View original document

The full text on this page is automatically extracted from the file linked above and may contain errors and inconsistencies.

Frances P erkins, Secretary

CHILDREN’S BUREAU— Katharine F. Lenroot, Chirf

Proceedings of the Conference
on State Child-Welfare Services
Social Security A ct, A ugust 14, 1935
T itle V , P art 3
W ashington, D . G.
A p ril 4 -6 , 1938

Maternal and Child-Welfare Bulletin No. 3

United States
Government Printing Office
Washington : 1938

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, Washington ,D .C.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Price 20 cents
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


Letter of transmittal________________________
Greetings, by the Secretary of Labor___________________
Philosophy and development of Federal-State'relationships, by Katharine
F. Lenroot, Chief, Children’s Bureau_________ _
What chiid-weifare services have meant from the point of view of the
“J Cecilia Carey, director, child-welfare services, Nevada_____
What child-welfare services have meant from the point of view of countv
development, by Winifred Lockard, county children’s worker, Burnett
County, Wis______________________ _
What child-welfare services have meant from the point o7view_of"services
for special groups, by Mrs. Phyllis O’Kelly, county children’s worker,


Objectives in aid to dependent children, by Jane M. Hoey, director Bu­
reau of Public Assistance, Social Security Board______________-__
Fa^ K
^ COnteilt of the program of aid t0 dependent children, by Mrs
Elizabeth Thompson, supervisor, aid to dependent children, Tennessee
By Ruth FitzSimons, assistant director, State Department of Social
Security, Washington____________________ __
B3L Liml n Muhlbacb- acting supervisor, Division of Child Welfare
State Department of Public Assistance, West Virginia___
w Ui!fr’ director of child welfare, Arkansas Department of
Public Welfare______________________________________
By Chariotte Leeper, case-work supervisor, New Hampshire State
Board o f Welfare and Relief_____________________
General discussion______________ __________


Some aspects of child-welfare services, by Hon. David C. Adie, commissioner, New York State Department of Social Welfare___ _______
Positive programs of child welfare, by James S. Plant, M. D~ director
Essex County, N. J., Juvenile Clinic___ .______________________


Method of providing psychiatric services, by Howard B. Mettel M D
HealthBU_reaU ° f Maternal and Child Health, Indiana State Board of
Content of a mental-hygiene program, by George H. Preston, M. D. com­
missioner of mental hygiene, Maryland State Board o f Mental Hygienem
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis





Contribution of the social worker to a mental-hygiene program, by Mrs.
Robbie Patterson, supervisor, child-welfare services, Child-Welfare Divi­
sion, Nebraska State Board of Control-----------------------------------------------Discussion :
By C. F. Ramsay, superintendent, Michigan Children’s Institute, State
Welfare Department----------------------------------------------------------- --------By Lena Parrott, consultant, child-welfare services, Bureau of Social
Welfare, Maine Department of Health and Welfare—— ----- -——
By Evelyn Ehman, psychologist, Division of Child Welfare, Illinois
Department of Public Welfare------------------------------------------------------ .


Statement of the problem by the chairman, Jacob Kepecs, executive direc­
tor, Jewish Children’s Bureau o f Chicago------------------------— ------- 7—
Developing community resources, by Mrs. Ann Botsford Bridge, socialwork consultant, child welfare, Maryland Board of State Aid and
Charities--------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------Cooperation with private agencies, by Grace M. Houghton, director of
child care, Bureau of Child Welfare, Connecticut State Public-Welfare
Council___________________________________________________ _—- — -----Initiating foster care in a local community, by Alice R. Haines, super­
visor, child-welfare services, Department of Child Welfare, Florida
State Welfare Board----------------------------------------------------------------- —7- The problem of foster care by juvenile courts, by Mrs. Helen C. Swift,
supervisor, Division for Children, State Department of Social Security,
Washington------------------------------------------------------------------------------ -—- - The broader scope o f child-welfare services, by the Rev. Bryan J. McEntegart, director, Division of Children, Catholic Charities of the Arch­
diocese of New York---------------------- -l--------------------------------------------------


Discussion :
By Mary Lois Pyles, director, Division of Child Welfare, Missouri
Social-Security Commission..----------------------------------- -j-------------- -----By Mrs. Doris M. Affleck, case-worker supervisor, Delaware State
Board of Charities---------------------------------------------------------------------General discussion------------------------------------------- ----------------------------- \-----


By Bessie E. Trout, welfare-training assistant, Bureau of Child Wel­
fare, New York State Department of Social Welfare----- ----------By Frances Steele, director, Division of Child Welfare, Georgia State
Department of Public Welfare-------------------------------------------------- —
By Mrs. Norma Rankin, director, child-welfare services, Division of
Child Welfare, State Board of Control, Texas— -------------------------By Florence M. Mason, assistant director, Catholic Charities Bureau,
Diocese of Cleveland----------------------------------------- -— ———--------------


General discussion---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis





Aspects o f State child-welfare services, by Norris E. Class, supervisor,
child-welfare services, Oregon State Relief Committee____
Development of services for rural children, by Paula Frank, director
Bureau of Child Welfare, Louisiana Department of Public WelfareSupervisory functions of the State child-welfare division, by Anna Sundo^ P u W i?W elfa re11 ° f Chlld"Welfare Services, Utah State Department
Relating the special child-welfare services to the regular State childwelfare program, by Grace A. Reeder, director, Bureau of Child Wel­
fare, New York State Department of Social W elfare^<1ferenceePreSen^a^ VeS
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



we^ are departments attending the con152
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Letter of Transmittal
U nited S tates D e p ar tm en t of L abor ,
C h il d r e n ’ s B u r e a u ,

Washing ton, August 1,1938.
M a d a m : There is transmitted herewith a report o f the conference

on State child-welfare services under the Social Security Act, which
met at Washington, D. C., from April 4 to April 6, 1938. The pro­
ceedings o f the conference have been prepared for publication by the
staff o f the Child Welfare Division o f the Children’s Bureau.
Respectfully submitted.
K a t h a r in e F . L enroot , Chief.
Hon. F rances P e r k in s ,
Secretary o f Labor.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Proceedings of the Conference on State ChildWelfare Services (Social Security Act, August
14, 1935, Title V, Part 3), Washington, D. C.,
April 4-6, 1938
Monday, April 4— Morning Session
H. Ida Curry, Chairman, United^ States Children’ s Bureau Advisory Committee on Community
Child-Welfare Services, Presiding

The C h a ir m a n . I am sure you are all quite as thrilled as I am
that we are getting together once more to review what has been done
in child-welfare work in rural areas. I do not believe that any of you
realize the significance o f this meeting as Mr. Carstens and I do.
Our minds run back 20 years to a time when there was practically
no rural social work under any auspices, except in a very few spots
in the United States. What has occurred in these last 2 years has
been due largely to the leadership o f the Children’s Bureau. It is
a great pleasure to have at the head of that Children’s Bureau
as understanding a woman as the one who presides over it, and I
am very much pleased to present to you Miss Katharine F. Lenroot.
Miss L enroot . S o many of our contacts have to be made through
correspondence and verbal reports from our field staff. We could
not go on at the Children’s Bureau, those o f us who have to be at
desks most o f the time, if we did not have occasional opportunities
to work with you in person, sometimes out in the field, when it is
a rare privilege o f mine to see you in your own habitats, and more
often in the conferences here.
We are very happy in the privilege o f having the Secretary of
Labor with us.
We should never forget that the social-security program of which
you are a part grew out o f the work o f the Cabinet Committee on
Economic Security, o f which Miss Perkins was chairman. Her
realization o f the breadth o f a social-security program and o f the
necessity o f making work for children the heart of the program,
led to the opportunities that you have for service.
The S ecretary op L abor . I cannot tell you how glad I am to be
here and how welcome you are in Washington under the roof o f the
Department o f Labor for this conference.
It is a great pleasure also to know that we are going to have, for
a few days at least, conferences with people who have reality always
before them when they speak; for we who are here in Washington
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



are without the stimulus of the people who face the problem realisti­
cally in the field. We are apt to grow theoretical. We are bound
to do that if we sit and read reports. We are bound to compare one
report with another and then come to some kind of logical conclusion
as to what they all mean.
The thing that I have learned as I have gone through life has
been that logic is a wonderful thing. It is a great invention of
mankind. It is a system that man invented to help him think with
the use o f these cumbersome tools that we call words. I f we had
not had to use words to help our thinking process we probably
should never have gone far with thought. Having invented words
we had to invent logic to help us think with words. But though
people have learned to think logically they do not always act logi­
cally, and it is in action that the really important part o f life lies.
It is what people do and not how they are able to think that matters.
People who sit and read reports are likely to follow a logical process
o f thought and come to a logical conclusion if it is not corrected by
the people who work in the field with human beings, who see them
day after day, not acting and reacting logically but acting and re­
acting according to some inner needs and pressures—some God-given
aspiration, some power o f self-discipline that logically they ought
not to have, some hopefulness that logically they could not possibly
have. I f one has not seen them doing that sort of thing one is likely
to come to a false program. That is why it is so reviving to us to
have direct contact with you who are in the field, who are seeing
people, who know intimately those who are faced with the very
problems for which we are today making meager but honest pro­
vision. It is this meager and honest provision which we Americans
should take to our hearts, not so much regretting that it is meager
as rejoicing that it is at least an honest and honorable attempt, in
which all of us are involved, to make life worth living and to make
life as good as possible for the people who happen to be living upon
this part of the continent at this particular time in the history of
The keynote of this whole conference appears to be that we are
coming to realize that a program that is suitable and possible in
one community with one set o f problems and one set o f capabilities
on the part o f its people—a program that can be utilized success­
fully in that community—is not necessarily the same program that
can be utilized successfully in another community. The very key
to our understanding of what we ought to do is an honest but per­
sonal approach to the problems of community activity, recognizing
that we must be and our program must be adaptable above every­
thing else, and that it is after all the sincerity and honesty of heart
and purpose with which the workers approach their particular prob­
lems that make them likely to have success.
So I hope the time will never come when we here in Washington
write a ticket, so to speak, and send it to you through the mails
and require you to act exactly along the lines laid down in the
specifications. It is the essence of honest work for people and with
people that they themselves—the people who are the victims or the
subjects or the beneficiaries o f the activity, whatever you want to
call them—should be able to take part in it and contribute to it
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



as well as those who are doing the work. I was delighted to hear
this note and to realize, from what Miss Lenroot has told me o f
what is going on, that this is really the refreshing and reviving
point o f view which you are bringing to this whole program, which
is based upon the idea that the Federal Government and the States
and the local citizens everywhere can participate in working out
programs following the same general principles but utilizing in
every community the things that are best known and best adapted
to the people o f that community.
Thank you so much for letting me come in for even a little while.
I shall hope to see more of you while you are here in Washington.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Philosophy and Development of Federal-State
By K a t h a r in e F. L enroot, Chief, Children’s Bureau, United States
Department of Labor

This conference o f State directors and supervisors o f child-welfare
services gives all o f us a real thrill, as we realize what has been done
in a period o f 2 years in translating into reality the purposes which
were in the minds o f all those who had some share in the develop­
ment o f title Y , part 3, o f the Social Security Act.
It was not 2 years ago that the first conference o f State super­
visors o f child-welfare services was held in Washington, in June
1936 immediately following the National Conference o f Social Work
in Atlantic City. A t that time an appropriation had been avail­
able for only 4 months and plans were just in the process of
development. I know that people in the States as well as the people
in the Children’s Bureau sometimes got a little jittery wondering
just how, with the relatively small amounts o f money provided in
the act, the very general purposes o f the appropriation expressed
in the act could be carried out.
In those first months, in conference with staff and with the people
in the States, it was emphasized that the objective o f Federal-aid
programs, as administered through the years in various forms of
service and as conceived by those responsible for all the titles ox
the Social Security Act, was to help to meet needs o f people m
every State and in every community and to stimulate the develop­
ment o f certain Nation-wide standards. These standards are based
on recognition of the fact that the needs of children and families
and communities everywhere are really the same but that the way
they are met must vary from State to State and from community to
community, in accordance with, particular conditions ^and with the
general framework of the economic, social, and political organiza­
tion within which the people of the community and the State live.
So in the Children’s Bureau we approached, on a case-work basis,
the problem of joint planning with the States, as the act requires.
I think I can perhaps brag a little, for I feel that we are very
fortunate in having in the Child Welfare Division, as director,
assistant director, and field representatives, people who are thor­
oughly steeped in the philosophy of the case-work approach and of
not trying to develop a priori theories from Washington to be ap­
plied regardless o f local situations or methods o f organization but
o f working out the problems as you work out a case-work problem
with a family or an individual.
In the development o f the social-security program it was recog­
nized, o f course, that we were just at the threshold of enlarging our
concepts of what constitutes a broad welfare program on a State-wide
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



basis that will serve the needs of rural as well as urban communi­
ties. For a generation or more, perhaps two generations, the leaders
in the development o f urban social work had recognized the fact
that people need help for a variety of reasons—economic, medical,
and other reasons—and that resources should be available to meet all
these types o f needs. That concept was basic in the charity-organiza­
tion movement and the family-welfare movement, but on the whole
it had not gotten into our State services nor into the services avail­
able outside the large cities. Moreover, the emphasis that had to be
given during the period o f depression to the vast and overwhelming
economic needs o f the people, the needs for relief and assistance, had
more or less overshadowed other needs for social-welfare service.
Provision o f funds for child-welfare services, very limited in
amount, only a drop in the bucket in comparison to social needs, was,
nevertheless, a recognition o f this other type of problem, o f this
other approach on the basis o f consideration o f individual needs that
might arise from a variety o f reasons only partly economic, although
the very important factor of the economic situation is in almost
every type o f need.
Therefore, child-welfare funds were made available on a broad
basis and were directed particularly toward strengthening local
services, because it was realized that this broader concept o f a wel­
fare program must be developed in the local community where needs
emerge and where they may be dealt with at very early stages of
The aid, o f course, was not intended to represent, nor was it in such
amounts that it could represent, a real participation o f the Federal
Government in a completely rounded State program o f welfare. In
the first place we had to specify, on recommendation o f our advisory
committee, although it was not in the law, that funds could not be
used for the maintenance o f children in foster homes or institutions,
because the fund would not stretch that far. Also, it was obvious
that funds could not be used for such important programs o f State
service as the care o f delinquent children, the care o f feeble-minded
children, and the care o f children with physical handicaps, except
to the extent that the use of a small amount o f money for study or
demonstration o f the relationship between these large State programs
and the program of community services might help to bring into
closer relationship all the aspects of a complete welfare program.
Many States at the beginning o f the social-security program did
not have anything approaching a developed State child-welfare
program or even a State program o f public welfare, so that, as the
reports for the 6 months ending December 31, 1937, show in no in­
considerable number o f instances, the programs being carried on with
child-welfare money, and perhaps in major part with Federal funds,
do represent practically all the services, apart from institutional care,
that are being developed on a State-wide basis to meet the needs of
dependent, neglected, and delinquent children and children in danger
o f becoming delinquent.
The fact that the legislature will be meeting in the next year in
practically every State and that the programs have been in operation
now for nearly 2 years means that all of you, in preparing for next
year’s activities, will want to analyze very carefully the whole broad
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



range o f welfare services for families and for children; to consider
the extent to which the State is meeting its responsibilities for
children, the extent to which it may be possible in the near future
to strengthen its services, extend them, and put into the program
increasing proportions o f State funds. All o i us who have had ex­
perience in the rural programs know that we cannot make effective
throughout the States the minimum essentials of service unless State
funds as well as local funds are utilized.
It may be that as the program develops there will emerge in this
field, as in other fields, the need for threefold sharing—Federal, State,
and local—to equalize opportunities and help support services as well
as to demonstrate methods in newer fields. The child-welfare-services
program essentially is one o f demonstration. None of us knows what
future developments will bring, but we do know that the next step
in many States is to consider very seriously the broad outlines o f a
State welfare program and the extent to which the State may
contribute more effectively in terms not only o f money but also of
I am deeply gratified by the evidences of real achievement that we
have in the progress reports and in the accounts that come to us of
the work that you are doing and the pioneer spirit with which you
and your staffs are attacking these problems.
I do want to mention some allied considerations that you will wish
to keep in mind to fill in the outlines o f the picture that you may get
in your brief visit to Washington. We hope it is not going to be al­
together a period o f work and that you will take time to see some­
thing of the beauties of Washington. But I want you to see Wash­
ington in terms of the various ways in which people here are trying
to think through some of the problems of economic and social life.
As you know, we have in the Children’s Bureau, to begin here
at home, research activities going on, and services in the fields of
maternal and child health and work for crippled children that are
intimately related to your own child-welfare-services programs.
To begin with the field o f social service, the Social Service Divi­
sion, o f which Miss Hanna is director, has been paying special atten­
tion during the past year to problems of adoption and illegitimacy,
problems that I know come up again and again in your own work
and in your consultation service to local communities.
The Delinquency Division, of which Miss Castendyck is director,
is making studies o f institutional care o f delinquent children and
has an advisory committee which had an all-day meeting Friday.
Mr. McLaughlin, the chairman, is with us this morning. On this
advisory committee some o f the superintendents o f boys’ and girls’
schools, associated with representatives o f two or three other fields
o f activity, are giving very serious consideration to the problems
of the training schools and the ways in which they may make
their services more effective and more closely related to the com­
munity activities which the child-welfare services are fostering.
In a number of States we have had collaboration in the programs
o f service for delinquent children and the child-welfare services,
through intake and population studies and through assistance, on a
demonstration basis, in developing case-work services in institutions.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



Then we have in a small area in St. Paul a demonstration of
methods o f preventing and dealing with delinquency before the
stage when it must have judicial or correctional-school treatment.
We are just now trying to get into that program some skilled groupwork service that will approach problems o f children from the
combined point o f view o f the case worker and the group worker,
applying some o f the things that have been developed in a pioneer
way in Chicago, Cleveland, and other places. The child-welfareservices programs in rural areas include work which is similar to
the activities in this urban demonstration, and I hope that in the
months to come there can be perhaps some work in one or two rural
areas that will directly relate to the things that we are trying
to accomplish in the city area.
In maternal and child-health work under the Social Security
Act all the States, Alaska, Hawaii, and the District of Columbia
are cooperating with us. We have been giving special considera­
tion to the gaps in the program—the things which must be attacked
next if we are really to save maternal life and the lives of newborn
babies in this country. I am sure you know that at the January
conference nearly 500 representatives o f 86 national organizations
met here in Washington for 2 days to consider in a very broad way
the whole program o f maternal mortality and maternal care and
the care o f newborn babies. The direct relation of this program to
your program is indicated by the fact that each year about 35,000
children are left motherless because of the deaths of their mothers
from causes associated with pregnancy and childbirth.
The crippled children’s program is in operation in every State
but one. I have been very much pleased to see in the progress
reports for State after State evidence that you and those in charge
o f crippled children’s programs are really getting together to make
available to the crippled child in a concrete way the assistance that
his needs require.
The program o f aid to dependent children is being carried on
by the Social Security Board and must be thought of in the very
closest relationship to this program. I know that when we raise
problems o f how far a program of service to dependent children,
neglected children, and delinquent children should be extended, we
cannot escape consideration of the relative stage o f development
o f aid to dependent children and the great needs in that field for
carrying the program forward on a basis of increasing adequacy.
The problems of relief, o f course, and the ways in which the State
and local communities are meeting these problems, are uppermost
in all our minds.
This year the problems o f medical care loom large in all your
work, I know, and I am sure you will be interested, if you do not
already know about it, in the report of the Interdepartmental Com­
mittee to Coordinate Health and Welfare Activities, which has just
been issued, on the need for a national health program. A techni­
cal committee, representing the Children’s Bureau, the Public
Health Service, and the Social Security Board, worked for about 8
months in exploring the problem and was responsible for the prepa­
ration and submission o f this report to the full interdepartmental
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



committee, which accepted it and transmitted it to the President.
The Committee considered the needs of children for medical care,
as well as the needs o f mothers and newborn infants, and pointed
out the absolute necessity of developing services on a State-wide
and a Nation-wide basis to meet the needs o f children who cannot
otherwise receive the medical care and health supervision necessary
to keep them in a condition o f full health and vitality.
The educational program, o f course, is also closely related to the
child-welfare-services program, and again and again I have been
pleased to see, in the progress reports, appreciation o f this fact and
evidences o f cooperation with the schools. I want to call your atten­
tion to a report of the Advisory Committee on Education, which has
just been transmitted to the President and to Congress, reviewing the
general problems of education and the relation o f the Federal Gov­
ernment to general elementary and secondary education and special
problems o f education such as vocational education.
These are some o f the things that I should like to have you keep in
mind and be thinking o f as you go back to your own States, because
this program is going to fail unless it continues to perform the serv­
ice which I know has been performed so well during the past 2 years,
namely, bringing to light hitherto unknown and neglected needs of
children and helping communities to view them in relation to the
total community picture and to develop more adequate ways of meet­
ing them. The remark that Miss Lathrop made years ago that thejuvenile court helped to make the child visible is applicable to the
child-welfare-services program.
I am so happy that we can have with us in these deliberations and
that we are to hear at dinner tonight from Dr. Plant, whose book,
“ Personality and the Cultural Pattern,” has so much o f stimulus
suggestion, and challenge for all social workers. All o f us, I am sure,
are realizing more and more, as we sense more keenly the problems
o f the world around us, that personality is the supremely important
thing and that i f American civilization is to mean anything to the
world that meaning must lie in the extent to which we cherish and
nurture and cultivate the personality o f our people.
The C h a ir m a n . We have been fortunate to have so dynamic a per­
son as a leader in the development of this rural work; one also who
by reason o f her past experience had already a wide knowledge of
the conditions in different States o f the Union, and we are glad now
to hear from Miss Mary Irene Atkinson, Director o f the Child Wel­
fare Division o f the Children’s Bureau.
Miss A t k in s o n . Miss Lenroot has referred to the differences that
exist in the child-welfare-services programs developed jointly by the
Children’s Bureau and the State welfare agencies. I do not know
who wrote title V, part 3, o f the Social Security Act, but whoever
is responsible for the wording certainly injected into that part o f the
act a great deal o f flexibility, which has made it possible to work
with the States on a case-work basis.
In planning the program for this meeting we have deliberately
chosen to place the accent on content. Each o f you may have some
questions about administrative procedure and legislation. We shall
be very glad to discuss these questions with you individually, but we
should like to carry through these 3 days of conference on the basis
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



o f a very definite underscoring o f what this program is about in
terms o f its effect upon children.
We have asked the people from the States rather than the staff of
the Child Welfare-Division to participate in this program. After
this morning those o f us on the staff o f the Children’s Bureau are,
we hope, going to be seen and not heard. It is your conference and
wè want it to be as informal as possible.
We could not ask all the States to participate in the formal pres­
entation o f material. We tried to choose from sections o f the country
that would be fairly representative, and I am sure that the contribu­
tions o f the various States will vary greatly.
The C h a ir m a n . And now we are going to find out what child-wel­
fare services have meant in some o f the States. One o f the States
that until recently could not be called upon to discuss what was going
on in the social-welfare field is going to be represented this morning
by a speaker who will tell us what Nevada is accomplishing. I am
delighted to introduce Miss Cecilia Carey, who is director o f the
service in Nevada.


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

What Child-Welfare Services Have Meant From the
Point of View of the State
By Cecilia Caret , Director, Child-Welfare Services, Nevada

Nevada, probably more than any other State in the Union, can
really tell what child-welfare services have meant, and the reason is
that they have meant everything from the point of view o f welfare
to the State as a whole. At the present time we can say very hon­
estly that without the stimulus that was given by child-welfare serv­
ices provided through the Social Security Act, we probably would
not be so far along today in Nevada as we are. This was due to the
fact that at the inception o f our program there was no State-wide
social-work agency in existence. There was no State welfare depart­
ment at all. All the problems o f people who were in need were
handled either through a Federal work-relief program or through
counties. By the time Nevada got around to creating a welfare de­
partment, a child-welfare-services program had already been in ex­
istence for 9 months.„ We had grown from a staff o f three trained
workers to a staff o f six trained workers. We had demonstrated not
only that was there a need for social work in a State that had not pre­
viously thought there was, but that a staff o f trained social workers
could really handle the job and do it successfully. Perhaps the latter
achievement is the greater one. Our emphasis on high personnel
standards and a staff-training program has made itself, felt in the
State welfare department that has now been created.
In addition to providing the nucleus for the new department, the
child-welfare-services program has provided the beginnings o f sound
social work involving children ana taking care o f children’s needs
and has made considerable headway in bringing to light the weak­
nesses of the State and in making plans for and leading the way
toward overcoming these weaknesses.
Our influence has been felt as strongly as it has been during the
past 2 years partly because Nevada was really a virgin field so far
as social work was concerned. In order to know some o f the things
we encountered in developing our program it would be, perhaps, a
good thing for you to picture this State, which is certainly different
from any other State in the Union.
Nevada has an area of 110,000 square miles, only 540 square miles
o f which are under cultivation. The rest o f it consists o f vast desert
wastes and grazing lands; not rolling hills, but mountainous, bushcovered grazing lands that are very little different from the desert
wastes except that there is some contribution in them.
The total population o f the State is only 110,000. Reno, the largest
city in the State, has 20,000 people. The population o f the oSier
12 or 15 urban communities ranges from 10,000 down to a very few
hundred. In many places people live 100 miles from the nearest
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



doctor or neighbor, and not along good highways either. It lias
been nothing to us in the State to travel 100 or 150 miles in going
from one place to another without seeing another person or passing
another traveler.
In the absence of a State welfare agency the child-welfare-services
program was attached to the State board of relief, work, planning,
and pension control created in 1935 to receive Federal grantS-in-aid.
This board was given very broad powers. It handled the work-reliefprogram funds and did planning throughout the State, and its powers
were general enough so that it was thought justifiable to allow it
to administer the child-welfare-services program. The only working
organization o f the board at the time we began was the Works
Progress Administration. The child-welfare-services agency began
its life in a little office that was donated to it by the W. P. A., and
everything that we had in services, office equipment, and the other
things we needed came to us through that agency. A survey o f re­
sources made it clear that Nevada was a very “ have not” State from
the point o f view o f child welfare and general welfare. We learned
early that if we were going to have development that was very real
and very pertinent we would have to be an independent organization.
^ Among the immediately evident resources was the Nevada State
Orphanage, governed by an ex officio board o f three members and
operated under the direction of a superintendent. Intake was limited
to children received on court commitment, and the institution was in
a deplorable state. You might like to hear how bad it was, and
then I will tell you how much better it became. The building was in
a run-down condition so far as physical equipment goes. One boys’
dormitory had been closed because the heating plant was so inefficient
that the rooms could not be heated at all. One o f the toilet rooms
for the boys was locked because the plumbing was very bad. The
youngsters ate from tin dishes in a cheerless dining room. The boys
were on one side and the girls on the other side. They were lined
up to march in. No conversation was permitted. Staff members,
who had their own meals in a separate dining room, were stationed
around the walls o f the room to enforce silence and discipline. The
superintendent placed children for adoption at his discretion. No
records or investigations were known and very little was known about
the children themselves, even their birth dates being sometimes lack­
ing. The compiling o f information o f that sort was initiated after
we began to do some work there.
^Besides the State orphanage we had the Nevada Industrial School,
which cared for boys committed by the courts as juvenile delinquents'
Girls committed to that institution were transferred to training
schools outside the State. This institution was under much better
management than the orphanage, but it was still true that boys and
girls were released from there with no plans for aftercare.
In the absence o f a State welfare organization, general relief and
aid to mothers in the State were handled by each o f the 20 counties
Three counties employed workers; not trained workers but for the
most part persons who seemed to need a job and who handled all
the relief problems o f the county. The other 17 counties did all their
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



work through their county commissioners. There were two full-time
probation officers in the State and one half-time probation officer.
None o f the three had any special equipment for the work.
Because of the neighborly condition the State was still in, we
could secure for a child anything that was needed if we could find
a worthy ancestor anywhere in the child’s background; any plan
could be financed if there was “ worthiness.” But the problem of
money was a very real one. We began to be afraid that it might
do us very little good to know that foster-home care was indicated,
or that a mother’s relief grant should be increased, or that a child
needed special training, if it meant always that we had to go to
the county commissioners as the only source o f funds. In addition
to having to go to counties for money every time we needed any,
there was also the problem of taxes in the State. The sources from
which funds may be derived in our State are quite limited. Our
boast, you know, is “ One Sound State” ; no sales tax, no income tax,
and no inheritance tax. The railroads and public utilities furnish
about 55 percent of the revenue that is collected. The rest comes
from taxes on bullion, property taxes, gasoline tax, and revenue
from the sale of liquor. There is, in addition, a constitutional tax
limitation o f $5 per hundred dollars valuation in the State. In many
places we have already reached that $5 limitation, and almost every
other place in the State is very close to it.
Within a short time we became conscious of another problem,
that o f juvenile-court procedure. We saw many cases handled by
juvenile-court judges, who were the regular district-court judges,
m which all people who were interested were sworn in as witnesses
and were made to testify for or against, in the presence of all par­
ties concerned. We still see that in some places, but in other places
we have done much better and that sort of thing does not go on any
Another problem that faced us very early in our history was the
lack o f facilities for giving health care or care for specific groups.
That is, we had no State provision for the care of tuberculosis and
none for the care of feeble-minded children. Feeble-minded children
were a charge on the county, if they were provided for at all, and
there was no local provision for the care o f tuberculosis.
Public-health nurses in the State went into the field under the
maternal and child-health program at about the same time we did,
and while the two services have now built up much better resources
through cooperative efforts, in the early stages each of' us had very
little to contribute to the other.
The school situation was another hurdle for us. Recalling the
description I have given of the State, you will not be surprised to
know that in many places it is not possible to have a high school
or to have one available for all children who are interested in going
to one. Our laws require that we provide every child with an eighthgrade education, but the existence o f high schools themselves is left
to the individual school district; if the high-school population is
sufficient, high schools can be had, if there is money for them.
Overshadowing all these physical handicaps was the complete ig­
norance throughout the State o f what social work means and what
a child-welfare program could mean and was going to mean. The
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



general attitude in our completely rural State was “well, that is
all right for your city slums, you need that sort of thing there, but
we haven’t those problems and we take very good care o f our people
without all that fuss,” and social workers themselves were not any
too well thought o f in the State. So it is not surprising that after
surveying our field and looking at what we did not have, we con­
cluded that an educational program was going to be our major ob­
jective, certainly the first thing we would try to do and the thing
on which we would spend a great deal of time and effort.
Three localities in the State were selected as offering potentiali­
ties for successful work, and to each one a representative o f the pro­
gram went, always conferring with county commissioners, judges,
district attorneys, church and school officials, and various club and
civic leaders. The purpose and possibilities o f the program were
explained and met with whole-hearted acceptance. The only ques­
tion raised was by county commissioners, who asked what it would
cost. In some cases they agreed to participate to a certain amount.
The commissioners in one county said, for example, “ Well, that
sounds pretty good, and if you don’t ask us for more than $25 a
month it will be all right.” Office space was arranged for in each of
these three localities, either with the W. P; A. office if there was one,
or in a county building. It depended a little upon what was avail­
able and what seemed in the county to be the place where we could
cooperate best without having any “ foreign entanglements.”
A point was made o f becoming acquainted with the members of
our legislature and of showing them as early as we could some of
the things that we did not have that could be remedied by legisla­
tion. We were promised by them everything that could be done. In
fact, the slogan was “ Anything for children.”
We are singularly fortunate in that thi plan drawn up by the
State and approved by the Children’s Eureau set the standards for
workers high. That is, they were high in the sense that there was
nothing in the State and no personnel standard that we had to shoot
at, and certainly high in comparison with the equipment o f some of
the local workers and o f work that was being done around us. It
specified, for example, that each worker should have a minimum of
6 months’ training in a recognized school o f social work, plus some
experience. Three workers were available in the State at the time
that we began. These three were immediately absorbed into the
program. They were young and enthusiastic about pioneering in
social work and were thoroughly imbued with the principle that
patience and understanding must prevail and that any seeming
progress was not real progress unless the entire community under­
stood and accepted what was being done.
We encouraged very active community participation in making
plans and in carrying them out. Practically every service club in
the various communities in the State has at some time in our history
contributed financially toward carrying out plans for a child. Their
natural interest in the welfare of children has been fostered by
making them quite active participants in what was being done. We
have, for example, service clubs contributing toward the care of
tubercular children in a sanitarium outside the State; toward foster­
home or convalescent care for children; toward supplying special
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



medical needs and obtaining training in a school outside the State
for two boys whose behavior was tending toward delinquency.
Within a few months after the child-welfare-services program be­
gan we secured a small State fund of $2,000 to be used for child-care
purposes. This money seemed a lot to us, and we tried in every case
to use it to match local funds or to care for a child temporarily when
we hoped and thought that some person or service club in the com­
munity or county would later take over the care o f the child. That
is, we tried not to start financing out o f $2,000 anything that might
continue over a very long period. In the first year this fund paved
the way for a total expenditure o f $12,000. Practically all of it
was collected from counties and service clubs and all o f it was spent
on types o f cases that had previously received no care or attention
whatever. The public interest gained through this little “bait fund”
has been centered, I think, on getting money for us, and surely we
will have more money after another session of the legislature.The work that we did at the orphanage has been a great source
o f pride to us. The chairman of the board was an excellent person.
He was the State superintendent o f education and he had a fine
philosophy o f what children needed and what children should have.
Working with him we made plans for removing unfit members of
the staff, outlined changes in the institution itself, and arranged to
place a social worker there. There was a legislative investigation
o f the institution at the time we were interested in making changes,
and this helped in accomplishing some o f our ends by arousing in­
terest in providing a better staff, so that at the present time the social
worker who is out there is working in a very different'place. The
rigidity of rules and discipline has been dispensed with. A much
better superintendent is there. Some of the poorest staff members
have been removed, and the children themselves are in a much hap­
pier frame o f mind. Some o f the children who were definitely feeble­
minded have been removed from the orphanage. One girl who
presented a very serious behavior problem has been removed, and the
attitude o f the children toward one another is being helped a great
Similarly, we have introduced social-service work for the boys at
the Nevada Industrial School. Plans for the release of the boys
are made now in consultation with the local child-welfare worker
and the workers in whose areas the boys will be placed.
It is hard for us, now that we have so much more at our com­
mand and are able to do so much more than in the beginning, to
realize that it was only 2 years ago that we had so little. We feel
that we have accomplished a great deal in that time. It seems, for
example, longer than 2 years ago that we were in the dark basement
room in the W. P. A. office, being constantly cautioned about what
we should or should not do in the State.
We have now the beginning o f a State welfare department that
will provide quarters for the child-welfare-services workers. We
have State participation in administrative costs. We have six childwelfare workers in the State, including the one at the orphanage.
We provide social service for boys at the industrial school. We
have an increased relief fund, and the prospect for future develop­
ments o f our program are very bright indeed.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



In March 1937, a constitutional amendment was adopted which
made it possible for the State to participate in relief programs. It
was possible then for the State to enact a welfare law providing
for a welfare department and to provide an administrative appro­
priation. The law gives very general authority. It is very broad
and it gives the child-welfare-services program legal status which
it did not have before. A portion of the appropriation accompany­
ing the welfare law has been set aside for our use and we are assured
of State participation in administration.
In a State as small as Nevada, small from the point o f view of
population, the direction o f the growth o f our program will depend
very largely, we believe, on the growth o f the welfare department
as a whole. Besides our division there is only one other operating
in the State at the present time and that is the division o f old-age
assistance. We hope in the future to include aid to dependent chil­
dren, aid to the blind, and supervision o f general relief. The two
existing divisions are very closely related. Some people are em­
ployed as half-time workers on each program, and at various times
we have lent workers for 3 or 6 months on a part-time basis to the
other division. Our aim is to consider our workers as employees o f
the department rather than o f their particular division. The educa­
tional qualifications of our workers are higher than those set forth for
workers in old-age assistance, and our emphasis on high training
and qualifications has been felt very decidedly by the workers in
old-age assistance. We have maintained throughout our existence
a training program to enable one or two workers a year to have
educational leave for 6 or 9 months.
Three o f the workers in old-age assistance have asked for an op­
portunity to participate in our training program and to work parttime with us when they return. We have already given this op­
portunity to one o f the workers. Another is going to have some
training later in the year. Another encouraging sign that we think
is going to build up a better personnel in the State is that three mem­
bers o f this year’s graduating class in the university are going to
enter schools o f social work and finance their own training.
We are strongly inclined in Nevada to hold out for workers from
our own State. As we did not have enough trained people when
old-age assistance went into effect to provide qualified persons for
all positions available, we took the best ones available in the State.
One by one, through a process of infiltration and training under
the programs that we are offering, these people are being added to
the list o f trained employees. It is a great source of pride to the
State board that better personnel are being acquired. The whole­
heartedness of the State board in doing the best possible work is
evidenced in its recent request to the supervisor o f the old-age-assist­
ance and the child-welfare-services programs to make recommenda­
tions for a closer consolidation o f the two existing divisions, looking
forward eventually to a staff able to function in any division of the
We hope that it will not be very long before we are able to assign
our workers on a county or a district basis and have each one capable
o f handling all the social work in that area. Child-welfare workers
are now supervising, in almost every county, all the grants to mothers
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



under the county law, and in many cases they are supervising general
relief cases also. One county has already asked the State depart­
ment to send a qualified person who can do all the work that needs
to be done, because there is no one in the county really able to do it.
The place of the child-welfare-services program has been a very
significant one in the development of the State welfare department
and in making social work acceptable in the State to those who
thought it was not needed. Individual cases have brought to the
attention o f the public the need for State provision for the care of
the tubercular and feeble-minded children who are now charges on
the county and who therefore are being given little care in most
counties. Widespread interest has been aroused in remedying de­
fects through legislation. Improved legislation relating to adoption,
juvenile-court procedure, and general welfare work can be enacted
probably at the next session of the legislature. Many groups in the
State are coming into our office to say “ Well, what can this organiza­
tion do?” , or “How can we help you accomplish the ends that you
have in mind?” Thus, reviewing the developments, slight though
they have been, and the anticipated developments, and remembering
the former general apathy in the State toward social work or any
kind of welfare work, we are sincere in saying that the State childwelfare-services program in Nevada really has meant everything.
The C h a i r m a n . Y ou have heard the very interesting story of
what has been happening in the State of Nevada and how they began
from scratch, as it were, in the building up of welfare work. We are
now going to hear from a State that had gone quite a long way along
the road o f public welfare when the Social Security Act came into
being. I am glad to introduce Miss Winifred Lockard, one of the
county children’s workers in Wisconsin.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

What Child-Welfare Services Have Meant From the
Point of View of County Development
By W iniered L ockard, County Children's Worker, Burnett County, Wis.

Before I can begin to tell you exactly what child-welfare services
have meant in Wisconsin, I should like to describe briefly what kind
of county I am speaking of. Burnett County is one of the so-called
rural counties of northern Wisconsin. It has a total area of about
566,000 acres. One-quarter of that area is zoned for recreational
purposes, which in itself sounds rather ideal from the point of view
of the child. Unfortunately, the area so zoned is not developed. In
August 1936, 26.6 percent of all tax levies on real estate was de­
linquent. In December 1937, according to a survey made by the
public-welfare department, 23.4 percent of our total county popula­
tion was receiving some form of public assistance, through the Works
Progress Administration, old-age assistance, aid to dependent chil­
dren, or some other type of relief. Naturally all of this has had
an effect on the child-welfare program and on the resources that we
could expect to develop within the county.
At the inception of the program in June 1936, Burnett County
was given a part-time worker who devoted 10 days a month to childwelfare work in the county. After approximately 1 year of this
type of arrangement we were given a half-time worker, and since
September 1937, we have had a worker who spends her entire time
in the county. F ifty percent of her time is devoted to cases in the
public-welfare department, cases in which there are children’s prob­
lems. The other 50 percent of her time is devoted to cases assigned
by the juvenile court, the county children’s board, or interested per­
sons in the county. This has had obvious advantages. It has shown
the community that the family is the basis for treatment. These
services were not so emphasized before and the community has not
seen the tie-up and neither have the workers.
Another advantage of relating child-welfare work to family prob­
lems, which is probably the one which the community appreciates
more than any other at this point in our program, is the financial
advantage. There is less duplication o f time and effort. The only
disadvantage is that whereas the activities are integrated at the
county level, the State still differentiates between the two fields.
One State department deals with child welfare and another depart­
ment deals with public welfare. There is also a State pension de­
partment, which is a misnomer since it handles old-age assistance
and aid to dependent children. We do have many cases referred to
us which we cannot handle, but we work with the area investigator
and we confer with her on cases in which the children are in families
receiving aid to dependent children.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



Now I should like to discuss briefly the specific problems we have
encountered in our work. Probably the first is that of selling our­
selves to the community as individuals. A rural worker has to have
more than the usual amount of imagination, I think, and a special
ability to adapt herself to community standards. Those of you who
come from a rural community will agree with me that standards of
conduct are rigid. A rural worker has to learn the standards and
abide by them, regardless of the different standards which may have
prevailed in the community from which she has come. After you
have sold yourself as an individual you must sell yourself with
relation to your program. I sometimes hesitate to use the term
“ personality” as a desirable attribute o f any worker, but I think
that if we consider it as William Allen White did when he said that
“ personality is the individual’s social stimulus value” perhaps we may
have the future o f our child-welfare program depend upon the per­
sonality o f the persons chosen to carry it out.
After we have sold ourselves, if we do succeed in that, we must
go ahead and deal with the county in a practical way. First we have
to decide what shall be our point of concentration. I f we choose
interpretation as a major part o f our program, are we to go around
talking to community groups, acting as gadflies, stimulating the
community to approach the preventive aspect of the problem, and
are we not also to act as integrators o f the various resources which
we find in the community? Although we do not have an advisory
committee in our community, many o f the counties o f the State have
chosen an advisory committee which meets with the children’s board.
Other counties which do not have a children’s board have only an
advisory committee made up largely of lay people, sometimes with
some professional people, if they are available in the community,
and these persons help in interpreting the programs to the groups
which they represent.
Another problem which we have found to impede our progress is
a lack of recreational facilities. We do have a State-wide recrea­
tional program which has a branch in our county. Unfortunately,
however, there are such things as quota restrictions o f the W. P. A.
These quota restrictions do not permit the employment of noncertified persons on the program. Consequently the program must have
as its leader someone from a certified group, which all too often, in
our rural communities, does not include persons who have any special
leadership ability or any special knowledge of recreational programs
or the types o f things that can be worked out. Incidentally, the areas
of our county in which there are no villages, and we have only four,
the largest o f which has a population of less than 800, are not touched
by the W. P. A. program at all, because, unfortunately, the leaders are
nor furnished mileage and cannot afford to go into other areas at their
own expense. That throws us back upon the schools for our recrea­
tional facilities, but if you go into most of our rural schools you will
be fortunate if you find a swing in the playground. I wonder why
they call them “ playgrounds” because they are not. Usually it is
just a bare space adjoining the school, and the children, if they have
anything to play with, have it because they brought it from home.
This is due not only to the fact that funds are lacking but also to the
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



fact that the school-board members never had those things when
they went to school, so they do not understand why children need
them now.
Another problem in connection with the schools is that o f the
superior and the retarded child. We have all talked a great deal in
the past few years, nationally and in our States and local communi­
ties, about the conservation of natural resources. We have said much
too little about the conservation of human resources, and I am think­
ing particularly of the superior child in the rural school. He is
many paces ahead o f most of his fellow classmates and has a teacher
who perhaps is not quite in pace with him and who has no concep­
tion of how to guide him and no understanding of his interests. I f
the child has no one to guide him, his energies are going to be turned
into destructive channels. Neither does the retarded child receive
the treatment or a course o f work adapted to his ability and needs,
and it is hard to see what chance either of these groups of children
• .
The housing problem is an acute one in the county. Many people
live in poorly constructed tar-paper shacks. They do have the advan­
tage o f being well-ventilated, but in winter weather that is not an
asset. Manv o f them have one or two rooms. Sometimes they have
three rooms,“but that is rare. Families of 8 and 10 and 12 live in those
tar-paper shacks throughout the year. That situation has a tremen­
dous effect on moral standards. How can we go in and say, “Well,
look at the effect this will have on Johnny, all living here together
like this. Why don’t you move out?” Where would we move them
to? There are no houses for them to move into. I f there were, how
could they pay the rent? We can’t say, “ You will get the rent paid
by the relief office.” Tied up with the housing situation is the inade­
quacy o f relief. Relief is administered by the local units of govern­
ment, which receive a small grant each month from the State. This
takes’ care o f about 50 percent o f their needs, and their conception
o f their relief needs is just about 50 percent of that of the State relief
office. As the situation exists now, the people are fortunate, indeed,
if they get food, much less shelter. It is hard for us to try to raise
standards o f living. In fact, we question whether we should even
suggest it. The standards of living are not satisfactory, but we
know very well we cannot get an increase o f relief funds by talking
with the county chairman.
We have a small Indian population in the northernmost section
o f our county. There were, according to the last census, 224 of them,
and they create their own special problem. Their cultural background
is different from that o f the white population. Their physical history
is different. The greater percentage o f our tubercular people is found
amongst the Indians in this county. In a recent meeting which we
held relative to Indian problems, I was interested to hear the educa­
tional field agent of our Great Lakes Indian agencies, who is himself
an Indian, express the viewpoint that basically most of our Indians
have a deep feeling of inferiority, which affects their reserve, their
apparent inability to understand, and their lack of ability to adapt
themselves to the standards o f the communities in which they live.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



We also have wondered about the younger generation of Indians who
apparently have assimilated some o f the standards o f the community
in which they live, yet are using the cultural patterns o f their tribe
as an excuse for their actions or deviation from the standards set up
by white Americans.
I have cited a great many problems, and it sounds perhaps as if
we are not getting anywhere except in contemplating the problems
and that we are throwing up our hands, but I should like to tell you
what our accomplishments are. Thus far in Burnett County we have
done something in the way of publicity. We grant it is not nearly
enough. We have had some newspaper articles; we have talked to
various organizations and clubs » we have done a great deal of talking
to our local officials. At the time of the last county board meeting
m November the secretary of the children’s board presented the report
of the children’s worker and the children’s worker also cited illustra­
tions of actual case work so that the board members might understand
what our aims are and what type o f work we are trying to do.
Mimeographed copies of this report were given to all the board
members so that they might peruse it at their leisure. Copies were
furnished the rural-school teachers, the principals of the four high
schools in the county, the presidents o f the women’s clubs, the Ameri­
can Legion auxiliary, the editors of the newspapers, and various
other groups.
We had a mental and health clinic at which over 200 children were
examined. They were given dental examinations, their eyes were
examined, and about 30 o f them were given mental tests by a psychol­
ogist from a State department. We were not able to do as much
follow-up work as we should have liked to do, as far as the physical
examinations were concerned. In the first place, we could not dp so
much with the children who were from families not on relief because
the communities’ attitude was that they were not going to pay for
medical expenditures unless they were absolutely desperate cases, but
the welfare departments did all the follow-up work recommended
for the children from relief families. The mental tests were o f great
help to us because many of them were given to persons with whom
we had been working for some time. Since then we have had brought
to our attention other children who were tested, and on the basis of
mental tests we do have a little better idea o f the type o f children we
must cope with.
One o f our little villages with a population o f about 500 has in it a
high school which draws its students from neighborhood towns. The
young people come into town and board at the various private homes
in this village, but they are without supervision except that provided
by the families with whom they live. As a result, these children were
walking the streets and spending their time in taverns, and some of
them clubbed together and stayed in one house by themselves and did
their own cooking. The situation became, rather acute, and the social
worker and the children’s board met to discuss it and called in various
persons from this village. The school board took the initiative and
appointed teachers to make regular visits to these children in the
homes in which they were living to discuss the problems o f the pupils
with the families and to see that they were not spending their time
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



on the streets and becoming involved in difficulties. A curfew was
also established. This method has really worked out very satisfac­
torily, and we have heard frequently from this community expres­
sions of gratitude for the interest the children’s board took at the time
it was needed.
One project in which we are particularly interested is a council
which we have organized in the northern section of the county, in the
community adjoining the place where the Indians live. Practically
every problem conceivable presented itself in that community. We
decided that something should be done, so we called in the various
people o f the community who we knew were interested—the town
treasurer, the county health officer, the county chairman, the county
treasurer, a storekeeper, a scout master, a member o f a scout com­
mittee, and other persons. We also called in the high-school principal
and teachers and other persons from the county who did not live in
the community but had connection with it. We called in the county
judge, the county pension investigator, the county nurse, the nurse
for the Indian agency, and the Indian educational field agent. We
had quite a meeting. Each person presented the problems which he
encountered in the community, his place in the community, what he
had been doing and what he could do, and any suggestions he might
have. We met from 8 until about 12:30 one evening and these
members from the community seemed quite appreciative and took our
suggestions to heart, not only listening but actually writing them
down. As a consequence, a curfew was established in this village.
They appointed a truant officer. It was decided that a library should
be established and the next question was where to locate this library.
It was suggested that the barber shop seemed to be the only place in
town with sufficient extra space to house the books; the barber gave his
consent and the library was established. All o f tnat came out of one
meeting. I have been in that community several times since then, and
every time I set foot on the street these people crowd around and tell
me what they are doing and ask what I think of it. I think that is
just one example o f the type of thing we can do if we want to. Too
often we don’t realize that we can do it.
We have established an unofficial advisory committee in our county.
We don’t call it that because the children’s board was not enthusi­
astic about it, so we did not say anything about it. We just kept
inviting other people to the meeting and the board accepts them and
think it is a fine thing. These people consist principally of pension
investigators, the county judge, the county supervisor, teachers, and
county nurses. When we have a specific problem we invite other
people who can throw light on the problem.
Another evidence of what we like to think is our progress is the
fact that the problems presented to us mainly are problems in which
preventive work is possible. I could tell you o f a lot of little aims
that we have worked out for various sections o f the county, but I
won’t take your time to do that. I should like to mention that I
think we are realizing more and more that our program depends
upon our conceiving the ideal situation in our localities and then
adapting it to the real situation. We must not forget that we must
aid the individual to develop to the maximum o f his ability so that
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



he may be o f most value to himself and to the community. But we
must not forget that we tap the county’s resources and develop them
so that they may be o f the greatest help to the individual.
The C h a ir m a n . A dozen years or so ago it was my pleasure to
visit a State which was then outstanding for its development o f a
county welfare program. I am very glad to see selected as a speaker
on the program this morning a representative from North Carolina,
who will speak from the point o f view of services for special groups.
Mrs. Phyllis O’Kelly.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

What Child-Welfare Services Have Meant From the
Point of View of Services for Special Groups
By Mrs. P hyllis O’K elly, County Children's Worker, North Carolina


I want to present to you some o f the particular things that the
Negro social worker, under the child-welfare-services program, has
been doing for the Negro child. Child-welfare services have meant
for the Negro child in North Carolina extending the present program
and placing special emphasis on case work, and I think mat this
has meant a great deal to the Negro child.
When we think of child welfare there immediately comes to our
minds that phase o f activity that has to do with the well-being of
the child. Specifically, it may mean recreational or group work
with children and care for the physically handicapped, the mentally
deficient, the delinquent or predelinquent, and the neglected and
dependent. Child-welfare services under the Social Security Act
have permeated to some extent all of these areas of child welfare
and have made such services available to children in need o f special­
ized care. The worker under this program has been expected by
the local community to fill adequately the role o f one equipped to
deal with all of the above-mentioned aspects of child welfare. More
than that she has had the job of interpreting her role to the com­
munity. Gradually there has been aroused in the communities where
the workers have been placed a consciousness o f that community’s
problem in meeting the need o f the child. The child-welfare-services
worker has demonstrated the existence o f such a need by her han­
dling o f the problems with the limited facilities available for carry­
ing out a plan o f treatment in a particular situation. I f facilities
have been limited in general for meeting the child’s needs in the
community, this.limitation has been felt to greater extent in childwelfare services to special groups. Here we have in mind particu­
larly the Negro child, who has had very few resources, local, State,
or national, that could be used to serve his need efficiently. Childwelfare services have entered into the field o f Negro child welfare,
and since their recent beginning they have made an inestimable con­
tribution to whatever programs were in existence for understanding
and meeting the needs o f the Negro dependent, delinquent, or
neglected child.
Reviewing briefly the situation o f child welfare in North Carolina
before the tune o f child-welfare services, we find that there were eight
institutions caring for Negro children: One for delinquent Negro
boys, public ; one for delinquent Negro girls, privately operated and
subsidized by public funds; two Negro orphanages; a ward of the
State Orthopedic Hospital for the care o f crippled children ; a ward
for the treatment o f the feeble-minded and epileptic Negro child at
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



the State Hospital for the Negro Insane; and an institution for the
blind and the deaf. The institution for delinquent boys had few facili­
ties for adequate case-work treatment; that is, there was no social
worker at the institution to study the needs o f the child and to bring
together the interest o f the community from which he came and the
interest o f the institution to which he was sent. Nor did the insti­
tution have available the services o f a psychologist who might help
in determining the needs of the child. The institution for delinquent
girls represents a noble effort, inadequate though it may be, on the
part o f the Federation o f Negro Women’s Clubs of North Carolina to
meet the needs o f the maladjusted girl. The provision made for the
feeble-minded Negro child by no means met the problem. Never­
theless, we can say that in spite o f these inadequacies there was, to
some extent, a program for Negro child welfare well on the way in
North Carolina when the present specialized services became available. From such a beginning let us review for a few minutes some
of the outstanding contributions of this program to the Negro child.
Child-welfare services have meant, first, an opportunity for the
understanding of the child in his local community. Negro childwelfare-services workers were placed in sections of North Carolina
thickly populated by Negroes, one county worker in the northeastern
section, another in the southwestern section, and a third in the cen­
tral area serving the children in a three-county unit. These workers
are not only giving individualized treatment to the maladjusted
Negro child and arranging care for the dependent or neglected child,
but are also making the community itself more aware of the need for
such service. The following summary of a case was received from
one o f the Negro child-welfare assistants.
Mr. J., serving a 20-year sentence, requested assistance for his
family and the opportunity for his children to attend school. His
wife and five children were living with Mr. J.’s father, who was un­
able to support them. The child-welfare-services worker gave Mrs.
J. the opportunity of expressing her ideas about her financial, physi­
cal, and social needs, and her feeling toward the persons and o f­
ficials who, she felt, might have defended her husband when he got
into trouble 8 months before. The next step was to learn the atti­
tudes o f the community toward the J. family and to interpret the
family’s needs and attitudes to the community. Twice the family
had been denied public and local assistance by board authorities be­
cause influential citizens felt the family’s deprivation was a part of
Mr. J.’s punishment. To them the family were carriers of venereal
disease and “no good.” Through the efforts o f the child-welfare
worker a grant was made available and medical service was given.
The children are now attending school.
Secondly, child-welf are services have meant increasing the facili­
ties already available for the study and treatment o f the delinquent
Negro child in the institution and in the community. There is now
a case worker on the staff o f the State institution for delinquent
Negro boys, and a psychologist visits the institution and the local
county unit to aid in the better understanding o f the cause of be­
havior difficulty. The social worker at the institution began im-
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



mediately to make the local community from which the committed
child came plan in his behalf. I f the child was found to be unsuited for the type o f care that such an institution could give, plans
were immediately made for his return to that community or to an
environment more suited to fill his need. There is now more careful
study o f the children and the communities’ facilities before com­
mitment, so that mentally deficient, dependent, or neglected children
are not so frequently sent to the institution because the communities have no other place for them. The county children’s worker has
found the cooperation o f the case worker at the institution an ines­
timable asset to her in making plans for the child who is being dis­
missed or paroled from the institution.
Thirdly, child-welfare services have meant the bringing together
o f all available resources to provide adequate care for the family as
child 6 an<* *ntens*ve case' WOI>k service for the individual problem
, Finally, child-welfare services have placed a new emphasis upon
the need of the child to grow up in a normal home environment
his own home if possible. The following case illustrates what has
been done through the children’s worker in returning a child to her
home after 3 years in foster care.
A girl o f 5, reported neglected, was taken into the custody o f the
welfare department m 1933 and was sent to the Orthopedic Hospital
for treatment o f a crippled foot. When released she was placed in
one free home and then another. Nothing was done in the meantime
to relieve the poverty-stricken condition o f the family o f six, who
were sleeping in two beds, the remaining furniture consisting of a
cook stove, a table, a bench, and a kitchen cabinet. The services of
the child-welfare worker were requested when it was reported that
the foster parents were abusing the child. The parents, who had
heard nothing o f the child in some months, were eager to participate
m any way they could to improve their home condition so that their
daughter might return to them. In a few months’ time the family
was given additional furniture. In exchange for labor the landlord
home and gave them the use o f the entire house. The
child herself was eager to return to her family. Although her own
home is not so well equipped physically as the foster home, the child
nas made an adequate readjustment to her family.
Even i f child-welfare services meant no more than making avail­
able the above-mentioned services for Negro children, their contri­
bution could not be overestimated. But together with meeting some
of the problems facing special groups of children, these services have
deepened the realization o f our inadequate facilities for a wellrounded development o f the Negro child. We need boarding homes
to give either permanent or temporary care to the Negro child homes
which can meet the State’s requirement. We feel th f need for those
S ri
iuat canA f P
m our treatment o f the maladjusted Negro
g 1 and the mentally deficient child. We are more conscious than
o f , tJie n?eA f o r a sch° o1 curriculum that is made to meet the
needs o f the child and not to make the child fill the need of the cur­
riculum. In short, child-welfare services have given us a perspective
78986° - 3 8 ------3
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis




o f the needs of Negro child welfare, have increased our-resources for
specialized treatment, have developed an awareness of the need for a
better understanding of the Negro child, and finally have brought us
face to face with the limitations of our present facilities for a wellrounded program o f child welfare.
The C h a ir m a n . Well, we have dipped into three States just as
samples. I am sure this gives us a background for the further dis­
cussion which is to take place this afternoon.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Monday, April 4—Afternoon Session

Miss Anita J. Faatz, Director, Social-Work Department, Maryland Board o f State Aid and
Charities, Presiding

Wi are V6ry glad this afternoon that we can have
fh* y Wlth US’ ^ecaif e
want to sPend a little time considr h n f i p i r pr0grai^ ° f aid t0 dePendent children in its relation to
cniia-weiiare services.
i at the people who are doing child-welfare services are
not alwaj s the workers having responsibility for administering aid
tw T
Chw re? d° ef not mean that there is not an interest in
W bh? wgramA
haV6 bf n sa? mg in this country, since the first
White House Conference, that children should not be removed from
their own homes for poverty alone. The passage o f the Social
Security Act, which broadened the old mothers’ aid laws so that they
inciutle a much more flexible program of aid to dependent children,
is regarded as a great step forward in this thing which we call child
welfare in its broadest sense. There has been a tendency in some
parts o f the country to think that with enactment o f legislation the
job was ended and we would have adequate protection for children
m their own homes.
We know that there are still many hurdles to be taken. We know
tor example,, that there has been a much more vocal constituency for
the old-age group than has been true for the children’s group. We
believe that the purposes o f the act which created the Children’s
Bureau, namely, that the Bureau should be concerned with conditions
attecting children, make it a fit and proper procedure for us to give
this afternoon to a consideration o f the relationship between these
two programs. I am very glad that Miss Hoey, who has as great
concern about services to children as any o f the children’s workers
m y“ ® States or m the Children’s Bureau, is here to express to you the
point o f view o f the Social Security Board and the objectives and
the possibilities that the Board sees in the administration o f aid to
dependent children.
Miss Faatz, who is director o f the social-work department o f the
Maryland Board of State Aid and Charities, wiM be the chairman
this afternoon.
I shall now turn the meeting over to Miss Faatz.
The C h a ir m a n I listened to Miss Curry open the meeting this
morning and felt deeply grateful to her for reminding us that things
are really happening, because, as a matter o f fact, the old phrase o f
not being able to see the woods for the trees is all too true o f those
who are m State and local jobs. It is also a bit like looking at the
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



hour hand on the clock, which you cannot see move but which is
in a different place at a different time if you have the opportunity
to stop long enough to look at it. I was interested to hear Miss
Atkinson say, for purposes o f the record, that all parts o f the pro­
gram are one. While I don’t have the historical perspective o f the
public-welfare program that Miss Curry has, I do feel, as I am sure
a good many of you here do, a little battle-scarred by the emergencyrelief program, as though if we have not been at it quite so long we
nevertheless have lived very fast in the last few years, in a much too
quick and too hectic existence at particular times.
As I sat in the audience this morning listening to the comment that
the juvenile court had made the child visible, I could not help think­
ing o f the pounds and pounds o f surplus commodities, C. C. C. en­
rollments, W. P. A. certifications, and so on, under the weight of
which we sometimes lose sight o f the individual. We do lose sight
o f the child all too often in our general work with families.
I am particularly interested, and also particularly grateful, that
the purpose o f the meeting is to discuss content rather than admin­
istration, and I also am gratified to be part of the program to dis­
cuss the family program from the standpoint o f aid to dependent
children and the child-welfare programs. With these comments, I
will introduce Miss Hoey, who is well known to all o f you.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Objectives in Aid to Dependent Ghildren
By J ane M. H oey, Director, Bureau of Public Assistance, Social Security Board

To those, who do not look beneath the surface, my topic may seem
like one o f those unnecessary questions that answer themselves. It
is easy to say that the objectives o f aid to dependent children are selfexplanatory. And it is easy to give legal definitions as set forth in
the Social Security Act and in the laws of the several States. That
is all right as far as it goes; but it is only a very small part of the
answer. Beyond this, what does this Nation-wide program imply?
Have we thought through, step by step, what our immediate objec­
tives and our long-term objectives should be—on the Federal level,
in the States, and in local communities?
In analyzing objectives, we must begin by restating the basic re­
lationship, as conceived in the Social Security Act, among these three
units o f our American Government. The relationship o f the Federal
Government is with the States, and the purpose o f the Federal pro­
gram is to strengthen the State programs. To this end the act pro­
mulgates certain Nation-wide standards designed to assure minimum
essentials, provides for Federal grants to States with plans approved
as meeting these standards, and authorizes the Social Security Board
to cooperate with the States in developing their programs. The State
has a two-fold relationship—with the Federal Government on the
one hand and with its own local communities on the other. It is
responsible to the Federal Government for the administration of its
program in accordance with basic national requirements in all parts
o f the State. But this is only the beginning. The Social Security
Act reserves to the States a large measure of discretion in setting
up and administering their own programs. Building on the founda­
tion afforded by the Social Security Act, the State therefore has a
major obligation to help all its local communities in continuously
improving their services to dependent children. These local agencies
are the most important link in the chain; and this is equally true
whether the program is directly administered by the State agency
through its own district offices or whether it is locally administered
by county agencies under State supervision. For the local commu­
nity is the only point at which the “ plan” and the people meet. In
the last analysis, everything we do at the Federal level and at the
State level has this one purpose—to promote effective and construc­
tive local services to individual children and families in each com­
munity. In all that we do we must keep this fact clearly in mind.
But at the same time we must be equally clear as to the area of
responsibility within which each level of government must operate
i f it is to make its proper contribution to this program.
The Social Security Board has interpreted its relationship with
the States as one of genuine cooperation. It has not been content
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



merely to see that States receiving public-assistance grants conform
to the letter o f the law. This is, indeed, an essential part of its obli­
gation to the country as a whole. Beyond this, however, the Board
believes that it also nas an obligation to give the States all possible
help in developing their own programs. But true cooperation is a
two-way process, and the Board realizes that the experience gained
by the States in administering aid to dependent children is the
major source o f increasing knowledge and understanding in the field.
In line with this liberal conception o f Federal-State cooperation,
the Board considers service to State agencies to be one of its most
important immediate objectives. Through its Bureau o f .Public As­
sistance it acts as a clearing house for State experience and is en­
deavoring to make more services, based on this experience, available
as rapidly as possible. These services are carried on in part in the
field through the Board’s 12 regional offices, and in part through its
staff in Washington.
The Board, as you know, reviews all State plans as they are sub­
mitted. These plans are developed by State officials. But members
of the Board’s field staff are available for consultation, if the State
wishes, even in these preliminary steps; and most o f the States have
called upon them for extended consultation during the development
o f their plans. After evaluating the plan and studying the field
reports o f regional representatives, the Board may suggest to the
State changes that seem advisable either in its legislation or m its
proposed organization. After the plan is approved, regular contacts
between the field staff and the State agency are continuously main­
tained, and reports are made both to the State and to the Board.
To supplement this regular service, and for the use o f both the State
agencies and its own representatives, the Board’s Bureau of Public
Assistance has been developing a body o f written materials, based
on the past 2 years’ experience in the States. These suggestions are
being sent to the State agencies for adaptation in line with their
own procedures and policies.
. .
In addition to this regular service in the field and from Washing­
ton the Board makes a variety of special'services available. Con­
sultants on the staff of its Bureau of Public Assistance offer the States
advisory services on matters o f personnel, family budgeting, tech­
nical training, and other special fields. Such services are of value
not only in dealing with particular problems but also in promoting
a well-balanced development throughout the State program.
This is true also of the administrative studies made by a division
set up for this purpose in the Bureau o f Public Assistance. It often
happens that a State agency is interested in surveying the actual
operation of its public-assistance plans but lacks facilities for this
kind of detailed study. I f so, the Division of Administrative Studies
will cooperate with it in making a survey. This is simply an exten­
sion of the Board’s regular field service. Sending m this specially
equipped staff helps the State to see what is happening within its
own boundaries.
. , V,
. . . ,
In accordance with the Social Security Act, the Board, as you
probably know, has held two hearings with regard to improper ad­
ministration o f State public-assistance plans. Though administra­
tive studies preceded both these hearings, this does not mean in the
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



least that every study leads to a hearing. Most o f the studies made
have had no such outcome. Their major purpose is simply to fur­
nish an objective, impartial view of how a particular program is
working out.
The Social Security Board offers the State agencies other special
services in addition to those o f its public-assistance staff. For ex­
ample, in cooperation with the Bureau o f Public Assistance, the
Board’s Bureau o f Research and Statistics and its Informational
Service assist the States whenever they want advice in their respective
fields. In the same way the Board’s legal staff has given consulta­
tive services to some States. When public-assistance cases have been
taken to court, regional attorneys have, upon request, occasionally
advised with the State’s attorneys in the preparation of their briefs.
The General Counsel’s office and the Bureau of Public Assistance
have also been working with the States in clarifying the relation­
ship between the State attorney general’s office and the State publicwelfare department. The suggestions, which have grown out of the
experience of various States, seem to offer a satisfactory working
basis, and should be o f interest to all those concerned with this aspect
o f public welfare.
Questions have also been raised with regard to fiscal procedures
and relationships—between the State and its local communities and
between the State department of public welfare and State fiscal
agencies, such as the offices o f the State auditor and the State
treasurer. Here again the Social Security Board, through its Bureau
o f Accounts and Audits and other consultants on its staff, is prepared
to assist the States in developing sound and effective practices.
These services have been of material help in clarifying some of
the States’ financial problems. But a still more important financial
problem has to do with the basis on which Federal grants for aid
to dependent children are made. Under the present terms of the
Social Security Act the Federal Government matches State expendi­
tures for aid to the aged and the blind on a dollar-for-dollar basis,
while for aid to dependent children it gives $1 of Federal money for
every $2 o f State and local money. It seems probable that this d if­
ferential is at least one of the reasons why old-age assistance with 50
participating States and territories, has progressed more rapidly than
aid to dependent children, in which only 40 States are taking part.
For the past 2 years the Social Security Board has therefore been
recommending that the grants for all three programs should be put
upon a uniform equal-matching basis.
It would seem desirable also to make a change with regard to
Federal grants for public-assistance administration. The Federal
Government now pays one-third o f the total cost, including adminis­
tration as well as assistance, for aid to dependent children; but for
the other two programs it adds to its assistance grant a supple­
mentary 5 percent which the State may use for assistance, adminis­
tration, or both. It would be logical to expect that it would be to the
best interests of effective administration if this 5-percent provision
were eliminated and the act amended so that the Federal Government
could pay half the total cost for both administration and assistance
under all three programs.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



Bills are now pending in Congress for another important amend­
ment to the act to liberalize Federal financial participation in aid to
dependent children. Under the existing provisions o f the act, Federal
grants are determined on the basis o f a maximum of $18 for the first
child and $12 for each additional child in the same home. This, of
course, does not limit the State, which may pay more or less than this
amount; but if it pays more it must make up the additional amount
from State and local funds. The present limitation on Federal grants
might well be removed so that the Federal Government could con­
tribute its proportionate share of whatever allowance was called for
on the basis of individual needs. I f this is not feasible, the upper
limit might at least be raised to $18 for all children aided.
So far these changes are no more than hopes, but many people, both
in the Federal Government and in the States, are aware of the need
for some such modification. It is not unreasonable to hope that these
long-term Federal objectives will be realized in the not too distant
It seems clear that one o f the immediate objectives of the States
should be complete coverage of all children who are “ dependent”
within the definition of the Social Security Act and for whose care
Federal grants are available. Approximately 554,000 dependent chil­
dren in over 222,000 families are now receiving allowances from Fed­
eral, State, and local funds under this program. Compared with the
122,000 families who received mothers’ aid in 39 States in January
1936, the last month before Federal funds became available, the pres­
ent coverage represents an increase of about 82 percent. But 10 States
are still taking no part in this program, though they may, o f course,
still be operating under State mothers’ aid provisions. Even in States
that are participating, the extent o f coverage varies greatly. The
number of children receiving assistance, as compared with the total
population under 16, ranges from 41 per 1,000 in some States to less
than 10 per 1,000 in others. Taking all the participating States to­
gether, the average stands at about 19 out o f 1,000, though the best
estimates available indicate that this is lower than the number who
might conceivably be eligible for aid if all the States adopted the
definition o f dependency in the Federal act.
One immediate objective is, then, to extend State participation until
this Federal-State program is Nation-wide. Another is to extend aid
to dependent children within each State until it reaches all children
who are in need o f and should be eligible for this kind o f assistance
and service. In a number o f States this second objective has obviously
not been reached. In some the definition of a dependent child in the
State law is less liberal than that in the Federal act. In others the
legal definition is sufficiently liberal, but its application is hampered
by opinion and attitude. Children may, for example, be excluded
from this program because their parents’ behavior does not conform to
a certain pattern. The transfer from general relief to aid to depend­
ent children in some States thus seems to be made on a basis of “ pro­
moting the nice families.” This is hardly a sound method o f selection,
and it is certainly not in accordance with the intent of the Federal law.
Moreover, since most of the families so excluded are in need and re­
quire some kind o f public care in any case, denying them aid to de­
pendent children is particularly short-sighted. It simply means that
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



they are thrown back on general relief or some other program. This
not only increases the local financial burden but also prevents the
Federal Government from helping the State and community take more
adequate care o f children who need the best help available. Families
with dependent children should at the very least have the opportunity
to receive assistance according to the objective standards established
by Federal and State law. This is a basic essential if the interests of
the children for whom this program was set up are to be safeguarded.
Another point at which the States need to safeguard the children’s
interest, is in the matter of family budgeting. This problem is par­
ticularly urgent in the many States where general relief is either
very inadequate or nonexistent. Under such circumstances the Fed­
eral-State allowance for dependent children is sometimes expected to
carry the budget for the whole family. This may mean that even
though the maximum allowance is being granted the child himself
gets very little. The family’s total budget deficiency must, of course,
be given consideration in determining the needs of any of its mem­
bers. Though the Federal provisions for aid to dependent children
do not include an allowance for the mother, general overhead ex­
penses—rent, light, heat, and so on—may thus properly be charged
to the aid given the children, as far as the State’s available funds will
permit. This is warranted by the fact that otherwise no home could
be maintained for the children. But where such emergency expedi­
ents are necessary, great care must be exercised to protect the
welfare of the children for whom the law is intended to provide.
Differences in budgeting practices, whether based on family needs
or individual needs, undoubtedly account in some measure for the
wide variation in the State averages o f payments made to families
with dependent children. For February 1938 the range was from
$10.41 to $60.39 per family, with the average for all participating
States $32.02. For old-age assistance and aid to the blind, which pre­
sumably are on an individual rather than a family basis, February
payments averaged, respectively, $19.34 and $25.49. As has already
been pointed out, the existing Federal provisions for financing aid to
dependent children present serious problems, but there can be no
question that one o f the major goals o f both the Federal Government
and the States should be to make the aid offered to dependent chil­
dren at least as adequate as that available for the aged and the blind.
Increasing coverage and increasing adequacy of assistance are, then,
two o f our most important objectives; but there is a third which is
o f at least equal importance—effective administrative organization.
Everyone experienced in the public-welfare field would, I believe,
agree that the most effective system o f State organization is that in
which a public-welfare department administers not only the FederalState public-assistance and child-welfare programs but also general
relief and possibly other State services. The establishment o f a
single State agency does not mean that all these activities are, as it
were, to be dumped indiscriminately into a single hopper. Func­
tions and areas o f responsibility must be clearly defined, if confusion
is not to result—as some States have learned from experience.
Sound organization recognizes both “horizontal” and “vertical”
lines o f relationship and facilitates coordination in both directions.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



The horizontal lines are those that relate the various programs and
services administered by the department. For example, from the
point o f view o f administration the child-welfare service and the
public-assistance division are separate and correlative units, though
both may operate within the same agency. But the director and staff
o f the child-welfare program should act as consultants and advisers
to the public-assistance division, in relation to aid to dependent chil­
dren. Division o f responsibility, plus cooperation in related fields,
is a measure o f really effective organization.
These horizontal lines are, on the whole, less likely to get tangled
than the vertical lines which serve to integrate “ overhead” adminis­
trative functions. Definition within this area should, if the agency
is headed by a board, begin with the board-staff relationship. Oth­
erwise the board may become involved in administrative details, even
though its duties are clearly described in the State law as advisory.
The board and the staff each has important responsibilities, but
neither can fulfill them effectively unless it knows what they are.
Within the administrative staff, three major functions must also be
clearly distinguished and provided for—business management, includ­
ing fiscal control; research and statistics; and social service.
State public-welfare programs involve large sums o f public money
and demand as much business efficiency as private enterprises of like
financial proportions. It should be clear to everyone that this money
is intended for the single purpose o f providing necessary assistance
and services for which government has made itself responsible. The
social-service function of the public-welfare department is therefore
the core and center o f the entire organization, and it should be clearly
understood that the social-service staff is responsible for all parts o f
the program that actually touch people’s lives.
Special consultants also form a functional part of an adequate
social-service staff. A home economist, for example, serves in an
essential advisory capacity; and there are a number o f other special
aspects o f the program for which the State agency will bring in con­
sultants to work with its field staff, and, through it, with the local
agencies. In addition, as in the relationship between child welfare
and aid to dependent children mentioned above, the staff of one divi­
sion may frequently be called into consultation by another division.
One o f the major responsibilities o f the State social-service staff
is the supervision o f local agencies. Failure to distinguish between
these State supervisory and consultative functions on the one hand
and local administrative functions on the other has caused much
needless confusion in some States. Sometimes, for instance, a State
staff undertakes to duplicate the investigations made by local workers
or to check on the eligibility requirements as set forth in each indi­
vidual case record. Neither o f these practices seems satisfactory in
terms o f real supervision. The job o f the State supervisory staff is,
rather, to strengthen the local agencies, to supplement their efforts,
and to help train their workers for their own everyday duties. The
State agency must know what is happening in the communities, and
it will make detailed spot checks upon occasion. But it should not
attempt to do the job for the local agency, just as a Federal agency
does not attempt to do the job for the State.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



Another source o f State and local confusion in some States is the
lack o f clear definition and information in matters of policy and pro­
cedure. In some cases State policies have not been put in written
form and distributed to local agencies. In others, they have been
sent out in occasional bulletins? which are too easily lost or misplaced.
Or again, the content o f bulletins may be superseded, without making
certain that the local agencies are informed o f the change. The
State agency should maintain a comprehensive, up-to-date manual
of which all local agencies have copies. These manuals, which might
well be bound in loose-leaf form to facilitate changes and additions,
should include all statements of policy, instructions, working plans
and procedures, and suggestions for local agencies.
These are, o f course, only a few o f the problems of administration
which the States are encountering, but they serve to suggest needs
and trends in development. Increasingly efficient organization is
important not only in the internal operation of the State welfare
department but also in its external-relationships—its contacts with
the public. In view o f current criticisms, it is worth while to make
it abundantly clear that the department fully recognizes and is fully
equipped to meet all its responsibilities, in business management,
social service, and all along the line. Before this can be made
clear it must be true. Sound organization speaks for itself. I f
the public sees that the business end of public welfare is well man­
aged it will be better prepared to accept the need for social service
administered by a staff specially trained in this field.
We hear a great deal of talk about the need for businessmen in
public-welfare administration. But what are the particular func­
tions they are equipped by training and experience to fill ? I f people
can be persuaded to ask that, to inquire into the actual nature o f the
work to be performed, there will be less misunderstanding o f per­
sonnel problems than there is at present.
As one businessman is quoted as saying, after he had his first view
o f public welfare from the inside: “ I ’m going to make a speech to my
chamber o f commerce. Those fellows think a department like this
just spends money. I ’ll tell them this is important. It takes skilled
When people reach that point they will be ready to accept the idea
that appointments should be made in accordance with the requirements
o f a particular job and that the social-service aspects of public wel­
fare require trained social workers, as competent in their own field
as an efficient businessman is in his. But in matters o f personnel
some o f our objectives are not yet fully understood, much less at­
tained, in many States.
This issue has been most discussed in relation to the social-service
aspects o f the program, no doubt because the need for adequate stand­
ards in this field has been most urgent and least recognized. We hope,
however, that the selection o f all State and local personnel—including
clerical and administrative staffs and even “businessmen”—will be
placed on a merit basis. I use the term “merit” advisedly, because
it seems to me that civil service may or may not be on a merit basis.
Regardless of terminology, we believe that the State agency should
set up minimum objective standards o f education, training, and expe-
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



rience, not only for the State staff but also for the local staffs. Stand­
ards for local positions should, of course, be worked out with the co­
operation o f the local agencies.
But simply setting up standards is not enough. Some States have
tried to put through merit procedures with very good standards only
to see the entire system overturned and devastated. The people of
the State have not understood the issues involved, and without their
support the agency has been unable to withstand the pressures placed
upon it. A great deal of public education is still necessary before the
public will be willing to accept and to stand solidly behind really ade­
quate personnel standards.
Though we have a long way to go to reach this objective, we shall be
deceiving ourselves if we assume that public acceptance is the only
hurdle we still have to cross. We believe in adequate personnel stand­
ards and selection on the basis of merit; we are advocating them and
working for them. But what beyond that? By what process of
judging—by examinations or otherwise—are we most likely to dis­
cover what skills people really have and whether they are fitted for
particular positions ? We all know it is the “plus” that counts. But
by what yardstick can we measure it? On what basis, too, can we
best judge the quality o f performance ? Now that this program has
been in operation for 2 years, is it not time that Federal and State au­
thorities began to work out methods for evaluating performance on the
job, both of individuals and of the staff as a whole—clerical, statistical,
and administrative, as well as social service ?
We have made a beginning at solving these problems, but only a
beginning. A special unit o f the Social Security Board’s staff is co­
operating with its Bureau o f Public Assistance in helping the States
to develop personnel standards on an objective merit basis. But in
this area there is still too little detailed knowledge. The issues we
aye facing are analogous to those that already exist in other profes­
sions like engineering, medicine, and law. Surely we can learn some­
thing from their experience. In addition to exploring the questions
as fully as we can ourselves, we must also stimulate research agencies,
universities, schools of social work, and other groups to help us work
them out.
This discussion of organization and o f personnel has naturally car­
ried over from the State to the local field; for all our objectives, not
only at the State level but also at the Federal level, are directed toward
the service given locally to those who are in need of help. Without
the support and guidance provided by the State and Federal organi­
zations, local agencies would, presumably, be less prepared to give
dependent children and their families constructive care. But un­
less directed toward the development of effective local service, all the
efforts o f the State and Federal governments would be futile.
What we are all working for is adequate and appropriate assist­
ance and service for each individual in accordance with his particu­
lar needs. During the period of expansion through which we have so
far been going this objective has not always been realized. Too
often the help offered has stopped short with meeting—more or less
adequately—-the money needs o f families with dependent children.
This limitation, this failure to consider the equally important service
needs o f such families, has not by any means always been due to
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



deliberate intention. Often the pressure o f work and the heavy
case loads carried by local workers have made it impossible for
them to do more. We all hope that in the next few years these
handicaps will be overcome. When local agencies are more ade­
quately staffed—both as to the number o f workers appointed and
as to the standards by which they are selected—they will be better
prepared to give assistance plus service and not merely cash assist­
ance, necessary as it is, without its equally necessary complement.
Another thing that seems perhaps even more important on the
local level than elsewhere is the question of attitude—of the point
of view o f the worker. On all levels we must, o f course, be objec­
tive. We cannot base decisions on emotion or prejudice, or anything
but facts— and facts about a particular situation that have been
carefully weighed with all o f the knowledge and experience at our
command. This may seem too obvious for further emphasis until
we look at what is happening in some places. Allowances are some­
times, as it were, conditional. Parents whose behavior is not con­
sidered acceptable may be told, in effect, that unless they mend
their ways their children will not get an allowance next month.
Failure to fit a particular mold is assumed to be their own fault and
to relieve the public agency o f responsibility. That is most cer­
tainly not the intent o f the Social Security Act nor of any welltrained social worker. But without facilities for good case work
and with many workers who have had little or no social-service
experience all sorts of short cuts are set up, and these inevitably
preclude the possibility o f giving families any real service in meet­
ing their problems. We must help all the workers in this program
to develop an attitude o f respect for the individual and for his
right to his own point o f view. And along with this we must help
the local agencies to develop both the concept of genuine service and
the capacity to give it in the light o f particular needs.
Wherever possible we must set up yardsticks by which we can
measure the effectiveness o f service. This is another important area
in which little guidance is available. There is little in writing; and
though a good many people have been thinking along these lines,
we still have almost nothing to put into the hands o f local workers—
or o f State and Federal workers, for that matter—to help them
judge the effectiveness of a service program. We can do certain
things. We can see that payments are sent out regularly and we
can check on other routine procedures. But if anybody has found a
yardstick for measuring how effective a service program is or should
be, I, for one, should like to hear about it. Here again we need to
do a great deal of exploration. I hope that in the next few years
we can all work together to find constructive answers to our own
But when all is said and done, the basic issue is aiding dependent
children— and by this we understand not only cash assistance but
also such services as will enable the family to maintain a relatively
normal home and bring up its own children. In accepting this we
accept also the premise that it is a good thing, wherever possible,
to keep the child in his own home or with his relatives; or, if neither
o f these is possible, in some other family group. A ll our past ex­
perience and such insight as we have into children’s emotional and
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



social needs point in this direction. To the best o f our knowledge
this is the best we can do for the child. But it is best only if we
recognize—and if we help the family to recognize—that the family
and society together have a responsibility not only for the child’s
present but also for his future. He has a right to all the care we
can give him, but that care should be directed toward helping him
when he grows up to help himself. The final goal in aid to depend­
ent children is the prevention o f future dependency. And the final
test o f the care we give children today comes years hence when they
go out to find jobs and make a place for themselves in the world.
There is no question that the public is behind the beginning and
the end o f this program. They believe in taking care of.dependent
children now, and they realize the importance o f taking care of them
in such a way that they will grow toward normal adult independ­
ence. It is the steps between that require interpretation. Such a
program demands the highest type o f service and this kind o f service
is expensive. We need to make it clear to the public that the money
expended in such service is a sound investment. We need to explain
our reasons for believing that “ a good heart” is not enough and that
experience and skill are essential. We need to make it self-evident
that the program is organized and administered in the interests of
maximum efliciency and effectiveness. We need to convince people
that the public interest and the child’s interest are identical and that
we are working to safeguard both.
In some parts o f the country these things are beginning to be
understood, but in many places they have not yet been accepted. No
doubt we, ourselves, are at least partly responsible for this lack of
public understanding in that we have not interpreted our job so
that the man in the street can see what we are driving at and why.
Perhaps we have failed to understand the need for interpretation.
Perhaps we have been so harassed and weighed down with the size
o f the job that we have forgotten it can go on only if it has com­
munity support. Whatever the reason for our past neglect, we must
from now on devote time and effort to seeing that the community
does understand and stand back o f our methods as well as our ob­
jectives. Public-welfare agencies must themselves take the-initiative
in this.broad program of public education. State and local boards
that are really representative o f all groups in the community—and
we should all help to make them so— will be their most helpful sup­
porters and interpreters in such a program.
This process of interpretation and education must extend not only
to the community as a whole, but also to the children and the families
who are receiving help. But before we can do either o f these things
we must undertake the still more important job o f educating our­
selves continuously and progressively. “Know thyself”—understand
your own program, your own objectives, your own attitudes, and be
sure that they are as sound as intelligence and experience can make
them—that is the fundamental challenge to every one of us who
has a part in this Nation-wide program o f aid to dependent children.
The C h a ir m a n . Thank you, Miss Hoey. I should like to start
right in discussing methods of evaluating what we are doing and
problems of deciding what we do that is o f value, and so on. How-
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



ever, we are going on for the rest of the program now. I f this were a
local meeting and if we stopped for just a minute here, a hundred to
one somebody in some corner o f the room would rise to his feet and
say, “Miss Hoey, what is a suitable home?” That may still come out.
The next part o f the program is a discussion o f factors in the con­
tent o f the program o f aid to dependent children, and this time we go
to Tennessee, with Mrs. Elizabeth Thompson, supervisor o f aid to
dependent children in Tennessee.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Factors in the Content of the Program of Aid to
Dependent Children
By Mrs. E lizabeth T hompson , Supervisor, Aid to Dependent Children, Tennessee

There is in the Bank o f England a delicate machine, a monument
to the ingenuity o f its inventor. The purpose o f the instrument is to
measure, within the smallest fraction, the weight and size o f the coins
o f the Empire as they come from the" mint and go into the economic
blood stream of the nation. The coins are placed on a long slide and
as each token reaches the top it pauses for a moment and is then cast
either to the right, a perfect specimen committed to the service of
mankind, or to the left, an imperfect and valueless object which must
be remolded and reworked before it can possess any usefulness. Nor
is it a far cry from a machine for measuring coins in the Bank of
England to the program o f aid to dependent children in the United
States. There are those who see in the various State statutes setting
forth the conditions o f eligibility for this form o f assistance, just such
an automatic measure for determining who shall and who shall not be
so benefited. It is peculiarly fitting, therefore, that we, as a pro­
fessional group first, and then as citizens interested in the common
weal, give thoughtful consideration not only to the administration
of the public-assistance program for children but to what is included
in that program, the content of the legislative enactments and their
interpretation, the plans that we are putting into effect for the con­
servation of child life in the Nation.
Much has been said—Miss Hoey has gone into some detail— on the
subject o f the philosophy o f the program of aid to dependent children
as it has been set up, first by the Federal Government and then more
recently by the several States. As in any good edifice the foundation
was laid first, in this case many years before the structure was com­
pleted ; and while the span of time between the White House Confer­
ence of 1909 and the Social Security Act o f 1935 is a long one, it is
solidly constructed. It is, of course, impossible to be aware o f the
fundamentals o f social organization and doubt that “home life is the
highest and finest product of civilization,” that “ it is the great mold­
ing force of mind and of character,” and that “ children should not be
deprived o f it except for urgent and compelling reasons.” The 1909
conference report, so rich in historical significance, then goes on to lay
down the primary principle that “ except in unusual circumstances,
the home should not be broken up for reasons o f poverty, but only for
the considerations o f inefficiency and immorality” and, continuing,
“ such aid should be given as may be necessary to maintain suitable
homes for the rearing o f children.”
The impetus thus given to the principle of aid for children in their
own homes soon set in motion the establishment o f public as well as
private provision for such care. The mothers’ aid laws o f Missouri
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



and Illinois, passed in 1911, were the beginning o f a movement so
popular that by 1934, 46 States, the District of Columbia, Alaska,
Hawaii, and Puerto Rico had enacted such legislation in one form or
another. But as is so often true o f purely statistical pictures, the
fatherless children and their mothers in this country did not benefit
so much as might be expected. What was the actual situation?
Many of the mothers’ aid laws were permissive in character. Many
more depended for their financial provision on tax units? that were
too small, too unsound economically, or too limited by statutory
provisions to carry the burden. The result? Many laws were not
fully operative.
In one State, for example, only about 5 out o f the 95 counties
ever put the permissive State-wide mothers’ aid law into effect, and
in 3 o f these counties the assistance was in reality poor relief to
widows, the quarterly grant of $10 to $15 merely being glorified by
the name mothers aid. Thus in many localities the assistance, while
- being given to parents o f “worthy character” as usually required by
law, was totally inadequate “to maintain suitable homes for the
rearing o f children,” as outlined in the White House Conference
The relationship between insufficient income and inefficient living,
and, indeed, even immoral conduct, has long been known by students
and observers o f social welfare, and yet it was our experience with
mothers’ aid that assistance was often denied to applicants because
they were considered unsuitable individuals or were maintaining an
unfit home and that the very aid provided was often insufficient for
the maintenance o f suitable and efficient homes.
In addition to the factors in the administration o f the various
mothers’ aid programs already mentioned, one other has unusual
significance for us in this discussion. The number o f recipients of
mothers’ aid, even in States that were granting aid on a State-wide
basis, was often relatively small compared with the number o f
applicants apparently eligible for the assistance by any test. Long
waiting lists were the rule in such localities or awards of necessity
were spread thin to allow for a more extensive distribution.
Aid to dependent children, an extension o f mothers’ aid, to be
sure, has come into a troubled world disturbed by the failure of
society to accept and deal with its responsibility in the past. And
aid to dependent children is often, too often, held up as the panacea
for all problems of the dependent child and criticized if it does not
solve within a short space of months those maladjustments that have
been developing over decades.
It is interesting but disheartening to read case record after case
record and observe the disintegration of the family following the
death o f the wage earner. Should we not as citizens feel a pro­
found sense o f social guilt when we see a family, deprived o f its
source o f income by death, forced to turn to begging or stealing for
its livelihood? And what has been the reaction o f the community
to such a situation? We can find it in many o f the State laws
governing the granting o f aid to dependent children in which will
be found words like these: “The child or children must be residing
in a suitable family home, with an adult who is fit”—yes, the word
“fit” is often used—ccto raise that child.” What are we saying in
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



these laws? Are we not saying, in localities where we have made
little or no provision in the past for the maintenance o f the health
and decency o f dependent children, and often their equally dependent
parent or parents, that even though their needs may have been longlived—may have developed not this year or the preceding year but
perhaps 5 or 10 years before—that family must somehow have main­
tained efficient and moral standards?
Does not a consideration o f the mothers’ aid laws therefore have
something more than historical significance for us in explaining
how we have come in 1938 to an almost universal acceptance o f the
social-security program in the United States? Does it not also indi­
cate that if aid to dependent children is to make any lasting and perma­
nent improvement in the condition o f child life in the country, it must
devote itself and its resources not only to preventing and ameliorat­
ing economic want and human maladjustment, but also to rehabili­
tating family life, which has come to be accepted as the highest and
finest product o f civilization? Social workers are traditionally vocal
when they are on the old familiar ground o f case material, and the
family situations that have been brought to light by aid to depend­
ent children, illustrative o f this point, are legion.
In a State, a day’s journey from our meeting place, resides a
family of a mother and four children. Unfortunately for this
family the application for aid to dependent children was made
before the local staff, learning on the job, had come to understand
and accept the philosophy o f the program they were so conscien­
tiously trying to administer. The investigation brought to light the
fact that a notorious bootlegger o f the community was making this
home his headquarters, and a frank interview was the result o f the
mother’s demand to know the reason for the rejection o f her applica­
tion. The details o f that interview would perhaps as well be left
untold, but the summary statement by the worker was, “ and so, Mrs.
T., your home is not suitable and therefore we cannot grant aid for
your dependent children.”
It was not until some months later that this case was accepted for
assistance when the child-welfare-services case consultant pointed
out that there were strong ties o f human affection between this
mother and her children and that in spite o f the small and irregular
pay checks coming into the home since the death of the husband,
the home showed, not signs o f neglect, but care and attention. It
was consoling to realize that while the aid to dependent children
law stated that the home must be suitable, that phrase could be
interpreted to mean “ in the future.” Thus the question, “Is this a
suitable family home?” has come to have a companion question,
“ Can the conditions in the home be made more suitable with aid
for the children?”
Certainly we, as a group of social workers, are interested in seeing
that every child has the advantage o f a suitable family home under
the care and guidance of a fit parent or adult, but we are learning,
sometimes painfully and sometimes slowly, that the way to accom­
plish that end is not by rejecting at intake or after an investiga­
tion an applicant for aid whose home life in the past may have left
much to be desired. Rather are we learning that the solution rests
either in working out some substitute form o f care if rehabilitation
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



o f the home is impossible or in giving to that home, along with
adequate assistance, intelligent case-work service adapted to the
requirements o f the family.
What constitutes a suitable home and what o f the factors that
make for unsuitability ? A relative term, it has been observed that it
is not uncommon to find a chronic physical condition constituting the
difference. Can we absolve ourselves from all responsibility to the
mother deemed unfit in a home called unsuitable until we have de­
termined not only the causative factors for this 6ondition but until
we have exhausted every available resource to help correct such a
situation? In short, are we not saying that it is the responsibility
of those charged with the administration o f the various programs
o f aid to dependent children in our States to take the rigid frame­
work o f the statutes governing those programs and so interweave that
framework with broad policy and interpretation that the laws be­
come the flexible vehicles that sound social-work philosophy de­
mands in any program o f social welfare? In the light o f this con­
cept, how arbitrary may we be in saying that we will not grant as­
sistance if there is an income in a particular family from an older son
or daughter ? What- right have we to say that that child shall not
marry until the next child in the family is able to take his place as
a breadwinner?
To be sure, the program of aid to dependent children must have
limitations—limitations o f law and limitations o f policy—but is it
not sound thinking to say that these limitations should be as few as
possible in the service o f the dependent child, for whose needs the
Federal and the State laws were passed? True, the aid to dependent
children law has been heralded as a progressive step toward a more
inclusive program o f child care. It is encouraging that children
are now able to establish their own place o f legal residence and are
not being bound to the wanderings o f their parents. It is possible
now to grant assistance to fathers of children deprived o f the care
of their mother so that a housekeeper may be employed to provide
at least for the physical needs o f the youngsters in the family; for
whether the State is a partner o f the father or o f the mother, the
needs o f the families are not unlike. Again, it is possible in many
States to supplement the earnings o f the physically handicapped
father when, because o f his disability, he cannot hope to care for all
o f the needs o f his family.
In many cases it is not necessary for that father to absent himself
forever from his family in order that they may be assisted. While
our aid to dependent children laws almost without exception hold that
the child must be living with a relative, it has been possible in many
States to extend the term relative to include any degree of relation­
ship. Similarly, it is possible to grant aid to children in many States
regardless o f the length o f the absence from the home of the de­
serting father or mother, or without placing too much significance
on whether the disabling condition will be likely to endure for 6
months or 6 years. I f 2 therefore, the law is to prove the progressive
step toward this more inclusive program, it will mean that we, as the
administrative agents, will have to clear away the entangling under­
brush o f strict, legalistic impediments by broadening our interpreta-
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



tion to include all groups o f children so as to accomplish the farreaching purposes o f the Social Security Act.
Recently one o f our workers asked us to make a rule o f supplemen­
tation. We wanted to be obliging, so we sat down to make the rule;
but the more we thought the more we realized that a rule was im­
possible at that particular point. We have already mentioned two
types o f situation in which we are able to grant supplementation: In
case the wages o f an older son or daughter are insufficient or the
father is physically handicapped and therefore not able to earn a
sufficient amount. I think that worker had in mind the question
whether we should give aid to dependent children in case the mother
is at work, and I imagine that is a question that has come up in
some other States. The answer that we were able to give was that we
were not interested, o f course, in supplementing unsound industries,
and the relationship between unsound industries and an insufficient
wage sometimes is a little bit hard to define. But it was possible to
say that in some cases the fact that some part-time work, when the
mother is able to relieve herself of some o f the responsibilities of her
home and secure adequate care for her children, may represent the
difference to that mother between a complete long-time and unwant ed
dependency and the feeling that she is in truth making her contribu­
tion as an active partner o f the State.
What o f the other factors making up the total content o f the pro­
gram of aid to dependent children? We have touched on the im­
portance o f adequate assistance and o f the relationship between
inefficient living and inadequate income. To be more specific, we are
constantly confronted with the results of inadequate income even in
the wage-earning group; and, indeed, the offspring of poverty run the
whole gamut of social ills from delinquency to a high disease rate.
While inadequate income is thus a serious problem in itself, how much
more serious may it become when combined with one or more signs of
the family’s breakdown.
The limitations of the program o f aid to dependent children have
prevented the granting o f adequate assistance to many families.
Whether the limitation on the amount o f the award is set by law or
whether it is determined by a too-low appropriation, the results in
general are the same. In an analysis made by the Social Security
Board just a year ago, 12 of the 28 States having approved plans
for the administration o f aid to dependent children had no law
limiting the amount of the award, and 9 had laws in which the amount
set by the Federal Social Security Act was specified. Two States,
however, set an award as low as $12 for the first child and $8 for
each additional child, and at least one State has joined this group
since that time. The legal maximums, while greatly limiting the
amount o f the awards, are probably not the greatest deterrent factor
in giving adequate assistance, since in some States allowed by law
to make sufficient awards, appropriations have proved totally insuf­
ficient to meet the needs. Although it is not always a loud voice, it
is a rather constant voice that comes from the tax-paying citizens to
spread the assistance thin and extend the aid over a wider area.
Applications for aid to dependent children cannot be put in a
pending file to await the removal o f some more fortunate family
from the assistance rolls. Accidents to the breadwinner will con-
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



tinue to occur and permanent disabling conditions will continue
to manifest themselves. I f the public purse is exhausted the family
as well as society is sure to suffer. As the Governor o f a Southern
State said recently in speaking o f the penal institutions in his State,
“ The State pays for child welfare whether it gets it or not, and it
is much wiser and cheaper to see that it gets it.” I f the parent or
adult receiving aid for dependent children is in truth entering into
a partnership with the State, certainly the State’s obligation, which
is the financial resource making possible this partnership, must be
sufficient or the partnership cannot succeed in its stated aim.
The distinction has been made often between those receiving oldage assistance and those receiving aid to dependent children that
the former are quite vocal while the latter are a silent group need­
ing a champion. What better champion could the dependent chil­
dren o f this country have than those who are constantly in touch
with their problems and who speak with the voice o f interpretation
o f the need for sufficient awards? Large returns for small invest­
ments are what Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer want, and where can we find
better illustrative material than m our own field ? The battle for
adequate funds will be a constant one, because it has been wisely
said that for every new service there develops a new need; but both
legislative and administrative changes are sure to come from a sane
interpretation o f the very serious economic and social results of
inadequate assistance.
On the other hand, it can be said that it is the legal limitations
on aid to dependent children that are placing such a heavy responsi­
bility upon private and other public forms o f child welfare at the
present time—limitations that cannot be removed by any action other
than legislative. Since the Federal act limits the degrees o f rela­
tionship that may exist between the child and the individuals re­
ceiving the assistance, there are no funds available for foster-family
care either on a temporary or on a more permanent basis. No assist­
ance may be offered to the physically or mentally handicapped
child unless he is able to qualify for assistance on the same basis
as other children. It is a very interesting mental exercise to try
to explain to the mother o f a 17-year-old son with a mental age
o f 4 or 5 why he is not a dependent child.
In short, the program of aid to dependent children in its content
is not the all-inclusive form o f assistance that had been anticipated
by many individuals nor can even the broadest interpretation always
make it so. The redefinitions o f other programs o f child welfare
and their readjustments to the needs of- excluded groups are of
necessity causing a lag in our war on social maladjustments, and
child-welfape services are playing a momentous part in this read-,
justment. But whether we are working through aid to dependent
children, provisions for a broad, adequate, and socially progressive
assistance program available for all children coming within the
purpose of the law, or whether we are working through childwelfare services to demonstrate what can be accomplished with
sound case work and in helping to point up the still unmet needs
of children, the challenge presented by the return of the investment
that is sure to come makes any amount o f effort required seem well
worth making in terms o f the creation o f a better society.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



The C h a ik m a n . Certainly w e have plenty to discuss now. Mrs.
Thompson quite courteously did not name the States she was refer­
ring to, particularly the one where the unfit mother was told that
her home was not suitable. It urges me to tell of a choice nugget
that I took out o f a case record in a State within 50 miles of Wash­
ington. The worker told Mrs. So-and-So that she would not grant
aid to dependent children for her illegitimate child because she was
afraid that if she did so it would encourage illegitimacy. This is
what the worker said: “ The mother then said to me very scornfully
that there always had been illegitimate children in the world and
there always would be, whether anybody looked after them or not.”
I considered that quite a piece o f interpretation on the part of the
client to the worker.
We now have discussion of the two topics that have been presented
by Miss Hoey and Mrs. Thompson. We will go on to a discussion
by Miss Ruth FitzSimons, assistant director, State Department of
Social Security, Washington, and member of the Advisory Commit­
tee on Community Child-Welfare Services.
Miss F i t z S im o n s . I think Miss Hoey has voiced the oft-felt hope
and wish o f all o f us that in the next year or two we shall come
around to a concentration on service rather than on assistance. I
think that we have been appalled in these first 2 years o f our publicassistance programs by the methods of determining eligibility and by
the mere machinery of making grants. I believe social workers as a
group are optimists, and I think it is well that we are, because it is
always just next year or the next year or two that we are going to be
able to shift emphasis.
I think that in the States where all o f the assistance and service
programs have been combined in one department we have had some
very interesting opportunities to watch the reactions among members
o f the staff. In Washington our child-welfare-services program has
been favored in that we have made a very definite effort to keep case
loads low and to select better-equipped personnel for the child-w^elfareservices program. We have been able to protect the children’s pro­
gram better than other divisions such as old age and general assistance.
Somewhere in the middle, I think the programs o f aid to dependent
children have come along with somewhat limited loads, in contrast to
the general assistance part of the program. I think that in the aid
to dependent children program there has been a real reflection of the
more careful, more painstaking piece of work that has been possible
by a worker at an adjoining desk who is carrying out a distinct service
The very fact that in many of the counties, for the first time, the
child-welfare-services program is the one which has no eligibility re­
quirements, that a child in a rather well-to-do family is brought to
the attention of the service program through school or even through
the court has been a stimulus and a recognition of service entirely
apart from assistance needs. We hope in the next year or two, Miss
Hoey, to carry over even into our program o f aid to dependent children
some o f the finer service work, some o f the careful analysis and in-
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



terpretation to parent, child, and community o f what we are doing
as a demonstration in the service program. Even though we go only
a short way with it, I think that we are seeing definite gains all the
way around.
But perhaps we are seeing more tangible things that are troubling
us just as much—things that perhaps are not dependent upon the
quality and skill o f the personnel but upon community resources. I
find myself constantly challenged by the very tangible service needed
in our families, all o f our families, in terms o f health care. I pre­
sume that the State o f Washington is typical of perhaps half the
States, and when we went into the broad program 2 years ago only
1 county out o f 39 had clinic service; and we still have just 1
county that has anything that could rightfully be recognized as offer­
ing general varied clinic care, so that we have tackled that type o f
service throughout the State as one of the objective things that perhaps
we should try to get under way early. We have had everything from
the small rural county with a part-time county doctor to a good many
counties, perhaps half the State, with free choice of physicians, and
in none o f them have we had anything like satisfactory service. I
think perhaps a good deal has been gained from the fact that at least
five or six types o f service were being experimented with.
I think our greatest gain has been a recognition o f the fact that
we just did not know what the health needs of our children were. We
wondered whether those receiving aid to dependent children were typi­
cal o f all o f the children in the community and whether their health
was any worse; our workers had a sense of responsibility about them.
Perhaps we were not thinking about all o f the children in the com­
munity, and just recently we have attempted, with the State depart­
ment o f health, to make a complete study of the whole group o f chil­
dren receiving aid to dependent children and those in the child-wel-.
fare-services program in two or three counties. In order not to single
a group out and make it conspicuous, and also in order to have a
control group, the department o f health through the school nurses and
health officers was bringing in about 300 children selected through the
schools. In the first county about 300 children were receiving aid to
dependent children, so that there will be a group o f 600 who this week
or next week are being examined. We hope that this piece of re­
search, which at least m our State represents a decided advance in
fact finding, will inform us whether the group we are dealing with is
a representative cross section o f youngsters, over the State, whether
they do have particular health needs that are being overlooked, and,
if so, how serious they are.
I wish that we could outline research projects in the field not only
of health but o f recreation and special educational needs. It seems
to me that until we do, any case-work service for which we may be
building up a staff is not going to be able to produce the results that
would be possible had we not only a knowledge of our needs for
community services but cooperation by our counties, through their
welfare councils and otherwise, in attacking the problem o f the child
that we are interested in from the point o f view of all other children
in the community who are being handicapped by the same conditions
or the same lack o f services.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



The C h a ir m a n . Our next discussant is from West Virginia, Miss
Lillian Muhlbach, acting supervisor o f the Division o f Child Welfare,
State Department o f Public Assistance.
Miss M u h l b a c h . There are two problems that are concerning us
that are somewhat related to aid to dependent children, but perhaps
more related to the integrated public-welfare program that we have in
West Virginia. The county departments o f public assistance in West
Virginia combine the assistance program and most o f the other wel­
fare activities in the counties. That is, in addition to aid to dependent
children and blind and old-age assistance, these departments are re­
sponsible for the supervision o f children who are released from the
industrial schools on parole, and they are also responsible for foster­
home care in the county, and participate to some degree in the
crippled-children program, as well as in the adult-rehabilitation pro­
gram. In other words, it is the pivot on which public assistance is
administered. Therefore it is necessary to define the functions o f the
children’s worker in this broad program.
Each children’s worker is placed on the staff o f the county depart­
ment o f public assistance. We have thought o f the children’s workers’
responsibility as being primarily the care and supervision o f children
who must be placed away from their own homes. That is our basic
case load.
Most o f the children who are receiving aid to dependent children or
general relief do have poor home conditions, and it is rather difficult
to distinguish between the general responsibility o f the regular visitor
on the staff of the department o f public assistance and the responsi­
bility o f the children’s worker. It is in the area o f the children’s
workers’ job that we are finding it necessary now to define relation­
ships a little more strictly than we did at the beginning of the pro­
gram. The supervision o f the children who are returning from the in­
dustrial schools to be supervised in their own homes or in foster homes
comes also into this area. Under the new welfare law the director of
public assistance in the county is the probation officer, and he may
delegate that responsibility to any member o f his staff. In some
counties that responsibility is delegated to the children’s worker; in
other counties there are probation officers.
In thinking o f the children’s worker’s responsibility in relation to
children who return from the industrial schools and need placement in
foster homes we have considered that the children’s worker should be
the one to select the foster home and to supervise the children who are
placed there. It is more difficult, however, to determine whose respon­
sibility it should be and who might best be able to serve paroled
children who are to remain in their own homes receiving aid to
dependent children or general relief.
There is another problem that is very much with us. It is rather
difficult to have the local county council think in terms other than of
a relief grant, even when a child must be placed in a home that is not
his own or in an institution. It is possible to supplement a grant of
aid to dependent children for a child in his own home, so that we are
hoping that with the philosophy o f making the financial assistance in
a home more commensurate with the child’s needs the foster-home pro­
gram may also be defined by the child’s need away from his home and
not in terms o f an assistance grant. We are one o f the States, I am
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



sorry to say, that have a grant limit o f $8 to $12. We hope in time
that with an increase o f this grant there will be also a change in the
attitude toward payments for children who must be cared for away
from their own homes.
The child-welfare-services program, through the division of child
welfare, is operating in 22 counties of West Virginia through the
county children’s workers. In the counties without children’s workers
case consultants offer consultation services. It is hoped that through
the stimulus o f the division o f child welfare there will be a county
children’s worker on the staff of every local county department and
that the consultation services will take the form of pnore intensive
supervision of those children’s workers.
The integrated welfare program in the State means that a county
department is the only agency in any county to administer social serv­
ice or to perform anything approaching a case-work service, whether
those they serve are recipients o f assistance or whether they are chil­
dren from families who are not recipients c f relief. It also means
that the children’s services are utilized beyond the relief area, and
problems from schools and from families who in no other way touch
a public program are referred to the children’s worker. Consequently
the serviced o f the children’s worker to those receiving aid to de­
pendent children must be somewhat restricted. This, againj brings
us back to the necessity o f defining the children’s worker’s job m terms
of services to children away from their own homes and also to those
children who present behavior problems or in some instances health
The C h a ir m a n . I wish that we had time this afternoon to talk some
more about the adequacy o f grants. Some o f the discussants have
mentioned increasing the maximum grants of $18 for one child and
$12 for each additional child. I have been puzzled, and I know that
many of you must have been also, about what happens in a situation
in which a smaller grant is given by reason o f the past standards of
living of the family. What happens when the local wage rate and the
standard o f living of the independent families are exceeded ? I always
like to hear in a discussion the whole background o f the problem of
the family budgeting, of home management, o f better expenditure of
funds, along with the question o f adequacy, which is so essential in a
program of aid to dependent children.
Our next discussant is Miss Beth Muller, director of child welfare,
Arkansas Department o f Public Welfare.
Miss M uller . In asking me to discuss this phase of aid to dependent
children, it was suggested that I deal with it in relationship to our
experiences in Arkansas. Arkansas has to plead guilty, according to
a report from the Social Security Board of last December, to paying
the lowest aid to dependent children grant of any State making these
grants. It reminds me a bit o f a trip that I made out into the hills
o f Arkansas one day. I met an old woman and asked her how to get
to a certain place and she said, “ Well, lady, you just keep on going
and going, and finally when you can’t go any more you know that
you are getting there.” That is what we are doing in Arkansas; we
are going and going, and we hope that we will get nearer our goal,
but we are rather nearer the beginning o f the going.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



There are some circumstances that have put us in this unenviable
position. You are talking about the maximum grants of $18 and
$12 for which reimbursement from Federal funds is possible under
the Social Security Act. We have to look up to see that amount, and
we cannot help but envy the States a bit that do have those amounts
as a minimum or even as a maximum. According to reports, our aver­
age family grant was a little more than $10 a month. Now you know,
and we know in Arkansas, that we cannot pretend to tell a mother
that we are justifying the giving o f that amount for the care of her
What are spme o f the reasons for this? Well, Arkansas is a lowincome State and our revenues for the last 4 months have fallen off
tremendously, so that even our average of $10 may go down. We are
in a position o f saying that we cannot pay more than $12 to any one
family in the State. The range is from $6 to $12. At the same time,
our average for the old-age group has been around $9, so that again
you see that those in the older group have an advantage over the
mother with young children.
Because o f this condition we are faced with some other difficulties.
For instance, a group has started very actively agitating in the State
to follow the example o f Colorado and to have an old-age pension
system of $50 for every person over 60 years of age in the State. That
sounds like a pipe dream, but it is not so far from reality.. Things
like that can happen, you know, and that has been one of the results
of the great interest that has been created in the pensions for the aged
in the State.
Another thing that is happening is that we do have a very large
general-assistance group in the State, cared for from State funds. We
know that in that group are many of the most serious problems for
children. The family that is not yet ready for aid to dependent chil­
dren, the family that has had sudden catastrophe, the family with
temporary illness, the family whose resources are gone for the time
being—their needs are met from our State funds. That means that
funds that might be used for Federal matching have to be used for
that purpose, so that again our children are penalized. Those are
some o f the conditions that we are meeting now, and we talk about a
service level. We are just as interested in a service level of care in
Arkansas as you are anywhere else.
Personnel has been one o f our serious problems, closely related to
these other problems, and you may have been noticing that Arkansas
has had its ups and downs in that matter. There was a civil-service
law which was operated successfully, and persons had passed the
examination for county positions. Then the question was raised
whether they were county or State employees, and that went into a
long controversy and discussion and finally came up to a friendly suit
in the courts of the State. It was decided that these people are State
employees and therefore come under the provisions of the civil-service
commission. The question has gone to the Supreme Court, and the
opinion will be handed down within the next few days. That has
held up progress in Arkansas for months, because nobody knew the
status o f these positions and nothing could be done to be sure whether
people were going to stay on in them; yet those in the positions are
the ones who are administering aid to dependent children and who
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



are the representatives of the State department o f public welfare in
the counties. Those situations have held back some of the progress
that we might have liked to make.
Now conditions are clearing considerably. A civil-service examina­
tion has been given for the workers in the State Child-Welfare Divi­
sion, and within a short time we will be having our field consultants
in child welfare. That sounds as though we were only starting. Let
us go back a bit. There are good things in Arkansas as well as prob­
lems. In the first place, we do have an excellent law setting up
the State Department of Public Welfare, a flexible law, a law that
does not make rigid provisions within the act.
The assistance groups—old-age assistance, aid to the blind, aid to
dependent children, and general relief—are all under an assistance
division in the department of public welfare, which is closely in­
tegrated, physically and in organization.
Even though Arkansas is at the foot o f the list so far as the financial
side goes, we are aware that we are at the foot of the list, and we
are hoping that something can be done about it. We realize that our
children’s program is being penalized for the other programs. Be­
cause of the 50-percent reimbursement for old-age assistance and for
aid to the blind, and because of the 50-percent reimbursement on
the administration cost, people are still agitating for giving more
attention to these categories than to the children’s end of the program.
But in spite of all this, there is a splendid awareness in the State, a
splendid eagerness for progress in child welfare, and a splendid oppor­
tunity for going on, so that we are hoping that we can keep on going
and going until we get nearer to the place where we cannot go anv
The C h a ir m a n . The last discussant on the program this afternoon
is Miss Charlotte Leeper, case-work supervisor of the New Hampshire
State Board of Welfare and Relief.
Miss L eeper . I want to discuss for a few minutes one of the ques­
tions raised by Miss Hoey, the problem of transition of emphasis from
what a man who wrote me recently called a “ widows’ rights program”
to aid to dependent children. In New Hampshire where we have had
a widows’ rights program or aid to dependent mothers since 1915
and now have aid to dependent children, the change of emphasis is a
very real problem, and it is hard to know how fast we should go or
how to measure community progress in the change o f thinking, be­
cause it does seem almost revolutionary to communities that have
accepted since 1915 widows’ rights, and the worthy family, and the
fact that there is a particular prestige in being a family receiving
mothers’ aid as compared with general relief.
The mothers’ aid law was administered by the Department o f Edu­
cation until 1928, and since that time it has been administered by
the State Department of Public Welfare by means of an appropria­
tion made by the legislature to the State. Two workers from the
Concord office took care o f the aid and service throughout the State.
We have now a maximum load o f 360 families with 1,000 children,
so that you see it has always been a fairly small case load, but the
two workers have had too large a case load to give adequate service
considering the number of cases and the amount of territory which
they must cover.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



The child-welfare program of the State prior to the time o f the
Social Security Act was carried out by four workers who worked
out from the State capital to the various sections o f the State, pro­
viding protective, preventive, and corrective services as well as foster­
home care. So with the beginning o f the child-welfare services, set
up in four rural areas with trained workers who had a fairly small
case load, we were able to give to that work and to those areas more
adequate child-welfare service than it was possible to obtain in the
mothers’ aid program.
The mothers’ aid worker could call on the child-welfare worker
who was going to be fairly near one o f her families to help her out
on special needs and special problems of the children. Next in pro­
viding aid for motherless children, for example, the law says that a
housekeeper must be employed at the time the grant is made. The
homes were so often on a subsistence or under-subsistence level that
it was very difficult to find a housekeeper in those remote rural areas,
and it was most difficult to try to find one who would agree to live
under those trying conditions. So if the family could not qualify
at the time the application was made, we had, under the law, to say
that they were ineligible, and that was the last that we heard of
them. Now they can be referred to the child-welfare workers, and
while it is still one o f our problems to solve this question of ade­
quate housekeeping service in motherless families, we have made
progress and feel that we have a beginning, at least a point o f de­
parture, for expanding our program in that field.
The next problem, which we feel child-welfare services are helping
us with, is the community acceptance of our continuing to assist
families that to the community no longer appear to be worthy. We
had to begin with a change of emphasis on the part of workers on
our own staff. Workers who have been administering a program
find it difficult to change their thinking, but we have tried to use
material that we found in our case records. I quote from one entry
made in 1931 by a worker who said: “I recommend that we try this
family with $18. I don’t believe that it is going to be a worthy
family, because she is extravagant with her money, and has been on
relief, and therefore a pauper.” In January 1938, this entry was
made in the record, by the same visitor, incidentally, who made the
original one: “I feel this woman has managed better than any case
I ever have known. I admire her capacity for stretching pennies.”
Then we have the other type o f case record, which is more tragic
in its significance, and that is an application made in the same year
by a family that had been on relief. The worker recommended at
that time: “ This family can get along on relief comfortably, and we
will not consider it for mothers’ aid.” Reapplication was made in
1937 and 1938. Investigation showed deterioration of the family
and the death of a child because o f medical neglect. There is rather
startling case material in our own office, which we have used first
of all with our own staff in clarifying our thinking and in following
through on our new program.
We have asked the child-welfare worker in one area to administer
the mothers’ aid program. In this area we have an added problem
in the fact that our appropriation is limited, and in considering con­
tinuing cases o f mothers whose behavior is somewhat out o f the pat-
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



tern o f the community life, or taking on new cases when we have
inadequate funds, the community sentiment is “ W hy let this one
wait while you are helping another one that the community feels
is unworthy?” We hope that by transferring the mothers’ aid cases
to this worker who has established herself in a community where
cases o f neglect and poverty and o f delinquency are referred to her,
we can build up in the community an identification between the pro­
gram o f aid to dependent children and the needs o f children.
On July 1, 1938, our department will start a new program, under
new legislation, to administer public assistance together with childwelfare work, and we hope at that time to have workers carry on
the preventive and protective work as well as the assistance program.
It has been very interesting today to hear o f the integration of child
welfare with the assistance program. Certainly I feel that in New
Hampshire we will bring a richer service to our children if we can
correlate the two.
The C h a ir m a n . Well, there you have before you the panorama of
problems. I am struck, perhaps because I am so identified with it,
with the similarity o f the problems with which we are all faced and
with the experimental attitude and the gropings for better methods.
The comments are now yours. We have about 20 minutes left for
general discussion. I want to ask Mr. Carstens, executive director
o f the Child Welfare League o f America, to comment on some of the
discussion this afternoon.
Mr. C arsten s . One question has arisen in my mind that I wish we
could have an answer to from the various States: What effect has
the $18-$12 rule in the Social Security Act had upon those States
that had previously had no limitations or that now in their statutes
have no financial limitations for grants? Has it led to the reduction
o f grants in the States where there was no limitation previously or
where there is no limitation whatsoever at the present time ?
And then I would like to make a very brief statement. Together
with certain others here, I date back to the period when aid to de­
pendent children, then called mothers’ aid and various other things,
began. It was very interesting that the movement did not begin
among social workers. Some of the finest types o f social worker
at that time resisted the mothers’ aid movement very strongly ; and
that, it seems to me, has a lesson for some o f us and ought to have a
lesson for all o f us. Now, I do feel that there may be certain things
that are being done nowadays, in child welfare or in certain other
lines, by people whom we are inclined to look askance at, and who
may after all contribute something that we ought also to be willing
to listen to.
The C h a ir m a n . W ill some o f the States that have no limit on aid
to dependent children grants comment on Mr. Carstens’ statement?
Mr. Adie, commissioner o f social welfare, New York State.
Mr. A d ie . We think o f the categories in terms of long-range grants;
and we think in terms o f home relief, as we call it, in terms o f meet­
ing the situations as they arise out o f this social order. Now, in
New York State we are doing a better family budgetary job on the
general relief than we are in the categories. I have become convinced
(and I say this not with any pride or with any assertiveness) that we
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



have gone too far in the insistence on categories, and what we need
to do is to make John Citizen realize that assistance, on a broad
foundation o f general assistance, will build a better structure for
our client. Furthermore, it will give us a stronger service than i f
we keep insisting on aid to dependent children, old-age assistance,
and the others.
You have justification for all that you are saying here, but there is
another side to it. It is our responsibility to see that the care of all
becomes the concern o f all in a very fundamental way, and not by
placing people into pigeonholes and categories. You can talk all of
your life about content, but, in my judgment, not until you have the
conviction of the philosophy o f the matter will we get the service
that our clients deserve and must have.
Somebody said today, and I like this, that on the State level they
had been ambitious and had gone outside for leaders, but she said,
“ On the local level we are sticking to local people.” I believe that
principle to be so fundamental for the future that I would rather
wait 10 years for my standards than get them tomorrow by impor­
tation; because a fundamental job in social care is to grow our social
servants, not to have them always come from outside the social life
of the community.
In New York State, with all o f the mistakes that we are making
and all o f the inhibitions that we have, we have no illusions as to
what is meant when our public-welfare law says “the care o f per­
sons.” That means what the local man will interpret it to mean—
and if he wants to do a big job he can, and if he wants to do a small
job he can. But we have placed the emphasis on general assistance,
and we shall continue to do it in our State because we believe with
all o f the categories, and there are many, the important thing is the
integration o f the service in terms o f peed. Fundamentally, in society
the broad general-assistance program is the only program that will in
the long run prevent us from destroying the family pool. Remember
that England showed it to us, and a great many other countries
showed it to us. Each time that you emphasize a social service pub­
licly, in terms o f a particularization, you have to offset that by a real
emphasis o f the family pool. The important element is the family
and the integrity o f the family in terms o f a unit o f living cooperating
together. It is much more interesting to me than this other question.
That is why I feel very definitely that the social worker’s future is
not on the categories but is one projected in terms o f service first and
assistance in line with the social mores o f that community.
The C h a ir m a n . I am sure that there must be some challengers o f
Commissioner Adie’s statements or some vigorous backers o f his state­
ments, because certainly there is no more controversial subject in the
whole field than the points which he has so hastily hit.
Mr. C arsten s . I should like to make one additional suggestion to
the commissioner, and that is that while a great many o f us believe
in the general-assistance program, we have seen certain evidences to
show that where mothers’ aid has been in effect it has aroused the
sentiment and the general assistance o f the community. Now I am
thoroughly in accord with what Mr. Adie said, but I wonder whether
in the States where aid averages $10 and upward— after all, we have
to recognize that in New York it is in the $40’s—something might
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



happen to lift the general assistance when we specialize for a time
on the mothers’ aid program.
When I was in Massachusetts, and some o f these Massachusetts
people can tell about it a great deal better than I can, we rewrote
the statute that a. commission had presented and asked that mothers’
aid be administered by the selectmen or the officers of the poor, so as
to get it integrated with the general-relief program, but none the
less, setting a standard which emphasized mothers’ aid. The result,
if I am not very badly mistaken, was that it lifted the whole generalrelief standard. Now, in New York you had a special board set
apart to do that work, and I think that in Massachusetts we had a
mixture of the two forms of aid that was really o f value to both sides.
I wonder, therefore, i f there is not some value for a time in working
in the direction o f specialization of a category.
Mr. A d ie . May I just make myself clear? I hope no one will think
that I am asking for the abandonment o f categorical services now.
I tried to say that that cannot be done in all the States at the same
time. Whatever our position on the categories is now, we must bear
in mind that our goal is family service.
Miss G ordon (Rhode Island). I should hate to say what our rating
is on general family relief. It is pathetically low, terribly low, and
now that we have the more liberal aid to dependent children law,
which lets in certain beneficiaries carefully excluded under mothers’
aid, we are in a position where we are going to have a toboggan
slide unless we are very careful, because we have now a group of
families that have been in this low category, who are eligible under
aid to dependent children, and we cannot get an appropriation to
meet their needs.
The C h a ir m a n . Are there other States that can comment on this
question o f the relation o f the general public-assistance appropriations
and their effect on categorical assistance ?
Miss P arrott (Maine). I think that in Maine there has been a
tendency to think of the Social Security limit as the yardstick to be
used in setting grants in the State, and that we are having lower
grants than perhaps we did a year ago.
Mr. C arsten s . May I ask Miss Parrott whether that is because
there was a limit set?
Miss P arrott . It is, because they are going through their list of
grants to see how many o f them are over the amount, the maximum
amount of the Social Security Act, and up until that time they were
not conscious of a maximum amount, because the law did not fix it.
Mr. J am es (Virginia). I represent a State that has just begun to
receive the benefits of aid to dependent children under the Social
Security Act, and I might say that we are very much concerned about
the effect o f the new public-assistance features on the limited but now
-15-year-old mothers’ aid program. We have had a State fund of
$1,000,000 for subsidy to the counties and cities for general relief,
which we have by bookkeeping kept categorically, but nevertheless it
was a general-relief subsidy. During the last few years we have done
that. Now both with the use o f the small State mothers’ aid appro­
priations and the use o f the much larger proportion o f the general
public-assistance fund, in the mothers’ aid cases, we have a State
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



average o f $45 for the city cases and $25 for the country cases, or an
average o f $30 in the mothers’ aid cases, or what we might now call
the aid to dependent children’s cases. We have no idea in the world
that under the new program we are going to be able to keep the stand­
ard up to that level, although we shall have an opportunity of supple­
menting those cases out o f the general-relief fund, which goes into
the new bill at approximately $1,000,000 or whatever it is now. Now,
our brain trust down there is addressing itself to the problem that we
are going to have, o f preserving the status quo, or even improving it
under the new program, and it is hopeful that we shall.
Miss A t k in s o n . I think that there is one more thing that might be
said, before we close this meeting, on the discussion of the relation­
ship between aid to dependent children and child-welfare services.
I think that you all should know that on June 30, 193T, there re­
mained in the aid to dependent children fund that had been allocated
to the Social Security Board, $14,800,000, which had not been dis­
tributed to the States, because the States did not have matching funds
and therefore did not present demands for the allocation of that
Mr. Bane told me the day before yesterday that the estimate for
this year is that on June 30, 1938, there will be a $25,000,000 unex­
pended balance o f Federal funds for aid to dependent children. It
seems to me that these two figures are very significant. They show
us the way that we must go in trying to rally support in the States
for more adequate aid to dependent children programs and also that
we have some responsibility for doing the thing that Miss Hoey said,
namely, letting Congress know that we think it is time that the
National Government stopped discriminating against children and
at least became willing to reimburse the States on a 50-50 basis as is
done for the other two categories.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Monday, April 4—Evening Session
Katharine F. Lenroot, Chief, Children’s Bureau, United States Department of Labor, Presiding

Miss L enroot . In planning this program Miss Atkinson was, I
think, very wise in saying that she wanted the emphasis this year to
be placed not upon the mechanism of organization, not even upon
problems of training and selection of personnel, which are so vital to
the work, but upon a consideration of what the program may mean
to individual children back in the communities to whose workers you
are giving counsel and guidance and for whose services you are
The children who are in neglected homes—in homes where the
inadequate relief or the absence of relief may mean real hunger, suffer­
ing, and deprivation—the children who are in trouble in school, who
come in conflict with the law, who are bewildered and frustrated by
the fact that they don’t seem to keep up with the other children—
they are the children who have the countless difficulties which bring
them to the attention of the workers in the communities.
And so we have asked two persons to contribute to this evening’s
program who are unusually able to bring to us a message o f signifi­
cance as to what we are trying to accomplish in human terms.
I have very great pleasure in presenting to you as our first speaker
the Honorable David C. Adie, commissioner of welfare of the State
o f New York.

78986“— 38-

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Some Aspects of Child-Welfare Services
By Hon. David C. A die, Commissioner, New York State Department of Social

Somebody was good enough to suggest a general line o f approach
for me tonight in asking me to discuss some very obvious aspects of
child-welfare service. I am glad to do that because we certainly do
need to begin at a very early date to think outside o f the relief pro­
gram ; not that we might get away from the relief program but that
we might add to it.
Let no one think that, in any remarks I have to make tonight, there
is any less insistence upon standards of work. In the insistence on it
I believe, but I also believe, as I think everyone else does, that the key
to the whole situation administratively is personnel. With a good
personnel we can accomplish much, and with a poor personnel we can
have all kinds of difficulties.
Like most people I have been impressed with the fact that we have
been for many years very definitely under the tyranny o f relief itself;
We have concentrated on the mere gathering up o f great numbers of
people who had to be rapidly succored, who had to be thought of in
terms of needs in the first place, and to whose needs there had to be
added other services. These facts have colored our thinking. They
have been compelling in their nature, and as a result I think we have
not stopped long enough to ask ourselves what may be implied in some
of the other aspects of the problem.
Tonight, therefore, I am going to direct my thinking to some very
obvious things, nothing new, and try to restate, to reemphasize, as it
were, some of the things for which this conference particularly stands
I do that because I am becoming more and more convinced that
fundamental to this whole national program is not so much the ques­
tion o f raising tax monies to care for people as the need for finding a
means of getting an additional method of redistributing the national
income; that what we are engaged upon today is not merely the care
of millions of people in a work program, a relief program, or any
o f the other programs, but the more adequate spreading out o f the
surplus that society has. This is done not solely for the care o f the
client but for the underpinnings of the whole economic order and the
structure in which we live.
I have come at this question, as most o f us do, from a general case­
work basis. I take it that the family case worker is still in that
relationship to a family; that consultative and definitely advisory
relationship which, however arduous it may be in its nature,
nevertheless is a general continuing policy.
The crises that we meet in the family field are never so real as they
appear to be. When you move over, however, into the children’s field,
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



it seems to me that you are in a very different relationship, in that the
worker in the child-welfare field has a more authoritative relationship
to the child. It is because of that fact that I, among others, have been
stressing the need m our communities o f raising standards o f work­
manship among the child-caring agencies higher even than we are
trymg to get into our public-assistance program. I do not mean by
that to cast any disparagement upon any o f us engaged in the publicassistance work, but I am trying to sav that you can condition a
person more easily to the one than you can to the other.
The child-welfare worker, as I see it, must have that relationship
by which he skillfully adapts himself to the task o f establishing environments, o f creating definite associations, of modifying a culture
in which the child has to develop. That definite relationship not only
is sharp and defined but sets him apart with a need for developing
new skills and for developing more definitely specialized skills than
some o f the rest o f us are called upon to develop in our jobs.
Both approaches have the same type of objectives. Both are strug­
gling for the conservation and development o f personality; and both
are struggling for the preservation and the reconditioning, and necessanly the reconstruction, o f the family life, all the while accepting
the family unit as a basis o f the operation.
While we have this common objective, I want to emphasize some
other facts, lhere is a need, it seems to me, to realize in the very first
instance that mere knowledge about a child does not lead to an under­
standing o f the child. We can develop all kinds of systems for ac­
quiring knowledge—statistical knowledge and data on the several
fields, which might be far-flung and very exhaustive in its n a tu rebut that by no means enables us to come to the job o f understanding
a child.
It is comparatively easy, it seems to me, to secure that type o f infor­
mation. What is difficult is to get our service to such a point that we
can see the child’s experience through the eyes o f the child and that
we become intensely sensitive to what life has done to the child—to
try to catch that experience in childlike terms.
I have a feeling that a child is the hardest thing in the world to see.
I f you do not believe that, all you need to do is look at the average
educational structure and see how few people educated in the peda­
gogical methodology, with all o f the advantages o f the modern edu­
cational system, have the faculty o f seeing the child in relation to the
development o f personality. We social workers must not make that
mistake. We must be able to see children, and we must be able to
get away from that other attitude which is so characteristic of the
adult. One o f the great things that we have to learn, although it
seems to be a very obvious thing, is that gathering this type of infor­
mation about children ought not to enable us to side-step the task of
attempting to understand them.
We have to develop our programs in terms of reality and not in
t^ . ° f ideology. We must get away from thinking that we must
establish the environment m which children shall grow, that we know
what a suitable home is, that we know what family life should be
and that by going through a school o f social work or from experience
we have acquired some skills in social-work practices by means o f
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



which, we can determine the validity o f the home. That, it seems to
me, is one of the most unrealistic approaches that we can develop—
purely an approach o f expediency.
It was an old Jesuit who once said that at 20 a man was governed
by his desires, at 30 by expediency, and at 40 by reason. Somehow
or other we soeial workers must project ourselves to 40 as quickly as
we can and apply ourselves to the work with reason.
We are too much concerned, it seems to me, with material factors,
with homes conditioned in terms o f measurement. I f there is a sun
parlor, some cushions in the living room, something in the kitchen,
and this, that, and the other thing around the place, we consider
that makes a desirable substitute home. Well, does it? You and I
know that in all too many cases the child m a so-called perfect
material substitute home cannot retain the contact with his parents
because o f the fact that psychologically the parents and the foster
parents cannot meet on the same ground by the very virtue of the
material advantages that now surround the child in the substitute
home. We must realize that if we are going to have perfect substi­
tute homes for our children we must haye those things in them which
relate themselves to the background in which the child finds his
The whole child program, it seems to me, has to be viewed m that
way, and I am simply indicating some o f these things to you tonight.
I think the first responsibility o f every child-caring institution follows
at that point—the preservation o f the family in itself. I think we
must realize that we have gone around a circle, and we might well say
to ourselves, “ Let’s call it a day.”
When we first began, we grouped the children with the blind and
the poor and the others. That, o f course, did not work. Then we
built institutions which have not been satisfactory to everyone. Now
we have been worshiping too long at the shrine o f foster homes. We
must move back to the realistic thing, the child’s own home. We must
begin to realize that, just as the real-estate people have sold, us this
system of “ own your own home,” we have to start philosophically to
say to the child, “ Go back to your home.” We have to have a sort
of “ own your own home” development.
In New York State we had a judge who was breaking up a trio o f
children and placing them in foster homes because the children should
not be brought up in the manner in which they had been living.
What we forgot, o f course, was that 3 years before we had done ex­
actly the same thing with two other children in that same family
because the mother was fond o f dancing every Saturday night and
the-father of the children had some rough companions and occasion­
ally got drunk. So this judge proceeded to make possible the con­
tinuation o f a futile policy.
What has society done to that mother? To that father with his
desire for rough company? I am beginning to feel that it is over­
looking the fact that our clients have rights—and very real rights.
Sometimes they exercise some o f those rights that we do not like, but
that is not the point. They are their rights. Society can use police
measures on some o f these; but we have to realize that that is the
atmosphere in which we are going to operate whether we like it or not.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



thai .is t0 °°me must7 then>be based on an attempt to
e very realistic. It is not a question o f the institution versus the
er ome*. ^ is a Question o f mobilizing all o f the resources in
the community, based on an understanding o f the child, and the shill
with which we can use the means at our disposal.
the, c^ild must bend; the foster home—not
U , f h w T S bnn d i ?n j the worker—not the child—must
bend. We have all got to do our adjusting to the child
a SM J a
strange process We have all been so busy making
children ad]|ust themselves to the adult; whereas, although the adults
riiatlire 5nd intelligent, very little o f this adjust­
ment responsibility is placed on them. I think, too, very little o f it
o W ? e'fn TeS )-eCit^(l
as ^P^fession. To be perfectly frank
about it, I think that we have suffered from an undue appreciation of
t0 ch\ldren- Now> we are never going to see
the child m this category unless, as I say, we are realistic about it.
f admg- t0night
m^seif and for you to realize that our
ijfk 1S just opening up and that, with all o f the skills that come to us
rom the advances in child care, these are merely tools in the last
analysis. It is your job and my job to realize that we have been set
? w t l £ r 5 let/ aS f0?1 fePders and tool users; and, if we do not have
that attitude to our job in realism and in terms o f the ideal at the
same time, with all our training we are not going to be very effective
You cannot begin to say that the job is to deal with personalities
and to allow personalities to be as free as possible until you begin to
translate that wish o f ours, that concept o f ourselves in terms of the
spiritual or the spiritualization o f our own job.
■a V ? seeing it in terms o f numbers and in terms o f material
needs, but seeing it in terms o f that which is so sacred to us that it
has been termed the possessing of a reverence for life. It is seeing
that our programs, whatever they are, are motivated not by the
a£ °U nt ? f m?n®y’ ^ot by the number o f institutions, and not by
the number o f free homes or other kinds o f homes that are at our
disposal, but by the workers dedicating themselves to the task of
becoming responsible for holding themselves sufficiently in check to
al ow that personality that we claim to believe in to have a chance to
take wings unto itself and fly.
cnance to
js 01? ntbat basis tbat it seems to me our programs should develon
We should be motivated by the philosophy, hy the compulsion, and by
T f w o T i t ^ hlch We have f ^ is sacred thing we call a personality7
i L if L? i hat’ WefCan g° and take that back to our communities and
SfJLy n ternis o f more money to the legislatures and more money
f L»r. P
kut will
n0t aiWays
but ^
will h
that not
so ’long
asois IPossible7
went to
the legislature to try to get a psychiatrist for one of our institutions
The committee went down the budget line by line very slowly and
suddenly stopped at that word.
An official said to me, “ What is that?”
‘ Oh,” I said, “that is a psychiatrist.”
Well,” he said, “ what is that?”
I tried to put into plain English what that was. He iust listened
to me very patiently and then said, “ Oh, well, out with that”
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



Now, that was because I had not convinced that man that there was
a real need and real validity in the application of intelligence and
affection to the reconditioning o f delinquent children. The fault did
not lie with the legislator, the fault lay with the interpreter.
So I plead with you, and I plead with myself, tonight, to think this
job through, not in terms o f processes but in terms of real concern for
people who are in unadjusted positions and under adverse conditions,
who, unless they become dependent upon our seeing the matter fairly
and squarely and in a related manner, have really no hope of gaining
a growth or development under any governmental plan or govern­
mental system.
Miss L enroot . Mr. Adie has brought us back to reality in a very
vivid way, back to the question o f a child’s own home and the possi­
bilities for the development of the child’s personality within that
I know that we are thinking tonight of the conditions confronting
so many homes in this land of ours, of the shadows which poverty,
and unemployment, and sickness bring, and the thwarting o f per­
sonalities which result from those shadows, and the tragedies into
which they often materialize.
It gives me more pleasure, I think, to introduce the next speaker,
than to introduce any speaker that I know in this country. I had the
great privilege of working with him, at the time of the White House
Conference on Child Health and Protection, when we were formulat­
ing that report on the delinquent child, and he used to say that I
ran a thermometer over every line o f the manuscript, and when it
registered about seventy I cut it out. I think that he felt great
freedom in working on the book which he published this year because
he did not have to have it subjected to any such process.
But we are tremendously privileged to have Dr. Plant associated
with us in this movement. He always responds whenever he possi­
bly can. He has gone out into the Middle West to give counsel and
advice in the development o f one o f the programs there. He is
always a great tower of strength to all who know him and have
the privilege of hearing him.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Positive Programs of Child Welfare
B y J a m e s S. P l a n t , M .

D., Director, Essex County, N. J., Juvenile Clinic

Dividing our entire project into three parts, let us see whether
we can define for ourselves certain objectivés for the child with whom
we work, for ourselves, the workers, and for the program in which
we are working.
In attempting to define certain objectives for the lives of these
children, 1 could say nothing more to you than Commissioner Adie
has already said, except to try to fill in this picture o f what we are
after and what we are striving for. This does not mean in any
sense that you are to accept the particular points that I am going
^ a t y ?u are to try to build an approach yourselves
which is one o f setting up a picture o f this personality we would
develop or these rights o f the child. One has to do that, because in
our work you and I have dealt too much with negatives. We must
not go on simply trying to get a child out of such and such a
situation. This is not true in the field o f physical health, is it?
Health is not just the absence o f disease. There is something more
positive about it. In this whole field of the social development of
the child and m the development o f his personality we must think
about the things that we want to develop rather than the things
that we want to get rid of.
There are five things, I think, that should be the right o f each
child, as he awakes tomorrow morning, to have as possibilities during
the day. I hat is, just as you know that tomorrow, from a physical
point o f view, he needs a certain amount of sunshine and a certain
amount o f vitamins, is it not possible that there are similarlv five
things m the mental field which the child needs? And if there
are these things, then these must be our goals, the things that we
must never forget and the things that we must think o f providing
for each child as he comes to us. Always, o f course, we have to
5lfal S ^ t h e negative things, and always, o f course, we have to get
the child out o f one or another scrape* but we must work toward
this more positive goal.
I think that when the child wakes up tomorrow morning, or indeed
when any one o f us wakes up tomorrow morning, perhaps, first of
all, he will look for a thing which I will call “ security.^’ I am
fon ifh t° USe the t6rm “ security ” if 1 may> in a rather special sense
To illustrate, let us go back to the Covenant o f the Old Testament,
in which God said to Abraham that in return for certain things
every person who is bom a Jew would be a chosen person. God
did not say that that person needed to be tall or handsome, and He
did not even say that he needed to have a high I. Q., or that he needed
to have any special social or intellectual or emotional qualifications,
but rather that each person bom in a certain family by that fact
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



would have a certain, place. Nor did God say to Abraham that it
was only those people who were at that time alive. A person 200
or 2,000 or 20,000 years from that time born in a certain family
would be a chosen person. That is a position which a person gets
because o f who he is. I am glad that you have had Commissioner
Adie’s statement earlier as to the need o f getting back to the own
family o f the child. X am quite sure that it is within the child s
own family and within that family alone that the child gets this
security—because o f who he is.
To put it another way: Any one o f you might talk to me about
your mother; you might say that you know more beautiful women
than your mother; you might say that you know more intelligent
women than your mother; you might say that you know better cooks
than your mother; but then each o f you would say, “ But she is my
mother.” You see, she has a place because o f who she is.
Many o f you have heard me tell a story that I cannot forget. I
have to tell it again because it stays with me through all of my work.
It is the story o f a little 12-year-old girl who had been adopted into
a family that had everything that a family could give to a c h i l d wealth, affection, and all that sort o f thing. O f course, the neigh­
bors and relatives had told her all about what poor parents her own
were and how they had run away from her. When we were talking
about the adopting parents she said that she cared more for them
than she did for her own parents and that she accepted them as her
own. She never thought about her own parents. We went on talk­
ing about some other things and later on she said that she did not
always go to sleep immediately when she went to bed. “What do
you think about then?” She said, “ I wonder always what they
used to call me.” You see—here is the deep need o f the child to
know who she really is. The place a person has because of belonging
to a certain family, an unassailable place that a person has because
o f who he is, is o f vital importance.
From a practical point of view, from the point o f view o f our
programs, we must go on with our institutions. And, as has been
said to you, we must go on with foster-home care because we have to.
But we must fight every minute for the preservation o f family life
because there is something in family life which is given to the child
that nothing else can give to it—this unassailable place because of
who the chfld is. We get the same thing, I am very sure, a great
many o f us, in our religious life, in which you notice that again we
use this family pattern. God is the Father and we are His children.
Here again, God does not ask us where we live or how much money
we have or how we are getting along in school. The mere fact that
we are His people gives us a place, this belongingness that we have
because o f who we are. I could say to you, I think, that the devel­
opment o f a rich religious life for each child is again a deep neces­
sity. I do not say it, because, o f course, here is something that comes
up from within the child, something over which we have so little
external control.
The second thing that I would look for tomorrow morning for each
one o f these children is what I would call a certain degree of extro­
version. Without trying to be too scientific about it or going into
all o f the minute intricacies, you, I am sure, know the difference be-
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



tween the extrovert and the introvert—the bouncy, expressive sort
o f person and the one who has all the drives the extrovert has but
who is working them out within himself.
In our group we feel that a mild degree o f extroversion is far more
healthy and normal than is introversion. It is better that one live
in the world that is than in the one he wishes existed. But the
extrovert has a hard time o f it. For instance, if you go into your
nearest schoolroom and ask the teacher to name her three worst
problems, the three most difficult children in the room, she will name
three extroverts. They are too bouncy—too sudden-about-thehouse— for the kind o f civilization in which we live where everybody
is huddled together.
You see this problem very nicely in marriage, of course. When
two introverts marry, the marriage often will not go along well,
because there is not in the. shut-in personalities of these individuals
the freedom of give and take that is so necessary in that sort of
venture. The introvert and extrovert in marrying get along fairly
comfortably. When you have two extroverts marrying, well, you
do not call that a family—that is a zoo.
We are inclined to let these things pass by rather rapidly but you
must not do so. Give plenty o f thought to the fact that the extro­
vert is constantly being punished in the culture in which we live.
He is in trouble in the family, he is the one who gets into court, he
is the one who makes trouble in school. Everywhere he dramatizes
and does something about the problems that are around him—he is
the one who gets into difficulties.
I have the feeling that not only must we provide for children the
opportunity to be extroverts but that we have a tremendous task in
interpreting that sort o f expression to society so that society under­
stands instead o f merely punishing these individuals.
Could I give this illustration: I was asked a month or so ago to
see a boy in the seventh grade o f school. He was a pest, an awful
nuisance, just the sore thumb of the group. I did as I very often like
to do in these situations—went to sit in the back o f the room for a
while just to watch the situation. The teacher was going over some­
thing about the surrender o f Cornwallis, and I thought that she was
doing it correctly. This teacher, from the point of view of an
intellectual task, was doing a good job and apparently a correct job;
but she was also doing something that I could liken, I think, to
nothing more aptly than a person going around a field with an elec­
tric flashlight. First, she worked with two children here and then
with three over there, and then with two here, with no ability to
bring this whole room together and make this whole room operate as
a total group. I had not been there 10 minutes before I saw six
individuals who, to my way o f thing, were far worse problems than
the boy I had been asked to see. They were just lumps o f dough—
sitting there doing nothing. My “ patient”was merrily and busily
calling attention to the fact that the teacher was doing a poor job.
You may be interested to know that already there has been a very
marked change in this teacher’s mode o f teaching. Why ? Because
o f this extrovert. You see, if it had not been for him, if he had been
a lump o f dough like the rest o f them, she would still be doing a poor
job with that whole room full of kids.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



From a practical point of view, this means for our children (and I
talk very much more to city workers now than to rural workers) the
constant opportunity to handle or touch reality, and it means, in the
building up o f the child’s play life, the development in the earlier
years o f opportunities to face the world as it really is.
Let us not go to the limits that we went earlier in my own pro­
fession, when we said that any sort o f introversion and any sort of
daydreaming represented something that was definitely abnormal.
We have to daydream. Certainly there is no one in this room who
does not have to go to the world that we wish existed, the world that
we can dream about, as some kind o f surcease from the things that
happen to us during the day and from the things that happen to our
group during the day, the things that we just simply cannot afford
to believe will go on always. We have to go, and our children have to
go, to these daydreams, but for the most part we must foster for the
children (and this is a job that demands a great deal o f community
interpretation) a program that means that they are living in the
world as it is rather than just the world that they wish existed.
You are up against two troubles here. One o f them, as I said, is
that society does not like extroverts, and the other is that for the
individual introversion represents, o f course, a much more pleasant
sort o f world than does extroversion. You remember the daydream
you used to have when you went out on the back porch and thought
about dying—how sorry the family would be, and what a long funeral
there would b e ! There was nobody who said, “ Well, thank the Lord,
she is gone.” We always in our daydreams have a happy ending;
we conquer and win and have things come out just as they should.
So you have here a dual problem. The first is that o f interpreting to
society, to the school, and to the people with whom you are working
this need o f the child to express himself, the fact that the extrovert
is trying in some way to solve a certain problem, and that that is
the more healthy adjustment than quietly accepting the problem and
not trying to escape. The second is that introversion offers so much
to the child that you cannot kid him out o f it, you cannot drive him
out o f it, but you have to coax him into the world of extroversion
through making reality, at least for a time, a pleasant experience.
I think, in the third place, that we would look for something to­
morrow that is what one might call a healthy adjustment to the
group. I cannot explain this in any better way, perhaps, than by
askmg each o f you to think o f yourselves somewhat dramatically in
the following situation: Suppose that you wake up tomorrow morn­
ing with a pain in your abdomen. You will feel disturbed about this
pam, partly because it hurts, but also because you do not know what
is the matter. You will go to the doctor and he will tell you, after
appropriate prodding ancT questions, that you have appendicitis. It
is interesting that you will immediately feel considerably relieved.
You will have found that you have something that everybody else
has, something that is quite socially acceptable, something that is
known, something that makes you belong in a large group. The
doctor has made you like everybody else. Then if the doctor is properly persuasive and you ^go to the hospital to have your appendix
out and convalesce, it is similarly interesting that before you o-0 home
you will want the doctor to tell you that your appendix was the
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



longest one he ever saw, or the shortest, or the hardest to get out, or
the reddest. You do not care what the factor is as long as he has
made you different from anybody else. That is what I call the
paradox of life—the need that each o f us has to be lost in a group,
to be like other people, to be regimented—not to be different— and at
the same time to be individual, to be odd and different. You never
see these two drives teased out and separated. They appear often
in the same sentence. You see the same thing beautifully in that
most wonderful o f psychiatric ventures—the buying o f a hat. This
particular event is preceded by some weeks of watching the papers
and magazines and people to see “ what they are wearing.” But the
matter is not settled then because when you go into the store you find
that you must not buy a hat “that you are going to see on six people
the minute you step out of the door.”
I could give many examples o f this sort of thing. Two come to
mind. One is the disturbance of the social worker in these days of
budgets and relief over the families’ spending money for some un­
necessary or foolish thing. We so often forget that in the tremendous
regimentation that is going on today we are failing co meet the need
of people to be different—to spend some money foolishly—not because
it is a foolish expenditure but because it is a different expenditure.
Then also you see the same problem on its opposite side, in the mat­
ter o f the schools. The older school was too regimented, but I think
that many of the modern schools have gone too far in the other
direction. They are failing to realize that most of us have to be lost
in a group, to be regimented, to get strength precisely from this mat­
ter o f being lost in the group.
In our planning for the child in his games and in his life, we must
provide largely those situations in which he has the same experiences
as others, in which he is the follower, in which he is a part o f the
group. And we must equally provide for each child some little corner
of his life in which he is the leader, in which he is different from
anyone else. You see, I am not talking about anything other than
the need o f a hobby.
The fourth thing that we would look for tomorrow morning would
be what I would call “ integration.” You can use this term in a num­
ber of different ways. This evening I am thinking of it in the sense
of a certain wholeness. Perhaps I could explain this in the following
We understand the problem o f weaning in the physical field. We
recognize that when a child is born he is absolutely dependent upon
the mother and that then by 5 or 6 he must get to the place where he
can eat almost anything. We similarly know something about the
problem o f emotional weaning. We note that here again the child is
dependent upon the parents to begin with, whereas at 18 or 19 or 20
he must still love his parents but must not be dependent upon them.
This whole matter of emotional maturity has been very much talked
about in the last few years. What I think very few people under­
stand is that parents have to be emotionally weaned from their chil­
dren quite as much as children have to be weaned from their parents.
Parents, as I see them, seem to resent this fact that weaning must go
on all over again after one has grown up. What I mean by integra-
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



tion here is this sort of wholeness of one’s life that means that he is
not dependent upon the others around him.
I am not talking about being a hermit. I am trying to say that for
the child, and indeed for yourself or myself, it is. much better that
one’s house be built in the midst o f other houses, because this means
a richer and more complete sort of life; but that this house must be
built so that i f the other houses tumble down it still will stand.
In the area in which I work we have provided so much for the
children and have scheduled their lives so much and have given them
so much of external resources, that we have not built up these in­
ternal strengths that I am trying to cover under the term “ integration.”
We do not have children who, when put on their own, know how to
live with themselves, and I am sure that this is a fundamental
Finally, I think that tomorrow morning we will hope that the day
will provide for us or for the child a certain amount o f success. I
am not sure that you will agree with my definition of success. It is
the only one that seems to me to fit what I actually see at the clinic.
I am sure that successful people are not necessarily people with
money, nor those with possessions, nor those who are growing or de­
veloping as I would have thought that successful people should^ I
am quite sure that success comes to a person when he is in a situation
where “nobody else will do.” This is the only way that I can explain
why Mrs. Macaroni, with 10 or 12 children, no money, nothing at all
but hard work day in and day out, trudging alone through life,
shows some sort of release from the problem o f happiness that I do
not see in Mrs. Astorbilt, who lives in a very large house and has all
sorts of servants about. I am quite sure that Mrs. Macaroni often
has an experience that the other woman is striving desperately for—
the experience o f being needed by other people, the experience once a
day or 20 times a day of being turned to because “ nobody else will
So far as the child is concerned, I think that this means for us,
again, very much less scheduling and planning than we are doing in
this country. It means very much more a chance for the child to
have responsibility, to be turned to for real jobs, to have experiences
in which he can take hold of life himself.
Some o f you have seen this in the problem of the runaway child.
There are many times when the child, at least in my area, goes on
this sort of venture because here he has responsibility. When you
are a runaway you have to find your own food and your own place
to sleep. There are many tragic things that happen to runaways,
and I am not trying to present this as a good pattern for children to
follow. I use it only as an example of the need on the part of many
children to experience this thing that I have called success. It should
point to us the need in our programs for giving to the child a real
place that is his own. a real job that is his own, situations in which
“nobody else will do.”
Just to recapitulate: In what we plan for the child, let us think of
those things we want him to have instead of those things we want
him to be rid of.
Here first of all would be our joy in his having security in his own
family. This will raise havoc with your work. It will mean that
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



often when you know just what Johnny needs and just what should
be done with him, the parents’ only response to you will be, “But he
is Johnny.” It seems to me that we must foster just that sort of
attitude, regardless of how much trouble it makes for us, because it
means that the boy has an assured place in his relationships with
other people.
Then we must work for those things that will constantly lead to­
ward the development or the preservation of a certain degree of
extroversion in children. This is difficult because every advancing
civilization represents an introverting process. All young civiliza­
tions are extroverted. The Greeks in the early part of their civiliza­
tion captured the woman they loved, carried her off, went and killed
people because of her. Then when they came to their golden age, to
a higher and higher civilization, they made marble heroes instead of
flesh-and-blood heroes. Each civilization as it advances similarly
replaces reality with symbols. Finally it comes to its golden age and
then you notice that it decays. I f we are to preserve the strength of
our group, we must be forever interpreting to the community the
strength that is represented in the extroverted child.
We must try to develop for the child a pattern of life in which for
the large part he is lost in the group, and yet one in which he has a
corner in which he is the leader or is different. It is only then that
the child who is behind in his school work, who is not making a good
social adjustment, who is lost in every other part of his life, says,
“Well, wait till they come to checkers.” That is the place that is his
own, that makes him an individual, that gives him leadership, that
allows him to meet every sort of buffeting with sweetness and a
sense of adequacy.
And then we must plan to develop for the child, as best we can, the
ability to live by himself, the ability to find within himself resources
o f richness and happiness in life.
And finally we must develop for the child those opportunities to
have experience which I have called “ successful” experiences..
I am not going to talk very long about your own objectives, but
I should like to say just two things about them.
The first o f these is an objective that has a good deal to do with
that cynical, beaten, bitter attitude that we see expressed in so many
adults, of “ Oh, well, what’s the use?” You all know this sort of
hardened picture of defeat. To me it represents the most subtle
enemy o f the social worker. I am very sure that this attitude most
frequently develops from having set goals and objectives that are
too high.
It is dangerous to talk about having goals that are not too
high, and yet I am sure that the matter o f plodding along with
an eye to a goal that is attainable gives us those experiences in
triumph that are absolutely necessary. It is when you build stand­
ards for yourself that are impossible that your spirit breaks. I often
feel in my own work—and this again is perhaps a dangerous thing to
say—that the first approach that it is wise to make to a problem is
not in terms o f measuring those things that we can do for the child
but in first separating out those things that we cannot do for him.
It seems to me that it is so often necessary for us to find first those
stone walls that will only break our spirits.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



And the second thing, in the matter of your own objectives, has
to do with the way of measuring your work. I should like to see
social workers more and more measuring their work in terms of
themselves—how much they have grown, how much more life means
to them than it did last year. I say this because I am quite sure
that the children with whom you work do not grow any more than
you do. Oh, yes, you can set out at the end o f the year a very hand­
some statistical table o f the calls that you have made, the number
o f children you have had in your care, the clothes that you have
provided for them, the job placements you have made. But I am
sure that if life is not richer for you, if you do not have stronger
faith in those things in which you had faith, if you do not know
now better than you did a year ago what you are after in life, those
things that you are striving for—then I am sure that your clients
have not done much real developing. In every other human rela­
tionship, in every friendship, we know that both people grow. We
must see that this holds for the social worker-client relationship.
And then could I say to you just two little things about the pro­
First, you must use this program to teach your communities. It is
your delinquents that have built your playgrounds. It is your
truants that have changed your school curriculum. Go anywhere
you want to, and you will see that it is the rebel who dramatizes
life. I f you go back to your communities just to work with the
rebel you are doing only half the job. You must constantly be
interpreting to the community what that boy or what that girl is
trying to do. When you do that you will become real teachers. It
is the only way that I can see of escaping the present plight of
most social workers, that o f being glorified street sweepers, forever
just sweeping up the debris o f life.
I like to think here of one of the oldest prophecies that man has
had: “ The stone that the builders reject will be made the headstone
o f the corner.” O f course, a great many people feel that this proph­
ecy was fulfilled some 2,000 years ago. But we can fulfill it today
just as truly as when it was first made. In fact, that seems to me
to be the great challenge of our work—that we interpret to society
its weaknesses, its stresses and tensions, through what the delinquent,
the truant, the breakdown tell us. When once you start to use this
child—this problem child—to teach your community what it is
doing to all o f these people, to teach your community the problems
o f the child, then indeed do you make the stone that we reject the
headstone o f a new social philosophy. These children pay a terrible
price, but you can make that sacrifice worth while if you teach your
community what it is doing to all of its children. There comes in
this way out of your program the basis of teaching our society a new
sort of justice for all children and for all people.
Lots o f times I wonder, when I am sitting alone with a youngster
in the office, what is the use o f doing this work with John and Mary
and Helen when there seem to be so many large and engulfing issues
sweeping over the whole world. Why keep at this picayune sort
o f individual business when fear and hatred and war are about to
engulf us all? I suppose that many times the same question occurs
to you.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



My own answer—perhaps it is not a very good one—is that per­
haps we are one o f the few groups that remain truly democratic,
in that we are still pinning our faith on the development of single
individuals. So I ask you to preserve this faith, to preserve this
vestige o f democratic philosophy in a world that would seem to
sweep it all aside in great mass movements.
That is all that I have to say. It has been hard to put into words
what I feel about your relationships to the program. I could not do
any better here than to quote a bit o f Chinese poetry.
The poet Wang-Wei was asked what he liked best in life. He
I am old,
Nothing interests me now.
Moreover, I am not very intelligent
And my ideas
Have never traveled further than my feet.
I know only my forest,
To which I always come back.
You ask me
What is the supreme happiness here below?
It is listening to the song of a little girl
As she goes on down the road,
After having asked me the way.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Tuesday, April 5— Morning Session

Cheney C. Jones, Superintendent, The New England Home for Little Wanderers, Boston, and
Member of the Advisory Committee on Community Child-Welfare Services, Presiding

The C h a ir m a n . A s I left my office Saturday I picked up a book
left on my desk and on the train I fell to reading it. I think it would
be a good idea for all o f us to look at it. The book is “A Pediatrician
in Search o f Mental Hygiene,” by Dr. Bronson Crothers, assistant
professor o f pediatrics at the Harvard Medical School and visiting
physician to the Children’s Hospital in Boston. It is published by the
Commonwealth Fund. I have not read the entire book, but became
much interested as I browsed in it. The title is intriguing. In ap­
proaching this meeting this morning one might think of a book entitled
“A Farmer in Search of Mental Hygiene.” Any one o f us might
consider himself as searching for this thing called mental hygiene
and then might say, “What is it we are searching for?”
I have come to this meeting with anticipation because I hope that
here I may find the answer to the question. I am certain that many
other ordinary persons and I. will never find out what we mean by
mental hygiene from these tremendously thick books that are piled up
on our desks. We take them up, but most of us bog down after about
25 pages and never get further. The more I read about it and the
more I hear people talk about it, the more I am confused as to what we
really mean by a program for mental hygiene. Sometimes I get the
suggestion that mental hygiene consists of an assortment o f mental
pills that come in a variety o f bottles labeled with a variety of names.
There is a new label every year. I have heard these words so many
times that I have found myself using them, not being very certain
about what I meant when I spoke them. I reached the stage one year
where I told my secretary that if one particular so-called psychiatric
social worker appeared again and said to me, “It is a marvelous case
of identification,” I feared she would not be identified for some time
to come. Sometimes it seems that these labels are part and parcel of
a very large language that would bother a rural man a great deal more
than it would help.
There was a young person in my office one morning who was very
able and exceedingly attractive. She was presenting to us a case
situation. She said, “ This client is having difficulty in the health
area.” The farmer-physician and I sitting by were as much in the
dark as ever after this remark, and so I replied with the question,
“What do you mean? Has she the itch, or what?” Language ought
to be used to convey meaning.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



At other times mental hygiene practically seems to consist o f trying
to break the patients out in a sort of mental smallpox, and by such
breaking out it seems to be supposed that they will be immune from
all sorts of mental difficulty ever after. I believe this is sometimes
called “ analysis.” Sometimes hygiene seems to be mixed up with
sanitation, but I suppose there are times when a mental bath is help­
ful. I have sat through some so-called clinics after which I was glad
o f an opportunity to go outdoors and get a breath o f fresh air or to get
a copy o f Sidney Lanier and take a mental bath myself. This is the
picture o f how the meaning of mental hygiene is apt to be confused
in the mind o f the average man.
There is one thing certain, and that is that those o f us who were
fortunate enough to be at the dinner at the Willard Hotel last evening
got a good course in mental hygiene from our good friend, Dr. Plant.
There is another thing about which I am certain, and that is that the
average country boy knows that basically there is a need for the kind
of service we visualize. There are very definite mental hazards that
a boy in the country feels just as though he lived in any other part of
the world, and as I hear psychiatrists in the city describe certain
emotional difficulties they are recognizable to me as something that I
as a country boy faced.
I went to school in a sod schoolhouse—something that many o f you
have never seen. It was very inadequate, and the books and the
teacher were inadequate. By accident I came upon a book that told
of beautiful schools in another part o f the world. In that sod schoolhouse I was as resentful as anyone could be about the inadequacy of
•my opportunity, and doubtless there are things in my personality
now that are the direct result o f that experience.
I like the title Miss Atkinson has given us for this meeting this
morning, “ Mental-Hygiene Problems and Services in Rural Commu­
nities.” We are facing these problems and not starting out with the
assumption that we have the program all set up and ready to carry out.
I was glad to see that we had not been brought here to discuss the
application of dynamic therapy, or o f deep-level therapy, or o f some
other psychoanalytic technique to farmer boys and girls, even though
their needs may be very deep-seated. I doubt whether we are ready
for any such finesse in our wide-open spaces. Facing these rural
problems thoughtfully until we understand them may lead us to
provide the sort o f service that will give rural children more than
meat and drink, for they, too, “ shall not live by bread alone.”
We are to hear first something about a method o f providing psychi­
atric services, and I am very happy to present Dr. Howard B. Mettel,
chief o f the Bureau o f Maternal and Child Health, Indiana State
Board o f Health.

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Method of Providing Psychiatric Services
By H oward B. M ettel , M. D., Chief, Bureau of Maternal and Child Health,
Indiana State Board of Health

Mr. Jones has broken the ice for me because I likewise am not a
psychiatrist. I am a pediatrician in search of mental hygiene, as Dr.
Crothers’ book has set it up. However, my father taught me a long
time ago that if you did not know something about something and
did not have time to dig it out for yourself, perhaps you could
organize a group about you that could teach you something. That
is the purpose o i my paper this morning—not to take up any methods
of treatment or diagnosis of the problems o f mental hygiene but to
show that Indiana is as primitive as some of our other States in its
backwardness in establishing mental-hygiene services, and how we
are struggling and beginning to provide a mental-hygiene service, a
psychiatric service for children in rural communities in Indiana.
The trend of child psychiatry today is toward the integration of
the biologic and social sciences. It includes not only the art of the
care of the abnormal child but also the important field of prevention.
The needs for setting up a mental-hygiene program for the children
o f Indiana were evident, but financial resources for promoting an
adequate program were not available from any one public-health or
welfare agency in the State.
The primary objectives in setting up such a program by the de­
partment o f health were—
1. To further the activities o f the Bureau of Maternal and Child
Health of the Indiana State Board of Health in carrying out a pre­
ventive public-health program.
2. To cooperate with the State Department o f Public Instruction
and the Indiana State Department o f Public Welfare by giving as­
sistance to schools, and to dependent children who need psychiatric
consultation services.
3. To provide better psychiatric training to undergraduate and
graduate physicians, educators, and welfare workers, and to teach
the importance of the basic psychiatric approach to some of the
behavior problems that appear early in childhood but are not often
recognized and dealt with until later years.
In August 1937 a mental-hygiene program for children was in­
augurated in Indiana. This demonstration was made possible by the
approval of the Children’s Bureau of the United States Department
o f Labor. The program in Indiana is under the joint auspices of
the Bureau o f Maternal and Child Health of the Indiana State Board
o f Health, and the Children’s Division o f the State Department of
Public Welfare. These two organizations have pooled their facilities
to establish and foster a well-organized child-guidance service. It
is to be noted here that the annual budget o f either of these two
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



State departments singly did not provide sufficient financial assist­
ance for such a demonstration, and that only by pooling avail­
able funds from both agencies was it possible to administer such a
program. Since both of these groups were engaged in giving com­
munity service in their own particular fields, it was felt that in a
mental-health program lay the opportunity for a liaison which would
allow for a more unified program. In this manner the services given
by each of these groups might contribute more completely to a wellrounded community service and their functions dove-tail efficiently
and harmoniously.
The ground work for the child-guidance service was laid sub­
stantially by the director o f the bureau o f maternal and child health
and the director of the children’s division o f the State welfare de­
partment. The former interested and obtained the approval of the
Indiana State Medical Association, so that medical cooperation be­
came a forceful part o f the mental-hygiene program for children.
This official approval was also followed by more direct contact with
the local medical societies in those areas where the program was to be
established first. This type of medical cooperation is always essen­
tial in setting up any program which involves medical care or con­
sultation. Other facilities were enlisted by way o f uniting more
closely the various parts o f community service. These included the
official State public-health-nursing program, the county public-health
nurses of the demonstration areas, and the State department of pub­
lic instruction, including local school superintendents and principals
in the selected areas.
The director of the children’s division of the State welfare depart­
ment and the supervisor o f the child-welfare services of the State
met with the officials of the specified departments of county welfare
and with the directors of the local boards to arrange for a childwelfare worker in each of the several chosen counties. The purpose
of these conferences was to outline methods of local functioning and
to define the duties of the local worker in each area. As a result the
local welfare worker functions closely with the county welfare de­
partment, is a member of the official county welfare staff, and works
closely with the schools and with various other public and private
agencies that deal with the welfare of the children. The welfare
worker is an integral member o f the community and is in close touch
with all aspects of a well-rounded child-welfare program. The di­
rector o f the children’s welfare services assumes the responsibility
for the supervision o f these child-welfare workers.
It is around the activities of the child-welfare worker that the
childrpsychiatric services are based, because the child-welfare worker
remains the local representative of the service and carries out therapy
as planned by the psychiatric personnel. The psychiatric staff is
composed o f a team that includes a psychiatrist (director), psycholo­
gists, and psychiatric social workers.
In order to carry out this program it was necessary to obtain the
services o f a psychiatrist to act as director o f this division. In making
this selection a physician was chosen who had had training and experi­
ence in child and adult psychiatry and mental-hygiene problems. This
provided an adequate foundation for the study of the mental prob-
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



lems o f children as evidenced by their behavior. In order to evaluate
human behavior properly a psychiatrist dealing with children must
be a person who is a medical graduate. This demands an under­
standing of the individual as regards his physical status, his intel­
lectual endowment, and his emotional make-up. S t u d y of the
intellectual endowments and special abilities and disabilities of the
patient is a particular contribution of the psychologist. Study of the
environmental factors is the offering of the social worker. With these
at hand the psychiatrist draws together all available data, including
physical status, his own study o f the individual and family, and then
evaluates, diagnoses, and advises or treats on the basis of the instruc­
tive data with which he has to work.
A t the beginning of the child-mental-health program in Indiana,
with only a single unit of the psychiatric team available, the areas in
which the unit could function necessarily had to be limited if satis­
factory work was to be performed. Three counties in the State were
chosen for the child-psychiatry demonstration. These counties were
selected on the basis of the generalized health program already estab­
lished and the need for such additional services to help round out the
health and welfare services. This established program included a
child-welfare worker, county public-health nurses, and other cooper­
ating persons, such as the local medical group and the school authori­
ties. Sullivan, Morgan, and Jay Counties were then chosen to receive
the psychiatric and psychologic services. The Indiana home for
soldiers’ and sailors’ orphans also receives this service, because the
administrators felt a special need for it and because there is already
a social-service and medical program established in that institution.
The need for a program of child psychiatry in Indiana is shown by
the fact that, with the exception of Fort Wayne, South Bend, and
Indianapolis, there have been no places for referring or examining
these types o f cases in Indiana. In most o f these cities this type of
work is conducted as a part of the school or educational program and
is often conducted by nonmedically trained persons.
There existed no provision in the curriculum of the Indiana Uni­
versity School of Medicine for teaching students the problems of
child psychiatry. Therefore this most important branch of pediatrics
is little understood or practiced by the majority o f the medical pro­
fession of the State of Indiana.
In the children’s clinic of the Riley Hospital for Children there
existed no medically trained person who was qualified to deal with
the problems o f child psychiatry. Thus far no funds have been
available for the establishment o f a department of child psychiatry.
Throughout the State of Indiana the Indiana State Welfare De­
partment has under its care a number of dependent and homeless
children. Many of these children present mental-hygiene problems
for which the State Welfare Department is unable to have diagnosis
made and treatment outlined. This problem has especially presented
itself to the State Welfare Department in dealing with the placement
o f dependent and homeless children who heretofore have been housed
in orphanages and like institutions.
With the exception o f those in the larger cities mentioned before,
teachers have no access to guidance in problems o f child mental
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



The psychiatric services were actually started in these demonstra­
tion areas in September 1937. Preliminary meetings were held with
the boards and the children’s committees o f the local county welfare
department. The director of the children’s division o f the State
welfare department, the supervisor, the psychiatrist, and the psy­
chologist, along with the child-welfare worker, attended all o f these
conferences. Shortly after the services were started the director of
the bureau o f maternal and child health and the psychiatrist met with
the county medical societies, where the program was described, dis­
cussed, and approved. Rules and regulations in regard to the eli­
gibility and admission o f children to these services were drawn up
and approved. Among these was the regulation that each child
before being admitted to the service must have a routine physical
examination, including a Wassermann test and a urine test. For this
routine examination the referring physician or clinic was required to
fill out a physical-examination form supplied by the State welfare
department, and the referring physician was reimbursed by the county
welfare department when the patient was unable to pay. For his
private patients he made his own charges. All psychiatric services
are free, regardless of the financial status of the child’s parents,
family, or guardian.
After the medical, social, and psychiatric work is completed, the
psychiatrist confers with the referring physician who carries out the
recommended medical program if any further medical treatment or
observation in the hospital is indicated.
Conferences concerning the program are also held with the school
principals as well as with individual teachers. All members o f the
staff participate in these conferences at various times.
Psychiatric services to the State home for soldiers’ and sailors’
orpharis were started in October. After preliminary conferences with
the governing boards and administrative officers of these institutions,
the services began. The children were given psychological examina­
tions in order to obtain a broader knowledge o f school adjustment or
vocational guidance. The greatest number of children referred to the
service are those needing school adjustment and those having emo­
tional difficulties. Another important group referred were those
who were planning to leave the institutions shortly and who wanted
to discuss plans for their vocations, living arrangements, home place­
ment, or to proceed to advanced schools o f education. Special services
have also been given to orphanages which have asked for help in the
understanding o f some o f their children, and to certain individuals
in other counties where acute situations have arisen and where the
worker or teacher felt that psychiatric and psychological examination
would help in more adequate handling of the given case.
The psychiatrist spends 2 days of each week at the Riley Hospital
for Children, which is a part o f the Indiana University Medical Cen­
ter and School o f Medicine. Here psychological service is given by
the psychology department, which is under the direction of the
department of psychology o f Indiana University. Although no spe­
cially trained children’s psychiatric social worker is available at the
moment, expansion in this direction is a definitely indicated need.
In this area the psychiatrist gives lectures to senior medical stu­
dents on the pediatric service; makes ward rounds with the intern
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



and resident staff; is consultant for ward cases; and conducts an
out-patient clinic for return patients and for those who have not
been in-patients but who have been referred from the out-patient
pediatric clinic after physical examination has been made. Many
children and their parents have been seen by the psychiatrist; some
have had a series o f subsequent interviews. Recommendations and
contacts are made with referring and interested persons or agencies,
the parents, the county departments, the juvenile courts, the family
physician, or the schools, as indicated.
In addition to actual clinical service rendered by a child-guidance
unit, perhaps especially when the service is new, there is the important
function o f proper interpretation—giving communities and socially
minded groups correct information and stimulating local interest.
This function leads not only to more substantial backing for the
already existing unit but it is hoped that it will create an interest and
demand for further expansion of child-welfare services. To this end
the psychiatrist has given lectures throughout the State before these
socially minded groups, which include State welfare conferences,
parent-teacher-association conferences, federated women’s clubs, and
similar organizations.
It is hoped that the demonstration will stimulate interest through­
out the State for an extension of needed services, and that local feel­
ings and interests will be so developed and stimulated that the com­
munity or county will ultimately take over the financial and adminis­
trative responsibility for the establishment o f its own psychiatric unit.
The C h a ir m a n . In line with the general theme of this whole con­
ference, that is, looking at the content o f our undertakings, we are now
to hear more about the content of a mental-hygiene program, and we
are certainly fortunate in having with us Dr. George H. Preston, com­
missioner of mental hygiene o f the Maryland State Board of Mental
Hygiene, who will address us on that subject.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Content of a Mental-Hygiene Program
By G eobge H. P reston, M. D., Commissioner of Mental Hygiene, Maryland State
Board of Mental Hygiene

I was asked to talk about the “ content o f a mental-hygiene pro­
gram.” I am going to start by saying that I don’t believe there should
be a mental-hygiene program. Mental hygiene to be effective must
be content o f a general welfare program and not a program by itself.
It is like a religion. You can nave a beautiful church and a good
minister and you can even have services two or three times on Sunday
and once during the week, but if what is preached is not part o f the
community content, then it is nothing but a nice ornament to show
visitors. It does not accomplish anything so far as the community is
concerned. I feel very much that way about mental hygiene. I f it is
a program, it is not anything; but if it is content o f a child-welfare
program, then it probably will mean something concrete to a
I believe I can talk from that basis about the content of a mentalhygiene program, and in deference to our chairman I am going to try
to oe specific. He said something about the generalities o f mental
hygiene, and I am going to begin backwards by talking about what
the mental-hygiene content o f a child-welfare program is not. Cer­
tainly it is not just picking out the feeble-minded. You see a cer­
tain number o f mental-hygiene programs that are concerned only with
that problem, but that is not mental hygiene. Nor is a mental-hygiene
program only the recognition o f psychotic parents, difficult as they
may be in a case-work job. Again it is not—and I am very particular
about this—the establishment of a special dump for all difficult cases.
There is a tendency in the direction of setting up psychiatric service,
mental-hygiene service, and then taking everything that nobody else
can handle and dumping it on the psychiatric service and expectmg
miracles. The failure to work miracles serves to segregate mental
hygiene and to keep mental hygiene from becoming content o f the
general program.
Furthermore, psychiatric service is not vocabulary, although it
occasionally tends to be. These are some o f the things that mentalhygiene programs are not. They are all essentials and I do not
mean at all to belittle them.
To my mind those things are like the dishes and the forks and the
garbage can in the kitchen. They are essentials to meals, but by
themselves they do not constitute a diet. You need to have them to
feed people; you have got to have certain services to do a mentalhygiene job, but they are not the job any more than the garbage can
is the dinner table. They are essential pieces o f machinery but the
really important factor lies outside o f the tools.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



What is important is that the use of any mental-hygiene equip­
ment within a community depends entirely upon the attitude of
everybody working in the program. Unless there is a common point
of view in regard to mental hygiene that is part of the common
equipment of everybody working, these tools are not enough. I am
not at all convinced of the value of a few psychiatric specialists
working at a specialty within a case-working organization. The
value of a specialized psychiatric group within an agency is doubt­
ful because every social-work situation has its mental-hygiene
I read a very interesting article not so very long ago by Professor
Jansen, of Duke University, which is in the January 1937 number of
Mental Hygiene, and I think it is entitled “ The Place of Mental
Hygiene in Social Work.” It is thoroughly well done. Doctor Jan­
sen brings out the point that in every situation in which you meet
social-work problems you find a mental-hygiene layer somewhere,
and he quotes one case that struck me as very pertinent. He talks
about a professional man and his wife and daughter who reached
the stage at which this man could not keep himself going by the fees
he was collecting from his clients or patients and landed in a relief
situation, with a daughter who was an honor student in high school
and with the immediate questions being presented: Do we put this
family on relief and try to carry it through? Do we take the girl
out of high school and help her get a job to keep the family going?
Do we allow the man to continue doing what he can professionally
and find a job for his wife? Aside from whether you could find
jobs for these people you had at once the psychiatric questions: Are
you going to damage this girl’s self-respect more by pulling her out
of high school or more by putting her mother to work to support her
in high school ? What are you going to do to this man if you make
it obvious to the community that he cannot support himself and'that
his wife has to go to work for him to keep things going?
It seems to me that questions of that sort, which are very simple,
common to all o f you, have to be decided on the basis of a knowledge
of the attitude and the feelings of the people involved. You must
know what this man thinks and feels, you must know what his wife
thinks and feels, and you must know what the daughter thinks and
feels, and no solving of such situations by rule is going to work.
There are family attitudes and children’s attitudes which must be
considered before you make a decision as to which one of the various
facilities a community offers may be used. The same factors apply
to all the problems that arise in a community, for example to the
simple problem of telling a family that somebody has tuberculosis.
That requires an understanding o f people, and in one particular case
I know o f I think the way in which the situation was explained
made the difference between a man who would have gone to a hos­
pital and literally fretted himself to death and a man who could go
to a hospital with some assurance and some ability to rest and get
well. The difference in the technique was the simple kind o f mental
hygiene I am talking about.
I f that is going to be done, then this thing that we are talking
about as mental hygiene must be the common knowledge of all the
people dealing with people. That does not mean just social workers.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



It certainly means physicians. It means ministers and lawyers and
everybody in the community if it is to be effective, but primarily it
means the social-worker group at the present moment. There is a
beautiful outline of institutional mental-hygiene content in an article
by Sybil Foster in the January 1938 Mental Hygiene. It is beauti­
fully done, worth anybody’s looking at, whether he is doing institu­
tional work or not, because you can take it right out of the institution
and use it in any dealings with children.
I still have not been specific. I have talked about what things
were not. The first concrete item in this common knowledge of
mental hygiene is some understanding of what human behavior actu­
ally means when you see it going on in front of you. At the risk of
being very elementary in my talking, I am going to talk about two
or three situations.
I remember a small boy o f 6 who was being brought into my office.
I happened to see him walk down the street outside my windows and
stop and pick up a cigarette butt off the sidewalk and light, it and
walk the rest of the block smoking the cigarette. That was a per­
fectly beautiful label, “ I want to be grown up and I am not having
a chance.” And you did not need a lot more than that. By the
time the boy got in you knew what you were dealing with.
A similar sort of case was that of a boy who came to me and said,
“Dr. Preston, did you ever see a hippopotamus?” I said that I had.
He said, “Well, you know I saw one out in the lot in back o f the
house the other day and I did not do a thing but go up and twist his
tail off.” You do not want people to give you much more than that
kind of story, do you? They have just hung out signs for you.
I knew two boys who were about 15, and on the same Sunday one
of them slipped away from home and joined the Presbyterian church
and the other one slipped away from home and broke into a grocery
store. They had exactly the same motivation—no difference in the
type of behavior from my point of view at all. Both of them wanted
to show the world they had grown up. What they did depended
upon the pattern of the home in which they had grown up.
Those are the simple sorts of things that mean mental-hygiene
content. Somebody said once that there was a group of social work­
ers still in existence that believed it was not worth while to listen to
a story o f distress unless you could do something about it. That
just does not make sense from the mental-hygiene point of view,
because, of course, the actual telling of a story of distress to some­
body who will be decent enough to listen is good therapy. Patience,
tact,, and frankness and not throwing the person out of the office is
good psychiatric therapy by itself—good mental hygiene in the sense
about which I am talking.
Understanding o f the meaning o f human behavior is one o f the
essential mental-hygiene components. The second is much more diffi­
cult to attain. It is the need for every worker in the children’s field or
in the social-work field to be able to face without prejudices any type
o f behavior that happens to be presented. The doctor is in exactly
that situation. I f he approaches a patient with the feeling that the
patient or the patient’s condition is nasty or dirty, he cannot treat the
patient. The social worker who approaches a situation and says, “ I
can’t stand liars,” or says, “ I can put up with anybody except a client
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



who is cheating on me,” is not mental-hygiene conscious. That is per­
sonal prejudice. That is emotional astigmatism. And it is one of the
things that give you an improper point o f view in dealing with people.
You cannot approach a client as a drunken bum and do social work
with him. And unless you can approach him with a question, “ Why
is this man doing the kind o f thing he is?” you cannot do social work
with him. You cannot walk into a woman’s house and discover that
the beds have not been made for a week and the dishes have not been
washed since last Sunday, and approach her as a filthy, dirty, lowdown housekeeper. You have got to approach that sort of thing with
the feeling, “What is this all about—why is this person doing the kind
o f thing that she is doing?” There is the need for not letting personal
prejudices get in the way o f your social-work technique.
You may say that these things are ordinary common sense. I grant
that they are for a few people who have had a great deal o f experience,
who have met many people in many places, and who are themselves
relatively well mentally. These things are matters o f character that
you may acquire in the course of 70 years of living. They are also
things that can be acquired by technical training. It is possible to
acquire an understanding of what human behavior means, and it is
also possible to compensate for personal prejudices by careful technical
The essential content o f a welfare program is mental hygiene, and
by that content I mean that every worker should know what the human
behavior that she sees means. She should be able to face any type of
human behavior, recognizing her own prejudices, and making allow­
ance for them so that it can be approached unemotionally with the
question, “What is this person doing—what does this thing mean?”
rather than saying, “This is something I cannot stand.”
With that sort of content a program ought to develop in two direc­
tions. First, it should be developed so that the work can be carried on
without too much damage to the client. I say “ too much” advisedly.
I believe it is a rare individual that handles a social-work case or a
medical case without doing some damage to the personality o f the
I am going to mention just one phase o f that because I think it is the
most important thing we are facing in this country at the present
moment. The mental-hygiene content o f a welfare program should be
such that it would be possible to handle clients on relief without dam­
aging their self-respect. That is the only hope that we have of not
producing a few million chronic dependents and professional beggars,
and that is the responsibility that rests upon the mental-hygiene, train­
ing o f a social-work group. I f you put a person on relief in a way
that destroys his self-respect, that person is not coming back. I believe
the mental-hygiene content should be developed in the direction of
protecting the client from damage, particularly in relation to his
The other direction in which this content should be developed is to
make it possible for the worker to foresee trouble before she gets into
it up to her neck. A knowledge of the attitude o f people and what
things mean to them will make it possible for her to see that certain
things cannot be done with certain people, that other things can be
done, and will prevent her from getting into a situation in which she
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



and the client are both helpless and which neither has stability enough
to retreat from. You see it takes a lot o f stability to admit you are
wrong and to walk out o f a situation and start over again, and it takes
a lot for the client to admit that he has made a mistake, so that push­
ing him into a place where he has got to admit he is a fool is just a
mistake. A mental-hygiene content ought to make it helpful to foresee
danger before you land in the middle o f it.
When we begin to talk about the way this sort o f content ought to
be developed in a program, let us assume that we have the base o f a
child-welfare program in a community and that the training o f the
people doing the job is average, so that the ordinary technique o f
child-welfare work is done automatically. The first requirement in
developing a concrete mental-hygiene content in a child-welfare pro­
gram is please get healthy workers. That is a very difficult job, but
essential. I mean by that people who do not have too many preju­
dices. They are people who are not too narrow-minded, people who
are not too personally peculiar, and people who are able to change.
One o f the characteristics of mentally ill persons is rigidity. They
develop one method o f meeting difficulties and they go right along
with that method regardless of the difficulty. We talk about dead
people as “ stiffs,” and you do not want that kind of person on a socialwork staff. They are of no use. You want people who are flexible and
who are not too sick mentally. The next step is to have a supervisor
or somebody, whatever you call them in the organization, who knows
mental hygiene. That person should not carry cases, because the min­
ute she begins to carry cases everything difficult in the organization
gets dumped on her. That person needs to be a consultant, a person
who can be approached, who should approach everybody doing a case­
work job that involves problems, and who can teach mental-hygiene
attitudes to workers.
And one more thing. That person should have an opportunity to
carry mental-hygiene content to every other agency that deals with
children in the community—the juvenile court, ministers, doctors,
school teachers. I f mental hygiene does not exist widespread through
your community it does not do any particular good. I f you build up
a nice mental-hygiene job with a child in a family and put him in a
school that does not know what you are talking about you may have
the whole thing undone, very promptly, by something like the follow­
ing : I walked into a classroom on one occasion and the teacher said,
“ Oh, children, here is Dr. Preston, you know what Dr. Preston does,
he takes care o f all the foolish children. Johnny, I wish you would
come up here and let Dr. Preston look at you. He has such a funny
head, Doctor.” I think that is the story. This thing is a matter not
o f program but o f content o f existing programs. It is like the salt
in the soup. The salt by itself is of no use, but without the salt the
soup is not fit to eat, and that is my point o f view in regard to the
content o f a mental-hygiene program.
The C h a ir m a n . Our next scheduled speaker, Mrs. Robbie Patter­
son, supervisor o f child-welfare services on Nebraska, is unable to be
present today, but we have her paper and it will be read by Mr.
Harry Becker, director of the Child-Welfare Division in the Nebraska
State Board o f Control.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Contribution of the Social Worker to a Mental-Hygiene
By Mrs. R obbie P atterson, Supervisor, Child-Welfare Services, Child-Welfare
Division, Nebraska State Board of Control

In a mental-hygiene program we think of the psychiatrist, the psy­
chologist, and the social worker, because each has an essential and
specialized contribution to make.
In considering the place of the social worker in a mental-hygiene
program, we are presupposing that the worker has at her command
an adequate working knowledge of and a belief in mental hygiene—
a knowledge that understands human relationships and human reac­
tions to environment. The social worker is a person who has ac­
quired distinctive knowledge and experience and has added definite
personality developments to this knowledge and experience. Social
workers in mental-hygiene programs should be persons who have
reached maturity and have found in their own achievement a basis o f
security with respect to themselves and to their professional obliga­
tions. They should be free from prejudices and preconceptions,
realizing that prejudices and preconceived ideas are likely to dominate
the handling o f situations. On the other hand, social workers should
be able to let reasoned conviction based upon a study o f facts take
the place of dogma in regard to human behavior. Workers also must
realize the danger of an exaggerated sense of authority on their part
in assisting clients to develop a capacity to make their own adjust­
ments o f life.
The social worker in a mental-hygiene program is in a strategic
position to do an important piece o f educational work in the com­
munity. Through her relationship with the psychiatrist, the worker’s
knowledge is increased, and she is able to interpret to the com­
munity what the functions of a mental-hygiene program are. Social
agencies are subject to the demands made upon them by the communi­
ties. As the social worker in the agency deals with the problems
involved in the demands, wTe become increasingly aware o f new
aspects of the problems, o f the need for new understanding on the
part o f the general public or the strategic groups within the comnninity, and frequently the need for the development of new forms of
effort in order to meet adequately the problems o f the socially mal­
adjusted individual. The social worker is invaluable in her personal
contacts with the doctor, the teacher, and the judge, in bringing about
a better understanding o f problems involved in the treatment o f
dependency, delinquency, and other social maladjustments.
, I r mi educational program it is important that social workers keep
m mind that mental hygiene is primarily concerned with the normal
and not the abnormal. They then make a positive rather than a
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



negative approach. We should remember that the positive educa­
tional aspects o f mental hygiene are relatively simple, understand­
able, and susceptible of being developed into principles o f living.
A great deal that mental hygiene has to offer in a positive educa­
tional way does not call for mental-hygiene clinics. It is recognized
that if the principles of mental hygiene are to be applied on a
sufficiently extensive scale to be effective upon the mental habits of
people generally, these principles, for the most part, will have to be
applied by persons who are not specialists or experts. Such princi­
ples are applied by the social worker not with the familiarity of the
intricacies o f psychiatry, but with an understanding of the simpler
but highly significant fundamentals of positive mental hygiene, which
is reflected and practiced in the contacts with others. The position in
the community and the relationship with the public afford opportun­
ity for interpreting the services o f the psychiatrist and advising ex­
pert services where needed.
One of the social worker’s greatest contributions to mental hygiene
is aid in removing many of the ancient superstitutions and prejudices
that, in the past, surrounded mental illness. The social worker has
played a great part in the concerted effort to bring about a realiza­
tion that mental diseases, like physical diseases, are subject to cure
and improvement, as well as prevention. With the psychologist and
psychiatrist, the social worker is aiding the public to see that there
should be no hesitation about seeking early and expert treatment for
mental illness.
The social worker has to assume a large responsibility in guiding
the educative process to meet the needs o f the individual. Whether
these educative experiences are o f a social, intellectual, physical, or
emotional nature, or a combination o f all four, it is necessary that the
interpretation o f the growth process be related to the limitations and
capacities of the defectives and the subnormal as well as the superior
intellectual group.
The social worker in the community frequently finds herself in
contact with the beginning and occasionally with well-developed
problems of mental disease and deficiency. Early recognition of the
possibilities of training, with emphasis on the specific needs o f the
defective child, makes it possible to promote better-organized educa­
tional and social opportunities for these groups.
Because o f her position, the social worker has an opportunity to
bring to the attention o f the psychiatrist many individuals who need
care in the early stages o f mental break-down before deterioration
begins. This may increase commitments, but it makes for better
prognosis. As the social worker is an important factor in the early
treatment o f mental diseases, so she is an important factor in the pre­
ventive aspects o f mental hygiene, some o f which are the direction
and guidance o f parents in the handling o f their children and making
contacts with school authorities, through which helpful guidance may
be given in meeting the needs o f individual children
This leads us to think o f the social worker in relation to the schools.
Children, as the result o f physical disability or deep emotional dis­
turbance or for some other reason, often cannot conform to school
standards. A competent case worker brings her skills to the aid of the
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



teachers and parents, often building a guidance program in the school,
but more often giving a better understanding of the child.
The social worker makes a contribution by providing leadership in
relationship to the client and to the community. In discussing the
leadership o f the social worker in their book, Mental Hygiene and
Social Work, Lee and Ken worthy point out that the relationship with
the client is the keystone to successful treatment. To this relation­
ship the worker brings the combination of working knowledge, point
o f view, and adjusted personality, added to the ability to handle one­
self in such a relationship so as to make social case work an art. It
is this relationship that enables one to conduct oneself in all contacts
with the client so as to enable him willingly to accept the suggestions
which the worker’s knowledge of mental hygiene and social work
enables her to make. When a mental-hygiene program is new, the
social worker is the leader in interpreting the services o f the psychia­
trist to the client. It is she who can help a mother understand that
because she has talked over the behavior of her 12-year-old son with
the psychiatrist she will not be regarded as “ queer,” or because the son
makes weekly visits to the psychiatrist’s office he is not mentally de­
ficient and ready to be committed to an institution. The social worker
also must assume responsibility for explaining that a “ magic spell”
will not be worked in a day by the psychiatrist and the child or his
parents be made anew.
As a leader in the community, the social worker is called upon to
develop attitudes that will lead to the acceptance of mental hygiene.
In a rural community there is so much neighborliness that what the
worker does is more or less shared by the whole group. Everyone
knows that the Joneses are finding it hard to understand their adoles­
cent daughter, that the Browns are receiving relief, that the Smiths’
daughter has a child born out of wedlock. This responsibility of
interpretation may seem anything but an asset, but there are defi­
nite values in this function. There is an opportunity, in talking
with the lay public, to develop a better understanding of the respon­
sibilities to the unmarried mother or to interpret the needs o f the
child rather than o f the adults in the foster family in the placement
of dependent children.
The worker in the community, then, has an important function in
the modification of the attitudes o f parents, teachers, judges, and lay
groups toward people whose self-expression may conflict with the gen­
erally accepted practices o f the community. It often becomes difficult
to maintain a non judgmental attitude, but this is necessary if the
worker is to become an integral part o f the community and be its leader
in developing harmonious community life.
The social worker should share in the successes o f the progress of
the mental-hygiene program. A good many o f the cases come to her
attention first, and she is responsible for collecting the social data
and social study. She is keeping ever before her the control of clientworker relationship so that the client will reveal how the history func­
tions in the present situation in determining the attitudes and in
conditioning the reaction. The worker further will be objective and
attain the social workers’ goal o f social adjustment without invading
the psychiatric field o f dealing directly with the personality difficul­
ties. The worker brings to her aid general interest, penetrating under
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



standing, sincere good will, quick responsiveness to the client’s groping
efforts. In advising psychiatric care, she evaluates the social data,
keeping in mind the treatableness, the limitation o f the situation, such
as time element, funds for boarding care, and accessibility to the psy­
chiatrist. It is the social worker who is always in constant touch with
the reality and practicality o f the situation.
We are finding a change in public attitude all over the country.
Social workers are being accepted in counties and areas untouched
before. The recognition by local public officials of the need for case­
work services is hopeful. Public officials are coming tq see that the lack
o f economic security, poor housing, inadequate health, and poor edu­
cational facilities are social ills. Situations presenting a wide range
o f problems are being referred to the social worker by the county
official, the layman, the neighbor, the client himself. Many o f these
situations; ignored before, are now being faced, and we find county
boards willing to pay for medical services and for boarding care.
Also, we find lay persons serving on advisory committees, organizing
clinics, and volunteering their services in community efforts to solve
environmental problems affecting the well-being o f the individual.

The C h a ir m a n . We are now to have some discussion o f these
matters. Those who have been selected for discussion will be given
first opportunity. First I shall call upon Mr. C. F. Ramsay, super­
intendent o f the Michigan Children’s Institute of the State Welfare
Department. I understand that the discussants may discuss matter
in any o f the papers, so you have a free hand, Mr. Ramsay.
Mr. R a m s a y . I do not think I should have the audacity to presume
that I could properly discuss the papers that have been presented.
I happen to be just a social worker on the firing line who sees
some children that are sent to us and for whom we have to make
some future plans. We did not have the privilege o f knowing what
the papers were going to contain today, and therefore could not pre­
pare in advance a discussion of them. I was probably chosen to
bring to you the experiences we have had in Michigan in this work.
I think that we can agree with Dr. Preston, o f course, that mental
hygiene is just one part and should be integrated with the entire*
There are some fundamental truths that it seems to me are very
common to mental-hygiene programs and as social workers we are
not fully cognizant of them. One o f these truths is the fact that
change in social conditions among mankind is a very slow and
arduous process and that very little effect comes from external forces.
That is, most o f it has to come from inside the individuals themselves,
and any kind of mental-hygiene program must accept this slow
process o f inner forces acting on the individuals who are responsible
for any program that pertains to the welfare o f children. In order
to alleviate distress it is fundamental that social workers should
approach the problem with sympathy and good will but without
the attitude o f coddling or coercion. The social worker may also
find himself in between pressures of the community that asks that
something be done with or with children and the rights of
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



individuals to resist that contact o f society with their prejudices and
with their resistance to change.
In our experience in Michigan I cannot help but think we have
had the beginning o f some chance to change these attitudes and
prejudices on the part o f the community with our child-welfare
services. We have not placed in each rural community a full-time
child-welfare worker but have exposed the community to some o f
the newer processes and techniques o f social case work, and as
we have gone from county to county we have appealed to the pro­
bate judge, because he decides what happens to children that are
brought to the attention o f public authorities. He has the power
under the law to take them away from their parents, to assign them
to institutions or agencies or to commit them to suitable institutions,
and he is the key person as far as the public child-welfare program
in the counties is concerned. Through our child-welfare services we
have brought to him the supervisor who discusses the problems of
the families o f children that come to his attention and offers the
services o f trained social, workers and psychologists to advise with
him. When the social worker and the psychologist have gathered
all social material and completed the mental examination of the
child to see what the potentialities are, a conference is called of
the representatives o f all the interested agencies in the county—
the health people, the school people, and the relief administrator,
the county welfare agents, and the probate judge. The socialworker
presents her case on the basis of facts found and without any pre­
conceived ideas o f her own. Out of this group conference comes
some suggestion of group thinking and “ What have we in our county
that can help this particular family or help this particular child?”
We cannot help but think that such an approach may bear some
fruit in changing the attitude toward the disposition o f children
that come before the probate judges, because in many instances this
is the first time in the county that any o f these people have ever
got together and talked about the whole child. And we cannot help
but feel just a little bit of pride, as it has been only 2 years now
since that service has been inaugurated. We feel that we are be­
ginning to get some sign that maybe the result o f the investigations
by the social worker and the summary the worker has sent back are
bearing fruit, because the thing that we are aiming at, which we
did not propose at the beginning, is the fact that we would like
to have the judges refer problems to the agency before any dis­
position is made. Under the law we do not have that privilege,
but in the county where we first started to work in April 1936 the
probate judge is now beginning to write letters saying, “I have a
family in which the children have been called to our attention and
I would like to know what we are to do about it. Have you some­
one you can send out to study the situation and see whether there
are any suggestions that you can make?” There may be a mother
who is going down to the university hospital. “W ill you have some
worker interview her to see what are the best plans to be made for
her child ?”
I think that is what Dr. Preston was trying to impress on us—-that
the changing o f the attitude is a slow, long-drawn-out process. But
I think the social worker who has the training and the experience
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



and probably not so much the knowledge o f what to do as the knowl­
edge o f what not to do is needed in inaugurating a mental-hygiene
program for children in the rural counties.
I think that he has brought out for us in his remarks that
psychiatry is the tool o f a social worker; that the social worker
should draw on all the resources of health, education, and psychia­
try, and everything else that we need to understand problems of
children that are presented to us. With all the advancement we
have made so far we are still far removed from knowing all the
answers to the problems that children present, and if we can inte­
grate these other services I think we have the beginning of a mentalhygiene program. In conclusion, I want to say this: I could not
help but be impressed with Commissioner Adie’s remarks last eve­
ning, and also the remarks of Dr. Plant, indicating that those in
administrative positions in the public-welfare departments o f the
States could start with the individual and work up, thus having
some realization of what is being done for the individual that the
administrative agency is trying to serve. Those o f us in the childwelfare field would welcome the day we could leave out the name of
child-welfare service and call it by the broader name o f social
The C h a i r m a n . N ow we move from Michigan to Maine, and Miss
Lena Parrott, consultant on child-welfare services of the Bureau of
Social Welfare, State Department o f Health and Welfare, will con­
tinue the discussion.
Miss P arrott . When I noticed that I was on the program I w o n ­
dered a little, because we feel that while we have made progress
in Maine along many lines we have not done very much in mental
hygiene. But after I heard Dr. Preston’s remarks I began to feel
that we have done a little bit o f what he thinks is the right thing
and a little bit o f what he thinks is the wrong thing. So I am glad
to tell you what we have done, whether it is right or wrong.
I think the wrong thing we have done is to take down to Boston
to the Home for Little Wanderers our most serious problems—the
ones we could do nothing with. We sent them down to Mr. Jones
and I must say that he, in a good many cases, did a very good piece
o f work. Sometimes he sent them back and told us that he wished
we would not send any more cases like that. So we are beginning
to learn to work together a little better and get more service, but
we do appreciate what the Home for Little Wanderers has been able
to do to help us with special child problems.
In developing the child-welfare program in Maine there seems
to be an overwhelming need to set standards for case work, and we
put most o f our emphasis on providing supervisors who would have
general supervision o f the workers caring for some 5,000 children
who are under the care o f the bureau. About 2,500 o f them were
committed children and 2,500 children receiving aid to dependent
children. We were very anxious to find, and we did succeed in find­
ing, supervisors who had had good case-work training and experi­
ence, with a generous amount of mental-hygiene training and ex­
perience thrown in. And it has been, in the 2 years we have been
operating, most gratifying to see the change o f attitude toward
children and their needs and the place o f the child in his own home
78986°— 38-----7
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



and his feeling for his parents. In the past I think the State—and
if there are any Maine persons here, I will stand corrected—has
been very kind to its children. It had a very paternalistic feeling
toward children, but that very feeling o f protecting the child has in
the past led it to do what seem to me to be terrible things to chil­
dren. The State seemed to feel itself so much more adequate to care
for the child than were his parents that children were often uprooted
and grew up with no knowledge o f their parents. I think workers
in the past felt that when a child was removed from his own home a
curtain was drawn between that child and his family and that there
never was any need for the child to want to peep behind the curtain
to see his parents or to know anything about them, since the State
was quite capable of filling their role.
So in these 2 years there has been a tremendous change in the
attitude toward a child and his own family. There has been a d if­
ference in the attitude toward the child and his behavior, o f under­
standing him and his needs, and why he is presenting some o f the
difficulties that he does present.
So, as I heard Dr. Preston talk, I thought that by the selection
o f supervisors with that particular experience we really had gone
a little bit farther in our mental-hygiene program than I thought
we had when I first came down. We have had one institute for the
workers'. It was held by a psychiatric social worker who was in
child-guidance work. We hope that we may have more institutes
for the workers, plus the everyday help they get from their super­
visors, so that, Mr. Jones, we will not have to send so many children
to you.
I think the Children’s Bureau would like me to speak about what
we have tried to do to use to the best advantage the available bed
space in the one school for the feeble-minded in the State. As in
most States it was almost impossible to get a child into the State
institution for the feeble-minded. It was crowded and no one
thought o f making the effort to find out whether another child could
be placed or where there would be an empty bed. Three years ago
a building program was started and a new building for mental de­
fectives was completed. It had a capacity o f about 350 beds, and
last year when the legislature was making an appropriation for the
maintenance of the new building it was staggering to find that insti­
tution had 350 beds but a waiting list o f about 425. It was an
endless job—no sooner was a building finished than there were more
people waiting to get in. It was found that the institution had no
field service and no one to examine or study applications. It was also
found that the waiting list was an accumulation o f 6 or 7 years, and
it was decided by the budget committee o f the legislature that before
an appropriation was made the Bureau o f Social Welfare, which is
the State agency with a field staff, would make a study of these
applications to determine what their status was. This proved to be
very interesting. O f the first hundred studied only 60 appli­
cants were really in need of institutional care. It was discovered
that some had died and some had been committed to other institu­
tions; that in a great many cases the families had found that they
could care for the defective persons themselves. In other instances
some well-meaning person.had led the family to think that if the
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



child was sent to the institution he would have a training and an
education which would fit him for life. And when they found that
the program might not accomplish that a great many o f the appli­
cations were withdrawn.
"W® found also a situation that had made for much misery and
unhappiness. It was written in the law that there would be four
classifications. First preference was given to a person who was
in a State institution or who was being supported from public
funds. The next classification included persons who were in public
institutions but were being supported partly from private sources. In
the third group were persons receiving town relief, and in the remain­
ing group were persons whose families or relatives were able to pay
for their care. What we found was that in the third classification
particularly, and the fourth, too, were persons who had been strug­
gling with children in their own homes; that we were probably admit­
ting to the institution from the first two classifications children and
persons who were not as much a problem either to the community or
to the family as the ones in the third and fourth classifications ; that
families were just being wrecked by the strain o f this burden. This
led to legislation that abolished the classifications and the order of
admission, and the institution took the most urgent cases. Another
result was that the Bureau o f Social Welfare accepted responsibility
for investigating and studying all applications to the institution be­
fore applicants were admitted. And the result is now that if a person
because of behavior or the strain on the family, does need insti­
tutional care, it is not quite so hopeless to get him in. We are able to
get care for our more urgent cases as a result o f this study o f the
The C h a ir m a n . We are now going back to the Middle West and
will hear from a psychologist, Miss Evelyn Ehman, of the Illinois
State Department o f Public Welfare.
Miss E h m a n . I think it is interesting, in view of Dr. Prestónos
remarks about mental-hygiene programs as such, that the Illinois program for child welfare started out with no special provision for men­
tal hygiene. Illinois for many years has had a very good childguidance clinic in the Institute for Juvenile Research in Chicago
That clinic has mainly served Chicago, but it has developed some
traveling-clinic units which serve communities that have been ready
for that kind o f service.
J . J 0 n?j; believe there was much thought, at the time of establishing
child-welfare services for the rural areas, of beginning the child-guidance service m those areas immediately; but out o f one part o f the
child-welfare services a program came as a result o f the demand for
something similar to this mental-hygiene work.
Illinois has made plans for four demonstration areas—that is
counties in which child-welfare service will be undertaken extensively •
and m two o f these counties the work has been going on for almost a
In ? ne o f the counties it was obvious that there were many
children about whom we needed to know a good bit more than we
could have learned from what the resident social workers could gather
t o r instance, it was necessary that we have mental-test data and
sometimes the study that a psychiatrist could give, and so it was neces-
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



sary to develop some sort o f service to take care of that. Also, it was
obvious that this program was designed from the point of view of
preventing these behavior difficulties from occurring. And so in Illi­
nois we have taken the track o f providing in these demonstration areas
for the individual problems by developing a psychological and psy­
chiatric service, but also by bringing our program directly to the rural
It was possible to proceed to the teachers’ meeting in one little
village school. The teachers met every week in the afternoon to dis­
cuss their problems. They were discussing a book on the mental
hygiene o f school children, and it was possible for the school counselor
to be present during those discussions and to take advantage o f what­
ever opportunity came up for interpretation.
In'another school we found the principal worried about the fact that
many o f his freshmen were poor readers. The grammar school and
high school are in one building in that village and we could go back
to the elementary grades to the origin o f these reading difficulties in
the first, second, and third grades. Eventually we can get the school
thinking in terms of individual differences and provide for meeting
these differences before they become a serious problem.
In the rural schools themselves we had some interesting develop­
ments. There was one rural-school teacher with 18 students who was
very anxious to hear from the school counselor, and she very readily
accepted the suggestion o f ordering group tests and achievement tests
for all o f her children. The point behind that suggestion was that if
this teacher could actually see the individual differences o f this group
it might be possible for her to think in terms o f a program for each
child. As it happened, she had one child who was seriously mentally
defective. She felt that this girl should not be in school, that she
should go to an institution. As it happened, the girl was learning as
much as she could in that group. The teacher had taught her up to a
capacity level and had also made the program as comfortable for her
as she could in that schoolroom. The child was giving no special
difficulty except that she was different from the other children. It
was suggested that it was not so necessary to send this child away just
because she was different. It was suggested that this teacher could be
working out a relationship with the family that would provide pro­
tection for this child in the event that she did become more suggestible.
Then this teacher had a very bright child who was in the sixth grade
at that time and who measured up to eighth-grade level in ability and
achievement. In this little rural school it is not possible to give a great
variety o f materials and subjects, and it was suggested that the teacher
see if the child could complete the seventh and eighth grades in 1 year
and let him enter high school a year earlier. She said she did not
think that would be a good idea because this youngster might not be
able to go to high school very long; that it would be difficult for the
family to send him to high school because it would be more expensive.
He would have to go out o f the community and would have to have
bus fare, and so on. The other side o f that problem was that this
child very probably would have to drop school after he was 16, and
that if he could enter high school a year earlier he would get far more
from the school program than if he kept the regular pace o f a grade a
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



, The aPProach to the rural schools has been optimistic and we cannot
talk about any program—m the first place it has not been going very
long but we have m one county created a position defined as school
counselor and the county superintendent o f schools has announced to
w* T Packers that the service o f a school counselor is available.
have talked to school principals and to school teachers and have
visited rural schools before the psychologist was available to this unit.
children had been referred whose problem seemed to be
mental deficiency, and the case Worker in the unit had arranged for
group mental tests to be given by a nearby college. Well, these chil­
dren had been gathered up from various ends o f the county and had
been brought m as one group and had been given a group test, and
the material that was obtained from that test was n o t .felt to be
i liable. It was felt that it was not safe to give it out in too impersonal
a manner, so we made a point o f visiting teachers and discussing child
proWems with them. As a result of that discussion we heard o f other
hr? ? gh the t e a r ’s saying, “Well, this child isn’t known to
the child-welfare service but I wish you could tell us about him,” or
I wish you would see what you can find out about him.” O f those
children who were supposedly mentally defective we found one to be
a perfectly normal child, but he had a reading disability and we were
able to demonstrate to his teacher the use o f reading diagnostic tests
and also to give suggestions for remedial treatment.
9ni S r J M i tl?at lil? i hat, We are W ing t0 develop the understanding
and the thinking o f teachers, and I suppose there are two lines of
attack we are pursuing. I think we are encouraging the use o f mental
tests and achievement teste for what they can show about individual
differences m children and, o f course, in the mechanism and behavior
ai\d r deri aildm? -? I chddrens P^blems. These might be worked
out throughthe child-welfare-services staff or through the teachers’
colleges in the State Thus far the teachers’ colleges have not given
much leadership and their bulletins do not show many courses bmTt
around that particular problem.
So far as the eventual placement o f this service is concerned per­
haps it should be tied up with the department o f public instructionperhaps it should be m the county superintendent’s office. But for th^
present we are hoping to bring as close to the teachers as possible this
? u °f “
many of the problems and the behavior
o f the children that they have in their classrooms.
The C h a ir m a n . I regret that we must adjourn earlier today on


d L ^ fc S 6” 10011 program- 1 wish we had anothCT hour w

I he conclusion o f the matter, as I got it this morning, is that we
wnrSn^ thatr hlldieilhllke a? ults’ are Persons, and that they live
m a 1W0Jr¥
ns 5 and we who call ourselves child-welfare workS n ] lad ketteJ think not so much o f doing things for or to these
children as o f doing things m company with them. What we are
talking about is not only the content o f a program but the content of
life We are trying, oTcourse, to find socfal m a e h i n ^ y X t will
facihtate °ur understanding o f the business o f living with our children. We have had suggested the possibilities o f traveling clinics
with specialized facilities, which certainly are being found ufeful re
sources m many places. There is also the suggestion of a somewhat
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



centrally located house “by the side of the road” where children who
are not quite “ roadworthy” at the moment may go for a while and be
studied by people who are especially qualified to make such explora­
tion. None of these facilities are real things of real value except as
they are enlarged and enriched and quickened by our genuine under­
standing of the personality o f the child. From Dr. Preston I gather
that the thing that will matter most will be what these undertakings
do to our thinking and our attitudes.
We realize at this moment that there are points that we have not
touched this morning and that we would like to discuss. The whole
question o f parent and teacher relationship is one in which I have
become much interested and about which child-welfare workers may
do more thinking. It would be easy this morning to launch a discus­
sion of the subject of adoption, in which field there are great hazards
for children. From hearing Dr. Plant and Dr. Preston talk I get a
deep and what seems to me a very important conviction that life can
do something for itself and that very often it can do what it needs to
do for itself, and that the hazards of transplanting young life too
quickly and thoughtlessly are very great.
Last night I happened to be reading “ The Last Empress,” the story
of a Chinese woman who was a contemporary of Queen Victoria and
who kept her hands in the affairs o f China for a long time. It is a
very interesting and significant story. Here was a little Chinese girl
who was not born to royalty but who arrived there because o f her
beauty, wit, and intelligence, along with her drive for power and the
force of circumstance, enabled her to become a real ruler. There is a
threatening, even terrifying, yet lovely picture of her childhood after
the death of her father. The author, who probably has not thought
in terms o f child-welfare programs or psychiatric programs, speaking
o f the early experience of this little girl, said:
The fact of having acquired some personal knowledge-even at so early an
age—o f the realities of life as known to her subjects gave to Yehonala in later
years a notable advantage over those members of the Imperial family who had
been brought up from infancy in the seclusion of the palace.
A child’s experience of a modest household, with its little economies and ex­
pedients to keep up appearances, would not seem of much use as training for one
who was destined to rule over a fourth of the human race. Yet it served as a
corrective to that ignorance of the world as it is, which has so often been the
ruin of an Oriental despotism. Like her subjects, Yehonala knew nothing of the
barbarians who lived beyond the Four Seas. But she knew her own people well.

And so the very circumstances of life from which we would some­
times rescue children may be fitting them for the responsibilities that
are to come.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Tuesday, April 5—Afternoon Session

Jacob Kepecs, Executive Director o f the Jewish Children’ s Bureau of Chicago and Member of
the Advisory Committee on Community Child-Welfare Services, Presiding

Statement of the Problem by the Chairman
This morning I was stimulated by one o f the talks on mental hygiene
in which content rather than program was emphasized. We were
told that child welfare should not be segregated or isolated in a seg­
ment separate from other case-work activities.
Child welfare really belongs to social work and should be so con­
sidered. I think that child welfare and the child-welfare services
serve social work in a very useful way. Miss Julia Lathrop has been
quoted as saying that the juvenile court helped to make the child
visible. Well, I will say that the child-welfare services make social
work more visible. And I should add that foster care has made child
welfare more visible. For a long time child welfare was synonymous
with foster care; when we talked or thought of child welfare we meant
foster care, and very naturally so, because foster care is dramatic.
There is not much drama or excitement in looking after a child in his
own home. Nobody sees it, nobody knows about it unless you “yank”
him out of his home and put him in an institution or foster family.
That is dramatic and everybody sits up and takes notice. So let me
repeat, child welfare makes social work more visible on account of the
natural interest o f people in the child. Somebody said yesterday, 1
believe, that in one of the States you can get anything for any child if
he comes from a worthy family. I am inclined to believe that you can
make almost any child look “ worthy.”
Our subject is the relationships of child-welfare service to foster
care or the place of foster care in the child-welfare services. It seems
to me that foster-care provisions and resources are an essential part of
child-welfare services. A complete or comprehensive child-welfareservices program without some provision for foster care is unthinkable
The question is how much foster care is needed. Do we need foster
care for one child in each thousand or in each 2,000 children in the
community? What is the total number of places we need, and how
large a program o f foster care is required ? I do not think that figures
are available. A guess is possible, a guess based on experience and
some familiarity with the field. My guess is that we need foster-care
facilities for a minimum of one child to every thousand children in the
community. This is a dogmatic statement, I am aware, and I could
not substantiate it if you challenged me. Furthermore, it must be
qualified in relation to other services and assistance resources in the
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



community. I am fairly certain that there is something wrong if you
have less than one per thousand or more than two per thousand chil­
dren in foster care.
What kind o f foster care do we need ? Well, I would say that insti­
tutional care alone or institutional facilities alone will not do, nor
will free foster-home facilities alone do. We have to have various
types o f foster-home facilities in order to function fairly adequately.
What does it cost? Well, that varies, but certainly we cannot have
foster-home care free o f charge. Even the selection of free homes
and adoption work cost money, and these services are extremely lim­
ited in a foster-care program. What kind of skill is required ? That
is very important, because when you work in rural areas where you
cannot possibly have specialists for various phases o f case work it is
very difficult to say that you must require experience or training in
foster-home work before placing children. It would be unreasonable
to require that; certain situations demand placement. But it seems to
me that it is not unreasonable to require o f child-welfare-services
workers that they should have had some courses and perhaps some
experience in foster care. Workers in child-welfare services should
have had some contact with or should have been exposed to foster-care
work. But if not all the workers have these qualifications, at least
some workers in the child-welfare services should.
Every good case worker knows, of course, that not all families, no
matter how. good they may be in themselves, are suitable foster fami­
lies. This is very important to remember. Any good case workers
should be able to do foster-care work in urgent situations. It should
be done very carefully, and the worker should remember a few simple
but fundamental principles, such as are to be found in “ABC o f Fos­
ter-Family Care .for Children,” published by the United States Chil­
dren’s Bureau, and in “Reconstructing Behavior in Youth.” In the
areas in which child-welfare-services demonstrations are carried on
it is difficult to find experienced child-placing workers. It is also a
problem to get the money necessary for foster care. There are many
other problems, as you well know.
There is the problem of the relationship between voluntary and
Government agencies in the field o f child care. The voluntary agen­
cies, and in particular the old-line institutions, feel themselves threat­
ened by the child-welfare services and by aid to dependent children.
They are quite worried, because they do not know what is going to
happen to them. They feel that the Government services and assist­
ance provisions are competing with them, and perhaps they are.
How is the situation to be met? Unless you can work out some kind
of cooperative formula, you will find your program blocked. Those
on the defensive fight hard, and the private agencies are on the de­
fensive and are going to fight for their existence. Unless we can
find a way or an acceptable formula, the Government program will
be hampered if not blocked. The problem is rather complicated by
the prevalence of the subsidy or compensation system. I call it a
subsidy, because I believe that private agencies, particularly sectarian
child-caring agencies, want to do their work. They are not waiting
to be asked to do it. They want to do it under any circumstances
if they can afford it.
They naturally welcome Government help. It makes it much
easier for them to do the job. I call that a subsidy. Others call it
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



compensation, because it is the Government’s responsibility that the
voluntary agencies cairy, and if the Government depends upon the
private agencies to discharge its responsibilities it is only right that
the Government should pay the cost o f care and service. In that
sense it is compensation.
Another problem is to get the voluntary agencies to modify their
program. Usually the voluntary agencies, particularly the institu­
tions, have a rigid program; and unless they modify their program
to make it more flexible^ they will be less useful in the scheme of
things. The question arises, now can we get the private institutions
and agencies to modify their program?
Still another problem: Are you going to insist upon minimum
standards? I f you are going to compensate or subsidize private
agencies, can you insist upon minimum standards o f care, including
a minimum 6i case-work service at the point of intake, during care,
and at- the point of termination? W ill you require Government
supervision? Local public agencies and institutions require super­
vision and minimum standards as well. Voluntary agencies under
the most favorable conditions are limited, and must remain limited
in their services. They never have met the whole job and never will.
This we must accept.
Which part of the job then are voluntary agencies to do, and to
what extent is the Government to supplement the services without
engaging in competition? Competition is not confined to private
agencies or private and public agencies. In many parts o f the coun­
try, including some of the areas m which child-welfare-services dem­
onstrations are carried on, competition exists between Government
agencies. In some places you have the juvenile court resisting the
child-welfare services. It desires to do the whole job, including
foster care. Some juvenile courts feel themselves threatened by
child-welfare services and by the other social-security measures. How
is that to be met? There are also the county homes for children
that are threatened by the newer developments, and how can that be
met? At what point should you say to the juvenile courts, “ This is
not your job, this is not a judicial function” ? At what point can
you say to the juvenile courts, “ This is not within your competence” ?
After all, judges, too, have limitations. Juvenile-court judges, by
and large, are usually limited when it comes to social case work.
Another problem is that in some parts of the country you will find
voluntary agencies saying, “Now that the Government has come in,
let them do all the ‘dirty’ work and we shall confine ourselves to a
nice, neat little job, let’s say foster-home care only. Everything else
the Government is welcome to. We shall do only the highly tech­
nical job, the kind of job for which Government is not fitted, some­
thing that is very fancy.” Such agencies desire to withdraw into
isolation. Well, how safe is that? In my humble opinion, such
agencies make a great mistake, not only because it is poor social
w ork but because you cannot do foster-family care without doing
all o f the other things that go with it, namely, work with the child’s
own family at every point.
It is a great mistake from the point o f view o f the agency as well.
I believe that our institutions are in the plight in which they find
themselves because of their isolation. And now, if child-placing
agencies are going to confine themselves to one small bit o f fancy
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



work such as foster-home care, they will soon find themselves in
isolation and out of the running. I believe that it is a mistake for
any agency to do that.
Obstacles that confront everybody in social work are the realities of
the situation, certainly the realities o f economics. We say that all
of these things need to be done in child-welfare services, but how are
we going to get them done? Some people would like to solve their
problems by putting all neglected children into adoptive homes or
free homes. Social workers know that that is a violation o f very
fundamental human rights, namely, the right of kinship ties. It
seems to me that we should be able to put across to the public the
principle of preserving kinship ties and that we should be able to
have it accepted. It is not possible to preserve kinship ties by plac­
ing children in adoptive homes or in free homes. But the realities
of economics are on the side of the people who would like to solve
the problem in that way.
Then there are people who have very little use for, or very little
faith in, professional services in connection with child placing or in
connection with the selection of foster families. Some o f these people
say time and again: “Well, what else do you want to know other
than this is a good Christian family—that this is a religious family
with good intentions—and that it is altruistic? Why do you need
social workers to make an investigation?” These people are nat­
urally not conversant with the history o f child placing in America or
they would not say that. Those o f us who are conversant with that
history know that these things have been tried and that they do not
work. We know that child placing cannot be done on faith alone or
on the basis o f good motives alone. We know that caring for other
people’s children requires more than religion. The religious motive is
essential, altruism is essential, but yo.u need more than these in a
satisfactory child-placing job.
We know that some o f the best families, families that will meet
every requirement as a family, will not make satisfactory foster
families. We social workers know that, but the average person, the
average citizen, does not know i t ; and it is up to us to put that idea
across. Plenty of good families will not do as foster families. The
protection of other people’s children in homes o f strangers requires
professional service and the interest o f governmental authorities.
In conclusion let me say that the areas in which child-welfare serv­
ices are being demonstrated are virgin soil. You are there because
there is so little in these areas; and the question arises, What is going
to happen after the demonstration is finished, after you have left ?
That depends on what you are going to demonstrate. As far as foster
care o f children is concerned, the demonstration may be over before
the placed child grows up. The demonstrations are most valuable in
preparing the ground and in creating an atmosphere favorable to
social service. These, it seems to me, are the primary objectives of
the demonstrations. But I do not think that is enough. No matter
how well you have done your job, no matter how well you have demon­
strated needs and utility o f social services, and no matter how well
you have prepared the ground and the atmosphere, if you withdraw
from any o f these areas that belong to the poorest, the likelihood is
that in a comparatively short time much o f what has been accom-
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



plished will be undone. That has been our experience with, relief
when the Federal Government withdrew.
Many communities
dropped standards and wTent back to the conditions that existed prior
to Federal assistance.
After all, we must not ignore the economic realities in many, if
not most, local rural communities. These people are not worse than
the people in the large cities or in wealthy counties, but they are
poorer. The demonstrations should demonstrate not alone the in­
equalities between communities and the unequal distribution of
wealth, which all social work does; they should not alone demonstrate
the unequal opportunities to be found everywhere; but they must
show the values of competent social service. It is my belief that
permanent services cannot be assured without continuous Federal
help. Even if you succeed in “ selling” child-welfare services, the
demonstrations will show, I believe, that many communities cannot
carry on alone and often they cannot carry on even with the help of
the State. To protect the demonstration it will be necessary for the
Federal Government to stay in.
The C h a ir m a n . The first person on the list for discussing some
o f these problems is Mrs. Ann Botsford Bridge, of Maryland.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Developing Community Resources
By Mrs. A nn B otsfobd B bidge, Social-Work Consultant, Child Welfare,

Maryland Board of State Aid and Charities

Initiation o f foster care in our rural counties demands special skill,
even though the worker may have had experience in the foster-home
field. The most difficult problem that confronts the workers in rural
counties is arousing the community to a nonacceptance ox some o
the things that have been accepted over a long period of time.
I am thinking o f rural counties in which the child-welfare worker
attempts to initiate foster-care services and is met by the response
from the community that, after all, nothing can be done about the
situations that are in the greatest need of having something done
about them. After all, they say, that is the way these people have
always lived, it is the way they always have been, and there is not
much you can do by taking the children out of their homes and plac­
ing them in foster homes. The complete acceptance of that point of
view is, I think, one of the hardest things that the child-welfare
worker has to combat.
Mr. Kepecs spoke of the realities o f the economic situation, these
realities are very difficult and present a problem m the matter oi
continuing the program after a demonstration has been made. We
have said a great deal about community participation, and it has
become pretty trite to say that we must have community participa­
tion if the program is to continue. One of the ways m which the
child-welfare worker can best help the community is by not under­
taking to do the things demanded at the beginning, but by helping
the community to build up its own resources with the aid o f what
the Government agencies can do.
. .
£. ' ,
A situation by which I can illustrate my point is one that happened
not long ago in one o f the counties in which we have a child-welfare
worker, where a rather isolated and self-satisfied community worked
out an interesting development. In that community, which was
rather small, and in which homes are somewhat far apart, a number
o f old families lived—good, substantial people who were pretty well
satisfied with the ways of their community. Into this community
there* moved a family consisting o f a father, a mother, and eight
children. Things began to happen that brought the people, the re­
spectable citizens, to the door of the welfare department demanding
that something be done. There was some thievery ; there was a great
deal of disturbance in school because the children o f this new family
did not behave as the other children behaved, and there were a great
many things that irritated the old residents. One was that the^tathei
of the faimly was alcoholic and did not have a steady ]ob. beveraJ
citizens demanded that the family be removed and the children taken
away—out o f sight, out o f mind. The child-welfare worker who
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



went into that situation did not immediately respond to the demands
o f the community but began to look at the community itself and to
try to get the respectable citizens who had made the complaints to
see what perhaps might be wrong for those' children in the com­
munity itself.
To make a long story short, they began to be concerned about
their own community, not only for the children who had moved in
but for their own children and for themselves, and they did get to­
gether and discuss what might be done. They managed to establish a
very interesting association for which they have quite a long name
which ends in “ Civic Association,” and they are now trying to pro­
vide a richer community life which will give assistance not only to
the children in that community but to the community itself. They
have succeeded in building a rather fine recreational program which
started from the complaints about this one family.
There is one other point I should like to make, and that is, if we
are not to continue to be what Dr. Plant referred to as “glorified
scavengers,” it seems to me that we need to find a really new philoso­
phy o f both content and method in doing something about the condi­
tions that produce the breakdowns in family life. I am thinking
of the economic environmental factors. One of our child-welfare
workers was asked a short time ago what was the greatest need in
her child-care program. The first thing on her list was good
roads, which seemed to be quite unrelated, perhaps, to the program,
but she was pointing out that, after all. even though clinics were ade­
quate and other resources in communities were adequate, unless there
were good means of transportation in the county so that the people
could make use o f those resources there was not much use in talking
about the building up o f foster care and other facilities.
The C h a ir m a n . The next discussant is Miss Grace M. Houghton,
o f Connecticut.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Cooperation With Private Agencies
By G race M. H oughton, Director of Child Care, Bureau of Child Welfare,

Connecticut State Public-Welfare Council

I am going to approach this discussion from the standpoint that
Mr. Kepecs spoke of, the relationship to the private agencies already
in the community. Because of that point of view, the first thing the
supervisors who had been appointed to the district work did was
to meet with representatives of these private agencies, in order to
show them that we were not going to get in on their job but to
ask them to get in on ours. We realized at first that we could not
possibly do foster-home care, since no funds were provided by the
Federal Bureau for the purpose and we were not in a position to
provide such funds.
We met with the three State-wide child-welfare organizations,
and they all offered their cooperation whenever cases came up that
needed their care. Then came the question of financial support.
Connecticut has peculiar laws, as most o f you people know, but one
law which seems peculiar has been o f great help to us in dealing with
the private agencies. We may call it subsidizing, or we may call it
compensation, but anyway the State is able to pay through the towns
for seven-tenths o f the cost of maintaining children who may be
placed by private agencies. In that way we have been able to ask
the private agencies to give us foster-home care when it has been
necessary, and they get full reimbursement—three-tenths from the
local town and seven-tenths from the State. Whether this is an ad­
visable situation or not, it has been helpful. I think it is open to
discussion, and I hope very definitely that somebody will challenge it.
Connecticut licenses all homes that care for or board children.
The State Department of Welfare issues licenses to homes after they
have been inspected and approved. These homes are licensed for a
specific number o f children and are under constant supervision.
Child-welfare services have offered to supervise children placed in
these licensed homes in the rural communities where we are organ­
ized, and in that way we not only have been able to safeguard the
placing of some children by parents who are just shunting their re­
sponsibility but also have been able to get into the history o f the
children who have been placed more or less for adoption without
sufficient investigation o f their suitability for adoption. And in that
respect we have been able to utilize the Yale University Clinic for
studying the children who are placed for adoption. This, in general,
shows our use of the private agencies for foster-home care.
I should like to give you a few instances o f cases in which we have
had to use these facilities. I am not going back into the reasons for
their coming to us, particularly, or the steps that we took preceding
our request for foster-home care, because it would take too long.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



But just try to imagine that the child-welfare services have done
everything in their power before they asked for foster-home place­
ment. This is the case o f a boy 9 years o f age, a member o f a family
o f four children. The father and mother were separated, and the
father and two children lived in Maine. The mother had one boy
with her and the boy we are speaking o f had been left in a foster
home. The boy had a reading disability. He had gotten beyond
control o f the present foster home, and the request came from inter­
ested people to us to do something about the situation. We took the
boy immediately to the State psychiatrist, who said that he had been
totally rejected by his own family and now by the foster familv be­
cause o f his behavior problem. What he needed, if he could not have
his own people, was to go back into a foster home where he would
have care, affection, and understanding. We were able to locate the
father in Maine, and, incidentally, to have the girls, who were im­
properly placed, placed in proper foster homes in Maine. The
father could not assume care o f the boy, so the Connecticut Children’s
Aid Society came to our rescue and placed him in a foster home,
where we have him under supervision.
We had a case o f a widow who was on widows’ aid. She developed
tuberculosis and some plan had to be made for her and her four
children. She was immediately hospitalized and two of the children,
who were diagnosed as tuberculosis contacts, were placed in a foster
home. The other two children were placed in Highland Heights, a
Catholic institution in the area. By making these foster-care place­
ments through private agencies it was possible to avoid commitment
to the State, which might have resulted in a permanent break in the
family relationship, because under our laws children remain State
wards until they are 18 years o f age. I f those children had been
committed, the mother would have felt definitely that her illness was
something besides a physical disability; that it was a reflection on
her character. Therefore, we felt that the less permanent foster­
home placement was much better for the mother’s morale. She has
come out o f the institution and is working. Definite plans are
under way for this family to be gathered together again as soon as
her health permits.
The child-welfare-services worker felt elated when the judge asked
her what could be done to help a 16-year-old boy who had been
brought to his attention with the idea o f having him committed to a
correctional school. The boy had been stealing. He was malad­
justed in his home, which was a broken home, and it seemed that
foster-home care would perhaps not be the thing for him, since he had
been so long without proper home treatment. He was o f fairly good
intelligence and needed something by way of trade training. We
have a Junior Republic in Connecticut which does a rather good job
of* adjusting our boys and fitting them for trades, but the problem
was where to get the $500 needed to keep him at the institution for 2
years. The boy’s stepfather was very much interested. He could
raise about half o f the amount, the Junior Republic agreed to raise
some o f it, and the town of settlement is paying the rest.
In one of our districts our worker is a trained nurse as well as a
social worker. She was called in on a case of a girl whose physical
condition was poor. The girl was drinking quite heavily, although
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



she was under 14 years o f age. She was also suffering from severe
headaches. Apparently it never occurred to the local authorities to
have a physical examination made o f this girl. Our worker recog­
nized the need, and as a result a physical examination was performed
immediately. She required immediate hospitalization to prevent
diabetic complications. Following her discharge from the hospital
it was necessary to plan for her because she was out of her own home.
A fine foster home was made available by the home-finding depart­
ment o f the State Child-Welfare Bureau, where the foster mother was
able to provide a proper diet and give her insulin treatments. The
child-welfare-services worker is supervising the case and the town is
paying the full amount for the cost o f her care.
The C h a ir m a n . While Miss Houghton was speaking I saw Mr.
Bane enter the room. Mr. Frank Bane is executive director o f the
Social Security Board, and I believe he came to say something to us.
Mr. Bane, would you mind stepping up here and giving us your
message ?
Mr. B a n e . I deny the allegation. I did not come to say anything
to you. I just came to see what you were doing, and I notice from
the program I am approximately 24 hours behind time. Yesterday
afternoon you were discussing child-welfare services and aid to de­
pendent children and their relations. However, since I am here I
should like to say that we have been operating now for something like
2 years on this general program o f child-welfare services on the one
hand and aid to dependent children on the other. We have been
operating so closely, as a matter of fact, that I have had great diffi­
culty upon occasions in telling which was our staff and which was
your staff. And I am quite certain that upon occasions Miss Mary
Irene Atkinson has had the same trouble out in the field. We have
tried to tie together in the States, and tie together here in Washington
also, child-welfare services and aid to dependent children. They are
two parts o f a more or less coordinated program. We have, as you
know, a few problems left in the States. We have every State in the
Union now with programs o f aid for the aged. We have only 40
States with aid for dependent children, and we have another interest­
ing situation.
We have, insofar as appropriation is concerned, all o f the money
we need and more for aid to dependent children on the Federal level.
Last year we had an appropriation o f something like $35,000,000 of
Federal funds to be used to match State funds for aid to dependent
children. We did not use half o f it. This year we have something
like $46,000,000, and we will have a balance o f approximately $25,000,000,1 think, at the end of this fiscal year in that program. Now,
that may mean one o f two things. It does mean, of course, that all
the States are not as yet participating in this program, and we are
very anxious to have all States participating. It may mean, on the
other hand, that in many o f the States aid to dependent children is
not being administered in as adequate fashion as we would like
to have it.
There was a clause in the original bill o f the Social Security Act
as submitted to Congress which said something about standards.
That little phrase did not stay in the bill? and so the problem of
adequacy o i care is a problem to be determined by the States. The
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



type o f care is largely determined by the States, and the type o f its
administration is, to a large extent, also a matter to be determined
by the States.
So the Social Security Board welcomes, in fact urges, all of the
assistance we can get from you who are interested in child welfare in
getting all o f the States to cooperate in this general program and in
persuading and urging the States to maintain this service on a more
adequate and on a more constructive basis.
The C h a ir m a n . The limitations placed on Federal funds for aid
to dependent children have a great deal to do with the difficulties
found in these demonstration areas. They work great hardships on
these various areas in which you operate which are the poorest, and
I am quite certain that Mr. Bane would like to do away with these
limitations, as far as the agencies are concerned. I think we ought
to work for a removal o f those very great limitations which are
responsible for the accumulation o f all o f these millions in the Federal
The next discussant is Miss Alice C. Haines, training supervisor
o f child-welfare services in Florida.

78986"— 38-
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Initiating Foster Care in a Local Community
Supervisor, Child-Welfare Services, Department of Child
Welfare, Florida State Welfare Board

B y A l ic e : R . H a i n e s ,

Florida, stripped of the glamour of tourist spots, the fragrance of
orange blossoms, and the romance o f the South, gets down to the
stark reality that children in Florida have needs just as serious and
just as pressing as do children on the West Side o f Chicago. Our
country slums produce serious problems just as cities do.
I think perhaps the circumstances under which a child-welfare
unit initiates a foster-care program are not particularly different from
the circumstances under which it initiates a child-caring program
in a community in which the child-welfare service is completely uni­
form. That is, it has required first and foremost and all o f the
time continual interpretation to the community o f what we plan
to do, what we have to do over, and how we can work with the
community and through it in accomplishing our aims for children.
Hillsboro County, with Tampa as the county seat, was selected at
its own request as a demonstration center for the beginning o f a
training program o f Florida girls in children’s case work. Hills­
boro County had really very little conception o f children’s case
work. The job that we had to do has resolved itself into four
phases: First, interpretation o f the meaning o f a children’s program;
second, the actual development o f a children’s agency in order that
we might have an opportunity to give training and demonstrate
to the community the real need for the continuation o f children’s
services after the training center was discontinued; third, the build­
ing up o f a foster-care program (and by that I mean very largely
a boarding-care program), because that was. one o f the points on
which our program was sold to the community before we began to
function; and fourth, the financing o f our program.
The previous, facilities in the community for care o f children who
had to be removed from their own homes consisted o f four institu­
tions and three boarding homes supervised and licensed by the
child-welfare department o f the State. These boarding homes were
licensed to take care o f a certain number of children. They were
visited regularly by child-welfare department workers, but children
were placed by any individual or any agency in the community
that felt that a child needed to be taken out o f his home and that
money could be obtained to pay for his board. There was no attempt
to place a child in a home because the child had a particular need
or because that home had a particular service to render that child.
The task o f interpreting to the community what we meant by real
foster care and what a boarding home might have to offer a child
was not particularly difficult. We did not feel that the private
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



agencies, the juvenile court, or the community thought that we were
usurping their jobs or threatening their position in the community.
They welcomed what we had to offer. We did not have particular
difficulty in finding some funds with which to place children, al­
though they were not sufficient. We had a total o f about $3,000
for boarding care with which we have operated in the 15 months.
Finding boarding homes was our difficulty. We had the children,
we knew the type of home the child needed, we knew what foster
parents should offer the children, we had the money to pay the
child’s board, but we could not find the home. It took us weeks to
find the type o f home we needed for a particular child. We used
every known method in obtaining leads for foster homes. That is,
every method short o f publishing the child’s picture and giving his
name and telling the pathetic details of his story, which our local
newspapers would have been glad to publish. But finally we found
one home which we could accept, which we felt had a great deal to
offer the child; and from that beginning we have found additional
homes. But one o f our difficulties has been the finding o f sufficient
homes without the help o f an official home finder to devote a great
deal o f time to building up for us a list of acceptable homes.
With our 3 trainees we have been able to find 13 homes and we
have placed 55 children and possibly we might have placed more
children had we had more homes and had we had more funds. But
perhaps it has been a healthy thing for us because we have used
all our skills and all our resources in developing home ties for
the child and in finding family ties for him, whereas if we had had
more homes and more money we might have been tempted to give
up a little more easily.
Mr. Kepecs has made the point, which I think has perhaps been
the most difficult for us to face, that our position in the community
is one of impermanence. I think we felt a little less .secure, a little
less permanent in our community than the other demonstration
The placement o f children often anticipates a period longer than
a year, and in our local problem, particularly in the foster-care
program, we have felt a lack o f confidence in the real value we
could be to the community. This was particularly true when two
private agencies in the community, which were operating institutions
for the “ temporary” care of children, which in some instances meant
2 to 4 years, welcomed our presence in the community and wanted
to make use o f our help in closing their institutions and in making
more acceptable plans for their children. They hesitated very de­
cidedly, however, before they made the final decision to close the
institution, because they did not know how long the training center
would be available. However, in our preliminary conferences with
the agencies it was possible to work out plans for all but 4 of the 32
children in the 2 institutions. These 4 required foster placements.
However, the boards of the 2 agencies had enough confidence in the
ground work that had been laid and in the ultimate ability of the
community to take over the financial burden, to accept our services
and plose the institutions.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



The C h a ir m a n . A great deal o f care goes into the selection of
homes, and for your encouragement, Miss Haines, and for the en­
couragement o f others, I should like to say that agencies that have
been doing home selection for decades perhaps have just as difficult
a time in finding homes as you have in Florida, where you have
just started. Mrs. Helen C. Swift, supervisor for the Division for
Children in the Washington State Department o f Social Security,
is next on the program.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

The Problem of Foster Care by Juvenile Courts
By Mrs. H elen C. S w ift , Supervisor, Division for Children, State Department
of Social Security, Washington

We were told what part we were to discuss and what we were to
contribute to the general thinking of our program this afternoon, and
I have been asked to tell how we got the results we did in Washing­
ton. I am really frank to say that I do not know how we have accom­
plished what we have. It is one o f those intangible things that do
happen sometimes when we go about searching for certain things that
we want to accomplish. We set our goals and our aims and we are
determined that we are going to reach them if it takes from 5 to 25
years, and we do not know just what one thing has contributed to that
final result.
In attempting to bring to the judges o f our State a knowledge of
our ability to do the work we planned, we impressed upon them our
sincerity m trying to be helpful and our desire to give them service
and to understand what we had to give them. I believe that those
things are the intangible things that have contributed definitely to
the final result.
I f you could have seen our State before 1935 you would have seen
a typical old juvenile-court law that is still on our statute books.
The first attempt at this sort of thing did not give us much encourage­
ment. In 1933 we created a division for children in the State Welfare
Department, but it did not function then. It did not have enough
money; in fact, only $1,500 was appropriated. But in 1935 the State
Department of Public Welfare was created with its different divisions
carrying on all o f the public-assistance programs, including a division
for children; and in 1935 the Federal Social Security Act was passed.
That was the beginning o f the planning and the beginning o f an
opportunity to really begin to plan. Our juvenile-court law provides
for a juvenile-court judge only in counties with populations of 30,000
and over. We are a rural State. We have only one million and a
half population, but there were only 12 counties where we could have
a juvenile court and actually only 5 counties with special juvenilecourt judges.
We have four functions in our State child-welfare division; namely,
aid to dependent children, child welfare, crippled children’s services,
and licensing o f private agencies and institutions. When we put our
program before the judges they asked us to put in writing what we
could do. We agreed with the judges on two points—the type of
cases that would come into court and the type of cases that we would
handle. We agreed that we would take care o f the cases that did
not need court action. They conceded that care o f dependent children
was not a judicial function, and we agreed to handle all dependency
cases, including those of children needing care in their own homes
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

X 10


and o f those who must be cared for away from their homes. We
agreed that we would ask first the private agencies to care for the
children who needed temporary care and would ourselves take .care
o f the long-time cases. We agreed with the agencies that if they had
the type o f service needed for a particular child we would pay for
that child on a per capita basis. Then we said the cases that needed
court action would be those that needed change of custody or guar­
As a result o f these agreements no child is committed to any agency
or any institution for which the county welfare department is ex­
pected to pay unless the arrangements have previously been made by
the court, the private agency, and the county welfare department,
because before this the courts had been sending the children to the
private children’s agencies, the county paying for them on a flat grant.
The C h a ir m a n . I am now going to call upon Father McEntegart,
o f the Catholic Charities o f New York.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

The Broader Scope of Child-Welfare Services
By the Rev. B byan J. M cE ntegabt, Director, Division of Children, Catholic
Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, and Member, General Advisory
Committee on Maternal and Child-Welfare Services

We should all thank the Children’s Bureau for bringing us together
for these few days. As we sit in our own home town and read the
papers, we hear much about reorganization of this department and
that department. Well, at least two Federal departments are work­
ing together pretty well—the Weather Bureau and the Children’s
Bureau. On the other hand, we might pass a motion condemning the
Department of Agriculture for bringing out the cherry blossoms
before we got here. That should have been held up for our meeting
and we hope it will not happen again.
The meeting has been a real success so far, I think, because it was
so well planned. The reports given to us were very well done.
Speakers from different parts of the country have given us a broad
picture o f activities.
Time and time again when I came to Washington, I have thought
that I was looking over the map of the United States. That is the
impression you get when you listen to people from various States.
You begin to realize how different are the problems of various sec­
tions. When you are close to the picture at home, you think the rest
of the country is just the same. But when yo\i get out and hear a
speaker from Nevada with 110,000 population describe how a social
worker has to go from one end of the State to the other over moun­
tains and deserts, and tell you that the biggest city has a population
o f 20,000 and that the others run from 10,000 down, you begin to say
to yourself, “ Well, conditions differ greatly in various parts of this
country.” Then you realize the need and the wisdom o f that policy
which Miss Lenroot announced yesterday morning—the flexibility of
the program as administered by the Children’s Bureau with no
attempt to rigidly set down one uniform method of doing things.
The breadth o f the program was clearly set forth by the speakers.
The number o f things that have been done and are being done made
me feel that some o f the hopes which child-welfare workers start
out with may well be realized even during the span o f one person’s
In the White House conferences we dreamed many dreams. I
want to add the White House conference reports of 1930 to the books
that Mr. Kepecs would like all child-welfare workers to read. I f
you read the conference report on dependency and neglect, you will
find that the committees believed child welfare was something
broader than just foster care and that child-welfare workers needed
to be more than case workers.
They thought o f child welfare as comprising the welfare o f all
the children o f the United States. You will find that they at111
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



tempted to lay down a children’s charter o f rights for every child,
not for one in a thousand, or for two in a thousand, but for all.
That report gave a broader vision to our child-welfare workers.
When we came to the dependency and neglect part of it, I will
never forget how J. Prentice Murphy worked on that. With all his
heart he wanted to emphasize the prevention o f dependency and the
prevention of neglect. I f you are going to prevent dependency and
neglect, something must be done that is beyond the scope o f the case
worker. The deeper economic and social causes must be reached.
We tried to figure out how many industrial accidents there were in
this country and how many automobile accidents and home accidents
and how many children those accidents deprived o f their parents,
and we asked child-welfare workers to take a vital interest in safety
campaigns in industry and outside o f industry and in workmen’s
compensation laws.
Other causes mentioned were sickness and insanity. I f I remember
rightly, 330,000 people were then in insane hospitals. How many of
them were parents separated from their children? And how many
children are in foster homes because of the insanity o f parents?
Another cause was premature deaths o f mothers. The statistics
that have been brought out in the last few months by Miss Lenroot
prove the great importance o f preventing premature deaths of
mothers at the time o f childbirth and later.
We touched at that time on unemployment, on low income, and
on the racial factors that were causing dependency and neglect.
Throughout it all we felt that the social worker who was engaged
in child welfare should be interested in the preservation and up­
building o f family life, not only by case work? but by removing the
social and economic causes that tend to disintegrate family life.
A good many o f us cpme out o f the White House conference feeling
that the biggest job o f a social worker is to prevent the disintegration
of families.
After that White House conference there was a conference here
in 1933 for child-welfare leaders o f the whole country. The first
item on the resolutions passed by that conference was the need of
proper care for the 7,000,000 children then on the relief rolls.
When the advisory committee to the President’s Council on Eco­
nomic Security began to hand in memoranda for the Social Security
Act, these were the things they were thinking o f: The children on
relief; the children receiving mothers’ pensions (now we call it aid
to dependent children); and the maternal and child-health program.
Then, because private agencies and public agencies throughout this
country were concentrated mostly in cities and in urban areas, it was
felt that child-welfare services were needed to reach out into the
rural regions and into areas in special need. Such child-welfare
services could help to stimulate in those areas the forces necessary to
supply proper facilities for childhood, the opportunities for the satis­
factory growing up of American children, and the influences required
to hold family life together.
And so these child-welfare services came into being. The reports
given here show that those who have been appointed in the various
States have caught the larger vision o f child welfare. They have not
confined themselves to foster care. But they have tried to integrate
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



their work with the work o f the aid to dependent children, with
the work of relief, with the children’s courts, with adoption proce­
dures, with the intake o f institutions and the supervision of the chil­
dren afterwards, with training programs for those engaged in childwelfare work, and with the arousing of volunteer groups to take an
interest in the children o f the State.
I also caught a reflection o f something that I consider even more
important. Child-welfare services in some places are acting like
leaven. They are influencing .people in other fields of work. In the
health field we have been told of many instances in which childwelfare services helped to start proper health facilities for the chil­
dren o f the whole community. They have stimulated proper recrea­
tional facilities, more adequate mental clinics, and institutional care
o f the feeble-minded; proper educational facilities and vocationaleducation facilities. I received the definite impression that the childwelfare-services worker is in fact a community organizer. That is
a more important side o f her job than tending to a few cases here
and there. Such cases might absorb all her time. But if she can
help to organize the State welfare department, if she can stimulate
health groups, recreational groups, and educational groups to do a
better job for all the community, she is carrying out on a broad
scale the function that those who planned this program had in mind.
I believe that the flexibility shown in these reports is a real virtue.
Nevada will not be like New York for a good many years. You will
always need a different kind of program for Nevada.
Now, coming down to the matter o f foster care. It is my im­
pression that you cannot take any one arbitrary figure and say that
if any community has foster-care facilities beyond that, it has too
much foster care, or if any community has smaller foster-care facil­
ities, it has too little foster care. You will find 250,000 to 260,000 chil­
dren receiving foster care among the 130,000,000 of our people. That
figures out two to each thousand people for the whole country. Now
it is true that in certain sections special factors are present. The
economic and social factors mentioned before, and others, may be
concentrated in certain places. You will have to vary your index of
foster care according to the conditions you find.
There is no rule o f thumb by which you can settle the problems
of the whole country. Some sections have too great facilities for
foster care and others have too little. Let us remember, however,
that for the whole country we have foster-care facilities for two
children among each thousand people. In sections where there is too
little, let us try by cooperative arrangement to plan out who will
take up the work. Let us use whatever resources there are in that
section and try to upbuild them. Let us not take the position that
anybody who does not go along with the public official 100 percent
is “blocking the Government program.” After all, the people in
this room are for the most part Government officials, These prob­
lems must be settled in thousands of little communities by people
who are bankers, who are tradesmen, who are doctors, who are school
teachers. The great bulk o f the American people back in their home
communities have to debate these questions and reach their con­
clusions. They are not “blocking the Government program” if, as
members o f a community, they insist on planning out for themselves
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



a program that will suit the facilities, the traditions, and the per­
sonnel o f their own community.
And, finally, I believe that where foster care is necessary it ought
to be provided through existing facilities, improved arid standard­
ized if need be. Let us utilize what we have. There is so much
to be done for all the children o f this country. I f we take the
broader view that family conservation and family upbuilding is the
major task o f child welfare, and that the removing o f the social
and economic causes producing family breakdown is also a part of
our task, we will not lack great opportunities for service even though
foster-care facilities may be sufficient in our districts.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Wednesday, April 6— Morning Session

Mildred Arnold, Director, Children’ s Division, State Department of Public Welfare, Indiana,

Miss A t k in s o n . We knew that the meeting yesterday afternoon
would have to be cut fairly short, and we thought we ought to plan
for a continuation o f this meeting on the question o f development
of local resources for care and protection o f children and again
touch on the relation o f child-welfare services to foster care. We
have asked Miss Mildred Arnold o f Indiana to assume responsi­
bility for serving as chairman at this meeting. I think there will
be an opportunity for a discussion of some questions you had in
mind yesterday afternoon but had no opportunity to discuss. We
want to divide the time, however, so we can at least begin on a
discussion o f case records in a public children’s agency. We know
there will not be an opportunity to finish that subject either, but we
believe in this morning period we can at least get it opened up.
The C h a ir m a n . A s Miss Atkinson has pointed out, we have had
two things in mind in arranging for this meeting: To carry on
yesterday afternoon’s meeting—and I am sure there were some very
interesting questions raised on which we would like to have further
discussion—and to have a discussion meeting. This may be the last
opportunity you will have to tell us o f your accomplishments, and
I think it is a healthy thing to have all opportunity to talk about
all the accomplishments sometimes and also to raise certain ques­
tions you might have in mind.
The first topic will be the development of local resources for the
care and protection of children, and that goes over to the discussion
o f yesterday afternoon, which was on the relation o f child-welfare
services to foster care. The second topic is more specific—case re­
cording in local public agencies. We are all interested, I am sure,
in that particular subject.
Some very interesting questions were raised by Mr. Kepecs yes­
terday afternoon and some were discussed in part. One was, “How
are we going to get private agencies to modify their program?” I
think there is a great necessity for the modification of many pro­
grams o f private agencies, and the State departments must take a
definite part in working with the private agencies and helping the
private agencies, in a joint effort to make the program fill in the
Another point raised was in regard to limitations of cooperation
with juvenile-court judges. We are very much interested in that in
Indiana now. A good part o f our child-welfare program is centered
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



around the court, and when we realize the number o f judges we
work with and the differences in their backgrounds and training—
how many have not had an opportunity to have any help in the
more modern principles of child care, and how much authority is
centered in the court— we must do some serious thinking.
And there is the problem o f withdrawing services from demon­
stration areas. I f any State has done it, I wish they would tell
Indiana how to do it. First, we should like to know how to with­
draw gracefully, and then we should like to be sure that the services
that we try to develop will continue.
Another thing: What is being done in the local communities to
keep the child-service program before the local boards?
How can we give the local board a picture o f accomplishments
and problems? I wonder, Mr. Kepecs, if you would not like to say
a few words, since we are carrying on from the program o f yesterday
afternoon before we start out with our discussions?
Mr. K epecs . I do not want to take up very much time and would
rather coniine myself to a discussion o f some o f the points you think
are necessary.
The C h a ir m a n . The first thing, the question you brought out yes­
terday, is how are we going to get private agencies to modify their
programs? W ill you give us suggestions on that?
Mr. K epecs . It is a very, very difficult problem to tackle. I feel
that the institutions in particular have isolated themselves. I feel
1hat if the institutions had not isolated themselves from the rest o f the
social-work program, they would be in a better position at the present
time to adapt themselves to services required of them.
Some institutions have not isolated themselves, and they stand out
because they have been able to modify and adapt their program to
newer needs.
Case-work services in any institutional or child-welfare program
should be among the minimum requirements o f State departments.
State departments that have licensing and supervisory powers
should establish certain minimum requirements for all foster-care
work, in regard to physical care, educational opportunities, health
supervision, recreation, vocational preparation, and case-work
services. These are essentials in the development of child life in
foster care.
Wherever it can be done with the consent o f the institutions, that
should be done, but in any event they should be made to realize the
importance o f these standards. When nothing else will help, the State
should exercise its power by saying, “ These are the minimum require­
ments, and if you wish to operate you had better comply.” I do not
think it is very difficult to make boards see that they would be more
useful to the community as a whole if they modified their programs.
The difficulty lies with the people who are attached to institutions—
emotionally and economically. I mean the people who work in the
institutions. And presidents are not less difficult in some situations.
Sectarian agencies are particularly protective o f their work. I have
no specific suggestions in regard to the matter. I am trying to clarify
the situation. The State departments will have to clarify the situa­
tion for themselves. They will have to determine how far they can
go and how far they want to go. We should have a goal and a
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


H 7

method of reaching it. We may progress only inch by inch, but
unless we know what we are after it will be doubly difficult.
The C h a ir m a n . One thing I should like to ask you. You speak
about the State department’s requiring case-work service in children’s
institutions. I am thinking about thé institutions that are very small
and could never afford a full-time case worker. Do you think it is
feasible to tie the case-work service up with the county department
that is using that institution, for instance, or do you have any other
suggestions for these small institutions— and there are many of them
all over the country ?
Mr. K epecs . I believe that wherever possible institutions should
employ a case worker. Where that is not possible they should make
an arrangement with a case-work agency to attend to case work.
They might pay for case-work service through a case-work agency.
I should prefer if the institutions assumed responsibility for their
own case work, but if that is not possible, it should be gotten some­
how. _ The county welfare department might furnish case-work
services. I should do that only as the last thing.
Miss M aso n . I should like to second and emphasize the suggestion
Mr. Kepecs made with regard to the approach to the institutions.
Without a doubt there ought to be steady, friendly pressure brought
on them to apply case-work principles'.
Too often they have been left out of conferences or have left them­
selves out. The institutions will probably have to be more specialized
in their work, that is, they will have to be more specialized in the
type of service they propose to render in the communities and the
State. Sometimes the executive of the institution is not very re­
sponsive, and pressure for cooperation may be brought on certain
influential members of the board who may be approached and made
to see the point. There should be a steady process of getting these
institutions to study themselves and to realize that the good old style
has passed out and that the average institutions must adapt themselves
to a new day.
The C h a ir m a n . I think the suggestion is very interesting that
institutions should decide what type of service they want to give and
develop a program to meet those needs. I wonder if any o f the
States has been able to get the institutions to do that.
Miss B artlett (Illinois). We are very much concerned in Illinois
about that question. We have been studying it from various angles.
The first approach is the compilation of reports by child-caring
agencies in the State. When we have analyzed the material that
has come in, we hope to have a picture o f child care in the State and
also to know the gaps in the program.
We are attempting to work particularly with the small rural
agencies. Our plan has been to have a consultant go to the small
agency and discuss the whole program. We have also attacked the
question through regional conferences. A series of conferences in­
cluding all institutions in the State has just been completed. Board
members and executives were invited, and discussion leaders were
persons who believed that the institution has some place in child care.
I think the institutions have been afraid that the new movement is
going to put them out of business entirely. We have in the State
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

H g


people who can talk from experience and who can lead the group to
see itself from the point of view o f the needs o f the whole State.
Our second series o f conferences will be on minimum standards.
The C h a ir m a n . Does anyone else have anything to say on this
Miss M aso n . From the standpoint of case work in the institutions
I think it important that it be an integrated part of the institutions
and not something on the outside. I f case work is not really a part
o f the institution the situation is the same whether it is an isolated
case-work department of the institution or whether case work is
furnished by an outside organization, either a family or children’s
agency. I think the question of the board’s participation is very
important also. I have sat with a number o f boards o f institutions,
and I have found that they spend quite a part o f the time talking
about finances and that for the most part they know very little of
what is going on.
I think we as case workers have frequently failed in not knowing
the institutions and their problems and exactly where we can fit in.
We keep case work as something on the outside rather than help to
integrate the whole thing and understand what it really means to
run an institution and to live in an institution.
The C h a ir m a n . Miss Mary Lois Pyles, director o f the Division of
Child Welfare, Missouri Social-Security Commission, will discuss
some problems in the development o f local resources for child care
and protection.
Miss P yles . We might begin with the words o f the Social Security
Act itself. It seems to me that the statement o f the child-welfareservices part o f the Social Security Act “ to pay part o f the cost of
district or other local child-welfare service in areas predominantly
rural” requires development of local units. In Missouri we have 8
local units ranging from 2 to 4 counties in each unit, including 25
counties, in which some real program is being carried out locally for
the care and protection of children. We begin with local financial
participation ranging from $15 to $30 a month from each county for
a share in the expenses o f this service program. It is perfectly true
that some of the counties have more money than others and should
pay more for this local care than other counties. Two o f the 25 are
among the poorest counties in the State and are paying from $15 to
$30 per month. This payment is made on the basis of its being a
preventive program and a good investment for the future.
In our local units we have two counties carrying over unexpended
balances-from one year to another, and they could finance their pro­
gram entirely if they were convinced o f its value. It is our job, at
least, to take the leadership in interpreting the program in the coun­
ties. I f it does not seem worth while to the public, then we are prob­
ably going too fast, and we will not be able to build a successful and
lasting program.
Some of these demonstrations have continued for a year or 2 years,
and as we go on in developing child-welfare work in local units we
should work toward increasingly local financial support. Now, a
suggestion as to how demonstration units may become permanent and
how we may withdraw demonstration. One county, after having
a local unit for a year or a year and a half, felt, when making up its
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



local budget in January 1938, that it did not have the funds to continue
its small participation in the work and would withdraw. That
brought a great howl from the community, from the women’s clubs, men’s service clubs, school, and so forth. Some school officials who
felt that the child-welfare-services work was very helpful went to the
town officials and the town called a meeting with the county officials,
requesting that some way be found to go on. The result was that
there is now a combination of local and private funds and public funds
from the town and county, along with the State funds, that will
continue the work o f that unit.
Certainly when the counties have enough money they should take
over the expense along with as much local participation as possible.
We know that not enough possibility exists in some localities for
financing the work, so we need in some places, perhaps, a State appro­
priation for child-welfare services.
Our State legislature meets only every 2 years unless the Governor
can be prevailed upon, because o f an emergency, to call a special
session. It will not meet again until 1939. One and a half years ago
there was some agitation in areas where we had local agencies for a
State appropriation to make it possible for every county to have one
child-welfare-services worker. That program would not have gone
across then. A group in our State connected with the State advisory
committee is anxious to see the program go across next year, but we
doubt if the program has enough public interest as yet and also
whether we would have enough facilities in the way o f an adequately
prepared personnel to carry out the program successfully. We want
to go slowly enough to succeed in the long run instead o f starting
something which may not last. We have not been very definite as to
how long a demonstration should last, but after this length of experi­
ence I wonder whether in the counties where we are well enough
integrated into the thinking o f the public and are well enough known
and thought of it would not be well to start thinking and talking about
how much they might be willing and think it worth while to spend for
this sort o f work.
Even in the areas where we are doing pioneering work, we do have
some tools to use. We do have the kindliness and neighborliness and
altruistic interests of rural people to offset the. great unmet and unrec­
ognized needs. Wherever there is an outstanding case it seems pos­
sible to get the public officials to respond. We are spending a great
deal of time meeting Johnny Brown’s needs, and there are a lot of
other children who ought to have the same thing. We should have a
general program to meet all the needs.
In the very rural sections we often do not have any agencies, either
public or private. Where they do exist, it is sometimes very difficult
to avoid duplication and to work together efficiently and economically.
Often nothing is available but neighborliness and willingness to take
care o f individual cases that are more outstanding than others. I
think one point we might be interested in discussing might be the
combination o f public and private interests and support. I shall read
a summary of activities in one community which illustrates this.
Mrs. L., leader in a church group, called an informal meeting of
two representatives from each o f the churches to discuss the need for
community interest and participation in child-welfare activities. At
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



this meeting Mrs. L. outlined the work and functions o f the childwelfare worker and stressed some of the local problems presented in
carrying on the work. She brought up the lack o f local resources
available in. caring for children, such as the H case, in which emer­
gency temporary care was needed. Mrs. L. first became interested in
learning about the child-welfare work in this county because she was
interested in the H family, in which the mother was dead and the
father in jail, leaving four children at home with no one to take care
o f them. She cited other families known to her and asked the childwelfare worker to tell the group o f the problems coming up in her
work wherein it would be very helpful for the community to give
Since there was considerable sentiment in the group for the estab­
lishment of a local children’s home, the worker tried to stress the fact
that we did not want to destroy family relationships, and that whereever we found anything hopeful upon which to build it was much
better to try to improve the child’s own home where he has the love
and affection and the security given by a feeling of belonging which
it is difficult to give a child in a foster home. The worker tried to
interest the group in doing something for the child in his own home.
After that, it was pointed out, a foster home occasionally is needed
for a child or family of children almost over night, and some plan
must be worked out so that a boarding home or other means o f care
may be available when needed.
First there was discussion of how we found homes, and it was
brought out that those members of the community in the meeting who
knew everyone better than the worker who came into the community
only a year and a half ago would be a fine source of suggestions for
such homes. It would save time, and better homes would be found, if
people in the community would be on the alert in finding them. This
brought up the question of financing these homes. One woman said
children needed a home spelled with a little “ h” rather than a big
“H .” They hated the thought of a “ children’s home.” .She is rearing
two boys whom she adopted.
There seemed to be a difference of opinion about the desirability
of boarding homes, and the worker pointed out that we had a State
receiving home for children who need permanent foster care. Per­
haps the question of responsibility for different kinds of child-welfare
activities would be a profitable one to discuss. Is finding permanent
substitute homes for children really a local responsibility, or should
there be facilities for the finding of a home for the child who needs
another home, perhaps an adoptive home, because his own family
can never take care of him? To have a greater source o f supply of
homes than those that can be found in his own county ? It was sug­
gested that we might use the private and public child-caring agencies
to provide permanent foster care, but even in places where we have
such facilities temporary foster care might be more desirable for the
child, keeping him nearer the family and community ties which we
want to preserve and strengthen.
Several meetings of the group were held to decide whether the small
community should have foster homes and/or an institution, and who
would pay for the homes. The women called a meeting of the men’s
clubs and officials, and the result was that the group, representing' a
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



large number of voters, intei^sted the county commissioner (or county
court, as it is called in Missouri) in paying the board for children
found to be in need o f such care. This group, which had learned a
great deal about child-welfare needs o f the community and about the
child-welfare work which could be carried on with State supervision
and backing and resources by a worker who is jointly a State and
local worker, became a county child-welfare council. We now see
the interest o f the community people in doing something themselves.
They had utilized resources for the individual things needed by chil­
dren to supplement what could be done by the general programs, the
State and categorical relief programs, and the county financing of
boarding homes. The members of the group wanted to continue
friendly services such as raising funds in their own group to supple­
ment the resources for dental care, providing dues and uniforms for
Boy Scouts and Camp Fire Girls, and havmg a committee start a
Big Brother and Big Sister activity. They worked out a plan for
special education for some children from underprivileged families
to provide training that can be given in their own homes.
The C h a ir m a n . Miss Pyles has given some interesting material on
case work in the community. We will have our next discussant, Mrs.
Doris M. Affleck, case-work supervisor o f the Delaware State Board
o f Chanties.
. Mrs. A ff l e c k . In considering this topic I should like to approach
it entirely from a case-work or service point o f view. There has been
a great deal o f emphasis upon the community in these discussions,
and rightly so, since we are all dependent upon local support.
I believe we tend to swing from one extreme to the other in social
work. Either one hears only about the individual and his importance
quite apart from, or even against, any modifying community influ­
ence, or else one hears only about environment, standards of relief
and need o f public support, and very little about the individual who is
in need o f all this. This conflict is inevitable, since both sides are
fundamentally important for us all. It is, as Dr. Plant said in his
discussion, our need to be like and our need to be different. At one
m°ment we see only the individual, even as we tend to be individual
and different m ourselves. A t another moment we see only the group
as our need for social living and likeness asserts itself again As
sociai workers we are required to find a balance here o f accepting
both of these real factors, that o f individual needs and that of the
I should like to develop this further by saying that effective case
work is helping people to help themselves, and I want to make more
clear that by this I do not mean what is so often heard defined as
case work, namely, gathering social data, considering all the factors
in Tt6 S1^ua^10n.’ anc* fhen making a plan. Rather I mean respect of
another person s own strength and ability to make his own plan if
lie is helped to do this by a social worker who helps him to feel his own
situation and the problems in it, but who really leaves him free to
make a choice, even though this choice is not always perfect. Several
people here have touched upon this. Both Mr. Adie and Mr. Ramsay
mentioned the rights of clients and the value o f the child’s own
f 6- 1 h opew eare tending more toward this sincere belief in the
strength of individuals rather than in their weakness.
78986°— 38-----9
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



This may seem far afield from our connections with our community,
but actually it is vitally related. This same attitude of thinking that
we know best and that we must educate or reform leads us into ditfi° i cannot help but question some of our intense efforts to make com­
munities aware of their problems. This seems to be a first objective
of many programs. I am not questioning the need for local support,
but I am asking: Does it really occur by this method ?
So often we approach our community with ready-made plans ana
assumptions that we know best, that we have all the answers. Is this
not an intrusion and an insult to the strength and intelligence of a
community just as much as ready-made plans for individuals. Gould
this not account to a large extent for the resistance and opposition to
the professional social worker ?
O f first importance in the development of local resources for the
care and protection of children is a sincere desire to use our skill m
the service of the community rather than in the domination ox it.
The problems within it are really not ours but theirs, and any change
or solution must come from the citizens; with our help, yes, if by this
we mean presenting facts we have found in our daily work, but not
if by help we mean asking a community to accept our plans and l(^,m
from us. Learning comes only through experiencing, and then
S °Now, if we should be able to develop this really helpful profes­
sional attitude, how can the visitor concretely work with the com­
munity? I feel that it is only through her actual service job that
this can happen. The case worker who has a real concern tor chil­
dren has to be interested first in the individual child and only sec­
ondly in the community as it comes into the picture of this child s
needs. I f her concern is genuine, then it is around this that the com­
munity is vitally reached, and here only is the real object in common
between the agency and its locals. Otherwise, how can one hope to
interest groups in general welfare? We all know it is through the
individual case that people are reached, and for that matter without
this the worker has no place in the community agency. It is her job
that gives her the right to participate.
It seems to me that community support is given only when the
quality of the agency job is good enough to deserve it and when the
conviction o f the importance o f the job is so real to the staff that the
community cannot help but feel it. It is not something that is verbal­
ized nearly so much as something that is felt because of the farreaching effects of the actual service job being done.
There is a vitally related question of how we can help or hinder
the development o f local resources by the kind of existence we have
in rural areas. Again this goes back to the kind of job we are doing.
The rural worker probably is asked to do every kind of service. I f
she is too obliging, will the community ever develop far on its own
or take any active responsibility for the problems of its people?
Again I wish to point out that helpfulness comes through finding
and holding to our agency and professional limitations. I f we do
only what we sincerely believe is within our job capacity, is this not
a much more responsible functioning than trying to do many things
that are needed but that the community alone can do ? Is it not more
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



sound to recognize our limitations and to believe that the community
can and will develop to meet its own needs if we do not interfere with
too much interpretation and control ?
Along with this must go a measure o f flexibility and a willingness
to work with others. In defining our responsibility and not going be­
yond that, there is a chance for the community to take hold in the
spaces we do not and cannot fill. This still leaves us much room for
case committees, discussion of problems with interested or related
individuals, and opportunities to present the facts. But the im­
portant thing is our recognition of our own place in the picture as
bemg partial only, and this must be sincere.
There is only one other thought I should like to put before you. I
wish there could have been time for us to hear more about the actual
case-work thinking going into these programs, that we might have
heard more o f the reasons for developments going one way or another.
I hope we are setting up our plans not from the top down but from
the client himself up, and that our administration is serving our
clients, as far as possible, thoughtfully and sincerely.
The problem o f specialization of services has arisen in Delaware
as it must have elsewhere, and I am wondering what thought you
have had about it. O f course, in large rural sections there probably
is no choice as to whether one worker will do all services or whether
^o®y .can, . centered in different workers. For us division is possible
thinking it out it raises the question of what actually happens
o the worker and the client when, for instance, the same person has
to do child placing and supervision o f children in their own homes
if you have ever tried this, haven’t you felt a problem in it?
t seems to me that the aim o f each is so opposite in principle as
to require an almost impossible professional orientation in a worker.
l or instance, under child-welfare services the aim is to help preserve
the family if possible; whereas in placement it is to help a familyseparation process so that placement can occur without injury to the
child. JSow, how can one worker find it humanly possible to orient
herself toward preserving family unity and at the same time toward
separation of family ties and destruction o f 'this unity « Both unitv
and separation are among our most powerful and elemental forces,
and to handle either one helpfully is difficult enough.
Besides the problem for the worker, in a function o f all-in-one
there is also a very real psychological problem for the client. How’
can a mother relate herself to a worker who represents not only assistance m her own home but also removal o f her children from her«
I f the worker represents so much, so many functions that are in
themselves contradictory, it is too confusing to expect any helpful­
ness to come of it, I believe. A client can work through a problem
situation only when an agency service is sufficiently clear-cut to offer
one particular kind o f service which the client can know and then
choose to accept and work with or reject.
5 * ag,ain goes b.^ k to tbe c°ncept that a limited agency
function is the only responsible one.
& j
t-hink ° n,? Ter/ . ™ P ? r t a n t question has been

that 1
w fa t'f,g u,s a\oertainiy facing us in Indiana, and
that is the problem of the distribution of case loads.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



Can any o f you contribute anything on that, or is that too big a
Question? I think it is a pretty serious one and one about which
there is a great variance o f opinion, one person feeling there should
be a geographical distribution and another that the .case-load dist
bution should be on a categorical basis.
. . .
, e
Miss H o u g h t o n (Connecticut). Connecticut is facing that dennitcly. Serious consideration is being given to the distribution of
services on a geographical basis. One worker in a given area would
be responsible for all services.
The C h a i r m a n . The same person would also do child-welfare serv­
ices in general?
Miss H o u g h t o n . Yes.
. .
Mr K epecs . I f the social worker has the qualifications indicated,
she should be able to do almost anything-bring assistance to children
in their own homes and at the same time give the mother enough sup­
port to see that she needs to be separated from her children. An
ideal social worker, one who knows and understands human relations,
should be able to deal with both.
. .
In regard to intrusion into the lives of people and communities, it
seems to me that where communities have not done anything without
intrusion and have come to us for assistance, or for that matter if
we come to them and offer our assistance, they welcome and look tor
some intrusion or leadership.
In regard to specialization, I believe that that depends upon the
volume of work, resources, and the number o f worke-rs available. It
is governed by expediency, in other words. When the work is large
in volume and concentrated in areas, specialization seems desirable,
but there may be a conflict between specialization of function and
districting of territory. When the choice lies between territorial
division of work and specialization, territorial division is to be pre­
ferred. With a small number of workers m an organization, I would
rather have one person cover a territory and attend to various serv­
ices than to have two or more persons going to the same district and
pass the same door for different services. Good case workers should
be able to deal with human relations o f all kinds. But where volume
of work is concentrated in relatively small areas, it probably pays to
have specialists because you can develop certain judgments through
concentrated experiences which are helpful m the specialties. Vol­
ume of work per worker is, o f course, an important consideration.
It seems to me that in rural areas there will have to be considerable
undifferentiated case work coupled with consultant services for spe­
cial tasks. A program would not be sound without specialists, it
only on a consultant basis. Child placing is a specialty requiring
specialized skills, but I would take a chance with a good case worker
doing placement work, provided that consultant service in placement
work is available.
. ,
There is another reason why I am in favor o f the same worker s
doing many jobs—it is enriching and broadening, and the worker
has an opportunity of acquiring an understanding o f various phases
o f human relations. Confinement to a specialty over a long period
o f time is narrowing. In child placing it seems to me that the worker
who helps the child in his home should be able to help him accept
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


other forms o f aid.


I am inclined to favor undifferentiated case

The C h a i r m a n . Three important problems have been brought up.
One is the volume o f work. For instance, next July, in Indiana, the
age at which old-age assistance is granted drops from 70 to 65, and
we look forward to forty to fifty thousand applications. I am afraid
child-welfare services in Indiana will stop until this is handled. Sec­
ond, the requirements o f our workers, and third, the requirements of
the programs.
Miss D u d l e y (Maine). I am one o f the people doing a miscella­
neous case-work job within the child-welfare-services set-up, doing
partly the regular State department job and partly local work, and
also, as we have said in a kind o f phonograph record speech—the
speech you have to make over and over again to people—lending my
hands^ and feet to the selectmen and court and schools in an area
with just three or four towns. The whole population is not more
than four or five thousand in my area.
I expected all kinds o f difficulties, as one who was going from a
specialized child-placing job into a miscellaneous job. But I think
it has an analogy in the field of other professions. The doctor who
has an interest in rural medicine and who comes from a specialized
city set-up must deal with emergencies, appendectomies, skin diseases,
and everything. It seems to me a question o f whether you fit into the
professional pattern o f the community if you are going to be a help
to them in the handling of community difficulties.
I have found the problem within myself that Mrs. Affleck men­
tioned. In one case in which it bothered me most, I was the person
trying to keep the family together and the person trying to take
them apart. I have seen them over a period o f almost 2 years
through a father’s court experience and a mother’s desertion, trying
to keep the family together through the grandmother’s death and
all kinds o f troubles. Finally the father, who was perfectly terrified
. y avmg the children taken care of by the State and was going to
•jump m the river and never pay a nickel, came to me a few weeks
ago and said he would have to ask me where the children could go
because he decided I had a good head.
^'HAIRMA^- What about those who are doing assistance work
for the aged and blind and independent child-welfare service 2 The
assistance work is so much greater than the child-welfare service. I
am concerned as to whether the assistance program will not over­
shadow the child-welfare work.
Miss F r a n k (Louisiana). I should like to hear from some one who
is working in that kind o f program.
Miss D udley. May I say that in the distribution o f administrative
areas in the Maine set-up we have come to feel strongly that it has
to be a small enough population area for general welfare services I
am not doing work for the aged and blind. My work relates to chil­
dren and helping with general local relief. The three towns in the
iP | e|fc
supporting the service to the extent o f $1,150 a year, so
they feel that it belongs to them. But in Maine we felt we could not
extend our work over an area so broad that one person could not
cover it in 9,10, or 12 hours a day.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



Miss P y l e s . Even if the ability and skill o f the worker should be
taken for granted and if we feel that the worker could do a good gen­
eral job in all its aspects, her ability to do it would also depend upon
the size of the area.
The C h a ir m a n . I should be interested in knowing whether all
these States are throwing the whole program together and dividing
it on a geographical basis. Is any one doing that ?
Miss bARABCT, (U. S. Children’s Bureau). Don’t we have to help
people define what service is? Some one recently said to me, “ Yes,
we carry a number of service cases.” When I questioned further I
found that it was not the families receiving grants that were getting
service but out-of-town inquiries that they were calling service cases.
It seems to me that through our children’s work we have an oppor­
tunity to define for them something of what service means.
Miss F r a n k . I should like to hear more about some differentiated
case loads. All I have been able to gather is that an undifferentiated
case load is better, but I am not clear why. You think of the W. P. A.
certifications and the C. C. C. enrollments, and, as Miss Labaree points
out, the service cases are cases that are not relief cases. I should be
interested to know what thinking went into it when you say, “ It is
The C h a ir m a n . Who can discuss that point?
Miss S teele (Georgia). I know the two arguments given in our
State. One is that an undifferentiated case load is more economical
to the county because mileage is saved, and the second is that it helps
develop the worker. I want them to point out why it is better for the
Miss F r a n k . D o we want the development o f the worker at the
expense o f the children, and could we say because an undifferentiated
case load saves mileage it is in the long run economical to the State?
I wonder if any group has given any consideration to that.
Mrs. R a n k i n (Texas). I should like to know why it is better for
the worker.
Miss H e w in s (Vermont). I was trying to make up my mind what
our policy is. We have been forced by the exigencies of the situation
to have one, two, and three combinations o f this generic case work.
I think from the point of view of the ultimate development of the
community we can say it has helped us to have this generic case
work, and that it specifically helps us in our aid to dependent chil­
dren program, where within the last year or so the case loads have
been reduced from—nobody knows exactly what— 150, 1T5, or per­
haps 200, to an approximate 90.
The exposure to the service angle which has been possible through
general welfare services has sold the idea to the department, so that
today aid to dependent children is on a service basis. Old-age assist­
ance is not in the department o f public welfare, and we do not have
that to consider, but I think the undifferentiated case work has helped
us in aid to dependent children, and I think it is broadening to the
Mrs. R a n k i n . Doesn’t this in some cases become a family problem
with the unit really the family rather than the child ? I f you think
o f it as a family job, it becomes sound to me. It is a family job.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



Mrs. B u c k l e y (Connecticut). O f course, some o f the other argu­
ments used are that the special agent has about reached the limit and
that the town officials are tired o f all the different people coming in
and spending a whole day. They are tired of seeing all the different
people coming in about the different things, and they cannot under­
stand why so many should come.
Miss S u n d w a l l (Utah). We also do a generalized job in going
into the counties. Our workers accept the families in which there are
children’s problems. O f course, our case work is limited, but we do
the assistance job along with the child-welfare job. We are trying
to fit our program to the needs o f the community.
Miss D ud le y . I am perhaps being misinterpreted in my statement
o f what a miscellaneous job is. A child-welfare worker can give
service to children and at the same time take care of other assistance
needed by the family, such as enrollment o f a boy in a C. C. C. camp,
or assistance o f that sort. We do the job needed in the particular
Miss L abaree . Could I ask whether these people are supervised
by the State, these different people for these different jobs?
The C h a ir m a n . That brings up the whole problem o f State super­
vision. Do you want to have some discussion on State supervision?
Mr. P age (New Hampshire). I want to discuss the matter o f State
supervision. Beginning July 1, we plan to have the workers carry
undifferentiated loads. We have done a lot of planning and have run
into a lot o f headaches. The question of supervision comes to me.
What is the difference between supervision and consultation service ?
Do they overlap when you call your consultants to strengthen your
local or field office? I should like to hear a little discussion on that
point, because I think if you get that set-up on a district-office basis,
when the worker is carrying undifferentiated loads, you are «-oinff
to have a little difficulty.
The C h a i r m a n . I think Mr. Kepecs brought out the point of
consultant service.
Mr. K epecs . There are two aspects. One is administrative, and
where State funds are made available it is up to the State to see that
funds are spent well. The other is consultant service which may be
handled in connection with administrative supervision or in connec­
tion with specialized services. I am not sure which. It is essential
to find persons who can do these things. The State has certain ad­
ministrative responsibilities in connection with maintaining mini­
mum standards, and it also has the function o f supplying consultant
services in connection with specialties in case work such as child
placing. Much depends upon the number o f people that the State
can afford. The State does not discharge its obligation unless it
has someone to supervise and enforce minimum standards. Consult­
ants and specialists are very desirable. I believe that they are essen­
tial. But it is a question whether the State can afford and can find
such persons. It is not likely that the same person can function in
both capacities adequately.
Mr. C lass (Oregon). What do you mean by an undifferentiated
case load? What are your criteria?
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



Mr. P age . I think o f it, as has been mentioned here, as having the
workers carry not only the categorical work—work for the aged and
blind and aid to dependent children—but also being responsible for
service work in relief families and for child welfare.
In New Hampshire relief is going back to our local officials. .W e
work on a county and town basis, and I might say here that I think
perhaps in New Hampshire we are different, but it seems to me we
are having quite a change in thinking on the part o f the general
public as it sinks through their heads that no longer should they label
relief legislation “ emergency legislation,” as they have done m the
past, and as they realize that this will cost a lot of money and be a
permanent program. We find taxpayers’ groups being formed an.,
examination o f the way in which general relief and all other forms
of assistance are being administered, and they are wondering it this
is the better way o f doing the job. A ll o f this to me is very, very
^T h en , too, as happened recently, here is a little town overseer of
the poor, as he is called in New Hampshire, and he has visiting him
in 1 day seven people. He says, “What kind of service is this? Ia m
a part-time official and I have to work, and I entertain seven o you
boys and girls from the State office in 1 day.
It doesn t make sense,
and he feels it costs a lot of money. They traveled a long way and
two went in to visit one family, one to see an aged person and the
other a blind one. Money still talks. It is pretty close to the hearts
o f these people, and I think we will have to adjust ourselves to a
situation which financially is very, very real, as well as recognize the
social problems involved.
. ,
Then too, as it becomes a permanent problem and is recognized as
such by the people in general, we are having thrown up m New
Hampshire fences that say, “ You are not to go out of the state to get
your trained workers.” You have all heard that before, and it you
are administrators it is a very real problem.
. , ,
What that means is that when you start to take over an entire load,
as we are going to do in New Hampshire in July b e c a u s e ot new
legislation, we are going to have to take boys and girls out ot the
State universities. They have been exposed to sociology for 4 years
and they are sincere in their desire to go into public-welfare work,
but they are not trained.
So to me the only hope o f doing a fairly decent job eventually is
to put into the key positions—on the consulting jobs and supervisory
n0bs—persons trained and experienced. I f we can do that, I think
there is some hope over a period of months of arriving eventually at
a program that will satisfy the general public and will actually be
doing something for the social needs o f the people.

The C hairm an . We must go on to case recording. Public agencies
are interested in case recording. We in Indiana have recently
checked over all court dockets in search o f lost files and we
found 1,500. One judge said, when he was approached, No, you
can’t now, but I will let you go through the docket in a couple ot
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



months.” We found that every afternoon at 1 o’clock he was shutting
himself up in his office and getting the court docket up to date, and
for the first time in the history of the county it is up to date.
Miss Bessie E. Trout, welfare-training assistant in the Bureau o f
Child Welfare, New York State Department of Social Welfare, will
open the discussion.
Miss T ro ut . Record keeping is one of the factors in our work that
is general— at least the problems in it are. I am going to mention
just a few o f the outstanding difficulties we face in New York State
before mentioning some of the constructive factors in the use of our
First, there is the heavy case load. In New York State we have
usually one children’s worker assigned for all children’s work in the
county. The average case load ranges from 90 to 100. I f Mr. Carstens were here, he would probably say it is double the norm for a
case load—if we have such a thing. The time element, therefore, is
one of the first difficulties we face in social case recording.
Recently one of the county children’s workers said that she had
four records for me to read because there had been four Sundays since
my last visit and she wrote all of her records on Sundays and holidays.
Not all o f our records are written on Sundays and holidays, but social
case recording, by and large, has become something that does not
have the importance o f the rest of the job—something to be done after
the day’s work or when one has the least amount o f pressure.
An associated factor is that pressure o f work seems to create in
the worker a habit o f activity which tends away from the kind o f
evaluative, constructive thinking necessary to social case recording.
It is easier to jump in a car and “ do the job” than to develop the selfdiscipline necessary to good social case recording. I think we all
would agree it is more important to do a job than to record it on any
single occasion, but over a period o f time this habit of activity is
likely to become a state of mind.
Another difficulty (and it is in the working out of this difficulty
that we can make one of the most constructive uses of the records) is
the fact that we have not gained recognition of social case recording
as an integral part o f the responsibility for a child in a child-welfare
program. The importance o f statistical and financial recording is
fairly clear, but that social case recording is a real part o f the program
is not recognized.
In the medical field recording is accepted; all doctors, nurses, and
hospitals recognize that a record o f the patient’s daily condition may
mean the life or death o f that patient. The lay public recognizes its
value to the extent that confidence is increased in a physician or hos­
pital that keeps such records. A dentist over a period o f years will
keep a record o f his patient’s condition; and if he does not, we
question his ability and perhaps consider a change o f dentists.
I wonder how many o f our public officials know that it is necessary
in order to give adequate care to a child that we have a record of that
child’s experiences and development. We have the task o f defining for
our officials what should go into these records. We must Imow what
has happened to a child. We need some perspective o f the life experi­
ences he has had—not only information about him, but what his ex­
periences have meant to him, what interpretations have been given him,
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



and how he understands them, as well as other factors in his life which
represent so frequently the basis of his behavior and which we must
know before we can understand how to treat him. Probably few of
our public officials have any way o f knowing the importance o f having
in a record the facts o f the child’s origin so that we may preserve for
him the things about his family and about himself.
We need also to have made clear to public officials and board mem­
bers that both the child and the foster parents can suffer a great deal
from a change o f workers that results in change o f methods unless
we have some record of the way in which the previous worker has
treated the situation. Naturally, too, there is great loss of time when
records are not kept, because each new worker must accumulate the
knowledge already gained by the previous worker. In addition to loss
o f time there is annoyance to members of the community and to the
foster parents or to the child in going over again the ground someone
has already covered.
These are some o f the difficulties. We come, then, to the use we
can make o f the record. The workers themselves are not wholly clear
as to the use o f the social case record. We need to do more work in
making clear what should go into the record as well as what uses can
be made o f it. A record is a tangible thing. It provides one o f the
ways in which we can give the broad interpretation to our program,
and we have many opportunities for interpretation presented to us.
Recently a county commissioner who was questioning the quality
o f work done by his child-welfare worker commented, “I don’t know
about her records, but I guess they must be good because there ,are
pages and pages and pages o f them.” How could he evaluate his own
work? He was reaching out to know what should be in the record.
As we interpret what is important to the welfare of a child in the
way o f a record, we find we are explaining at least in part a child’s
needs and our responsibility in meeting them, as well as defining and
clarifying the child-welfare program.
In considering another factor o f the use o f records, namely, the
value received from rereading and evaluating for treatment, we must
again turn to the medical field. A doctor does not see a patient with­
out first glancing at his chart. All too frequently our children’s work­
ers file their records as a task completed and do not refer to them
before visiting a child for the purpose of understanding what is hap­
pening to the child—learning what has already been done and how
the child has reacted—and determining what the next step in the
treatment should be.
It has been interesting to me in visiting the different counties to
find that where there is poor recording there is generally a poor quality
o f work, and where there is the best recording there is usually the
best quality o f work. I do not know which comes first, but there is
something in the discipline that causes the worker to look at what is
happening to the child under her care, that causes her to stop and
think (and those who keep the best records must stop and think),
that brings a perspective and a stimulation which promote the growth
and development o f the worker—a value that we could interpret to our
public officials.
There are so many ways in which we can use our records for broad
interpretation o f what child welfare is. I wish we could get together
and work out methods that would be a little clearer to us.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



Workers are all pressed for time—we find it necessary to talk about
short cuts and to determine which things in our work we cannot do
without. As we define more clearly the necessary content o f our
records and clarify our thinking on the broad constructive uses, we
may be able to bring about changes, such as the lowering o f heavy
case loads, which would make more effective recording possible.
The C h a ir m a n . The discussion will be continued by Miss Frances
Steele, director of the Division o f Child Welfare, Georgia State De­
partment o f Public Welfare.
Miss S teele . I am thinking in terms o f my own State of Georgia in
regard to the problem of records. Our main point is we have no pro­
tection for our records. The administration has instructed the direc­
tors that they must have the records open for the grand jury at any
time. The newspapers have asked that the records be available in the
courthouse and the name, address, and race of the recipient o f aid.
Those are the two main problems we have. Building from the pro­
grams of F. E. R. A. we have in every county folders for relief cases.
Sometimes there isn’t anything in the folder except the name and ad­
dress and race, but the old W. P. A. Form 144 went a little further
and actually asked for the occupation. Along comes child-welfare
service, and our problem now is, are we going to give way to the
temptation to lower our standards because we feel the pressure of lack
o f stenographic service and because many of the county directors have
not gathered the idea o f child-welfare service ?
I f we can get across to our boards and county commissioners the
fact that a record does not hold a lot of secret and confidential in­
formation against a family but is our tool and guide, we will get
further away from the idea that case histories have no real value. We
have had no test yet o f the child-welfare records, but, as I have said,
in one county the newspapers demanded that they be public. When
the test .does come as to whether or not the records will be open to the
public, we will have to work on the idea that they are not secret or
confidential, as well as on the fact that they are the tools with which
we work.
We feel that in these records it is our job to weigh and evaluate
what the board and what the layman can understand, because in that
way we can sell our program to the State and increase our funds. It
is the only way I see that we can reach the people and our State and
county officials.
In Georgia the old-age-assistance program has had so much em­
phasis that we have had to creep along on child-welfare services, and
we.have gone pretty slowly at times, but we have managed now to get
the eye of the administration fixed on children’s problems. I f any
of the rest of you have the problem o f open records for the public
we should like to know how you handle it.
Miss A t k in s o n . Let me present to the group Miss Josephine Brown,
who led us through the struggle in the F. E. R. A. program.
Miss B r o w n . I have been much interested in hearing what you had
to say and realizing what a fine lot of people there are doing the
child-welfare job over the country. I think perhaps I am in a little
better position to appreciate that than a good many people who came
into the job fairly recently. You may be interested to know we did
have a very serious test case on records in the F. E. R. A., and the
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



Federal Department o f Justice was willing and glad to be called in.
The rules o f the courts in one or two cases have been that such records
have professional status and they are not subject to revelation to the
public in court or anywhere.
The C h a ir m a n . We are very glad to have this reassurance about
what help we may be able to get in this problem. Mrs. Norma Ran­
kin, director o f child-welfare services o f the Division o f Child Wel­
fare, Texas State Board of Control, will discuss the subject.
Mrs. R a n k i n . Case recording is an all-important matter and one
we have had considerable discussion about recently in our own staff
meetings. I might say that as far as Texas is concerned it is o f the
open road and wide spaces. As one o f our workers said in a meeting,
“ We have nothing and we need everything.” So we must approach
it at that point in Texas.
Jn thinking o f this question I have analyzed it from several points
o f view, and one has been brought out in our set-up—the relation o f
public agencies to the State office from the point o f view of record
keeping and the effort to assist and facilitate office mechanics in order
not to burden the worker with too much in the way o f setting up
procedures necessary to get factual data and data we need for rela­
tionship and research matters.
A county judge said, “What are these things you talk about as case
records and what do you use them for anyhow? I have always
thought the reason we have these records is so that the worker is given
something to do in her spare time, so she will have an opportunity to
write about what she has done in her spare time.” Then he pointed
to the confidential nature o f the records and said, “ You refer to the
all-importance o f the matter of your records. Do you permit any one
to have the information, and what do you do with it after it is
I think we have opened a new area in the use o f records and inter­
pretation to boards from the point o f view o f community case records,
as well as case records o f children. I should like to present very
briefly some o f the comments given by members o f our staff who were
discussing the question o f case-record writing recently. In addition
to the general phases we are all familiar with, our staff members have
these remarks to make:
The recent influx of out-of-State inquiries and cases of aid to dependent chil­
dren has been a difficult problem to us in our county. Frequently the informa­
tion given is vague, misleading, incomplete, and as a result our own reports
on each case are necessarily inadequate.
There is a lack of understanding of what we might consider the elementary
rules for weighing the value or determining the usefulness of the data obtained.
Often facts are unknown or information is misleading. I f the principles of
record keeping were clear to the social workers recording the i n f o r m a t i o n it
would probably enable them to make more reliable inferences.
The matter of inadequate case recording has been brought to my attention
lately in endeavoring to assist this county in planning for cases of children
supported by the county in some one of the children’s institutions. There are
no records regarding the parents, no listing of relatives, and no reasons given
for declaring the children to be dependent and removing them from their own
homes. It is evident that time and expense could have been saved had such
information been on file, and certainly the county would have a more sound
basis of explanation of the circumstances which warranted the action taken.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



I have been impressed constantly with the importance of complete and
accurate case recording. In numerous instances "I have been called upon to
refer to the records in our office on points of discussion which have arisen with
county officials, the county attorney, county judge, health officer, and others.
In every instance the information as stated in the record in a clear and concise
manner has been accepted as the final issue in the case.

Another worker brings out the point:
Thinking a little beyond the mechanics of record writing, I believe the case
record could be a real factor in the actual development of community resources.
What better sources of information regarding interested individuals and com­
munity groups, sources from which funds may be obtained, and so forth, do we
have than the records of contacts with individuals? It can easily be seen that
a new worker going into a county in answer to an application or request for
service could benefit greatly through first reading and analyzing the results of
contacts made and cases recorded.

From the standpoint o f the ethics o f recording, the problem of
confidential information is an important one. It is well for the worker
to inform the client that it is necessary to make a record of facts.
The worker may enter information in the record and place the word
“ confidential” before it. Often confidential information is given which
has no bearing on treatment and therefore, in my opinion, might be
omitted from the record.
A record is not objective if it includes only the facts that are favor­
able to the case worker, when possibly there are unfavorable ele­
ments which are also significant. Regardless o f how the recording is
done, we should bear in mind that the primary purpose o f keeping
records is to assist us in beneficial treatment o f our client, and the
record is most helpful when written in such a manner that it gives
a clear picture o f the child involved and his relationship to his
I might say in summing up that my own belief in connection with
record writing is that the record, in addition to being useful in the
handling o f the case with reference to the child, should serve as a
competent qualitative measure o f the shortcomings or ability of the
The C h a ir m a n . The discussion will be continued by Miss Florence
Mason, assistant director of the Catholic Charities Bureau, Diocese
o f Cleveland, and member of the Children’s Bureau’s Advisory Com­
mittee on Community Child-Welfare Services.
Miss M aso n . When I think in terms o f the case loads you must
carry, I immediately realize what your records must mean to you; but
all o f us have the same problem of recording, that is, establishing the
importance o f records. Whether you have large case loads or whether
you are from a well-regulated agency, you will find the case workers
doing the work at night. Case recording has not been established as
an important function of the agency. You talk about case loads in
relation to your record writing. To sit down and dictate without a
plan makes for some very long records that are not thought through.
I f you are to write a good record, you have to take time to organize
your material. It seems to me that in child-welfare service you have
an opportunity o f establishing the importance of records and the sig­
nificance o f factual material, which no person in child welfare has a
right to leave out. I f you are ever placed in a position o f having the
children coming back and trying to find out about themselves, or o f
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



people trying to find out something about the children they have
adopted, you will immediately realize the importance o f that type of
material. I often wonder what right we have to get the facts and not
have them where they can be used afterwards.
Then there is the record o f the child himself. X wonder if some
problems could not be solved for a generic case worker if you had a
separate record for the child, a record giving the picture o f the child,
15 ? '8 ° f record you think ,of .using as a tool for treatment. You
could have your factual material in the general family record, and for
each child a separate record giving a picture of the child himself, or
what you know about the child, and what is being done for the child—
placement that has been made, what that has meant for
the child, the things you have done for this child, and the child’s rela­
tionship to the family. A ll this material would have to be pretty care­
fully worked out.
I was in an institution recently when two little girls, sisters, came in
and were waiting for the head o f the institution. The younger one
was asking if she could go out and buy some material, a book helpingher to design some things for a party. The older sister said, “Margaret
doesnt like to draw as well as I do,” and the younger child said
“ Betty only says that because she draws better than I do but she*
doesn’t know what is inside of me.” And I think that is the thing
we must know in the records—what is inside of the children, something
o f the hopes and ambition o f the child.
The C h a i r m a n . We have a few minutes left for discussion. Some­
thing came up in Indiana the other day that was very interesting. It
concerned case reporting by a private agency to the State department.
We have a new set-up in our State, and the executive director o f one of
the private agencies said they had sent in all the cards and all rec­
ords except one. The case worker refused to send that one because
it concerned an illegitimate child, and the paternal grandfather came
from a prominent family of the city. She said the records were not
kept confidential enough, and we could not guarantee that confidential
material would be safeguarded. That is the old feeling that public
records are public, and that is the reaction we are getting from some
private agencies to those records. It involves two things. Do we have
to give an assurance to agencies and people in general that public
records are not public ? Have you had such problems in your States ?
Miss B r o w n . I think perhaps one thing I worried about more than
anything else in the F. E. B. A. days was what was being written in
the record. I know a lot of people did not have time to write much of
anything, but a great many workers who came from private agencies
felt strongly about putting everything they knew on paper. I want to
warn you again to ask your county workers to be sure they do not
write anything in the records that they cannot verify; that they have
not verified—gossip and judgments about people’s moral character.
Somebody said something about a child’s coming back and wanting to
know something about the family. Just suppose the worker had
written something about the mother’s character that she did not know
as a fact. The case I spoke of a few minutes ago in which the Depart­
ment o f Justice came in was a suit against a worker for libel by a
client, and I do not know whether the worker had verified the informa-
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



tion she put down. It is possible to get into a jam by making unveri­
fied statements about people’s mental condition, and their moral
Mr. J o n es . I should like to say something about records from the
standpoint of an executive. I think I know as much as anybody
knows about the inadequate-record story, because as the superintend­
ent o f an old agency I now have a continuing correspondence with
people in all parts of the world in an effort to get factual information
for many people who as children were sent West years ago. I could
speak at length and eloquently about that aspect of the matter. I
know the unfortunate results o f not recording information about peo­
ple. For example, at this very moment it is unfortunate, indeed, that
I cannot give a brilliant young university graduate in the Middle
West, who is about to marry a brilliant young woman, a few facts
about his family background for the simple reason that these facts
were not recorded when his father as a boy was shipped to a distant
point. But this morning I wish to point out the other extreme—the
long and overwordy record. This question o f record is fast becoming
a headache to many executives. A young woman in our office the other
morning was referring a case. She told the supervisor and me some­
thing about the matter. The supervisor remarked, “ Perhaps I had
better drop in at your office and look at your record.” The young
woman said, “Well, there are 40 pages of it.” After she had gone and
I showed some concern over her evident idea that service is now being
measured by the yard, the supervisor remarked to me, “Why, one of
the students in training had to read a record o f 80 pages the other day.”
A friend of mine, who is a supervisor in a large city, told me recently
that her field visitors were averaging about 1% hours in the field each
day, and when I said, “ What are they doing the rest of the time?” she
said, “ Why, processing their records, of course.”
From the experience I have had in working with a scientist in
another field, I have a conviction that we greatly overrate the socialservice records as research material. They are not prepared under the
conditions demanded by a scientist, and I do not accept at all the oftrepeated statement that these records are full of rich research material.
As I read them, they very often go into long statements about what
Miss So-and-So, the social worker back in 1915,1920, or 1925 felt about
Mrs. So-and-So as a good housekeeper, or a good mother, or something
else of that sort. I read one of these records the other day in which
six or eight different people had “ felt” things about one person and
another—page after page. I knew none of the people who had written
this material, and no one who is at all scientifically minded could place
very much value on such talk. Much o f it should never have been
recorded at all. I hope that you will not have such an amount of
money that you can be reckless with it and go on spreading yourselves
over acres of paper. The fact that you may realize that you'may have
to account directly to the public for what you spend and for what you
say about people should be a challenge to you to get something done
about records which has not yet been done in the social-service field.
I could tell you o f many executives who are becoming very much dis­
turbed on this subject. Some of us cannot even hire room in which to
store these voluminous records, which we might as well admit no one
ever reads.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



N°W, please do not go away from this meeting and say that I do not
believe in records. I do believe in records o f factual material. I
believe that you people who are gathered in this room can do somehing about this matter. You are young, energetic, and open-minded,
and you have a broad view, and you are out before the public as public
servants. You need not be hindered by the patterns that have set the
minds o f some o f us. Can you not take up this record business and
in some way see that records are brought into a limited territory and
they contain factual information, which everyone admits we need
and leave out emotional impressions as to whether Mrs. So-and-So
was domestically inclined, whether her mother should have held her
in a different arm when she gave her her bottle, or whether she should
^ k ® ? he in the crib ? Let all that lie in the field o f speculation,
which tor the time need not be committed to print. You may write arti­
cles about such matters and publish them m journals and there they
may be rather harmless. Let us get away from the idea that civiliza­
tion has to be saved by the typewriter and the mimeograph. What I
have heard you saying here this morning is very important, and its
importance could be emphasized almost daily in the offices o f any of
the old agencies. Often I am very dependent on a tidbit o f factual
information which may change a whole situation in life. A very
simple letter o f half a dozen lines, with an address, kept in our records
for 20 years, enabled me to bring together a mother and son. This
tactual information was very useful in this situation. The business
o f how “she felt,” “he felt,” “ I felt,” and “ the worker felt,” did not
seem so important after 20 years.
Miss T rout . Miss Arnold, I think Mr. Jones has made quite a point.
Especially during the last few years there have been differing opinions
o f what we should do. I wonder if it is in keeping to suggest that we
have a committee to study further what problems we face and how to
deal with them, and perhaps make something o f what Mr. Jones
suggests as to how we should do it.
The C h a ir m a n . What is the feeling o f the group? We have been
challenged now. I wonder, Miss Atkinson, if you would be willing to
appoint such a committee, and perhaps, if we have a child-welfare
conference next year, we can have the committee’s report.
A t k in s o n . I f it is the wish o f the group, it seems to me the
Children s Dureau could appoint a committee for the purpose o f con­
tinuing to explore this topic and to get some material together which
would be helpful to the various States.
!& ? .t0 re.% to something Dr. Plant said one time to the
ettect that, in his opinion, a good many records were not records o f
children at all but were merely portraits o f social workers. One time
a 1W0rf®?’, 0i1 my staff who always tried to include his entire
philosophy o f life in every record he wrote. It was important to know
his attitude toward the problems o f children, but it was not exactlv
germane to the treatment o f the child to make his pronouncements on
social, economic, and moral questions a part o f a child’s record.
Have on that committee somebody who comes to it rather
fresh. Got some one to come in absolutely new who will sav “Whv
do you do things this way?” That is the sort o f person whTusuallv
makes a contribution to life.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Wednesday, A pril 6—Luncheon Session

C. C. Carstens, Executive Director, Child Welfare League of America, and Member, General
Advisory Committee on Maternal and Child-Welfare Services,


Miss A t k in s o n . We have asked Mr. Carstens, executive director o f
the Child Welfare League o f America, to carry the responsibility for
this meeting this afternoon, and I turn it over to him now.
The C h a ir m a n . The first responsibility I have is to present to you
two resolutions that were voted by the Advisory Committee on Com­
munity Child-Welfare Services.
These resolutions you will be interested in, but you are not asked
to take any action on them, because they have already been approved.
The first one reads as follows:
Whereas a State or local public-welfare program is complete only as it makes
provision for a broad program o f service to children; and
Whereas the acceptance of this principle by the various States and by local
units is necessary to full development of such child-welfare services; and
Whereas title V, part 3, of the Social Security Act, providing for child-welfare
services, implies the continuous expansion and strengthening of community
services for children: Therefore be it
Resolved, That the Children’s Bureau, in cooperating with State public-welfare
agencies in establishing, extending, and strengthening, especially in predomi­
nantly rural areas, public-welfare services for the protection and care of home­
less, dependent, and neglected children, and children tending to become delin­
quent, bring to the various States the necessity o f making legal and financial
provision for the whole program of child care and protection, so that its benefits
may reach all rural and urban areas.

The second resolution adopted by the Advisory Committee on Com­
munity Child-Welfare Services o f the Children’s Bureau reads as
follow s:
Whereas a complete program of child welfare has for its most important prin­
ciple the maintenance of the child’s own home whenever possible; and
Whereas the limitations incorporated in title IV of the Social Security Act with
reference to the amount of the Federal contribution and the amount of aid
authorized, for each child have resulted in a less rapid extension of aid to
dependent children than has characterized the program of assistance to the
aged and have further resulted in many children in receipt of aid having
assistance so inadequate in amount as to fail to provide the m in im u m essentials
of life : Therefore be it
Resolved, That the Advisory Committee on Community Child-Welfare Services
request the Children’s Bureau to express to the Social Security Board the com­
mittee’s deep interest in the extension of the program of aid to dependent
children and its opinion that the objectives of the program cannot be fully
attained until the Federal Government contributes on as generous a basis as in
the case of old-age assistance and assistance to the blind, namely, at least
50 percent of the total costs;
The committee believes further that an increase in the Federal Government’s
share in the program should be accompanied by requirements which would tend
to assure the granting of aid in each case sufficient to maintain home life for
children in accordance with minimum standards of health and well-being.
78986* — 38—— 10
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis




That gives me a very satisfactory text for my brief remarks. Our
greatest living philosopher said at one time something that 1 think is
also a text of value which we ought to keep in mind and which is a
second text for me today: “What the wisest and best parent wants for
his own child, that must the community want for all its children.”
That is a quotation from John Dewey.
We have been discussing during these 3 days problems that have
related themselves mainly, in some way or other, to the tragedies of
human life. I am interested not only m the tragedies but also in the
prevention o f tragedies, and therefore I should like during the few
minutes that I have with you to point out that instead of having pre­
vention always being merely the last work o f our speeches, it should,
perhaps, come somewhere along early in the game in our interpretation
to the communities with which we work.
We should aim to have in our community organization provision
for good health protection, for good schools, for good recreational pro­
grams, for good libraries, for artistic surroundings, for music that
is elevating, and dance that is an expression o f the joy of life; proper
housing, proper protection against demoralizing conditions, a press,
motion pictures, and all those things that make for wholesome sur­
roundings and wholesome family life. This cannot be obtained in a
day, in a week, in a year, or perhaps in many years, but I think we
are derelict—you and I are derelict—if we do not somewhere in our
day’s work or our week’s work or our month’s work emphasize that
prevention results from having many wholesome things in our com­
munity life rather than from any little formula that someone may
spring upon the community and for which he takes great credit to
himself and to the agencies. Prevention o f dependency, neglect, and
delinquency is a long road, but it is a road that each one of us and
those who are connected with us must be invited to tra vel.
A ll this is implied in good community organization. There are
a few things, it seems to me, that are inalienable rights that chil­
dren have, and I have just selected a few. They may not be inalien­
able rights at all, but they seem to me to be. First, a good physical
start in life ; second, a home—emphasizing the simple mores o f the
community; third, a protection o f the kinship ties and the right of
a child to know who his kin are; fourth, an opportunity to develop
the intellectual powers with which he has been endowed; fifth, help,
if necessary, to find the niche for a useful place in the world’s
You have heard much about how we ought to deal with dependent,
neglected, and delinquent children, but let us remember that we
must make our contribution too, through community ^organization
toward better things. Yet all the time we are dealing with the
physically handicapped, the mentally handicapped, and the socially
handicapped, let us also constantly preach the doctrine o f prevention
through wholesome community life and community living.
.Now, it is a good deal more important that you should hear from
those who have something to contribute from the field, and then I
hope that Miss Atkinson will give us her words of blessing for
another year.
The first speaker comes from Oregon—Mr. Norris E.^ Class, super­
visor o f child-welfare services o f the State relief committee.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Aspects of State Child-Welfare Services
By N orris E. Class , Supervisor, Child-Welfare Services, Oregon State Relief


Both from the program as it was printed and from Miss Atkin­
son’s letter, I interpreted the topic that I might discuss briefly to be
the operation o f a division o f child-welfare services at the State
level. I believe that such a division can do two or three things at
this particular point of our development.
First, that division can and should furnish consultation in cer­
tain areas o f child-welfare service such as we have been discussing
during these 2 or 3 days, as for example, substitute parental care,
psychiatric problems, and possibly vocational counseling.
I do not believe, along with most of you, that this consultation
is the same as field supervision. It is different in that it lacks the
authoritative basis upon which supervision usually rests,* and it is
different in that it assumes, generally speaking, no responsibility
beyond an educational level.
. .
_ .
Consultation, as I see it, is the imparting o f information. It is
assisting with interpretation, and above everything else it involves
dealing with or handling in a constructive manner this thing which
is eternally present and which, for the lack of a better term, might
be defined as the “ will not to learn,” which seemingly accompanies
every situation in which there is a will to. learn. Unless the con­
sultant has the training and the experience to turn that negative
factor or that resistance which arises into something that is construc­
tive, into a form that may become the basis upon which this newer
knowledge or understanding can be predicated, then the value of
that consultation will last only as long as perhaps the relationship,
the personal relationship, between the consultant and worker lasts
and will have little or no professional significance.
Secondly, I think perhaps the function of a division of childwelfare services can be the assumption of responsibility for the more
formal aspects of community organization and interpretation, in
respect to meeting the needs of dependent children.
Now, in saying this I do not mean to imply that what the local
worker does in the way of informal community organization and
interpretation is any the less valuable, but from my own experience,
at least, I do believe that the work that the local person does is most
effective when it is done on a case basis, that is, when the worker
goes to the county official or specific organization and can challenge
them with a particular situation. Now if you grant that that is the
primary approach in the local unit, I think you also will grant that
in some instances the activity will not be geared in a direction that
will fit the total picture.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



Therefore the broader aspects o f community organization and
interpretation must generate, as I see it,, from a State-wide apprecia­
tion o f all the problems and all the needs. And I might add that
in doing this job o f interpretation the State division can possibly
depersonalize the service, perhaps more than the local worker can,
in order that the community may sense the professional basis upon
which the program must eventually rest.
The community must sense that it is really more than Miss Jones’
or Miss Black’s personality that puts this particular task across, or
i f they do not, they will feel at a loss when Miss Jones or Miss Black
leaves the community. I am quite convinced that only when such
community interpretation is effectively engaged in by the State divi­
sions will social work cease eternally starting from scratch.
The third function is that o f research. Now, in some manner or
other we have got to get away from the conception that everybody
can do social research, that it is sort of God’s universal gift to
mankind. I often wonder how that idea came about, but what causes
me most concern is how we are going to persuade individuals—coax
them, or coerce them, or whatever is necessary—to give up that
Research must be done if these programs are going to meet the
needs of* dependent children completely. Otherwise it will simply
be a matter o f shooting in the dark. We may hit the mark, but we
most likely will not.
For performing social research, skill and technical training are
essential if it is going to be done properly. For that reason I think—
although I may be wrong about it—that it will have to be done, in
the main, by the State division, because the workers in the local
units do not have the training and the experience to do it, and even
granting that they have, the training and the experience, they do not
have the time unless a worker is particularly or specifically appointed
to do that task.
This does not mean that local workers will not manifest an experi­
mental attitude o f mind, that they will not continue to engage in a
trial-and-error process in meeting the needs of dependent individuals
or the requests o f the community, but these things—experimental at­
titude o f mind, trial and error, critical evaluations of what you are
doing—are the attributes o f any professional approach. They consti­
tute a beginning for social research, but they are certainly not the final
These three functions, the rendering of consultation in certain areas
o f service to children, responsibility for the formal aspects o f com­
munity organization, and engaging in social research in relationship
to the needs o f children, I believe might serve at this point o f develop­
ment as primary activities of the division of child-welfare services.
They may not be the only services that a division may render. That
division may have a psychologist and an expert in the field o f nutri­
tion, but I believe that these activities will be temporary in that they
will be eventually taken over by the department o f public welfare
as a whole or may be delegated to some other branch of the public
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



These three functions are things which we can do, and if we ac­
cept the tenets o f several o f our conference speakers that we be realis­
tic, accepting limitations but at the same time striving for a certain
amount o f success, then perhaps we should attempt to do these things
because they are seemingly within the realm o f realization.
The C h a ir m a n . We will now have further discussion of the de­
velopment o f services for rural children by Miss Paula Frank, direc­
tor o f the Bureau o f Child Welfare o f the Louisiana Department of
Public Welfare.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Development of Services for Rural Children
By P attt.a F r a n k , Director, Bureau of Child Welfare, Louisiana Department of
Public Welfare

I feel just a little apologetic about having a topic which it seems to
me has been practically and thoroughly covered by the speakers who
preceded me.
It has seemed to us out o f our experience that the basic essential
in educating a community is interpretation on a case basis. In our
communities a formalistic approach concerning structure or philoso­
phy would be utterly futile, and we have not attempted it since we
have felt that our differences of terminology might in themselves act
as barriers, and that the very words we used might block understand­
ing and raise questions in the minds of those that we wished to serve.
And so we started out by placing a worker in a community and prac­
tically letting nature take its course. We were perhaps fortunate in
having the right kind o f cases so that certain dynamics occurred in
the relationship of worker to the case, which in itself gave more mo­
mentum to the program than we could give it.
A t that point I think a definite responsibility was placed upon the
State office. You cannot continue to let nature take its course or I
suppose it would run away just as floods and winds do; and so it was
up to us to think as skillfully and objectively and with just as much
analysis as was possible with our limited understanding, and to come
to some kind of evaluation o f what was happening, why it was hap­
pening, what we wanted from it, where it should logically and nat­
urally go, and where it would go in spite of us.
We have tried the old method o f arriving at conclusions without
calling it social research. Through our supervision we have our finger
on the pulse o f the community. We lmow this is limited and does not
completely meet the needs, but it does serve two purposes, one o f chan­
neling to our workers a certain security and a certain content which
we think is one of our objectives in the State program, and then re­
laying back to us in the State office the actual work in the community
which shows us whether our activities are in keeping with the needs
in the community.
The other approach is not so well developed. It attempts to make
our workers themselves responsible, willingly and actively responsible,
for an evaluation o f their own processes in the community, taking into
consideration their relationships to the people, their oneness with the
people and yet their differences; enough differences to be able to see
what they are to see in their jobs, enough similarity and oneness to
feel with the people in the community rather than to feel something
about them. From that kind o f objective, if we can attain it, per­
haps there may come subjective valuations, and I think a certain
amount o f subjectiveness is wholesome in that relationship. We may
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



have an idea o f our own workers’ needs, but we have not yet developed
the technique in the State office to meet all those needs adequately; but
we are beginning to be conscious of them and from that point we feel
that we can go on toward some definite goal.
The other condition which I think the workers have come to realize
is that they have a responsibility for certain programs in the com­
munity which must remain the community’s, and that they merely act
as the dynamics for leadership. They set in motion the things the
community has been wanting to do but did not know how to accom­
plish because it never before had proper machinery available, and
stimulate the use of latent resources which the community actually has
for caring for its problems within its own area. When you work in
a very rural area, as we do, you must face the fact that you are not
going to have very high-powered scientific resources. I f we did have
them, it would be only in spots here and there beyond our reach, be­
cause of the lack of transportation facilities and because o f their
In assuming that responsibility the workers have perhaps done
more for the community to make it self-conscious, not about its
problems and unhappy about them, but about what it can do that it
has been wanting so long to do but has never had any opportunity
to do. In the whole experience o f the relief program a certain de­
featist attitude seems to have arisen in many communities. I f you
could not solve the problem with money, then you could not do any­
thing about it and you were very unhappy about it. I do not believe
we have called attention to anything unknown, but I think we have
made communities feel that something can be done about the things
that they wish they might have struggled with earlier. In that sense
it has been a question of giving leadership and devotion to what was
already there, and eagerness to get started on developing something
that was perhaps started long ago.but was held back because of lack
o f leadership.
The other thing I think the workers have taken responsibility for
out o f our supervision or attempt at supervision from the State office
has been developing within themselves a responsibility for their own
professional growth. This probably sounds very fantastic to you
when you realize they are in rural areas. Because we are so remote
from the workers we had to resort to whatever devices we could that
would sustain their relationship to professional life without making
it artificial. In some instances this has tended to produce an arti­
ficial area for them. We have tried to make it something very real
and very vital which made them happy to go on in spite o f the disap­
pointing and despairing phases of their jobs.
The rural child-welfare workers are sometimes hundreds o f miles
from anyone who speaks their kind of language, and it has been a
real strain to develop a relationship to the community and yet sustain
their relationship to the professional aspect of the job in the State
We have done a very limited job in consultant service, because we
have no specialists and we haven’t enough people to go around. In
thinking of the social-research aspect of the job, it has not been an
accumulation of material in the State office. It has been rather a
living content which has had a constant flow back and forth from
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



the community to the State office, with an interchange o f ideas, re­
valuation o f the topic as it came up some months ago and as it is
today, without thinking of it in terms of statistics, so much money,
so many cases o f this kind, so many problems here, and so many re­
ferrals there. It is what has been the content of thinking in that
community, how it has expressed itself, and where we want to go
from that point.
Mr. C arstens . Something that Miss Frank said reminds me to say
just this one word. In rural organizations I think personal develop­
ment comes harder than it does in city service. It is what you have
made o f yourself that is the bridge over which you are going to walk
into the lives o f people,, particularly in rural service. Our next con­
tributor to this discussion is Miss Anna Sundwall, chief o f the Divi­
sion o f Child-Welfare Services, Utah State Department o f Public
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Supervisory Functions of the State Child-Welfare
By A n n a S u n d w a ix , Chief, Division of Child-Welfare Services,
Utah State Department of Public Welfare

I t is very helpful, I think, to be preceded by two speakers who are
in such conformity with my thinking, because it relieves me o f a
certain amount o f responsibility. I can say they have covered my
points and let it go at that. I thought, when Mr. C t o was talkin^
“He forgot supervision of the case worker; I will make a. p°
that ” A h in k I had better summarize what they said and not be calle
a contributor, because they certainly have made the contribution.
I do think it is necessary in developing services for rural ch
dren for the State to provide an adequate system ofsupervision.
Miss Lenroot, in our opening speech, set the plan for developi g
fdequa?e system of supervision. It must be on a case-work approach
to the needs o f the local communities.
By supervision I mean seeing the job is done m an effective mamier.
We must see that the objectives of the plan we develop with the
Children’s Bureau are realized, and I think that that is the job of the
State child-welfare division. We must make some pattern or gi
some direction to the local program, but we must not permit the loca
nroffram to be rigid or to conform too closely to a set pattern.
P ifh in k the functions of supervision have been well covered. There
is first the responsibility in the State division of helping the local
o-roup that is interested in developing child-welfare services to have
a workable system. We cannot do a good 3ob for children unless the
mechanics the system o f the set-up, is sound. Therefore, our em­
phasis o n ’this phase of the program has been necessary to do good
^The^State division must also do something about financial super­
vision We need to raise funds to support child-welfare services. It
is true that the money we receive from the Children s Bureau is a
ffreat help, but as we move forward with our objectives we find in­
creasing need for more funds. The State division can help the local
worker! by seeing that their program is supported. In addition to
raising funds we have the responsibility o f accounting for expendi­
t u r e s ^ we interpret our program we must account for the money
WM r eClass expressed the importance of supervising statistical and
reporting procedures. I agree with him that that is an essential func­
tion o f the State child-welfare division. We must collect information
about our program. We must be able to tell people what we are domg
not only by use o f a case-by-case method, but on a scientific basis as
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



The fourth function is the supervision o f case-work service, which
has been discussed by Miss Frank. It is very important that we
help the local workers on methods and techniques o f case work.
In our meeting this morning we indicated our need for some assist­
ance: “ How to write records,” “how to write letters,” “ how to con­
serve the worker’s time,” “ how to make her work more effective,”
“ should she devote her time to community organization or should
she limit it to service to children ?” We must see that the work done
with individual cases is of a standard which is acceptable to the
State division and that there is some uniformity throughout the
State in standards o f care and service.
In the children’s field we have established standards o f care and
service for private child-caring agencies. However, we are not
quite so definite in what we expect to do for children in rural areas.
Miss Hoey said the other day that we have no very satisfactory
measuring stick o f service. We should know each worker well, what
she is doing, and what is happening to children. The State division
certainly does have the responsibility o f settipg minimum standards
o f care and service.
In the realm o f case-work supervision lies the function o f pro­
viding consultation services. To me that is just one small phase
o f supervision. There are the special problems, the special cases
which the child-welfare workers are encountering with which they
need some help. They need the wisdom o f someone who has worked
longer and who knows more about a particular problem. I think the
medical profession points the way in this matter: I f a general prac­
titioner has a puzzling case, something he is not equipped to deal
with, he calls for the advice o f a specialist. The State division
must make available to the local workers these specialists. The
methods o f providing this service vary, o f course, from State to
State. The local needs determine what specialists are needed. I
think there is need for case-work consultants, but there is also need
for consultants in the realm o f health, in the realm of speech
pathology, and in the realm o f nutrition—I could go on and on into
the many very specialized problems that the workers have found
and for which they have had to turn to the State for help.
In the supervision o f the case-work service lies the responsibility
o f training and personnel development, which function has been
mentioned. I have been very much interested in seeing what some
workers in the Western States have done without close supervision.
I think we have freed them from some o f the limitations o f a super­
visor. They have had to do their own thinking. They have had
to use their own initiative in developing the program. I do not
know, but I think we are fortunate in having geographical factors
which prevent close supervision, this close relationship between
worker and supervisor, because some o f the persons have grown
tremendously on their job. From their growing we know something
is happening to cases, as Dr. Plant said the other night. I think
perhaps there will be some modification in our thinking about prin­
ciples o f supervision after a few years’ demonstration of what a
worker can do in an isolated rural community.
The last function which is very important in the State division
is coordinating the many activities relating to children. Just the
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



public programs alone are pretty overwhelming. Within the
crippled children’s program, maternal and child health, our workers
are constantly inquiring, “Do I do this?” , “Do I do that?’\ “ Is
that the nurse’s function?” We must work with them in clarifying
our own responsibility. There is also the whole realm o f the private
agency, which requires cooperative activity on the part o f the divi­
sion o f child-welfare services. The State division as well as the
local unit should participate in this interchange o f information by
getting to know what the other programs are all about, by defining
responsibilities, by defining relationships, by seeing the program for
children on a State-wide basis. I think that is the only manner
by which we can fit in and decide what our program o f child-welfare
services should be. Where we are needed can be determined not by
taking over a function that belongs to the schools or juvenile court,
not by telling them what is wrong with their programs, but only
by knowing these groups and working with them. I think we have
pointed out the defects in all the other child-caring systems pretty
well. We need to recognize the strengths o f those programs and
coordinate them so that the needs o f children can be realized and
new services for children can be devloped.
Mr. C ar sten s . We are very glad to have Miss Grace Reeder to
speak to us. Miss Reeder is director of the Bureau of Child Welfare
o f the New York State Department o f Social W elfare..
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Relating the Special Child-Welfare Services to the
Regular State Child-Welfare Program
By G race A. R eeder, Director, Bureau of Child Welfare, New York State
Department of Social Welfare

After three able discussants^ you see the only thing left for the
fourth discussant is to take issue with something that has been
said, and I cannot help commenting on what the last speaker said.
I am perfectly willing to let a worker go without supervision if she
has a pretty good start in the first place, but in New York State we
have seen the results o f some o f these untrained workers in counties
where they have had no supervision and no training to start with,
and they were very near disastrous.
New York State is one o f the old States in child welfare, as in a
good, many other things, and we have had for a good many years a
provision in our State constitution requiring that all charitable and
eleemosynary institutions and agencies must be conducted pursuant
fhe rules o f the State Board o f Social Welfare to receive any
public funds; and as our whole child-welfare system in New York
State is pretty much built on the per capita payments for children
to private agencies you can see that that is an important weapon.
Besides that we have a legal provision that the State Department
° f Social Welfare has the right to inspect all places that care for
children. That resulted early in an active division o f child welfare
within the State department, and last year when we combined the
work o f the State Department o f Social Welfare with the Temporary
Emergency Relief Administration, and had such a large volume of
work to do with public assistance and child welfare, we decided to
district the State, divide it into seven areas—New York City as one
and six other areas—and distribute all o f our work, and have the
workers in child welfare as well as other fields in those area offices.
We felt that would help in supervising the work in local districts.
We were fortunate in the early days o f the 1900’s, thanks to Miss
Curry and the State Charities Aid, in the development in New York
State o f county units, county agencies for dependent children. They
were developed first by the State Charities Aid, and many counties
followed suit. You know the kind o f public official who says that
no private agency is going to tell him how to do his job and who
at the same time is glad to imitate the kind o f child-welfare agency
that was set up in other counties that were willing to take the help
o f the State Charities Aid. By the time we were ready for the
special child-welfare services under the Social Security Act all but
four counties had children’s workers.
I can hear you saying that this is a very rosy picture, but my
answer is that you should see some o f the children’s workers. Be­
cause you happen to have children’s workers in a rural county you
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



may not be particularly fortunate, as we found out. There were
some o f these that had been without supervision. It was not only
that; they had not had training to start with.
As we talked over the program with the Children’s Bureau we
realized that the thing New York State needed more than anything
else was improvement in the quality o f children’s work, not m the
quantity, and so we decided to work on that basis. We put a trainmg unit in our child-welfare services. The problem now was to plan
a training program and a supervision program that would work
together and that would take into account the needs o f an individual
county, the way you would the needs o f an individual child. We
made surveys o f every county in the State.
Then we reviewed the county situation and the quality or tne work
in each county with the area office in which the county was situated,
which was responsible for the supervision o f that county. We had
a case committee that decided what the county needed -whether it
needed a special training program (and when I say training I mean
case-work training on the job ), whether the county worker needed
some very close supervision from the central office, or just what tne
C°-Jyey decided that one county needed to have the child-welfare
worker go to the New York School of Social Work, and we have
been able to put in a substitute worker in that county. In the mean­
time this county decided that it did not want to give the substitute
worker up when its regular worker came back, so an extra worker was
put in the budget. We have tried to look at each county, all the coun­
ties, as we would a case load, and each county individually as we would
an individual child, and it seems to me that in a State like New York
we need to see that there are not any forgotten counties, that we
have each one definitely in our mind as a county that we are going
to try to work with to improve the quality o f work.
To help us in improving quality, besides the child-welfare-services
program, we had a law passed last year which ^provided that the
State would reimburse the counties for the salaries of local person­
nel doing work with the county commissioner o f public welfare to
the extent o f 40 percent, provided the workers had the qualifications
set up by the State Department o f Social Welfare. I can hear you
saying, “ Well, now that looks pretty good too,” but that is not quite
as good as it sounds, because we have a good many civil-service
counties in the State, where the child-welfare workers have civilservice status; also we have counties where the workers have been tor
a good many years and the counties are satisfied with them. They
think the workers are very good. We cannot walk mto a county like
that and say that the work is no good and we will not reimburse the
community for her salary.
In some o f those communities we have said, W e will reimburse
for that salary if the person will take training from our childwelfare-services unit.” When the instructor first went mto some
of the counties the local worker seemed^ to feel that this was ]ust
a bitter pill she was having to swallow in order to have her salary
reimbursed by the State, but it has worked out well in several
counties. We did set the date o f November 1, after which time the
standards we set up were going to be required for reimbursement.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



feeling that unless in this program we integrate spe­
cial child-welfare-services work very closely with the “ rgular” work
o± the State department, we are not going to have permanent results
rom it. ^We want to integrate it so that if the Federal Government
stopsgivmg us funds New York State will not know where the State
department begins and the work with Federal funds leaves off. The
State legislators will feel that it is all part o f the same thing, and
tliey will feel they have to go on with it because it is their program.
I was a little bit envious yesterday when I talked with one o f the
State representatives who said her State was just starting its childweltare work on a county basis, because I thought, “ Oh, well, she has
not any o f these old workers to worry about and inherit, and she has
not any o f this feeling that we must have a worker from the county
one with county residence.” Incidentally, may I say that some of our
counties have been very well brought up by Miss Curry, and they do
not^ feel that they have to have someone who has a residence right in
their county, but we still have some of that to overcome. I was feelmg envious o f this State, and then I began to think that we have some
counties that have an awfully good record of work, and we have our
work cut out for us to bring our other counties up to that standard.
So I feel that Dr. Plant’s story the other night seems to fit in here
that we are all going to have different hats on in this child-welfareservices business. There are going to be special decorations on them
in the different States, but they are all going to be built on the
same pattern o f interest and concern for the child and his family.
Mr. C arstens . And now there remains only this blessing, and I am
very glad to turn the meeting back to Miss Atkinson.
Miss A t k in s o n . I should like to say just a word about Utah before
I say my last word. I should not want anyone to get the wrong im­
pression about the kind o f job Miss Sundwall is doing out in Utah.
I think wh.6n shs t&lks «ifooiit th.6 development o f workers h&ving been
stimulated by lack of supervision she is talking about that very con­
structive process which someone has referred to as supervised neglect.
I think one o f the results of this conference o f the people from all
over the country who are carrying on this program, and our reason
for planning such a meeting, is expressed in the following paragraph
from the address which President Koosevelt gave last fall when lie
visited Bonneville Dam.
He said. The responsibility o f the Federal Government for the
welfare o f its citizens will not come from the top in the form of un­
planned, hit-or-miss appropriations o f money, but will progress to the
National Capital from the ground up, from the communities and
counties and States which lie within each o f the logical geographical


This conference probably should not be adjourned without a word
o f warning There is not any question but that for 3 days we have
all been thmkmg very well o f ourselves. In view o f the struggles and
difficulties that most o f us have gone through in order to get this
program going, it is fitting that we have waxed somewhat expansive
dunng the meetings. But I think it would be very unfortunate if we
left Washington in such a glow that we went back to our respective
communities and acted a little bit superior. We should recognize
that some o f the dangers in the program and some o f the things that
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



we have to learn are analogous to some o f the dangers in adolescence
and the things we have to learn as we grow up. Child-welfare serv­
ices are in the process of growing up. Some o f us who have been in
the field much longer than many of you perhaps realize more clearly
just what that means and what is involved. We realize also that we
have been in a very advantageous position in the administration of
title Y, part 3, o f the Social Security Act.
. .
Ordinarily we do not think o f a limited amount of money as giving
persons or groups a superior advantage, but I think in this program
we have been fortunate thus far in the small amount o f money that
we have had. Because the sums available have been so insignificant
we have escaped some of the pressures that go hand in hand with
large appropriations for public work, and we have been able to do
some things that might have been impossible if we had had more
money with which to initiate child-welfare services.
The fact that we have been in an advantageous position places upon
us a very great obligation. We know that we cannot go forward with
any kind o f public-welfare program except as we go forward together.
It may be that we are, once more, acting on the theory that the
world moves forward on the feet of little children-—and that we are
trying to push forward the whole program of public welfare through
services to children. Be that as it may, it is important as we go
home to remember our obligation to the whole welfare program and
to see it not from the standpoint of one little segment but from the
standpoint o f the entire circle which encompasses all types of public
service to citizens in need and distress.
We started this conference on Monday morning with the statement
that we were going to limit the discussions, insofar as we could, to a
consideration o f the content o f child-welfare services. We know that
we can have no content without mechanism, and in these past 2 years
the spotlight has necessarily been on legislation and administrative
procedures. We hoped that we now had the kind of mechanism
through which services to children would flow and that we could
begin to think more in terms of what the program means in terms of
the treatment o f individual children and families. It seems to me
that these 3 days have indicated interest in content and progress in
getting beyond the initial emphasis upon administration.
I know of nothing more appropriate for the last word o f this con­
ference than a paragraph from a recent issue o f the Birmingham
“ The whole truth is simple and plain, it seems to us. It is that we
all, all the children of the earth, are lost together for the time being,
but still searching, and that if we find a good and secure way of life,
we will find it together.”
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

List of Representatives of State Welfare Departments
Attending the Conference
Adie, David C., commissioner, New York State Department of Social Welfare.
Affleck, Mrs. Doris M., case supervisor, Delaware State Board of Charities.
Allen, Theodora, director, Children’s Bureau, Public Welfare Board of North
Alloway, Joseph E., executive director, Board of Children’s Guardians, New
Jersey Department o f Institutions and Agencies.
Alper, Minnie, supervisor o f child-welfare services, Division of Child Welfare,
State Social Security Commission of Missouri.
Arnold, Mildred, director, Children’s Division, Indiana State Department of
Public Welfare.
Auer, Katharine, case worker, Michigan Children’s Institute, State Welfare
Baker, Mrs. Mary, assistant commissioner, Mississippi State Department of
Public Welfare.
Bartlett, Ruth M., supervisor o f child-welfare services, Division of Child Welfare,
Illinois Department of Public Welfare.
Baughman, Wilhelmina, supervisor of local child-welfare services, Virginia
Department of Public Welfare.
Becker, Harry, director, Child Welfare Division, Nebraska Department of Assist­
ance and Child Welfare.
Berry, Mrs. Laura, county supervisor, Division of Child Welfare, Kentucky
Department of Welfare.
Billopp, Katharine R., case supervisor, Division Child Welfare. Board of Public
Welfare, District of Columbia.
Boan, Fern, director o f training, child-welfare services, Oklahoma Department
of Public Welfare.
Bonham, Martha A., director, Child Welfare Division, South Carolina State
Department of Public Welfare.
Bost, Mrs. W. T „ commissioner, North Carolina State Board of Charities and
Public Welfare.
Bosworth, Mrs. Abigail, case worker, Michigan Children’s Institute, State Welfare
Bowen, Ruth, deputy director, Michigan State Welfare Department.
Bridge, Mrs. Ann Botsford, social-work consultant, child welfare, Social Work
Department, Maryland Board of State Aid and Charities.
Buckley, Mrs. Mary, supervisor of child-welfare services, Bureau of Child
Welfare, Connecticut State Public Welfare Council.
Butterfield, Dr. D. L., chief, Children’s Bureau, West Virginia State Department
of Public Assistance.
Carey, Cecilia, director, child-welfare services, Nevada State Welfare De­
Carr, Louise K., technical consultant, child-welfare services, Department of Child
Welfare, Florida State Welfare Board.
Chambers, Flonnia, district consultant, Division of Child Welfare, Kentucky
Department of Welfare.
Class, Norris E., supervisor, child-welfare services, State Relief Committee of
Chappell, Loretto, supervisor, child-welfare services, Division of Child Welfare,
Georgia -State Department of Public Welfare.
Closson, Eleanor, case supervisor, Division of Child Welfare, Board of Public
Welfare, District of Columbia.
Coates, Elizabeth, welfare-training assistant, child-welfare services, Bureau of
Child Welfare, New York State Department o f Social Welfare.
Cook, Gladys, case worker, Michigan Children’s Institute, State Welfare De­

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



Cooper, Elizabeth, supervisor of child-welfare services, Michigan Children’s
Institute, State Welfare Department.
Coon, Helen F., social-service worker, Child Welfare Demonstration Unit, Board
of Public Welfare, District of Columbia.
Cotton, Mrs. Dorothy W., case supervisor, Division of Child Welfare, Board of
Public Welfare, District of Columbia.
Cuddy, Louise, child-welfare supervisor, Idaho Department of Public Assistance.
Dale, Timothy C., commissioner, Vermont Department of Public Welfare.
Deets, Mrs. Ruth, director, Division of Child Welfare, South Dakota Department
of Social Security.
Denton, Virginia, assistant director for child-welfare services, Division of Child
Welfare, North Carolina State Board o f Charities and Public Welfare.
Dester, Laura, supervisor of child-welfare services, Oklahoma Department of
Public Welfare.
Dew, Mrs. Eleanor A. R., consultant, Child Welfare Division, South Carolina
State Department of Public Welfare.
Donahue, A. Madorah, director, Child Welfare Demonstration Unit, Board of
Public Welfare, District of Columbia.
Drayer, Dr. C. S., director and psychiatrist, Tri-County Child Guidance Center,
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Dudley, Virginia, social worker, Demonstration Area, Bridgton, Maine.
Dunn, Loula, commissioner, Alabama Department of Public Welfare.
Ehman, Evelyn, psychologist, Division of Child Welfare, Illinois Department
of Public Welfare.
Faatz, Anita J., director, Social Work Department, Maryland Board of State Aid
and Charities.
FitzSimons, Ruth, assistant director, Washington Department of Social Security.
Fortune, Gertrude, superintendent, Bureau of Charities, Division of Public
Assistance, Ohio Department of Public Welfare.
Foss, Lillian F., supervisor of child-welfare district service, Massachusetts
Department of Public Welfare.
Frank, Paula, director, Bureau of Child Welfare, Louisiana Department of Public
Garnett, A. W., director, West Virginia State Department of Public Assistance.
Golway, Everett A., social-service worker, Child Welfare Demonstration Unit,
Board of Public Welfare, District of Columbia.
Gordon, Mildred, case supervisor, Division of Social Security, Rhode Island State
Department of Public Welfare.
Goudy, Elmer R., administrator, State Relief Committee of Oregon.
Greenhill, Mrs. Violet S., chief, Division of Child Welfare, Texas State Board
o f Control.
Gresham, Mrs. Judith Hall, director, Bureau of Child Welfare, Alabama Depart­
ment of Public Welfare.
Griffin, Louise, supervisor of child-welfare services, Children’s Division, Indiana
State Department of Public Welfare.
Gullixson, Elvira, case consultant, Children’s Bureau, Minnesota State Board of
Haines, Alice R., supervisor o f child-welfare services, Department o f Child
Welfare, Florida State Welfare Board.
Hankins, Mildred, district supervisor, Bureau o f Social Welfare, Maine Depart­
ment of Health and Welfare.
Haynie, Gussie, commissioner, Arkansas Department o f Public Welfare.
Hewins, Katherine P., director o f case-work services, Vermont State Department
of Public Welfare.
Houghton, Grace M., supervisor o f field service, Bureau of Child Welfare, Con­
necticut State Public Welfare Council.
Hubbell, Helen C., supervisor of rural extension unit, Division of Community
Work, Pennsylvania Department of Welfare.
James, Arthur W., commissioner, Virginia Department o f Public Welfare.
Johnson, Jean, supervisor o f child-welfare services, Children’s Bureau, Minne­
sota State Board of Control.
Johnson, Milton G., child-welfare consultant, Division of Child Welfare, Social
Security Commission of Missouri.
Kelly, Rose Marie, supervisor of special demonstration units, Child Welfare
Division, South Carolina State Department of Public Welfare.
78986°—38----- 11
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



Leeper, Charlotte, case-work supervisor, Division of Welfare, New Hampshire
State Board of Welfare and Relief.
Lockard, Winifred, county children’s worker, Burnett County, Wisconsin.
MacDonald, Norman W., director, Bureau of Social Welfare, Maine Department
of Health and Welfare.
Marks, Mrs. Mabel B., director, Division of Child Welfare, Kentucky Department
of Welfare.
McGonagle, Mrs. Ellen, district supervisor, child-welfare services, Children’s
Bureau, Virginia Department o f Public Welfare.
Mitchell, Lily É., director, Division of Child Welfare, North Carolina State Board
of Charities and Public Welfare.
Muhlbach, Lillian, acting supervisor, Division of Child Welfare, Children’s
Bureau, West Virginia State Department of Public Assistance.
Muller, Beth, director of child welfare, Arkansas Department of Public Welfare.
Nygard, J. Wallace, acting director, Division of Institutions, North Carolina
State Board of Charities and Public Welfare.
O’Kelly, Mrs. Phyllis, child-welfare assistant, Anson County, North Carolina.
Page, Harry O., director, Division o f Welfare, New Hampshire State Board of
Welfare and Relief.
Parrott, Lena, consultant, child-welfare services, Bureau of Social Welfare,
Maine Department o f Health and Welfare.
Perkins, Juanita V., supervisor of child-welfare unit and training center, Jeffer­
son County, Colorado.
Pyles, Mary Lois, director, Division o f Child Welfare, State Social Security
Commission of Missouri.
Ramsay, C. F., superintendent, Michigan Children’s Institute, State Welfare
Rankin, Mrs. Norma, director of child-welfare services, Division of Child Wel­
fare, Texas State Board of Control.
Reeder, Grace A., director, Bureau of Child Welfare, New York State Depart­
ment of Social Welfare.
Reinhold, Rosemary, chief, Division o f Community Work, Pennsylvania Depart­
ment of Welfare.
Richardson, Helen, supervisor o f child-welfare services, Bureau of Charities,
Division of Public Assistance, Ohio Department of Public Welfare.
Roberts, Mrs. Mary Edwards, director, Child Welfare Division, Tennessee
Department of Institutions and Public Welfare.
Smith, Marie C., director, Child Welfáre Division, Colorado Department of
Public Welfare.
Smith, Robert J., deputy commissioner of welfare, Connecticut.
Smith, Vallie, supervisor of child-welfare services, Child Welfare Division,
Tennessee Department of Institutions and Public Welfare.
Stalnaker, Mrs. Frances F., child-welfare consultant, Division of Child Welfare,
Children’s Bureau, West Virginia State Department of Public Assistance.
Steele, Frances, director, Division of Child Welfare, Georgia State Department
of Public Welfare.
Stephens, Anne, supervisor, Division o f Relief, New Hampshire State Board of
Welfare and Relief.
Stoddard, Effie, homeflnder, Crippled Children’s Division, South Carolina State
Department of Public Welfare.
Stokes, Lavinia, consultant, Child Welfare Division, South Carolina State
Department of Public Welfare.
Street, Elwood, director, Board of Public Welfare, District of Columbia.
Sundwall, Anna, chief, Division o f Child Welfare, Utah State Department of
Public Welfare.
Swift, Mrs. Helen C., supervisor, Division for Children, Washington Department
of Social Security.
Sycle, Margaret, field worker, Children’s Bureau, Virginia Department of Public
Taft, Laura L., director o f child-welfare services, Division of Child Welfare,
Iowa State Board of Social Welfare.
Thompson, Mrs. Elizabeth, supervisor of aid to dependent children, Tennessee
Department of Institutions and Public Welfare.
Thornhill, Dora Page, child-welfare consultant, Division of Child Welfare,
Children’s Bureau, West Virginia State Department of Public Assistance.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis





Trout, Bessie, welfare-training assistant, Child Welfare Services, Bureau of
Child Welfare, New York State Department of Social Welfare.
Tryon, Anne, Children’s Bureau, West Virginia State Department of Public
. Assistance.
Tynes, Harriet L., director of child-welfare services, Children’s Bureau, Virginia
Department of Public Welfare.
Underhill, Bertha S., child-welfare agent, Division of Child Welfare, California
Department of Social Welfare.
Walcott, F. C., commissioner of welfare, Connecticut.
Walton, Frank T., superintendent, Division of Child Welfare, Iowa State Board
of Social Welfare.
Webb, Frank, secretary, Public Welfare Board o f North Dakota.
Webster, Josephine, director of child-welfare services, Bureau o f Child Welfare,
New York State Department of Social Welfare.
Willson, E. A., executive director, Public Welfare Board of North Dakota.
Withers, Elizabeth, consultant, Child Welfare Division, South Carolina State
Department of Public Welfare.
Wretling, Alma, secretary, Division of Child Welfare, Montana Department of
Public Welfare.
Yerxa, Elizabeth, director, Juvenile Department, Wisconsin State Board of
Zane, C. Rollin, executive director, Delaware State Board o f Charities.
Zewadski, Mrs. Irene Dayton, director, Department o f Child Welfare, Florida
State Welfare Board.

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis