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STATE PUBLIC SCHOOL
REPORT OF THE
BOARD OF MANAGERS
BIENNIAL PERIOD ENDING JULY 31, 1910
SYNDICATE PRINTING COMPANY
State Public School
REPORT OF THE
Biennial Period Ending July 31, 1910
State Board of Control St. Paul, Minn.
Gentlemen: I herewith respectfully submit the thirteenth biennial report of the State Public School for dependent and neglected children.
Total number cared for... 650 Cost ..........
...$50,406.16 Cost per capita, total number cared for ...
$77.55 Average Daily Attendance:
Boys ................... a
208 Cost per capita, average daily attendance ...
$242.33 Placed Out First Time: Boys ................
125 Girls ................... 103
228 Replaced: Boys ...
Cost per capita, average daily
Total number placed out..
Total number placed out.
Average per month........
30 Average Number in Homes: Boys ...............
743 G irls ...................
Of school ..........$50,081.13
-$59,144.88 Cost per capita, total wards... $38.86 Largest number present at any
time, May 13, 14, 15 and 16,
1910 ......................... Smallest number present at
any time, Dec. 2 and 3, 1909,
and Sept. 3, 1909............ 195 Per cent of the average number in homes returned.......
.143 Number of Visits
To children in homes... 1,350
1,803 Applications for children received .........
475 Applications approved, 37 per
cent of number received..... 178
Average Total Wards:
Of school ......... $50,406.16
235 Smallest number present a any time, Nov. 4, 1908......
184 Per cent of the average num
ber in homes returned..... .179 Number of Visits:
To children in homes.. 1,305
1,813 Applications for children re
566 Applications approved, 47 per cent of number received....
Average age of children when received, years....
in homes, months........
The foregoing statement is a summary of important and interesting results. It shows that 1,243 children have been sheltered and cared for here during the past two years—650 in 1909 and 593 in 1910, while the average daily attendance was only 212. The policy established at the beginning of placing the children in approved private homes has been steadily pursued and as the above statement shows, 427 were placed out in 1909 and 366 in 1910, a total of 793, during the period we are reporting upon. This indicates that diligence has been exercised in finding homes for the children in accordance with the provision of law requiring that this shall be done. Not only does the law under which this institution is conducted contemplate the placing of the children in homes, but the best thought and teaching of the day pronounce the placing-out plan the best plan of caring for dependent children when wisely administered.
The White House conference on the care of dependent children in January, 1909, gave as one of its conclusions: “As to the children who for sufficient reasons must be removed from their own homes, or who have no homes, it is desirable that, if normal in mind and body, and not requiring
special training, they should be cared for in families whenever practicable. The carefully selected foster home is for the normal child the best substitute for the natural home.”
INSTITUTIONAL CARE. But preparatory to placing the children out, much needs to be done for them. Many of them are in poor condition when received as the result of neglect and a period of institutional care is beneficial to them as it gives an opportunity, such as is not found in country homes, to remedy physical and mental defects, get them started in school work, and in manual and agricul. tural training and thus fit them to be useful and happy in country homes.
The physical condition of the children received has been given careful attention. Everyone has been carefully examined by our physician and such treatment given as the child's condition, as revealed by such examination, required. In numerous instances unsuspected disorders have been revealed and their further development arrested. Surgical treatment has been resorted to when necessary. It not infrequently occurs that certain marked peculiarities which a child possesses are due to defects of the sense organs or other physical defects. Adenoids, impaired vision, mal-nutrition and defective breathing are defects that have been most frequently observed in the children received.
There are always as many infants present as can be accommodated in the nursery. Their care and feeding is one of the vexatious problems with which we have to deal. Every child born of woman is entitled by birth to an inheritance, not only of love and affectionate care, but to intelligent care and feeding, which alone can give it a good start and secure such physical and mental development as will give it a fair chance in life.
Milk is the natural food for the young animal, but cow's milk is not per. fectly adapted to very young children. It is better adapted to the children a year or more of age, so we have found it necessary and of incalculable value to employ wet nurses. The results of feeding our infants, especially those who have had a poor start, by means of wet nurses have been highly satisfactory and the lives of many have thus been saved.
Success in the care of our infants requires that they be directly under the control of a thoroughly capable nurse, specially trained for such service. A reorganization of our nursery, whereby trained nurses have the immediate care of the babies both night and day has shown highly satisfactory results which certainly justify the additional expense made necessary by such change.
The average length of time which children remain in the school before being placed in homes, five and one-half months, may appear to be too short a time in which to accomplish much for them. Statements to this effect are often heard, but it should be remembered that the majority of the children received are young, many of them babies, fit subjects to be placed in good families, who only need to be washed and clothed to become attractive to people wanting children to adopt. While the purpose is to provide in the institution a temporary home only for the children, they may be retained as long as their best interests require. Certain children not prepared to be placed immediately in homes and certain children for whom no homes are for the time being available are kept for longer periods. Table No. 12 in