Massachusetts. State Board of Charity.

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cases on account of which a previous notice had been received
during the year.

(a) Cases of 8ich State Poor. — The 7,139 notices of sick
State poor were sent by 159 cities and towns, concerning 7,697
persons, of whom 7,157 were represented as being too ill to be
removed. This number shows a net decrease in the number
of notices from the previous year of 153, or about 2 per cent,
and, as compared with the official year 1910-11, a decrease of
496, or about 6% per cent. The largest nimiber of notices
received in any one month was 713 in January; and the small-
est, 494, in September. Of these, 7,139, or about 56 per cent,
were from the city of Boston, viz., 3,956 from the Boston City
Hospital, 8 from the Institutions Department, 42 from the
Boston Lying-in Hospital, and 4 on account of persons aided
in their homes. The nimiber of visits made by the officers
of the Board, in the investigation of these 7,139 notices, was
16,592. As a result of these investigations, the Overseers of
the Poor were directed to discontinue aid in 2,229 cases, —
on account of the recovery of the patient sufficiently to permit
of his removal to the State Infirmary. In 319 aid was refused
because at the time of the application the patient could have
been removed without danger. Out of the 5,024 cases investi-
gated by the visitors, settlements were found in 120, covering
134 persons. Among those reported as sick there were 524
deaths.

(6) Cases of Dangerous Diseases. — The number of notices
received was 2,427, from 96 cities and towns, concerning 2,434
persons, all patients. These figures show a net increase of 209,
or about 9 per cent, over the previous year, and, as compared
with the year 1910-11, a decrease of 94, or about 4 per cent.

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120 STATE BOARD OF CHARITY. [P. D. 17,

Of these 2,427 notices, 749, or about 31 per cent, were from
the cily of Boston* The following diseases were reported:
anterior poliomyelitis, 5; cerebro-spinal meningitis, 10; chicken
pox, 3; diphtheria, 578; leprosy, 4; measles, 169; ophthalmia
neonatorum, 42 ; pertussis, 5 ; rabid dog bite, 2 ; scarlet fever,
495 ; smallpox, 53 ; tetanus, 2 ; trichinosis, 1 ; tuberculosis, 696 ;
and typhoid fever 362. The number of visits made by the
officers of the Board in these cases was 4,842, and of 1,581 new
cases investigated settiements were found in 184, covering 184
persons.

(c) Cases of Wife-^ettlemeni. — The number of notices re-
ceived was 766, from 60 cities and towns, concerning 3,462
persons, of whom 454 were sick. These figures show a net
decrease in the number of notices as compared with the previous
year of 91, or about iKo per cent., and, as compared with the
year 1910-11, a decrease of 114, or about 13 per cent. Of
these 766 notices, 303, or about 40 per cent, were from the
city of Boston. As these 766 notices represent men whose
families have settlements in some city or town within the Com-
monwealth, and 6 of these men were found to have a settlement,
the total number aided by the State was 760, of whom 324 were
sick. The number of visits made in these cases was 879. As
a result of the visits, the local authorities were advised to dis-
continue aid in 3 cases. There were 246 new cases investigated
by agents of the Board.

(d) Cases of Temporary Aid. — The number of notices re-
ceived was 3,131, concerning 13,434 persons, from 170 cities
and towns. The largest number of notices received in any one
month was 810 in January; and the smallest number, 136, in
June. The whole number shows a net increase, as compared
with the preceding year, of 284, or about 10 per cent, and,
with the year 1910-11, a decrease of 74, or about 2 per cent
Of these notices, 356, or about 11 per cent., were received
from the city of Boston. The number of visits made under
these notices was 3,660. There were 873 new cases investi-
gated by the agents of the Board, and 166 settiements were
found, covering 677 persons. As a result of visitation, aid was
discontinued in 224 cases, and in 36 cases aid was refused.

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Part I.] GENERAL WORK OF THE BOARD.



121



Transportation has been furnished during the year to llO
persons; of these, 41 were sent to European countries, viz.,
Azores, 13 ; Italy, 12 ; England, 8 j France, 5 ; Sweden, 3 ; 18
to Canada and other British Provinces; 51 to other States, viz.,
Connecticut, 2 ; Maine, 3 ; New Hampshire, 4 ; New Jersey, 2 ;
Or^on, 3 ; Rhode Island, 13 ; Vermont, 20 ; Virginia, 4 (Re-
vised Laws, chapter 81, section 21).

Transportation has also been provided for 35 shipwrecked
seamen, from Chatham, Chilmark, Orleans, ajid Tisbury to
Boston and Gloucester (Revised Laws, chapter 66, section 7).

Cost.
The number, amount, and allowance of the bills examined by
the Board, on account of cases of sick State poor, wife-settle-
ment, dangerous diseases, temporary aid, and burials, are shown
in the following tabulation. It is to be noted that the total
shown in this table may vary somewhat from the total paid out
of the treasury during the fiscal year from the appropriation in
question. This possible variance arises from the fact that bills
audited by this Board are in some cases not actually paid dur-
ing the year for which the audit is shown. For actual expendi-
tures out of these respective appropriations see page 181.



CLABSte OP Casbb



BUIb



Claims



Allowance



Deduction



Sick state poor: ~

Boston City Hospital
Otherc



Wife-settlement

Dancerous diseases: —
Boston City Hospital
Other oases



Temporary aid .
Burial
Totals



3.26g
2.37S

6«0



530
1,067

2,402

791



11,093



$34,372 45
85,809 74

7.67r 87



17,721 15
41,315 78

53,698 79

8.819 40



125,911 28
29.121 30

7,580 91



15.345 03
29.654 07

49,999 99

8,189 75



$199,415 13



$165,802 33



$8,461 17
6,688 44

96 96



2,376 12
11,661 66

8,698 80

629 65



$33,612 80



The item for temporary aid in the above tabulation includes
$1,655.82 expended for transportation of the 110 State paupers
above referred to, and $70.23 for the conveyance of 35 ship-
wrecked seamen.



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122



STATE BOARD OF CHAJIITY. IP.D.17.



CLA88M <V CaSMB



NewCaaet
invwOcAted



SeitlemenU
found



PenoDB



Biek State poor .
Dancerous dJ8MM8
Wife-«ttleinent
Temporary aid .
Burial
Totals .



5.024

24«
87S
5SS



120
184

6


6



134

184

6

•n

6



8^7



482



1.007



Settlement Wokk.
The following table is a summary of the work done during
the year, in the examination and in the investigation of settle-
ments of inmates of the State institutions : —



State Infirmary


4,007


881
53


424

38


182

10


181
21


797


State Farm


5.172


00


Lakeville Stote Sanatorium . . . .


252


140


120


34


-


16S


North Reading State Sanatorium


243


161


156


13


1


170


Rutland State Sanatorium . . . .


422


321


306


34


-


340


Weatfield State Sanatorium . . . .


1«4


121


113


21


-


134




41


41


30


5


-


36


Danvers State Hospital . . . .


-


-


-


-




5


Foxborough State Hospital . . . .


-


-


4


2




13


Monson State Hospital


-


-


-


-




2


State Hospital (insane ward)


-


-


-


-




1


State Farm (insane)


-


-


-


-




2


Massachusetts School for the Feeble-minded


-


-


3


-




8


Taunton Stote Hospital . . . .


-


-


-


5


15


20


Worcester Stote Hospital ....


-


-


-


-




6


Westborough Stoto Hospital


-


-


1


-


8


9


Office


240


-


-


-


-


~




10,541


1,527


1,204


316


254


1,774



Ceases pending November 30. 1912
Cases pending November 30. 1913



n4

527



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Part I.l GENERAL WORK OF THE BOARD.



123



Removals.
The Board is charged with the duty of removing sane pau-
pers to cities or towns within the State or, when not belonging
in Massachusetts, to the State or place where they belong. The
following table shows the removals made during the year: —







Rbiiovbd


FBOll —




REMOVED To-












State
Infirmary


State
Farm


Office


Totals


other eountricfl: —










Austria Hnnsary


8


-




13


BrwU


-


•>






Canada


37


-


11


48


Finland


4


-






France




-






Great Britain


16


2


13


80


Greece .......










Italy




-




10


Newfoundland




_






Norway




-






FMtosal (Asoree)




-


-




Rnena




-


2




Sweden




'-






Syria




-


-




Diecbaiged to United State* Comzniwioner of




















countries . . i . . .


44


-


-


44


Totab


129


2


47


178


Other States: —










CalifcvroiA r


<-


.


1


1




10


1


6


26


District of ColumbU ....


2






2


nUnois


4


.





4


Maine


82


6


8


46


Maryland


2




1


8


New Hampshire


22


11


8


41


New Jersey


4


1


6


10


New York


16


7


13


36


North CaroUna


2






2


Ohio


1


-


.


1


Pennsylvania


6


_


«


6


Rhodelsland


10


12


6


28


South Carolina


2






2


Tennetfse .......




1


_


1


Vermont


8


3


2


13


Vii»inia


4






4


Totals


133


42


60


226


Town of residence


1,919


4,641


09


6^29








-


-


-


6,932



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124



STATE BOARD OF CHARITY. [P. D. 17.





Summary of Removals.








i%n


ItlS


To other oountries .........


155

349

0.743


178


To other States


225




6.529








Totiilfl .


7.147


6.932







The After CiiBE of Women and Childeen discharged by
THE Board from the State Infirmary.

The efforts of the Board's Committee on Social Service,
which supervises this important work, have been continued
throughout the year with increased energy. So varying are the
problems and conditions that arise, that the committee has
found it necessary to hold meetings biweekly, in addition to
biweekly conferences of the chairman of the committee with,
the visitors at the State Infirmary. Another special visitor was
appointed during the year, as well as a clerk having knowledge
of the law. This latter appointment seemed especially advis-
able after experiencing the benefits derived from volunteer
service furnished by the Harvard Legal Aid Society. The co-
operation of the physicians and nurses assigned by the superin-
tendent of the State Infirmary has been invaluable, as well aa
that of the numerous private charitable societies and agencies
which have become interested.

The desire of the committee is —

PrinuMrily. — To protect the welfare of the mothers and chil-
dren and place them in such environment and under such super-
vision as will tend to develop them into useful and upright
citizens.

Secondly. — To segregate the defective who is found to be
a menace to the community.

Thirdly. — To enforce the responsibility of the husband or
father.

It should be borne in mind that many of these unfortunate
women have exhausted the patience and resources of private
organizations, relatives or benevolent individuals, and appeal



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Part I.] GENERAL WORK OF THE BOARD. 126

for public relief in the last extremity ; others became imnates in
the hope of concealing the true facts from the community from
whence they came, 17 women admitted during the year having
given assumed names and 16 being in pr^nant condition when
they landed in the United States ; 28 were infected with syphilis
and 27 with gonorrhea.

During the year the committee has considered the cases of
213 women admitted with 136 children, in addition to 61 women
(17 of whom were pr^nant) with 64 children who were in-
mates at the b^inning of the year. Of the admitted cases 139
women were pregnant accompanied by 23 children, and 74 were
not pregnant, with 112 children. One hundred and twenty-
eight of these women were unmarried, and may be classified
as follows : —

Pregnant for the first illegitimate child 78

Pregnant for the second illegitimate child 18

Pregnant for the third illegitimate child 4

Pregnant for the fourth illegitimate child 3

Pregnant for the fifth illegitimate child . . . . .1
Pregnant and accompanied by the first illegitimate child . . 19
Pregnant and accompanied by the first and second illegitimate chil-
dren 2

Pregnant and accompanied by the second illegitimate child . . 3

128
The 85 married women may be classified as follows : —

Pregnant with legitimate children ^

Not pregnant, with legitimate children 35

Not pregnant, with 6 illegitimate children 6

Pregnant for the first illegitimate child 15

Pregnant for the second illegitimate child 3

Pregnant for the third ill^timate child 2

Pregnant for the fourth iU^timate child 1

Pregnant for the fifth illegitimate child 1

Donbtfnl cases 2

There were 92 births (14 legitimate, 78 illegitimate) ; 9
women admitted were themselves illegitimate offspring; 63 of
the cases under consideration landed in the United States witiiin



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126 STATE BOARD OF CHARITY. [P. D. 17.

the last three years, and 67 could not read or write ; the average
age of the single women was twenty-two years, the married
women, twenty-eight years.

From a tabulation of 190 cases, it appears that only 33 were
bom in the United States, 10 of whom were colored and 14 of
foreign parentage.

The occupations of these women were as follows : —

Domestics 67

Housewives 32

Waitresses .8

Hotel workers 2

Laundresses 6

Mill and factory operatives 73

Department store employees 2

The number discharged during the year was 196 women and
211 children, including 22 pregnant for whose confinement ar-
rangements had been made outside the institution, and exclusive
of 6 women and 18 children who died (11 of these children died
of congenital syphilis). Seventy-one women with 100 children
were discharged to relatives; 31 women with 31 children to
private societies ; 2 women with 5 children to friends; 10 women
with 5 children to the city or town of legal settlement; 36
women with 33 children were placed at service at a wage of
from $2 to $4 a week; 10 women with 12 children were de-
ported ; 6 women with 4 children were returned to other States ;
11 women with 11 children were delivered to the United States
Immigration Department for deportation ; 2 mothers (minors)
and 9 children were committed to the custody of the State
Board of Charity; 5 women were committed to the mental
wards of the State Infirmary; 1 woman was committed to the
Monson State Hospital ; 2 women were committed to the Wren-
tham State School ; 9 women with 1 child absconded.

Five husbands were prosecuted for nonsupport, 2 receiving
sentences, 3 placed on probation. Thirty warrants were issued
by the courts for the apprehension of the putative fathers, and
in 15 cases judicial consideration was given, paternity estab-
lished and support ordered ; 2 cases were settled out of court ;
and 5 cases, for which no warrant had been issued, were also



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Part I.] GENERAL WORK OF THE BOARD. 127

settled out of court The application for the issuance of the
warrants was in nearly every instance at the request of the un-
fortunate mother. Marriage was effected in 7 cases.

The large nulnber of defectiyes in this class of patients
necessitated the observation of 63 for feeble-mindedness or in-
sanity. As a^resnlt, 2 were o(mimitted to the Wrentham State
School, 5 to the mental wards of the State Infirmary, and 1 to
the Monson State Hospital.

Seventy-one women and 86 children have continued under
supervision since their discharge from the State Infirmary; 15
were replaced at housework; many cases were provided with
medical care, and in numerous instances private societies and
benevolent individuals were enlisted in the work of supervision.

Such follow-up work has unquestionably strengthened the
sense of responsibility of the mother for her offspring, prevented
future public dependency, and the separation of many children
from the mother. Many of these women voluntarily return to
the office of the Adult Poor Division for counsel and advice.

At the beginning of the year a letter was sent to every board
of Overseers of the Poor in the Commonwealth requesting them
to notify this Board, as early in affairs as possible, of the case
of any pregnant girl or woman before sending her to the State
Infirmary, believing that the yoimger and less sophisticated
pregnant women might well be cared for in other ways than at
a public hospital Partially as a result of this suggestion, 82
applications for assistance or advice on cases of unmarried
mothers were received from the Overseers of the Poor, societies,
agencies, and individuals. The attempt was made to make pro-
vision outside the State Infirmary for such of these women as
were pregnant the first time. Eighteen of the cases referred,
being unacceptable to private societies because of disease or of
previous similar offences, were admitted to the Infirmary. For
the remaining 64, suitable arrangements were made outside of
the institution. In this way not only did the State save at
least $1,800, but what is of greater moment, the less sophisti-
cated girls received individual care.



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128 STATE BOARD OF CHARITY. [P. D. 17.

M6theb8^ Aid.
Families with Settlement

Under the provisions of chapter 763, Acts of 1913 (see page
18, ante), " an act to provide for suitably aiding mothers with
dependent children," which became operative September 1, 1913,
the State Board of Charity is required, in its annual report to
the Legislature, to make a separate report on the work done by
the Overseers of the Poor in respect to such families in which
all the members have a legal settlement in the Commonwealth.

During the three months ending November 30, 1913, the
State Board of Charity received notices from 97 cities and
towns of 1,150 mothers with 3,754 dependent children under
fourteen years of age having l^al settlement This number
included 819 widows with 2,648 dependent children.

As this law was enacted after the cities and towns had re-
ceived their annual appropriations, many of them did not com-
ply with this provision of law during the first three months,
owing to lack of funds.

It was deemed unwise by the State Board to formulate defi-
nite policies until some observation could be made of the cases
referred by the Overseers of the Poor. As a result of such
observation, and our general knowledge of relief work, it was
deemed expedient to outline the following working policies,
which have been sent to every board of overseers in the Com-
monwealth : —

1. Aid granted should be of the kind best adapted to the needs
of the individual family. In many cases a partial allowance of
Qash is desirable; but we would suggest that only in cases where
the mother is intelligent and judicious should the full allowance be
in cash. Cash allowances should be granted weekly, never monthly.

2. If there is illness in a family receiving relief under the pro-
visions of chapter 763, Acts of 1913, which is temporary, requiring
only medicine or a few doctor's visits, the medical relief or medi-
cine should be granted imder the provisions of the said act; but
in cases of long-continued illness, or illness requiring hospital
treatment, notice should be sent under the provisions of section
14, chapter 85, Revised Laws. Reimbursement by the Common-
wealth for medical attendance in the home will be made in accord-
ance with the provisions of chapter 292, Acts of 1909.



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Parti.] GENERAL WORK OF THE BOARD. 129

3. Section 4 provided in part: "This act shall apply to all
mothers and their dependent children, whether or not they or
any of them may have a settlement within the commonwealth, who
shall have resided in the commonwealth not less than three years/*
Families who have not resided in the Commonwealth for three
years subsequent to September 1, 1910, should not be considered
as coming within the provisions of the act. If such a rule were
not established, many families who were residents of Massachu-
setts years ago would return from other States for the express pur-
pose of becoming beneficiaries under the act.

4. The law contemplates aid for families under a constructive
plan for a definite period, or until such time as the dependent
children have attained the age of fourteen years. Although the
law provides relief and not pensions, the idea that animated its
passage was that of granting to dependent mothers an income on
which they may count while their children are below working age.
The need which was urged before the Legislature, the illustrative
cases brought forward to emphasize that need, were both such as
would continue through a period of years. Such a " regular allow-
ance differs from most material relief in other particulars than
in the size, or even the regularity, of the relief. It represents a
settled plan requiring a specified sum per week, the mother being
informed of the plan, relieved from worry, and thus put in a posi-
tion to adjust her expenses to her income.*' It seems wise for the
present to consider only such cases as will, according to your best
judgment, require relief for at least a period of one year. Other
eases can be handled by private charities, by churches, or under
the Temporary Aid Law.

5. It is important that the law should not serve as a palliative
for desertion. It therefore seems unwise to consider an application
under this act until after one year has elapsed since the desertion
occurred, and tiie mother has shown her desire to ameliorate con-
ditions by requesting the court to issue a warrant for nonsupport
under the provisions of chapter 456 of the Acts of 1911 and amend-
ments thereto. We should use our influence to strengthen the
sense of responsibility for children by making the lot of the desert-
ing father less, and not more, eligible.

6. The mother should not discontinue her employment unless
it is apparent her health is being impaired, or the children require
more personal supervision. In many instances it may be desirable
to arrange for a diflPerent kind of employment, or discontinuance
of service for a portion of the week. There are undoubtedly rela-
tives or other reliable persons living with many of these families
who can give the dependent children proper attention during the
mother's absence. To insist that the mother shall not work, re-



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130 STATE BOARD OF CHARITY. [P. D. 17.

gardless of home conditions, would tend to discourage that desire
for thrift and independence which is an essential element in society.
The policy should be stimulative, and constructive rather than
destructive.

7. The Board suggests that before granting aid to any mother
with illegitimate children, the overseers consult with the superin-
tendent of the Divison of State Adult Poor. The presumption is
against aiding such mothers under this law, since to do so would
offend the moral feeling of respectable mothers, and would thus do
violence to a traditional sentiment that is inseparable from a re-
spect for virtue.

8. If the applicant has funds to an appreciable amoimt, the State
Board of Charity would appreciate a reference of the case for con-
sideration prior to the granting of aid. The Board believes that
unless a definite protective plan can be formulated by the overseer
whereby a certain amount can be dispensed by a trustee, or other-
wise, according to the need of each individual case, the case should
not be considered as coming within the provisions of the act.

9. If the applicant has an equity to an appreciable amount in
the real estate upon which the family resides, the State Board
would appreciate a reference of the case for consideration before
aid is granted.

10. To carry out the intent of this law, which applies only to
those families providing a proper environment for the dependent
children, the Board decides that the presence of male lodgers
presents dangers incompatible with the best interests of the family ;
and declines, as a rule, to reimburse in such cases. The Board pre-
fers, if necessary, to reimburse, in accordance with the law, for
additional relief granted to meet the reduction of income caused
by such ren^oval.

In general the overseers are conforming to these policies as



Online LibraryMassachusetts. State Board of CharityAnnual report → online text (page 10 of 60)