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for Child Welfare Week will be left to the various communities, in
which the Council is attempting to bring together various groups
and agencies, together with municipal departments and private
institutions, to coordinate their work for children and to formulate

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News From the Child Welfare Field 285

programs that wiU intensify their work. The Council also aims
to act as a clearing-house for information and service to agencies
or individuals interested in child welfare, through five committees
(child hygiene, public education, good citizenship, child labor, and
law and law enforcement) made up of representatives of state organi-
zations and leading specialists along the various lines. Unfortunately
the Council has been having difficulties in raising funds for its work,
but it is to be hoped that New Jersey citizens will rise to the occa-
sion and make possible, financially, this practical attempt to coor-
dinate child welfare activities in the state.

Child Welfare Study in West Virginia

Members of the field staff of the National Child Labor Com-
mittee, working under the direction of Dr. Edward N. Clopper, are
engaged in making a study of child welfare in West Virginia. This
is the seventh in the Committee's series of studies on a statewide
basis. The study in West Virginia is more distinctly rural than
any of the others. Nearly eighty-five per cent of the population
under twenty years of age live in districts classified as rural. The
economic activities of the state are predominantly concerned with
agriculture, horticulture, timber-production, mining, oil and gas
development, and manufacturing. Rural life, for a large number
of people, is very greatiy modified by oil and gas developments and
mining and manufacturing enterprises.

Data in reference to the chi^ social and economic factors affect-
ing or determining the lives of 700 rural families have already been
gathered and these are now being tabulated. With this material
as a basis for more specialized study, the investigators are proceed-
ing to further study child labor on tiie farm, rural child dependency,
rural school attendance, the personnel and procedtire of rural courts
dealing with children, and rural recreation. A special study is also
being made of the application of child welfare laws to rural children.
It is expected that the field work involved in the West Vii^ginia
study will be completed in May.

The Federal Children's Btireau, last autumn, studied child life
in the coal-mining counties of Raleigh and Payette, West Virginia.
The National Committee for Mental Hygiene reoentiy completed a
study of feeble-mindedness in the state.

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286 The American Child

Coming Child Labor Conference

The Sixteenth National Conference on Child Labor will be
held, tmder the auspices of the National Child Labor Committee,
at Milwaukee in Jtme, in conjunction with the Forty-eighth Annual
Meeting of the National Conference of Social Work. The exact
date of the Child Labor Conference will be announced later.

The meeting of the Conference of Social Work will be hdd
Jtme 22 to June 29, inclusive. A large number of allied organiza-
tions will hold meetings in Milwaukee either immediately prior to
or dtuing the week of the Social Work Conference meeting. Among
these allied organizations are: Public Health Nurses' Association,
the Jewish Conference of Social Welfare, the Canadian Confer-
ence of Public Welfare, National Board of the Y. W. C. A., the
National Association for Community Organization, Interstate
Conference on Illegitimacy, National Probation Association, Na-
tional Conference on Education of Backward, Truant and Delin-
quent Children, National Children's Home Society, National
Travelers* Aid Society.

Plans for Child Health Demonstration

The National Child Health Council has announced plans for a
child health demonstration in some one commtmity of the United
States. The object will be to assist the community in working
out a well-rounded program for the health of its mothers and child-
ren. The National Child Health Council consists of representatives
of six national organizations which are either wholly or partly en-
gaged in health work for children. The object is to coordinate the
child health work of member organizations with that of public
departments and private organizations generally which are engaged
in national work for the health of babies and children. Health the
Council conceives to be the vigorous and happy enjoyment of all
of the physical powers in a way that will contribute most to the
sound development of the citizenship of the country.

One of the ultimate goals of the Council's efforts will be the
development of a comprehensive and well balanced child health
program on a national scale. Therefore members of the Council feel
that it is especially appropriate that a demonstration of what such

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News From the Child Welfare Field 287

a program can be should be carried out in some community with
the cooperation of all who are joining in the national movement.
A test of the soundness and effectiveness of this demonstration will
be the permanency of the results in the life of the community. For
that reason the attitude of the citizens and officials toward it will
be one detennining factor in the selection of the community. None
will be considered which do not cordially wish to have this demon-
stration. Announcement will be made within the next few weeks
of the plans of the Council as to the selection of the commimity
and of the conditions which are considered desirable in order that
the demonstration may be of most service to the country.

The member organizations of the Council and their represen-
tatives are as follows:

American Child Hygiene Association National Child Labor Committee
PhiKp Van Ingen, M.D. Homer Folks

Richard A. Bolt, M.D. Owen R. Lovejoy

American Red Cross National Organization for PubHc

Health Nursing
Uvingston Farrand M D. ^^ j^ p^j^

Ervm A. Peterson, M.D. Florence M. Patterson

Child Health Organization of America National Tuberculosis Association
L. Bmmett Holt, M.D. William H. Baldwin

Sally Lucas Jean Charles J. Hatfield, M.D.

Contributions Exempt from Income Tax

That part of your income which you give to the children of
America through the National Child Labor Committee is not sub-
ject to either the federal or the New York State income tax. This
statement is based on o£Scial opinions which we have obtained.
If your income tax is too heavy cut it down by contributing more
of your money to the Committee! Lest this suggestion appear
designed to take away from the revenues of state and nation we
bid you bear in mind that the work we are doing together for the
children yields large material and spiritual dividends to both state
and nation. America can not lose by what money you devote to
the cause of child labor reform.

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288 The American Child

Health Needs of Working Children

On February 15 there was held in New York, tmder the chair-
manship of Dr. Lee K. Frankel, vice-president of the Metropolitan
Life Insurance Company, and under the auspices of the United
States Public Health Service and the American Social Hygiene
Association, an "Infonnal Conference for the Eastern States" on
"The Health Needs of the Boy and Girl in Industry." For the
purposes of the conference the following definition, appearing on
the tjrpewritten program, was used: "By 'the boy and giri in in-
dustry' is meant the large group of yotmg people, especially those
under the age of 25, who have left school and are engaged in gainful
employment." Dr. H. H. Mitchell, of the staff of the National
Child Labor Committee, has prepared some brief notes regarding
the conference, and these follow:

This meeting represents a venture into the yet unexplored field
of the health needs of boys and girls in industry. It is rather sur-
prising to discover that such a large group of our population has
heretofore been generally overlooked in health work. School-leav-
ing statistics indicate that about one-fotuth of the children leave
school before they are 15 years of age, one-half leave before they
are 15J^, and three-fourths leave before they are 16 years, and yet
the high school and college bojrs and girls have becai the ones to
receive the health attention rather than the larger groups. Health
workers have given special attention to other age groups such as
infancy, the school child, and the adult in industry. Dr.* B. C.
Gruenberg of the U. S. Public Health Service, who stated the pur-
poses of the conference, emphasized that visual education such as
has been used during the last three years among industrial workers
for the prevention of venereal disease has been confined for the
yoimger groups to the relatively small number of high school and
college boys and girls. He stated that he considered that young
people were much more responsive to educational work than the
adults, and yet in the industries they are neglected both from the
educational and health side.

This Conference was largely directed at the problem of venereal
disease, and yet it should be considered that the methods of venereal
disease prevention in general will be effective for other health activ-
ities. Mr. Clancy D. Connel, former secretary for boys in industry,
New York State Committee, Y. M. C. A., answered the question,

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News From the Child Welfare Field 289

"Is it true that the health needs of the boy in industry are different
from those of the boy in school, and is it true that the working boy
is in greater danger of venereal disease infection than the school
boy, and is it also true that the working boy is subject to infection
at an earlier age than the boy in school ?" Mr. ConneFs answer was,
"Yes, by all means." The first reason is that the home life from
which the boys come is different. He cited from a study of 1,300
boys in factories in Rochester "that 26 per cent had either father
or mother dead." He emphasized that the boy who helps support
his fantiily is apt to feel a certain license and he has a certain Uberty
in so far as the use of his leisure hotu^ are concerned. He said 70
per cent of the boys in industry at the age of 16 and 17 was not an
unusual percentage to have come from foreign countries or have
foreign-bom parents in Jamestown, Elmira, Rochester and Niagara
Falls. He said that a large ntunber of boys from the age of 15
leave their homes in small towns and the open country and go to
the cities, and these boys have no home life. They live in board-
ing houses and cheap hotels. "The boy in industry is unlike the
boy in high school because high school days are idealistic." Dr.
Rachelle S. Yarros of the Illinois State Board of Health made a
similar plea for the health needs peculiar to the girl in industry. It
was agreed that the principles governing the health work for this
group are not different from those appl)ang to similar groups of
children in school, but that their environment does present peculiar
hazards that demand special attention.

Both Dr. Thomas Darlington, Medical Director of the U. S.
Iron and Steel Institute, and Mr. J. P. Munroe, Vice-chairman of
Federal Board for Vocational Education, in speaking upon the
topic, "Why should the employer assume responsibility for pro-
tecting the young people in his employ from dangers of infection by
venereal disease, and why should he afford opporttmities for such
protection when other agencies are carrying on venereal disease
control work among boys and girls?" agreed that employers were
more and more realizing that one of the biggest wastes in industry
is in himian material because of ill health, and that it pays to use
modem public health methods. Mr. Mtmroe stated that such
measures shotdd originate within the industry itself by stimulating
the workers so that employer and employee may go hand in hand
with mutual benefit.

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290 The American Child

Mr. £. C. Davidson, secretary of the International Association
of Machinists, who spoke for the unions, emphasized that the
workers shotild have tl^e truth about venereal disease, and he showed
how the unions were already cooperating with the U. S. Public
Health Service in carrying out their educational activities. Several
employer representatives of large industries gave illustrations of
what they had been doing in their plants, and emphasized such
points as the importance of proper organization, gaining the con-
fidence of the employees, proper occupational placement, community
health work, and yearly physical examinations. A number of
speakers brought out the point that this health problem is a general
one and represents a civic responsibility on the part of the employer,
the employee, the conmitmity and the nation toward a very large
proportion of our youth. Such a viewpoint is essential, although
the efforts of the employer, organized labor, and the public and
private health agencies will be a great help in working out a satis-
factory solution. It seems to us that the really significant con-
sideration of such a meeting, and such discussions is the recognition
of this tmexplored field of the public health movement, — i.e., the
health needs of the boy and girl in industry.

Dr. Wm. F. Snow, General Director of the American Social
Hygiene Association, in summing up the main points of the Con-
ference, remarked: "I do not believe that we have to have many
more meetings such as this to prove the importance of this thing. ^
We have our data. We now have to see what we can do in the
various communities.'' Wotild that this appreciation of the special
needs of children in industry were true of other public health groups.
It may be true that the persons present at this Conference appre-
ciate the importance of the problem from the standpoint of venereal
disease. We may have sufficient data to prove that venereal-
disease preventive measures must be inaugurated for our younger
industrial workers, but we have a larger health problem with r^;ard
to this age period, that of: (1) protection from the peculiar health
hazards both of industry itself and of tmhygienic living; and (2) of
providing health service and proper health education. As yet our
health officials have not really begun to grapple with the problem.
Possibly school health authorities will soon take it up with the
medical examiners for work permits, and develop a practical ad-
ministrative plan for such health service through the continuation

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News From the Child Welfare Field 291

schools. We are advised that such pioneer work is ah'eady under
way in Milwaukee.

Post Graduate Course in Child Hygiene

Recently a Post Graduate Course in Child Hygiene opened at
the State Normal School at Trenton, N. J. The Course has been
arranged at the suggestion of the New Jersey State Department of
Health in cooperation with the State Normal School. Training is
given in fundamentals of child care, in applied hygiene, in social
case work, and in the many other phases of public health work
with which child hygiene ntuses come in contact, in their direct
relation to child hygiene work. The comprehensiveness of the
Course has been made possible by the active cooperation of all divi-
sions of the Health Department and of the faculty of the Trenton
Normal School, as well as of specialists in certain fields. That the
benefits accruing from the Course will be far reaching is assured by
a registration of 56 Child Hygiene nurses, who have their fields of
operation in every section of the state, and who will thus be able
to bring to their work a heightened interest and a broader knowl-
edge and tmderstanding of their immediate problems. This is the
first time, according to the Children's Bureau of the U. S. Depart-
ment of Labor, that Child Hygiene nurses employed by a State
Department of Health have been given an opportunity of this

Child Labor in Imperial Valley

Through the cooperation of friends of children, wide publicity
has been given in California to the report by Miss Emma Duke
on child labor conditions in that State published in the November
number of the Aicekican Child. Already there are evidences
of a good eflEect on public opinion. Once more the value of the
service rendered by investigation and publicity has been demon-
strated. Child labor reform depends very largely on information.

For the most part the press comment r^arding Miss Duke's
report has been intelligent. However, there have been one or two
noteworthy exceptions. There seems to be a hypersensitiveness
in some minds that responds inevitably to expositions of the child

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292 The American Child

labor evil with totally irrational misinterpretations of the state-
ments made. Miss EHike's careful presentation of carefully
observed and verified facts suffered in some newspapers that
atrocious garbUng and misquotation with which the National
Child Labor Committee has had long experience. The treatment
accorded the report in some quarters illustrates also the difficulty
of getting people to believe that there can be child labor in agri-
culture. The idyllic conception of country life still stands in the
way of general appreciation of the fact that the great child labor
problem of today is the problem of rural child labor. When this
Committee, a long time back, was telling the people of America
about child labor in factories, we were met with denial on the part
of employers and skepticism on the part of a considerable portion
of the general public. But at last we were vindicated by the force
of informed opinion, and we have seen in the recent advertisements
of some of those very employers who bitterly opposed us in the
beginning the proud announcement, "We do not employ child
labor." We are now telling the story about child labor as it flour-
ishes under somewhat different conditions — child labor in agri-
culture, especially in forms of agriculture that have become highly
industrialized — and we are confronted by the same denial and the
same skepticism. But in due time the charges will be proved
before the bar of public opinion and appropriate remedial and
preventive measures will be taken.

To illustrate the misquotation and misinterpretation to which
a report like that on "Caltfomia the Golden," is subjected by those
who don't want to believe it or don't want others to believe it, let
us cite a long two coliunn editorial in the El Centro Progress, a
newspaper published in the Imperial Valley and fearful that this
article constitutes a libel on the Valley. This editorial quotes the
article as sajdng that "Children three years old are made to pick
cotton," and that "children five years old are compelled to pick all
day." Nowhere does the original say that "children three years
old are made to pick cotton" nor that "children five years old are
compelled to pick all day." The statements as they appear in the
original article are "All kinds of children pick — even those as young
as three years," and "Five year old children pick steadily all day."
These absolutely correct statements do not imply a majority of
workers at these ages. They simply call attention to the fact that

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News From the Child Welfare Field 293

in this work done by family groups, children as young as three
can be and are utilized. Obviously, children of these ages could
constitute but a small proportion of the total number of workers.
They do, however, constitute a bad phase of the child-labor situ-
ation. The El Centro Progress takes exception to the state-
ments that "school attendance and child labor laws are violated
more in Imperial Valley than in any other part of the state" and
that "between 2,500 and 3,000 children are out of school picking
cotton." These statements in the article are based upon state-
ments of officials of the state government of California, whose
business it has been to ascertain the facts. While the article was
in proof, Miss Duke telegraphed to one of the state offices and
asked it to confirm previously given permission to use the statement
concerning the number of children which is on file in the official
records of the state and received telegraphic confirmation in reply.
The article as it appeared in the American Child even escplains
the basis by which the state arrived at this estimate of 2,500 or
more children. The Progress says: "Deduct the children of Mexi-
can contract laborers — ^thicker than bees in a hive — ^and the num-
ber would not be any greater than in other sections of the state."
This is very doubtful. But why deduct the Mexican children,
anyway? Isn't a child in this enlightened country entitled to an
education and to a happy childhood, free from toil, even though
his parents may be laborers, and Mexicans at that? The fact that
conditions may be worse in the country from which they come is
not a valid excuse for denying a foreign-bom child his right to an
education so that employers or parents may profit from his labor.

California has a child labor law which should be enforced but
is very inadequately enforced in the Imperial Valley and other
rural parts of the state— for reasons given in detail in the article
by Miss Duke. Shortage of schools is not the whole of the ex-
planation; children are not attending even where there are schools —
many of them are working. We understand that a bill is pending
in the legislature appropriating $15,000 for the enforcement of the
child labor law in rural districts. We learn also that more attend-
ance officers may be provided by another act of the legislature.
Interesting, too, are the plans of the State Board of Education for
the employment of "travelling teachers," to follow the migratory
families in their seasonal occupations and take charge ot their

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294 The American Child

children. But the final solution of California's rural child labor
problem, or that of America's rural child labor problem, is not fully
represented by such measures as these. Let us press forward,
thinking as courageously as we act.


The report of the National Child Labor Committee on "Child
Welfare in Tennessee" is being published by the Tennessee Child
Welfare Commission.

The National Child Labor Conmiittee joined with various other
organizations in promoting the Citizens' Conference on Bducation
(for the states of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania) held
in New York City January 28 and 29 at the call of Dr. P. P. Claxton,
U. S. Commissioner of Education.

An interesting and valuable "Handbook of Constructive Child
Labor Reform in Massachusetts" has just been issued by the Mas-
sachusetts Child Labor Committee, 6 Beacon Street, Boston. The
booklet contains not only a wealth of facts about child labor but
many practical illustrations of ways and means of dealing with the
problem. Its usefulness should not be limited to Massachusetts.

Miss Gertrude H. Folks, Specialist in Schools, National Child
Labor Committee, conducted courses at the Tennessee School
Attendance Officers' Conference held in Nashville January 13 to
18, inclusive, tmder the auspices of the State Department of Edu-
cation, the Peabody College for Teachers, the Southern Division of
the American Red Cross, and the National Child Labor Committee.

George A. Hall, secretary of the New York Child Labor Com-
mittee, organized and directed a recent campaign whereby the
boys and girls in the New Nork City public schools, through dis-
tribution of literature and the voices of a special corps of speakers,
received the gospel of Stay-in-School. Various organizations

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Uilft Atttf riratt (UfUH

A JooniAl d Coostnotlre Dtmocracj
Published Quarterly

OWBN R. LovBjOY Ediior

Raymond G. Fuller Managing Editor

Associate Editors

Edward N. Cloppbr Clara Sbbgbr Carpbntbr

Hblbn Dwight F18HBR

Contributing Editors
Gbrtrudb H. Polks Dr. Harold H. Mitchbll

Charlbs £. Gibbons Wiley H. Swift

Yearly subscription, four issues, two dollars. Single copies fifty cents.
nauohal child labor committbb

105 BmI 22iid 8tr««t - - HcwYorkOtj

Contributors to this Issue

Dr. Edward N. Clopper, Mrs. Helen Dwight Pisher, Raymond G. Puller,
and Charles E. Gibbons are members of the staff of the National Child Labor

Many readers of the American Child have written or spoken to the editors
expressing their appreciation of the articles and stories which Professor John P.

Online LibraryNational Child Labor Committee (U.S.)The American child → online text (page 62 of 69)