Responsibility of Relatives: A Study of the Contact With "Legally Responsible Relatives” of One Hundred Applicants for Old Age Assistance in 1948- Department of Family and Child Welfare Westchester County, New York
The question of responsibility of relatives is one which has been examined periodically, and modified throughout the centuries. The legal provisions pointing to responsibility have necessarily been contingent on the mores of the culture prevalent in the community. Background of the Study. The community from which material for this paper was secured, Westchester County in the State of New York, recognizes the family as the fundamental unit in society. In general, some responsibility of one family member for the support, both moral and physical, of another needy member is accepted. Although culturally this may be traced to the early Christian and Hebraic traditions, the legal provisions have their origin in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries in England. There, when the traditional role of the Church in administering assistance was abandoned after suppression of the monasteries, it became recognized that in the absence of other means of support of the needy the State must accept this duty. The English Poor Laws were written providing assistance to the needy from public taxation, and when New York State passed from Dutch to English control legislation was based on the English tradition, and continues to be based on that tradition to the present day. The legal provisions and their history are treated in greater detail in Chapter II.
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Rice, Ruth Elizabeth, "Responsibility of Relatives: A Study of the Contact With "Legally Responsible Relatives” of One Hundred Applicants for Old Age Assistance in 1948- Department of Family and Child Welfare Westchester County, New York" (1950). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI30724962.