Charles Richmond Henderson.

Modern methods of charity; an account of the systems of relief, public and private, in the principal countries having modern methods online

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in Alsace by Pastor Friedrich Oberlin. Such institutions should be
provided with a play room, kindergarten, nap room, isolation room,
garden or playground, and water closets.

The third kind of institutions for the partial care of children is
the simple kindergarten, like those first founded in 1837 ^" Blanken-
burg by Friedrich Froebel. These differ from the second kind in
that they do not feed the children, nor keep them for more than a few

In the year 1896 seven creches in Vienna cared for 1,674 children,
of whom 502 were under two years of age. Multiplying the num-
ber of children cared for by these seven institutions by the average
number of days each child was kept, gives a total of 111,119 days'
care. Five per cent, of the children were illegitimate ; only two per
cent, could be fed by the mothers, the remainder were fed artificially.
The older children were expected to take breakfast and supper at
home, and received at the institution a midday meal of such food as
porridge, meat, soup and vegetables, each child having its own uten-
sils. These institutions provide one attendant for each five or six in-
fants, and one to each twenty or thirty of the older ones. The floors
lack coverings, and there are no isolation rooms. The annual cost of
these seven creches, including rent, is flor. 17,617.55. Two other
creches in Vienna care for 214 children a year. The larger of the
two receives a fee of 5 kr. a day for each child. The last of the ten
institutions of the kind in the city furnished 4,460 days' care in 1896.
It is open all the working days of the year, receives no fees, and ad-
mits only the children of the poor. The expenses of this creche were
flor. 3,575 for that year, the average cost of a day's care for one child
being 7% kr.

In Upper Austria there are two creches. One is in Stadl Paura.


It has ordinarily about 15 children, of whom three per cent, are ille-
gitimate. No fees are received. The hours are from 5 a. m. to
6.30 p. m., and the expense about flor. 1.50 per day. The other is in
Wels. A minority who are able to do so, pay fees of 40 kr. a month
and 3 kr, additional for dinner. No infants are received. The hours
are from 8 to 11 a. m. and i to 7 p. m. In Salzburg there is one
creche where children are taken from their first days until six years
of age. The ordinary attendance is 80 children, the hours from 6
a. m. to 5 p. m. It is open all the year round. A fee of 10 kr.
a day is received ; and for 10 kr. additional the children will be kept
all night. In Graz in Styria, there are three creches, founded in
1853 by a society. The ordinary attendance at the three is 194.
Children are taken from the fourteenth day to the end of the third
year. In winter children are received between 7 and 8 a. m., in sum-
mer between 6 and 7 ; and they are taken away between 6 and 7 p. m.
The addresses of the parents are required, the baptismal certificate
of each child, and evidence of poverty. The costs are 16.8 kr. per
day for each child. The total cost for the three amounts to flor.
2,439 ^ y^^^ '} ^^^ the society is assisted in their maintenance by ap-
propriations from the city and from the province. In Carinthia a
creche was founded in 1893, and is supported from the private purse
of a baroness. The average attendance is 24. There is a creche at
Trieste in Kiistenland, and in Bohemia there are ten, four of which
are maintained by a society in Prague. In 1896 these four gave
23,312 days' care, and in the same year the six others, located in six
different places, had an attendance of from 14 to 38, respectively,
or a total of 156. In all of the ten, children are received from the
age of two weeks to four years. At the one situated in Zuckmantel
the mothers are required to bring milk for their infants ; all the others
prepare their own sterilized milk. The equipments of the Bohemian
creches include wicker or iron beds, diaper stands and rooms for
washing, baby carriages, little benches and tables, and in the play
rooms railed walks for those learning to go alone, and in most the
floor is covered with cork carpet or linen, in which particular they
are better equipped than most creches in Austria. They lack wait-
ing rooms for the mothers, and proper bath rooms with arrangements
for warming the little clothes, all of which is done in the kitchen.
Nearly all. However, have separate laundry and drying room, except
the one in Dobrovitc. The last mentioned is inspected daily by a



physician — a practice common in many of the other Austrian creches.
None has an isolation room. Evidence of poverty, and the addresses
of the parents are required, and in some a certificate of the health and
the legitimate birth of the child. In most of the ten no fee is taken,
but in the four creches in Prague, 3 kr. a day must be paid. All are
open throughout the working days of the year, and the hours are in
general from 6 a. m. to 7 p. m. In most of these ten institutions
it is a rule that the children must be bathed before being brought,
and on arrival they receive clean underclothes for the day. The com-
moner practice in the Austrian creches is to bathe and dress the infants
after they have been received in the morning. One nurse to five
children is the rule in the Bohemian creches. Creches exist in four
different places in the province of Moravia. The expense incurred
varies from 3 kr. to 17 kr. a day for each child.

Day nurseries of the second class which take children from the
age of three, or in exceptional cases at two, are more numerous, but
deal with a less difficult problem. The day nursery should occupy
rooms with walls that are light in color but not white, well heated
and lighted, and with abundant ventilation. The furniture should
include little chairs (though benches are common), little tables,
closets, blackboard, pictures, and a piano or organ, an article only
occasionally found. There should be good water closets, which
often are seriously missed ; a garden, which in Austria is nearly al-
ways present, and in the garden there should be a sand heap to play
in, and if possible flower beds and shaded places. The occupations
for children in the Austrian day nurseries of this class are mostly
based upon the system of Froebel. In many there is periodic medical
inspection. Some divide the children into two sections according to
age. Many furnish food to the children, which is usually free to
the poor, and for others the fee varies from 3 kr. to 10 kr. per day.
Admission is usually free, but there is required a certificate of good
health and effective vaccination. Of the twelve Austrian provinces
only Dalmatia and Bukowina seem to be wholly without such an in-
stitution. Lower Austria has 79, Upper Austria 74, Bohemia 104,
and all Austria 405 — with an attendance of 37,682 children. Some
of these are maintained by public funds, others by the patronage of
nobles or by benevolent societies or religious bodies, others by large
employers of labor, and a few by benevolent private individuals.

Of the third class of institutions, kindergartens pure and simple,


Vienna has 56, varying in attendance from 12 to 450, and witli a
total attendance of 5,255. There are kindergartens in every province
except perhaps Galicia. Information is accessible concerning 604
kindergartens in all Austria, which have an attendance of 50,932.
Some of these are maintained by public funds, some by school au-
thorities, others by ecclesiastical bodies, benevolent societies, private
individuals or employers of labor. The support of some is more or
less assisted by fees and by the possession of slight endowments.
The quarters occupied by these kindergartens vary greatly in char-
acter. Some have five or six rooms with modern heating and ven-
tilation, frequently there is an organ or piano, closets with numbered
compartments, charts, and pictures ; many, but by no means all, have
gardens or play grounds ; others occupy a single room, meagerly
equipped. Suitable water closets are by no means always present.
Many have regular medical inspection, but a still larger number do
not. There is usually a forenoon session of three hours, and an after-
noon session of two hours, work and play alternating in periods of
20 to 30 minutes. With reference to the methods of instruction and
occupation, the Austrian kindergartens are in general loyal to the
system of Froebel, but in Bohemia considerable additions to it have
been made as well as modifications and substitutions.

In summer, walks and excursions in the public parks are common.
There is always one experienced kindergartener, and usually at least
one assistant. Frequently the children are divided into two and
sometimes into three sections, according to their ages. In some in-
stances a kindergarten is open only to children of a single school
district. The usual requirement for entrance is a certificate that
the child is in good health, and the certificate in some cases must in-
clude additional particulars, for example, a statement that the child
has been successfully vaccinated, and a certificate of baptism. As a
rule a fee is charged which varies from one florin to flor. 3.20 per
month. Frequently the registration fee is exacted varying from
50 kr. to flor. 2. These charges are reduced or remitted in the
cases of poor children.

In order to secure treatment adapted to children, and also for
considerations of morality, it is necessary to have separate hospitals
for juvenile patients. The earliest children's hospital on the conti-
nent of Europe was the "Hopital des Enfants Malades," founded
in 1802 in Paris. The earliest in Austria was founded in 1837.



Institutions of this class in Austria have owed their existence
to the intelHgence and self-sacrifice of a relatively small number
of persons, who realized their importance, and especially to phy-
sicians who have been willing not only to render their services free,
but also to incur expense. All institutions of this class in Austria
exist as private charities, for the most part under societies for the
purpose, which secure funds in the form of legacies, endowments,
endowed beds, members' dues, etc. They are, however, not en-
tirely without aid from public funds, part of which comes from the
profits of public savings banks. The first children's hospital built
in Vienna, beside the original building, which has been enlarged
and contains both medical and surgical departments, now has also
a separate pavilion for scarlet fever, and another for diphtheria. Of
course no children's hospital can properly admit contagious diseases
without the means of thorough isolation. There are in all 23 sick
rooms, six with one bed in each, two with two or three beds, and
fifteen with from four to ten. In the diphtheria pavilion there are
single rooms which may be rented by mothers who wish to attend
their own children. The pavilions are equipped with every modern
improvement for lighting, heat and ventilation, bath rooms as well
as movable bath tubs, inhalation cabinets, improved sewerage, steam
disinfecting apparatus, furniture of iron and glass, and tile floors.
This hospital serves the purposes of instruction in children's diseases,
in connection with the University of Vienna. It has also a dispen-
sary and free vaccination station. The medical director and the
chief surgeon are both professors of the university, who serve with-
out pay, as do most of the physicians connected with institutions of
this class, only resident assistants receiving remuneration. The
Vienna children's hospital has three official physicians, twenty-five
attendants, and ten servants. The institution is under the direction
of a benevolent society, and has received numerous legacies and

In all Austria there are sixteen hospitals for children, having
1,114 beds, and caring for about 12,500 children annually, giving
them nearly 300,000 days' care. The cost per day for each child
in the city of Vienna averages flor. 1.42, in the two hospitals situated
in Prague flor, 1.25, and a somewhat smaller sum in those located
elsewhere. At least four additional children's hospitals are either
in process of erection or have been so recently opened as to furnish


no figures. Most of the sixteen institutions receive children up to
the age of fourteen, others only those of twelve years and under.
Some do not receive children under one year old save in exceptional
cases. Three hospitals employ wet-nurses, and the one at Krakau
has a separate department for nurslings.

Success in the treatment of children depends largely on proper
diet, and the proper feeding of children has received great attention
at these institutions.

Beside the direct benefit to the children treated, the Austrian hos-
pitals have done important service by their contribution to the sci-
ence and practice of medicine for children. The most important
recent advances in this field are O'Dwyer's incubation in croup,
which replaces cutting the wind-pipe ; the treatment of diphtheria
according to the method of Behring; and achievements, particularly
those of Lorenz, in orthopedic surgery. At almost all these hospitals
there are vaccination stands and dispensaries ; and the suggestions
given to mothers at the dispensaries are perhaps as valuable as the
medicines prescribed.

There is great need of additional provision for the children of the
poor in times of epidemics of juvenile diseases, — either in special
pavilions in connection with hospitals, or in buildings erected in the
outskirts of cities. And supplements indispensable to the success of
children's hospitals are country homes for the convalescent, vacation
colonies, seaside homes, and bathing sanitaria for the cripples and
those afflicted with rickets. Seven such sanitaria at bathing places
already exist in Austria, and one home for convalescents is for chil-
dren exclusively.

L. Among the most difficult problems of charitable activity, and
of all perhaps the most important, is that of dealing with morally im-
perilled children and youth — children who, because of the poverty
of their parents, the lack of proper oversight, the wild life of the
street, insufficient schooling, and evil example and association, in-
herited mental or moral defects and promise to recruit the ranks of
wretchedness and crime. The normal family affords the proper
model and source of suggestions for dealing with this class of per-
sons. Literary and moral instruction, and such teaching in trades,
in farming, domestic work and woman's handicraft as makes it pos-
sible to earn an honest livelihood, are the means to be employed.
The agencies available in Austria are altogether inadequate to this


great and melancholy task. In Lower Austria there is one public,
provincial home for neglected children of both sexes, with a capacity
for 450 inmates, A "protective association" maintains in Vienna
two other homes for the rescue of neglected children — one for boys,
with a capacity for 100, another for girls, with capacity for 60. An-
other institution is in Loosdorf, Lower Austria. There are two
children's homes in the province of Upper Austria. One of these
is at Linz, and at the time of the last available report it had 68 boys
and 53 girls. Its aim is preventive — the rescue of children from
neglect, and not the reform of those who have already fallen into
vice or crime. In 1891 this institution inaugurated the practice of
admitting among children morally unspoiled, others who are under
correction. This bold experiment has resulted in remarkable suc-
cess, and the effect on the subjects of correction is said to have been
so good as to entitle the experiment to be regarded as an important
invention in "social technology." Another institution in Upper Aus-
tria, situated at Baumgartenberg, has upwards of 161 inmates. This
home combines two functions, the bringing up of neglected children
and the rescue of fallen girls. Many of the latter, after leaving the
institution, prove to have been genuinely reformed, and earn an
honest livelihood; others remain permanently in the institution. At
Graz in Styria, there is a reformatory for boys. Besides ordinary
schooling, the boys receive instruction in gardening, tailoring and
certain other trades, and freehand drawing and music. This home
was founded in 1879. Since that date 282 pupils have been received,
and 228 of these have been discharged. Of the 228, 149 proved to
have been reformed, 10 were discharged as unreformed, 11 have
died, 12 have been transferred to other institutions, and 46 have back-
slidden. At Klagenfurt, in Carinthia, there is a successful institu-
tion for fallen girls, with between 40 and 50 inmates. At Waiern,
in the same province, there is a home for neglected children, which
at the time of the last available report had 80 inmates and 300 on the
waiting list. In Bohemia there are three institutions of this class,
one for boys of school age, with 22 inmates, another in which there
are 80 girls and 40 boys, and another with 56 inmates. The last
named publishes an estimate that 75 per cent, of its pupils prove
to have been rescued. A reformatory for boys, founded in 1890 by
the provincial government of Moravia, had in its first five years 199
inmates, of whom 143 have proved to be reformed, and 46 have


backslidden. Its pupils at the last report numbered 152. At this
school particular attention is given to the development of the health
of the body, by gymnastics, games, military drill, excursions, baths
and out-of-door employments. There is a similar provincial re-
formatory at Olbersdorf in Silicia, founded in 1893 having between
30 and 40 inmates. Among the trades taught are wood engraving,
book binding, cabinet making, and gardening. An institution
founded in 1886 at Volders, in Tyrol, takes children as well as youth,
and gives particular attention to teaching out-of-door employments —
farming, orcharding, gardening and forestry. Its inmates number
100. Another school in Gorz, with about 40 pupils, trains orphan
girls to be employed as domestics.

M. Among preventive measures, compulsory insurance holds a
place of conspicuous importance in the German-speaking nations.
Such a system of insurance is in harmony with the modern ideal of
poor-relief that seeks to avoid breaking the spirit of the recipient of
charity and reducing him to pauperism, it substitutes for precarious
aid a regular legal claim to that which has been earned in the days of
health and strength. And when insurance for the aged or disabled
laborer is coupled with insurance against illness and accident, it
is believed by many that we may reasonably anticipate a time when
the historic forms of poor-relief will survive only as a supplementary

The experience of Austria, which as yet is much less than that of
Germany, cannot be said to prove this proposition. The statistics
of poor-relief in Saxony, which include a statement of the causes of
poverty, yield the following evidence : In the year 1885, when
compulsory accident insurance first went into effect, the number of
those who were receiving permanent aid because of accidents which
had been sustained was 1,665. After compulsory accident insurance
had been in effect for five years, this number had fallen to 981.
Those who received temporary aid because of accident, in 1885, num-
bered 735, and the corresponding number five years later was 397.
Insurance against sickness had gone into effect a few months earlier,
and the number of those who received aid because of sickness dur-
ing 1885 was 11,583. Five years later this number had fallen to

It is claimed for compulsory insurance that it not only affects the
economic welfare of the laboring classes, but that it promotes the



cdre of the public health, improvement of tenements for working
people, and general prevention of injurious conditions of life and of
labor, that it leads to increased safeguards against accident and more
efficient care for the injured, and that it thus becomes an important
social agency for the diminution of physical suffering and the con-
servation of the laboring power of the working classes. The m-
surance agency has great interest in the completest possible restora-
tion of the labor power of an injured man. Cases of sickness and
of accident fall under the direct attendance and care of the agency,
since the permanent burden which is to be borne in behalf of the
injured, depends upon the success of the nursing afforded during
the first weeks, and the least neglect may result in heavy permanent
expense. The popular realization of the importance of first aid is
also stimulated. Activities like those of the societies for the rescue
of imperilled persons, previously described, are inspired by the
maxim, "the first bandage may determine the result of the injury."
From the point of view of the insuring agency, of the public and of
the individual, it is alike necessary to afford not only efficient medical
treatment and nursing, but also to teach the injured such occupations
as may enable them to continue to earn a livelihood. The insurance
agencies have also direct interest in the prevention of illness and the
treatment of incipient diseases, for example, incipient consumption,
and have been clothed with special legal powers in this direction.

The favorite objection to compulsory insurance is that it with-
draws capital from industry and ties it up. But capital that secures
from poverty the aged and crippled, widows and orphans, cannot
be looked upon as unproductive. Moreover by exercising proper
care with regard to security, the reserves accumulated for this pur-
pose can, without injury to their primary object, be employed in in-
dustry. The Germans, who lead in the matter of compulsory insur-
ance, could not be induced to abandon it, and Austria is second only
to Germany in this movement. Accident insurance was made com-
pulsory in Austria, December 28, 1887, and insurance against sick-
ness March 28, 1888. The latter became compulsory in Hungary,
April 9, 1891.

The aims of the compulsory and governmental feature are : ( i )
Universality — that all (or as nearly as possible all) laborers and those
dependent on them may be kept from dependency. (2) Greater
security. (3) Avoidance of litigation. (4) Lessening of class bit-


terness. (5) The continuation of their insurance when workmen
change their places of residence and employment. (6) The least
possible cost. Accident insurance is compulsory for those employed
in factories, mines, smelters, foundries and other metal works, upon
wharves and docks, in quarries, in the building trades, wherever
explosives are made and used, wherever power machinery is a regu-
lar part of the equipment, including all transportation except by craft
under the laws regulating sea navigation, in dredging, the cleaning
of streets, windows, sewers or chimneys, in warehouses or elevators,
in handling wood and coal, in theaters or as firemen, stone cutters,
well drivers, or structural iron workers. The Minister of the In-
terior has large discretionary power, and is expected to require all
employers whose employes are necessarily exposed to danger to
come under the compulsory insurance regulation, and to excuse all

The benefits received in case of fatal accident are in general the
payment of funeral expenses and a stipend to the widow amounting
to 20 per cent, of the rate of wages earned by the deceased at the time
of the accident ; the same to be paid until the widow dies or remar-
ries ; in addition 15 per cent, of the amount of wages for each child
until it reaches its fifteenth year, or 20 per cent, of the wages re-
ceived by the father for each child in case both parents are dead.
For illegitimate children 10 per cent, of the father's wages is allowed.
But the income allowed to the widow and children together cannot
exceed 50 per cent, of the wages which were earned by the deceased
father. In case of total disability, the injured receives a stipend
equal to 60 per cent, of the wages which he had earned, and in case of
partial disability, aid not to exceed 50 per cent, of the wages previ-
ously earned. In 1897 the moneys paid in accident benefits of all
these sorts amounted to fior. 3,959,887. In 1895 the laborers who
were insured against accident were receiving wages that amounted

Online LibraryCharles Richmond HendersonModern methods of charity; an account of the systems of relief, public and private, in the principal countries having modern methods → online text (page 14 of 73)