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F r a n c e s P e r k i n s , Secretary



K a t h a r i n e F. L e n r o o t , Chief


Standards of
Child Health, Education,
and Social Welfare
B ased on Recom mendations o f the
W hite House Conference on Children in a D em ocracy
and Conclusions of Discussion Groups

Bureau Publication No. 287


-^ < L

College Station, Tens
United States
Government Printing Office
Washington : 1942

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

Price 10 cents
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Letter o f transmittal__________________________
Foreword____________ j ___


Safeguards o f family life____________________
Health and medical care for children____________
Basic premises______________________
Maternal care and care o f newborn infants_____
Care o f infants and children____________________




Care of sick and physically handicapped children_____________ ___
Maternity, infant, and preschool-child services________ _
School health program_____________________
Health o f youth at work_________________
Mental health______________________




Local, State, and Federal responsibility_____ ______ ____ __
Educational services in the community________ _____ __
Education through the schools____ _______________ _
Leisure-time services_________________________ _____




Library service for children and youth___________________ _
Child labor and youth employment____________________
Protective measures_______________________
Vocational preparation, guidance, placement, and work experience
Social services for ch ildren .._____________ ________





Essentials of a community child-welfare program____
Foster-care services___________________________
•The juvenile court____________________________



Prevention and treatment o f juvenile delinquency___________ _ _ _ _
Provision for physically handicapped children_______ ____________
State and community provision for mentally deficient children .______________
State leadership and aid in developing local services ___
Economic aid to families___________________
Public administration and financing__ 4______________
_ _____


Publications o f the White House Conference on Children in a Democracy issued by
the Children’ s Bureau____________j ______________


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis




Letter of Transmittal
U nited States D epartment of Labor,
Children’ s Bureau ,

Washington, September 14, 1942.
M adam : I transmit herewith Publication No. 287, entitled “ Standards

of Child Health, Education, and Social Welfare.” This publication is of
especial importance as a guide to States and localities and to agencies
under private auspices in the development of the services required for
meeting the special wartime needs of children.
Respectfully submitted.
K atharine F. L enroot, Chief.
Hon. Frances Perkins,
Secretary of Labor.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

After the 1919 Conference on Standards of Child Welfare, held under
the auspices of the United States Children’s Bureau and usually referred
to as the second White House Conference, the standards adopted by the
Conference were given wide distribution and the demand for the publica­
tion has continued until the present time. The 1940 Conference on
Children in a Democracy adopted a General Report with recommenda­
tions covering a broad range of subjects. The summary of standards of
child health, education, and social welfare presented herewith is based
chiefly upon this General Report, adopted January 19, 1940, and the
conclusions of discussion groups which were submitted to the Conference.1
From these sources the standards were compiled by Emma O. Lundberg, with the collaboration of other members of the Children’ s Bureau
During the period which has elapsed since the Conference on Children
in a Democracy, committees have been organized in 26 States to follow up
the recommendations of the Conference, and many national organizations
concerned with the welfare of children have utilized the Conference
reports in planning their State-wide and local programs. The wartime
emergency has given added impetus to State and local planning for
protection of children. Although the need for special measures has be­
come more acute and urgent because of wartime conditions, the stand­
ards required for safeguarding the health, education, and social welfare
of children are essentially the same as those set forth by the White House
Conference under its slogan, “ Our Concern— Every Child.”
The Children’s Bureau Commission on Children in Wartime, organized
in March 1942, adopted “ A Children’s Charter in Wartime,” which be­
gins with this statement: “ We are in total war against the aggressor na­
tions. We are fighting again for human freedom and especially for the
future of our children in a free world. Children must be safeguarded—
and they can be safeguarded— in the midst of this total war so that they
can live and share in that future. They must be nourished, sheltered,
and protected even in the stress of war production so that they will be
strong to carry forward a just and lasting peace.” 2
1 Children in a Democracy— General Report Adopted by the White House Conference on
Children in a Democracy; and Preliminary Statements Submitted to the White House
Conference on Children in a Democracy. A list of White House Conference publications
*s given on page 21.
2 A Children’ s Charter in Wartime. Children in Wartime No. 2. Children’ s Bureau
Publication No. 283. Washington, 1942.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



The “ Program of State Action” 3 for our children in wartime, formu­
lated on the basis of the Charter and adopted by the Commission, out­
lines a plan of action by State and local organizations for meeting the
needs of children whose welfare is threatened by war conditions. Re­
sponsibility for planning, coordination, and leadership, and for reviewing
the wartime needs of children and existing resources for meeting them, is
placed on State and local groups representative of health, education, and
social-welfare interests.
The standards outlined herein are intended to serve as guides for State
and community planning and review. Their use should help to clarify the
objectives of State and local groups interested in children for both war
and post-war periods, and should be of special value in relation to post­
war planning for the needs of children.
A Program of State Action Adopted August 28, 1942, by the Children’ s Bureau Com­
mission on Children in Wartime in Consultation with the Office of Defense Health and
Welfare Services and the Office of Civilian Defense. Children’ s Bureau, Washington, 1942.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Standards o f Child Health, Education, and
Social W elfare
Safeguards of Family Life
The vast majority of children are members of families
Home and family are the first condition of life for the child. They
are first in importance for his growth, development, and education.
The child has food and shelter if his family has a home and provides
He is content and happy if he is. well, if he has parents and others to
love and be loved by.
Education begins in the home, where he learns to speak, to walk, to
handle things, to play, to demand, to give, to experiment.
Religious faith is imparted in the family long before he goes to church.
Adventure and safety^ contentment and rebellion, cooperation, sharing,
self-reliance, and mutual aid are family experiences (General Report
p. 10).
1. It is essential to democracy that self-respect and self-reliance as
well as respect for others and a cooperative attitude, be fostered. These
characteristics may be best acquired in childhood if the relationship
among members of the family is of a democratic quality.
2. A necessary condition of the family’ s capacity to serve the child is
an income sufficient to provide the essentials of food, clothing, shelter
and health, as well as a home life that means for the child education
happiness, and character building.
3. Parents, teachers, and others responsible for guiding children should
be ever alert to the importance to the child of facing specific life situations.
Such situations may provide the occasions for vital and creative religion
to function. Adult leaders of children should be persons of the utmost
personal integrity and of the highest ideals who have themselves a vivid
appreciation of spiritual values.
4. Religious and cultural agencies have a responsibility to promote the
development of those qualities in family life and individual character
which are the foundation of democracy.
5. Practical steps should be taken to make more available to children
and youth through education the resources of religion as an important
factor in the democratic way of life and in the development of personal
and social integrity.
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6. Protection of the physical and mental health of all the members
of the family is a primary requisite for the conservation of the home.
Health education and health supervision for the prevention of illness,
control of communicable diseases, enforcement of sanitary laws and
regulations, provision for diagnosis and treatment of physical and mental
disorders, and prevention of accidents are public-health measures of the
greatest importance.
7. Educational and recreational opportunities should be available to
adults as well as to children of all ages.
8. Training in the responsibilities of parenthood, homemaking, and
child care should be accessible to parents of all economic groups, in all
types of communities.
9. The safety of our democratic institutions requires that as many
families as possible be enabled to earn a decent income on a normal
self-supporting basis.
10. When abnormal economic conditions result in unemployment, or
when death of the breadwinner, illness, or other incapacity reduces the
family income, it becomes the duty of society to make such provision for
family maintenance as is needed to conserve home life.
11. Families which are unable, because of misfortune or disability,
to provide for the proper care and protection of their children should be
given social services by community agencies to the end that the home may
be preserved if possible and the essential needs of the children may be met.
12. The principles which pertain to the conservation of home life for
children should have equal force with reference to all economic groups
in the community, and to families of all races and national backgrounds.
The effects of unstable home conditions upon the children of migratory
families demand special consideration.
13. Normal family life requires a dwelling with proper sanitation,
light, ventilation, and protection against cold, and with the space neces­
sary for the members of the family. Adequate housing is as important
in rural as in urban areas.4
i Among the Recommendations of the White House Conference in regard to housing are
the following (General Report, pp. 27, 28):
The Federal Government should ■continue and expand its program of promoting
slum clearance and new housing for low-income groups through further authorization
o f Federal loans and appropriations for Federal grants to local housing authorities.
Federal housing programs for rural areas should be adapted to rural conditions.
State and municipal governments should enact legislation to provide loans and
grants for public housing and to authorize cooperation with the Federal Government
in hdusing programs.
Better housing for families of moderate income should be promoted by safeguarding
credit for housing purposes to assure low interest rates and long-term amortization, thus
serving to stimulate private building and home ownership; by encouraging cooperative
effort of industry and labor to reduce building costs; and by encouraging housing co­
operatives and other agencies in which the motive of profit is subordinated to that of
social usefulness.
Adequate regulatory laws relating to housing should be enacted, and they should be
enforced by competent inspection departments in every city.
Public-assistance budgets should include provision for housing adequate for family
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Health and Medical Care for Children
There are two great fronts in the preservation of health and treatment
of disease, whether we speak of adult or child. On the one front general
measures are applied to prevent well people from becoming ill; on the
other, patients are treated to restore them to health and to limit the spread
of disease. On both fronts organization and administration are needed,
as well as technical knowledge, in medicine and in kindred sciences.
Otherwise knowledge is Sterile; and we already know more than we
actually put to use (General Report, p. 52).





Preventive and curative health service and medical care should be
made available to the entire population, rural and urban, in all parts of
the country. A considerable portion of the population is able to obtain
from its own resources all or part of the necessary medical service.
Another large section of the population, however, consists of families
whose incomes are below the level at which they can reasonably be expected
to budget all the varying costs of illness without interfering with the
provision of other items essential to the family’s health and welfare;
for these there should be available adequately supervised medical and
dental care through a program financed by general tax funds, socialinsurance systems, or such combination of methods as may be best
suited to local conditions.
To achieve these end,s will require expansion of full-time local publichealth services organized on a city, county, or district basis; construction
and adequate support of health centers and hospitals as needed, especially
in rural areas, and more effective coordination of community publichealth and medical services conducted by various agencies, public and
private (General Report, p. 57).
Basic Premises
1. Adequate provision to assure satisfactory growth and development
and protection of the health of children is a public responsibility. Upon
what is done to assure physical and mental health during maternity,
infancy, childhood, and youth depend the vigor and health of the adult
2. The interrelation of health, growth, and development calls for special
protection in the prenatal period, during birth, and in infancy and child­
hood. Such protection can be achieved only through continuous health
supervision and guidance, parent education, provision of food adequate
to assure satisfactory nutrition, prompt and skilled care in acute illness,
486615° — 42— 2
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and appropriate protection and care for children suffering from disease
that may lead to temporary or permanent disability.
3. The phenomena of growth and development so influence conditions
and practices surrounding child life as to require special education,
training, and experience for those who deal with preventive and curative
services, as well as for those responsible for the administration of programs
making provision for such services.
4. A program of health supervision and medical service for children
should be based on current knowledge and understanding of what consti­
tutes satisfactory conditions of physical and mental health, growth and
development, and satisfactory standards of care.
5. The responsibility of the public to provide health and medical
services and adequate food for children involves action on the part of
citizen groups, professional and nonprofessional, on the part of voluntary
agencies, and on the part of government.
6. If the responsibility of the public for the health of children is to be
reflected in the lives of all the Nation’s children, action by government— '
local, State, and Federal— is essential, through health, welfare, education,
and research agencies and through those economic channels that will
make possible the provision of adequate food, shelter, and the other
essentials of family life.
7. T o achieve health for children and create conditions conducive to
their normal growth and development, society must be concerned with
the health of parents and all other members of the households in which
children live; with the general public-health organization, particularly
measures for the protection of the home and its environment, including
proper housing; and with provision by public^ or private agencies or
through individual resources for the general medical care of the sick.
Maternal Care and Care o f New born Infants
Standards of maternal care and care of newborn infants should include
the following:
1. Premarital examination should be given to make reasonably sure
that prospective parents are free from serious hereditary defects and
diseases potentially transmissible during intrauterine life.
2. Prenatal medical and nursing services, closely coordinated with
hospital services, should be provided by the community to insure ade­
quate and continuous care throughout pregnancy.
3. A program of continuous prenatal, delivery, and postpartum care,
in which expert consultation and hospital care are readily available in
complicated cases, should be the right of every mother.
4. If hospitalization is needed, it should be arranged for in a hospital
well equipped for maternity care, and ability to pay for care should not
be the deciding factor.
5. A hospital accepting maternity patients should make separate pro­
vision for these patients, including separate^ wards, delivery room, and
nursing care, with provision for isolation of infected mothers or infants.
The medical staff of the hospital should always include a qualified obste­
trician, who should be consulted prior to any operative procedure, and a
qualified pediatrician. The maternity nursing staff should not serve
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other patients in the hospital, and there should be separate nurses to care
for the infants. Separate nurseries and equipment should be available
for adequate care of newborn infants, especially those born prematurely.
6. Every birth should be attended by a physician qualified by training
or experience, assisted by a nurse who has had training in maternity care.
An obstetrician and a pediatrician should be available for consultation
at the time of birth, especially in case of operative interference and pre­
mature birth.
7. The help of social workers should be available to assist the
and nurse in planning maternity care for patients with special
and social problems. Housekeeper service should be among
munity resources that can be utilized in planning prenatal,
and postpartum care.

the com­

Care o f Infants and Children
Standards for care of infants and children should include the following:
1. Throughout the neonatal period the infant should be under the
observation and care of a physician, preferably one with training and
experience in the care of infants and children, and a pediatrician should
be available for consultation when needed.
2. Care by a public-health nurse should be available for every infant
born at home when a private-duty nurse is not available, and for all new­
born infants discharged from hospital.
3. T o protect the health of children there is needed a home environ­
ment providing the essentials of adequate housing, good sanitary condi­
tions, warmth, and space for privacy and recreation.
4. A home suitable for rearing healthy children should assure the child
stable, consistent parental relationships, proper instruction in personal
and sex hygiene, background for the formation of good habits, and sym­
pathetic and intelligent care. _ Provision of adequate food, proper cloth­
ing, sleep, fresh air and sunshine, and recreation is essential.
5. A program of parent education in problems of physical and mental
health of children should permeate all community health activities; local
organizations such as nursery schools, day nurseries, child-health centers,
child-guidance clinics, and the elementary and secondary schools may
serve as centers for the development of a parent-education program.
6. No protective health measure is so important for children as the
provision of food that is adequate in quantity and quality and the devel­
opment of good food habits. The importance of adequate food for chil­
dren is such that it should be assumed as a community responsibility
when the individual family resources are not sufficient to provide it.
7. The child, should be protected both inside and outside the home as
far as possible from contagion, including respiratory infections.
8. Complete periodic health examinations by a competent physician
trained in the care of children should be part of every child’ s care. Peri­
odic dental examinations and corrective care by competent dentists are
an important part of the program for protection of the child’ s health.
9. Provision should be made for immunization at least against those
communicable diseases for which its efficacy has been well established.
This is particularly true of diphtheria, smallpox, and typhoid fever.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



Care o f Sick and Physically Handicapped Children 5
Provision for the care of sick children whose families are unable to
provide it should be made by the community. Such provision should
include medical, dental, nursing, hospital, and convalescent care, and
such laboratory, X-ray, physical-therapy, vocational-rehabilitation, and
other services as are indicated.
2. Medical and nursing care in the home by local physicians and
nurses, aided when necessary by specialists, should be available in the
community. Expert diagnostic service and treatment may be provided
in out-patient clinics of general hospitals, or, if the community is not large
enough to warrant a general hospital, in a health center which is con­
nected with a hospital.'
3. Hospital care in a general hospital or, in the larger cities, a special
hospital for children should be available. A general hospital that admits
children should have special wards for children, in charge of nurses
trained in the care of children, facilities for isolation on admission or for
separate care of children with communicable diseases, and adequate
laboratories, X-ray, and other necessary equipment. A general hospital
staff should include at least one pediatrician to serve as a consultant,
and a medical-social worker.
Maternity, Infant, and Preschool-Child Services
1 Community services should include medical care and public-health­
nursing service in the home, and bedside care when necessary, for the
mother throughout pregnancy, at delivery, and during the puerperium,
for the newborn infant, older infants, and all children in the family.
2. Prenatal clinics and child-health conferences, conducted by qualified
physicians assisted by public-health nurses, should be held m centers
located conveniently for the mothers of a community or neighborhood.
3. Prenatal clinics should be located in or associated with hospitals,
and arrangements should be made for continuity in the medical care given
to each woman, whether the delivery is to be in the hospital or in the home,
4 Child-health conferences should be associated with a local health
agency and, through the agency, with an out-patient clinic and hospital
so as to provide continuous supervision of the infant and young child
when well or sick.
5. Child-health conferences should provide medical, dental, nursing,
nutrition, and mental-health services for the preschool child.
School Health Program
1. Through a well-rounded school health program the community
should provide the services necessary for adequate supervision of chil­
dren of school age, including mental-health services; health instruction
by teachers; a health-permitting school environment and program; recrea­
tion facilities; and health supervision of teachers and employees, with
special emphasis on. the early discovery of tuberculosis and personality
defects in teachers.
2. School health services provided by the local health department or
by the local education department should include: (a) Thorough physical
6 See also Provision for Physically Handicapped Children, p. 17.
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examinations by competent physicians and dentists, aided by the school
nurse or the public-health nurse who serves the school, of all children on
entrance to school and at 2- or 3-year intervals thereafter, unless such
examinations have been provided by the family; (b) immunization for
diphtheria and vaccination for smallpox when necessary and not provided by the family; (c) early detection of communicable diseases; (d)
thorough tests of hearing and vision, and provision for remedial measures
when necessary; (e) special medical examinations of children taking part
in competitive athletics.
Health o f Youth at W o rk
Continuing opportunity should be provided by the community for
health supervision and health education of the child who must leave school
for work, as well as for those who remain in school and college.
2. Opportunity for continued health guidance for youths, for medical
care when needed, and for premarital and preparental advice to young
people should be available through clinics in all communities.
3. For the youth who goes to work, protection against the health and
accident hazards of employment is a community responsibility which
involves law making and law enforcement.
Mental Health
!• For the protection of the mental health of children the community
should provide as part of its health service a constructive program for
mental health, including child guidance and parent education. Such a
program not only is needed for children who are socially or mentally
handicapped but should also be available to aid parents, physicians
nurses, teachers, social workers, and others who are faced with the re­
sponsibility of rearing and educating children.
The establishment of a child-guidance clinic staffed with psychiatrist
psychologist, and social workers provides a community facility that
serves schools, courts, social agencies, and individual families.
Local, State, and Federal Responsibility
In the sharing of responsibility for public maternal and child-health
services by local communities, States, and the Federal Government the
following principles should be observed:
^oca^ community should provide maternity care and health and
medical services for children, as needed, as part of its public-health re­
sponsibility, utilizing available qualified services and facilities.
2. The State should give leadership, financial assistance, specialized
service, and supervision in the development of local services, and should
be responsible for setting standards of care and service acceptable on a
State-wide basis.
3. The Federal Government should assist States through financial
support, research, and consultation service, and should be responsible for
setting standards of care and service acceptable on a Nation-wide basis.
4; Federal grants to the States for the expansion of maternal and childhealth services, including hospital and medical care, should be made on a
basis that will raise most effectively the level of service in those areas
where it is not adequate and so reduce existing inequalities in these fields
of service.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Educational Services in the Community
Formal education centers in the school and extends to other agencies,
such as the library and the recreation center. Play is an essential fart
of every child’s education. Reading may be learned in school but it
soon becomes the means of independent recreation and cultural growth.
Thus, the library, the school, and the recreation center join in a compre­
hensive educational system. No hard and fast lines separate the func­
tions of these agencies (General Report, p. 32).
Education Through the Schools 6
1. Units of local school attendance and administration should be
enlarged wherever necessary in order to broaden the base of financial
support and to make possible a modern well-equipped school for every
child at a reasonable per capita cost.
2. Substantial financial assistance should be granted by every State to
its local school systems for the purpose of equalizing tax burdens and
reducing educational inequalities.
3. An extended program of Federal financial assistance to the States
should be adopted in order to reduce inequalities in educational oppor­
tunity among States. Because minority groups have proportionately
more children than others and live to a greater extent in areas with the
least resources, the principle of Federal aid to States for-services affecting
children is extremely important for their welfare.
4. The supreme educational and social importance of individual traits
should be recognized throughout the educational system, which should
enable each child to make the most of his inherent abilities and aptitudes,
and equip him with the knowledge, skills, and habits that he will need
in adjusting to changing economic conditions. An educational system
that truly serves a democracy will find no place for the philosophy or the
methods of mass production.
5. Schools should give increased attention to the educational needs of
individual children, incluidng those who are physically handicapped,
mentally retarded, or socially handicapped; these needs should be met
with minimum emphasis on the handicap.
6. State-wide educational programs for handicapped children should
provide for location and enumeration, diagnosis of special needs, adequate
adjustment of school programs, social development^ and vocational
preparation, with suitable provision, also, for the coordination of educa­
tional services with the medical and social services rendered to such
7. State aid to local school systems for special educational provisions
for handicapped children should be extended on the basis of the excess
cost involved in educating such children.
8 See also School Health Program, pp. 6—7, and Vocational Preparation, Guidance,
Placement, and W ork Experience, p. 13.
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8. State residential schools for the blind, the deaf, the mentally defi­
cient, and the socially maladjusted should emphasize both educational
and social aspects of the pupil’ s development and should be well correlated
with the day-school system of the State.
9. The professional education of teachers should be enriched by study
of the principles of child development, the role of education in an
evolving social order, and the significance of democratic procedures in
school life.
10. Teachers and other workers in all branches of education should be
selected and retained in service on the basis of professional qualifications
alone. They should be adequate in number to permit them to give
attention to the needs of each individual child.
11. School systems should provide nursery school, kindergarten, or
similar educational opportunities for children between the ages of 3 and 6.
12. Schooling during at least 9 months of the year should be both
compulsory for and available to every child up to the age of 16. Com­
pulsory-school-attendance laws should be adjusted to child-labor laws,
since school leaving and child labor are closely related.
13. Local school systems should provide free educational opportunities,
in accordance with individual needs, for youth up to 18 or 20 years of
age, in preparation for higher education, in basic and specialized voca­
tional training, or in general educational advancement. All youths over
16 who are not employed or provided with work opportunities should
share in the benefits of such opportunities.
14. Financial aid from public sources should be given whenever neces­
sary to young persons to enable them to continue their education beyond
the compulsory-attendance age if they wish to do so and can benefit
15. Schools should make available to young people, while in school
and after they leave school, systematic personal and vocational guidance
and organized assistance in job placement, in cooperation with public
employment services.
16. Community programs for adult education should provide to all
seeking opportunity for further study or self improvement instructional
facilities in fields deemed essential for home and civic life.
17. School health supervision and health and safety education should
be made more effective so as to protect the physical and mental health of
the child and to give him better understanding of the principles and
practices of social and community hygiene.
18. Schools should assume further responsibility for providing whole­
some leisure-time activities for children and their families, and new school
buildings should be planned and equipped with these functions in mind.
19. Education for civic responsibility should be emphasized with the aim
of developing personal integrity and intelligent loyalty to democratic ideals
and institutions. For this purpose the child’ s learning experiences should
include participation in the activities of community life, on a level ap­
propriate to his degree of maturity.
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20 Schools should cooperate with other community institutions and
agencies that serve the child. Close cooperation with parents is especially
21 Research divisions should be established by local school systems (
wherever possible and by State departments of education. Budgets for
the United States Office of Education should be increased to permit
the extension of research and related services. Planning of educational
policies and programs at all levels shoud be based on research.^
22 The traditional concern of American education with ethical values
as well as mental and physical development should continue to be the
fundamental obligation of the schools. _ It is desirable that the teaching
and administrative staffs should maintain among themselves and in their
attitudes toward children the processes and viewpoints characteristic
of a democratic society. Such attitudes will thrive only m an atmos­
phere of freedom to teach and freedom to learn.
23. Programs of general secondary education should be developed based
on changes in industrial demands and opportunities and contributing
significantly to responsible citizenship, wholesome family life, construc­
tive use of leisure time, and appreciation of our cultural heritage.
24 Federal and State aid for education should be provided which will
reduce inequalities and make possible educational opportunity, in
accordance with the standards here recommended, for all children re­
gardless of race, residence, or economic condition.
Leisure-Time Services
1 The development of recreation and the constructive use of leisure
time should be recognized as a public responsibility on a par with responsi­
bility for education and health. Local communities, States, and the
Federal Government should assume responsibility for providing public
recreational facilities and services, as for providing other services essential
to the well-being of children. Private agencies should continue to
contribute facilities, experimentation, and channels for participation by
2 Steps should be taken in each community by public and private
agencies to appraise local recreational facilities and services and to plan
systematically to meet inadequacies. This involves utilization of parks,
schools, museums, libraries, and camp sites; it calls for coordination of
public and private activities and for the further development of private
organizations in providing varied opportunities for children with d i r e n t
resources and interests. Special attention should be directed toward th
maximum utilization of school facilities for recreation in both rural and
urban areas.
Emphasis should be given to equalizing the opportunities available
to certain neglected groups of children, including
Children living in.rural or sparsely settled areas.
Children in families of low income.
Negro children and children of other minority groups.
Children in congested city neighborhoods.
Children just leaving school and not yet adjusted to outside liie,
with special emphasis on unemployed youth.
Children with mental, emotional, or physical handicaps.
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4. Public and private organizations carrying responsibility for leisure­
time services should assist and cooperate in developing public recognition
of the fact that recreation for young and old requires facilities, equipment,
and trained personnel.
5. Schools and other educational and civic organizations should pro­
mote intelligent choice and appreciation of various forms of commercial
6. Because of the growing significance of radio and motion pictures in
their impact on children and youth, social organizations and entertain­
ment industries, insofar as they are concerned with the leisure time of
children, should collaborate wherever possible in order to provide pro­
grams that will contribute to the sound development of children.
Library Service for Children and Youth
The States should encourage and assist in the extension and develop­
ment of local public-library service and give financial aid for the mainte­
nance of such service. In rural areas provision should be made for
traveling libraries to reach isolated homes and communities.
2: Federal grants to the States for general public education should be
available for school libraries. Special Federal grants should be made
available for extension of library service to rural areas.
3. Libraries should provide for special collections and personnel to
serve children. Provision should also be made for material and for
library advisory service for parents on subjects relating to child care and
4. Libraries should be staffed by personnel trained and qualified spe­
cifically for this work.

485615°—42----- 3
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Child Labor and Youth Employment
A program concerned with the employment problems of children and
young people involves two main objectives. Of these, one is protective,
designed to prevent industrial exploitation and premature employment
of children and youth at ages or under conditions of work detrimental
to their health, education, or general welfare. The other is primarily
educational and advisory, and has for its purpose the provision of training
and guidance in school and on the job, assistance in obtaining suitable
employment, and adequate opportunity for work experience (Prelimi­
nary Statements, p. 147).
Protective Measures
Primary responsibility for establishment of proper legal safeguards
and their effective administration is vested in the States, which should
bring their State child-labor laws up to the standards required to assure
adequate protection. Federal action also is needed to provide minimum
standards for the protection of every child in every State, below which no
State may fall.
The following standards relating to child labor have received wide
acceptance as the minimum to be sought in protective measures:7
A minimum age of 16 for all employment during school hours and
for employment^ at any time in manufacturing or mining occupations or
in connection with power-driven machinery.
; 2- A minimum age of 16 for employment at any time in other occupa­
tions, except as a minimum age of 14 may be permitted for limited periods
of work after school hours and during vacation periods in agriculture,
light nonmanufacturing work, domestic service, and street trades.
3. A minimum age of 18 or higher for employment in hazardous or
injurious occupations.
4. Hours-of-work restrictions for persons up to 18 years of age, includ­
ing maximum hours, provision for lunch period, and prohibition of night
work, the hours permitted not to exceed 8 a day, 40 a week, and 6 days a
5. Requirement of employment certificates for all minors under 18,
issued only after the minor has been certified as physically fit for the
proposed employment by a physician under public-health or publicschool authority.
6. At least double compensation under workman’s compensation laws
in cases of injury to illegally employed minors.
7. Minimum-wage standards for all employed minors.
. 7 See als0 Health o f Youth at Work, p. 7, and Education Through the Schools, p. 9,
item 12.
’ * ’

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



8. Abolition of industrial home work as the only means of eliminating
child labor in such work.
9. Adequate provision for administration of all laws relating to the
employment of children and youth.
10. Provision for a continuing program of research concerning the
extent and conditions of child employment, the effect of child-labor
legislation, and the effect of employment on the health and welfare of
children and young persons.
Vocational Preparation, Guidance, Placement, and W o rk
Experience 8
1. Vocational preparation, guidance, and counseling services, adapted
to modern conditions and the changing needs of youth, should be ex­
tended in the school systems, and when carried on under other auspices,
should be conducted in cooperation with the schools.
2. Vocational preparation should encourage the cultivation of sound
attitudes toward work and good work-habits, and should give the child
techniques of value in a wide range of occupations and a knowledge of
modern industry and the problems which workers must meet. There
should be further experimentation in part-time work and part-time
3. Such vocational preparation should include training for. specific
trades available to youth 16 years of age and over, provided through
public-school vocational courses and through apprenticeship, and business
or professional training under public educational auspices.'
4. Educational and vocational guidance should be available to all
pupils, based on study of individual capacities and aptitudes and informa­
tion concerning available educational and vocational training facilities
and employment opportunities.
5. Counseling services should be established for all out-of-school youth
seeking employment and should be maintained in close cooperation with
the available vocational preparation and guidance programs.
6. Placement services for young workers should be provided, staffed
by properly qualified and professionally trained workers, with full co­
operation between the schools and the public employment services.
7. Federal, State, and local governments should provide work projects
for youths over 16 and not in school who cannot obtain employment.
Such work should be useful, entailing possibly the production of some of
the goods and services needed by young people themselves and other
unemployed persons.
8. No person should be arbitrarily excluded from work programs or
other programs for youth because of a delinquency record.
8 See Education Through the Schools, p. 9, items 13 and IS.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Social Services for Children
Social services furnish the means by which society helps to meet the
special needs of children whose well-being cannot be fully assured by
their families and by those community services that are intended for all
children alike. The primary objective of child-welfare service is to
provide for every child who has some special need whatever assistance
and guidance may be required to assure him security and protection,
within his own home if possible, and opportunity for his growth and
development (General Report, p. 63).
Essentials o f a Community Child-Welfare Program
1. Social services to children whose home conditions or individual
difficulties require special attention should be provided in every county
or other appropriate area. An obligation rests upon both public and
private agencies for the development of adequate resources and standards
of service.
2. Community planning for child welfare requires participation of
social-welfare agencies, schools, health agencies, courts, recreational
agencies, and representative citizens concerned with children. Public
and private child-welfare agencies should cooperate in a program which
will assure the proper service to every child in need.
3. Social services for children are essential in community programs for
child health, education, and general well-being. Health, educational,
and recreational services should have access to social services for children
requiring special attention.
4. The local public-welfare department should be able to provide all
essential social services to children, either directly or through utilizing
the resources of other agencies. Public and private child-welfare agencies
should cooperate in a program which will assure the proper service to
every child in need.
5. Adequate and •well-administered public assistance and general
relief, with social services as needed, furnish a necessary foundation for
child-welfare service.
6. Public child-welfare services should be available to every child in
need of such help without regard to legal residence, economic status, race
or nationality, or any consideration other than the child’ s need.
7. Public-welfare agencies should assume continuing responsibility
for children received into their care as long as they are in need of public
protection or support.
8. Children should be given whatever service they need from publicwelfare agencies without court commitment, unless change of *legal
custody or guardianship is involved or legal action is needed because of
the circumstances of the parents’ neglect or the child’ s delinquency.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



9. Public child-welfare services should be provided as part of general
public-welfare administration, which should also include aid to de­
pendent children and general relief.
10. Child-guidance service with resources for competent psychiatric,
psychological, and social study and treatment is a necessary part of a
community welfare program.9
11. Adequate standards for selection, training, and advancement ofstaff on the basis of merit should be maintained by the authorities
responsible for child-welfare work.
12. The active interest of informed citizens is essential in the develop­
ment of good public service and coordination of the work of public and
private agencies.
Foster-Care Services
1. For children who require care away from their own homes, there
should be available such types of family-home and institutional provision
as may be necessary to insure their proper care, having due regard for
special handicaps and problems of adjustment.
2. Child-caring agencies and institutions should have adequate funds
for the maintenance of children, and also for such services as are required
to meet their physical, emotional, educational, and religious needs,
utilizing to the fullest extent community resources available for these
3. Foster care should be utilized only after due consideration has been
given to the possibility of maintaining the child in his own home under
proper conditions. When care in a foster-family home or institution is
found to be desirable it should be accompanied by work for the rehabili­
tation of the home, unless the child’s welfare necessitates permanent
severance of family ties.
4. Where public funds are paid to private agencies and institutions,
they should be given only in payment for care of individual children whose
admission to service has been approved by the public agency and who
remain its responsibility. Such payments should be made on a per
capita, per diem basis, and should cover as nearly as possible main­
tenance costs.
5. Acceptance by a private agency of a child who is a public ward
should be by mutual agreement between the public agency and the
private agency, and termination of care should be decided upon in con­
ference between the two agencies. There should be a definite under­
standing between the public-welfare department and the private organi­
zation as to who is to have responsibility for services needed by the child’ s
family while the child is in foster care.
6. The public department represents the State in its relations to the
child and his family and cannot delegate legal and moral obligation to
see that the child is protected in his family relationships and that he
receives good care.
The Juvenile Court
It is the function of the juvenile court to provide legal action based
on social study, with a view to social treatment, in cases of delinquency
9 See also Mental Health, p. 7.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



requiring court action and in cases involving adjudication of custody
and guardianship or enforcement of responsibilities of adults toward
children. As local public-welfare departments become equipped for
adequate child-welfare service, juvenile courts should be relieved of
cases not coming within these classes.
2. Courts dealing with children’s cases should have judges and socialservice staff qualified to give adequate services to children. In larger
communities a probation, staff of qualified workers is required. In less
populous areas the court may use the services of child-welfare workers
in the public-welfare department.
3. Social service is needed in connection with court action in cases of
delinquency and neglect and in many cases of other types. Social
investigation and service, for example, are necessary in cases of divorce
and legal separation when custody or responsibility for the support of
children must be adjudicated; and in cases of adoption, of determination
of paternity and support of children born out of wedlock, and of desertion
and nonsupport of families. Where jurisdiction over these cases is not
placed in the juvenile court, such service should be supplied either by the
court having jurisdiction or through cooperative arrangements with the
juvenile court or community welfare agencies.
Prevention and Treatment o f Juvenile Delinquency
1. Prevention of delinquency and intelligent treatment of young
offenders require knowledge of the personal and environmental conditions
which may have a bearing upon the delinquent behavior of the individual
child. The social and economic factors which contribute to maladjust­
ment must be understood and dealt with, as well as the physical, mental,
and emotional characteristics of the child.
2. In addition to programs providing social treatment of the individual
child, measures aimed at basic causes are required if conditions in the
home and community contributing to delinquency are to be removed.
Youthful energies must be directed into useful channels. Home, school,
and church have responsibilities to help children to achieve a strong
appreciation of ethical values. Adequate play facilities for children,
constructive companionships and associations in neighborhoods where
they reside, and carefully supervised group activities all contribute to
the upbuilding of character.
3. Training schools for juvenile delinquents should receive only such
boys and girls as need the special treatment afforded by such institutions,
and their work should be closely related to social-service activities in the
communities from which children are admitted. Training schools
should not be used as catch-alls for problems which should be dealt with
in the community by children’ s agencies or by courts equipped for social
4. The same institution cannot serve adequately the needs of both
young children and older youth, nor provide training adapted to the
mentally deficient and to the mentally normal child. The development
of small, specialized institutions, with provision for transfer of children
from one to another, is preferable to the development of large institutions.
5; While a boy or a girl is under care the training school should provide
individualized treatment that will give the child the opportunities
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



normally afforded by the family, the school, and the community agencies
which contribute to the health and education of children and the forma­
tion of their character. If the institution is to fulfill its function, its
equipment must equal the resources of a good community. The activities
of the training school in the social, educational, religious, health, and
recreational fields should be closely related to the activities of other com­
munity agencies in the same fields.
6. Greater emphasis should be placed upon the need for constructive
case work in the community, including work with the child and with his
family after he has left the institution. Training schools should have
social workers to serve as liaison personnel between the institution and
the communities from which the children come. Immediate responsi­
bility for case-work service for the family while the child is in the insti­
tution and assistance to the child after his release should be carried in
most instances by the child-welfare worker in the community.
7. It is important that the administration of State training schools be
related to and function as an integral part of services for children rather
than of those provided for the care of adults.
Provision for Physically Handicapped Children 10
1. Broad programs of medical care and social service to deaf and blind
children and those suffering from impaired hearing and vision should be
developed in the States, following the general principles developed in
services to crippled children for which the States now receive Federal
aid under the Social Security Act.
2. State-wide programs for physically handicapped children should
provide for locating such children, and for diagnosis, medical and surgical
care, convalescent care, social service, education, and vocational prepara­
3. Physically handicapped children should have the fullest possible
opportunities for care and training in their own homes and communities.
Social service which will help families to make the adjustments in family
life required to meet the needs of handicapped children is an essential
part of a program for such children.
State and Community Provision for Mentally Deficient Children
1. An adequate State-wide program for the care of mentally deficient
children should include: Locating children who may need help; ascertain­
ing their physical, intellectual, and emotional development and their
social adjustment; and providing services which will meet the social,
educational, and vocational needs of mentally deficient and subnormal
children throughout the State.
2. Segregation can be the answer to only a small part of the whole
problem of mental deficiency, but adequate provision must be made for
children who require institutional care. Whenever behavior difficulties
are serious or when family conditions are such that children cannot safely
remain at home or be cared for in a foster-family home, care and training
should be available in an institution equipped to give proper care and

10 See also Education Through the Schools, pp. 8-9, items 5, 6, 7, 8, and Care of Sick
and Physically Handicapped Children, p. 6.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



3. Community provision for mentally deficient children should include
services to promote their social, educational, and vocational adjustment.
These services should be made available early in the life of the child.
Parents should be helped to understand the child and his condition so
that they may provide proper care in the home.
State Leadership and Aid in Developing Local Services
1. The State welfare department should provide leadership in develop­
ing State and local services for children and in improving standards of
care, and should administer such services as cannot be provided appro­
priately in local units. It should have a division responsible for promot­
ing the interests and welfare of children and a definite appropriation for
this purpose.
2. Besides general promotion and leadership, the service for children
provided by the department should include State financial assistance to
local units of government to enable them to undertake preventive meas­
ures and, when necessary, service to children, and to reduce,prevailing
inequalities in local community services.
3..' Enforcement of laws relating to supervision of institutions, child­
placing agencies, and foster-family homes should be accompanied by
provision for guidance in developing good standards of care and for advice
to families whose children need foster-care services.
4. Adequate legal and social safeguards should be provided in matters
relating to adoption and other methods of transfer of parental rights and
5. Advisory service with reference to social legislation should be an
important function of the State welfare department. Social legislation,
if it is to be an effective instrument for child protection, must be planned
for a social purpose and fostered by public understanding of its aims.
6. The State should assume responsibility for services to children with
certain handicaps for whom local communities, even with State leader­
ship and financial assistance, cannot make adequate provision.
7. State care of children should not be developed without adequate
consideration of the possibilities of providing for the children in their
own communities. The volume and kind of care provided by the State
for children for whom it assumes direct responsibility should be influenced
by the increasing availability of local child-welfare services.
8. The Federal Government should enlarge its child-welfare activities
so as to make them more fully available to the States, and through the
States to local units of government, and to private child-welfare agencies
and parents.
9. Community, State, and Federal child-welfare services should be
developed on the basis of careful planning participated in by health
educational, and social-service agencies, public and private, and by repre­
sentative citizens. Interdepartmental cooperation in the administration
of these programs should be developed by Federal, State, and local
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Economic Aid to Families
During the process of adjustment to changing economic situations
many families and children may he left without an assured- livelihood
because of unemployment, disability, low wages, or other factors beyond
their control. It is becoming the established American policy that
these families be given adequate economic assistance (General Report,
1. Measures for unemployment compensation, workmen’s compensa­
tion, and old-age and survivors benefits, which are of special importance
in relation to children, should be extended as to coverage and liberalized
as to benefits provided, and insurance against loss of income through
temporary or permanent disability should be developed.
2. The Federal Government should adopt a policy of continuing and
flexible work programs for the unemployed, operated and primarily
financed by the Federal Government and carried on in cooperation with
State and local governments. The amount of work provided in each
State should be in proportion to the number of needy unemployed. As
supplementary to this program and in no way displacing it, the Federal
Government should provide aid to the States for general relief covering
all persons in need who are not in the categories now the objects of special
Federal concern. Federal aid for general relief should be adjusted in
each State to the economic capacities and relief needs of that State.
3. States should provide substantial financial assistance to local units
to make possible adequate public assistance and relief. State assistance
should be adjusted to need and financial capacity of the local units.
4. Aid to Dependent Children should be further developed with the
objective of enabling each eligible family to provide adequate care for its
children. Rigid limitations on the amounts of grants to individual
children or families should be removed from State and Federal laws.
Necessary appropriations should be made by State and local governments
and by the Federal Government. Federal aid should be equitably
adjusted to the economic capacities and the needs of the several States.
5. State laws making legal residence a prerequisite for economic aid
should be made uniform and reasonable, with no more than a year
required for establishing residence. The Federal Government should
take full responsibility for developing plans to care for interstate migrants
and transients, such plans to be administered in cooperation with the
States but with the Federal Government assuming complete' financial
responsibility. The States should assume the responsibility for State
residents who are without legal local residence, with such aid as may be
made available by the Federal Government for general public assistance.
6. In all systems of economic aid safeguards should be provided to
assure staff selected on the basis of merit, adequate in number and quali­
fications to administer the benefits and to provide or obtain for each
family the services needed.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Public Administration and Financing
This Conference believes that it would be unsound to relieve govern­
ments on State and local levels from responsibility for such services as
schooling, recreation, health, and medical service. It is important,
however, to assure a reasonable minimum in these services and to
remove inequalities so far as possible by spreading the cost. The Con­
ference therefore endorses a consistent and well-organized system of
grants by States to localities and by the Federal Government to States,
for the support and expansion of certain services to children (General
Report, p. 79).
It is of the utmost importance that merit systems be adopted in admin­
istration of public service in local, State, and Federal governments.
This Conference looks to a time when the body of public servants will be
Carefully selected and retained by reason of professional qualifications
and will be backed by a strengthened and informed public opinion
(General Report, p. 80).
The following principles are basic to the proper development of public
services to children:
1. The number of local administrative units of government for health,
education, and welfare should be reduced, and units sufficiently large and
appropriate for efficiency and economy in performing the functions of
government should be organized.
2. Financial responsibility should be shared by governments at the
various levels— local, State, and Federal— taking into account the needs
in the respective localities and States and the resources of these govern­
mental units.
3. Merit systems which will assure competent personnel to perform the
services essential for children should be adopted in public administration
in local, State, and Federal governments.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Publications of the White House Conference on Children
in a Democracy Issued by the Children’s Bureau,
Conference on Children in a Democracy; papers and discussions at the
initial session, April 26, 1939. Pub. 265. 117 pp. 20 cents.
Proceedings of the White House Conference on Children in a Democracy
January 18-20, 1940; including the General Report adopted by the
Conference. Pub. 266. 125 pp. 25 cents.
Children in a Democracy: General Report Adopted by the White House
Conference on Children in a Democracy, January 19, 1940. 86 pp
20 cents.
Preliminary Statements Submitted to the Wliite House Conference on
Children in a Democracy, January 18-20, 1940. 257 pp. 40 cents.
Reprints from Preliminary Statements (single copies free):
Social Services for Children. 33 pp.
Health and Medical Care for Children. 45 pp.
Religion and Children in a Democracy. 11 pp.
Child Labor and Youth Employment. 13 pp.
White House Conference on Children in a Democracyj Final Report
Pub. 272. (In press.)
White House Conference on Children in a Democracy.
The Child, March 1940. 12 pp.

Reprint from

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