which have in­
augurated state-wide programs of education in child care and guid­
ance. Yassar College has developed a course in preparation for
parenthood which is known as the department of euthenics.
Courses in child development, stressing the mental hygiene of
childhood, are offered to high-school seniors in Los Angeles and
Detroit, where nursery schools are utilized as observation stations.
In a number of cities local programs have been developed by
organizations and public schools to provide facilities for the educa­
tion of parents. Courses such as those furnished by the schools,
universities, and colleges not only aid many parents but furnish
trained leaders for local study groups.
(e) Study groups and mothers’ classes.—The Child Study Asso­
ciation of America, the American Association of University Women,
and the National Congress of Parents and Teachers are among the
national organizations which are stimulating the organization of
study groups for an intensive study of child life and are furnishing
guidance materials to such groups. The Children’s Bureau fur­
nishes child-welfare material for study. The leading women’s or­
ganizations and clubs usually include child welfare in their program
of activities.
During the period of operation of the maternity and infancy act
the Federal Government cooperated in the organization of mothers’
classes in all parts of the country for the instruction of women in
child care. Instruction was also given at health conferences and by
the public-health nurses who visited mothers in their own homes. In
some States these activities were curtailed after expiration of the act,
but in many States they are still carried on in connection with mater­
nity and infancy programs. Although these activities are devoted
primarily to instruction in the welfare and hygiene of maternity and
infancy, they afford opportunities for instruction and advice on child
management and training which should be further developed.
(f) Individual instruction.—In addition to instruction of parents
carried on in study groups, much instruction is given through direct
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contact with individual parents in child-guidance clinics and con­
sultation centers, and informally through the churches, religious and
lay educational organizations, juvenile courts, community centers,
visiting teachers, family-welfare workers, and representatives of
other social agencies. Massachusetts, for example, has established
habit clinics for children which give instruction to hundreds of
parents as part of the treatment of behavior problems of children.
3. Early diagnosis of behavior problems.

A child has a mental life far more delicate and complex than his
physical body, far more difficult to keep in order, and much more
easily put out of adjustment. Unfortunately, however, many parents
who would insist on the best medical advice available when their
child manifests the faintest symptom of illness may overlook bad
habits and behavior problems which are symptoms of serious per­
sonality difficulties. So much depends upon the training and ex­
perience of children in early life, that parents should look for the best
aid available in seeking to understand and solve the behavior prob­
lems of their children. An early diagnosis may be the means of pre­
venting cause for more serious trouble and concern later on. Parents
should learn to distinguish between problems which they themselves
should be able to handle and fundamental difficulties requiring expert
service. For the parent who needs expert assistance the following
facilities are being developed:
(a) Habit clinics.—Habit clinics are clinics which treat preschool
children exclusively. They are extremely important, for they reach
the child in the most formative period. These clinics deal with habit
difficulties such as bed wetting, thumb sucking, food dislikes, jealousy,
temper tantrums, and similar problems.
The minimum staff of a habit clinic includes a psychiatrist, who
may be employed on a part-time basis, a psychologist, who may be
employed on a half-time basis, a social worker, full time, and a
stenographer, full time.
The clinic should be easily accessible to the people who need it.
Habit clinics often function in connection with nursery schools and
kindergartens, but the clinics must reach beyond them if their work
is to be community-wide. It is desirable that such a clinic should
be part of a well-organized health service for children, as in Massa­
chusetts and some other places.
(b) Child-guidance clinics.—Clinics for the psychiatric study and
treatment of children presenting conduct problems have been estab­
lished in a number of communities. It was estimated that there
were nearly 600 such clinics in the United States in 1931 and that they
examined and treated more than 50,000 children during that year.
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Child-guidance clinics emphasize the preventive aspect of their
work and deal with large numbers of children who are not court
problems but who present difficulties of personality or social adjust­
ment at home, in school, and in the community. They may function
as part of the public-school system or in conjunction with it, or in
relationship to social agencies, but they also serve parents since
they are concerned with general behavior problems such as tantrums,
oversensitiveness, daydreaming, cruelty, restlessness, morbid fears,
and the like.
The staff of a child-guidance clinic includes psychiatrists, psy­
chologists, social workers, and clerks.
Each child is given a complete physical, psychological, psychi­
atric, and social examination, and recommendations for treatment
are made to cooperating agencies or are carried out by the clinic staff.
Instruction in mental hygiene for 'professional workers.—In
addition to psychiatrists, psychologists, and psychiatric social
workers who specialize in conduct problems it is essential that publichealth nurses, teachers, recreation and club workers, social workers,
and others whose work brings them in close contact with children,
shall have training in the basic principles of mental hygiene and
their practical application. Provision for such instruction, both for
persons already in the field and for students preparing for these
vocations, is an important part of a practical program for the pre­
vention and treatment of behavior problems in children and young

When the child enters school, he enters a new world and faces
new conditions. Although the modern ideal in education demands
that full recognition be given individual differences in children and
that emphasis be placed on the person taught rather than the things
taught, the fact remains that the school undertakes not only to give
the child an academic education but to train him to fit into society.
This means that the child must learn to adjust the satisfaction of
his own needs to the needs and rights of others and to accept the
discipline and regularity which are made necessary by the rules of
social living. This process of adjustment is part of the business
of growing up. It is perhaps inevitable that friction should occur
in the process.
The fact that practically all juvenile delinquents are children of
school age does not mean that the school itself is responsible for
their delinquency. The child’s personality may have been warped
in his very early years. His revolt against school authority and dis­
cipline may be an indication of some deep-seated difficulty which has
its roots in his past or in his home environment. I t may be the danger
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signal presaging more serious conflict with all authority in the
future. Whatever the cause may be, it is usually during his school
days that the child’s most serious delinquencies develop, and the
school is therefore most intimately involved in the whole problem
of delinquency.
I t is a matter of common agreement that truancy is often an early
symptom of a child’s maladjustment in school and at home. No
definite catalogue can be drawn up of the factors leading to dis­
satisfaction with school. They include individual factors of physi­
cal and mental make-up of the child, family factors such as parental
ambition for or overprotection of the children, and parental indif­
ference, school factors such as exaggerated emphasis on academic
learning, and the many intangible factors which enter into the rela­
tionship of the child and the teacher. In the words of the delin­
quency committee of the White House Conference.
While nonattendance at school usually breaks a law, it is extremely diffi­
cult to analyze fairly those factors back of the delinquency. Lack of school
facilities in certain rural areas, economic demand in certain agricultural
pursuits, parental antagonism to apparently rigorous school demands, par­
ental indifference, the school’s or teacher’s seeming to discourage and block
the development of certain children, the inviting or imperiously demanding
call to freedom of gang or comrade—undoubtedly the whole gamut of in­
dividual and social drives and needs lies back of the problem of attendance.

The report of the delinquency committee pointed out that “ before
the school lies the promise of a real program for the prevention of
delinquency.” Part of this promise lies in the fact that the school
must realize increasingly that the child it teaches has a life outside
of that which is passed in the classroom and that he must be taught
and treated and guided in the light of this fact, that the school must
sincerely and vitally interest itself in the environment of the child it
tries to teach. In many instances, as the committee points out,
« this will involve * * * educating the family, industry, and so
forth to their responsibilities rather than seeking to relieve them.
However well trained and understanding the teacher may be, the
task which this responsibility on the part of the school implies is
not one which she can carry on single-handed. The school organi­
zation must provide for various services to assist in preventing or
solving the various problems of school maladjustment and dissatis­
faction which are fertile sources of delinquency. These services
include the following:
1. Health services.

Expert help in the physical well-being of the child should be
available through physicians, dentists, hygienists, and nurses.
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2. Attendance departments.

Every school system should include on its staff attendance officers
especially trained in social case work. They should receive com­
pensation corresponding to the pay of the teaching staff; and, as is
the case with the teaching staff, the number appointed should be
based on the number of children to be served if effective results are
expected. The duties of the attendance officers should include syste­
matic visiting of schools; conferences at the schools with children,
teachers, and parents; visits to homes; and the maintenance of co­
operative relationships with social agencies and legal authorities,
school physicians and nurses, special classes, visiting teachers, and
other special services for the school child.
3. Visiting teachers and school counselors.

The “ visiting teacher,” as defined by the National Committee of
Visiting Teachers, is a social worker, trained in mental hygiene, who
studies and treats the maladjusted school child in his home setting,
advising with the parents and relatives, with the teacher and the
school authorities, and with social agencies, if these are necessary in
handling the case. While training for social work is necessary, teach­
ing experience is often recommended because of the understanding
it gives of the school problems and their practical adjustment. In
communities in which visiting teachers are an essential part of the
school system, they are making an extremely valuable demonstration
of the service that should be available for all children having per­
sonal or family problems that handicap their school adjustment.
This service should be closely coordinated with child-study depart­
ments, administration of school attendance laws, special classes, and
vocational guidance.
In some schools the person who makes adjustments between home
and school in the case of children who are not satisfactory in scholar­
ship or behavior or both is called a counselor. The title is unimport­
ant. What is important is that the work be done by a person with
training in social case work.
4. Special schools and classes.

Many schools are finding that certain truant and delinquent chil­
dren can be handled effectively in special classes. These are not the
“ truant rooms,” “ disciplinary classes,” “ ungraded classes,” and the
like that segregate problem children to the relief of the school but
often to the detriment of the child, whose hatred and distrust of
school may be aggravated by thus being labeled a bad character. As
the schools develop more effective social case work, special classes
will be organized on the basis of the treatment indicated rather than
the offense committed. Schools are recognizing more and more that
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when a thorough mental, physical, and pedagogical examination of
the child reveals that his needs can not be met in a regular class, he
should be placed in a special class equipped to deal scientifically with
his particular difficulty. Such classes include classes for children
who have physical handicaps (as of vision or hearing) ; classes for
children with mental handicaps; classes for retarded children who
are not mentally deficient; and classes for gifted children for whom
the challenge of a different school curriculum may be the solution
of behavior problems caused by lack of interest and satisfaction in
their school work.
An unusual type of special day school for behavior-problem chil­
dren has recently been established in Chicago. The first such
school was established in September, 1929, and the second in Octo­
ber, 1930. In these schools complete physical, psychological, and
social study of the children has been established, and, wherever
needed, psychiatric study as well. Although good results have been
reported in attendance, school advancement, conduct, and reduction
of court cases, it is too early to judge the achievement of these
In the first of these schools to be established, the Montefiore
School, the staff includes one teacher for each 20 children, a full­
time psychologist, a full-time nurse, a half-time dentist, 1 full­
time and 2 part-time visiting teachers, 1 full-time and 2 part-time
attendance officers, 2 full-time recreation teachers, and a psychiatrist
1 day a week. Medical service is supplied by the board of health.
The school also has the services of a speech teacher one day
a week, and two part-time remedial reading teachers. The boys
are in school 6y2 hours, 5 days a week, for 48 weeks in the year.
The work of the school is roughly divided into two parts, the boys
spending approximately one half of their time in academic work
and the other half in activities of various kinds. An individual
record folder and a full case history are kept for every boy. The
description of this set-up also applies to the second school.
5. Educational and vocational guidance.

Provision should be made in the school course for an adequate
program of educational and vocational guidance. Such a program
would include a sufficient number of well-trained and experienced
counselors in the schools to make adjustments for every child that
will prevent discouragement and prolong his school life. In some
cities bureaus of vocational guidance and placement are organized
under the same department as that of school attendance. Teachers
and others dealing with children presenting behavior problems
should make the fullest use of the vocational service.
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6. Child-study departments and clinics.

Many schools refer problem children to child-guidance clinics
where these exist. A few have behavior clinics of their own.
Child-study divisions and psychological or psychiatric clinics are
provided in some school systems to give mental tests to children
presenting pedagogical difficulties. Figures reported to the White
House Conference indicate a universal school need for help in un­
derstanding and providing for the needs of the child who finds
difficulty in adjusting himself to the demands of the school or who
fails to develop normal avenues of self-expression, achievement, and
social cooperation.

Beyond the walls of home and school lies "another world in which
the child will spend more and more of his time as he grows older
and which, therefore, helps to shape his personality and to influ­
ence his conduct and his attitude toward life. This outside world
is generally referred to as the community. The street on which
he lives, the neighbors whom he sees from day to day, the children
with whom he plays are but a few of the influences, tangible and
intangible, that affect the child’s daily life and that help to create
what might be called the spirit of the neighborhood.
As the child seeks to satisfy his budding curiosity, his need for
new experiences and his desire for adventure and achievement, the
community will have an ever-increasing attraction for him, since
these needs can never be fully satisfied by his home, his school, or
his church, nor, in the case of the child who may leave school to
go to work, by his job. Regardless of the extent to which these
agencies afford him security and opportunities for development and
achievement, the community will inevitably claim its share of that
portion of the child’s life designated as “ leisure time.” Where these
agencies fail him, he will all the sooner turn to this outside world
for compensation.
The community, through its various agencies, may help to
strengthen the child, fit him to meet life squarely, or it may help
to make him dissatisfied with his environment, to rebel against it,
and thus may become one of the causes of juvenile delinquency.
Various studies have been made showing that delinquency is most
likely to occur where proper community environment is lacking.
In a study of the geographical distribution of juvenile delinquents
and adult offenders in the city of Chicago, one of the leading con­
clusions was as follows:
This study has indicated that school truancy, juvenile delinquency, and adult
crime, rather than being distributed uniformly throughout the city of Chicago,
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are largely concentrated in certain areas. The highest rates are found in the
areas adjacent to the central business districts and the large industrial cen­
ters * * *, areas that are in a process of transition from residence to
business and industry and are characterized by physical deterioration, decreas­
ing population, and the disintegration of the conventional neighborhood culture
and organization.

This study also found that the lowest rates occurred in the outlying
residential communities. Even in residential districts, however, the
advent of the apartment house means the loss of many backyard
playgrounds. Crowded city areas mean that the children of the rich
and of the poor spend more of their time in the community outside
of the home.
Upon whom does responsibility rest for what the community offers
the child?
That section of the report of the delinquency committee of the
White House Conference which deals with the child in relation to
community groups, agencies, and influences says:
All children, privileged and underprivileged, take what the community
to offer. Adults make the community what it is. When it does not satisfy
needs of its children or when it thwarts and exploits them, the adults
responsible, and no clinics, juvenile courts, or reformatory institutions
ever fully adjust the child.


This responsibility has not been fully accepted. The report states
The community has not yet realized that it is responsible for building to
satisfy the fundamental needs of the child, and that it must not only offer
opportunity for creative play, companionship, and adventure, but must also
protect children and young people from negative, demoralizing recreation.

This implies a twofold program on the part of agencies, public
and private, that are seeking to make the community safe for chil­
dren—a program of prevention providing a constructive, whole­
some, happy use of leisure time and a program of protection
against harmful and demoralizing influences. I t suggests also that
every community, from the small rural settlement to the large, com­
plex city neighborhood, needs the cooperation of interested men and
women who will help to plan for and promote wholesome neighbor­
hood life and to win the support of public opinion for the program
which conditions in a given community may demand.
Community environment can not, of course, be held solely respon­
sible for juvenile delinquency. Nor, in the effort to prevent delin­
quency, is it desired to exert rigid control over the child’s leisure
time. Children are apt to look with suspicion upon outside organi­
zation of their play, and it has been pointed out that f in this everincreasing movement to set the child’s life in order there is danger
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that we may lose sight of his need and inherent right to waste a
fair part of his time.” The real purpose is not to work with the
possible juvenile delinquent in view so much as to create a network
of community influences and forces that will help to make commu­
nity life as a whole richer, fuller, and more satisfying for adults
and children alike, and thus contribute to community stability and
In such a plan the responsibility must be shared by public and
private agencies alike. Community resources for preventive and
protective work should provide:
1. Recreational facilities under public auspices.

Play is one of the fundamental needs of the child and a necessary
outlet for physical and mental activity. Adults, too, need health­
ful recreation. Facilities that should be provided under municipal
or other public auspices include the following:
(a) Public playgrounds.—An adequately supported public playground, pro­
viding at least 100 square feet of play space for each child, should be located
within one-quarter of a mile of every city home and should be open for yearround use by both younger and older children. Such playgrounds should
be under the management of trained play leaders, who may serve also as
u community agents,” seeking out those children who do not come to the
playground and sponsoring interesting programs, interplayground tournaments,
and similar activities that will provide a challenge to the lure of street play
and gang associations.
(b) Athletic Helds.—These include baseball diamonds, basket-ball and ten­
nis courts, municipal golf courses, football fields, and space for all types of
athletic sports to serve older children and adults who will come a mile or so
to use the facilities.
(c) Municipal beaches, swimming pools, and wading ponds.
(d) P lay streets.—In areas where sufficient playgrounds are lacking, mu­
nicipalities should block off from traffic certain streets at specified times for
the use of children at play. In Cincinnati a national demonstration of the
so-called “ play street ” has been made.
(e) Camp sites and parks for picnics, “ hikes,” and nature study.
(f) Public-library service.—It has been estimated that 43 per cent of the
population of this country live in communities without public-library service.
The establishment of municipal and county libraries should be encouraged,
and in existing libraries specialized service for children should be improved.
State library-extension agencies should be strengthened. All library service
should provide guidance in the selection of books.
Public schools should have school libraries under the supervision of a person
professionally qualified to select books and direct reading.
(g) Concerts and musical activities.—Public band concerts, community
choruses, and “ sings ” add to the enjoyment and cultural development of the
citizenry. Such activities offer a good field for cooperation between public and
private agencies and help to promote community spirit.
(h) Museums.—Art galleries and special exhibits afford opportunities for
.instructive use of leisure time for young people and adults.
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2. Leisure-time activities under private auspices.

While the municipality must bear a large share of the responsi­
bility for public recreational facilities, it must be supplemented by
private organizations which enjoy greater freedom in initiative and
in shaping programs to meet special needs. These private groups do
much pioneer work and are influential in shaping public opinion.
Organized groups under private auspices include Boy Scouts, Girl
Scouts, Camp Fire Girls, Girl Reserves, clubs operated in connec­
tion with churches, young men’s and young women’s associations,
boys’ clubs, and the like. Community centers serve small as well as
large communities. In crowded city areas settlement houses provide
programs of leisure-time activities for various age groups. The
young people’s organizations, however, are not organized primarily
with the underprivileged or problem child in view.
In the reports of the White House Conference particular emphasis
was given to the need for “ workers at large ” to win the children
who do not voluntarily come to the playgrounds, clubs, or other
agencies, especially in districts where gangs and independent street
groups of children present a problem. In the words of the report:
If a social agency were established on every corner, the spontaneous group
of a certain sort would not be won. Therefore, instead of multiplying agencies
where a neighborhood is already served by one or more, attention should be
given to extending the influence of agencies already in action. They should
be urged especially to develop a neighborhood agent who w ill become part of
the local situation, even to the extent of being known as a local person, not an
outsider, who, while not appearing to guide, can enter and influence the street
life of boys and girls by the tactful suggestion of things to do. Many instances
of successful work by such neighborhood agents are cited.

Emphasis is also placed on the importance of working with small
groups so that more individual attention may be given the children.
Since municipal and commercial agencies can not so easily adapt their
recreational programs to the individual, this is a field in which
private agencies can make a valuable contribution.
3. Protective work.

I t has been estimated that the average young person 18 years
of age has spent about 40 per cent of his time outside his home
and school. Leisure-time activities organized under public and
private auspices do not claim all this time. In fact, there is evidence
to show that since the war the development of publicly and privately
supported recreation has not kept pace with the growth of com­
mercial recreation. Motion pictures, pool rooms, billiard parlors,
dance halls, and road houses have appeared in all types of neigh­
borhoods, even in rural communities, and the automobile makes them
more accessible. This type of recreation is often under organized,
centralized control and, being commercial, is operated with a view
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to box-office receipts rather than to child health and protection.
Thus it presents a problem for those interested in community in­
fluences and measures for the protection of children.
A socialized police force will be one of the greatest helps in
community protection of children. Not only will a policeman of the
right sort be a neighborhood friend, who can talk to children in
their own language and inspire respect for law and authority, but
by working in cooperation with social agencies he can do much to
safeguard the interests of children. Qualified policewomen whose
duties include assistance in the enforcement of laws for child pro­
tection should be on the staff of every police department.
Public and private children’s organizations such as child-welfare
boards and departments, children’s aid societies, juvenile-protective
associations, and societies for the prevention of cruelty to children
often make protective work a major function. Valuable coopera­
tion can be given by men’s and women’s clubs and citizens’
Protective work includes the following:
(a) Supervision of commercialized amusements.—The police and other
municipal departments, through especially appointed officers, license and inspect
certain commercial amusements in many cities. This supervision is generally
arranged for by ordinances, which usually set the age limit under which
children shall not be admitted to such places. The enforcement of these laws
frequently depends upon groups of interested citizens.
(b) Control of motion-picture programs.—Some national and local citizens’
organizations have developed committees to work with the motion-picture
producers in the interest of better programs, as well as in promoting special
“ family programs ” and shows for children. As more than 50 per cent of the
theaters are owned by the producers, who control not only production but
distribution, local influence is not always possible.
(c) Suppression of the distribution or sale of obscene or salacious litera­
ture.—Indecent post cards, pictures, and magazines are distributed from a
few centers, and their control is difficult. Where such matter is sent through
the mails, the United States postal authorities should be notified.
(d) Enforcement of laws prohibiting the sale of liquor, drugs, and tobacco
to minors, the purchase of junk from minors, and similar laws.
(e) Prosecution of adults neglecting children, contributing to the delin­
quency of children, or committing offenses against children.—Child witnesses
in such cases should be afforded all possible safeguards against unnecessary
publicity and suffering. They should never be detained in jail.

Even if the home, the church, and the school could claim all the
child’s time and surround him with ideal teachings and influences,
the spirit of the community would still literally reach in after him
through such agencies as the press and the radio which bring the
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outside world into the home itself. The daily papers with sensa­
tional headlines and stories of crime, corruption, and lawlessness
reflect conditions utterly at variance with the principles of right
living that parents and teachers may strive to inculcate.
Public opinion should be educated to demand the right attitude
toward enforcement of laws for the protection of children on the
part of prosecuting authorities, courts, and juries. In some com­
munities public opinion can actually prevent the opening of amuse­
ment places of questionable character by bringing pressure to bear
upon property owners who control the leasing of buildings. The
commercial interests in some cases can be made to realize that favor­
able public opinion is a genuine commercial asset and to cooperate
in furnishing a wholesome type of amusement. Where it is im­
possible to commandeer such a powerful united public opinion,
however, it is necessary to depend upon officials and departments
acting through adequate systems of licensing and supervision.
Where laxity exists, private organizations must be prepared to stir
up action by obtaining evidence, presenting it to officials, and fol­
lowing up the cases.
1. Assistance to parents.
Blatz, William E., and Helen B o tt: Parents and the Preschool Child. W il­
liam Morrow & Co., New York, 1929. 340 pp.
Brill, Alice C., and May P. Youtz: Your Child and His Parents; a text­
book for child-study groups. D. Appleton & Co., New York, 1932. 339 pp.
Children’s Bureau: Are You Training Your Child to Be Happy? Lesson
Material in Child Management, by Blanche C. Weill. Publication No.
202. Washington, 1930. 57 pp.
______: The Child from One to S ix ; his care and training. Publication
No. 30 (revised). Washington, 1931. 150 pp.
•__ ; Child Management, by D. A. Thom. Publication No. 143 (revised).
Washington, 1928. 47 pp.
Sayles, Mary B u ell: The Problem Child at Hom e; a study in parent-child
relationships. Commonwealth Fund Division of Publications, 41 East
Fifty-seventh Street, New York, 1928. 342 pp.
Thom, Douglas A.: Everyday Problems of the Everyday Child. D. Appleton & Co., New York, 1927. 350 pp.
_____ : Normal Youth and Its Everyday Problems. D. Appleton & Co.,
New York, 1932. 368 pp.
White House Conference: Education for Home and Family Life. Century
Co., New York, 1932. 128 pp.
______; Home and the Child. Century Co., New York, 1931. 165 pp.
______; parent Education. Century Co., New York, 1932. 354 pp.
2. Early diagnosis of behavior problems.
The Child, the Clinic, and the Court, pp. 75-101.
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2. Early diagnosis of behavior problems—Continued.
Children’s Bureau, U. S. Department of Labor: Habit Clinics for the
Child of Preschool A ge; their organization and practical value, by
D. A. Thom. Publication No. 135. Washington, 1924. 71 pp.
The Child Guidance Clinic and the Community; a group of papers written
from the viewpoints of the clinic, the juvenile court, the school, the
child-welfare agency, and the parent, by Ralph P. Truitt, Lawson G.
Lowrey, Charles W. Hoffman, William L. Connor, Ethel Taylor, and
Fanny Robson Kendel. Commonwealth Fund Division of Publications,
41 East Fifty-seventh Street, New York, 1928. 106 pp. Free on request.
Thomas, William I., and Dorothy Swaine Thomas: The Child in America
(Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1928.), pp. 144-165.
3. Preventive work in the schools.
Benedict, Agnes E .: Children at the Crossroads. Commonwealth Fund
Division of Publications, 41 East Fifty-seventh Street, New York, 1930.
238 pp.
Children’s Bureau, U. S. Department of Labor: Vocational Guidance
Recommendations of the White House Conference on Child Health and
Protection. Leaflet, 1932.
Culbert, Jane F .: The Visiting Teacher at Work. Commonwealth Fund
Division of Publications, 41 East Fifty-seventh Street, New York, 1929.
235 pp.
Thomas: The Child in America, pp. 273-294.
White House Conference: Home and School Cooperation. Century Co.,
New York, 1932. 122 pp. Paper.
--------- : Special Education (Century Co., New York, 1931), pp. 491-534.
---------: Vocational Guidance: Principles and Practice. Century Co.,
New York, 1932. 396 pp.
4. Community influences and leisure time.
Additon, H enrietta: City Planning for G irls; a study of the social ma­
chinery for case work with girls in Philadelphia, with comments on
present methods, brief histories of past experiments, and recommended
plans for the future. Social Service Monograph No. 5. University of
Chicago Press, Chicago, 1928. 150 pp.
Children’s Bureau, U. S. Department of Labor: Leisure-Time Activities
of Rural Children in Selected Areas of West Virginia, by Ella Gardner
and Caroline E. Legg. Publication No. 208. Washington, 1932. 86 pp.
--------- : Public Dance H a lls; their regulation and place in the recreation
of adolescents, by Ella Gardner. Publication No. 189. Washington,
1929. 57 pp.
Lee, Joseph: Play in Education. Macmillan Co., New York, 1915. 500 pp.
New York State Crime Commission: Crime and the Community, pp. 11-18.
Police Department, City of New York: Crime Prevention Bureau, Annual
Rockwood, Edith, and Augusta J. Street: Social Protective Work of Public
Agencies with Special Emphasis on the Policewoman. National League
of Women Voters, Washington, 1932. 22 pp.
Thomas: The Child in America, pp. 166-218.
Truxal, Andrew G .: Outdoor Recreation Legislation and Its Effective­
ness. Columbia University Press, New York, 1929. 218 pp.
White House Conference: The Delinquent Child, pp. 200-222.
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At no time is the child more in need of careful study and sympa­
thetic understanding than when he has come into conflict with the
law. I t is largely accidental to-day just which of the children
manifesting more or less serious conduct problems are apprehended
and brought before the courts. This means that the apprehended
delinquent should not be considered inherently bad or different
from many other young people of his age. As is pointed out by
the delinquency committee of the White House Conference, “ the
stresses which bend the delinquent are of precisely the same character
as those which bend our lives.”
The important thing is to discover just what it was that caused
the individual child to break the laws which society enacts to protect
its own security, and why this particular child succumbed to temp­
tations when other children in his own environment were able to
resist them. This can be done only by sympathetic as well as scien­
tific study of the delinquent himself, of his background, environ­
ment, and associations, mental attitudes, and physical characteris­
tics. I t means living his life over with him in its own setting. It
is only by understanding what lies back of the delinquent act that
those agencies especially intrusted by the State and municipality
with responsibility for children definitely failing to live in accordance
with the laws of organized society can attempt intelligent treatment
and deal with children in a way that will strengthen them for social
living and safeguard their right to security and development. In
other words, since children are, in a sense, wards of the State, the
state must deal with those who break its laws as a wise parent deals
with children—on the basis of complete and intimate understanding.
In the words of the delinquency committee of the White House
Great are such powers of the State acting through its juvenile chancery
courts, and great, accordingly, are the responsibilities of such courts both for
the child and for the State. Needless to say, these responsibilities to-day are
met unevenly, but it seems possible to indicate some of the ways in which
they can be more fully met—some of the underlying principles, as we now
see them, of fundamental worth. The more fully these are realized and tried
out, the more clearly will still more worth-while principles become evident.

The agencies upon which the State places responsibility for appre­
hension and treatment of delinquency are mainly the police, the
courts, and the correctional institutions. These agencies will be
discussed separately.
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The police have been largely neglected in attempts to modify legal
procedure in children’s cases and to build up specialized agencies
for dealing with juveniles. Only occasionally do the police deal
with children by other than the conventional methods used in deal­
ing with adults.
Proposals to improve police administration include organization
which will provide technical direction, establishment of police­
training schools, and development of specialized bureaus or depart­
ments for dealing with juvenile problems or for crime prevention.
The instruction of all police officers should include information
necessary to enable them to deal intelligently with the ordinary
problems of child welfare with which they come in contact and to
recognize the more serious problems requiring special attention.
The preventive work of police departments is a growing activity
not to be overlooked. For example, the crime-prevention bureau of
the police department of New York City, established as an experi­
ment in January, 1930, was made permanent in June, 1931. This
bureau has demonstrated methods of socialized treatment which may
be used by the police in the prevention of crime and delinquency
among minors. The effectiveness of cooperation of the police service
with community agencies such as schools, boys’ and girls’ clubs, and
the like, has been demonstrated in Berkeley, Calif., where the police
chief has established a coordinating council composed of the exec­
utive heads of the several departments and meeting at intervals to
discuss special problems and social treatment of individual cases.
Such experience shows that it is important for each police depart­
ment to establish and maintain a department or detail to specialize
in work with children. The delinquency committee of the White
House Conference has described the form that such a detail should
take. It should be an independent detail with rank at least equal
to that of a precinct station, and the word “ crime ” should not ap­
pear in its title. Either the commanding officer or his first assistant
should have had executive experience in social work. Both men and
women should be assigned to this detail. They should be selected
carefully, and only those should be retained who are suited by tem­
perament and training for this service. The work of such a detail
should be directed toward the maintenance of clean community con­
ditions as well as service to individual children, putting the children
in contact with courts or other agencies if need for intensive social
treatment exists. The service of such a socialized police force could
become an important factor in the prevention as well as in the treat­
ment of juvenile delinquency.
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Juvenile courts have been established in all States but two, but the
full extent of the role they may play in the treatment of delinquency
has not yet been fully or generally understood. As stated in the
White House Conference report on “ The Delinquent Child,” “ Their
primary function hinges on the fact that they are not looking out­
wardly at the act but, scrutinizing it as a symptom, are looking for­
ward to what the child is to become.” The question for the court is
not one of leniency or mercy; it is one of ascertaining what is needed
and acting accordingly with scrupulous justice. The court is con­
cerned to understand why the particular child is delinquent, and, on
the basis of this understanding, to attempt intelligent treatment for
proper adjustment toward responsible future living.
In many places old theories persist along with the new. The minor
delinquencies of children may be treated sympathetically in an effort
to guide and adjust the child, while more serious offenses may be
treated with severity and with little regard for causes or for what
intelligent and understanding treatment may accomplish.
A court equipped to deal with children’s cases should be available
to every community. In 21 States and parts of 2 others, the jurisdic­
tion of the juvenile court extends up to the age of 18 years, or, in
a few instances, to those over this age, but many exceptions and
modifications in juvenile court laws limit the courts’ authority and
permit criminal procedure in certain cases. It is fairly well accepted
as a goal toward which to strive that juvenile-court jurisdiction
should be exclusive at least to the age of 18 years, the juvenile-court
judge having power to waive jurisdiction above the age of 16 in his
The fundamental features of juvenile-court organization and the
essentials of juvenile-court work have been outlined in the publica­
tion of the United States Children’s Bureau entitled “ JuvenileCourt Standards,” the work of a committee of experts appointed by
the bureau, and in a standard juvenile court act drawn up by a com­
mittee of the National Probation Association. They have also been
stated in the White House Conference report as follows:
Qualified judges and probation officers.—The first essential for a juvenile
court is to have judges and probation officers duly qualified in equipment
and devotion for this exacting work, open-minded and alert, interpreting what
has happened, understanding what lies behind, looking and thinking toward
what is ahead. With such judges and probation officers seeking to understand
the deeper significances presented by the problem, there is prospect of worth­
while endeavor to bring about whatever training and education is necessary,
using to that end the parents and agencies of the community.
Intimate procedure.—The second essential is for a court atmosphere of in­
timateness, where the delinquent and his parents, usually shocked and in dread,
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may find that each has the right and the opportunity to speak freely with the
Investigation for basic needs.—The probation officer makes a more intelligent
social investigation when there is realization of the importance of discovering
the basic needs of those involved. No longer is a report limited to making an
inventory of the number of rooms and beds, amount of sun and food, the
number in the household of the delinquent. Now the nature of the relation­
ship of one member of a family to another, their respective feelings and atti­
tudes, the needs of each, and of the family as a whole, become vital matters for
inquiry, often disclosing the most significant factors to be dealt with.







The findings of this case-work and clinic study are brought to the judge.
They include an analysis of the physical, mental, and emotional make-up of
the delinquent himself, and in all his relationships, his needs for development
and growth, how far they are met or thwarted, and how it is believed they
may be met more fully or dealt with on the basis of compromise with the
needs and forces about him. The purpose of all this is that there may be as
full an understanding as possible, and that in the light of that understanding
worth-while plans may be made for necessary training and education.
Experimental attitude toward problem.—Obviously, as the case progresses
and greater confidence is established, more accurate understanding is gained
and more effective treatment attempted. While all this is going on, forces, or
lack of forces, in the delinquent and those about him may result in further
acts of delinquency and complicate the problem still more. Whether there are
such acts or not, the child is changing from day to day, and the total situation
changes. * * *
Constructive use of segregation.—Approaching the problem with the keenest
and most sympathetic study, the court will now and then find some delinquent
who is so defective physically, mentally, or emotionally that segregation from
the community in an institution equipped to deal with such an individual is
the only proper treatment, both for his own sake and for the sake of the com­
munity. Epileptics and the low-grade feeble-minded who are a social danger
are examples. When segregation is necessary, for such reasons, and only then,
should it be, carried out. \Vhen the state, through its courts, so segregates an
individual, it has the duty of providing the treatment and training the indi­
vidual needs for living out his life as completely as possible and for return to
the community as a strengthened person, whenever possible, with such super­
vision as may be fiecessary.
Change of environment to meet needs—The particular problem may be one
which indicates a change of environment; but it always should be kept in mind
that this uprooting, to some degree, often greatly, means abruptly breaking
the present sense of security—the essentials of belonging, loyalties, and affec­
tions. Conscious consideration of the fundamental need of the child for security
is necessary in weighing all the reasons for and against the uprooting. * * *
In most cases the solution does not require segregation or uprooting. The
court can cause the needed training and education to be carried out in other
Probation to establish right relationships.—The delinquent may be put on pro­
bation ; that is, he may be made the center of a cooperative endeavor to supply,
so far as possible, what is lacking in his security and developmental needs in
his many relations to himself, to his family, his school, his work, his church,
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and his community, while at the same time due consideration is given to the
basic needs of those about him.
The probation officer seeks to bring about the needed, right relations. It is
not his task to do this for the child but to make it more possible for the child
and those about him to do it for themselves.

Special problems in juvenile-court administration.

The delinquency committee of the White House Conference col­
lected some facts and made some recommendations in regard to a
few special problems of jurisdiction and administration which have
been encountered by juvenile courts. The following is a brief sum­
mary of some of this material:
Treatment of runaway children.—A serious problem is presented
by the large number of boys and girls who in the course of a year
run away from home and get into difficulties and so into the
juvenile courts. Since these children are not members of the com­
munity in which they are apprehended, the courts are reluctant to
accept permanent responsibility for them. The result is that they
are frequently released with instructions to return home—a pro­
cedure often complicated by failure of their parents or of the local
authorities to send money for their transportation.
Community agencies should cooperate to prevent children from
running away from home. Police and railroad officials should be
instructed to watch out for children who appear to be strays or^J^.
runaways and refer them to travelers aid or other suitable societies
or to the juvenile court. Policewomen or police officers assigned to
railroad stations and ship docks and agents of travelers aid societies
can be of great help in solving this problem. In every community
warnings should be broadcast to inform the general public of the
harmfulness of giving children “ lifts ” on the road, as running away
is often facilitated by unsuspecting motorists who accede to children’s
requests and transport them long distances from their homes.
As a result of experience certain standards for the treatment of
runaway children have been developed which can not be applied in
their entirety in times of unusual unemployment. In such periods
thousands of young people leave home in search of work, often with
the consent of their parents, and local resources are so overtaxed
that it is almost impossible to obtain funds for the return of
The standards which follow are substantially those recommended
by the committee on runaway children of the National Probation
The child should be returned to his own home or to the jurisdiction of the
juvenile court where he resides unless it be clearly established that it is against
the best interest of the child to he returned to the home or community from
which he has run away.
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2. Transportation for the child to his home should be obtained from the
parents or from the home community, if possible; or if this is impossible, from
sources in the community in which the child is apprehended.
3. No child should be returned to any locality until it is definitely established
that he belongs there.
4. The child should be cared for in a detention home, boarding home, or
elsewhere until he can be returned to his home or to the community where
he belongs, reimbursement for this care to be obtained from the parents or the
home community if possible.
5. The juvenile court in the community from which the child comes, in
addition to the parents and guardians, should be notified of the whereabouts
of the child.
6. The parents or guardian of the child should be required to come to the
court if possible. If this is not possible, a probation officer or other responsible
person should accompany the child to his home. If neither of these arrange­
ments can be made, the cooperation of travelers aid societies or other welfare
agencies, railroad officials, or police should be obtained to make certain that
the child does return to his home under such conditions as are necessary to
insure his safety and welfare.
7. Active cooperation and interest of local authorities and agencies should be
obtained to insure proper treatment of such children at the first point of
contact rather than allowing them to pass from community to community.

Prosecution of adults responsible for juvenile delinquency.—The
child’s security and development are frequently thwarted by adults
who, by their actions and conduct, become responsible for the delin­
quency of minors. For example, a great deal of stealing by children
is furthered by the purchase of their stolen goods by junk dealers.
Adults contribute to the delinquency of children in the cases of men
responsible for or guilty of sex offenses with girls, in connection with
the frequenting of pool rooms by boys, in the employment of minors
contrary to the child labor laws, and in other similar situations.
There seems to be great diversity in the provisions of statutes dealing
with adults contributing to the delinquency of children. The fol­
lowing suggestions in regard to jurisdiction in such cases were made
by the White House Conference:
1. It is believed that jurisdiction of the offense of contributory delinquency
should be in the court which has jurisdiction of children’s cases, whether that
court be the juvenile court or a family court with juvenile and domestic-relations
jurisdiction. This plan makes for a more effective use of the law and for the
protection of the child witness from the atmosphere and procedure of the
criminal court, as well as providing means for social investigation and for the
continuous treatment frequently necessary in such cases.
2. A statute dealing with contributory delinquency should allow a large
range of methods of dealing with the offender because the situations involved
vary so greatly. The range of penalties in the statute should vary from a
small fine up to $500 or even $1,000 or a jail sentence of 1 day to 12 months, or
both, with provision for the suspension of sentence and probation in the
discretion of the court. Mere arrest and continuance of the matter on the
docket without a sentence or fine is in some instances sufficient to secure the
desired result.
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3. Even If the court has jurisdiction over juvenile cases only, it is believed
generally desirable in dealing with contributory delinquency for the court to
have jurisdiction over adults for this purpose and to this extent, both because it
is often difficult to handle such cases effectively in the ordinary criminal court
and because the court that deals with the child involved can best deal with the
adult also.
4. In the case of serious offenses against children, such as rape, and certain
crimes against boys, heavier penalties are required. Whether these offenses
should be prosecuted in the juvenile court is a difficult question. The children
involved need the safeguards which juvenile-court procedure affords, but the
accused is charged with a most serious crime and is entitled to all the safe­
guards provided by the criminal law. Possibly concurrent jurisdiction should
be given the juvenile court and the criminal court. In cases in which the
criminal court takes jurisdiction, close cooperation should be maintained be­
tween this court and the juvenile court.

Treatment of minors over juvenile-court age.—The principle has
been generally accepted that offenders under 16 years of age should
be dealt with by courts as wards of the State rather than as criminals.
The committee on juvenile-court standards appointed by the Chil­
dren’s Bureau recommended an age limit for exclusive original juris­
diction in all children’s cases, not lower than 18 years. Twenty-six
States and parts of three others meet or exceed this standard with
regard to girls. Twenty-one States and parts of two others meet or
exceed the standard for boys. Four States have made provision for
specialized treatment of minors over juvenile-court age by courts
other than juvenile courts, and in some cities certain cases of minors
are heard in specialized branches of the municipal courts. In Chi­
cago a specialized branch of the municipal court is called the boys’
court. The Children’s Bureau made a study of this court and of
certain cases dealt with by it in the years 1924 and 1925. On the
basis of facts assembled in this study the bureau concluded that the
same need for individual study and scientific treatment exists in the
cases of boys between 17 and 21 years of age as in the cases of
children within the jurisdiction of juvenile courts.
Opinion is growing that it would be in the interest of law enforce­
ment and crime prevention if the State adopted a scientific approach
to the problem of treatment of all offenders. Though this point of
view is now influencing to some extent the treatment of adult
offenders, the State apparently is not yet ready to adopt for them
the theory which it has adopted for juveniles. I t should be possible,
however, to include at least all minors in a program based on social
readjustment rather than punishment.
Federal juvenile offenders.

In the last six months of 1930, 2,243 boys and girls under the age"of 18 years were held in jail on Federal charges. The problem of
providing satisfactory care for children who have violated Federal
laws is complicated by a dual judicial system whereby children are
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subject to both State and Federal laws. Except in Federal territory
the Federal Government has never made provision for special treat­
ment of juvenile offenders in the courts. They are subject to arrest,
jail detention, and public trial in accordance with criminal proce­
dure, just as though they were adults. The Federal Government
maintains the national training schools for boys and girls in the
District of Columbia and vicinity to receive delinquent children com­
mitted by Federal courts throughout the country and from the Dis­
trict of Columbia Juvenile Court. Arrangements are made with
certain State and local institutions by the Federal Government for
the care of juvenile offenders. I t was not until 1925 that Federal
courts had authority to place children or adults on probation, and
it was not until 1930 that definite steps were taken to provide pro­
bation officers sufficient even to begin to meet the demands made
upon them.
The passage in 1919 of the national motor vehicle theft act, com­
monly known as the Dyer Act, brought within the jurisdiction of
Federal courts boys who steal motor vehicles and take them from one
State to another. A study made by the Children’s Bureau in 1918-19
showed that at that time more than half the commitments to the
National Training School for Boys were for violations of postal
laws. Information supplementary to this study, obtained for the
White House Conference on Child Health and Protection, showed
that in 1928 more than half the commitments were for violations of
interstate commerce laws, notably the Dyer Act, and that slightly
more than one-third were for violations of postal laws. Summariz­
ing the changes of the 10 years that elapsed between the two studies,
the Children’s Bureau found that there has been a marked decrease
in the number of children arrested for violation of postal laws, a
decrease in the proportion of children under 10 years of age arrested,
a tendency toward increased use of juvenile courts, increased use of
probation, and decrease in institutional commitments by United
States district courts. Commitments for violation of postal laws
have decreased still further since 1928.
A comprehensive study of methods of dealing with juvenile Fed­
eral offenders was made by Dr. Miriam Van Waters for the National
Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement, under the joint
auspices of that organization and the White House Conference.
The principal recommendation was as follows:
It is recommended that the Federal Government recognize the concept of
juvenile delinquency and withdraw the child offender from the ordinary opera­
tion of Federal penal justice save in cases in which the local processes for deal­
ing with delinquent children prove to be or plainly are inadequate. The precise
nature of legislation required to accomplish this result will have to be deter­
mined by expert legal research. The Federal law should have the same oppor­
tunity for the protection of childhood that States have achieved.
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A circular issued by the Attorney General, August 14, 1931, to all
United States attorneys, commissioners, marshals, bureau of investi­
gation agents in charge, and prohibition administrators, stated that
the policy established u is that, wherever practicable and consistent
with the due enforcement of Federal statutes, juvenile delinquents
who come into Federal custody will promptly be returned to the
communities from which they come, for care and supervision or
punishment by the State authorities.” “ You are requested,” the
circular states, u to execute this policy in dealing with cases coming
under your supervision until legislation is passed authorizing it.”
A short time before the issuance of this circular the Attorney Gen­
eral requested the Children’s Bureau to cooperate with the Bureau
of Prisons of the Department of Justice in developing a program of
State and local cooperation with Federal authorities in the treatment
of juvenile cases. With the approval of the Secretary of Labor, this
work has been undertaken by the Children’s Bureau. The Bureau of
Prisons has added to its staff an assistant supervisor of probation
who will give major attention to juvenile cases. Through the co­
operation of the two bureaus, steps are being taken to develop a
Federal-State working relation, that will insure the utilization of lo­
cal resources and special provisions for Federal offenders in the
areas in which adequate local care can not be secured.
On June 11,1932, President Hoover issued the following statement
at the White House:
I have to-day signed the bill authorizing the transfer of the cases of juvenile
delinquents from the Federal system of criminal justice to juvenile courts in
their home communities, provided these juvenile courts are willing to accept
them. This measure is an important step forward in that it sets an example
through its recognition by the Federal Government of the principle that even
the relatively small number of juveniles in the Federal system should be handled
on a modern scientific basis. It is also a recognition by the Federal Govern­
ment of the juvenile court as the proper place for the handling of the cases of
all juveniles, and is an acceptance of the principle that juvenile offenders are
the product of and the responsibility of their home communities.
This step was recommended in one of the reports of the National Commission
on Law Observance and Enforcement, was included in the recommendations in
the President’s message to Congress, and has had the active interest and ap­
proval of social workers all over the country.

The act authorizes the United States attorney of the district in
which any person under 21 years of age has been arrested for a Fed­
eral offense to forego prosecution in a Federal court and to surrender
him to State jurisdiction under the following conditions: (1) If
after investigation by the Department of Justice it appears that he
has committed a criminal offense or is a delinquent under the laws of
any State that can and will assume jurisdiction over him and will
take him into custody and deal with him according to its laws, and
(2) if such surrender will be to the best interest of the United States
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and of the juvenile offender. The bill further provides that the
juvenile offender must signify his willingness to be returned or his
return must be demanded by the executive authority of the State.
Expenses incident to the transportation are to be paid from the
appropriations for salaries, fees, and expenses of United States

With the development of community resources for dealing with
problem children, increasing effort is being made to adjust the delin­
quent child in his own community, through social work in the schools,
child-guidance clinics, probation, and other forms of public and pri­
vate social service. As a result, the tendency is to leave only the
more difficult cases of juvenile delinquency for commitment to cor­
rectional institutions or for placement in foster homes.
Care of the child in his own home under the supervision of welltrained and competent probation officers offers many possibilities for
the education and guidance of parents as well as for treatment of the
child. A child’s first right is to his home, and education in the
family is a better preparation for life in the community than train­
ing in an institution.
In some cases the child’s needs for security and development can
not be met adequately in his own home, and the best possible sub­
stitute for normal home life in a foster home or in an institution
must then be provided. Whichever type of care is chosen, the under­
lying purpose must always be to provide for the child’s needs for
security and development which have been seriously thwarted before
his removal from his own home, and in either case social agencies
should cooperate to make his home environment suitable for his
Institutional and foster-home care have been provided, in part, by
the public, through State and local agencies and institutions, and in
part by privately financed organizations. The appropriate depart­
ments of State government should exercise authoritative and com­
plete supervision over all State-supported institutions and agencies
dealing with delinquent children and supervisory control over all
other institutions and agencies with the object of assisting them to
develop adequate personnel, facilities for care and training, and
treatment based on knowledge of the particular needs and capacities
of each child under care.
Foster-home care of delinquent children.

Placement of children in foster homes has been shown to be a
successful method of treatment in many cases, especially when the
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child has no serious mental or personality defects, and the practice
should be extended. For most problem children of school age
boarding-home care offers far greater possibilities than care in free
homes, where the service the child can render in return for board
and lodging is likely to be a major consideration.
Many juvenile courts place with relatives children who can not be
provided for satisfactorily in their own homes. Because placement
with relatives maintains family ties and the sense of “ belonging,”
that is, the security needs of the child, it often is preferable to place­
ment with strangers. I t should be used, however, only after careful
study to determine whether or not the relatives will cooperate whole­
heartedly in the treatment and will be able to provide a home
adapted to the child’s needs.
I t has been found, as a result of experience, that the following
considerations should be observed in the placement of children in
foster homes:
1. As a rule, such service should be rendered by a public or private child­
placing agency working in close cooperation with the juvenile court.
2. The decision to place a child in a foster home should be made only after
thorough study of the child, including social investigation and physical and
mental examination.
3. The foster home should be selected with a view to the special needs of
the child and the ability of the foster parents to give him the time, unselfish,
effort and attention, training, and firm discipline that he needs for proper
adjustment and development.
4. Supervision of children placed in foster homes should include frequent
visits by properly qualified visitors who understand the child’s problems and
are able to interpret them to the foster parents and guide the latter in helping
the children to overcome their difficulties, and who can help the children them­
selves to make the necessary adjustments.

Institutions for the care of delinquent children.

The original purpose of institutional care of delinquents was to
protect society by confining those who endangered its security. Now,
however, it is gradually being recognized that the fundamental pur­
pose of such care is to adjust those children who, for one reason or
another, can not obtain through any other agency the needed oppor­
tunity for development during the formative period of youth. The
newer purpose of the institution is to deal with the child on the
basis of careful, scientific, and understanding training and education
and prepare him to return to the community as soon as there is
assurance that he can fit into community life again.
In other words, the institution is viewed as a place of first choice
for treatment of certain types of children, notably those with inherent
defects in will power and responsibility, and not as a place of last
resort for children who have failed to respond to other types of treat­
ment. No institution, however good or understanding, can ever be
made a satisfactory substitute for a child’s own family in the gen
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eral social scheme. Nevertheless, placement in an institution should
be advocated when study of definite, positive psychological needs in­
dicates that institutional treatment citn do more for a particular child
than can be done by his own family or by some other type of
Institutions in existence to-day represent almost every stage in
the development of principles and methods of treatment for delin­
quent children. Their status is being affected by changing condi­
tions and newer developments in the field of child welfare which
tend to reserve for the institution the most difficult problems, and
to place upon the institution the obligation to utilize all that is now
known of the scientific methods of treatment of the individual de­
linquent. This implies a constant process of education and reeduca­
tion of the personnel in charge of an institution, and a close relation­
ship between the institution and the communities which it serves.
The following very general principles should be widely applied:
1. Institutions for delinquent children should be conducted as educational
institutions and should be entirely free from the atmosphere or practices of penal
institutions. They should not be subject to political control or interference.
2. The superintendent and staff of the institution should be selected on the
basis of their special qualifications for the work. They should receive ade­
quate compensation, comparable to that provided for other public services in
■he educational and social fields, and no discrimination on the basis of sex
should be made. Comfortable living quarters should be provided. Working
hours should not be so long as to deaden initiative and interest through monot­
ony and fatigue, and reasonable provision should be made for vacations.
Staff morale should be built up and maintained through constant effort on
the part of the superintendent and the heads of departments. Every individ­
ual employee should understand the principal objectives of the school program,
and should see clearly his own place and his own importance in the working
machinery for carrying out that program. This is being most effectively done
in those institutions where staff conferences are regularly held and intelli­
gently programmed.
3. The institution should provide an environment in which the child may
lead a regular, fully occupied, wholesome life, with schooling, work, and play
properly balanced. Every effort should be made to provide situations such
as the child would meet in well-rounded community life, in home, school, and
neighborhood. The institution must not lose sight of the fact that its task
is not to adjust the child to its own routine but to prepare him for the more
difficult adjustment to be made upon his return to his home community. The
successful institution is the one which teaches the child to appreciate the
difference between a citizen who is useful and one who is useless or destruc­
tive, which instills in the child a desire to become an independent, productive
citizen, and which gives him confidence in his own capacity to achieve this
4. The institution should give each child special study and . assistance in
meeting his own personal and social problems. Such individualized treatment
is exceedingly difficult to provide when cottage units house more than 25 or
30 children. The most progressive schools for delinquents have demonstrated
not only that corporal punishment and other forms of physical restraint are
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unnecessary and in conflict with the whole objective of the institution but
that better results can be obtained by other methods. The newer type of
school has substituted individualized study and social treatment for mass
repression and punishment. It has eliminated the “ disciplinarian ” who
wielded the strap or the paddle and has installed in his stead the mentalhygiene expert. In the schools that have made the greatest progress the psy­
chiatric clinic has become the focal point for action. Clinic workers seek to
discover the basic reasons for the child’s conflicts with community agencies
prior to his commitment and with institutional authorities during his stay
there. Having brought the difficulties to light, these clinic workers, in consul­
tation with other staff members, agree upon a plan for constructive treatment
of that particular child. This type of treatment requires the closest and most
sympathetic cooperation among those who are in direct contact with the child.
The cottage father and mother, the classroom teacher, the shop supervisor, the
work-squad instructor, the chaplain, the playground leader, the physician, the
psychologist, the psychiatrist—all must work in harmony in each individual
5. Academic work in institutions is generally patterned after that in the
local public schools. As many children committed to correctional institutions
are seriously retarded in school, a challenge exists to improve upon methods
that have failed to meet their needs. Careful classification and grading are
needed to discover special aptitudes or handicaps, and modifications of teaching
methods is necessary to serve types of children to whom ordinary methods of
instruction are not adapted, and to permit progress on the basis of individual
rather than class achievement. These, combined with instruction in small
groups, not only are possible but are now being undertaken. In some institu».
tions educators with imagination and initiative are modifying methods angi
curricula in such a way as to arouse and hold the active interest of children
who had formerly been rebellious truants.
6. Vocational training may be of considerable value to the older boys and
girls. Almost without exception they must face the problem of earning a
livelihood upon leaving the institution. The routine work of the institution
is usually performed by the boys and girls themselves. When this work is
so organized as to bring out all possible training aspects, it is not devoid of
training value. But care should be taken to make sure that labor-saving
devices and machinery are utilized to the fullest extent to save children from
drudgery which develops no abilities and gives no new experience or sense of
achievement. In assignments to work that has little or no training value,
duties should be changed frequently, and the health and vocational needs of
the child should always be given first consideration. Maintenance work should
not usurp time needed for academic or vocational training and should be
planned so as to observe both the spirit and the letter of State child-labor and
school-attendance requirements.
Many institutions are now developing courses which aim to provide prac­
tical trade training. In developing such courses the institution needs to bear
in mind several things: The opportunities for employment in the various
trades which w ill be open to the children upon their return to their home
communities; the necessity of careful assignment of children on the basis of
interests, aptitudes, school standing, and future placement; the requirement
that instructors, to be successful, must be exceptionally well qualified by'
temperament, training, and experience, and must be willing to keep constantly
in touch with technical changes and developments in their particular fields.
7. While a child remains in the institution, a parole officer or other social
worker should study home conditions and should seek in every way to prepare
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the home and the family for the child’s return. Since the home conditions
have frequently been responsible in part for the child’s delinquencies, this
will often mean the enlistment of a family case-work agency to carry on a
vigorous family rehabilitation program during the period of the child’s com­
mitment. No child should be paroled or discharged from an institution until
suitable arrangements have been made for his care in the community to
which he is sent.
Paroled children should be given adequate supervision and assistance in
making home, school, and vocational adjustments by properly qualified parole
officers. No parole officer should be so burdened with cases that he is unable
to give to each child the intensive friendly care that he may need during
the first difficult weeks after his return.

1. The court.
Abbott, Grace: Case-Work Responsibility of Juvenile Courts. Social Serv­
ice Review, vol. 3, No. 3 (September, 1929), pp. 395-404.
The Child, the Clinic, and the Court, pp. 217-330.
Children’s Bureau, U. S. Department of Labor: The Child, the Family, and
the Court; a study of the administration of justice in the field of do­
mestic relations, part 1, by Bernard Flexner, Reuben Oppenheimer, and
Katharine F. Lenroot. Publication No. 193. Washington, 1929. 87 pp.
---------: Juvenile-Court Standards. Publication No. 121. Washington,
1923. 10 pp.
• Youth and Crime; a study of the prevalence and treatment of
delinquency among boys over juvenile-court age in Chicago, by Dorothy
Williams Burke. Publication No. 196. Washington, 1930. 205 pp.
Cooley, Edwin J .: Probation and Delinquency; the study and treatment of
the individual delinquent. Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of
New York, 477 Madison Avenue, New York, 1927. 544 pp.
Johnson, Fred R .: Probation for Juveniles and Adults; a study of princi­
ples and methods. Century Co., New York, 1928. 242 pp.
Lou, Herbert H .: Juvenile Courts in the United States; their law and
practice. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, N. C., 1927
277 pp.
U. S. National Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement: Report
on the Child Offender in the Federal System of Justice, by Miriam Van
Waters. Washington, 1931. 175 pp.
White House Conference: The Delinquent Child, pp. 256-291.
2. Agencies and institutions caring for delinquent children.
Child Welfare League of America (Inc.) : Detailed Standards of Children’s
Aid Organizations and Outlines of Standards of Children’s Protective
Societies and Institutions. New York, 1929. 22 pp.
---------: Standards for Institutions Caring for Dependent Children. New
York, 1932. 39 pp.
Children’s Bureau, U. S. Department of Labor: Child Placing; a handbook
for child-placing societies, children’s homes, and other agencies and
officials who place children for permanent or temporary care. In
---------: Handbook for the Use of Boards of Directors, Superintendents,
and Staffs of Institutions for Dependent Children. Publication No. 170.
Washington, 1927. 129 pp.
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2. Agencies and institutions caring for delinquent children.—Continued.
Healy, William, Augusta F. Bronner, Edith M. H. Baylor, and J. Prentice
Murphy: Reconstructing Behavior in Youth; a study of problem chil­
dren in foster families. Judge Baker Foundation Publication No. 5.
Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1929. 325 pp.
Owings, Chloe: Women Police; a study of the development and status
of the women police movement. Frederick H. Hitchcock, New York,
1925. 337 pp.
Reckless and Sm ith: Juvenile Delinquency, pp. 253-284.
Reeves, Margaret: Training Schools for Delinquent Girls. Russell Sage
Foundation, New York, 1929. 455 pp.
White House Conference: The Delinquent Child, pp. 291-325.
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The small extent to which resources for the prevention and treat­
ment of juvenile delinquency have been developed in rural com­
munities and small cities, and the generally inadequate facilities
which exist even in the larger cities, indicate the need for effective
leadership by a State agency. In rural communities some form of
county organization which will afford skilled service in school-at­
tendance, juvenile-court, family-welfare, and child-protective work
is needed. No State has as yet developed a complete State program
for dealing with delinquency. If facilities are to be developed on a
truly state-wide basis, State encouragement and guidance, and probably State financial aid, must be supplied for local communities.
The service provided by the State should include at least the
1. Education of the public as to the meaning of juvenile delinquency, the
Renditions contributing to it, and the resources that should be developed for
its prevention and treatment.
2. Assistance in local organization through consultation service with reference
to the kind of facilities needed, development of standards for the selection
of personnel, provision of training facilities for prospective employees and
persons already in the service, and advice in selection of workers.
3. Consultation service to local workers in problems encountered in work
with individual cases or the correction of destructive community conditions.
4. Provision of specialized services and demonstrations such as psychiatric
and psychological service, expert leadership in developing recreational re­
sources, and demonstrations of the value of social work in the schools and of
probation work.
5. Assistance in developing adequate record keeping, and statistical service
in assembling and interpreting the facts as to the extent and character of
the delinquency problems of the State.
6. Provision of financial aid that will enable the poorer as well as the richer
counties to develop more adequate programs.

In States which have successfully developed cooperative plans of
State and local welfare organization an excellent foundation has
already been laid for more intensive, specialized service in dealing
with delinquency problems.
The Federal Government, through its research, fact-finding, and
educational services and through its direct work with Federal juve­
nile offenders, can assist in nation-wide development of such a
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Children’s Bureau, United States Department of Labor: Public Child-Caring
Work in Certain Counties of Minnesota, North Carolina, and New York, by
H. Ida Curry. Publication No. 173. Washington, 1927. 96 pp.
White House Conference: The Delinquent Child, p. 328-337.
---------: Organizations for the Care of Handicapped Children, National, State,
and Local. Century Co., New York, 1932. 365 pp.
---------: The Children’s Charter.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

National Organizations from Which Bulletins and Suggestions
May Be Obtained
Children’s Bureau, United States Department of Labor, Washington, D. C.
( Single copies of bulletins may be obtained free of charge. )
National Probation Association, 450 Seventh Avenue, New York, N. Y.
National Committee for Mental Hygiene, division on community clinics,
450 Seventh Avenue, New York, N. Y.
National Committee on Visiting Teachers, affiliated with Public Education Asso­
ciation of the City of New York, 8 West Fortieth Street, New York, N. Y.
Child Welfare League of America, 130 East Twenty-second Street, New York,
N. Y.
American Association of University Women, 1634 I Street, NW., Washington,
D. C.
Child Study Association of America, 221 West Fifty-seventh Street, New York,
N. Y.
National Recreation Association, 315 Fourth Avenue, New York, N. Y.
Russell Sage Foundation, department of recreation, 130 East Twenty-second
Street, New York, N. Y.
Boy Scouts of America, 2 Park Avenue, New York, N. Y.
tfirl Scouts, 670 Lexington Avenue, New York, N. Y.
TOmp Fire Girls, 41 Union Square, New York, N. Y.
Big Brother and Big Sister Federation, 425 Fourth Avenue, New York, N. Y.
American Social Hygiene Association, 450 Seventh Avenue, New York, N. Y.

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