A Study of Thirty-Four Foster Children and Twelve Foster Homes Supervised by the County Office of the Catholic Home Bureau

Ann Hollis Johnson, Fordham University


Traditionally, America has held, just as our present society recognizes, that each child has the right to a place with his parents in his own home. This is the minimum guarantee for providing security and protection to the youth of our nation. To divert from this principle, even minutely, demands exhaustive and competent study of conditions and circumstances which give rise to consideration of alternative planning in the interest of the child. It is understandable that human factors, some of which are beyond human control, do effect individual living and, as in the past, there are, and always will be situations which alter the normal pattern of family life for some. Thus, the child so deprived temporarily or permanently for any one of a number of acceptable reasons, merits the best society can offer in the form of a foster home. All persons, lay and professional , agree with the cardinal principle in child welfare practice; since the best in foster care is no substitute for the child's own home, plans for children away from their own parents are made only after it has been determined that no other and better arrangement is feasible. Foster care was conceived originally as a service for dependent or neglected children, i.e., for those children whose parents were unable to maintain them financially, or were charged with neglect of or cruelty toward them. The care given was in the nature of custodial care and generally extended for the duration of childhood. The Free Home Program, given impetus in the nineteenth century, initiated the placement of children with private families. Some of these homes were located on farms throughout the United States; others, in urban and suburban communities. Today, some free home placements are made but they have decreased considerably in number.

Subject Area

Individual & family studies|Health care management|Social work

Recommended Citation

Johnson, Ann Hollis, "A Study of Thirty-Four Foster Children and Twelve Foster Homes Supervised by the County Office of the Catholic Home Bureau" (1951). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI30509612.