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In accordance with the provisions of the State Charities law, the chief subjects considered by the inspectors in the examination of institutions are (1) the nature and efficiency of the supervision exercised by boards of trustees, directors or managers; (2) the just, humane and economic character of the administration as shown in the conduct and efficiency of persons charged with the internal management; (3) the suitability and general condition of the buildings occupied and their sanitary condition; (4) the methods employed for the protection and preservation of the health of inmates; (5) the kind of industrial, educational and moral training afforded and its adaptation to the needs of the inmates; (6) the nature and accuracy of the financial and other records of the institution, and (7) compliance with the rules of the Board adopted pursuant to the provisions of the constitution, Article VIII., section 14.
The following table summarizes in a brief manner the conditions reported to exist in the private charitable institutions of the State subject to the visitation and inspection of the Board:
General conditions reported in the private charities inspected by the department for the year ending September 30, 1901.
By the revised constitution of 1894, the State Board of Charities was made not only a constitutional body charged with the duty of visitation and inspection of the public and private charities of the State, but the Board was clothed with other important The constitution, Article VIII., section 14, provides
"Payments by counties, cities, towns and villages to charitable, eleemosynary, correctional and reformatory institu tions, wholly or partly under private control, for care, support and maintenance, may be authorized, but shall not be required by the Legislature. No such payments shall be made for any inmate of such institutions who is not received and retained therein pursuant to rules established by the State Board of Charities. Such rules shall be subject to the control of the Legislature by general laws."
In accordance with the provisions of this section, the State Board is charged with the important duty of formulating rules and regulations governing the reception and retention of inmates of institutions in receipt of public money but under private control. These rules have been subject to amendment from time to time, as experience and circumstances have demanded. As at present formulated and administered, the rules require that every such institution having the care of children shall file with the Board a monthly statement showing the admissions and discharges for the preceding month and the total number of inmates remaining at the end of the month. Certain facts regarding each child so received or discharged are also requested. In this way the Board is enabled to keep a register of the inmates of all children's homes that are in receipt of public money. The following table shows the population of such institutions at the close of the fiscal years from September 30, 1896, to September 30, 1901:
Number of Inmates of Homes for Children in Receipt of Public Money.
September 30, 1896 (119 institutions)
The number of children present in these homes on September 30, 1901, shows an increase of 592 compared with the number present on September 30, 1900. Of this increase 109 represent two institutions which began to report during the year. The total increase was distributed by localities as follows:
Boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx..
Borough of Brooklyn...
Elsewhere in the State
Increase in number of such children for year ending September 30, 1901.
During the year St. Joseph's Home for Babies was merged with the Dominican Convent of Our Lady of the Rosary, New York city; the Shepherd's Fold was merged with the Children's Fold, New York city, and the children from St. Mary's Orphan Asylum, Canandaigua, were transferred to St. Patrick's Asylum, Rochester. The Brooklyn Children's Aid Society, and the New York Mothers' Home of the Sisters of Misericorde were added to the list of institutions which receive children and make monthly reports to this Board. The total of such institutions, therefore, was 121 as compared with 122 for the previous year.
During the fiscal year ending September 30, 1901, there were discharged from the homes for children under private control, but in receipt of public money, 15,217 children. The monthly reports made to the Board show the following facts regarding these children:
Facts Relating to 15,217 Inmates of 121 Homes for Children Discharged During the Year Ending September 30, 1901.
Age at Time of Discharge.
Less than 1 year of age.
Duration of Institution Life.
Less than 1 year.
Between 8 and 9 years.
Between 9 and 10 years
Ten years or over
Transferred upon approval of Commissioner.
Left by expiration of time.
Of the 15,217 children reported as discharged during the year, 448 were afterward readmitted to the same institutions. If we add to this number those sent to hospitals or other institutions or transferred from one institution to another upon approval of a commissioner of the Board, we have a migration of 1,132 children, whose institutional life did not cease by reason of the discharge noted above.
Of the 1,439 children who died, 1,123 were inmates of infant asylums.