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Child Welfare History Foster Care to Adoption History

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1 Child Welfare History Foster Care to Adoption History

2 Tensions Throughout Child Welfare History
These tensions include: parents’ rights vs children’s needs saving children/youth vs supporting families federal vs state vs local responsibility public vs voluntary financing and service provision

3 Child Welfare History developmental vs protective services
in-home vs foster family vs institutional care appropriate boundaries between the child welfare, family service, juvenile justice, mental health, domestic violence, substance abuse and mental retardation systems

4 Child Welfare History Individualized modes of interventions vs uniform standards and treatment, i.e., evidence based practices Formal specialized professional services vs informal, natural helping networks social costs vs benefits of providing varying levels of care

5 Child Welfare History All of these issues appear and reappear in the major historical documents on the American child welfare system. The one theme that never disappears is the search for a panacea, a solution to the problems of children and youth whose parents are unable to provide adequate care.

6 Child Welfare History 17th & 18th Centuries
Early American settlers were preoccupied with issues of freedom and survival for themselves and their new country. The demands of exploring, settling, and cultivating vast expanses of land were enormous, and because of the small size of the population, contributing members of society were at a premium. The family was the basic economic unit, and all members were expected to contribute to the work of the household.

7 Child Welfare History The concept of childhood, as it is currently understood, was unknown except for very young children. Although there was a high birthrate, approximately two-thirds of all children died before the age of four. Those who lived past this age were expected to start contributing labor as soon as possible by helping with household and farming chores, caring for younger siblings, and so forth.

8 Child Welfare History Children moved quickly from infant status to serving essential economic functions for their families. Children were perceived as a scarce and valued resource for the nation, but little attention was paid to individual differences or needs, and the concept of children’s rights was nonexistent.

9 Child Welfare History Although there was no child welfare system as such in those early days, two groups of children were presumed to require attention from the public authorities, one viewed as deserving, one as not deserving orphans children of paupers

10 Child Welfare History Because of the high maternal mortality rates and high adult male death rates caused by the vicissitudes of life in the new world, large numbers of children were orphaned at a relatively young age and required special provisions for their care. Children of paupers were also assumed to require special care because of the high value placed on work and self-sufficiency and the concomitant fear that these children would acquire the “bad habits” of their parents if they were not taught a skill and good working habits at an early age. Parents who could not provide adequately for their children were deprived of the right to plan for their children and were socially condemned.

11 Child Welfare History Children and dependent adults were treated alike and were generally handled in one of four ways: 1. Outdoor relief, a public assistance program for poor families and children consisting of a meager dole paid by the local community to maintain families in their own homes 2. Farming-out, a system whereby individuals or groups of paupers were auctioned off to citizens who agreed to maintain the paupers in their homes for a contracted fee

12 Child Welfare History 3. Almshouses or poorhouses established and administered by public authorities in large urban areas (or the care of destitute children and adults 4. Indenture, a plan for apprenticing children to households where they would be cared for and taught a trade, in return for which they owed loyalty, obedience, and labor until the costs of their rearing had been worked off.

13 Child Welfare History In addition to these provisions under the public authorities, dependent children were cared for by a range of informal provisions arranged through relatives, neighbors, or church officials. A few private institutions for orphans were also established during this early colonial period. The first such orphanage in the United States was the Ursuline Convent, founded in New Orleans in 1727 under the auspices of Louis XV of France. Prior to 1800 most dependent children were cared for in almshouses and/or by indenture until the age of eight or nine, and then they were indentured until they reached majority.

14 Child Welfare History Thus, the social provisions for dependent children during the first two centuries of American history can be characterized as meager arrangements made on a reluctant, begrudging basis to guarantee a minimal level of subsistence. The arrangements were designed to insure that chil­dren were taught the values of industriousness and hard work and received a strict religious upbringing. Provisions were made at the lowest cost possible for the local community, in part because of the widespread concern that indolence and depravity not be rewarded.

15 Child Welfare History Parents who were unable to provide for their children were thought to have abrogated their parental rights, and children were perceived primarily as property that could be disposed of according to the will of their owners—parents, masters, and/or public authorities who assumed the costs of their care. The goal was to make provisions for dependent children that would best serve the interests of the community, not the individual child.

16 Nineteenth Century Massive social changes occurred in the United States during the nineteenth century, all of which influenced the nature of provisions for dependent children. The importation of large numbers of slaves and the eventual abolition of slavery first reduced the number of requests for indentured white children and later created opposition to a form of care for white children that was no longer permitted for blacks. The emergence of a bourgeois class of families in which the labor of children and wives was not required at home permitted upper-income citizens to turn their attention to the educational and developmental needs of their own children as well as the orphaned, poor, and delinquent.

17 Nineteenth Century The large-scale economic growth of the country after the Civil War helped to expand the tax base and to free funds for the development of private philanthropies aimed at improving the lives of the poor. The massive wave of immigrants from countries other than England created a large pool of needy children, primarily Catholic and Jewish, from diverse cultural backgrounds. Finally, the Industrial Revolution changed the entire economic and social fabric of the nation. New industry required different, more dangerous types of labor from parents and youth and created a new set of environmental hazards and problems for low-income families.

18 Rise of Institutions Perhaps the most significant change in the pattern of care for dependent children during the early nineteenth century was the dramatic increase in the number of orphanages, especially during the I830s. These facilities were established under public, voluntary, and sectarian auspices and were designed to care for children whose parents were unable to provide adequately for them, as well as for true orphans.

19 Rise of Institutions A major expansion in almshouse care occurred in the years succeeding the publication of these reports. But what was not foreseen by the early advocates of the use of almshouses were the physical and social risks to children posed by housing them with all classes of dependent adults. Although facilities in some of the larger cities established separate quarters for children, most were mixed almshouses caring for young children, “derelicts,” the insane, the sick, the blind, the deaf, the retarded, the delinquent, and the poor alike. By mid-century, investigations of the living conditions of children in poorhouses had started, creating strong pressure for the development of alternative methods of care.

20 Rise of Institutions State after state issued similar reports, characterizing almshouses as symbols of human wretchedness and political corruption and calling for special provisions for the care of young children in orphanages under public or private auspices. But reform came slowly, in part because public funds had been invested in the poorhouses and in part because there were no readily available alternatives for the large number of children housed in these facilities.

21 Rise of Institutions Black dependent children who were not sold as slaves were cared for primarily in the local almshouses. They were explicitly excluded from most of the private orphanages established prior to the Civil War. Conse­quently, several separate facilities for black children were founded during this period, the first of which was the Philadelphia Association for the Care of Colored Children established by the Society of Friends in 1822. To insure the survival of these facilities, their founders attempted to separate the orphanages from the abolitionist movement, with which they were identified. However, the shelter in Philadelphia was burned by a white mob in 1838 and the Colored Orphan Asylum in New York was set on fire during the Draft Riot of 1863.

22 The Beginnings of Foster Care
With the recognition of the condition of children cared for in mixed almshouses, the stage was set for a number of reform efforts. One such effort began in 1853 with the founding of the Children’s Aid Society in New York by Charles Loring Brace. By the end of the century, Children’s Aid Societies had been established in most of the other major eastern cities. Brace was strongly committed to the idea that the best way to save poor children from the evils of urban life was to place them in Christian homes in the country, where they would receive a solid moral training and learn good work habits.

23 Orphan Trains Between 1854 and , ,000 children were placed in new families via the Orphan Trains. Children were taken in small groups of 10 to 40, under the supervision of at least one adult, and traveled on trains to selected stops along the way, where they were taken by families in that area.

24 The Beginnings of Foster Care
Consequently, Loring Brace recruited large numbers of free foster homes in the Midwest and upper New York State and sent trainloads of children to these localities By 1879 the Children’s Aid Society in New York City had sent 40,000 homeless destitute children to homes in the country A somewhat parallel development was the establishment of the Children’s Home Society movement. These societies were statewide child-placing agencies under Protestant auspices, also designed to provide free foster homes for dependent children. The first such society was established in Illinois in By 1916 there were thirty-six Children’s Home Societies located primarily in Midwestern and southern states .

25 The Expansion of Services
Until the last quarter of the nineteenth century state intervention in a child’s life occurred, for the most part, only when the child threatened the social order. Dominant members of society feared that dependent children would grow up without the moral guidance and education necessary to enable them to become productive members of society. Children violating the law posed not only an immediate threat but also the fear that, without intervention, they would grow up to be adult criminals.

26 The Expansion of Services
During the latter part of the last century the focus of concern began to change. Voluntary organizations founded during this period recognized that families had an obligation to provide for their children’s basic needs. If they did not, it was argued, society had the right and obligation to intervene. Thus, the concept of minimal social standards for child rearing was introduced.

27 The Expansion of Services
The founding of the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in 1874 signaled the beginning of this broader concept of societal intervention on the child’s behalf. Similar societies were quickly established in other areas of the country, and by 1900 there were more than 250 such agencies the New York society was established in the wake of the notorious case of “little Mary Ellen”.

28 The Expansion of Services
A friendly visitor, named Etta Wheeler from the child’s neighborhood was horrified by the abusive treatment the child had received from her caretaker and sought help from several child welfare institutions to no avail. Finally she turned to Henry Bergh, president of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, who promptly brought the case to court, requesting that the child be removed from her caretaker immediately.

29 Photo of Mary Ellen Wilson

30 The Expansion of Services
Newspaper accounts of the early meetings of the society indicate that the founders saw their primary function as prosecuting parents, not providing direct services to parents or children; in fact, the society was denied tax-exempt status by the State of New York in 1900 because its primary purpose was defined as law enforcement, not the administration of charity. However, this agency as well as the other early child protection societies quickly turned their interests to all forms of child neglect and exploitation, not confining their activities merely to the prevention of physical abuse of children in their own homes.

31 The Expansion of Services
The establishment of the Charity Organization Society movement, starting in 1877, also contributed to the expansion of services to children. They were opposed to monetary giving and to any public sector involvement in the relief of destitution; government was not to be trusted to provide a “dole,” which would encourage laziness and moral decay.

32 The Expansion of Services
In order to accomplish this mission, the societies enlisted the aid of “friendly visitors”—the forerunner of the modern social worker—whose responsibilities were to seek out the poor, investigate their need, and certify them as worthy for private help. They were to provide a role model, advice, and moral instruction to the poor in order that they could rid themselves of poverty. These ideas had a profound influence on the orientation of the early social workers in the family service field.

33 The Expansion of Services
However, what the friendly visitors discovered was that much poverty was the result of societal forces far beyond the individual’s control. Many children were destitute not because their parents were lazy or immoral, but because jobs were not available, breadwinners were incapacitated by industrial accidents, or parents had died. While the friendly visitors continued to minister to the poor on a case-by-case basis, their recognition of the social roots of poverty converged with the philosophy underlying the establishment of the first settlement houses at the end of the nineteenth century.

34 The Expansion of Services
The settlement house movement was a middle-class movement designed to humanize the cities. It emphasized total life involvement, de­centralization, experimental modes of intervention, and learning by doing. Their programs included “developmental” services such as language classes, day-care centers, playgrounds, family life education, and so forth. Convinced of the worth of the individuals and immigrant groups they served and the importance of cultural pluralism in America, they saw the causes of many social problems in the environment and sought regulations to improve them.

35 20th Century Time Line 1909 – First White House Conference on Children
1912 – Creation of US Children’s Bureau Social Security Act, Title IV, ADC; and Title V, Child Welfare Services Program 1961 – Social Security Amendment, AFDC – Foster Care 1962 – Social Security Amendment (75%-25% match for funding social services for current, former, and potential welfare recipients) 1967 – Social Security Amendments Title IVB (Child Welfare Services Program, originally authorized under Title V)

36 20th Century Time Line 1974 – Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, P.L (Amended in 1978, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2003) 1975 – Title XX of the Social Security Act 1978 – Indian Child Welfare Act 1980 – Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act, P.L (Title IVE) Family Preservation and Support Services Program

37 20th to 21st Century Time Line
1994 – Multiethnic Placement Act Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Act , P.L 1997 – Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA), P.L 1999 – Chaffee Foster Care Independence Act 2000 – Child Abuse Prevention and Enforcement Act 2001 – Promoting Safe and Stable Families Amendment

38 21st Century Themes Safety Permanency Goal Setting Well-Being
CFSR Reviews in States Foster Parents Adopting Children Adoption Incentives Adoption Opportunities Adoption Openness Youth Permanency Cultural Competency Family Based Services Community Based Services

39 Array of Children, Youth and Family Services
In Home Services Out-of-Home Services Child Welfare Services

40 In Home Services Services designed to ensure that children and youth remain safe in their home and prevent them from entering the foster care system: Services to preserve families Family Support/Preservation Services: counseling, parent skills training, substance abuse treatment, recreational services, linkages to community-based resources

41 Out-of-Home Services Driven by ASFA 1997 legislation
Strong emphasis on safety, permanency, and well-being, especially permanency Time limited with ASFA; 15 of last 22 months in placement Reunify with family, find other permanent arrangement or terminate parental rights and free for adoption

42 Trial and Error Family Foster Care Orphanages and Boarding schools
Tennessee Preparatory School for Dependent Children

43 Out-of-Home Services Community-based services in family’s own neighborhood Least restrictive placement setting Frequent visitation to family Intensive work with family, building on strengths and resources Respect for culture and traditions of the family

44 Out-of-Home Services Kinship Foster Care: informal and formal
Family Foster Boarding Homes Therapeutic Foster Boarding Homes Agency Operated Boarding Homes (SILP) Group Homes DRC/RTC (campus programs) RTF

45 Child Welfare Services
Abuse and Neglect Investigations Independent Living Services –Chaffee Act Adoption Legal Services Parent and Children’s Rights Child Performer Permits

46 Adoption History Time Line
Prior to 1851, adoption was an informal process 1851, Massachusetts passed the first modern adoption law, recognizing adoption as a social and legal operation based on child welfare rather than adult interests. Historians consider the 1851 Adoption of Children Act an important turning point because it directed judges to ensure that adoption decrees were “fit and proper.” How this determination was to be made was left entirely to judicial discretion.

47 Adoption History Time Line
1868, Massachusetts Board of State Charities began paying for children to board in private family homes: in 1869, an agent was appointed to visit children in their homes. This was the beginning of placing-out, a movement to care for children in families rather than institutions.

48 Adoption History Time Line
1872 New York State Charities Aid Association was organized. It was one of the first organizations in the country to establish a specialized child-placement program, in By 1922, homes for more than 3300 children had been found. The first major outcome study, How Foster Children Turn Out (1924), was based on the work of this agency.

49 Adoption History Time Line
1891, Michigan was the first state to require that “the [the judge] shall be satisfied as to the good moral character, and the ability to support and educate such child, and of the suitableness of the home, or the person or persons adopting such child.”

50 Adoption History Time Line
, The first specialized adoption agencies were founded, including the Spence Alumni Society, the Free Synagogue Child Adoption Committee, the Alice Chapin Nursery (all in New York) and the Cradle in Evanston, Illinois. , Baby farming, commercial maternity homes, and adoption ad investigations took place in Boston, New York, Baltimore, Chicago, and other cities. 1916, Lewis Terman's revision of the Binet scale popularized the intelligence quotient, or I.Q. Worries about the “feeble-minded” mentality of children available for adoption, and trends toward measuring their mental potential as one part of the adoption process, usually with mental tests, grew out of the eugenics movement in the early part of the century.

51 Adoption History Time Line
1917, Minnesota passed first law mandating social investigation of all adoptions (including home studies) and providing for the confidentiality of adoption records. 1919, The Russell Sage Foundation published the first professional child-placing manual; U.S. Children's Bureau set minimum standards for child-placing; Jessie Taft authored an early manifesto for therapeutic adoption, “Relation of Personality Study to Child Placing.” , The first empirical field studies of adoption gathered basic information about how many adoptions were taking place, of whom, and by whom.

52 Adoption History Time Line
1934, The state of Iowa began administering mental tests to all children placed for adoption in hopes of preventing the unwitting adoption of retarded children (called “feeble-minded” at the time). This policy inspired nature-nurture studies at the Iowa Child Welfare Station that eventually served to challenge hereditarian orthodoxies and promote policies of early family placement. 1935, Social Security Act included provision for aid to dependent children, crippled children's programs, and child welfare, which eventually led to a dramatic expansion of foster care; American Youth Congress issued “The Declaration of the Rights of American Youth”; Justine Wise Polier was appointed to head the Domestic Relations Court of Manhattan. She became an important early critic of matching in adoption.

53 Adoption History Time Line
, First Child Welfare League of America initiative that distinguished minimum standards for permanent (adoptive) and temporary (foster) placements. 1939, Valentine P. Wasson published The Chosen Baby, a landmark in the literature on telling children about their adopted status. 1944, In Prince v. Massachusetts, a case involving Jehovah's Witnesses, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the state's power as parens patriae to restrict parental control in order to guard “the general interest in youth's well being.” 1948, The first recorded transracial adoption of an African-American child by white parents took place in Minnesota.

54 Adoption History Time Line
1949, New York was the first state to pass a law against black market adoptions, which proved unenforceable in practice. 1953, Uniform Adoption Act first proposed. Few states ever adopted it; Jean Paton founded Orphan Voyage, the first adoptee search support network. , Child Welfare League of America conducted nationwide survey of adoption agency practices. , The first nationally coordinated effort to locate adoptive homes for African American children, the National Urban League Foster Care and Adoptions Project.

55 Adoption History Time Line
1954, Helen Doss published The Family Nobody Wanted; Jean Paton published The Adopted Break Silence, the first book to offer a variety of first-person adoption narratives and promote the notion that adoptees had a distinctive identity. 1955, Child Welfare League of America national conference on adoption in Chicago announced that the era of special needs adoption had arrived; Congressional inquiry into interstate and black market adoptions. Bertha and Harry Holt adopted eight Korean War orphans after a special act of Congress allowed them to do so; Pearl S. Buck accused social workers and religious institutions of sustaining the black market and preventing the adoption of children in order to preserve their jobs; Adopt-A-Child founded by the National Urban League and fourteen New York agencies to promote African-American adoptions.

56 Adoption History Time Line
1957, International Conference on Intercountry Adoptions issued report on problems of international adoptions; U.S. adoption agencies sponsored legislation to prohibit or control proxy adoptions. 1958, Child Welfare League of America published Standards of Adoption Service (revised in 1968, 1973, 1978, 1988, 2000); Indian Adoption Project began. 1959, UN Assembly adopted Declaration of the Rights of the Child, endorsed in 1960 by Golden Anniversary White House Conference on Children and Youth. 1961, The Immigration and Nationality Act incorporated, for the first time, provisions for the international adoption of foreign-born children by U.S. citizens.

57 Adoption History Time Line
1960, Psychiatrist Marshall Schechter published a study claiming that adopted children were 100 times more likely than their non-adopted counterparts to show up in clinical populations. This sparked a vigorous debate about whether adoptive kinship was itself a risk factor for mental disturbance and illness and inspired a new round of studies into the psychopathology of adoption. , Special conference on child abuse, led by Katherine Oettinger, chief of the Children's Bureau, generated proposals for new laws requiring doctors to notify law enforcement and most states adopted such legislation. 1963, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development established as part of the National Institutes of Health; U.S. Children's Bureau moved from Social Security Administration to Welfare Administration.

58 Adoption History Time Line
1964, H. David Kirk published Shared Fate: A Theory of Adoption and Mental Health, the first book to make adoption a serious issue in the sociological literature on family life and mental health. 1965, The Los Angeles County Bureau of Adoptions launched the first organized program of single parent adoptions in order to locate homes for hard-to-place children with special needs. 1966, The National Adoption Resource Exchange, later renamed the Adoption Resource Exchange of North America (ARENA), was established as an outgrowth of the Indian Adoption Project. 1969, President Nixon created the Office of Child Development in HEW to coordinate and administer Head Start and U.S. Children's Bureau functions.

59 Adoption History Time Line
1970, Adoptions reached their century-long statistical peak at approximately 175,000 per year. Almost 80 percent of the total were arranged by agencies. 1971, Florence Fisher founded the Adoptees Liberty Movement Association “to abolish the existing practice of sealed records” and advocate for “opening of records to any adopted person over eighteen who wants, for any reason, to see them.” 1972, National Association of Black Social Workers opposed transracial adoptions; Stanley v. Illinois substantially increased the rights of unwed fathers in adoption by requiring informed consent and proof of parental unfitness prior to termination of parental rights.

60 Adoption History Time Line
1973, Roe v. Wade legalized abortion; Beyond the Best Interests of the Child articulated the influential concept of “psychological parent,” which prioritized continuity of nurture and speedy and permanent decisions in legal proceedings related to child placement and adoption. 1976, Concerned United Birthparents founded 1978, Indian Child Welfare Act passed by Congress. 1980, Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act offered significant funding to states that supported subsidy programs for special needs adoptions and devoted resources to family preservation, reunification, and the prevention of abuse, neglect, and child removal.

61 Adoption History Time Line
1980, Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act offered significant funding to states that supported subsidy programs for special needs adoptions and devoted resources to family preservation, reunification, and the prevention of abuse, neglect, and child removal. 1989, UN Convention on the Rights of the Child 1993, Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in respect to Intercountry Adoption

62 Adoption History Time Line
1994, Multiethnic Placement Act was the first federal law to concern itself with race in adoption. It prohibited agencies receiving federal funds from denying transracial adoptions on the sole basis of race, but permitted the use of race as one factor, among others, in foster and adoptive placements. A 1996 revision to this law, the Inter-Ethnic Adoption Amendment, made it impermissible to employ race at all. 1996, Bastard Nation founded. Its mission statement promoted “the full human and civil rights of adult adopted persons,” including access to sealed records. 1997, Adoption and Safe Families Act stressed permanency planning for children and youth.

63 Adoption History Time Line
1998, Oregon voters passed Ballot Measure 58, allowing adult adopted persons access to original birth certificates. This legal blow to confidentiality and sealed records was stalled by legal challenges to the measure's constitutionality, which eventually failed. The measure has been in effect in Oregon since June 2000. 2000, The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allowed foreign-born adopted persons to become automatic American citizens when they entered the United States, eliminating the legal burden of naturalization for international adoptions; Census 2000 included “adopted son/daughter” as a kinship category for the first time in U.S. history.

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