Population Study of Children in a Temporary Care Setting A Study of Dependent and Neglected Children in Children’s Center, Manhattan, 1947 – 1955

Louise Isabel Charles, Fordham University


The development of social work for children has been a slow process. It has been influenced by the science of medicine, psychology, psychiatry, and sociology. Economic crisis is also played an important role. It was during the middle of the last century before any attempts were made to consider children's rights. There was a lapse of time before the child was considered - his mechanisms and emotional life. The traditional belief or the families solidarity might have been a hindering factor. The father’s absolute authority was respected throughout Greek, Hebrew and Roman History. The father could sell his children and had power over life and death, Change in this attitude was a gradual process. By 1909 a radical change took place in policy of child welfare due to the First White House Conference which was called by President Theodore Roosevelt. Many philanthropists, government officials and partitions in the field of social welfare voiced their opinions for the first time regarding child welfare planning. The highly debatable question of which type of care was better for dependent and neglected children arose institutions or foster homes. In 1950, another White House Conference on children and youth was held in Washington D. C. It was the fifth in a series since the first one in 1909. The purpose of the Conference was to consider how to develop in children - the mental, emotional, and spiritual qualities essential to individual happiness and to responsible citizenship, and what physical, economic, and social conditions are deemed necessary to this development. With this focus as a guide the Conference was interested in all the children of the Nation. It was interested, moreover, in seeing children functioning as total persons in relation to their total environment. While the program was set up to consider the needs and problems of the "average" child, it was recognized that the child population includes many children with special problems and needs and consideration of these was planned for.

Subject Area

Public policy|Social research|Social psychology|Social work

Recommended Citation

Charles, Louise Isabel, "Population Study of Children in a Temporary Care Setting A Study of Dependent and Neglected Children in Children’s Center, Manhattan, 1947 – 1955" (1957). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI30670872.