Survey Associates.

Survey midmonthly : journal of social work (Volume 74) online

. (page 87 of 109)
Online LibrarySurvey AssociatesSurvey midmonthly : journal of social work (Volume 74) → online text (page 87 of 109)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


largest number 48 percent entered do-
mestic and personal-service occupations,
an increase of about 3 percent as com-
pared with 1936. Only 2 percent of the



children were employed in offices in 1937,
10 percent entered mercantile occupa-
tions, and 21 percent outside messenger
and delivery service. . . . The fair labor
standards act, which goes into effect
October 24, gives the U.S. Children's
Bureau responsibility for enforcing the
provisions relating to the employment of
children. It is believed that the act, which
sets a minimum age of sixteen years for
employment, and a minimum of eighteen
years in hazardous occupations, will re-
sult in preventing the labor of children
under sixteen in practically all manufac-
turing industries. The provisions of the
act, however, do not apply to children
employed in establishments engaged in
strictly intrastate business, such as stores,
garages, laundries, restaurants and beau-
ty parlors.

Record and Report Ten Years of
Work Experience of Philadelphia Weav-
ers and Loom Fixers shows skilled work-
ers as effectively stranded in a diversified
industrial community as the unemployed
miners in the coal towns. National Re-
search Project Report No. P-4. Division
of Information, Works Progress Ad-
ministration, Washington, D. C. . . .
The "why and how" of the National
Labor Board is presented by Louis Stark,
Washington correspondent of the New
York Times, in a recent Social Action
pamphlet. Price 10 cents from the Coun-
cil for Social Action of the Congrega-
tional and Christian Churches, 289 Fourth
Avenue, New York. . . . "A factual por-
trayal of the extent of various types of
employer-employe dealings and of the
characteristics of company unions" is
offered in Characteristics of Company
Unions 1935, Bulletin No. 634, U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. Price 30
cents from the superintendent of docu-
ments, Washington.

Relief and WPA

X/TIDSUMMER brought to a new high
the cost of the nation's public as-
sistance, a July expenditure of $258,748,-
000, the largest since the Social Security
Board began keeping comprehensive rec-
ords. Included in this sum were $36,863,-
000 expended for general relief by states
and localities; $42,615,000 under the so-
cial security act; $149,200,000 by the
WPA; $3,220,000 through the NYA;
$19,848,000 by the CCC; $1,275,000 in
subsistence grants under the Farm Se-
curity Administration. WPA rolls reached
an all time high, 3,102,000, in the first
week of September. Unless employment
conditions improve and the number of
WPA workers decreases during the au-
tumn it seems inevitable that the $1,425,-
000,000 fund intended to carry WPA to
February or March, will be exhausted
in January.

Following the national trend Pennsyl-






322



SURVEY MIDMONTHLY






vania's total direct and work relief popu-
lation in August reached a live-year high
to include 17 percent of the state's inhabi-
tants. A study of the general assistance
cases accepted between November and
July nine months of recession reveals
that one fourth never before had received
assistance. In August, though the relief
case load continued to rise, the applica-
tions due to loss of private employment
began to decline while those due to WPA
lay-offs increased.

"New Teeth" Through an arrange-
ment between the New York City De-
partment of Welfare and a group of
dental laboratories, 22,000 home relief
recipients attending WPA dental clinics
will receive needed "new teeth." The
dentures formerly were manufactured by
WPA technicians, but inability to find
enough skilled WPA workers for this
job kept people waiting as long as two
years. Now 136 new dentures will be sup-
plied each day. WPA dentists, who last
year cared for more than 15,000 new
patients in their clinics for adults, will
confine themselves in future to actual
operative work.

The Doctor's Bill State paid medical
service is now available throughout Penn-
sylvania for those receiving relief, old
age assistance, dependent children's aid,
or blind pensions, under the terms of a
recent revision of the public assistance
act. Prior to the revision, opinion was
divided as to the responsibility of the
state or of institutional districts for
financing medical care for the indigent.
Consequently in many parts of the state
the indigent received none.

The present plan, which is described by
State Secretary of Public Assistance
Arthur W. Howe, Jr. as a stop-gap for
lack of the annual $10 million estimated
necessary for full medical service, pro-
vides a scale of payments for doctors'
fees, the doctor to be chosen by the pa-
tient. A home visit will cost the state $2,
an office visit $1. Obstetrical care includes
twelve visits at a total cost of $25. A
surgeon may render a bill at half his
usual fee. WPA families are not eligible
for state medical care.

Guidance A local complement to
Pennsylvania's state relief set-up is Pitts-
burgh's Department of Public Welfare,
which recently issued a comprehensive
handbook describing its operations. In
addition to operating the city homes and
hospitals the department fills two impor-
tant relief gaps for those Allegheny
County dependents who live within the
city limits. The medical relief includes
city doctors on call day or night, as well
as medical and surgical appliances, medi-
cines, tonsillectomies, the Pasteur treat-
ment. Additional outdoor relief includes
rent and moving expenses when eviction



We are asking you to tell us . . .

WHAT SUBJECTS AND SKILLS YOU WOULD LIKE TO HAVE DISCUSSED IN THE SERIES ON
rural public welfare work, written by Josephine Strode. The articles which lead off
this issue (pages 307 ff) describe how the idea of the series was born and present an
appeal from a county worker to "Miss Bailey" to "persuade the powers that be to
give the problems of rural social work a little space in Survey Midmonthly."

WE SHALL CTVB A GOOD DEAL OP SPACE TO THE SUBJECT THIS WINTER. SEVERAL OP THE

forthcoming articles are already in the office. They will appear under such titles as:
Publicity by Way of the Barn Door; Learning on the Job; Getting Along with the
Bosses; Old Folks Are Like That. That later articles may be close in and helpful as
possible, the "powers that be" ask you to check the following list of subjects and
skills, indicating your preference as to which you would like to have discussed by
Miss Strode in terms of social work at the grass roots. Please feel free to add to
the list.

BETTER STILL, WRITE us A LETTER TELLING OF YOUR EXPERIENCES AS A COUNTY WORKER,
and of the methods you have worked out, both practical and sound, for dealing with diffi-
cult situations. Tell us of your failures as well as of your successes as a contribution
to the pool of experience on which Miss Strode may draw for future articles.

Check the list below, clip this announcement and mail it, with a letter if you will,
to "Miss Bailey," Survey Midmonthly, 112 East 19 Street, New York.



ll



Subjects to Be Discussed

D Intake

D Collateral Calls
D Budgeting
D Home Visits
D Correspondence
D Case Histories
D Treatment



Skills to Be Analyzed
D Conferring

D Community Organization
D Group Leadership
D Writing

D Personnel Supervision
D Office Organization
D Social Judgment



is imminent, milk, dentures, burials.
Threatened by extinction through the
possible assumption of its functions by
the state, the department accompanies the
handbook with a statement by its direc-
tor, B. J. Hovde, hoping that the booklet
will be a "source of guidance" to the
"eventual successors."

Notes Collective bargaining or some-
thing accomplished a kind of truce be-
tween the relief officials of Berks County,
Pa. and four families which lacking, they
said, any other place to live, moved into
the relief office bag and baggage. By the
terms of the truce, say newspaper reports,
the families left the office during work-
ing hours, "so that work could continue,"
but returned there to sleep.

Relief recipients in Chicago can antici-
pate a dark winter, for there will be no
electricity on their budgets so long as the
recently announced 15 percent cut in all
allotments remains in force. During the
summer the budgets included food, gas
and rent. September, usually a month of
increase, was expected to bring electricity
and clothing. Instead came the cuts occa-
sioned by the inadequacy of available
funds.

The purpose and first few months' ex-
perience with a Social Security Board



plan for interchange of relief statistics
and information among large city depart-
ments of public welfare is described by
Helen Jeter and Margaret Claybaugh in
a reprint from the Social Security Bul-
letin of June 1938. From the superin-
tendent of documents, Washington, D. C.
The Matanuska resettlement project
at Palmer, Alaska, around which com-
ment and criticism swirled when it was
established by the FERA in 1935, has
been transferred to the jurisdiction of the
Department of the Interior. Of the 200
original relief families in the settlement,
170 still remain, plus a hundred or so
"native-born" babies. New colonists are
arriving regularly, it is said, with about
1500 applications pending from families
in Alaska as well as on the "mainland."

Check-ups A quarterly statement of
outside earnings must now be filed by
every WPA worker to comply with a
recent order issued by Harry L. Hop-
kins, administrator. In Michigan the
WPA, ERA and Unemployment Insur-
ance Commission are cooperating to pre-
vent workers from drawing WPA checks
and unemployment insurance simultane-
ously. A daily report of applicants for
benefits is filed with the WPA and the
Emergency Relief Commission. WPA



OCTOBER 1938



323



agreed to finance the clerical cost in-
volved rather than risk duplicating gov-
ernment payments and the resultant state-
wide criticism.

For the Children Some 102,000
New York children in need of clothing
received full outfits last month by way
of the WPA to enable them to start
school properly clad assuming of course
that they were fortunate enough to pos-
sess shoes which were not included in
the distribution. Worsted knickers, wool-
en trousers, dresses described as "snappy
and up-to-date" were included in this
largest order ever filled by the WPA
sewing rooms. Materials supplied by the
city were made up in diversified patterns
to avoid the appearance of "relief uni-
forms."

Another project which stretches out
a hand to New York school children is
that operating 111 dental clinics serving
needy children from kindergarten to 4B
grades. In July and August months
when clinic attendance does not have the
pressure of school authorities a total of
40,813 visits were made to the clinics,
indicating that parents and children are
beginning to appreciate the necessity of
dental care. In addition to fillings and
extractions the services include prophy-
laxes and examination, polishing, reexam-
ination and check-up, instructions in oral
hygiene, and so on. The clinics employ a
total of 104 WPA dentists, forty-six hy-
gienists, with dental assistants and cleri-
cal staff.

Evidently possessing an agreement with
Santa Claus this child-conscious New
York City division of WPA has estab-
lished a project for collecting broken toys,
mending them and distributing the re-
stored products to hospital wards, day
nurseries, community centers, settlements,
neighborhood houses, and homes where
toys do not figure in the budget. Started
in late summer with a hundred work re-
lief employes the project is expected to
reach its peak of operation before Christ-
mas, employing between two and three
hundred men and women, most of them
physically handicapped.

In New Jersey The whys and where-
fores of supplementary relief are being
sought in New Jersey by State Labor
Commissioner John J. Toohey, Jr. and
State Relief Director Arthur Mudd with
the two-fold purpose of sustaining basic
industrial wage rates and reducing relief
costs. It has been estimated that over 25
percent of the none-too-adequate relief
funds are used as supplementary relief to
wage earning families. A partial explana-
tion might be found in the labor depart-
ment's recent report of 100,000 women
and minors in industry receiving less than
a living wage as defined by the state mini-
mum wage law. [See Survey Midmonthly,
September 1938, page 291.] In the mean-
time Governor Moore has directed that



amounts not exceeding $2 million monthly
be diverted to relief from other state
funds.

A recent teapot tempest in New Jersey
was firmly squelched by the state's attor-
ney general, David C. Wilentz, when he
ruled that a "pauper" is a pauper only
after a legal procedure has declared him
such and that "it is inconceivable" that
all WPA workers and relief recipients
should be disenfranchised because they
were receiving assistance. The tempest
was precipitated by a demand for "purg-
ing the voting list of paupers" urged by
a delegation for the Women's Rebellion,
Inc., an organization apparently seeking
national political influence.

Compensation

DEPLIES to a questionnaire sent to
all Arizona employers show that the
employers, by a majority of three to one,
favor unemployment compensation as it
is now administered in that state. A pre-
liminary check of the returns revealed,
according to the Winslow Mail, that 76
percent of the employers have no change
to recommend, 3 percent favor outright
repeal, and about 1.5 percent made each
of the following recommendations: re-
duce the tax rate; require employes to
pay half the cost; simplify administra-
tion; exclude executives' salaries in figur-
ing contributions.

Compensation and Relief Unem-
ployment compensation and direct relief
go to two different classes of persons, ac-
cording to a study made by the Pennsyl-
vania Economy League, covering the first
six months of benefit payments in the
state. The report of the study published
in the league's magazine, Your Dollar's
Worth, showed that only about one per-
son out of eight on relief between Janu-
ary and June 1938 had worked long
enough during 1937 to be eligible for
unemployment compensation. The study
also revealed that only one in eight of
those drawing benefits during the same
period was sufficiently reduced in cir-
cumstances to have been eligible for re-
lief if compensation had not been paid.
"Not more than 15 percent of the total
on the two rolls are likely to overlap,"
the report stated.

Multi-State Claims A new proce-
dure has been approved by the Social
Security Board and the Interstate Con-
ference of Unemployment Insurance
Agencies for applying the agreement, re-
cently signed by all but eight of the fifty-
one states and territories, under which
unemployed workers living in one juris-
diction may claim and draw benefits for
which they are eligible under the laws of
other states. Eligibility under the law of
the state of present residence will first
be determined, and benefit rights under



that law exhausted before the payments
from the state of former residence be-
gin. The waiting period prescribed by the
unemployment insurance law of each lia-
ble state will apply. His nearest local
public employment office will handle the
worker's claim for benefits in whatever
state he believes himself eligible.

New York Names -Identifying over
1700 Mary Joneses whose names appear
on its files is only one of the problems
facing the New York Bureau of Insur-
ance Control, which issues unemploy-
ment compensation checks. The bureau's
files include more than a million cards of
workers listed only by name and with no
social security numbers. There are also
approximately 15,000 other individuals
identified only by such names as Flat
Foot Floogie, Dummy, Fish Face,,Smokey,
Blubber, and Shorty. The bureau is send-
ing forms to every person on its files
whom it can locate, asking for social
security numbers.

Claim Books Every claimant to job
insurance under the Oregon state unem-
ployment compensation law is given an
individual "claim book," similar to a sav-
ings bank book, or to the individual pay-
record book carried by members of the
A.E.F. during the World War. Claim-
ants are required to present the claim
book when reporting to local employment
offices. Information entered in the claim
book will include the insured's name,
address, claim number, weekly benefit
amount, social security number, maximum
benefit amount, day for reporting to the
employment office, earnings by the week.
Officials of the Oregon Unemployment
Insurance Commission expect this proce-
dure not only to "simplify and reduce the
cost of administration," but also to "mini-
mize hazard of error and facilitate
identification."

Studies in Process The principal ob-
jectives of the study of unemployment
compensation experience which is being
made cooperatively by the Interstate
Conference and the Social Security Board
are defined in the board's Bulletin as
three in number: "greater economy in
unemployment insurance administration;
development of methods for calculating
and paying benefits which will be more
easily understood by workers and em-
ployers and will result in more prompt
payment of benefits; reduction, insofar as
possible, of the volume of detail required
of employers in complying with the legis-
lation."

In New York State, the chairman of
the unemployment insurance advisory
council has announced that the council's
committee on amendments will soon in-
vite technical experts and other interested
persons to confer with it on possible ways
of simplifying the New York unemploy-



324



SURVEY MIDMONTHLY



ment compensation law. . . . The council
has appointed a committee of three to
study and report to the legislature on the
practicality of a "merit rating" system
which would grant preferential tax rates
to employers with records of stable em-
ployment. Many industrialists have ex-
pressed the belief that a graduated tax rate
would help prevent joblessness by offer-
ing employers an incentive for stabilizing
employment. William Green, president of
the American Federation of Labor, stated
at the Atlantic City meeting of the ex-
ecutive committee of the AF of L last
month that such plans tend to "dis-
criminate against both employers and
employes."

Convict's Claim John J. Haley, Jr.,
serving a prison term of fifteen years to
life after being convicted as a fourth
offender on a third degree burglary in-
dictment, claimed unemployment insur-
ance for a period previous to his arrest
under New York's unemployment com-
pensation law. Officials of the division of
placement and unemployment insurance
in the State Labor Department ruled that
in this, as in similar cases, the test of the
applicant's right to benefits for any par-
ticular week is whether during that week
he was totally unemployed, and capable
of and available for employment. "Haley
cannot under any circumstances receive
benefits for any of the weeks he has been
in custody," it was said, "because he has
not been 'available for employment.'
However, he may, while in custody re-
ceive overdue benefits for weeks prior to
his incarceration. The test applies to the
week for which the benefits are claimed;
not the week during which they are
received."

Schools and Education

TPHE liquidation of the General Edu-
cation Board within a few years is
foreseen in the report of that foundation
for the last half of 1936 and the year
1937, a portion of which was made public
late last month. The report shows that up
to the end of 1920, the board's expendi-
tures in its major fields of interest
medical education, higher education, Negro
education and certain special programs,
were almost exclusively from income
of the fund established by John D. Rocke-
feller in 1902. Up to the end of 1937, the
board had appropriated a total of $255,-
334,670.57, of which $139,337,348.55 was
from principal, $115,997,322.02 from in-
come. The report states: "The trustees
have felt that, in the rapidly moving times
through which we have lived since the
war, it was more important to meet
challenging opportunities in the develop-
ment of fields like medical education, for
example, than it was to conserve princi-
pal funds for some indefinite future. . . .
This, in brief, is the point of view which

OCTOBER 1938



has led the trustees to approach the com-
ing liquidation of the General Education
Board with the belief that it represents,
as far as limited human intelligence can
foresee, a socially desirable step." Since
1933, the board has concentrated on three
types of activity: the continuance of the
existing program in the South; the sup-
port of research and experimentation in
relation to the secondary school through
the junior college level ; a program in
child growth and development.

Public Service A new division for
training in public service is being launched
this fall by New York University in its
division of general education. An experi-
mental group of classes last year attracted
a considerable number of students. This
year's program has in mind not only the
student who desires to prepare himself
for public service, but also the public ser-
vant who finds himself in need of fuller
training. The program is made up of
non-degree credit courses, though all the
classes are given due credit by the municipal
civil service commission. Rufus D. Smith,
provost of the university, and chairman
of the faculty committee which drew up
plans for the new division, has been ap-
pointed its director.

Race and Personality The study to
determine what effect, if any, the minor-
ity racial status of Negro youth has upon
their personality development, announced
last year by the American Youth Com-
mission, is now going forward in New
York, Chicago, Washington, Louisville,
New Orleans, Greensboro, Nashville,
Natchez, and five rural counties in the
South. Atlanta will probably be added to
the list of cities. At present, field investi-
gations are being conducted and staff
members are attempting to analyze
through case methods the nature of the
adjustments youth may have to face in
being subjected to controls of social class
snd social caste. Cultural environment in
which Negro youth live is being examined.
Background material will probably be
prepared by November 1, and personality
studies by January 1. Robert L. Suther-
land is in charge of the undertaking.

WPA Education The school health
program of the WPA is being developed
and extended, according to a recent an-
nouncement by Harry L. Hopkins, WPA
administrator. Hundreds of schools, par-
ticularly in rural areas, have no medical
service other than that supplied by the
WPA. In the last two years, more than
940,000 school-age children have been
given medical examinations through WPA
and 550,000 immunized against communi-
cable disease. Over the same period, ap-
proximately 125 million hot, nourishing
lunches have been served to needy school
children. These activities are being con-
tinued. Physical examinations in many
communities now include dental exami-



nations as well as sight and hearing tests.
In New York City at least one new
project is being inaugurated with a staff
which is expected to reach 2000. This
project, called cumulative pupil records,
will have as its objective the establish-
ment of comprehensive cumulative rec-
ords for all pupils in the entire city school
system. The project has already installed
the system in fifteen junior highschools
with a staff of 230. The local WPA ad-
ministrator, Lieut. Col. Brehon Somervell,
has announced complete reorganization
and extensive expansion of the education
section for the current school year.

Sickness Insurance

CTORMY seas have failed to drydock
the increasing number of craft of one
kind and another that are attempting to
lay a course toward the harbor of sick-
ness insurance.

In New York the Cooperative Health
Association was all ready to set sail when
it was advised by the office of the state
attorney general that its activities were
probably illegal. The association's pro-
gram proposes two classes of member-
ship. One would make available complete
medical service at a cost of $24 annually
for the first member of a family and $20
for each additional member. This would
include practitioner, surgical and special-
ist care along with X-ray, laboratory and
diagnostic work. The other, costing $16
annually for the first member of the fam-
ily and $12 for each additional member,
would be a general practitioner service



Online LibrarySurvey AssociatesSurvey midmonthly : journal of social work (Volume 74) → online text (page 87 of 109)