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"Nen I laid down on th' ground
An' say 'at I just wish
’At old tree says 'SH-H-H! Nen I cry an' cry an' cry
Till my pa, he hears
Nen says 'SH-H-H!'” "I'm go' to tell my ma 'at she
Don't suit me one bitWhyd' they all say 'SH-H-H!' to me And not say 'SH-H-H!' to IT?"
children who are receiving a street education in Fon du Lac, Wisconsin, that is likely to bring trouble for them and grief to their households, City Superintendent William Wilson and Mrs. M. J. Hogan, Truant Officer, have decided to call a meeting and organize a Juvenile Court.
At present there are only three established Juvenile Courts in Wisconsin and they are meeting with great success-Milwaukee, Madison and Oshkosh.
At a meeting of the County Commissioners of Texas action was taken to urge the next legislature to enact a law providing for Juvenile Courts in all cities with population of over twenty thousand. Circulars were sent out to all the County Judges of Texas asking their co-operation. The aid of the Civic Association of Women has also been evoked. It was the opinion of all who had studied the question that the present system in Texas is making criminals out of children who are brought into Court for first offense.
Judge Lindsey recently paid the office of the JUVENILE COURT RECORD à visit. We were glad to hear of his successful meetings in Michigan. He spoke to about 600 boys in Grand Rapids and to over 2,000 people in Ann Arbor, 1,000 being students who come from all parts of the United States, and they were greatly interested in his address on Juvenile Court work.
Judge Lindsey also spoke in Detroit and while there was entertained by some of the most prominent people in Detroit.
They are classified as below, it being understood that the parents when living are in most cases destitute: Children of able-bodied parents....
14,997 Children of not able-bodied parents.
24,127 Children of able-bodied widows...
96,735 Other children with one or both parents able-bodied. 49,546 Orphans or children without parents...
.248,771 In these figures are included 6,265 illegitimate children. The highest increase is among children of able-bodied parents receiving outdoor relief, the rise in this class since January 1st, 1904, being 21,370. Another classification of the total shows 59,078 indoor pauper children, and 188,693 receiving outdoor relief, excluding casuals, lunatics and idiots.
Less than half the 59,078 “indoor" children are in workhouses and infirmaries, the remainder being in cottage homes, district schools and training and industrial institutions.
In the division of the whole mass of pauperism of England and Wales into men, women and children, it is melancholy to note how large is the proportion of child paupers, thus:
Men, 20.5 per 1,000 of the male adult population.
At the beginning of this year there were three more paupers in every 1,000 inhabitants than on January 1st, 1901. The total number of paupers on January 1st this year was 932,267. This was an increase of 63,139 compared with the opening of 1904, equal to 7.3 per cent.
The increase is almost entirely due to London, its four surrounding counties, and a few of the midland counties. On Jan. uary 1st the ratio of pauperism to population in London was higher than in any of the previous twenty-three years, and London had four more paupers per 1,000 than the rate for the whole of England and Wales. Since 1994 the proportion of pauperism to population has been lower throughout England and Wales than in London. The East is the London district which shows the largest increase, in four years the number of East London paupers having risen from 21,581 to 30,380, equal to a rise of 4.5 per cent.
The contrast between London and the whole country is clearly shown in these figures:
England and Wales, one pauper in 36 of population, or 27.6 per 1,000, an increase of 1.6 per 1,000 since 1904.
London, one pauper in 31 of population, or 31.8 per 1,000, an increase of 2.2 per 1,000 since 1904.
Among the mass of pauperism, less than one-fourth is ordinarily able-bodied. It is the wrecks and dregs of humanity, the people who are incapable of performing any work—those whom General Booth has described as fit only for a lethal chamber-who are increasing. Excluding lunatics and casuals, the pauper army divides thus: Ordinarily able-bodied, 132,689 ; not able-bodied, 428,469.
The Juvenile Court Bill for Georgia was drawn by Attorney James L. Anderson, assisted by his brother, Col. Clifford Anderson, at the request of Crawford Jackson of Atlanta. This carefully and ably prepared measure will be pressed before and during the next session of the legislature.
One of the saddest things in connection with the state campaign were the visits to various prisons throughout Georgia, where innocent children were sometimes incarcerated with hardened criminals, some for playing on revolving doors or riding a short distance on a slowly passing train; some had lost their way from home or parents; some were temporarily epileptic;
were hunting, consciously or unconsciously on posted land. Surely the right-minded people of the Empire State of the South will rise up and demand the cessation of such barbarism.
On October 6th Judge John A. Caldwell of the Cincinnati Juvenile Court gave an interesting talk to the principals of the public schools. The Judge said his Court had been established fourteen months, during which time there had been brought before him 640 cases, out of which about forty-eight per cent. had been placed on probation, to report to the Principals of Schools and through them or some Probation Officer back to the Court, the others having been cared for in different institutions. In referring to the good accomplished through the Juvenile Court, the Judge referred to the case of a boy brought before him charged with the theft of property valued at $100.
This boy, who appeared bright and honest, was given a chance, and, “had he been sentenced,” said Judge Caldwell, "it is altogether probable that he would have been lost altogether. As it is reports received indicate that he will make a good man.'
The Juvenile Court has also arranged for the treatment of poor children at free clinics. If they desire to read and study, but have not the means to buy books, Judge Caldwell goes security for books, which they secure from the Library, and in no case yet has he been called upon to pay for any.
The Juvenile Court is now at work districting the city, so that the truants and other children coming under the jurisdiction of the Court may be kept under closer surveillance.
L. H. Weir, Chief Probation Officer, gave some interesting statistics regarding the disposition of cases. The largest appearing before the Court in any one month was in March, when 82 cases were considered. The smallest number of cases were in the months of July and December. During the spring months a marked increase in delinquency is noticed.
The child palipers of England and Wales have now reached the formidable total of 248,771—an army corps verging on a quarter of a million boys and girls under the age of 16 who are being supported out of the poor rates.
It is a constantly growing army, says the London Express. This year the number is 25,091 greater than on New Years day of 1904.
Illinois State Conference of Charities
Tenth Annual Meeting.
The tenth annual meeting of the Illinois State Conference has shown itself by the fact that no disreputable Society has of Charities was held at Pontiac, Illinois, on October 24th, 25th been able to make any headway in our State. and 26th. The program was not only instructive, but exceedingly interesting. This was evidenced from the fact that at
I presume you are thoroughly acquainted with the plans each session of the Conference there was a large and very at
the various Societies use relative to placing their children in tentive audience. Many very instructive and valuable papers
homes. Applications are sent out, questions are asked, obliwere read by those participating in the program.
gations are required; all these must be answered by the family
and also several references relative to their moral character, The representative of the JUVENILE Court RECORD has se- their social and financial standing, etc., sent in. As a rule, in lected for this issue the papers pertaining to child-placing work. our office, we know a majority of the people who make appliThis is the great question interesting child-saving people at the cations for our children and when we do not know the people, present time in the United States. The papers read by Mr.
we write to several of the best citizens in the town from which Sehon of Louisville and Mr. Hiser of Indiana appear in this the application comes, get their opinion about the home and if issue.
they think it a favorable home for a child, then an agent is The conference adjourned to meet at Chicago the third sent to investigate and it is up to him to make the final deweek in October, 1906.
cision. We make a very close investigation of the home, and The officers elected for the next year are:
it doesn't matter how worthy the family may be, how rich President-Ernest P. Bicknell, Chicago.
or how high their social position, if they will not agree to give Vice President-Dr. Frank Norbury, Jacksonville.
the child the advantages of a home, treat it as a member of Secretary-Colonel J. Mack Tanner, Springfield.
the family, not a domestic, send the child to school and place Chairmen of committees :
it under the very best moral influences, they can not get one Epileptics and feeble-minded-Dr. George A. Zeller, Peoria. of our children. We refuse them just as fast as we find out
Visitation of children placed in foster homes-Rev. Chas. that their object in asking for a child is to make the child a Virden, Pecatonica.
domestic slave. The supervision of children in families is, as Defective children-Dr. Thos. C. McMillan, Chicago.
stated above, the most important Department of the child-saving Civil service and public charities_W. B. Moulton, Chicago. system, for here the results are seen.
Juvenile courts and county visitation-Dr. Josephine Milli- If a child is well placed, we may expect a wonderful adgan, Jacksonville.
vancement in a very few months. I should state here that Executive committee-Sherman C. Kingsley, Chicago. the children are usually placed in a home on trial for thirty
days. If at the end of that time, or before that time, the family
do not feel they want to keep the child or do not feel that Address of Geo. L. Sehon of Kentucky they have made the right selection, they are at perfect liberty
to return the child. If, after a period of thirty days, the child Children's Home Society.
still remains in the home, then the Society immediately begins
the work of supervision by requesting the members of the MR. CHAIRMAN, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN :
local board, situated in the town nearest the home of the foster As much as I appreciate the honor of being invited to speak parents, to take an interest in the child and encourage the child before this Conference tonight, I do not accept it as a personal and foster parents in every possible way. We place no chilhonor. I know that it is a compliment meant for the South, dren secretly; we do not think this the best plan. No child is and in the name of the South, I extend to you our deep, heart- sent to a home unless it is distinctly understood it is to be felt gratitude
visited regularly. Even our little infants are visited, while The Southern States, owing to problems that confronted there is no necessity of sending an agent to visit these babes them for many years, were not able to take up philanthropic of one or two years, yet it is the beginning of a system that work until the past few years, and we feel it a very dis- must be inaugurated as soon as the child is placed in the home tinguished honor that you have asked a Southern man to speak so that in after years the family will understand that the Sobefore this intellectual conference of trained workers on the ciety will closely supervise the child. Our visitors are instructed important topic of supervision of children in family homes. to remove a child immediately from a home if the child is not
The supervision of children in homes is the most important being sent to school, or if it is not receiving the advantages of Department of the child-saving system. It is a difficult sub- the home. It is wonderful how soon men engaged in childject to discuss and cannot be handled intelligently unless it is saving learn to discriminate between a bad and a good home. preceded by two other important Departments of child-saving, If the child is unhappily situated it takes very little time for namely the reception and placement of the child in the home, these trained workers to find it out; if the child is occupying and I trust that you will allow me the privilege of telling you an unnatural position during the agent's visit the foster parents how the children are received, placed and supervised by the themselves show more uneasiness and are more unnatural than Kentucky Children's Home Society. You will pardon me if I the child, thereby enabling the visitors to see at once that somemention Kentucky frequently and also refer to my personal thing is wrong. We impress on the families that the children work. I can speak only in a local way because I have had no are to be made useful men and women and that we propose other experience. The Kentucky Children's Home Society takes to give them every opportunity, and that while we appreciate no child unless it is accompanied by an order of the County Court. The Society does not go into a county and say this
good homes, yet we can not think of letting the children remain
if the families begin to violate the contract with the Society family of children is destitute, and these children should be removed from their environments, but we insist upon the County
relative to the social position of the child, its moral advan
tages, etc. It is my pleasure to inform you tonight that we Judge having these children and their parents or guardians are now visiting our children for the second time this year. brought before him at a special or regular session of his court, I believe this will be something entirely new, as heretofore it and after hearing the testimony, decide whether or not it is for has been with the greatest difficulty that these children have the best interests of the children to be removed. If he con- been visited once a year. These visitations will cost the Society cludes that their environments are not what they should be, between $9,000 and $10.000 and this amount will be increased he turns them over legally to the Kentucky Children's Home So- largely each year, and I am free to say that if it cost $25.000 ciety and gives that Society the power to place them in a home or $30,000, it would be money well spent, because the Society and to have them legally adopted, if they deem it best. We must know the condition of the children. It may be interesting consider this the wisest way of receiving children. It does away to state that our agents take snap-shots of the children whenever with the indiscriminate methods of giving children away to they visit the home. We do not have them dressed up for the irresponsible parties or to Societies that should not have them occasion, but we catch the children just as they happen to be under their control. It also prevents mothers who are de- seen by the visitors. These pictures are filed in the office, where spondent and in the depths of poverty from giving their children there are now something like 4.000. What they will mean to to anyone who may chance to ask for them. We seldom ever the superintendent, who removed the child from its environhear of a procuress in Kentucky, and the wisdom of the work ment of poverty, who placed it in a home and wno is watching
its development, can only be understood by him; the pleasure of being able to see the changes in these children every six months, even though he can not visit the home, will more than compensate for the expense of the cameras and material. I do not know how the Children's Home Society of Illinois, or the other child-placing agencies in Illinois, feel about the children in permanent homes, but I want to sound an alarm note. In this age of commercialism, when men are trying in every possible way to accumulate and save every dollar, there is great danger in placing the older children, and unless they are carefully supervised they are apt to be treated as domestics and slaves rather than members of the family, thereby disappointing the Commonwealth, which hopes and expects to see them become educated, refined and moral men and women. There is a great possibility in this placement and for that reason I want to urge, as earnestly as I can, that the Superintendent allow no child to remain in a home without knowing all about it. He must know the condition of the child; how the child is getting along in school and for that reason he should keep in touch with the school teacher and have a monthly report sent relative to the child's attendance, appearance, deportment and progress in its studies. We find it necessary in Kentucky to keep in touch with the school teachers from the fact that we have no compulsory educational law. This may not be necessary in Illinois, but I would suggest its being adopted from the fact that it is so satisfactory to have these reports come into the office every month with a letter from the teacher giving her impressions, etc. Very frequently the Superintendent is able to correct some little fault of the child by having a timely warning from the school teacher. Possibly the strongest organization in the country today is the Kentucky Children's Home Society. We have 10,000 members and over 1,000 volunteer helpers. There is not a town in the State where there are not two or three of the best citizens interested in the Society to such an extent that they will go miles to investigate the condition of a destitute family or if it is necessary keep children in their homes for two or three days or until the Society can reach them and always give straight, honest reports regarding the moral and social standing of the families asking for children. I have been told that in some states the Superintendents never see the children. I can not understand it. I do not believe that a Superintendent who does not see each and every child that comes into the Receiving Home •rightly understands his responsibility to the State and to the child. In my work as Superintendent of the destitute children of Kentucky I would not think of allowing a child to pass into the hands of a family without getting into touch with it. I want to understand every child's envirouments; the difficulties it encountered before it came to us, why it was necessary to declare it destitute. I want to get into the little creature's heart and to have him look upon me as his best friend. That can not be done unless the Superintendent comes into personal touch with the child. It is almost a criminal. mistake to allow a child to go out into a home with his name a mythical name. What influence could Mr. Jones or Mr. Black have on a child who never saw Mr. Jones or Mr. Black? The District Superintendent or subordinate worker should never go to a home in order to patch up the difference between the family and an older child. The Superintendent should go himself. You don't know how much can be accomplished by your personal visit to a home where a child is dissatisfied. The leader of the work should go. He should never be too busy to feel that the child has the first call. It doesn't matter how many engagements he may have, he should break them and go and help the child out of its difficulty. These difficulties are not so great as might be supposed. They can be adjusted if he will let the family know that he intends to be perfectly fair, but that he proposes to protect the interest of the child. This personal touch has a great deal to do with the success of our work. I have a great sympathy for the older children who reach our Society. It is a very sad thing the way they come to us. Imagine a boy or girl of 12 years who has been cuffed about, sent from home to home and sometimes neighborhood to neighborhood without any attention or kindness shown them. You may imagine when they are finally sent by some County Judge to us they are as a rule the most despondent set of children that can be found anywhere on earth, and sometimes from their very sullenness and stubbornness they are termed incorrigible and sent by some Societies to the Schools of Reform. I want to state here that we don't have any incorrigible boys or girls in the Kentucky Children's Home Society. We believe that all these children need is a chance and feel that if the Superintendent will do all in his power for these children and impress upon them that he is their friend he will touch the good spot and that better conditions will immediately prevail.
With your nermission I will mention one of the most interesting cases I can reniember in the work. Some six years
ago a boy 12 years of age, a freckled-faced, red-headed boy who had been kicked and cuffed and abused, who never knew what kindness meant and who had become so embittered and so destitute that he had grown tired of living, was found by a County Judge sleeping in a haystack and turned him over to our Society. I went after him myself. I said: “Jim, you have had a hard time, but who has not had a hard time? I had a hard time as a boy; I had to work very hard. Now, I know that you haven't been treated fairly and that you have had no one to depend upon, but that is changed from this day. I ain going to be a friend to you; if there ever was a friend on earth, I am going to be that friend to you. You may count on me through thick and thin and I am going to protect you and stand by you." He said: “I never had a friend in my life, everybody has always hated me; sometimes I get so tired I wished I was dead." I said: "Oh yes, Jim, I am speaking kindly to you now.” After keeping him in the Receiving Home several weeks, I placed him in a country home. His greatest faults were his sensitiveness and fighting qualities. A few weeks after I placed him I had to remove him on account of a fight with a neighbor boy. He was placed in home after home, but would leave them all after having some difficulty with some neighbor boy. Every time I would go after him and talk with him and try to impress upon him the fact that he was doing better and that he could not see it, but I could. Finally I placed him in the home of an old school-mate, a prosperous farmer in our State. I said to the farmer: "I want you to be extra kind and courteous to Jim. There is the making of a great, big, useful man in him. I want you to find his tender spot and develop it, if possible." I knew the man would do all he possibly coulii for the boy, but in about three weeks, I received a telegram which read as follows: "For Heaven's sake, come after Jim. He has whipped out the entire neighborhood.”
I immediately started after him and found the boy at a neighbor's house. I put him in the buggy and started back. After traveling a little while, I said to him: "I don't understand why you don't do better. I don't understand why you can not see what I am trying to do for you and that it is up to you to do your part.” He said: "Well, you may be a friend of mine, but I aint seen it yet.” I said: “Let me put this proposition to you, Jim. If I am not your friend, what has induced me to come after you six or seven times, or what has induced me this morning to pay $3 railroad fare and $2.50 for a buggy and to pay $3 back to the city for myself and $1.50 for you, if I were not interested in you? Now, if I were not your friend I would say, Let him go; he isn't worth the trouble and expense we incur in bringing him back to the Receiving Home, but I haven't thought of expense, Jim; I have only thought of you.”
On our way to the railroad station we stopped at a little wayside grocery and as I went in to get a drink of water I noticed two or three larger boys eyeing Jim. I had no more than reached the rear of the store and gotten a drink of water when the men in front hollered out: “Fight.” I ran out as rapidly as possible and found Jim and a larger boy engaged in the most splendid fight I ever saw. Some men
were trying to separate them, but I said: “Let them alone; the man that attempts to separate them will have to settle with me." Then I stepped up to him and patted him on his back and said: "Whip him, Jim; I will stand by you,” and Jim did whip him; he whipped him good. After it was all over I took Jim into the grocery store, wiped the blood off his face with my handkerchief, gave him a drink, put him in the buggy and after drive ing a mile and a half, I turned to him and said: "Did you hear me take up for you?” He replied: "Yes, sir; I did." I said: “Jim, don't you believe I am your friend?” Holding up his hand and grasping mine with a firm clasp, he said: "Mr. Sehon, you will never have any more trouble with Jim.” Jim today is an Assistant Superintendent of a Sunday school, one of the best boys in his County and has more property than any other ward of the Society. He has a horse, four cows and a flock of sheep. He is going to school regularly and will make a good man. This incident is given to show what can be done by personal touch with the child.
There is another important feature, and that is this: The Superintendents should realize what their responsibilities are to the children. These children are given to them by their parents, their guardians or by court order with a distinct understanding that the Society who receives them shall do everything in its power to see that the children are developed into useful citizenshin. The Commonwealth expects this, the community expects it, and the children expect it. It would be, to my mind, the saddest feature of the work to take a child from its environment of poverty or of crime, to give that child a taste of a higher or better life, then to place it in a home and neglect it. This should not be done. If the proper supervision is given, almost every child will develop into a citizenship of which the Coinmonwealth will be proud; but, if neglected, it
will remain a dependent and will grow up to be a public pauper or a criminal. I don't care how good the families may be, how religious they may be, what their advantages are, my advice is not to trust your children with them without regular supervision. Visit them just as often as you can and have just as many agencies at work to protect the children as can be secured
This work before us is a wonderful work. When we realize that the child of today is the citizen of tomorrow and that the child is the state's most valuable asset and that it is up to us to develop the child into good or bad citizenship, then we will see and realize our responsibilities. We have a work to do and ought to do it well. We should not shirk any part of it. The man who shirks any of the disagreeable features of the childsaving work is not the man for the place. The man who can not take a little, unkempt, dirty child in his arms and care for that child when it needs it is not fit to care for the child after it has been placed in the home. I speak plainly, I don't know what it is to speak in any other way. I speak earnestly for my whole heart is in the work, and in conclusion let me say that I am so delighted to know that the State Board of Charities has appointed a visitor to inspect the children placed in homes by other Societies. I know that Dr. Hart and Mr. Hurley and other reputable agents in child-saving work in Illinois will welcome the visitation of these children by the State Board of Charities. He will be in a position to be of valuable assistance to them and of still greater assistance to the State, but may I add a word of caution? I think it would be very unwise for your State Board of Charities to let any man go into homes to visit without careful preparation, and instead of starting him on his work he ought to be given a schooling for two, or three months, and should be sent to Indiana, where the children have a State agent who is one of the most competent men in his line in the country; I refer to Mr. Hiser, who is on the platform with me; or he should be sent to some other State where strong, honest work is done and where the agents carefully supervise and serve an apprenticeship with these trained workers. He can not visit intelligently without this experience. If he attempts to go without any knowledge he will be apt to do the child, the Society who sent the child and himself an injustice. After he has had training and begins his visitation he will soon see whether or not the child is loved in the home or occupying the position of a domestic. He will readily learn how to distinguish between the child well placed and the child poorly place
Ladies and Gentlemen, there is no more important work to be done than the work for children. It means the future citizenship of your State. If these children are properly cared for, in a few years the problem of dependency will be solved. I do not know how to emphasize my remarks better than by saying: Understand your responsibility ; be firm and true to your obligations, supervise your children as carefully as possible. Do not hesitate to spend money when it comes to finding out the condition of the child in the home. Supervise, supervise, supervise and keep on supervising them. I thank you.
they may know that proper care and training is given them until they are eighteen years of age or become adopted.
In the same Act authority was given the Board of State Charities to establish a State Agency through which to carry into effect the provisions of this Act.
It is the duty of the State Agency to assist the orphans' homes in seeking free family homes for the children of their care, visit the children thus placed and, in addition, whenever practicable, visit all children who are public wards and are placed in private family homes in the State by whatever placing agency. And it is charged with the further duty of removing any child it finds placed where the child is not getting proper care and training and returning it to the county or orphans' home from which it was placed.
To enable the State Agency to perform these duties it was provided that the orphans' homes should, immediately upon the taking effect of the Act, send to the Board of State Charities the name, age and description of each child then in their care, and of every child placed out by them during the previous two years. together with the name and address of the persons with whom placed, and thereafter on the first Monday of each month there should be forwarded to the said Board similar information of all children received or placed since the preceding report.
The State Agency, as it now exists in Indiana, consists of four agents, two men and two women, and a clerk, who is a
All of the agents do the same kind of work except that one is given oversight of all the work. He has charge of the correspondence and office affairs, and by consultations with the Secretary of the Board and the other agents, plans and directs their operations in the field. The clerk, in addition to the duties ordinarily performed by such person, has charge of the reports from the orphans' homes, keeps record of the movements of the children to and from the orphans' homes, and the transfer of children from one family home to another.
When engaging in the work of this State Agency almost two and a half years ago I soon learned that the majority of the orphans' homes of the State were not living up to the requirements of the law regarding the supervision and personal visitation of their placed-out children. While in some instances they had made an attempt at visitation it had been done in such a tactless and desultory way and no reports made or records kept of their visits that little or nothing was accomplished by them. I further learned that with many of the orphans' homes it was practically impossible for such visits to be made, as there were no records available showing where and with whom their children had been placed, and with others no funds were available to pay the expense of such visits, and yet others where, if these deficiencies could have been supplied, there was no one with interest and time enough to do such visiting. There were a few-a half dozen or so-out of about forty that were faithful to their charges and by assiduous correspondence or visits on Sundays when roads were good and weather promising kept a good working knowledge of their children.
But the children thus looked after were so few of the whole number needing attention that this problem was presented: “If the placed-out children in the State were to be visited the State Agency must increase its efforts in that direction."
In pursuance of this notion the clerk was directed to make up visiting lists of those counties that had not been visited for the greatest length of time. When the plans of the Agency would permit an agent would take one of these visiting lists, go into a county and visit there without ceasing until every child in that county had been visited. You must understand, however, that in all of these counties some children had been visited regularly. I refer to those placed by the State Agency, which has placements in practically every county in the State. It has visited each year its own placements and while doing so has visited other children in the region of these and in some few instances this included all the placed-out children in a particular county. But it was not until the time mentioned above that emphasis was placed upon visiting in counties systematically and as a whole.
So far I have stated the legal right given the State Agency to visit all children placed out in private family homes in the State, also the conditions found making it necessary for such visitation. I shall now try and tell you how the visiting is done and some of the difficulties that are met with.
An agent, upon going into a county to visit, is equipped with a visiting list, as mentioned before. This list contains the name and age of each child placed out, date of placement, names of foster parents, their address and distance and direction from the postoffice or nearest railroad station, name of county of which the child is a ward and of the orphans' home from which it came. A margin is left to record date of visit. If the county is a new one to the agent the first thing will
(Continued on page 11 )
Visitation of Children Placed in Family
Homes. (Paper read before the Illinois State Conference at Pontiac by Mr. Perry N. Hiser, State Agent, Indianapolis, Ind.)
The system now in vogue in Indiana for the care of dependent and neglected children and the supervision of the same by the Board of State Charities was provided by an Act of its General Assembly in 1897.
This Act makes it the duty of county commissioners to care for dependent children on the ground that it is their duty to care for all persons becoming permanent charges not provided for in the State Institutions.
These commissioners may, and in the main do, care for this class of children in orphans' homes, which are owned, officered and maintained by the commissioners or by private associations organized for the purpose of caring for such children. If in the latter, it is done by contract, the commissioners paying the association the legal rate-twenty-five cents per day--for each child receiving care. Or, in some instances, if the children becoming public wards are easily placeable, they are turned over to the State Agency and placed directly in family homes.
It is required that releases of guardianship shall be obtained from parents or guardians of all children committed for permanent care, the children thus becoming wards of the board of county commissioners providing for their care. It is further required that these homes shall as rapidly as possible seek free homes among private families for all of the placeable children in their charge and so keep in touch with them afterward hy means of personal visits and reports from foster parents that