Foster Care: The Origin and Development of the Society for Seamen’s Children, Staten Island, New York, 1846–1961
Background of the Study. The field of child welfare includes a broad range of efforts aimed at making it possible for children to live happily and to grow and develop into healthy, wholesome individuals able to make the most of their potential in life. It encompasses services provided directly to children and is also concerned with the preservation and strengthening of family life in the bringing about of the kind of community life which makes for wholesome child development. Care for children who are without the protection of their families, and for “orphans” and abandoned children, is one of the oldest forms of charity dating from ancient times. In our country a wide variety of provisions have been made for children needing care away from their own families. Reviewing the historical development of child welfare from colonial times, it is found that early efforts reflected Elizabethan poor laws. Older children were indentured for many years while younger children were boarded with foster families or placed in almshouses. The large number of immigrants coming to the New World, the high rate of mortality among indentured servants, wars, starvation, and disease, left many children alone and destitute. The colonists were ill prepared for their care and this left relatives, friends, neighbors and religious organizations, to help many of these children.
Social work|Social research|Social studies education|Individual & family studies
Ashhurst, Marie Almarell, "Foster Care: The Origin and Development of the Society for Seamen’s Children, Staten Island, New York, 1846–1961" (1962). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI30724984.