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REPORT OF THE
BOARD OF MANAGERS
BIENNIAL PERIOD ENDING JULY 31, 1914
State Public School
To the State Board of Control.
Gentlemen: The fifteenth biennial report of the State Public School is herewith respectfully submitted.
The following statistics indicate in part the results of the work of the two years:
GALEN A. MERRILL,
Average total wards:
Average total wards:
RESUME OF TWENTY-EIGHT YEARS.
1,282 In homes adopted
411 In homes restored to parents
2,026 Attained majority and self-supporting.
2,209 Died in homes and in school..
238 Returned to the counties from which they came because improper subjects for this school....
254 Present July 31, 1914....
289 Average age of children when received, years.. Average time of residence of children in the school before being placd in
Under existing laws children may be admitted upon orders of the juvenile divisions of the district courts of counties having more than fifty thousand population, of the probate courts of counties having less than fifty thousand population, and by transfer from other institutions which are authorized by the State Board of Control to receive and find homes for children.
of the 439 children admitted for the first time during the biennial period, 75 were from Hennepin county, 66 from Ramsey county, and 107 from St. Louis county, committed by the juvenile divisions of the district courts. One hundred ninety-one were from other counties, committed by the probate courts. Four were received by transfer from the Washburn Memorial Or. phan Asylum, of Minneapolis.
The average daily attendance of 270 during the past year is larger than the attendance in any preceding year. The opening of the new cottage for babies in May, 1913, has made it possible to accommodate the increased number. The average daily population for ten years has been 228.9.
Attention is called to the number of children cared for each year, 665 in 1913 and 659 in 1914, which is large in comparison with the number in daily attendance. As a result of the placing out work, which has been con. stantly carried on, the movement of the population has been sufficiently rapid to permit so many to be cared for in a year.
The constant changing of the population adds to the cost of maintenance. This should be remembered in comparing the cost of this institution with that of others whose population is steady. The increase in cost of maintenance for the last year is due in part to the opening of the new cottage and an additional primary school and in part to the higher cost of supplies.
The biennial period closed with the record of 5,016 children received since the school opened, the most of whom had been placed in foster homes in Minnesota to the mutual advantage of themselves and their foster parents. Fifteen hundred and seventy-one were then remaining under the care and supervision of the board—289 in the school and 1,282 in homes.
• Through this board the state exercises full powers of personal guardianship over the children and seeks to restore them to normal relations to society. The measure of success that has attended such efforts is indicated by the reports of the state agents who visit the children in their homes or places of employment and ascertain what progress and growth the minor wards are making from year to year and, as far as possible, what degree of success those who have reached the age of self support have attained. The information obtained through such inquiries indicates that, as a rule, the children have become a part of the normal population, attending the public schools and engaging in the social, religious and industrial activities of the communities in which they live; that those who have reached man's and woman's estate are, a large majority of them, maintaining themselves honor. ably as young people of good character.
There are always as many babies present as can be accommodated in the nursery. Their care is one of the serious problems with which we have to deal. Strictly sanitary conditions and intelligent care and feeding by efficient nurses under the direction of a highly capable physician have resulted in a very low mortality rate among the babies. The death rate the first year of this biennial period was 8.8 per cent with a total of 68 babies careu for and a daily average of 30. The death rate the past year was 4.9 per cent, the number cared for being 82 and the daily average 30.
RESEARCH WORK. There would undoubtedly be little need for this institution if every child could be well born and well brought up. Unfortunately there are very many who are ill-born and not well brought up. Whether a child be well born or not it is essential that he be well brought up. Indeed an unfortunate physical and mental heritage increases the need of good environment and proper training if the child is to become efficient and useful. Earnest efforts are made to improve the condition of the children while they remain in the school preparatory to their being placed in foster homes, returned to relatives, or, in the case of the older children, discharged to self support. To render such efforts more effective a more thorough and systematic study of individuals has been begun. Such studies are of great value in revealing the possibilities of remedial and constructive work for the children. By determining the physical condition and manual dexterity, the mental status and capacity, the choice and fitness for a vocational pursuit of a child the training to be given him to develop his powers to the best advantage can be determined.
In the first place careful attention is given to the physical condition of the children, each child being given thorough physical examination when he enters the school. These examinations are made by the attending physi-' cian who does the necessary medical and surgical work to remedy as far as possible the physical defects discovered, the results in each case being