Juvenile Protective Association

Juvenile Protective Association

The Juvenile Protective Association (JPA) was founded by a group of women living in the Hull House Settlement in 1907. There were weekly meetings at Hull House where probation officers discussed what they have found and to discuss city conditions affecting the lives of children and young people.

As Jane Addams pointed out in her book, Twenty Years at Hull House, the members discovered "that there are certain temptations into which children so habitually fall that it is evident that the average child cannot withstand them. An overwhelming mass of data is accumulated showing the need of enforcing existing legislation and of securing new legislation, but it also indicates a hundred other directions in which the young people who so gaily walk our streets, often to their own destruction, need safeguarding and protection."

A leading figure in the Juvenile Protective Association (JPA) was its president Louise Bowen. Her investigation into the African Americans living in Chicago, The Colored People of Chicago was published in 1913. Jessie Binford, a resident at the Hull House Settlement, was director of the JPA between 1916 and 1942.

Certainly the need for civic coöperation was obvious in many directions, and in none more strikingly than in that organized effort which must be carried on unceasingly if young people are to be protected from the darker and coarser dangers of the city. The coöperation between Hull-House and the Juvenile Protective Association came about gradually, and it seems now almost inevitably. From our earliest days we saw many boys constantly arrested, and I had a number of most enlightening experiences in the police station with an Irish lad whose mother upon her deathbed had begged me "to look after him." We were distressed by the gangs of very little boys who would sally forth with an enterprising leader in search of old brass and iron, sometimes breaking into empty houses for the sake of the faucets or lead pipe which they would sell for a good price to a junk dealer. With the money thus obtained they would buy cigarettes and beer or even candy, which could be conspicuously consumed in the alleys where they might enjoy the excitement of being seen and suspected by the "coppers." From the third year of Hull-House, one of the residents held a semiofficial position in the nearest police station; at least, the sergeant agreed to give her provisional charge of every boy and girl under arrest for a trivial offense.

Mrs. Stevens, who performed this work for several years, became the first probation officer of the Juvenile Court when it was established in Cook County in 1899. She was the sole probation officer at first, but at the time of her death, which occurred at Hull-House in 1900, she was the senior officer of a corps of six. Her entire experience had fitted her to deal wisely with wayward children. She had gone into a New England cotton mill at the age of thirteen, where she had promptly lost the index finger of her right hand, through "carelessness" she was told, and no one then seemed to understand that freedom from care was the prerogative of childhood. Later she became a typesetter and was one of the first women in America to become a member of the typographical union, retaining her "card" through all the later years of editorial work. As the Juvenile Court developed, the committee of public-spirited citizens who first supplied only Mrs. Stevens' salary later maintained a corps of twenty-two such officers; several of these were Hull-House residents who brought to the house for many years a sad little procession of children struggling against all sorts of handicaps. When legislation was secured which placed the probation officers upon the payroll of the county, it was a challenge to the efficiency of the civil service method of appointment to obtain by examination men and women fitted for this delicate human task. As one of five people asked by the civil service commission to conduct this first examination for probation officers, I became convinced that we were but at the beginning of the nonpolitical method of selecting public servants, but even stiff and unbending as the examination may be, it is still our hope of political salvation.

In 1907, the Juvenile Court was housed in a model court building of its own, containing a detention home and equipped with a competent staff. The committee of citizens largely responsible for this result thereupon turned their attention to the conditions which the records of the court indicated had led to the alarming amount of juvenile delinquency and crime. They organized the Juvenile Protective Association, whose twenty-two officers meet weekly at Hull-House with their executive committee to report what they have found and to discuss city conditions affecting the lives of children and young people.

The association discovers that there are certain temptations into which children so habitually fall that it is evident that the average child cannot withstand them. An overwhelming mass of data is accumulated showing the need of enforcing existing legislation and of securing new legislation, but it also indicates a hundred other directions in which the young people who so gaily walk our streets, often to their own destruction, need safeguarding and protection.

While the morality of every young person is closely bound up with that of his family and his immediate environment, this is especially true of the sons and daughters of colored families who, because they continually find the door of opportunity shut in their faces, are more easily forced back into their early environment, however vicious it may have been.

The enterprising young people in immigrant families who have passed through the public schools and are earning good wages continually succeed in moving their entire households into more prosperous neighborhoods where they gradually lose all trace of their early tenement house experiences. On the contrary, the colored young people, however ambitious, find it extremely difficult to move their families or even themselves into desirable parts of the city and to make friends in these surroundings.

Many a case on record in the Juvenile Protective Association tells a tale of an educated young Negro who failed to find employment as stenographer, bookkeeper, or clerk. One rather pathetic story is that of a boy graduated from a technical high school last spring. He was sent with other graduates of his class to a big electric company where in the presence of all his classmates he was told that "******s are not wanted here".

The association has on record another instance where a graduate of a business college was refused a position under similar circumstances. This young man, in response to an advertisement, went to a large firm to ask for a position as clerk. "We take colored help only as laborers," he was told by the manager of a firm supposed to be friendly to the Negroes.

I know a Polish boy whose earnings were all given to his father who gruffly refused all requests for pocket money. One Christmas his little sisters, having been told by their mother that they were too poor to have any Christmas presents, appealed to the big brother as to one who was earning money of his own. Flattered by the implication, but at the same time quite impecunious, the night before Christmas he nonchalantly walked through a neighboring department store and stole a manicure set for one little sister and a string of beads for the other. He was caught at the door by the house detective as one of those children whom each local department store arrests in the weeks before Christmas at the daily rate of eight to twenty. The youngest of these offenders are seldom taken into court but are either sent home with a warning or turned over to the officers of the Juvenile Protective Association. Most of these premature law breakers are in search of Americanized clothing and others [Page 251] are only looking for playthings. They are all distracted by the profusion and variety of the display, and their moral sense is confused by the general air of openhandedness.

© John Simkin, April 2013

Juvenile Protective Association - History

During the fall of 1916 wretched conditions existing in several uncertified homes where children were boarded apart from their parents were discovered through the regular case work of the Juvenile Protective Association. . . . The Association then decided to make a thorough study of all baby farms, in the hope that the information would afford data upon which legislation might be secured that would require all homes where children were boarded apart from their parents to be licensed and supervised by some branch of the City or State Government.

One hundred and thirty-seven alleged homes were thus reported and later were investigated by the Association.

Some Examples of Conditions Found in Homes. Some of the worst moral conditions were found in the homes where the physical conditions were best and in good residential districts of the city. In one of the best neighborhoods of the south side, a home was found which was an unlicenced maternity hospital, a disorderly house, and a baby farm combined. It is not at all difficult to see the connection between these enterprises. The woman who operated this home made a specialty of taking in unfortunate girls for maternity cases, she then made inmates of them and charged them for the board of their children or she would dispose of a child for the sum of $25.00 or more. A warrant was taken out for this woman, she was tried and convicted.

Commercialized Traffic in Children. As a result of this baby farm investigation, it was found that there was a regular commercialized business of child placing being carried on in the City of Chicago that there were many maternity hospitals which made regular charges of from $15.00 and more for disposing of unwelcome children and that there were also doctors and other individuals who took advantage of the unmarried mother willing to pay any amount of money to dispose of her child. . . . One woman in charge of a baby farm sold a baby for $100.000 during the time of the investigation. It was found that she had required $25.00 to be paid at once and the remainder on the installment plan. Her trade slogan was, “It’s cheaper and easier to buy a baby for $100.00 than to have one of your own.” . . . Many children placed in this manner were taken by people who could not have secured children through certified child-placing agencies because they were immoral, or wished to procure a child for a fraudulent purpose.

Conclusions and Recommendations. Children such as those found in baby farms need better care and protection from the state than children surrounded by normal family influences. . . . It should be unlawful for any organization or individual to place, or assist in placing, more than one child during one year in the permanent care of another without first obtaining a license for the business of placing children from the State Department of Public Welfare. Organizations and individuals thus licensed should be subject to supervision by that department. . . .

The State should make it unlawful for a mother or any other person to give away the permanent custody of a child. . . . The exclusive power to issue a decree of adoption should be vested in the Juvenile Court. The court should require a thorough investigation of the adopting family before permitting a child to be placed with such family for adoption. The adoption should not become permanent until a satisfactory six months’ probationary period has elapsed. During the probationary period a visitor from the State Department of Public Welfare should make inspections to ascertain whether or not the child has been properly placed.

Traffic in children should be stopped. The passage of the laws recommended here would, of course, entail increased expense to the state. But money spent on such preventive measures would mean an ultimate saving and a better citizenship.

Juvenile Protective Association records, 1897-1999

The Juvenile Court Committee was established in Chicago in 1904 by women reformers five years after they organized for the Cook County Juvenile Court. The Juvenile Court Committee offered aid to dependent and delinquent children during the period before the Juvenile Court itself was able to take up their cases. The committee's primary activities initially involved raising funds to pay probation offices and maintaining a detention home, but the founders believed that prevention should also be a priority. By 1907 when the probation and detention officers were re-classified as civil servants of the county the Committee was able to take up preventative work. The Committee organized branches throughout Cook County which cooperated with child welfare agencies including the Juvenile Court, Compulsory Education Department, and State Factory Inspector. The Committee also targeted for prosecution those it considered to be contributors to children's truancy, delinquency, and dependency, and the organization also supported the reform movement for the establishment of vacation schools, parks, playgrounds, gymnasiums, social centers, and baths. The Committee's investigations led to child labor legislation, prohibition on alcohol to protect minors, investigations of baby farms, exposes of illicit street trades and prostitution. In 1909, the group's name was changed to the Juvenile Protective Association.

Scope and Contents

The Juvenile Protective Association Papers consists of approximately 12 linear feet divided into nine series spanning the entire twentieth century. Series I through IV are arranged alphabetically. Series V is chronological. These materials consists of correspondence, reports, lists, statistics, clippings, programs, pamphlets, by-laws, speeches, minutes, notes, memoranda, photos, bulletins, and legislative bills.

Child Welfare Services

JPA&rsquos child welfare consultants are experts in practice, quantitative and qualitative research methods, evaluation, and quality improvement in the areas of trauma, mental health, child protection, and foster and residential care. Our wide-ranging experience and knowledge help us tailor collaborative projects and consultations to meet the unique needs of public and private agencies in Illinois and nationally.

Our partners include state child welfare agencies, children&rsquos advocacy centers, child abuse pediatricians, and foundations. Current or recent projects include: developing and refining theories of change improving decision-making capabilities assessing and building evaluation and quality improvement capacity measuring and evaluating service quality and outcomes designing and analyzing indicators of child well-being understanding the factors and barriers to achieving outcomes and implementing meaningful quality improvement processes.

Client referrals are available upon request.

Dr. Budde has over 30 years of experience in child welfare and mental health as a researcher, teacher, administrator, trainer, consultant, and clinical social worker. With JPA and in his previous research at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, Dr. Budde has given multiple presentations at national and international conferences and written major evaluation reports and professional publications. He oversees JPA&rsquos expert assessments recommending to courts the best permanent options for children in care in cases with high levels of conflict or uncertainty. Dr. Budde also lectures in clinical research and decision making at the University of Chicago&rsquos School of Social Service Administration.

The Establishment Of The Juvenile Court

The first juvenile court was established in Chicago, Illinois (Cook County), in 1899. However, before the bill to establish the court was signed into law, there was much debate and controversy. In addition to the women previously mentioned, there were other men and women who played key roles in getting the “Juvenile Court Act” passed (Anderson 1988). The Gover- nor of Chicago at the time, John P. Altgeld, was an advocate for child reform. Governor Altgeld’s advocacy days began when he was an attorney in the 1880s he studied and wrote about the treatment of children processed through the criminal justice system. His writings mentioned that the handcuffing of children, housing them with adult offenders, and sending them to houses of correction prepared them for a life of crime.

As Governor, Altgeld appointed Julia Lathrop, a social reformer in her own right, to the Board of State Commissioners of Public Charities in 1892. Ms. Lathrop was a very close friend of Jane Addams. She visited all 102 counties in the state of Illinois. Julia Lathrop was also part of the Chicago Woman’s Club, where she worked closely with Lucy Flower, the club president. Ms. Flower returned to Chicago in 1895 after spending time in Boston studying 25 years of the probation system. Upon returning to Chicago, Ms. Flower urged the women to propose legislation to have separate hearings for young offenders however, the group’s legal advisors did not feel comfortable moving forward with the proposal as it was. A year earlier in 1894, Mrs. Perry Smith, a volunteer with the Protective Agency for Women and Children also asked for a separate court for youth. And while some felony youth offender cases were heard on Saturday mornings, this involved only a small number of cases. A few years later, the push to establish the juvenile court continued with greater force.

The full title of the “Juvenile Court Act” that called for separate hearings for youth was “An Act to Regulate the Treatment and Control of Dependent, Neglected, and Delinquent Children.” While the earlier attempts to push the legislation forward came primarily from the Chicago Woman’s Club and perhaps even a handful of men, the women decided that the new legislation should be introduced by men, more specifically, male attorneys (Anderson 1988). The women would still play a vital role in getting the bill passed however, the lawyers would lead the discussions and debates. One must keep in mind that many of these women were also involved in the ongoing fight for women’s rights due to being treated as second-class citizens to men. Their status in the fight for children’s rights was no different, but they were bright enough to place men in the forefront of the struggle. The bill was reviewed by Judge Harvey Hurd and it was determined that the passing of the bill, as it was written, would also go against the Illinois constitution because of a uniformity clause. Ongoing tensions between Chicago and other parts of Illinois meant that not everyone in the state would support a mandated, statewide initiative. As a result, Judge Hurd recommended the language in the bill be changed to be permissive rather than obligatory. Thus, cities could opt out of creating a separate juvenile court if they so chose.

The main opposition to the proposed bill came from those who supported the industrial schools for youth, perhaps, because of a potential loss of state funding. Oscar Dudley, a strong opponent to the bill, believed that there was still a place for industrial schools because not all children were equipped to live at home. The authors of the bill decided to bargain with the industrial school supporters and allowed them to retain the power to release youth or place them in foster care without the court’s consent.

After much negotiation and some amendments, the bill would be signed into law and incarcerated youth under the age of 16 would be kept separate from adults, except in the cases of capital felony offenders. Some argue that the juvenile court was established to benefit law enforcement, judges, and prosecutors. Nevertheless, child care reformers seemed to gain a huge victory and the juvenile justice system in the United States was born. The creation of the juvenile court did not come without opposition. Although the creation of a separate court for children was a milestone, there were opponents who believed the juvenile judges had too much power over youth and their families.

While the United States was engaged in a war in Europe in the early part of the twentieth century, the struggle for reform continued at home. The United States Children’s Bureau was created in 1912 with reformer Julia Lathrop named its first director by President Taft. A new concept of childhood developed as more and more children were encouraged to obtain an education. The creation of the Cook County Juvenile Court spurred the creation of other juvenile courts throughout the nation in the early part of the twentieth century. All but two states had some form of a juvenile court by 1927 and by 1932, there were over 600 juvenile courts in the United States. Shortly after the end of World War II, all states had a juvenile court.

In regards to juvenile justice, the interconnectedness of social influence and policies peaked in the 1960s. Although arguments and objections had been brought against the juvenile court since its inception, the first juvenile case did not reach the US Supreme Court until the 1960s. Five Supreme Court Decisions relating to juveniles will be discussed along with the social and political context of the time. Additionally, the policies surrounding treatment for offenders through the remainder of the twentieth century will be mentioned because treatment is also dependent on the social climate of the day.

--> Juvenile Protective Association of Chicago

The Juvenile Court Committee, established as a not-for-profit organization in 1904, had as its chief purpose the aiding of dependent and delinquent children until their cases were heard by the Juvenile Court. Their primary objective was to have probation and detention home officers placed under county civil service and paid out of public funds. After this was accomplished in 1907, the members of the Committee decided to expand their area of interest and their membership, and change their name. The Juvenile Protective Association, registered as a not-for-profit organization in 1907, had as its chief purposes the investigation of conditions that put the welfare of children in jeopardy, the repression of conditions which helped produce juvenile delinquency, and arousing public sentiment against abuses of children. The Juvenile Protective Association continues to exist, currently focusing its attention on children who have been victims of abuse.

From the description of Records, 1897- (University of Illinois-Chicago Library). WorldCat record id: 52421952

JPA's History of Service to Chicago's Children

In its earliest incarnation, JPA provided the city&rsquos first probation officers for children. As society began to assume this role, JPA continued to provide children and families with better living conditions and opportunities for wholesome play (opening up the Chicago beachfront, for example).

Throughout its history, JPA has addressed child abuse and neglect. This work led to the creation of new laws protecting women and children, the formation of the Department of Children and Families Services, and the adoption of more effective child welfare practices based on JPA research. To accommodate children&rsquos changing needs over time, JPA also began to offer mental health services at its offices for children and families affected by trauma and abuse who did not otherwise have access to mental health facilities.

Over a dozen years ago, JPA received a request to participate in a school-based educational pilot in North Lawndale, a Chicago neighborhood where poverty, crime, and unemployment are endemic. We found that elementary and middle school children affected by trauma and abuse had difficulty learning and functioning in school, yet were not receiving in-depth mental health care that might ameliorate their fears and anxieties so they could focus on their lessons. We began providing school-based therapy for these children, ensuring they could get the help they needed. Ever since we have based our programs in the schools and neighborhoods where they are most needed, an approach Jane Addams would appreciate.

JPA has expanded this and created other programs over the years to serve communities primarily on the west and south sides of Chicago, most of whose residents are African American and Hispanic living at or below the poverty level. Today, we collaborate with over 23 schools and community centers.

JPA has also developed programs, interventions, and practice models affecting entire schools and systems, enabling us to serve more than 2,500 vulnerable children and their families annually. In 2016, JPA received a $1 million grant from the Saul Zaentz Charitable Foundation for Connect to Kindergarten (C2K), which showed teachers how to help children make successful transitions to Kindergarten. This pilot's success now informs our expansion of the program to elementary and middle school children as Connect to Kids.

JPA also conducts research on children and trauma. JPA researchers have produced scholarly articles contributing to improving child abuse and neglect prevention policies and practices across the nation. Our clinical staff members assist DCFS, foster care organizations, and the courts in determining appropriate placements for children in care, as well.

For 119 years, JPA programs and services have evolved even as it has stayed true to its mission to improve the social and emotional well-being and functioning of vulnerable children and families.

History, injury, and psychosocial risk factor commonalities among cases of fatal and near-fatal physical child abuse

Failure to recognize child maltreatment results in chronic exposure to high-risk environments where re-injury or death may occur. We analyzed a series (n=20) of fatal (n=10) and near-fatal (n=10) physical child abuse cases from the Commonwealth of Kentucky to identify commonalities and determine whether indicators of maltreatment were present prior to the child's fatal or near-fatal event. We conducted retrospective state record reviews involving children <4years of age classified as physical child abuse by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services during a 12 month period. Cases were distributed across 17 counties. IRB approvals were obtained. Three reviewers concurrently abstracted case data from medical, social, and legal documents, and descriptive statistics were analyzed. Median age of subjects was 7.5 months (range 1-32 months) 55% were male. Psychosocial risk factors (PRFs) were present in 100% of cases. Traumatic brain injury (95%) and bruising (90%) were the most common injuries. Of the 14 children with available prior medical records, 9 (64%) had sentinel injuries in the form of prior unexplained bruising all nine suffered subsequent traumatic brain injury resulting in four deaths. A male was caring for the child at the time of the final event in 70% of cases. Our study identified key commonalities across cases of fatal and near-fatal abuse, highlighting the prevalence of psychosocial risk factors and the significance of prior unexplained bruising as a herald of escalating abuse. Further study is warranted to ascertain the predictive value of our findings in the larger population.

Keywords: Child maltreatment Homicide Missed abuse Recidivism Sentinel injury.

Virginia Home and Industrial School for Girls

In the early years of the twentieth century, state charity and social workers established the Virginia Home and Industrial School, a girls reformatory, to confine and train delinquent girls under the age of eighteen. Despite its name, the reformatory functioned largely as a juvenile prison, as girls were sentenced there by the Commonwealth’s circuit, police and juvenile courts for charges ranging from incorrigibility, truancy and vagrancy to assault, theft and “immorality” crimes such as solicitation, and prostitution. Girls officially served under the authority of the reformatory until they were paroled for good behavior, transferred into other state institutions, or until they reached the age of twenty-one, whichever came first. Girls who were difficult to care for at the reformatory were transferred into other state facilities, such as tubercular and “feeble-minded” colonies, asylums and hospitals, pregnancy homes, and the women’s prison farm. While in residence, girls learned basic domestic and industrial skills such as housework, stenography, nursing, and sewing. They worked the farm and cared for livestock, and learned rudimentary geography, spelling, grammar and arithmetic. Girls were forbidden from leaving the institution without supervision and escape attempts were frequent. Like other similar institutions, the Virginia Home and Industrial School for Girls represented the Commonwealth of Virginia’s attempts to mitigate ““the young girl problem” they perceived had arisen.

In the early twentieth century, middle- and upper-class “progressive” reformers understood female delinquency as a constellation of undesirable behaviors reflecting new social and sexual freedoms afforded by the growth of the city. Those pegged as “delinquent” were often poor, working-class girls who had migrated from rural areas for higher paying jobs. Reformers feared these girls would reject the Victorian ideals of chastity and morality they favored for their own daughters. They also worried “delinquent” girls would cause new social issues such as crime, illegitimate children, “feeble-mindedness,” and disease. Reformers believed the key to reforming society lay in controlling the sexual activity and reproduction of the “unfit”—typically disadvantaged or marginalized populations such as women, immigrants, people of color, the poor, and the infirm or disabled. Believed to be vulnerable to the unfamiliar forces of the city, but also a threat to the existing social order, delinquent girls stirred feelings of both protection and fear among reformers.

The Virginia Home and Industrial School for Girls opened in 1910 as the culmination of a reform effort organized by Reverend James Buchanan, a Baptist minister and head of both Richmond’s Juvenile Protective Association and the Associated Charities. Twenty-two prominent individuals joined Buchanan—including notable judges, doctors, charity workers, businessmen and even the Governor, Claude A. Swanson, his Attorney General, and his Secretary of the Commonwealth—to incorporate the “Virginia Home and Industrial School for Girls.” They set their mission toward the “care and training of incorrigible or vicious white girls … without proper restraint and training, between the ages of eight and eighteen years.” Although the impetus to organize stemmed locally out of Richmond, the incorporators represented the major cities and towns across the state. At the time, the Virginia Home and Industrial School for Girls operated with partial state support. Virginia’s General Assembly permitted the state’s county, circuit and police courts to work directly with the Home to admit girls determined by its judges to be incorrigible or “delinquent.” Additionally, the General Assembly allocated a per diem amounting to approximately fifty cents per day for every girl committed by a court, judge, or justice, provided that not more than $12,000 should be disbursed for the purpose of reforming delinquent girls in any one year. The corporation had raised enough money to purchase a vacant farm of approximately 200 acres near the resort enclave of Bon Air in Chesterfield County, just nine miles to the west of Richmond.

When the Home at Bon Air opened in 1910, Buchanan, along with his wife Abbie, assumed the role of superintendent. The Buchanan’s came to the Home with experience running a voluntary settlement house for indigent mothers and working girls near Richmond’s red-light district. During their short tenure, they provided inmates discipline and religious instruction, but they never moved into the Home. Two subsequent superintendents, a Miss Seeley and a Miss Risor, both of whom served for less than a month and whose first names are now lost to history, struggled to maintain discipline. Little is known about their experience beyond that they had been volunteers in Virginia’s court system. When Mattie McKnab (sometimes “McNab”) Light, a southern-born, northern-trained evangelist, assumed the superintendent’s position in November 1910, she brought with her a small female staff and twenty-two years of experience working in missions and settlement homes in New England and New York. Light managed the Home until 1915 when she resigned in the wake of controversy.

In the summer of 1913, two sixteen-year-old inmates escaped the Virginia Home and Industrial School for Girls. Both were caught within a few days of their escape, but in an attempt to avoid being returned, one of them complained to the local magistrate and then to the office of Governor William Hodges Mann that the conditions at the reformatory were intolerable. Her specific charges, that inmates—all of them white girls under the age of eighteen—were forced to work long hours in the fields under the immediate supervision of an African American man, spawned public outrage. The incident drew intense media scrutiny and Governor Mann ordered the State Board to investigate the “distressing conditions” at the reformatory. As a result, bureaucrats from the State Board conducted an investigation and publicly interviewed thirty-six witnesses over the course of two days that summer. They mainly focused their inquisition on the two specific allegations: first, that inmates were overworked and given tasks improper for women, and second, that they did so under the authority of an African American man, a local man named Beverly Banks.

Upon completion of the investigation the State Board ruled that strenuous and abundant exercise was appropriate to keep delinquent girls healthy and manageable. To address the charges that the reformatory was violating proper local race sentiment by employing a black man, the State Board did rule that an African American in “virtual control” of white girls was wrong. But they couched this opinion by further stating that delinquent girls in a reformatory needed supervision during their out-of-doors exercise. They recommended instead the reformatory hire a white laborer of “unquestionable character and probity” to help serve this function.

The most significant change after the report affected the administration of the reformatory. The land, operation, and administration of the reformatory were officially transferred to the state by an Act of the General Assembly on March 21, 1914. Beverly Banks was fired James Buchanan and Mattie McKnab Light both resigned. In response, the State Board hired Anna M. Petersen as superintendent. Petersen received her degree from Western Reserve University, and held a certificate in eugenics from the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Science in Cold Spring Harbor. To distance the reformatory from the controversy, Petersen renamed the Virginia Home and Industrial School for Girls as “Kilbourne Farm,” the land’s original designation. Petersen served as superintendent until 1920 when she left the institution in the hands of Margaret Bair. Bair held an education degree and had worked at the reformatory as a probation officer. Bair retired in 1943 and was replaced by Margery Wyatt, a graduate of Western University in Colorado with a Masters in social work from Smith.

The institution evolved over time. It moved from a segregated (by race and sex) private charity to a segregated state reformatory. In the 1940s, the State Board placed all four juvenile institutions that existed at the time—the Virginia Industrial School for Boys, Virginia Manual Labor School for Colored Boys, the Virginia Home and Industrial School for Girls, and the Industrial Home School for Colored Girls–for the first time under the full authority of the State Board of Public Welfare (by then renamed the Department of Public Welfare). In 1951, the Department of Public Welfare created a centralized Department of Juvenile Probation and Detention to manage the juvenile probation system. The 1950s saw continued growth of juvenile institutions including a new reformatory for boys.
In the 1960s, two new reformatories opened and all juvenile facilities in the state became racially integrated.

In 1972, the General Assembly replaced the city and county juvenile courts, which had operated for nearly 50 years as independent courts, with 31 regional Juvenile and Domestic Relations courts complete with permanently seated, full-time juvenile judges. Finally, in 1974, the tide of expansion shifted into consolidation and declension as the state officially separated the juvenile reformatories, courts, detention homes, and probation facilities from the Department of Public Welfare and placed them under the authority of the Department of Corrections. The other reformatories became co-ed. The Virginia Home and Industrial School for Girls is now known as the Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center (1900 Chatsworth Avenue, Richmond, Va.) it is the only remaining long-term residential juvenile co-ed reformatory in the state.

This work may also be view through HathiTrust.org

This work may also be viewed through HathiTrust.org

(1913, February 5). Juvenile court tried 410 cases…Girl problem grows . Regarded by Juvenile Protective Society as its most difficult task.” Richmond Times-Dispatch , p.7.

Brooks, C. M. (2017). The uplift generation: Cooperation across the color line in early twentieth-century Virginia. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press.

Bush, E.N. (2019). Policing immorality in a Virginia girls’ reformatory. Southern Cultures 25(2), 46-61. doi:10.1353/scu.2019.0016 .

Bush, E.N. (2018). “Attracted by the khaki” War camps and wayward girls in Virginia, 1918–1920. Current Research in Digital History (1). https://doi.org/10.31835/crdh.2018.07 .

Dorr, G. M.(2008). Segregation’s science: Eugenics and society in Virginia. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press.

Dorr, L. L. (2004). White women, rape, and the power of race in Virginia, 1900-1960. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Holloway, P. (2006). Sexuality, politics, and social control in Virginia, 1920-1945. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Keve, P. W . (1986). The history of corrections in Virginia. Charlottesville: The University of Virginia Press.

Osborne Association (1943). Handbook of American institutions for delinquent juveniles, First Edition, Vol. IV. Lebanon, PA: Sowers Printing.,

Shepherd, Samuel C. Jr (2001). Avenues of faith: Shaping the urban religious culture of Richmond, Virginia. Tuscaloosa and London: University of Alabama Press.

Virginia Home and Industrial School for Girls, Chesterfield Co. Annual report. V.1-5 (1914-1919) . HathiTrust.org

Virginia. State Board of Charities and Corrections. (1909). Annual report of the State Board of Charities and Corrections to the Governor of Virginia for the year ending Richmond: Davis Bottom, Supt. of Public Printing. ( pp. 46-47 ).

Ward, H. M. (2015). Children of the streets of Richmond, 1865-1920. Jefferson, NC: MacFarland and Company, Inc.

Key foundational works on juvenile delinquency include:

Platt, A. M. (1969). The child savers: The invention of delinquency. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Schlossman, S. L. (1977). Love and the American delinquent: The theory and practice of “progressive” juvenile justice, 1825-1920. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Schlossman, S. and Wallach, S. (1978 February). The crime of precocious sexuality: Female juvenile delinquency in the Progressive Era. Harvard Educational Review, 48(1), 65-94.

Cahn, S. K. (2007). Sexual reckonings: Southern girls in a troubling age. Cambridge: Harvard University Press,

Resources related to this topic may be found in the Social Welfare History Image Portal.

Minneapolis Family and Children's Service records

The Minneapolis Family and Children's Service (MFCS) records contain reports, minutes, studies, correspondence, memoranda, manuals, pamphlets, photographs, newspaper clippings, publications, and case records. Much of the material is from its pre-1945 predecessor agencies: Minneapolis Associated Charities, Juvenile Protective League, Children's Protective Society, and Family Welfare Association.

The records are divided into four series. The first two series comprise the administrative records of the Associated Charities/Family Welfare Association and the Children's Protective Society. Of these, the records of the Associated Charities/Family Welfare Association (boxes 1-11) are the richest and most extensive. They provide detailed information of many of the agency's activities, particularly between 1915 and 1940. These records reflect the evolution from early volunteer efforts to a professionally staffed casework agency the initiation of numerous innovative programs, including anti-tuberculosis, visiting nurse, visiting teacher, and legal aid programs and emergency relief efforts during the Depression. Some of the records, particularly the studies and surveys (contained in box 8), provide an account of social and economic conditions in the city. Correspondence between agency executives Frank Bruno and Joanna Colcord and other leaders in the social work profession (among them Mary Richmond and Francis McLean) also affords a picture of national developments in the social work field. The correspondence is concentrated in folders related to the 50th anniversary of family social work (Box 9) and to the Russell Sage Foundation (Box 11). Records for the Children's Protective Society (boxes 11-14) are limited to board of directors minutes and to much more selective subject files.

The records of the merged Minneapolis Family and Children's Service form the third series. They appear to document only a portion of MFCS' programs and do no fully reflect the adminsitration and operation of the agency. In particular, there is very little material dating from the 1970s. Records dating from the 1940s to the 1960s relate primarily to program areas such as child care, foster care, casework and family counselling, family budgets and senior services. More recent records from the 1980s through the 2000s document agency planning and administration its efforts to influence public policy relating to families and children and a series of family and community strengthening programs, in particular those that occurred as part of the School, Home and Community Programming Initiative project. The records also include the speeches of agency executive director, Terrence Steeno, as well as publications and public relations materials.

Series 4 comprises two sets of case records: paper case records contained in boxes 18-24, dating from 1913 to 1965, and 339 reels of microfilmed case records dating from 1895 to 1950, with the heaviest concentration in the 1920s and 1930s. The paper records are a sample of case files that was selected by the agency before the records were archived. The estimated 762 paper case records document services provided to specific families and individuals. There are an estimated 35,000 microfilmed cases, each organized around a family unit, often with attention focused on a particular adult or child. The case records do not represent the total number of cases handled by MFCS and its predecessors.

The case records are restricted and access to case files requires special permission from the curator or director of the Archives and from the executive director of Family and Children's Service.


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Historical Note

The Minneapolis Family and Children's Service had its origins in two charitable movements that spread across the country during the years following the Civil War. The humane movement, which sought to halt mistreatment of animals and children, was represented by the Minneapolis Humane Society, first established as a branch of the Minnesota Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in 1878. The Humane Society employed an agent to discover cases of child and animal abuse and neglect, campaigned to improve conditions in maternity homes, and, together with the Juvenile Protective League (est. 1905), helped to improve the court system's handling of juvenile offenders through the introduction of probation officers and policewomen assigned to cases involving juveniles. The Humane Society and The Juvenile Protective League merged in 1917 to form the Juvenile Protective Society. The Humane Society's work with animals was turned over to the Animal Rescue League, forerunner to the present Hennepin County Animal Humane Society.

The second predecessor of what was eventually to become the Family and Children's Service grew out of the charity organization movement, a national phenomenon that stressed the importance of placing charity on a systematic, business-like basis to discourage the waste, duplication, and fraud that resulted from uncoordinated efforts. The Minneapolis Associated Charities was established in 1884.

The Associated Charities quickly became the largest charitable agency in the city. It emphasized careful investigation of all its clients, at first relying heavily on a corps of volunteer "friendly visitors," but increasingly turning to paid agents as the social work profession began to develop in the early twentieth century. The Associated Charities also initiated a number of innovative social and public health programs which were eventually turned over to independent organizations. These included anti-tuberculosis, visiting nurse, and legal aid programs. During World War I, general secretary Frank Bruno and other Associated Charities staff members were loaned to the American Red Cross Northern Division to address social issues caused by the war mobilization effort.

Bruno and his successor, Joanna Colcord, earned the agency, which changed its name to Family Welfare Association in 1922, a national reputation. That reputation suffered during the 1930s as inadequate financial resources and personnel problems left the agency struggling to cope with the demands of massive unemployment during the Great Depression. During the early years of the Depression, it was primarily responsible for distributing relief funds in Minneapolis until the city's public relief program was reorganized and the federal government assumed responsibility for economic assistance through Social Security and other New Deal programs

The extent to which the work of the Family Welfare Association and the Children's Protective Society overlapped led many persons to call for the merger of the two agencies throughout the 1920s and 1930s. The Children's Protective Society resisted the argument that a unified organization would be more efficient, contending that specialized work with children would inevitably suffer. Despite that resistance, the merger was carried out, and the Family and Children's Service began operation in 1945. The new agency formed a Family Division, which offered counselling and support services, and a Children's Division, which handled services for children outside the home, including foster care and homemaker service.

During the 1940s, the agency increased focus on marriage counselling, housing, child care, and senior services in response to post-war social issues. It attempted to broaden the constituency it served by beginning a fee-for-service policy in 1948 with a sliding fee scale geared to the client's ability to pay. It continued the agency's reputation of providing leadership to the profession. Executive directors Frank Hertel and Clark Blackburn both went from the Minneapolis agency to head the Family Service Association of America, and their successor, Earl Beatt, who served for twenty six years, held numerous national professional elective positions as well.

The 1960s saw a renewed emphasis on strengthening families and an increase in related services, such as marriage couselling, family counselling, family life education, and day care. With federal funding, the agency started a New Careers Project to provide para-professional jobs for low income residents of Minnespolis as part the War on Poverty. During the 1970s and 1980s, the agency continued its family and community strengthening initiatives. It initiated a gay and lesbian counselling program, which became a model for similiar work in other agencies. It also formed a program to help women leave prostitution and also instituted domestic violence and employee assistance programs. The agency also added a staff member to head the Family Advocacy Department, which sought to affect public policy relating to families and communities. Among other topics, the agency fought for the Children's Mental Health Act, crisis nurseries, Head Start, and early intervention for child abuse and neglect.

In 1986, Terry Steeno was appointed executive director of MFCS and initiated an eight-month strategic planning and agency study project. The project resulted in a new approach to the existing service areas of counseling, family life education, and support services as well as a renewed committement to strengthen vulnerable families and communities. MFCS also opened new branches during the 1980s and 1990s. Several significant projects took place during the 1990s. The first was a series of programs to reduce the problem of violence in area families and communities. These included abuse and violence counseling, youth diversion, services for abusive partners, and family education aimed at preventing violence. In 1994, the agency also launched its School Home Community Programming Initiative (SHCPI), which is well-documented in the records. The project sought to strengthen and transform communities. In 1996, the agency launched the Minnesota Family Strength project, which is partially documented in the records. The project began with a study and then used study results to develop new service models and community partnerships. In 2010, organization’s name was changed from Family and Children’s Service to The Family Partnership. In 2011, The Family Partnership merged with Reuben Lindh Family Services, and expanded its prenatal, preschool, and early childhood programming. Information in this note comes from the following sources:

  1. Minneapolis Family and Children's Service records SW0075, Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Librariesy
  2. Raspanti, Celeste R. A Splendid Work: 125 Years. Family and Children's Service 1878-2003 . Minneapolis Family and Children's Service, 2004.


22.25 Linear Feet (16 manuscript boxes, 2 legal length boxes, and 15 record cartons.)

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