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^ p r o p o s a ls of the Natiooal Commission on Children in Wartime

"bin £,7

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Parents must plan, if the needs of their children are to be met, for good
home surroundings, care and education.

Communities and States, also,

must plan if their responsibilities toward children are to be fulfilled.
This report presents the suggestions as to the ways in which State and
local planning for children and youth may be organized, prepared by the
National Commission on Children in Wartime, through a Committee on
Plans for Children and Youth.

In the preparation of the report the com­

mittee has drawn on the experience of many individuals, both members of the
Commission and others, who have worked to secure public understanding
of the needs of children and youth and to stimulate action in their behalf.
The report carries further the proposals on the same subject included by
the National Commission on Children in Wartime as a major recommenda­
tion in its report issued in April 1945 under the title Building the Future.
The report is presented in the hope that it may help States and communi­
ties to develop their own planning programs, adapted to their own special
The National Commission will welcome reports on the experience of
groups which are attempting to put such planning on a firm and continuing


IN BEHALF OF CHILDREN A N D Y O U T H .............................. 1
STATE P LA N N IN G FOR CHILDREN A N D Y O U T H ................... 2
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As the end of the war moves nearer, men and women look ahead eagerly
to the day when they can center their attention again on making life in our
Nation more nearly fulfill the ideals of opportunity, achievement, and secur­
ity we hold for all, and especially for our children.
Repeatedly these ideals have been stated, and routes to their attainment
have been mapped.
The White House Conference on Children in a Democracy in 1940 and the
National Commission on Children in Wartime in 1944 both challenged the
Nation to extend its public and private services so as to assure to all children
he opportunities essential to their well-being and to their preparation for
the responsibilities of democracy.
But the mere statement of ideals is not enough if our children are to be
served. Means must be devised for people to j oin forces in determining and
accomplishing social action in behalf of children in our communities and
States and in the Nation.
This requires planning.


Planning cannot be left to experts or public officials alone. It must be
participated in by citizens whose children are to be served and by voluntary
organizations which share with public agencies the discharge of social re­
This statement is written to suggest ways in which leadership and joint
action in behalf of children and youth may be developed in the States and
local communities. It draws on previous experi6nce in this field and is
related to the planning now going on in other phases of State and commu­
nity life.
Local communities, both urban and rural, come closest to the problems of
ildren. But communities, to do their job, must draw for some of their
strength on our larger units of government— counties, States, and the Federal
and authority.

Each unit of government has its own special responsibilities
In the exercise of its powers each government must relate its
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Interest in comprehensive plans for the health, education, and welfare of
children traces back at least to the children’s code or child-welfare legislativ
commission movement, initiated in Ohio in 1911. It found expression later
in the follow-up committees of the 1930 and 1940 White House Conferences
on Children. During the war, committees on children in State councils of
defense, and spécial youth commissions under various titles have carried thif
movement forward.
Since 1940, 38 States1 have had White House Conference or defense-coun­
cil committees on children and many States have developed both forms of *
organization. Committees for stimulating and planning the development c"
recreational services have been established in 20 States. Nongovernmental
bodies whose functions have included review of child-welfare legislation and
planning for children s services are committees of State conferences of social
work and organizations concerned with health, education, housing, recrea­
tion, and other specialized fields.
General interest in both physical and social planning' has been great in
recent years. It has found one form of expression in the rapid development
of State planning boards. For the most part these boards are concerned
with planning for the development and extension of physical resourced
Some State planning boards, however, deal also with services to meet t

JNot including States with committees devoted exclusively to child care for children
whose mothers are employed.

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needs of people— health, welfare, education, and recreation services, for


Review of all this experience indicates some of the principles which seem
to be important in the continuous planning and interrelation of services
*which will be needed in the post-war period as well as during wartime.





The responsibility of State governments for many aspects of the well-being
of their citizens is clear. It has been written into State constitutions, and
expressed in legislation in the fields of health, education, employment, and
social welfare. During the past 15 years State governments have assumed
additional responsibilities for assisting families and individuals in need.
Provisions for education, child-labor safeguards, maternal and childhealth services, and services for crippled children have been extended, and
social services for children have been developed in areas where services of
this kind were unknown before. Much of the progress has been attained
through cooperative programs carried on by State and local agencies, with
financial aid from the Federal Government.
Since the well-being of a child depends in the first instance on the ability
f his family to give him the care, affection, training, and material necessities
e requires for growth and development, services in behalf of the family as a
whole are of primary importance. Hence services for children and plans to
meet their needs must be related closely to activities and services in behalf
of families.
Increasingly, people are coming to understand that the needs of children
are interwoven and interrelated, and that planning for them, if it is to be
effective, cannot be departmentalized. As the 1940 White House Conference
report states: “ The child is an indivisible whole as he grows from infancy
to manhood and must be planned for and served as such/’3 State and local
committees for follow-up of conference recommendations and also defensecouncil committees on children in wartime represent efforts to provide unified
planning for children.
State responsibilities for children, however, have been divided among
various departments and agencies dealing with health, education, labor, and
social welfare. In few States is there a continuing, officially recognized
group concentrating on long-range planning for children and youth and on
& See Wartime and Postwar Problems and Policies o f the States, Report arid Recom ­
mendations of the Interstate Committee on Postwar Reconstruction and Development,
Council o f State Governments, Chicago, May 1944.

3 Children in a Democracy, General Report adopted by the W hite House Conference
on Children in a Democracy, January 19, 1940. Washington, D. C., p. 9.
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comprehensive fact-finding and public interpretation concerning children’s
needs and the services that can meet those needs.
Furthermore, there are serious gaps and inadequacies in present State and
local provisions for children and youth. In many sections of the country,
especially in rural areas, educational opportunity, for example, falls far short
of the acceptable minimum preparation for responsible citizenship in a de­
mocracy. Employment at too early an age and under harmful conditions
continues to retard or make impossible the finest development of many boys
and girls. Effective Nation-wide coverage of all essential services is neces­
sary to assure to every child the rights and opportunities which are at the
heart of democracy. A unified approach through national, State, and local
planning and collaboration will achieve both coordination of programs and
balanced development of all types of necessary resources.
Often both laws and appropriations lag behind public acceptance of re­
sponsibility for safeguarding children. Here again over-all planning has a
function to perform in reviewing laws and administrative practices to deter­
mine in what degree they fall short of meeting needs, and in measuring
financial resources against need. Such over-all review should harmonize
and supplement the continuous planning done by State departments respon­
sible for developing and operating facilities and services in specialized fields.


o v e r -a l l
p l a n n


n g .

State planning has been under way since State governments were’ estab­
lished. It has been done by committees of State legislatures, by State agri­
cultural and land-use planning committees, special commissions, and more
recently by State defense councils and State planning boards. Almost all
of the States have a planning-board or agency. Such bodies promise to be
of increasing importance in the post-war period.
In some States, defense councils may be continued after the war, perhaps
under new names, and may provide citizen participation to supplement the
work of State planning boards.
State planning boards until recently have directed their efforts mainly
toward planning physical facilities and developing economic resources, but
there is increasing recognition of the need to extend their activities to plan­
ning for health, education, recreation, and welfare services. The high per­
centage of State and local revenue devoted to education and other service
4 See Wartime and Postwar Problems and Policies of the States, Report and Recom ­
mendations of the Interstate Committee on Postwar Reconstruction and Development,
Council of State Governments, Chicago, May 1944.

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for children is evidence enough of their importance in State planning.
Effective planning for programs that will benefit the whole population can
contribute much to providing the services children need.




During the war children’s committees have often had to struggle against
limitation of authority, the absence of clear-cut definition of functions, over­
lapping with other committees, and, especially, lack of financial resources
for essential leadership and staff service. In some States staff shortages were
overcome to some extent through loan of staff by cooperating agencies, but
this was not wholly satisfactory. These obstacles must be overcome if plan­
ning for post-war needs is to be of maximum usefulness.
This wartime experience indicates that the following characteristics of a
planning- body are basic to effective planning for children and youth :
1. Recognized authority derived from the method of appointment and
the auspices under which the planning body functions.
2. Clear-cut definition of function and of relationships to other plan­
ning bodies and administrative agencies.
3. Membership broadly representative of various interests, official and
unofficial, and of majority and minority groups in the population.
4. Effective organization of work through executive and other sub­
5. Resources for the employment of an executive secretary and neces­
sary staff, and for other expenses.




States differ greatly in the development of general social planning, in the
extent to which planning for children and youth has been carried on in the
past under White House Conference committees, defense councils, or other
auspices, and in the adequacy of present provision for such planning. It is
impossible to outline a pattern which would be equally applicable to all
States. Planning must still be regarded as a pioneer undertaking, in a fluid
and experimental stage.
The following suggestions drawn from the experience of State committees
during recent years are offered in the hope that they will be helpful to States
that do not have an effective planning agency for children and youth or that
feel the need to provide for the continuance or modification of existing plan­
ning bodies in the children’s field. The type of organization and the pro-.
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cedure best suited to each State must be determined by those in the State
who have first-hand knowledge of conditions and possibilities.

1.E m p h a s i s on c h i l d r e n ' a n d y o u t h
general planning agencies.





Planning for children and youth should be an important part of plan­
ning for the whole population. State planning boards and similar
bodies engaged in planning to meet the needs of the whole population
should give major consideration to planning for children and youth,
since their welfare and the opportunities they have for the development
of their capacities and powers are of first importance to the future of the
State and the Nation.

2. P l a n n i n g






Whatever the resources available for general planning there should be
in each State a continuing body representing the concern of the commu­
nity for children and youth. This body should be charged with re­
sponsibility for reviewing conditions affecting children and youth and
the obstacles to their full development. It should promote and assist
in developing sound social policies and services for all children and
youth, as needed, wherever they may live, and whatever the circum­
stances of their personal and family life.

3. N a m e .
The name of the body might be the State council or commission on
children and youth.
Whether the term council or commission is used, the organization should
function, not as a body of delegates of various agencies, but as a group
of informed and competent persons in a position to exercise personal
judgment on the issues that arise.

4. A u t h o r i t y



Where there is a State planning board whose membership and program
are appropriate, the council or commission on children and youth might
well function under its auspices. If not so organized, the council might
be appointed by the governor and directed to perform such functions as
he may prescribe.
To be fully effective, the council on children and youth should be
authorized by act of the legislature, and should be required to report to
the governor and the legislature, directly or through the planning board.
In some circumstances it may be desirable to set up the council under
voluntary auspices of such prestige as to enable it to obtain the active
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cooperation of State officials and the interest of the legislature. Such
a council might have as one of its objectives the establishment of an
official planning body for children and youth as soon as feasible.

5. F u n c t i o n s .
The functions of the council on children and youth should b e :
a. To ascertain the facts concerning the children and youth of the State.
Successful planning in any field involves collection and interpreta­
tion of facts concerning needs to be met, services available, and the
utilization of these services by those for whom they are designed.
This requires adequate research. Such research should be carried
on, whenever possible, by the departments or agencies of the State
government responsible for providing services in the fields of health,
education, social welfare, employment, and related services. It
should be the responsibility of the council on children and youth to
utilize and correlate results of such research done by these and other
agencies, both public and private; to encourage and promote the
development of adequate research programs as an essential part of
the work of these agencies; and to conduct such fact-finding activities
of its own as may be necessary to supplement the information other­
wise available.
b. To review legislation pertaining to children and youth and appropri­
ations made for services in their behalf and to consider revisions
and additions needed.
c. To appraise the availability, adequacy, and accessibility of all services
for children and youth within the State.
d. To consult with public agencies, private agencies, and citizens’ groups,
including youth groups, on the services available, the degree to which
the needs of children and youth are being met, and the measures that
should be taken to meet these needs.
e. To formulate proposals for action on behalf of children and youth in
specific fields such as health, child guidance, social service, education,
■ recreation, child labor, and youth employment, to be submitted for
consideration to administrative officials, legislative bodies, voluntary
agencies, and citizens’ organizations.
f. To report findings to the public through printed material, press, radio,
motion pictures, conferences, and other channels.
g. To maintain contact with Federal officials and agencies concerned
with planning for children and youth.
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h. To encourage and foster local community planning and action.
i. In general, to provide a center of information on children and youth
and to promote action in their behalf. The council’s work should be
supplemented by citizens’ organizations which study the recommen­
dations made and give their active support to those that, in their judg­
ment, promise constructive achievement in behalf of children and

6. R e l a t i o n s h i p




The council on children and youth should have a close working rela­
tionship with other organizations whose functions include research,
planning, and support of programs of action.
a. Planning by councils on children and youth should be correlated with
planning for all groups of the population.
b. Councils on children and youth should relate their work to the work
of bodies planning for the whole population in special fields such as
health, housing, education, recreation, social security, and family
c. Administrative departments of State government responsible for con­
ducting programs benefiting children should bring to the attention of
the council on children and youth unmet needs and their recommen­
dations as to programs and legislation to meet these needs.
d. The council on children and youth should not take the place of ad­
visory committees needed by State departments to assist in the for­
mulation of policies for the administration of services for children.

7. M e m b e r s h i p



a. To be adequately representative of the citizenship of the State the
membership should be drawn from official State agencies and from
the general public and should be broad enough to assure planning in
all the major fields of service to children and youth.
b. State departments concerned with health, education, social welfare,
labor, and related programs directly affecting children and youth
should be represented by officials nominated by the department heads
for a fixed term contingent upon continuance of official status.
c. Nonofficial members should be chosen because of their broad interest
and knowledge, their ability to make contributions in specialized
fields, their concern for children, their effectiveness in promoting the
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interests of children, and their ability to make articulate the points o f
view and the problems of various groups in the population to the end
that the needs of all children may be known and considered.

It is

important that the membership include persons representative of ma' j or groups of citizens interested in children and of numerically sub­
stantial racial groups. Nonofficial members of the council should be
appointed for overlapping terms.
d. The size of the council should be such as to assure wide representa­
tion and effective executive action.

This can be accomplished

(1) Small membership (for example 11 to 15) with committees on
which persons not members of the council might serve with
council members, or
(2) Large and representative membership, with a small executive
committee and such other committees as are necessary.
e. Whatever the membership of the council, provision should be made
for consultation on special subjects with representatives of different
groups and interests. Youth should be encouraged to contribute to
the work of the council in terms of their experience.
f. The chairman of the council should be in a position to give broad
leadership without undue emphasis on any one field of interest.

8. F i n a n c i a l


a. It is desirable that funds for the council on children and youth be
provided by direct legislative appropriation to the council or to the
State planning board where it is a part of that board.
As alternatives, funds might be allotted from those available to a de­
partment or departments of the State government, or might come in
whole or in part from contributions by private agencies, foundations,
or individuals.
b. Under any plan, financial support should be adequate to provide for
effective staff service and committee work.

Experience has shown

that the following are essential for the most effective work:
(1) A competent and qualified executive secretary.

(2) Staff for assembling and analyzing factual material and dis­
tributing information.
(3) Clerical and stenographic staff.
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(4) Travel for council members, staff, and members of advisory
groups, as necessary.
(5) Printing, supplies and equipment, postage, and rent if free quar­
ters are not available.
While much of the legal authority and some of the financial resources
needed to build services for children and youth reside in State governments,
the local community is tlje place where these services directly touch the lives
of people.
State planning, therefore, to be effective, must go hand in hand with local
community planning.

An important part of the effort of the State conucil

on children and youth should be directed toward facilitating local planning
and action.
Which starts first, community or State panning, is less important than
that they function together.

One can stimulate the other into existence.

Both will prosper best when each can draw on the knowledge and experience
of the, other.

People who live near each other and form a local community have a strong
motive for joint planning and effort since by acting together they can secure
for themselves facilities and services of common benefit.

This opportunity

is especially important to families rearing children since they depend on the
community for health service, schools, libraries, parks, churches, social
agencies, and protection against physical and social hazards, in addition to
the streets, utilities, transportation, and other facilities required for living
and working in a community.
Wartime emergencies have pulled many communities out of shape.


mendous migrations of workers and families have overtaxed the resources of
some communities and impoverished those of others.

With the coming of

peace comes the opportunity not to let community life slip back into its
pre-war shape but to remold it into something more sensitive and more re­
sponsive to the needs of people than it ever was before.
Children and young people, more than all other citizens, have suffered
from the wartime lack of community services.

Their needs, under pressure

of manpower and material shortages, have had to take a low priority.


all justice, their needs should come first in peace.

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These needs of children and young people cannot be met haphazardly.
First, they must be measured. Second, they must be balanced against ex­
isting services. Third, deficiencies and inefficiencies in existing services
must be remedied.
This requires community planning by parents and other citizens together
with professional workers and public officials— those who are closest to
children, those who are best informed of their needs, and those who have
access to community resources for meeting those needs.
Because no community lives to itself alone, community planning should
go hand in hand with planning done by neighboring communities and by
the State. Some of the service and protection children and young people
require stems from State governments. Some can be strengthened by co­
operation with State governments. State-wide plans for children and youth
have an intimate relation to community plans, and should be considered in
all local planning.




Communities have become increasingly conscious during the last two or
three decades of the need for systematic and continuous planning to attain
progressively better adaptation of land use, facilities, and services to the
needs of their people.
Recognition of this need has brought about many surveys, some dealing
with one phase, and others with the broad aspects of community life.


desire that community planning should be continuous has led to the estab­
lishment in many communities of councils of social agencies, city and
county planning boards or commissions, and county agricultural committees
working on land use and community facilities. Public and private agencies
within their fields of health, labor, education, welfare, housing, and recreation
are continuously planning for improvement in their facilities and services.
The city planning movement has become an important resource for the
development and improvement of civic life.

City planning commissions

have been concerned chiefly with physical planning and the gearing of such
planning to economic and social activities and needs.

The American Society

of Planning Officials reports that some 1,500 city and town planning agencies,
official bodies or bodies quasi-public in character, have been established to
develop plans for the growth and development of their communities.


many rural counties,, county and community agricultural planning has been
carried on with the encouragement of the Agricultural Extension Service
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and State universities and with the participation of neighborhood and com­
munity leaders. Other aspects of local planning include neighborhood and
community councils, special neighborhood or city-wide demonstration proj­
ects, and coordinating councils.
Local defense councils were established as part of the organization for
national defense in 1917-18, arid again during the present World War.
Usually they have been appointed by the mayor or the board of county com­
missioners and have included in their membership public officials and repre­
sentative citizens. The Office of Civilian Defense described the job of the
defense council as that of bringing together all the agencies and organiza­
tions in the community to deal with wartime problems on the home front.
Through committees of the civilian war service branch, the defense councils
have dealt with community problems affecting the welfare of families and
children in many fields, such as child care, consumer interests, education,
health and medical service, housing, nutrition, recreation, social protection,
and transportation.

In connection with defense councils many special child­

care committees have been established, concerned chiefly with the care of
children whose mothers are employed.

The defense-council organization

has tapped many new sources of citizen interest in community planning,
given many people valuable experience, and reached many communities
which had had no organization for such »planning. Doubtless some defense
councils, modified perhaps, will be carried forward into the post-war period.
In communities where councils of social agencies existed, the functions of
these councils and the new defense-council committees were developed chiefly
in accordance with two plans:

(1) the defense council set up its own com ­

mittees which worked in cooperation with committees of the council of social
agencies, or (2) the divisions of the council of social agencies became the
committees of the defense council.


In many cities councils of social agencies have broadened their scope and
forms of council organization have been modified to meet the impact of war

Many councils have raised their sights to the community as a

whole, looking beyond the problems of the agencies making up council mem­

Traditionally the divisions of the council have been health, family,

child care, and recreation.

The interest of the child-care division has been

confined principally to foster care and other forms of social services for

Sometimes such a division has included childhealth and group

work. The divisions of councils of social agencies have been supplemented
by committees cutting across functional groups, such as committees on ad­
justment of returned servicemen, juvenile delinquency, and social protection.
Councils of social agencies as instruments of community-wide planning
have some limitations.

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Most councils are seriously understaffed.

They are

Wartime experience in many communities has provided the opportunity
for greatly increased citizen participation in social planning and social
action. It has demonstrated the value of wider understanding of commu­
nity needs. Both cooperation of public and private agencies and partici­
pation of citizens’ groups have been found to be essential, not only to the
formulation of sound and practicable plans for the community and its people,
but also to the growth of public confidence in and understanding of the plans
proposed and the measures undertaken.
Whatever planning body is set up, planning by community agencies having
administrative responsibilities and cooperation between agencies in such
planning should be encouraged and facilitated. Day-by-day planning and
interagency cooperation with respect to the operation, strengthening, and
coordination of programs are of the utmost importance.



The following general principles appear from experience to be basic to
the community planning for children and youth that will be carried on into
the reconversion and post-war periods:
1. Community planning includes physical planning, economic plan­
ning, and social planning, each impinging on the others.

In order

to plan for land use, transportation, and utilities, it is necessary to
know how the people of a community make their living and how
agricultural, manufacturing, trade, and service industries are de­
veloping. In order to plan for housing, parks, stores, health cen­
ters, schools, social services, libraries, streets, police protection, and
transportation, it is necessary to know how people live, where they
work, buy, and play, what their health problems are, what their
school needs are, the relation of incomes to rents and food costs,
and many other economic and social factors.
Such planning also
requires knowledge of density of population and of areas where
social problems are especially marked.
2. Planning must be based on adequate study and research. Without
this underpinning, it may become planning by opinion and its
character may be determined by special interest or pressure groups.
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4. There should also be in every community a group of citizens re­
viewing what children and youtK need, exploring the extent to
which those needs are met, and stimulating community agencies
and planning groups to develop the services or policies found to
be necessary.
5. Public authorization, official appointment, and public support are
desirable for county or community planning bodies responsible for
physical, economic, and social planning.

6. Planning groups should include the administrators whose programs
may be affected, and nonofficial persons in sufficient numbers so
that they will be really vocal in the group.

Broad citizenship rep­

resentation is essential in community planning.
7. Official community planning bodies should have close working re­
lationship with voluntary planning councils and organizations, in­
cluding among others, councils of social agencies.

8. Public and private agencies should develop effective means by
which day-by-day cooperation and coordination of their operating
programs can be accomplished.

From this experience such agen­

cies can bring to the attention of planning bodies many evidences
of need for long-term planning that should be undertaken.
9. In maintaining effective cooperative relationships with agencies
operating programs for children and youth the community plan­
ning body should draw upon such agencies for information and

10. The existence of broad planning bodies in a community will not
take the place of the advisory committees needed by operating
agencies to help guide the administration of. their programs and
to point out the directions in which they should be expanded or

11. Whatever the planning structure in a community, there will be
need from time to time for the establishment of special committees

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to deal with special problems.

Through such committees the vi­

tality of new groups and individuals who have not previously been
active participants can be brought into community activity and
12. Committees planning for children and youth can stimulate the or­
ganization of general community planning bodies, recognizing that
the planning body that considers all age groups is needed, as well
as the body especially concerned with children.
Every community has its own resources in experience, leadership, and
ways of accomplishing common objectives. These will determine its choice
of the kind of organization needed for post-war community planning. An
existing planning agency may be used, with such changes in structure or
functions as may be necessary, or a new agency may be established whose
functions will include the development of working relationships with other
agencies or groups serving in part, but not wholly, community needs for
social planning.
Planning should be regarded as a public function which should be dis­
charged by a body bringing into effective participation public officials, those
engaged in community services under private auspices, and representative
citizens. Public sponsorship and auspices are desirable.
In some cities the welfare federation or council of social agencies may be
sufficiently broad in its representation of community interests to be the natu­
ral center for community planning.

Perhaps in some instances a body

created to deal with a particular problem, such as juvenile delinquency, may
be expanded to cover the broad field.

Where a local committee has been

organized as a part of a State-wide plan for follow-up of the White House
Conference recommendations, this group may be the one which should be
responsible for developing the community program for post-war years.


a defense-council committee on children in wartime may be the logical
nucleus of the group which will be concerned with long-range planning.
Whatever the origin, the planning body should be organized in a manner
which will assure its acceptance by the community as a center for community­
wide planning for children and youth.

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munity-wide planning that will make use o f and strengthen their interest
and effort in behalf of youth.




The following suggestions may be helpful to communities considering
ways of equipping themselves for the type of planning that will give children
and youth the opportunities essential for their full development:

1.C o n t i n u i n g
ch i l d r e n and youth.




There should be in each community (city( town, or county) a continu­
ing body charged with responsibility for reviewing conditions affecting
children and youth and for promoting the development of adequate
services for the whole community. The services needed for children
still under family control and for older boys and girls approaching adult
independence will differ in some degree. One committee can effectively
deal with the problems of both age groups provided the membership of
the committee includes individuals familiar with the needs of each age
group. This will eliminate the inevitable overlapping that would result
from having two committees, and provide for consideration of the whole
cycle from infancy to maturity.

2. N a m e .
This body might be called a commission or council on .children and
youth, with the name of the city or county in the title. Whatever term
is used, the organization should function not as a body of delegates of
various agencies, but as a group of informed and competent persons in
a position to exercise personal judgment on the issues that arise.

3. A r e a


The area to be covered will be the county, city, town or village and sur­
rounding farms, depending on the habits of association of the commu­
nity under consideration and the governmental units responsible for
services for children.

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


not have sufficient' cohesion to make it possible for a county planning
body for children and youth to exercise effective leadership.
A city and its adjacent suburbs (or a town or group of towns, as in New
England) may be the best area for a planning body for children and
youth, particularly if there is a council of social agencies or a municipal
planning body covering the area. In such cases the communities in
the county may cooperate in making plans that are county-wide in their
In cities and in rural areas there are neighborhoods where the citizens
naturally associate and plan for their common interests. Such neigh­
borhood groups may be drawn into the study of conditions affecting
the well-being of children and youth and into the discussion .of plans
for children in their home neighborhoods and the whole community.
They will then be ready to assume their appropriate responsibility in
seeking action needed within the neighborhood and to join with others
in seeking community-wide action on broader programs.

4. A u t h o r i t y



It is desirable that the commission or council for children and youth be
organized under public auspices. Whatever the auspices, the body
should be in a position to give effective leadership.
a. Public sponsorship may be provided through—
(1) Authorization and financing by the city council or commission,
or by the county board.
(2) Appointment by the mayor, city council or commission, or coun­
ty board.
(3) Appointment by an official community planning body responsi­
ble for planning for the whole population.
(4) Appointment by the official defense council or its post-war suc­
b. Voluntary sponsorship may come from a voluntary community or­
ganization, such as a council of social agencies, provided the interests
. of the whole community are represented. It is essential that such an
organization give adequate emphasis to the role of public agencies
in social planning, and recognize that planning for all the needs of
children and youth in the community goes beyond the programs of
the agencies that are financed through community chests.

5. R e l a t i o n s h i p





The commission or council for children and youth should be a part of
or should wrok in close relationship with community agencies responsi­
ble for general or for social planning for the entire population. The
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


needs of children must be given consideration in all areas of community
planning, and especially in planning which relates to family welfare and
family services. Similar committees cutting across functional lines may
be needed for other population groups but the need for such service is
particularly important for children and youth.
Whenever possible, the children’ s planning agency should influence
general planning in directions favorable to children and youth. It
should draw together and evaluate from the point of view of children’s
needs the functional planning that goes oh in specialized fields, such as
housing, health, recreation, education, and family welfare. Such plan­
ning is frequently carried on under the auspices of a council of social

6. F u n c t i o n s .
The commission or council should be concerned with what is happening
in the community to children and youth and what lacks exist in the
community provision for their welfare. Experience indicates that the
commission or council should deal with all phases of community service
and protection for children and youth— relating to home life, health,
education, recreation, cultural interests, social services, and employment
protection and opportunity. It should bring together agencies working
in different fields in order that the composite of services needed and the
problems of each agency in providing its share of such services may be
Paralleling the State council, the community commission or council
a. Know what is happening to children and youth.
b. Review legislation affecting children and youth.
c. Appraise all services for children and youth.
d. Consult with all agencies serving children and youth.
e. Draw up proposals for action in behalf of children and youth.
f. Report findings tio the public on the needs of and programs for chil' dren and youth.
g. Maintain'contact with State agencies planning for children and youth.
h. Recommend constructive programs for children and youth.

7. M e m b e r s h i p



a. Planning a program of community action involves first of all utilizing
the experience of people who have dealt with human problems on a
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


community basis. Membership of the commission or council should,
therefore, include men and women who have taken an active part in
community services during the depression and the war, as well as
persons whose professional equipment will make available to the
committee guidance in the various fields in which technical knowledge
is essential to the development of a sound program.
b. Agencies and groups drawn into the work of the commission or
council, through membership in the planning body itself or through
committee work or in other ways, should include the following:
public-health and social-welfare administration and the school sys­
tem; county extension service; family-welfare and child-caring and
protective agencies under private auspices; the juvenile court and
law-enforcement agencies; church groups; racial groups; libraries;
recreational and youth-serving agencies; housing agencies; labor and
employer interests; farm organizations; civic clubs; parent-teacher
associations; and similar organizations of men and women concerned
with various aspects of community life.
c. The commission or council may be a relatively small group— 11 to
15— of recognized leaders in services for children and youth, plus
officials of public agencies conducting programs in their behalf. An
alternative plan would be to create a large representative group, with
a small executive committee and such other committees as are neces­
If small, the commission or council will find it necessary to provide
for wider participation through committees appointed to study special
problems and through meetings at which representatives of all inter­
ested groups can discuss the proposals under consideration.
Whatever the membership, provision should be made for consultation
on special subjects with representatives of different groups and in­
d. Youth should be encouraged to participate in the planning, either
through the cooperation of youth groups or through service on com­
mittees on which they can make a contribution in accordance with
their experience.
e. The members should be appointed for definite, overlapping terms.
f. The chairman should be selected for his ability to give broad and
effective leadership without undue emphasis on any one field of in­

8. F i n a n c i a l


If the commission or council is under public auspices, funds for financ­
ing it should be provided from public sources by direct public appropri­
ation, from the funds of an official community planning body, or from
the mayor’s contingent fund.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


Private funds may be obtained from community chests, foundations, or
personal contributions.
The funds should be sufficient to provide for adequate staff, public-information service, the mimeographing of material for consideration by
the commission or council, and the printing and distribution of publica­
tions presenting findings and proposals to the public. In some cases'
staff may be loaned by other agencies, but this resource should be
used only when the individual staff member can be loaned for a suf­
ficient amount of time to see assigned work through to accomplishment.
At the start the amount needed for the work of the commission or coun­
cil should be determined on an annual basis, and so far as possible the
funds for a full year should be obtained or assured while the initial
proposal for its work enlists strong interest.
The commission or council for children should work in close relationship
with the State planning body for children and youth. (See functions of State
planning body for children and youth.) It is important that the develop­
ment of community plans proceed in harmony with State-wide planning and
take into consideration the financial assistance and service that is or should
be available from State agencies. If the commission or council covers an
area smaller than a county, its work must be related to planning in other
areas within the county, and to functions of county government.

Some of our communities are distinguished by the health services they
provide for children and young people, some, by their recreational programs,
their schools, housing, or work for handicapped children. No single com ­
munity excels in all services children and young people need if they are to
have the chance to develop their full capacities. Nor does any one guaran­
tee that every child within its borders has access to all it has to offer.
Every community can do something m ore than it is doing now to make
life more secure and more challenging for its youngsters. Some will want
to strengthen and extend their present services until they reach all children.
Others will want to branch out into new ventures. Many will want to do
Whatever direction the expansion of services may take it will require
planning if time, money, and manpower are to be used to best advantage.
To move ahead on all fronts makes planning even more imperative.
Planning can start with just a handful of people highly resolved and will­
ing to work to give the children they know a fair start, an even chance.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

t V

related to programs of the Commission
Single copies may be obtained free of charge from the Children’s Bureau,
U. S. Department of Labor, Washington 25, D. C.
Children in a Democracy; General report adopted by the White House Con­
ference on Children in a Democracy, January 19, 1940.
White House Conference on Children in a Democracy, January 18-20, 1940—
Final Report, Pub. 272.
Standards of Child Health, Education, and Social Welfare, based on recom­
mendations of the White House Conference on Children in a Democracy.
1942. Pub. 287.
Our Concern

Every Child ; State and community planning for wartime and

post-war security of children, by Emma O. Lundberg.


Pub. 303.

Community Action for Children in Wartime. Adopted by the National Com­
mission on Children in Wartime.
Goals for Children and Youth in


Pub. 295.

the Transition From War to Peace.

Adopted by the Children’s Bureau Commission on Children in Wartime.
1944. Pub. 306.
Building the Future for Children and Youth; Next steps proposed by the
National Commission on Children in Wartime.


Pub. 310.

See also current articles in The Child, monthly bulletin issued by the Chil­
dren s Bureau.

Subscription price $1.00 a year.


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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis