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Department OF Surveys and Exhibits 

Russell Saqe Foundation 

New York City 

December, 191S 

Price 25 Cents 

The Springfield Survey 

A Study Made in the City of Springfield, Illinois, for the Purpo&e of 
Improving Social and Living Conditions 

Instituted by 

Tht Springfield Survey Committee 

and Conducted Under the Direction of the 

Department of Surveys and Exhibits 
Russell Sage Foundation 


General Committee 
Sbnator Logan Hay, Chairman 

A. L. BowEH, Secretary J. H. Holbrooe, Treasurer 

Victor Bender Senator H. S. Magill 

Mrs. Stuart Brown Duncan McDonald 

Vincent V. Dallman Lewis H. Miner 

Col. Henrv Davis Governor W. A. Northcott 

Henry Dirksen Dr. Geo. T. Palmer 

Rev. G. C. Dunlop George Pasfield, Jr. . . 

E. A. Hall Ferd. C. Schwedtman " 

Francis P. Idk E. S. Scott 

Mrs. Francis P. Ide Dr. L. C. Taylor 

Robert C. Lanphier W. A. Townsend 


Scope Committee 
Dr. Geo. T. Palmer, Chairman 

fRANCis P. Ide Duncan McDonald 

OBERT Lanphier Ferd. C. Schwedtman 

Senator H. S. Magill Dr. L. C. Taylor 

Finance Committee 
Senator Logan Hay, Chairman 
Col. Henry Davis J. H. Holbrook 

E. A. Hall Geo. Pasfield, Jr. 

E. S. Scott 

Organization Committee 
Rev. G. C. Dunlop, Chairman 
Victor Bender Vincent Dallman 

A. L. Bowen Lewis H. Miner 

W. A. Townsend 

Committee on Charities 
Col. Henry Davis, Chairman 
Mrs. Stuart Brown Henry Dirksen 

Alice Bunn Pascal E. Hatch 

Committee on Volunteer Workers 
Mrs, Francis P. Ide, Chairman 
Mrs. Walter M. Allen Mary Humphrey 

Mrs. Stuart Brown iMrs. H. T. Morrison 

Gertrude Converse Mrs. Geo. T. Palmer 

Mrs. Pascal E. Hatch , Mrs. Frank Thomson 

Mrs. Logan Hay Susan Wilcox 

Committee on Publicity 
Dr. Geo. T. Palmer, Chairman 
A. L. Bowen Alfred S. Harkness 

H. O. CeeWs L. W. Meredith 

Luther Frame E. B. Searcy 

Exhibition Execuiive Committee 
Robert C. Lanphier, d^itcmoB 
Mrs. J. H. HoLbroOK Mi^. Hugh T. Morrison 

Rev. Donald G.MAeLEob , Dr. Geo, T; Palmer 

Senator H. S. Magill, Jr. Ferd. C. Schwedtman 


Shelby M. Harrison, Director 



Leonard P. Ayres, Ph.D., Director, Division of Education, Russell Sage 



Lee F. Hanmer, Director, and Clarence Arthur Perry, Associate Director, 

Department of Recreation, Russell Sage Foundation. 

John Ihlder, Field Secretary, National Housing Association. 


Walter M. Treadway, M. D., Assistant Surgeon U. S. Public Health Service 
for National Committee for Mental Hygiene. 

Franz Schneider, Jr., Sanitarian, Department of Surveys and Exhibits, 
Russell Sage Foundation. 


Zenas L. Potter, Department of Surveys and Exhibits, Russell Sage Founda- 


Francis H. McLean, General Secretary, American Association of Societies for 
Organizing Charity. 

Louise C. Odencrantz, Committee on Women's Work, and Zenas L. Potter, 
Department of Surveys and Exhibits, Russell Sage Foundation. 



D. O. Decker, Civic Commissioner, Commerce Club, St. Joseph, Missouri. 


Shelby M. Harrison, Director, Department of Surveys and Exhibits, Russell 
Sage Foundation. 


Findings and recommendations of the Survey were presented in an Exhibition 
in Springfield, under the direction of E. G. Routzahn, Associate Director, De- 
rif tment of Surveys and Exhibits; Mary Swain Routzahn, Exhibition Di- 
r.nccor; and Walter Storey, Director of Design and Construction. 







Department of Surveys and Exhibits 

Russell Sage Foundation 

New York City 

December, 1915 



Copyright, 1916, by 
The Russell Sage Foundation 





List of Illustrations vii 

List of Tables ix 

Introduction - , i 


I. Institutional Child-Helping Situation 7 

II. Functions of the Institution 12 

III. Institutions as Educational Forces 22 

IV. Next Steps Forward 29 

V. Care of the Sick Outside Their Homes ' 41 


VI. Factors in the Sub-normal Condition of Families S3 

VII. Treatment of Disabled Families 69 


VIII. Private Agencies Providing Social Service 105 

IX. Public Agencies Providing Social Service 132 

X. Summary of Conclusions and Recommendations 155 

A. Income, Expenditure, and Number of Children in Care, for Four 

Children's Institutions, Springfield, 1913 167 




B. Movement and Classification of Population in Four Institutions for 

Children, Springfield, i68 

C. Blank Form Used in Summarizing Family Records of Springfield 

Social Agencies i6g 

D. Springfield Societies and Social Agencies. . . : 170 

E. Comparison of Food Costs per Family per Day for Two Days. 

New York and Springfield 173 

F. Fiscal Consideration with Relation to Private Agencies 174 

G. Material Relief in Springfield 178 

Index 179 




Home for the Friendless, Springfield lo 

Springfield Redemption Home l6 

Fire Hazards, Springfield Home for the Friendless 24 

A Children's Home on the Cottage Plan 37 

At the Sangamon County Poor Farm 46 

Sangamon County Jail Annex, Springfield 49 

Size and Extent of the Charities Problem (Map) 58 

Modern Charity. Panel from Exhibit, Charity Organization Depart- 
ment, Russell Sage Foundation 71 

Charity and Springfield Housing 109 

For Better Co-operative Effort. Panel from Exhibit, Charity Organiza- 
tion Department, Russell Sage Foundation 114 

King's Daughters Home for the Aged 129 




1 . Number of different agencies to which individual families were known 60 

2. Families treated during 1913 by 36 Springfield agencies 60 

3. Families having each specified number of disabilities 63 

4. Nature of disabilities recorded singly or in combination among 1,436 

families 65 

5. Combinations of disabilities recorded for 169 individual families having 

more than one disability 67 

6. Reasons given for 94 of the absences from School. Springfield, 1913 . . 92 

7. Status, as shown by court record, of 28 cases of non-support. Spring- 

field, 1913 94 

8. Differences in food prices for identical menu between New York, 1909, 

and Springfield, 1913 99 

9. Status and sex of inmates of the Sangamon County Almshouse, April, 

1914 132 

10. Expenditures for outdoor relief and for general relief purposes by over- 

seer of poor for Capital Township. December, 1912, to November, 
1913, inclusive 139 

11. Material relief given by overseer of poor. Capital Township, Illinois, 

1913 141 

12. Income, expenditure, and number of children in care, for four chil- 

dren's institutions. Springfield, 1913 167 

13. Movement of population in four institutions for children. Spring- 

field, Illinois 168 

14. Population of four institutions, classified by sex 168 

15. Comparison of food cost per family per day for two days. New York, 

1909, and Springfield, 1913 I73 

16. Amounts, including memberships, given to private social agencies in 

individual contributors, Springfield, 1913 174 

1 7. Contributor classified by number of agencies to which they contributed 

Springfield, 1913 I75 

18. Income and sources of income of certain agencies. Springfield, 1913 176 

19. Material relief given by Springfield agencies during 1913 178 



Off hand, Springfield would seem to be a city of sucli economic 
good fortune as to keep family or individual distress and de- 
pendency at the very minimum. The city lies in a region of 
rich natural endowments. A bed of soft coal averaging over five 
feet in thickness underlies an extensive surrounding territory; 
and mining has been carried on in Sangamon County, of which 
Springfield is the county seat, for upwards of fifty years. In 
1912 the county's output reached over 5,000,000 tons. And at 
the surface a stratum of soil of the fertile quality characteristic 
of other parts of the great Corn Belt is spread out over low hills 
and slopes that are well adapted to farming. 

Springfield has the advantage also of good railroad facilities, 
six steam lines coming in from as many directions, and the city 
is a commercial center of importance. As state capital, employ- 
ment in the government offices is afforded a considerable number 
of people. Another economic asset is found in industrial ac- 
tivities ranking near the average for cities of Springfield's size. 
Of something over 22,000 persons employed in gainful occupa- 
tions in 1910, about 30 per cent were engaged in manufacturing 
and mechanical industries, including the building and garment 

The city has a high proportion of native-born residents, 81 
per cent of its 52,000 inhabitants in 1910 being American-born 
whites. Native-born Negroes made up 6 per cent more. It is a 
city of single family houses, the multiple dwelling having ap- 
peared only in a few parts of town ; and the per capita wealth 
among cities of similar size is comparatively high. 

Notwithstanding these bases and indications of general well- 
being, many of the unwholesome living conditions of the con- 
gested and poorer neighborhoods of large cities, and all their 


unfavorable results, find duplication here. This was known to 
the group of Springfield citizens who invited the survey and gave 
their backing to it. Their conviction that something needed to 
be done was thoroughly borne out by facts brought to light as 
the survey progressed, among other things being the discovery 
that 1,764 Springfield families in 1913 received some kind of 
charitable service from public or private organizations. It is 
beHeved that such conditions in a city like Springfield are un- 
necessary, and that they are or will very soon become quite 

The ends aimed at in the Charities Survey were four ; 

1. To discover as definitely as possible the size and character 
of the charity problem of the city, and determine what portions 
of the field of charitable work are being covered and what, be- 
cause not covered, show need of community action. 

2. To suggest, in order to fill these gaps, both new methods of 
work and new work for individual charitable organizations. 

3. To suggest a possible new division of work among the 
organizations, public and private, and their better co-operation, 
in so far as such suggestions seem to be indicated by their present 

4. To indicate such lines of action by organizations and the 
community as aim at the removal, or improvement, at least, of 
the conditions which disorganize family life. 

Along with and back of these specific purposes was also the 
general purpose of revealing any lack there might be in the com- 
munity's appreciation of what human life has to contend with in 
Springfield. This is more easily overlooked by busy men and 
women who have found their own right place in the world than 
any other one thing. 

Method in General 
To reach these ends it was thought best to split the general 
problem of dependency and the consequent need of charitable 
effort into four main parts. These do not correspond to the four 
aims of the survey indicated above. Instead, the plan of the 
Charities Survey provided for keeping in mind its four general 


ends in each of the four divisions of the study. These divisions 
are as follows : 

First, children in Springfield institutions; second, the care of 
the indigent sick; third, disabilities which lead to the disorgani- 
zation of family life; and fourth, the philanthropic and social 
agencies dealing with families. In addition the survey gave 
some attention to the general problem of financing the local 
charity work. 

In general terms, its method of investigation comprised per- 
sonal visits to and examination of Springfield charitable institu- 
tions and organizations while in operation, a study of the general 
records of these institutions, a compilation and analysis of the 
case records of some 36 of the 47 local charitable agencies, a more 
detailed study of a few illustrative cases of dependency, and 
consideration of certain general conditions in the city which 
were related to its charity situation. The methods are described 
in more detail as the findings are presented. 

The field work of the survey was done during April and May, 
1914. The year 1913 was used for the studies involving the 
use of records for a considerable period. 

Survey Staff 

The staff consisted of Francis H. McLean, general secretary 
of the American Association of Societies for Organizing Charity; 
Miss Florence L. Lattimore, associate director of the Department 
of Child Helping, Russell Sage Foundation; Miss Caroline Bed- 
ford, assistant to the director of the Charity Organization 
Department, Russell Sage Foundation. Miss Margaret Bergen, 
associate secretary of the American Association of Societies for 
Organizing Charity, also contributed a few days' service. 

Miss Lattimore's contribution was the survey of the four 
children's institutions in Springfield, and her findings are pre- 
sented in Part One of this volume. 

In addition the Charities Survey received most valuable 
aid through the copying of records and other clerical assistance 
from the many Springfield volunteer workers whose names 



appear in the lists on the back cover of this report. It is only 
by reason of their helpful services that the general registration of 
families known to social agencies in 19 13 was made possible. 
Nor does this comprise the full extent of their contributions. 

The survey is also specially indebted to the members of the 
sub-committee on charities of the general survey committee, 
as well as to the chairman of the general committee and the chair- 
man of the sub-committee on volunteer workers, for advice and 
assistance during all stages of the inquiry. 






The dependent children of Springfield are for the most part prod- 
ucts of ill-adjusted community life. They are indices to local 
conditions, which have served in the past and are now serving to 
weaken and break up homes — particularly homes of wage-earners 
and people of small means; they point straight to conditions 
which unless changed will continue to take their toll in families 
and children reduced to unfortunate and abnormal dependency. 
We say "dependent" children because unlike delinquents they 
have been thrown on charity by difficulties which are primarily 
due, not to personal handicaps, but to situations in which their 
parents have in some way or other become involved. 

Back of the first dependent children for whom Springfield made 
organized provision was the Civil War. They came straggling 
over from Arkansas in '63, hungry, ragged and tired, led by a few 
women refugees. To meet their needs the Home for the Friend- 
less sprang into being and has continued ever since as the chief 
child-caring agency of the city for boys and girls from baby- 
hood up to fourteen years or more. 

Three other institutional agencies followed it. In 1881 came 
the Orphanage of the Holy Child, an Episcopal institution receiv- 
ing needy girls between the ages of three and nine, keeping them 
until they become eighteen. In 1898 a colored woman with a 
missionary spirit started the Lincoln Colored Home, which takes 
Negro boys and girls from two to six years and discharges theni 
according to opportunity. The next provision was the Spring- 
field Redemption Home, organized in 191 1 by two mission work- 
ers. It takes dependent children and erring girls, keeping them 
as long as they need the institution. 

Practically all the dependent children from Sangamon County 
and Springfield are cared for by these four agencies, although 
other dependents are found in the detention home, operated by 
2 7 


the juvenile court, and unfortunately a few are held temporarily 
in the county jail annex.* Occasionally, also, a dependent child 
is handled by the Humane Society and placed by it in a foster 
home. Some work for Catholic children is done by the priests 
who place them in families without official- reporting or send 
them to the Roman Catholic Orphanage at Alton. In 1913 six 
dependent Catholic children were sent from Springfield to this 
Alton institution. However, all efforts except those made by 
the institutions mentioned are scattering and the facts regarding 
them are not available for study. 

Each of the institutions is chartered for placing children out 
in families, and all of them make use of foster homes with the 
exception of the Orphanage of the Holy Child. 

To this nucleus of four institutional agencies we must look for 
information concerning the dependent children as well as to 
find out the present methods of work. That child dependency 
is a live issue in Springfield is shown by the fact that one out of 
approximately every 380 inhabitants is in one or other of these 
institutions. In 1913 there were 318 inmates and an average 
daily population of 140. Those in charge state that most of 
these children came from Springfield itself or from the district 
immediately about it. 

Although these figures may not at first glance seem large, still 
as a matter of fact the institutional presence of 140 children a day 
was just as significant for 1913 as the group of war refugees was 
for 1863 — perhaps more so. Like those in the original group, 
every one of these children was a refugee from some kind of danger 
which had struck at the foundations of his home, and a contin- 
uous study of these dangers with a campaign of prevention in 
view is as equally patriotic a duty as providing for the original 
refugees from war. 

Information and Records Inadequate 

But essential to such a continuous study and campaign aimed 

at a better understanding of conditions leading to dependency 

* For full statement of the number of dependent children, and length of 
time held in the detention home and the county jail annex, see companion re- 
port, Potter, Zenas L.; The Correctional System of Springfield, Illinois, pp. 
98-109. - (The Springfield Survey.) 


among children of Springfield, is provision for obtaining and 
recording adequately the pertinent facts of each child's case. 
The data from which lessons may be drawn in Springfield are 
not only not in print but the facts themselves are for the most 
part lacking. Two out of these four institutions publish reports 
which state their financial operations and the movement of popu- 
lation, together with miscellaneous items about special happen- 
ings during the year. The Department of Visitation of Children 
Placed in Family Homes of the State Board of Administration 
prints very valuable reports covering all the child-caring agencies 
in the state, with standardized tables on finances and on the 
movement of population classified by age and sex. It also gives 
classified comments on the condition and administration of the 
institution plants, but none of this material reveals anything 
concerning the problems of child dependency or the way these 
institutions function in relation to them. 

The cost of operating these institutions and their movements 
of population are tabulated in Appendices A and B, pages 167-8, 
of this volume. The financial statement shows that expenditures 
for one year (1913) were nearly $15,000 ($14,721). Although at 
first glance this figure does not seem high, the size of the city 
must constantly be borne in mind to avoid a false first impression. 
If the yearly expense were distributed among the population, 
every man, woman, and child would be paying more than 26 
cents apiece towards it; and this must not be taken to mean 
that the institutions are managed extravagantly. A study of 
their expenditures shows that they are carried on not only with 
extreme care and economy, but that they spend much too little 
to make possible the highest standards of work. The per capita 
current expenses for the year ranged from $90 to $110. The per 
capita expenses of standard children's institutions elsewhere 
range from $150 to $200 and over. 

The movement of population shows that there was a whole- 
some outgo of children ; that many of them were given but brief 
institutional care and were then discharged. Most of those trans- 
ferred to other organizations were returned to the juvenile court 
which had committed them to the institutions in the first place. 
More were returned to parents or relatives than were placed out 



in foster homes, and but 12 died. All of these deaths were in 
the Springfield Redemption Home, which always has a large pro- 
portion of babies among its inmates. 

Back of these suggestive facts we may not go. There are 
practically no records which will tell us why the children were 
dependent, what manner of children they were, how they de- 
veloped under the care of the institution, or what became of 
them after they were discharged. 

iloML IM 

iRibNULESs, Springfield 

The institution deals only with children — dependents and high-grade de- 
fectives. It receives children for institutional care, placing out, or boarding 
at the expense of guardians. At the time of the survey there were 90 children 
in the home 

Some very good forms of record cards ha\'e been adopted by 
all of the four institutions,* but the information called for has 
been but meagerly filled in. The entries are so fragmentary and 
unsystematic as to be useless. Important information about one 
case is frequently scattered among five or six different persons, 
no one of whom knows all the facts in possession of the others. 

Not only is this true for children coming directly to the insti- 

* The forms of record cards are those recommended by the county board of 
visitors of Cook Count\', Illinois, in 1912. 



tutions, but for some of the children placed under the permanent 
guardianship of these agencies by the juvenile court the institu- 
tions have no information at all, although investigations have 
been made by the probation officers. Sometimes an institution 
receives a child without any knowledge of his antecedents; and 
without finding out his history or the changes that may have 
taken place in his own family during the period while the child 
was in the institution, the managers proceed to place him out 
in a foster home. 

In consequence one is not only prevented from studying the 
social forces which play upon these children but is unable to make 
any comparison of the work done by the different institutions. 
The records do not reveal how many of them were orphaned, 
half-orphaned, or had both parents living. It took the secretary 
of the Home for the Friendless ten hours of hard "digging" to 
discover from the records for 1913 the civil condition of the 
children. Yet the results of this search showed up a most sig- 
nificant situation. Out of 173 children cared for in 1913, 65, or 38 
per cent, had both parents living. The secretary stated that the 
home investigations made by the managers were not always 
pushed to the proof of the civil condition ; but the records indicate 
that 47, or 27 per cent, had fathers living; 44, or 25 per cent, had 
mothers living; and only 16, or 9 per cent, were whole orphans. 
Of one child nothing was known. 

It is certainly ground for inquiry that 65 out of 173 children 
who had both parents living were cared for in the institution. It 
would be useful among other things to know how far the prob- 
lems back of these children were bound up with industrial or 
other economic conditions, but the failure to record the wages 
and occupations of the parents conceals such facts. That a 
number of the children were boarded at the institution means 
nothing in itself, since investigations elsewhere have shown 
that parents living below the poverty line often pay for their 
children. The first step obviously is a greater emphasis upon 
gathering adequate information on each child's case, recording it, 
and using the record in the important program of prevention of 
future child dependency. 




Although the chief function of children's institutions is the 
physical care of their wards, yet it should never be forgotten 
that the institutions have other obligations which are more or 
less bound up with this chief responsibility. They should after 
searching inquiry limit their work strictly to those who cannot 
be better cared for in their own homes or in foster homes ; to pro- 
vide those who do need the institution with the specific care which 
the condition of the individual child calls for; and to see that 
institutional care is not given beyond the time when the child 
actually requires it, but that normal developmental life is pro- 
vided, under supervision, at the earliest possible moment. Even 
when the children go back to their own homes it is the duty of 
the institutions to make sure that all is well with them and that 
future dependency is prevented. 

Admission and Discharge 

Irriportant in the work of the institutions toward the placing 
of children again in good family surroundings are the matters of 
admission and discharge. Each institution has certain rules of 
its own in these regards. Briefly stated, the Lincoln Colored 
Home takes any colored child in need whether dependent, 
delinquent, or defective, provided he is old enough not to require 
special attendance. Often the jailer sends word about colored 
children who have been arrested and the superintendent takes 
them to the institution. No board money is received for these 
children but the county pays the institution a lump sum for work 

While in the home those who are old enough are sent to the 
Lincoln School. The superintendent discharges these children 
as soon as possible by returning them to their homes, by placing 



them out in foster homes in Springfield, or by their going to work. 
As an emergency station this institution does a much needed 
work and the story of many a colored waif lays bare the crying 
and neglected social needs of the colored citizens. 

The Orphanage of the Holy Child receives only normal de- 
pendent girls who are presumably whole orphans. It requires 
full surrender of them by relatives and keeps the girls until they 
are of age.* This means that the institution stands ready to 
give from nine to fifteen years of institutional care to each of 
these children. Children of divorced parents are never admitted. 
All children are taken free and whatever is paid in by relatives 
is regarded as a contribution to the work and not as board money. 
This is the only one of the four institutions which does not receive 
public funds. The children go to the public school. 

The Springfield Home for the Friendless gives temporary care 
to dependents and sometimes takes high-grade defectives from 
the court. Relinquishment by the parents is not required, 
although if the investigation shows that the parents are unfit, 
a legal guardianship is secured. Children are often boarded in 
this institution by relatives or friends for fi.oo a week or $5.00 
a month, or by the county at 25 cents per day. They are sent 
out to the Stuart School while living in the institution, but it is 
the policy of the managers to discharge them as soon as possible 
by returning them to their own homes or by placing them out; 
and great care is taken to avoid keeping children in the institu- 
tion if other arrangements can be made. 

The Springfield Redemption Home takes only rescue cases 
and such dependent children who will not be received an3nvhere 
else. They come voluntarily or through the courts. A charge 
of $50 is made for each maternity case and if the girl has not this 
amount she may stay in the institution and work it out. This sum 
hardly meets the cost of maintenance, but it has been found wise 
to impose it in order to keep the girls with their babies for a long 
enough time to establish a sense of responsibility. Many girls 
are discharged through marriages arranged by the superintendent 
and as domestics in private families where they go to work with 
their babies. 

* Girls reach their majority in Illinois at the age of eighteen years. 



Although the rules covering admission and discharge are differ- 
ent in each institution, the same principles of investigation arid 
treatment apply to them all. Every appHcation for institu- 
tional care of a child necessarily involves important policies 
not only with regard to the child in question but also with 
regard to his entire family. The institution must see that even 
those children who are not found to be eligible to it and are re- 
jected are provided for by some other means. 

In Springfield decisions as to which children shall be admitted 
to the institutions are generally made in one of two ways. In the 
Home for the Friendless a verbal report is given to the executive 
committee by two managers appointed to visit the applicant's 
home. After a discussion of the case the question is decided by 
vote. Rejected cases are often directed elsewhere. 

In the three other institutions the decision is made by the chief 
executive, who is responsible also for the investigation. There is 
no special system about referring rejected families. If the child is 
found to be "an institution case" under the rules arrangements 
are made for admission. 

Sometimes when poverty seems to play an important part in 
the application the Associated Charities is asked to make the 
investigation and to advise the institution as to what course it 
should pursue. Occasionally cases that are found to be legally 
involved are referred to the State Department of Visitation, which 
handles them merely because no local organization is prepared to 

For some cases a great deal of vital information is gathered 
by the institution authorities and again one will find a child 
received on the face value of a story told at the institution by 
the applicant. Obviously this work is very uneven and must 
inevitably lead to irregular social results. 

Dependents in the Detention Home 
One other institution needs to be noted in this connection. 
Although established for detention of delinquent children, the 
Springfield Detention Home has been used much more as a place 
to hold children who are merely in need of shelter. From June, 
1912, when the detention home was established, up to April, 



1914, the time of this investigation, 50 children had been de- 
tained, and 42 of these were classed as dependents. Twenty- 
two were boys and 20 were girls, the ages ranging from three 
months to seventeen years. These children were held pending 
disposition by the court; and although the law provides that 
children may be committed to the home only "temporarily," 
Mr. Potter* found in his study of the home that between June, 
1912, and April, 1914, 11 dependent children — seven boys and 
four girls — had been held more than 50 days each. In fact, 
five of these boys were each held 100 days — in this home where 
delinquent children were also being confined. 

This method of caring for children awaiting disposition by the 
court is to be thoroughly condemned. Dependent and de- 
linquent children should not be housed in the same institution, 
particularly when it is impossible, as has been the case in the 
detention home, to take care of them separately. 

Under present circumstances the best solution would seem to 
be to make arrangements for holding these children temporarily' 
in the Home for the Friendless while awaiting the action of the' 
juvenile court. To do this it would be necessary that the home 
provide special isolation rooms in which children — particularly 
those to be taken in on short notice — could be kept until they 
have had thorough physical examinations before admission to the 
regular group. In this way the rule of the home requiring 
physical examination before admission would not be infringed 
upon, nor the health of children in the home put in danger. 
This service would be quite within the regular functions of the 
home, and would relieve the present unfortunate situation in 
which delinquent and dependent children are held without 
classification in the same detention place, and the still more 
serious practice of detaining poor children in the county jail 

Finding Homes for Children 

The placing-out method has always been strongly approved in 
Springfield, and it would be used far more than it now is if there 

* For detailed statement of period of detention of dependent children in 
the detention home, together with a description of the home, see Potter, 
op. cit., pp. 103-197. 



were a specialized local agency to de^'elop it. All of the institu- 
tions except the Home for the Friendless lack facilities for placing- 
out work and yet, although the Illinois Children's Home and 
Aid Society* would gladly do this for them, the institutions prefer 
to place out their children themselves. 

Of great present value and of far greater potential value is the 
protection given to placed-out children by the State Department 
of Visitation which was organized to correct abuses reported in 


An institution for rescue cases and such dependent children as will not be 
received anywhere else. The number being cared for at the time of the survey 
was 39, about half being made up of erring girls, and the other half of babies 
and young children 

foster homes. The state agent says he sends trained workers to 
foster homes reported to the department at least once a j-ear and 
sometimes oftener. Copies of the visitors' reports are sent to 
the agencies responsible for the placement, and if conditions are 
not appro\'ed by the Department of Visitation the child's re- 

* In May, 1914, the Illinois Children's Home and Aid Society had but seven 
children under supervision in Sangamon County and only one of these had been 
placed there in 1913. Within the past five years only one child had been 
placed in this county by any of the eight agencies from outside the state which 
are authorized to place out children in Illinois. 



moval may be demanded. Should the situation warrant it the 
state agent is authorized to remove the child immediately from 
a foster home and charge the expense of the removal to the insti- 
tution. This, however, practically never happens and the state 
agent reports that the institutions are using greater care each 

Strangely enough the children returned to parents and relatives 
do not share the protection given to children who are placed 
in foster homes. Over them the State Department of Visitation 
has no power. Neither do the institutions usually consider it 
their obligation or their right to re-investigate the families even 
at the time when discharge is being considered or to supervise 
a child after he has returned to his own home. But the scope of 
an institution's service is larger than just feeding and housing 
a child while he is in the institution. It lies also in his establish- 
ment in wholesome family life whether the family is his own or 
that of a foster parent, and in this kind of work the Springfield 
institutions have considerable progress to make. 

Value of Organized Effort 

To indicate in actual community results somewhat of the possi- 
bilities and limitations of the present provision for these children, 
and to show that personal service, indispensable though it is, 
must be expressed by organized effort as well as by skilled 
individual work, a few case histories are here summarized. They 
were gathered by the writer with the co-operation of the Home 
for the Friendless. 

The first case shows how patient and tactful work on the part 
of a manager, and co-operation with a medical specialist, averted 
a tragedy and held a home together. 

I. The family was not known to the Associated Charities. 

Upon investigating the home after application had been made for the 
child's care, the managers of the institution found a mother on the verge of 
insanity and unable to keep house for her hardworking husband. The 
institution took the child as a boarder in order to preserve the parents' self- 
respect. It encouraged the mother to stay with relatives and rest while 
under treatment from an ahenist. When able to resume her family responsi- 
bilities the husband took her to a little new house he had built. The family 



was reunited. There the writer found them; the children strong and rosy, 
the mother gratified at living "in the finest house on the block." However, 
she was not yet entirely well and still needed and received the continued 
interest of the institution and the physician. 

The second case shows how insufScient investigation and follow- 
up work resulted in a possible loss of all permanent value from 
the institution's work. 

II. The family was not known to the Associated Charities. 

A young mother put her children in the institution because her husband's 
leg had been injured when a train jumped the track at a crossing, and she 
had to work while he was in the hospital. When the hospital sent him home 
the mother gave up her position and took the children back. When the 
writer visited the home she found matters at a crisis. The father could 
find no opening in his former Hne of work as teamster and had discovered 
that the accident had Kmited the number of other kinds of work he could do. 
In despair he had just gone to a disreputable lawyer in an effort to collect 
damages from the railroad. The lawyer said it was so long since the acci- 
dent had occurred that he doubted whether he could get any witnesses. 

With five attorneys on its staff the institution from which the 
children were returned had not thought of this aspect of the case 
as part of its social responsibility and it had not seen to it that 
the family fortunes were re-established upon a sound basis before 
sending the children home. 

The third case shows a complex situation in which a whole set 
of community problems undiscovered by the institution had been 
lessening the chances of family rehabilitation while the institu- 
tion cared for the children. Moreover the problems were those 
with which many other families were struggling, and broad com- 
munity treatment was needed as well as immediate personal 
help for this particular mother. 

III. The family was not known to the Associated Charities. 

Mrs. A. put her four-year-old girl and six-weeks-old baby to board in the 
institution at $10 a month. Her given reason was that she had been di- 
vorced from her husband and had to go to work. The institution felt that 
it was helping her in the best possible way and the mother was delighted at 
the treatment which the children were receiving. It seems, however, that 
the husband was under court orders to pay her $10 a month alimony but in 



this he had lapsed. Twice he had been arrested for contempt of court, yet 
no money had been forthcoming. Although the mother had undergone a 
serious surgical operation three weeks before putting the children in the insti- 
tution, she took a position as dish-washer in a restaurant. Here she worked 
for twelve hours a day standing, and lifting trays of dishes weighing from 50 
to 75 pounds. The room was hot and she often thought that she would 
faint from the heat and strain. Later she was transferred to potato peeKng, 
at $5.00 a week and meals, working from 6:30 a. m. until 8 p. m. seven days 
a week, with one hour off for each meal and free time from two to five; but 
this she seldom took because she felt that she was slow. Here the visitor 
found her. Financially she was not getting ahead because she paid $10 a 
month to the institution and required the balance for clothes for herself and 
the children. She hved with her mother rent free. 

Considering that the need for the institution's care was in 
reality due to a defect in the court proceedings, against which a 
strong protest should have been entered, and that the institution 
was permitting this good mother to work under conditions which 
were dangerous to health in order to earn money to pay the 
children's board, it was hardly discharging its social obligation. 

The fourth case shows a still more complex situation in which 
the institution tossed back into the community a source of con- 
tamination which it would not itself treat. 

IV. The family was not known to the Associated Charities. 

A certain mother put her one-year-old baby to board in the institution at 
$5.00 a month because, so the record ran, she "had been deserted by the 
father " and had no one to care for the child. Although the examining physi- 
cian at the institution had thought the child all right, it was found to be 
diseased and was returned the day after its admission with the recommenda- 
tion that it be sent to a hospital. Nothing more was known of this case at 
the institution. 

The writer's inquiry revealed the fact that this mother was a young 
woman who had married a much older man living in a nearby town. They 
did not get on well and the wife took the baby and left for Springfield, where 
she hoped to get work. But nobody wanted a baby around and the young 
mother put the child in the institution at the rate of $1.00 a week. The next 
day she obtained work in a shoe factory at $5.00 a week. When she reached 
home that night she found that the baby had been returned by the institution 
because it was distressingly ill with syphilis. She appealed to the city 
doctor who prescribed for the baby, but it could not be received at a hos- 



pital. She tried to care for it and do her work at the same time, but this 
was impossible. She gaVe up her position at the factory and appealed to 
the Redemption Home, which finally took her in because the baby was badly 
undernourished and the mother could not nurse it and work at the same 
time. After an inquiry into the situation, the manager brought about a 
reconciliation between the husband and wife and according to latest reports 
all was going well, although the baby was still in a critical condition. 

This case fairly bristles with opportunities for both individual 
and community service. The critical situation in the young 
woman's home, her need of advice and direction with regard to 
her course, the institution's acceptance of the child without defi- 
nite information about the needs and possibilities of the family 
or a thorough physical examination of the baby, the fact that the 
baby was being breast fed at the time of application, that the 
mother was obliged to wean it in order to go to work, her accept- 
ance of less than a living wage, the fact that there was no place 
in Springfield where a syphilitic baby could receive hospital treat- 
ment; all of these combated her grit and perseverance in trying 
to keep her child. 

These cases indicate that the institutions offer at best but a 
partial and often haphazard treatment for the troubles which 
lead to application for their care of children; they show oppor- 
tunities not yet grasped — the more urgent because often ex- 
clusively theirs — ^which could be worked out through organized 
co-operation and a definite community program of child welfare. 

Dependent Children Outside the Institutions 
But a child welfare program should not limit itself to those 
children who have come to the attention of the institutions. 
Equal protection should be extended to others. For instance, 
there is conspicuous social leakage in the work of the county 
courts in all parts of the state which allow children to be given 
out for adoption without special investigation of the motives or 
character of those who give and those who take. 

In 1913 ten children were given out for adoption by the county 
court of Sangamon County. The age, sex, and reason for adop- 
tion as stated by the court records are as follows : 



Boy aged one year; mother dead and father living. 

Girl aged one year; parents unknown. ■ Guardian consents. 

Boy aged two years; mother living. (Father not mentioned in court 

Boy aged three years; mother unable to support child. Father dead. 

Girl aged three years (known to the Home for the Friendless) . 

Girl aged five years; mother dead, father hving. 

Boy aged five years; father dead. Child adopted by aunt and uncle be- 
cause "mother unable to support and educate it." 

Girl aged seven years; father dead, mother hving. 

Girl aged twelve years; parents divorced. Mother abandoned the child. 

Boy aged three years; mother remarried and child was adopted by his 

What about the mothers who were "unable to support" their 
children? What about these other parents and the probable 
brothers and sisters of the children given out for adoption? 

That more investigation is needed than the testimony given 
by interested persons at the time of the hearing is shown by the 
following situation recently discovered by mere accident. A very 
young baby was given for adoption in this court to a woman who 
belonged to a notoriously immoral family. The woman herself 
was in an advanced stage of tuberculosis' and under treatment 
at the tuberculosis dispensary at the time the baby was given 
her by adoption. 

The regulation of maternity homes and the accurate registration 
of births are also matters to be included in a child welfare program.* 

The obvious conclusion to be drawn in this connection is that 
the work of the Springfield institutions, except in the Redemption 
Home, is chiefly custodial until some turn in affairs or some ap- 
plicant from a would-be foster home leads to a child's discharge. 
As is shown in the table of Movement of Population (Appendix 
B, page l68), the children were discharged to parents or relatives, 
to foster homes for free care, to work for wages, or were trans- 
ferred to other organizations. f 

* For a discussion of the birth registration and the midwife situation in 
Springfield, see companion report, Schneider, Franz, Jr.: Public Health in 
Springfield, Illinois, pp. 14-23. (The Springfield Survey.) 

t As the State Department of Visitation uses the term, " placing-out " 
work does not include children placed or replaced with parents or other rela- 
tives except in special instances. 




The Institution Staffs 

Once admitted to the institution, what preparation and equip- 
ment are found by these miscellaneous groups who are nearly 
always somewhat below par in health and very much below par 
in education and general training? The actual work of bringing 
these wards up to standard is chiefly in the hands of the institu- 
tion workers. As is obvious, much skill and much social knowl- 
edge are needed by those who are expected to do this work. Yet 
none of the chief executives of the Springfield institutions has 
had such training as will enable her to handle to best advantage 
the difficult tasks encountered. None of them has had a chance 
to qualify for the social aspects of their duties; neither are they 
adequate in numbers or adequately paid.* 

The Lincoln Colored Home has a colored superintendent who 
receives her living and incidental expenses, but no salary; and 
a practical cook who is on small wages. At the Orphanage of 
the Holy Child the only employe is the superintendent, whose 
salary is nominal. The Springfield Home for the Friendless, 
which has the most complex administrative problem of all, has 
a superintendent whose salary is entirely inadequate for such 
a position, three "nurses" who are in reality mere housemaids, a 
seamstress, a mender, a cook, a laundress, and a man for general 
work. One of the employes has charge of about 50 boys, one has 
20 older girls, and another cares for 20 little children under five 
years of age. As has been said, the question of admission and 
discharge is attended to by a committee of the managers who 
employ a placing-out agent occasionally to investigate and super- 
vise the country homes. They do the city work themselves. 

* As this report goes to press the Home for the Friendless is taking definite 
steps to develop its placing-out work under competent supervision. 



At the Rescue Home the staff consists of the manager, who is 
the founder, an assistant, a matron, a kindergartner, and a non- 
resident man superintendent, the husband of the manager. No 
one of these workers is regularly salaried. Those living at the 
home receive maintenance and "pin money." The work in this 
home, combining as it does maternity and nursery work, calls for 
a highly trained staff wTiich the finances of the institution at the 
time of the survey had not yet enabled it to procure. 

But regardless of the qualifications of these workers we find 
that the highest standards of child protection and care are made 
quite impossible, in some respects, by certain crippling defects 
in the buildings themselves. Two of the institution plants — 
the Lincoln Colored Home and the Orphanage of the Holy Child — 
are new. The Home for the Friendless occupies an old building 
to which an annex and dining room wing have been added in 
recent years. In the old part we naturally find many archi- 
tectural handicaps that have not been repeated in the new. 

Protection Against Fire 

It is a startling fact that among these four institutions there is 
but one, the Orphanage of the Holy Child, in which there is not 
undue daily risk of loss of life by fire. Its protection lies in the 
excellent arrangement of front and rear stairways and its wide 
and accessible balconies on the dormitory floor. Although the 
risk of life is reduced to the minimum, there is no internal equip- 
ment to prevent property loss. 

The danger in the Lincoln Colored Home is due not only to 
the arrangement of the stairway, but to the fact that the institu- 
tion is overcrowded. If fire broke put at night it would be 
almost impossible to rescue three old ladies who at the time the 
home was visited slept in the room which is reached only from the 
boys' dormitory. 

The menace of the two other institutions is still greater. The 
Home for the Friendless relies entirely upon exterior escapes. 
These are of good stair variety above the second floor, but 
from the second to the first floor there are vertical ladders 
which have rungs so far apart and stop so far short of the ground 
that the little children cannot safely use them. Even an adult 
3 23 


would have to swing by both hands and drop. When such 
escapes as these are wet or covered with ice they are highly 
impracticable. The situation was made more serious by the 
fact that the screen in a window which would be the one exit 
for children sleeping on the top floor of one of the buildings when 
the inspection was made, was actually nailed in. Two scrubbing 
pails were the only fire-fighting apparatus the superintendent 
could suggest when asked what could be used to put out a possible 

One of the largest boys in the 
institution — afraid to drop 

Showing the distance, in case of 
fire alarm, that small boys must 
drop from fire-escape to the ground 

Fire Hazards, Springfield Home for the Friendless 
MAY, 191 4 

fire, and both of these had been taken to another part of the 
building by the cleaner. 

This exposure of child life is in striking contrast to the consti- 
tutional provision for protection of the scantily kept records in 
fireproof safes and vaults. The managers had given attention 
to fire protection and had followed expert adA'ice in buying the 
fire-escapes, but the situation was still a dangerous one. 



The fire dangers at the Redemption Home are due to the over- 
crowding of the house to such an extent that an attic, reached by 
a narrow stairway, has been pressed into service as a dormitory. 
The danger has been pointed out by the fire officials and is 
recognized by the management, but as yet no means of remedy- 
ing the situation have been discovered. The only way of making 
this top floor perfectly safe is to abandon it. 

Health Protection 

Such variations were found not only in fire protection but in 
protecting the children from disease. As we have said, all the 
institutions except the Redemption Home insist that the children 
be in good general health at entrance. All have medical service 
at their command. All state that acute illnesses are rare. The 
institution managers have shown an unusual interest in the 
physical condition of the children and active measures are taken 
to secure treatment when the need is pointed out. Yet, in spite 
of this concern, the health conditions are by no means what they 
should be. The certificates of the examining physicians are in 
reality mere passports for a child's entrance and are not regarded 
as serious records of his physical condition or needs; and once 
in the institution the child is not re-examined unless he shows 
special signs of illness. There are no routine examinations 
to find out how the child is developing or to catch physical de- 
fects in the incipient stages. Although a great deal of medical 
service is rendered, much more is needed. There is obvious need 
of more dental work. Out of 20 institution children inspected by 
the writer, 19 had carious teeth which were receiving no treatment. 

In the light of the experience of other institutions there should 
be routine mental and physical examinations of all these children 
and comparable records of conditions found. Without these 
it is impossible to adapt institution life to the needs of the little 
inmates, and to make it the true means to a social end. Mental 
and physical examinations following first class home investiga- 
tions should precede whatever training or educational work may 
be carried on. The body and mind must be built up and made 
ready for the part the child is to take in the world. The 
training needed is for normal life happily and usefully lived. 



A very great difference is found between the standards of 
personal hygiene, which have so much to do with maintaining the 
health of well children and with bringing back to normal condi- 
tions children who are not positively well. The standards swing 
from the excellent equipment and careful training at the Orphan- 
age of the Holy Child, where each girl has a bed to herself and 
such other facilities and drill as are found in a well-ordered family 
home, to the Redemption Home where adverse conditions of plant 
and overcrowding checkmate even the most determined adminis- 
trative efforts made to achieve high standards; to the Lincoln 
Colored Home, where modern equipment is rendered inadequate 
and proper standards are impossible because of its overcrowding 
with boys and girls of such wide range in age; and to the Home 
for the Friendless, where defects of plant and of administration 
combine in creating a generally unsatisfactory situation. 

Likewise in the question of diet and the service of food which 
are such important elements in health, far extremes of standards 
are discovered. In every detail of the daily life we find similar 
variations. It must be remembered that all these points are 
matters of educational importance as well as of health for the 
wards who are all in especial need of influences which are edu- 
cative at every point. Their training for hygiene in home life is 
of the greatest moment when one considers the limitations and 
menaces of their futures. 

Educational Work 
That many of them need special help in school work is clear. 
Although some of the children are known to be mentally defective, 
it is equally certain that there are other merely backward children 
who have lacked opportunities for ordinary progress. There is 
provision on the institutional record blanks for noting "apparent 
mentality; average, backward, feeble-minded, idiotic," but this 
is rarely filled out, and when it is the information throws no 
light whatever upon the situation because it does not represent 
scientific findings. A study of the school records of children in 
the Home for the Friendless for the year 1913 to 1914 shows that 
more than one-half of the 50 children sent to the Stuart School 
were to be classed as retarded, as against less than one-quarter 



of the general school population. Dr. Treadway examined the 
children in the home in April, 1914, and found one child mentally 
defective and another belonging to that group generally de- 
scribed as "psychopathic children."* Such facts as these it is 
of utmost importance for child-caring agencies to know in making 
plans for their wards. t 

In no respect have these institutions made educational forces 
of themselves. Domestic science, manual work, and the crafts 
have not been introduced. And the daily work of the house- 
holds themselves cannot be utilized for true industrial training. 
Although the Home for the Friendless has a yard the size of a 
city block with truck garden and chicken runs, these have not 
been turned to account in the education of the children. The 
other institutions have such small yard space that opportunities 
for garden work are seriously limited, but if there were trained 
direction and leadership much intensive work might be done even 
with these. 

Recreation Needs 

The same lack of development is found in recreational facilities. 
There are indoor play rooms in all the institutions except the 
Redemption Home, which has only a nursery, but these are 
scantily equipped and undirected. The play rooms of the 
Lincoln Colored Home and the Orphanage of the Holy Child, 
as well as the boys' play room in the Home for the Friendless, 
are dreary places in rather dark basements. The girls in the 
Home for the Friendless have upstairs play rooms. 

This last institution has equipped part of its yard with swings 
and turning poles which are chiefly used by the little children 
and the older boys because the older girls are so occupied with 
an endless round of household drudgeries that they have little 

* See companion report, Treadway, Walter L., M.D. : Care of Mental 
Defectives, the Insane, and Alcoholics in Springfield, Illinois, p. 11. (The 
Springfield Survey.) 

t The proportion of children above normal age for the grades in which they 
are found is 50 per cent for the 54 institution children in the Stuart School, as 
compared with 24 per cent for the 6,199 children in the public elementary 
schools of Springfield. The 54 institution children in the Stuart School aver- 
aged 91 per cent of a year above normal age for the grades in which they were 
found, while the 6,199 children in the public elementary schools of Springfield 
averaged but 36 per cent of a year above normal age. 



time for play outside of school hours. The school playground 
gives them some recreation during the school session. 

The outdoor provision for play at the three other institutions is 
in the back yards, which are about the size of those of the average 
dwelling house. As one of the chief executives said, "The 
children themselves make such play as they have." Occasional 
picnics and other outside pleasures are provided to all the insti- 
tution children but these cannot give the character and health 
results which would come from properly organized play facilities 
at the institutions. And nothing will provide proper solution for 
the many disciplinary problems like a healthy play spirit. 

To sum up, then, an analysis shows that the care given is 
chiefly a matter of material relief rather than special work in 
child nurture. 



While the foregoing facts indicate weaknesses at certain points 
in the children's institutions, there nevertheless are a number of 
important facts which make the outlook for broad development 
of child welfare work in Springfield one of exceptional promise. 
First of all is the vigorous desire of the managers of the institu- 
tions to frame up a plan for the widest social use of their agencies 
and then to see to it, by hard personal service, that such a plan 
is carried out even though it may mean changes in their long 
established methods. These managers are singularly free to 
adapt their work to changed conditions because, fortunately, 
they are not limited to any restrictive terms in bequests. 

Another hopeful feature is that the child-caring problems of 
Springfield, unlike those faced-by Chicago, for instance, are at 
present of manageable proportions, and the whole county of 
Sangamon can be included without overburdening a child wel- 
fare program and rendering it unwieldy in operation. 

The fact that Springfield is the state capital and headquarters 
for the State Department of Visitation* is of great but as yet 
unrecognized value for forward work. Since 1905 this de- 
partment has had power of inspection over all children's insti- 
tutions which receive public funds and has also visited private 
institutions upon request. In addition, it visits children who 
are reported to it as placed out in foster homes within the state 
and has a remarkable opportunity for creating public opinion in 
favor of high standards for such work. 

Knowledge of the facts involved is essential for success at 
every step of the way in a child welfare program for any com- 

* For full powers of this department, see Kurd's Revised Statutes, p. 176, 
Chap. 23, Charities. 



munity. And determination of the facts should be by persons 
especially trained for such work, equipped also with up-to-date 
experience and resource. It goes without saying that discrim- 
inating record keeping is absolutely necessary for results. 

If records were at hand to point out dangers and plague spots 
in our communities, child welfare programs could be drafted 
with greater detail than is possible at the stage to which most of 
the American child-caring agencies have developed. Certain 
principles and tendencies may, however, be relied upon for guid- 
ance in drawing up an initial scheme of work. 

The remarkable trend, backed by the most experienced 
specialists in social movements, towards expansion of child- 
carinrg work under public control or supervision, with state 
or county as administrative units, must be taken into account. 
Consciousness of state citizenship and of county citizenship 
is being felt more and more even by dwellers in cities. The 
rural districts for obvious reasons have always had more or 
less of this consciousness. 

In planning the Springfield program it is far better, then, to 
work from even a somewhat idealistic state program, through the 
ideal functions of county and city to the group of existing child- 
caring agencies, than to start by focusing attention exclusively 
on the possible development of any one of these agencies merely 
on a basis of its financial and other resources. 

We are at last realizing that the development of the state, the 
county, and the individual communities must go hand in hand, 
each with recognition of the close relation of its work to the work 
of the others. The policy of Illinois should be for the equal 
benefit of the counties and the policies of the counties should be 
beneficial to the state. 

Essentials in a Child Welfare Program 
It is essential that every community should have access to: 

1. A properly run juvenile court with efficient probation service. 

2. Provision for the temporary care of children awaiting the 
action of the court. Such provision may be given either in a 
detention home for dependent and neglected children, in one of 
the existing orphanages, or preferably by boarding them out with 



selected private families under careful supervision of a children's 
aid society, as in Boston. 

3. A well-organized child-caring society which shall handle: 

a. Case studies. 

b. Protective work. 

c. Temporary aid for children whose parents are in tem- 
porary distress. 

d. Placing-out work with efficient supervision of children 
in private families. 

4. A receiving home for the temporary care of children await- 
ing placement. 

5. Hospital provision for sick children. 

6. Special provision for orthopedic cases by connection with 
a state orthopedic hospital or with a private institution with 
skilled orthopedic service. 

7. Provision for the deaf and blind in state schools especially 
for this purpose. 

8. Provision for training backward children in one or more 
public schools. 

9. Provision, in state institutions, for delinquents for whom 
the probation system is not suitable. 

Among the above, the state of Illinois has already made pro- 
vision for the blind, deaf, feeble-minded, and delinquents, al- 
though some of this provision is inadequate for the numbers of 
children needing it. It does not touch the needs of other classes 
of children than those just mentioned. The care of the sick, 
crippled, dependent, and neglected children is left entirely to 
private persons and private organizations, except when depen- 
dents are cared for by the juvenile court in the detention home. 

Some of the juvenile court children are, however, boarded 
with the private institutions. If there were a thorough classi- 
fication of the children in these asylums many would be found 
who would be designated as preventive cases, medical cases, 
cases of mental deficiency, orthopedic cases, and so forth, which 
the Springfield institutions for children have not equipped them- 
selves to treat. 

If, following a thorough classification of these children, a redis- 
tribution were made on a basis of actual child need, it would be 
discovered that much further development should be made by 



the State as an administrative unit. Very properly there should 
be state protective work for neglected children, state placing-out 
work, and state care in reception homes. 

The present Department of Visitation of Children Placed in 
Family Homes of the State Board of Administration embodies 
a valuable ideal in its supervisory powers over the state assisted 
agencies for children as well as over such private agencies as, 
request its help, and its inspection of air foster homes in which 
children are placed by these agencies. It is bound to play an 
increasingly important part in future child welfare movements. 
Not only is its power very limited at present, but its appropria- 
tion has never been anywhere near large enough to permit it to 
do thoroughly the work of inspection which constitutes the major 
part of its present activities. It should have a complete roster 
of all the children cared for by children's agencies as well as 
greater scope in supervising them. But it will be necessary 
for some time to come for private agencies to initiate and to 
carry on the work of demonstrating and standardizing the 
methods in child-care. Such agencies should always keep in 
mind, however, the ideal function of the state for state wards of 
all classes, and so serve their various communities as to bring that 
ideal within reach. 

A County Child Welfare Organization Needed 
For some years the fact that the county is an exceedingly 
advantageous administrative unit has been shown in a number of 
states both east and west of Illinois. But in Illinois the county 
as a child welfare unit has been for the most part overlooked. 
Cook County, because of the intense activity of social workers in 
Chicago, has had more development than the others. Sangamon 
County, in which Springfield is located, has scarcely been touched 
outside of the city limits. The present Springfield agencies 
should take the Sangamon County into their activities and 
develop themselves on a county-wide scope. Rural work must 
be attended to. Nowhere is there greater need of vigilance to 
prevent neglect of children than in the unobtrusive districts 
beyond the city limits. 

Springfield should naturally and properly be the headquarters 



for Sangamon County. Springfield should list the fundamental 
social needs of the Sangamon County children and see to it that 
they are met by the most effective methods. The existing nu- 
cleus of institutional agencies is but fragmentary, only a part of 
the circle which should protect each child. Springfield is now in 
such a position that it is practically compelled to consider each 
child an institutional case whether it needs to be or not. Strong 
alternative treatments should be pushed. 

A well-rounded county-wide organization for child welfare 
which shall stand firmly for comprehensive and sympathetic case 
work and for remedial measures in community betterment is ur- 
gently needed.* This agency should be strongly organized for 
child protection so that it can care intelligently for that mass of 
children who are on the road to dependency or delinquency or 
who already clog the machinery of the juvenile court and pre- 
vent it from devoting its efforts to children who are on proba- 

Such an organization should be prepared not only to do 
constructive work in its county but to make a thorough social, 
medical, and mental diagnosis of each application, and it 
should stand ready to supply treatment either through provi- 
sion of its own or by co-operation with the resources of other 
existing agencies. It should initiate an up-to-date placing-out 
work with a department for mothers with babies — both white and 
colored — and a strong protective department prepared to 
prosecute whenever necessary. The combination of these 
branches of work in one agency is a somewhat recent develop- 
ment in the child-caring field, but it is a very wise and helpful 
development and one for which Springfield is peculiarly ready in 
that individual agencies for placing-out work and for protective 
work practically do not now exist. 

It is said by those in the work that it is impossible to find 

* Several months prior to the publication of this report these recommenda- 
tions were submitted, upon request, to a group of Springfield people interested 
in child welfare and ready to initiate improvements in local work. As the 
report goes to press, a committee is being organized to take up a program of 
work along the lines here outlined, with a full-time executive secretary in 
charge. The committee was appointed by the board of managers of the Home 
for the Friendless, and the secretary is Miss Mildred A. Coffman, former 
superintendent of the Springfield Associated Charities. 



enough foster homes for such Springfield children as the institu- 
tions are already trying to place out. These people feel, there- 
fore, that the creation of machinery for placing-out work would 
be quite useless for the Springfield district. 

The answer to this objection lies in the most effective placing- 
out societies of the county which faced exactly such a situation 
when they started, but who now have more applications from 
suitable people than they have children to place out. 

In other words, if a placing-out agency is well managed and 
wisely promoted, if the children to be placed are thoughtfully 
prepared for placement by preliminary medical and other at- 
tention, there is no dearth of good homes open to them. Poor 
work, poorly prepared children, and poor supervision naturally 
enough discourage people from applying for children. Spring- 
field need have no fear that a placing-out movement will fail to 
find enough standard homes. 

Sangamon County should effect a county organization for child 
welfare which, however, should be closely connected with the 
Illinois Children's Home and Aid Society, which has headquarters 
in Chicago, so that it may coordinate its work with a state pro- 
gram and avail itself of the resources of that organization in plac- 
ing-out and supervisory work. 

With such an organization to study and sift the facts in each 
case the work of the institutional agencies, if they co-operate as 
they should, will be greatly simplified and helped. The wards 
for whom they care will be those who definitely need what the 
institutions have to give. They will be there for a clearly out- 
lined result, and the institutions may then know, as they cannot 
now, that they are in reality meeting the needs of that sector 
of the circle for which institutional care is, for the time being, 
the best treatment. 

Future Scope of Institutions 
From the point of view of social demands the future scope 
of the existing institutions should be very carefully examined. 
These institutions, as we have seen, are four. Three of them — 
the Home for the Friendless, the Orphanage of the Holy Child, 
and the Lincoln Colored Home — are primarily interested in the 



dependent and neglected child, and all of them apply practically 
the same methods of care to their respective groups. Although 
they have marked divergences of policies it cannot be said that 
any of them have attacked the causes of child dependency in 
Springfield through case work or through movements based on 
the revelations of case work. 

As has been said, a constructive child welfare organization of 
county-wide scope and connected with the Illinois Children's 
Home and Aid Society should be the chief diagnostic agency for 
Springfield and Sangamon County; and the institutions should 
restrict themselves to their true use for the treatment of children 
who definitely need specific institutional service. 

Obviously the adoption of a program which takes into account 
the interrelation of social forces in state, county, and muni- 
cipality will mean an immense improvement in the existing 
machinery of Springfield. What may, during the transition 
period from present haphazard methods with miscellaneous 
groups of children, appear to some managers to be curtailment of 
scope will in reality mean specialized, intensive, durable work of 
high order. 

When such a reorganization and adjustment of work for chil- 
dren has been accomplished in Sangamon County it will be dis- 
covered that the need for such an institution as the Springfield 
Redemption Home has fundamentally changed. The depen- 
dent children who are now cared for in that institution, without 
their mothers, will be placed in family homes for temporary or 
permanent care as the case may be ; the confinement work will 
be given over to the hospitals and, after discharge, the mothers 
with their babies will be placed out in families by the department 
for mothers and babies of the central organization on child 

There should be some place where, prior to hospital care, young 
expectant mothers may be given home life and training in 
personal hygiene, care of the baby, practical sewing, cooking 
and other household branches. This institution should not 
attempt the hospital work. A sound industrial program should 
be mapped out for each of these girls, making it possible for her 
to nurse and care for her child while assisting in her own support. 



Whether the Springfield Redemption Home is adaptable to 
this educational work remains to be seen. 

Careful plans should be made for those women awaiting court 
action who have young children with them or who are expectant 
mothers. Each one of these women should be treated in the light 
of her personal history and with all the alternatives of the com- 
munity in mind. Close co-operation, on a working basis, be- 
tween the court officers and the charity organizations is essential 
to a humane solution of these problems. 

Sangamon County will still require a small reception home 
for white children and another for colored children. 

There is not, in a discriminating program, any social justifica- 
tion for an institution like the Orphanage of the Holy Child, 
admirably managed as that institution is. It takes just the kind 
of girls who are suited to normal homes and keeps them for long 
years of artificial life without being in any sense an educational 
institution. It does not give them anything which a family 
home cannot give and it cannot give them that essential in 
which a good family home excels — experience in normal human 

The limited institutional activity which may still find a place 
in an enlightened program of child welfare should, to be of best 
use, be carefully worked out as to plant, equipment, and adminis- 
tration. The present plants of the Orphanage of the Holy Child 
and the Lincoln Colored Home are of about the best size. They 
would be much richer in opportunity if they had sufficient grounds 
about them, such as surround the unwieldy, congregate plant 
of the Home for the Friendless. 

Other Developments in the Institutions 
The equipment should spell out in every detail the specific 
object of the institution. This does not necessarily mean large 
expenditure. It does mean, however, that homelike points must 
be emphasized and that barracks furniture, dark play rooms, and 
unsanitary features must go. It means that the daily life of 
each child must be physically, mentally, spiritually constructive 
and reconstructive, and if the administrative methods are chal- 
lenged as to their efi'ectiveness in securing such results the best 



ways will be disco^•cred. And through all must run a practical, 
enlightening record system. To outline just what the methods 
should be would be to induce that inflexibility which has kept 
institutions marking time long after the marching orders have 
been heard. 

It goes without saying that the plant is of less vital importance 

A Children's Home on the Cottage Plan 
There is a strong consensus of opinion at present against the big orphan- 
asylum idea. Smaller cottages, where the Hfe can be made more Hke that in 
the normal home, are favored. The illustration shows one of the several cot- 
tages of the Albany Orphan Asylum. It houses 25 children 

to success than is the chief executi\'e who is placed in charge. 
In the future program for these Springfield institutions the need 
of large social vision, the co-operative spirit, natural and acquired 
ability to bring about the end in view are absolutely indispensable. 



Not only should the chief executives be of such type, but they 
should be given opportunity to experiment with new methods, 
to make each agency a vital part of the social program as a whole. 
Not by large numbers cared for but by actual results secured for 
those who need more than anything else what the institutions 
can give, should the managers judge of their social surplus. 

Each one of the institutions should be kept small and ought 
to be brought up to the highest efficiency in diagnostic work with 
well-planned sanitary cottages, with provision for isolation of 
incoming children and sick children, with provision for medical 
and psychological examinations, and for sound training of the 

The holding of dependent children in the detention home 
should be discontinued and provision made for their care in some 
other institution — preferably the Home for the Friendless. 

Through improvement in the investigation work, record 
keeping, and interpretation the institutions may become not 
only better educational forces for children inside their doors, but 
educational forces aimed at removing the causes of future child 
dependency in the community at large. No one is pleading for 
record keeping for record's sake, but for the sake of action which 
stands on a base of known fact. 

It is believed that if Springfield adopts and carries out a pre- 
ventive and constructive child welfare program it will not only 
render a most valuable service to its own citizens, but to all those 
other cities and counties in Illinois which, because of widely 
different conditions, have not felt that methods used in Chicago 
and Cook County were applicable to them. 





Among the 1,764 Springfield families which in 1913 were 
known to have received some kind of charitable aid outside their 
homes from public or semi-public agencies, were 1,238 in which 
sickness was a factor in the reduced condition of the family.* 
If we add the 1 1 families in which mental deficiency was a factor, 
and the 39 in which intemperance played a part — both of which 
in their treatment are to be regarded in the nature of diseases — 
the total reaches 1,288. In some 200 of these cases there were 
other factors in the family's dependency besides sickness ; never- 
theless this factor was of such importance that medical service 
could not be neglected. In addition there were a number of 
other families needing free medical care which did not come to 
the attention of the social organizations. The importance of 
provision for these needs is apparent. 

City Physician 
Except for the dispensary maintained by the Springfield 
Tuberculosis Association there is no free medical dispensary in 
Springfield; that is, there is no place to which sick people who 
cannot afford to pay the doctor's usual fees may go for advice and 
treatment, paying at most only small fees. In lieu of this there 
is a city physician appointed by the county board of supervisors. 
His district covers Capital Township, which is coterminous with 
the city of Springfield, and his work includes also medical super- 
vision of the county and city jails. This official, who must be 
a practicing physician, is paid a salary of $100 per month. He is 
required to treat all sick poor who apply and must meet out of 

* For a full statement of the number of families treated during the \ear by 
the 36 organizations which co-operated in this study of cases in Springfield, 
and an analysis of the nature of the family disabilities together with a descrip- 
tion of method used in the study, see pages 57-68 of this report. 



his salary the cost of all prescriptions filled without payment on 
the part of the patient. 

A more unsatisfactory system could hardly be imagined. 
What should be a divided responsibility among many doctors 
upon a dispensary staff becomes the responsibility of one doctor 
who, if he has any practice at all, soon discovers he has a "white 
elephant" on his harids. The salary in itself is not alluring as a 
sole source of income and of course it does not permit him to 
provide the many accessories needed in a well-ordered dispensary. 
The arrangement, moreover, tends to develop too great economy 
in the use of medicines, and lays too heavy a burden upon one 
physician to expect good results. Into one doctor's day is 
crowded a service which would be gladly given by public-spirited 
members of the profession in a dispensary. 

The system is so primitive that its working out is bound to be 
primitive also. We asked the doctor who was city physician 
for the first half of 1914 for the list of cases treated by him which 
were county charges, and found he could not supply it. There 
were no classified records. The doctor holding the position at 
the time of the survey. kept a record separating cases on county 
account from his own city cases, but it consisted only of a diary 
in which the name, address, and sometimes the particular com- 
plaint were set down. Injuries resulting from accidents were 
generally so noted, but little more was recorded. No medical 
histories of the cases were being kept; not even an index of cases. 
Nor were the number of visits of patients to the office, visits of 
the physician to homes or to the county jail readily obtainable. 
Record keeping is not only essential for the social auditing of the 
needs and activities of the office, but in this case it has a direct 
relation to the quality of the medical service itself. Yet the 
office — largely, perhaps wholly, because of its meager funds — ^was 
failing at this point. 

From what records there were for approximately seven months 
prior to the end of 191 3 the number of patients treated were found 
to be 358. Probably this is an under-recording. Nevertheless, 
the number is large, and undoubtedly in so large a company 
there were many needing the services of physicians with special 
training in special fields, whose services were not made available. 



What was given instead was a wholesale service, with hurried 
examinations and admission to a hospital when the case so clearly 
called for such treatment as to leave no room for doubt. 

Fortunately this concentration of calls for free medical aid is 
by no means as great as it might be, owing to the fact, which 
needs scarcely to be added, that many physicians are giving more 
or less free service to patients that they know. But here again 
the best specialized service may not be available for special needs ; 
the method of selection is on the basis of personal acquaintance 
only. If, however, these medical services were pooled through 
the establishment of a free medical dispensary, specialists would 
then be available at regular and specified hours for special needs. 

Hospital Care 

When one turns to free hospital service the situation is no 
better. Except in the children's ward of the Springfield Hos- 
pital, there are no free beds in the Springfield hospitals.* Both 
Springfield and. St. John's Hospitals are private institutions, 
making no appeals for popular support. Persons are received 
into St. John's as county charges upon the authorization of the 
city physician, the county paying a weekly rate of $4.00 which, 
however, does not cover cost. The hospital took care of 557 
such cases in 1913. It thus really made a contribution in that 
many cases. This, however, is not the same as maintaining free 

In the Springfield Hospital children are admitted to the 
children's ward without charge, the expenses being met from the 
other income of the hospital. Eight free cases were treated in 


This situation means even greater concentration of free pa- 
tients in the hands of the city physician when once the doors of 
the hospital are reached; for when patients are admitted as 
county charges into St. John's Hospital they usually become 
patients of the city physician, regardless of what physicians may 

* A further exception to this is the city contagious disease hospital which 
offers free beds for persons having contagious diseases. This, however, is a 
specialized service and can meet only one phase of hospital treatment for the 
poor. For discussion of the hospital, see Schneider, op. cit., pp. 122-123. 


have been treating them in their homes.* Thus in 1913 the 
city physician without official assistance (two incumbents held 
office in succession during the year) was called upon to assume 
the responsibility for 557 county patients in the hospital. Some 
of the 557 were originally out-patients of the city physician; 
but considering the responsibilities for out- and in-patients, the 
needless home visiting involved when dispensary service would 
have been sufficient, emergency calls to the county and city jails, f 
the numbers involved, and the small salary attached, it is no 
wonder that a one-time occupant of the office remarked that 
" any man who takes that position needs a guardian." Of course, 
in the care of the indoor patients particularly, the city physician 
may and does use the services of other physicians and of surgeons. 
But here again it is a hit or miss affair, and considerations of 
friendship for certain physicians may prevent the calling of other 
physicians better equipped to deal with particular emergencies. 

Moreover, regarding admissions a peculiar abuse on the part 
of physicians has grown up. Here, for instance, is a patient 
whose malady is so developed or whose home surroundings are 
such that he needs hospital care. The physician urges admission. 
Admission is usually granted, presumably on a pay basis; but 
later it is found that no money is forthcoming. The physician 
involved then telephones the city physician in an effort to have 
the patient transferred to the county list. A perfunctory in- 
vestigation may be made by the overseer of the poor, but the 
county is more or less helpless at this stage; and it is almost 
certain that it will have to accept responsibility, even though 
it does not control the admission. Thus private citizens are 
practically contracting obligations to be paid for by the county. 

The present system, with neither dispensary nor free beds, 
with too many and too varied calls for medical service coming to 
an official appointed annually by a political board, and inade- 
quately paid, offers no guarantee that sickness in poorer families 
will be handled with proper skill, though in these weaker families 

* As indicated, tliere are exceptions to this rule. For example, the city 
physician has allowed the choice of another physician in cases which he took 
to the hospital from the Associated Charities, provided the other physician 
was giving free service. 

t Potter, op. cit., pp. 50-52. 



the need of the greater skill is especially urgent. Moreover, for 
a growing progressive city the present system is too inadequate 
to last much longer. If instead of the office of the physician who 
happens to be city physician, a dispensary organized under the 
city departrrient of health, with its regular staff, its established 
procedures, its continuous records, and its continuous clinics, 
were the point where cases were first considered, the selection of 
the right physician for each case could be properly made. 

Tuberculosis Dispensary and Sanitarium 
In addition to maintaining one visiting nurse, who does general 
nursing as well as nursing of those having tuberculosis, the 
Springfield Tuberculosis Association operates one free dispensary. 
In 1 91 3 the dispensary treated 135 persons suffering from tuber- 
culosis. This is the kind of treatment by specialists advocated 
above. Dr. Palmer, who is in charge of the dispensary, con- 
tributes his services. This is perhaps too large a service to expect 
from any one person, and as pointed out by Mr. Van Blarcom, 
should be compensated for, in some part at least, by the city.* 
Sooner or later the cost of this dispensary service should be 
entirely assumed by the city or county, and the work made a 
part of the regular activities of the city health department, f 

The Tuberculosis Association and the county have also cared, 
in the last few years, for a number of indigent cases at the Open 
Air Colony, a private sanitarium of 24 beds for incipient cases. 
The expenditure by the association on this account in the year 
ending June 30, 1914, was $2,108.55. The number of patients so 
helped was 18, and the number of weeks' care was 251, the cost 
to the association averaging about $8.40 per week. This was in 
addition to the weekly payment of $4.00 made by the county. 
While this work in the past is thoroughly approved, it neverthe- 
less cannot meet the full needs of the situation, and the time is 
now at hand when a movement should be started for building and 
maintaining a public tuberculosis hospital to be supported by 
city and county funds. And in the meantime the county should 

* Schneider, op. cit., p. 50. 

t For reference to the activities of the Tuberculosis Association in connec- 
tion with work for families, see pp. 120-121 of this report. 



increase its ritiieulousK- small allowance of $4.00 per week tor 
the care of these patients. At least $6.00 should be paid. 

Care of Ment.\l Defectives 
It is recognized, of course, that there are man>- degrees of 
mental deficiency and that only persons suffering from certain 
forms may need custodial care. Insanity, when once determined, 
pretty generalh' points to hospital care; and children suffering 
milder forms of mental deficiency usually require institutional 
treatment. Dr. Treadway found that between January I, 1913, 
and March 1 , 1914, 113 persons were committed by the Sangamon 
County court to the Jackson^•ille State Hospital for the Insane.* 

At the Sangamon County Poor Farm 
Cells in the basement u.sed for insane persons. Such inmates should be 
placed in the comfortable and cheerful quarters of the state hospitals for the 

The record did not show whether any of them had financial 
resources, but indigent cases are frequent. Ihifortunately there 
is no place of detention for persons suffering from menial illness; 

* Trcaflwaii', op. cit., pp. 26-44. 


they are held in the county jail annex until the court can appoint 
a commission and hold a hearing. The general hospitals of 
Springfield decline to treat this class of sick persons if the 
condition is known when application for admission is made. 
St. John's Hospital makes exception, however, if the physician 
in charge of the case will employ a special nurse and assume all 
responsibility, but this of course eliminates most indigent cases, 
as the county allowance for hospital cases is at the very small 
rate of $4.00 per week. 

The result is that a considerable number of the insane are kept 
at the Sangamon County Poor Farm. Dr. Treadway found 
18 insane inmates on March i, 19 14, and five who were mentally 
defective.* On April 8th of the same year an official inspec- 
tion was made by the Charities Commission of the State of 
Illinois, and according to the inspector's classification 24 insane 
inmates were found, 14 being insane men, 9 women, and one 
woman who was an insane epileptic. As may be expected, the 
facilities were merely custodial and not in the nature of treat- 
ment aimed at ultimate recovery or mental improvement. Alms- 
houses are entirely unfitted for the treatment of mental diseases ; 
the remedy lies in reducing the number cared for in these places 
as rapidly as possible, in demanding that a fair proportion of the 
patients of the county be received at the state hospitals, and that 
accommodations at the state hospitals be increased until they 
provide for all the insane of Illinois now confined in almshouses. 

The situation with regard to the care of persons among the 
poor suffering from acute alcoholic diseases is very like that of 
the insane. They are sent to the county jail annex. The city 
physician must be called when an intoxicated person who is 
unconscious is placed in a cell. This commendable practice 
should be made to apply to others who are in serious condition; 
but sooner or later provision should be made for the public treat- 
ment of alcoholic diseases in the wards of a general hospital. 

Recommendations on Care of the Sick 
To sum up then, the need of free medical treatment in Spring- 
field is such as to demand a more effective system for making this 
* Treadway, op. cit., pp. 33-34. 


service available. In the first place, the city should establish 
under its health department a free medical dispensary (including 
certain home visiting) to take over the general medical service 
now performed by the city physician.* This plan would provide 
service by specialists where needed, and effect a more equitable 
and efficient distribution of the calls for free service between 
members of the medical profession. The dispensary could also 
serve to secure the right physician for each case taken to the 

The natural point at which to start a movement for this change 
would seem to be the Sangamon County Medical Society. Un- 
fortunately, however, a previous move in this direction proved 

We believe, therefore, that the Associated Charities should 
appoint a special committee to confer with the city health depart- 
ment, urging the department to take up with the city commission 
the organization of a city dispensary, and at the same time 
endeavor to make an arrangement with the county whereby the 
appropriation usually made for a city physician will be diverted 
to the support of the dispensary. This committee might later 
be enlarged to become a committee of the Conference of Social 
Agencies to be outlined later in this report; but in any case it 
should not be satisfied with merely bringing the need of a dis- 
pensary to the attention of the health department. The depart- 
ment can be greatly aided in securing the necessary public back- 
ing by the efforts of such a non-partisan private group of citizens 
seeking no political favor. 

At the same time the county board of supervisors should 
be urged to establish a new basis of weekly payments more nearly 
representing cost for care of county patients admitted to St. 
John's Hospital and the Open Air Colony. The present rate of 
$4.00 is ridiculously small for St. John's, and even smaller for 
the Colony, where the regular charge for pay patients is $15. 
Ultimately the city and county should provide hospital facilities 
of their own ; but in the meantime at least $6.00 a week should 

* For a discussion of the advantages of this plan also from the point of view 
of improving the general health service of the health department, see Schneider, 
op. cit., pp. 123-124. 



be paid for service in either of these local hospitals. We believe 
the luiblic outdoor relief expenditures may readily be curtailed 
to meet this added expense. 

Sangamon County Jail Annex, Springfield 
Large numbers of the insane and persons suffering from acute alcoholism 
are held here each year — some as long as twenty days in 1913. These insane 
people are ill; moreover, they often have delusions of unworthiness and self- 
condemnation which jail experiences tend to emphasize and confirm. Both 
the insane and the alcoholics should not be detained in the jail annex; instead, 
they should receive hospital care until the state provides sufficiently for their 

I'nder this arrangement the responsibility for admission to 
hospitals at county expense should be clearly placed upon the 
dispensary, a member of the dispensary staff becoming, by ap- 
pointment, city physician. To safeguard the use of the dis- 
pensary and of admissions to hospitals, provision must be made 
for consulting the records of the Associated Charities and of the 
confidential exchange, thus obtaining the facts possessed by 
other agencies which \\Tnild throw light on needs. When these 



sources fail to give the desired information, investigation limited 
to ability to pay for medical service should be made by volunteers 
or by an employe of the dispensary. 

The dispensary should make provision for those suffering from 
tuberculosis as well as for others needing the service of speciaHsts. 
This would extend the tuberculosis work into the county — a good 
unit for activity. At the same time a campaign should be 
started by the local tuberculosis association for securing city and 
county funds for a public tuberculosis hospital. 

The indigent insane should not be detained in the county jail 
annex. These people are ill; moreover, they often have delusions 
of unworthiness and self-condemnation which jail experiences 
tend to emphasize or confirm. Arrangements should be made 
for their care in hospital wards, pending transfer to the state hos- 
pital. Any insane persons held in the county almshouse should 
be removed to the state institutions as rapidly as possible, and 
no others be allowed to become inmates, as the almshouse has 
no facilities for adequate treatment aiming at recovery. 

In the cases of those suffering from grave alcoholic diseases, 
confinement in the county jail annex should be discontinued 
and arrangements made for treatment in one of the hospitals 
until such time as the state of Illinois may provide care for 

In addition to these specific measures having to do with the 
institutional care of the sick poor, their welfare would be pro- 
moted still further by broadening the general preventive health 
work of the city and of the Springfield Tuberculosis Association.* 
Later hospital social service will need to be provided for. 

* For full statement of health program recommended for Springfield, see 
Schneider, op. cit., pp. 46-57 and 126-135; also Treadway, op. cit., pp. 17-46. 





The importance of good institutional work for dependent 
children and for the indigent sick has been pointed out. Of 
equal or even greater importance is efficient work for disorgan- 
ized families, considered and planned for them one by one — a 
form of service which centers in the home. To keep such fam- 
ilies intact, and to aid them in ways that will restore them as far 
as possible to complete living, is — to say nothing of considerations 
of personal happiness and comfort — strongly protective of social 
welfare. It is conservation at the very center. And of course 
the work for families as units is not necessarily independent of 
the institutions: the two forms of service very often work to- 
gether. Hospital care and cure of a sick father, for example, is 
often one of the salient features in a plan of treatment aimed at 
putting a whole family back on its feet. The usefulness of hos- 
pital care itself, or of any other single feature of the treatment, 
does not lessen, but rather emphasizes, the imperative claims of 
the larger plan, which looks at the family as a whole and aims at 
conserving or restoring this natural group of people to normal 
family conditions. In other words, work for families may com- 
bine many kinds of special assistance, but back of it all is the 
thought of the family itself, the recognition that as often as possi- 
ble it, as the fundamental social unit, should be preserved. 

Aims Today in Charity Work 
One chief aim then in modern charity work is to eliminate 
abnormal conditions of family life and to promote normal con- 
ditions, whether the conditions relate only to the particular 
family or are of a general character. This obviously implies the 
belief that conditions can be changed and improved. The idea 



of any class of people being predestined and hopelessly chained to 
poverty and misery is repudiated once and for all. When family 
life is abnormal there must be some reason or reasons for it 
reasons for the most part that are ascertainable and which past 
experience has proved in some measure to be removable. Here, 
for example, is a family in distress because the chief breadwinner 
has incipient tuberculosis and has been forced to give up his work; 
there are no savings or other resources, and outside aid is needed. 
Obviously the key to the situation lies in the father's restoration 
to health. As long as there is hope of restored health there is 
hope for restored family normality. Modern charitable effort, 
in addition to temporary aid, would be directed toward the 
father's recovery; it would thus help the family to the place 
where it could take care of itself. 

This kind of effort involves much more, of course, than the 
giving of food, shelter, clothes, and fuel, valuable as these 
may be as temporary expedients. Direct aid in the form of 
food and shelter and the like may or may not be important as 
part of a plan of treatment looking toward the ultimate restoring 
of normal home conditions ; but if it were the sum of all aid offered 
it would tend in many, if not most, cases to destroy self-respect 
and to create a chronic condition of dependency. Direct 
material aid, for the most part, is merely one means to an end. 
In the case of the tuberculous father above referred to, the family 
may need to be supplied temporarily with food, shelter, and 
clothes while the father is under the physician's care, but this, as 
already indicated, is incidental to the provision of service to 
stamp out the tuberculosis infection responsible for the family's 
disability. The emphasis is therefore placed upon thoughtful 
service as well as material gifts — service in the form of careful 
consideration and study of the needs of a family, and working in 
co-operation with the family and its connections. 

The rendering of such service is not simple. It means dealing 
with the real issues of daily living and is as complicated as com- 
plex modern life itself. Just because life has become more 
complex, of necessity what is called "investigation," or the obtain- 
ing of real knowledge of conditions and facts, has become more 
complex. A technique of investigation has grown up, which 



does not mean the asking of certain routine questions at all, but 
the harnessing of the intelligence of the social service worker to 
certain principles of the art of learning the significant and vital 
things, and then coordinating the things learned in a correct diag- 
nosis. When it comes to actual action based upon knowledge, 
again there are certain broad principles of cause and effect in 
human action which the experience of many people has labor- 
iously worked out; but here again these principles are only 
principles of an art, of the art of family rehabilitation — an art of 
infinite adaptations of logical plans based upon accurate diagnoses, 
to varying personalities and groups and conditions. 

But the fact that it is an art and not a science rather increases 
than diminishes the need of the technique and the diagnoses and 
the principles of action. A plan may have to be changed after 
being formed, and everywhere the human factors must be 
recognized, for no plan is worth its salt which does not have the 
hearty co-operation of the family involved — the family, after 
all, must put forth the greatest effort. It often takes time and 
thought to secure this support. The carrying out of these 
mutually co-operative plans may take a week, a month, a year, 
or many years. No touch and go effort, jumping from one 
application to another, without constant and intelligent and care- 
ful continued planning with the families already known, can now 
be recognized as real social work. 

It is conceded, of course, that some families never can be 
restored to normal conditions or even enabled to regain a posi- 
tion of self-support. The aged and infirm, who are dependent 
and chronically ill, the defective, and some others, may need to 
be taken care of indefinitely; but even in these cases good 
service requires that each case be thoroughly investigated and 
that the treatment be given which fits the need. 

Co-operative Effort 
As most cities have grown they have developed methods and 
agencies for helping people in need, and the common' experience 
is that the agencies have been established to meet special kinds 
of need, such as care of the sick, care of children, and so forth, 
independently of one another. Very often this has meant the 
s 55 


duplication of institutions established to handle the same kinds 
of needs and the lack of provision for other kinds. In the 
absence, then, of any machinery by which the agencies could 
exchange information and otherwise co-operate, a possible 
obstacle to efforts aimed at solving family problems has pre- 
sented itself. 

To cure a disabled family, as in curing a sick individual, it is 
essential that the treatment be not interfered with by those who 
do not know the full facts of the case and the treatment already 
prescribed. If the social agencies do not work together closely, 
placing facts at each other's disposal and co-operating in a uni- 
fied plan for constructive assistance, there is danger that they 
may work at cross purposes with each other and to the disad- 
vantage of the family they would aid. Thus the attempt to do 
more than temporize by furnishing daily relief only to those in 
need requires of the agencies that they no longer regard them- 
selves as at liberty to work independently of their colleagues, or 
to work in the dark without inquiring carefully and so discover- 
ing all that may be known by others about a family. 

In earlier years, when communication was not so easy, indi- 
vidual effort may have offered the best means of providing for 
all needs; but today, with even large cities released by elec- 
tricity and the printing press from the difficulties of distance and 
slow communication, the agencies must regard themselves as 
part of a whole community's equipment for social service, ready 
to render co-operative and special service in the larger scheme of 
helping families out of abnormal conditions and into as full liv- 
ing as may be. This is another requisite to good social service. 

Preventive Work and Record Keeping 
And as still an additional requisite there should be effort not 
only to remove the disabilities already experienced, but social 
action to prevent future disabilities; for example, to prevent the 
unnecessary deaths that cause widowhood, to prevent unemploy- 
ment with its consequent reduction of family income, and so on. 
The information on living conditions obtained by the agencies in 
their close contact with families would be invaluable in assisting 
in measures of this kind for community improvement. 



It scarcely need be pointed out that all of these requisites 
necessarily involve good record keeping by the agencies. Care- 
ful study of each case among the many handled daily, and treat- 
ment that will follow a plan once decided upon, are impossible 
unless the pertinent facts are put in form for ready and frequent 
reference. And where several agencies are co-operating, record 
keeping is even more urgent. It is an essential so obvious as to 
be taken for granted in this study. 

These are parts of the understructure upon and around which 
effective social service is built; these are the parts which the 
community is more and more expecting the agencies doing 
charitable work to look after. It was with a view to outlining a 
plan for their corripleter introduction into Springfield that the 
study of family disabilities and their treatment was made. 

Families Known to Agencies 
As already indicated, 1,764 families in Springfield were known 
to have received some kind of social service in 1913.* Not all 
were absolutely destitute, of course, nor were all in need all the 
year; but the figures mean that over 1,750 families were unable 
to function properly without some service from outside. 

In fact the figures understate the case, for it was not possible 
to obtain case records from several of the 47 Springfield charitable 
agencies dealing with families. f The understatement is not 
great, however, as access was had to the data of most of the more 
important organizations. 

The method used in studying the situation as a whole was 
an examination first of the records of the Associated Charities, 
of the Springfield Tuberculosis Association, of the juvenile court, 
and of the Home for the Friendless. These are the general agen- 
cies in Springfield which had records of any importance ; that is to 
say, each one maintained a registry with a filing system, a sep- 

* The period used for this study of the charities of Springfield is the year 
1913. In the case of several agencies, however, the periods for which their 
records were available did not exactly coincide with the calendar year, but 
were close enough for all practical purposes. The exceptions wherein records 
did not exactly cover the year 1913 are indicated in the footnote to Table 2, 
page 61. 

t For a list of the charitable agencies of Springfield and those agencies which 
co-operated with the survey, see Appendix D, p. 170. 

' 57 


Springfield, Illinois 

The Springfield Survey 


Size and Extent of the Charities Problem 
In 1913, 1,764 Springfield families received some kind of charitable service 
from public or private organizations. Each spot represents a family. (A 
few could not be located because of faulty addresses.) 



arate file being kept for each family or child, and printed record 
. cards being used for recording the original information gathered. 
On the basis of the amount of data available from these records 
a blank was prepared for transcribing the data for use in the 
later analysis.* 

The records were so defective that several kinds of important 
information could not be set down, among them being the 
nationality, occupation, and wages of members of the families. f 
Records from the churches and missions were very incomplete. 
This was partly due to the evident wish of many church workers 
to consider that some of the families were receiving aid as church 
members and that their names should not go into a confidential 
register. The church workers inclined to consider them in the 
same category as members of secret orders receiving brotherly 
aid. The data available from St. John's Hospital, the city 
physician, overseer of the poor, dental dispensary, St. Vincent 
de Paul Society, the truant officer, and the county court were 
rather formal and brief. The St. Vincent de Paul Society was 
establishing a record system at the time of the survey, however. 
The juvenile court records, while fuller and kept according to a 
regular filing scheme, were faulty as to home conditions of the 
families, physical and mental conditions, school record, habits, 
and associates. All of this last group of agencies are public ex- 
cept the St. Vincent de Paul Society and St. John's Hospital. 
The records showed that in the period covered by the study, 
the 36 Springfield agencies aided 2,247 families. t These were 
not all separate families, however, enough of them having been 
treated by two or more agencies to bring the number of different 

* The blank is reproduced in Appendix C, p. 169. The form was drafted 
to meet the special case in Springfield, and should not be regarded as a model 
or inclusive blank for similar studies elsewhere. 

t In the cases of the Associated Charities, the Tuberculosis Association, 
the Home for the Friendless, the various churches, and the school nurse, the 
summarizing of the records was done in the offices of the different societies by 
members of the survey staff, or local volunteers. It was thus possible to sup- 
plement many defective records by adding any unrecorded facts known to 
workers and others most interested and closest to the families. 

J Allowance should doubtless be made for a margin of error due to mistaken 
identification resulting from the faulty records in such simple matters as the 
recording of first names and addresses. A single family may therefore be re- 
ported as two or more families in a few cases. 



families down to 1,764. The distribution of the families accord- 
ing to the number of agencies to which they were known is shown 
in Table i . 



Number of agencies to which families were known 














The distribution among the 36 different charitable organiza- 
tions of families which were assisted is shown in Table 2. 





358 b 

83 d 

65 = 


17 f 



St. John's Hospital 

City Physician 

Overseer of the Poor 

Tuberculosis Association 

Associated Charities 

Dental Dispensary 

Juvenile Court 

St. Vincent de Paul Society 

Truant Officer 

Home for the Friendless 

County Court 

School Nurse 

Kumber Episcopal Church 

St. John's Mission 

Washington Street Mission 

Springfield Hospital, Children's Ward 
First Methodist Episcopal Church . . . 



TABLE 2. — (Continued) 



South Seventh Street Baptist Church . 

First Presbyterian Church 

First Christian Church 


Orphanage of the Holy Child 

Fourth Presbyterian Church 

St. Paul's Episcopal Church 

Christ Church 

Helping Hand Circle, King's Daughters . 

Brith Sholom Congregation . . . 

Zion Baptist Church 

Elliott Avenue Baptist Church . 

Grace Lutheran Church 

Central Baptist Church 

West Side Christian Church . 
United Brethren Church .... 
Second Presbyterian Church . 

Fifth Presbyterian Church 

Laurel Methodist Episcopal Church 

Douglas Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church. 

Total . 




^ This is a record of patients received as county charges. 

b This covers period from June 10, 1913, to December 31, 1913, only. 

<: This includes only dependency cases for 1913 and "Funds to Parents" list 
current at time of survey. 

d This society was not organized until 1914; the current records were there- 
fore obtained. 

<! Commencing with school year in September, 1913, and continuing ap- 
proximately to February, 19 14. 

f Registration very incomplete. 

g Washington Street Mission offered names of only a few families known to 
have very serious problems and claim other relief work is part of the religious 
department of the mission. 

li Only children received from Springfield were registered from here. 

i As many families were known to more than one agency, this total is greater 
than the total number of families fepresented by Table i, p. 60. 

The usual center for coordinating work for families is the 
Associated Charities. In discovering that only a few more 
than 200 families out of the total of 1,764 were known to that 
organization, and some of them known only to it, we have a first 



indication that much of the local work is not planned on a broad 
scale of family upbuilding.* This also indicates a possibility, 
and perhaps a probability, of overlapping and duplication in 
service rendered to the 297 families known to two or more agencies 
(eight known to as many as six agencies), as shown in Table i, 
since a good proportion of these could not have been known to the 
Associated Charities and since no other organization was acting 
as a coordinating center. On the other hand, while overlapping 
must have been absent in the case of the i ,467 families known to 
only one agency, the fact that so large a proportion of the total 
of 1,764 families were treated by only one agency seems also 
to indicate a lack of co-operative service on a community-wide 
basis; for, merely in order to make the facts available for the use 
of other agencies in deciding on the methods of treatment, the 
proportion known to at least two agencies should be much greater, 
and there are few disabled families who can be properly and ade- 
quately treated by only one agency. 

Family Disabilities Grouped 
For only 1,436 famihes, or 81 per cent of the 1,764, were the 
records complete enough to give some indication of the existence 
of the more common disabilities. By disabilities we mean 
important factors in family conditions which signify subnormal 
conditions, either temporary or permanent, such as unemploy- 
ment, desertion, sickness, widowhood, and so on. In some 
cases, because of poor records, the only indication as to family 
disabilities was the type of agency which served the family — 
the hospital, for instance, indicating sickness, the tuberculosis 
sanitarium indicating tuberculosis. The number of disabilities 
per family is shown in Table 3. 

*The annual report of the Associated Charities for the fiscal year of 1913 
shows a total of 615 clients treated. These figures, however, have no sig- 
nificance, as it was discovered in reviewing the work of the society that owing 
to a cumbersome office system the monthly totals were added together. Thus 
if a family came up for consideration in six months of the twelve it would be 
counted six times. At the same time the system may have been responsible 
for a shortage in the registration given us. At the most, however, this margin 
of error would not be sufficient to bring up the figure to 300. 

It should be stated, however, that just prior to the field work of the survey 
the Associated Charities began installing a new and modern system of record 
keeping and filing. 



TABLE 3.- 



Number of disabilities per family 








A very natural question would arise as to whether the 1,467 
families shown in Table I to have been known to only one agency 
may not have required more service than that one agency afforded, 
or whether such families are to be regarded as belonging to a 
group more resourceful and more competent than the families 
known to more than one agency. In view of the complexity of 
modern life, and the specialized and related character of the 
service rendered by different organizations, it would seem very 
improbable that so large a number would be in just such condi- 
tion as to need the aid of only one agency. In the case of sick- 
ness of the chief breadwinner, for example, if the family has no 
other resources than current wages, there is need for other service 
than the cure of the sick person, and plans should be laid to meet 
the unexpected stress. 

Moreover, of the i ,467 families shown in Table i as known to 
only one agency, 464 appeared only on the list of the county poor 
cases in St. John's Hospital (the only record available from that 
hospital), and 239 were known only to the city physician; and 
it would seem very unlikely that so many families would ask 
for this free service if they were all in position to care for sick 
members without feeling financial distress, or overstrain, or any 
other ill result — excepting the mental suspense. It can hardly 
be gainsaid that in the period studied there were many families, 
numbering in the hundreds, in which the disabilities were such 
as to call for social service of more than one kind, but in which 
only one disability was discovered and considered by the agency 
dealing with the family. The conclusion is obvious, therefore, 
that as the agencies had developed no scheme of sympathetic 



understanding and co-operation through a coordinating agency, 
such as the Associated Charities should be, there .was no assur- 
ance that, attention was being given to all needs. 

On the other hand, there have been many excellent achieve- 
ments which should not be overshadowed by the weaknesses 
pointed out. Indeed, in gathering vital information on famiHes 
we have doubtless been at the disadvantage of having to depend 
on records which showed only the minimum information some- 
where available. In many instances unrecorded facts were 
undoubtedly registered in the minds of the workers. To a far 
less degree would this be true of service rendered, for there is of 
course a natural tendency to enter the record of specific acts. 
As will be pointed out later, considerable ability in planning and 
in the execution of plans was evident, and there was not' lacking 
a comprehension of the ends to be attained and the means for 
attaining them. While many ill-advised s,ervices were being 
attempted, and while too many Springfield people are still talk- 
ing in terms of material gifts and temporary relief, there were not 
a few social workers in Springfield, volunteer and paid, who knew 
how weak the family reconstruction work was at some points 
and were ready for measures of improvement. ■ But one of the 
chief troubles lay in the fact, as shown in some degree by the 
records of cases, that there was no center through which effective 
family planning, based upon careful expert investigations and 
co-operated in by several agencies, could be attempted." 

Nature of Disabilities 
The information drawn from the records of cases was analyzed 
further for indications as to the nature of the family disabilities. 
The reader should keep in mind, however, that the local records 
were very faulty and may not be assumed to represent the total 
of all disabilities or the total of the more obvious ones; and of 
course it is not possible to estimate how far short they fall of 
giving the real picture of conditions among dependent families of 
Springfield. But even though faulty they show a significant 
set of complications. The information on disabilities for 1,436 
out of the total of 1,764 famihes is summarized in Table 4 under 
two main divisions: families having one recorded disability 



unaccompanied by other disabilities, and families having one 
specified disability accompanied by one or more others.* 





Desertion by man 

Desertion by woman 

Mental deficiency 




Sickness other than tuberculosis 
Irregular school attendance . . . 

Crippled condition 



Total . 

Families having each 
specified disability 

panied by 
other dis- 













by one or 

more other 












All families 

having each 















364 a 


a As a family for which more than one disability was recorded is entered 
opposite each disability, this total exceeds the total number of families having 
more than one disability. 

bThis total equals the total number of disabilities among the 1,436 fam- 
ilies for which facts were available. 

It is seen from the table that the disabilities which affected 
the largest group of families were sickness other than tuberculosis, 
tuberculosis, widowhood, desertion, irregular school attendance, 
and non-support. Unemployment and intemperance were also 
factors of importance. The problems surrounding family de- 
pendency thus begin to split up into their more specific parts, 
and some of the first clues are obtained as to types of work 
needed in the local charity field. Among other things it is 

* The list of possible disabilities recorded by well-organized societies is much 
greater than the one here used. Our selection was again based upon observa- 
tion as to what disabilities were revealed by the records. 



observed that a very large proportion — over i,ioo out of the 
1 ,267 f amihes having only one specified disability — of the families 
were disabled because of conditions which are not commonly 
regarded as necessarily permanent, such as tuberculosis and other 
sickness, intemperance, unemployment, and irregular school 

In the case of the 169 families shown in Table 3 as having two 
or more disabilities per family, the groups were classified further 
to show the combinations of primary and secondary disabilities 
recorded for the individual families. For presenting the combina- 
tions a comparative ranking was given to the primary disabilities. 
Widowhood was placed first, and whatever other disabilities 
appeared in combination with widowhood were listed under it. 
Then followed in descending order: Desertion, mental deficiency, 
intemperance, tuberculosis, unemployment, and sickness. These 
rankings were more or less arbitrarily made for the purpose of 
bringing out two important groupings of disabihties, as follows: 

1. Families having permanent disabilities or disabihties likely 

to be permanent. 

a. The permanently subnormal family, — that of a 


b. The possibly permanent subnormal family, — that of a 

deserted wife. 

c. The possibly permanent subnormality of one or more 

members of a family, — in case of mental deficiency. 

2. Families having disabilities not necessarily permanent or re- 

ferring to the whole group. 

d. A most plainly indicated moral weakness, — such as in- 


e. A serious physical handicap, — that of tuberculosis. 

f. Economic displacement, — such as unemployment 

which may be due to personal or industrial causes. 

g. Sickness, the commonest of all handicaps, but here 

listed last because the records do not allow suffi- 
cient classification of the different diseases. 

The divisions into which these 169 families fell are shown in 
Table 5. 





Families in which the primary 
disability was 

Additional disabilities 
One additional disability 



















1 <L> 


C 11 

•-< u 








a .2 





1 c 

s s 

a B 

c >> 
















Mental deficiency 


Tuberculosis . . . 





Irregular school attendance 

















Two additional disabilities 

Mental deficiency and tuberculosis 
Mental deficiency and sickness .... 

Intemperance and sickness 

Tuberculosis and sickness 

Tuberculosis and irregular school 





Unemployment and sickness .... 
Sickness and irregular school at- 
tendance .... 



Irregular school attendance and 




Three additional disabilities 

Intemperance, sickness, and crip- 






It is observed from the table that sickness, widowhood, deser- 
tion, intemperance, unemployment, and irregular school attend- 
ance combine as important factors in family dependency. Of 
75 families, for instance, in which widowhood was the primary 
disability, 49 suffered the additional disability of sickness, five 



added tuberculosis to widowhood, and 12 added two disabilities 
to that of widowhood. Similarly, of 33 families in which the 
primary disability was desertion, 17 added sickness and five 
others combined sickness and still another disability with deser- 
tion. Of 12 families where unemployment was the chief dis- 
ability, 10 combined sickness with it, and one family added both 
sickness and irregular school attendance. And so on. These 
and the many other combinations of disabilities found among the 
169 families are but another indication of the local need of compre- 
hensive and coordinated family work. 



Having classified the families according to their disabilities, 
a study was made of the treatment provided in each of the differ- 
ent disability groups, in the process of which all of the records 
in each group were carefully read. The result was the formula- 
tion of certain general conclusions with reference to charitable 
work in Springfield,. which became more and more clear-cut and 
certain as the study proceeded.* 

In the first place, the data on record in the local agencies 
responsible for families were very incomplete. 

Second, although recognizing that in many cases disabilities 
and other facts were probably ascertained but not recorded, it 
was evident that investigation of conditions in homes was not 
thoroughly and systematically made. 

Third, inasmuch as comprehensive and intelligent treatment 
depends upon a broad basis of fact, it follows that this kind of 
family treatment was not possible in the insufficient investiga- 
tions made in Springfield. 

And finally, in consequence, what was accomplished in actual 
rehabilitation — that is, toward the restoration of families to inde- 
pendence and normal living — was largely fragmentary. 

The conclusions may be indicated more clearly and specifically 
perhaps by a few illustrations drawn from the many cases studied. 
These cases are believed to be fairly representative for the differ- 
ent disability groups. 


The problems arising in the treatment of widows and their 

famiHes are among the most complicated and require very 

* There were exceptions, in the cases of some agencies, to the generaliza- 
tions here stated. These exceptions are noted in Part Four, where the agencies 
are discussed separately. 



thoughtful attention. Under no circumstances is a widow's 
family normal, unless perhaps at the time when the oldest boy 
reaches man's estate and assumes his father's place. Even then 
he may not have the same influence over his younger brothers 
and sisters that the father had. And of course the abnormality 
is more than merely economic. In a large proportion of cases, 
and especially in the homes of laboring people, the man of the 
family is something more than a money-getter. He is a father, 
a parent. He is also the chief avenue of contact between the 
outside world and the home. The interests of the wife, par- 
ticularly in cases where she has but few opportunities to get 
outside the family circle, are enlarged through him. 

But with the father gone, many new questions need to be faced 
in an effort to restore the family to as full a life as possible. How 
far should the widow confine her life within the home, isolated 
from the world, though she cannot separate herself from the 
neighborhood and its oftentimes narrowing pettiness? How far 
should she work outside, due consideration being given not only 
to economic and health questions involved but also to mental, 
moral, and temperamental ones? Should others have a part in 
the training of the children? How far should boys and girls of 
working age contribute from their earnings to the family's support? 
If it is deemed wise for the mother to work outside the home, the 
kind of work, the hours, and other working conditions must also 
be taken into account. 

Again, the responsibility of persons feeling some connection 
through previous business or work relationship, who are able 
to help regularly, must be considered; and the possibility of 
support from relatives, having in mind on the one hand the 
desirable possibility of thereby encouraging family affection and 
on the other the risk of encouraging selfishness and the breaking 
down of natural ties. An estimate should be made of what the 
family requires for subsistence, including whatever regular allow- 
ance should be made to take the place of wages which might be 
earned by children whom it seems best to keep in school. In 
such cases the allowance should be given only upon condition that 
they attend. These are some of the important complexities to 
be considered in connection with the families of widows. 



The man was a cripple, so he cared 
for the three children at home 

His wife had "sore eyes"bul she was 
earning $4.50 a week in a factory 





An oculist examined the wife's eyes; 

An optician gave her glasses, 
enabling her to do sewing at home, 

A shoemaker taught the man a trade 

A Sunday School class paid the 
mother her factory wages (and iater, the rent) 
so she stayed home with the children-. 

This class also advanced the cost 
of the man's outfit and drummed up 
customers for him 

Modern Chakitv 
It involves personal service as well as material aid 
(Panel from the Exhibit of the Charity Organization Department. Russell Sage Foundation) 
6 71 


A study of the available records of all of the agencies provid- 
ing social service indicated, as already stated, that in Springfield 
the work and the planning for this difficult class of cases were 
inadequate. Only a few records showed a comprehensive and 
discriminating handling. 

Thus, for example, we observed in one instance that a young 
widow of twenty-four, with three children, was given about $50 
in all during the year by the overseer of the poor. We learned 
that the family was referred to the overseer of the poor by the 
Associated Charities without any action on their part, and a 
church society had an application from the same family but had 
not investigated. The six-year-old-child is reported as being 
out of school frequently on account of illness. 

This young woman is charged with unusual responsibilities, 
thrown upon her own resources, without anyone attempting 
to help her plan wisely. The state of her own health, what kind 
of relatives she has, what kind of work she is used to, whether 
she needs more than what amounts to about $1.00 per week in 
relief, whether she is giving sufficient attention to her children, 
what kind of a mother she is, and what part the husband played 
in the care of the children, are not brought out, and no nicely 
adjusted plan is even hinted at. The very fact that she is young 
required that unusual attention be given, because dangers beset 
on every side by reason of the long years which must intervene 
before she may hope to receive help from her children. During 
that time many things may happen to her. Bravely carrying 
too heavy a strain she may slowly undermine her strength and so 
become increasingly unable to look after her brood. Or she may 
begin to neglect her children and by and by they may have to 
be brought to the attention of the school attendance officer or the 
juvenile court. Or the children may be undernourished and so 
grow up without proper stamina. Or she may unwisely spoil 
one of the two boys who happens to be her favorite. Or, still 
being young, she might under the circumstances be led into 
temptation herself. 

Turning now to the case of a somewhat older woman, one 
over thirty-five, we observe that the only single bit of constructive 
treatment was a Funds to Parents allowance of $10 per month 



from the county. Seven children in all were involved ; but two of 
them were of working age — one a boy of seventeen, the other a 
girl of fifteen. The record did not indicate, however, what the 
wages were of these two older children, though that would appear 
to be a necessary basis for estimating what extra income was 
required. Not only should the wages be indicated but also a 
fair estimate made of what the working children should be 
allowed for their own personal use. This depends partly but not 
entirely upon what work they are doing and what kind of personal 
dress is required for the positions they hold. We say "partly," 
for every working child in a family needing relief should be con- 
sidered also from the personal standpoint of what She or he should 
have for his own purely personal uses. An important factor in 
cases where these children break away from the home is a lack 
of consideration of the fact that they are working and other- 
wise associating with others who spend relatively much upon 
themselves. While more sacrifices must be expected of children 
in dependent families, a complete surrender of their wages should 
not be required. There must be an accurate gauging of tempera- 
ment and character in working out this problem. 

Evidently in this case the allowance of $io monthly was 
based largely upon the fact that the mother was not strong and 
so could not entirely support the other five children. But 
whether $io was too much or too little does not appear. A 
careful medical examination should precede a determination of 
how much work might be expected of her, and efforts may need 
to be made to provide just this amount for her. We do know 
that her family lives in the neighborhood; but what their part 
should reasonably be, taking into consideration their own cir- 
cumstances, is not clearly outlined. Possibly they can only help 
in the care of the children while the mother is out of the home. 
Possibly they can supplement a bit with clothes or food, perhaps 
not. Should the thirteen- and eleven-year-old children have some 
of the custodial responsibility for the other children of school 
age while the relatives look after the two under school age in 
case the mother is allowed to do work away from home ? 

Having determined the income to be derived from the two work- 
ing children, the mother, and the relatives, the difference between 



this total and an estimated total of required expenses must be. 
met by relief. If an increase over the monthly grant of $io is 
required, how shall it be raised? Can the grant be increased? 
If not, is there any natural source, such as a church or national 
society, which may be willing to supplement regularly. If not, 
a special fund raised by special appeal may become necessary. 
Then the upbringing of the children, as in the previously men- 
tioned family, must be considered. What part did the father, 
who died but a few months previously, and who was engaged in a 
skilled trade, play in the rearing of his family? What are the 
characteristics of the older children, their weak and strong points? 
Is it a case in which a friendly adviser may be of assistance both 
with regard to the general family economy and with reference to 
the constantly varying problems of a brood of growing children, 
problems which are oftentimes not solved when both father and 
mother are jointly responsible? 

We find in a third family that three of the more important 
social agencies of the city were interested in the family previous 
to the death of the husband, which occurred late in 1913 and was 
due to tuberculosis. The record showed that there were five 
children under fourteen, the mother was thirty-five, and the 
man had been a skilled tradesman. The overseer of the poor had 
given $2.00 a week previous to the death of the father and immedi- 
ately after his death a Funds to Parents allowance of $10 per 
month was made. The mother was said not to be strong and 
therefore not able to work much. The family was not unknown 
to the other social agencies of the city in previous years and had 
not been without recognized problems. 

There appears in no record a worked-out plan of treatment 
beyond the grant of the usual amount. Even with a capable 
woman, the largely increased responsibilities thrown upon her 
required the consultation and advice of someone of experience, 
particularly if there were no capable relatives to consult, as 
seemed to be the case. Furthermore, there was the added 
menace of tuberculosis, which required that an unusual degree of 
oversight and care be exercised to prevent any spread of the 
disease to other members of the family. 

It will be observed that the mother was said not to be strong — ^ 



a very indefinite statement. Tlie oldest child was within two 
years of working age, the others considerably under that age. 
The same questions regarding required income — whether the 
mother should earn any part of it, and if so, what part and what 
problems of child-rearing required attention — were present as in 
the cases already cited. In addition there was plainly presented 
the question as to whether in this case the mother, in her weak- 
ened condition, was able for the time to look after the five chil- 
dren, or whether in any case she should be relieved of the care 
of some of them for a time. The plan would also involve an 
inquiry into how the oldest child was progressing in school, 
what were her capabilities, when she should be able to receive work- 
ing papers, what kind of work should be then found for her. 

The lack of a proper plan in this instance cannot be traced 
to lack of previous knowledge regarding the family on the part of 
several agencies. It is partly due to lack of co-operative working 
together along commonly agreed lines. 

In the fourth illustrative instance the father died in 191 1. 
There were five children under fourteen. The widow was 
slightly over thirty-five years of age. In addition to the five 
children mentioned there was a sixteen-year-old boy. We are 
also told that an older daughter lives with relatives in a neighbor- 
ing state and that another is married and is living in a city about 
150 miles away. It will be remembered that we are dealing only 
with treatment during the year 19 13. There is nothing in the 
records of that year to indicate that then or previously there had 
been any plan agreed upon. In 1913 the family was known to a 
church, to three other religious agencies, to the overseer of the 
poor, and to the Associated Charities. There is an indefinite 
record with reference to relief by agencies other than the Asso- 
ciated Charities. 

As to the latter, relief of less than $10 and medical aid for the 
children was provided. Late in 19 13 the usual Funds to Par- 
ents grant of $10 monthly was made. From the comments 
made in the previous illustrations it is scarcely necessary to 
restate some of the essential considerations in a proper plan for 
this particular family in which all of the agencies interested might 
have played their parts toward definite ends. Instead we have a 



superficial crossing of tracks and no coherent recognition of the 
problems which must be studied. 


Desertion is another of the most difficult disabilities to treat. 
It may not be considered in the same light as widowhood because 
the social influence exerted by each desertion case under treat- 
ment must always be taken into account. The spectacle, for 
instance, of rewarded desertion^that is, of the husband tempo- 
rarily or permanently relieved of his responsibilities, the family in 
about as good shape as before he left, or in fairly good shape soon 
after his departure — may tend toward irresponsibility among 
other men wavering upon the border. 

Desertion is sometimes premeditated, sometimes drifted 
into by men going out to look for work; it is sometimes due to 
intemperance or moral weaknesses, sometimes to temperamental 
infirmities of husband or wife. The inciting causes must be 
discovered and examined, and the plan must be formed upon 
the results of the examination. Sometimes this plan involves 
effecting a reconciliation or the elimination of interfering rela- 
tives. Again, it means a long hard search to find a man in 
another city and to bring him back to face court action. Some- 
times it means arranging for him to pay stated amounts to his 
family weekly, and keeping him away from home. If the deser- 
tion is of long standing, the man having dropped out of sight 
years before, the family minus the father and husband must be 
planned for alone. 

Let us look at a few oases selected to show in general how deser- 
tion has been dealt with in Springfield. But before doing that 
it may be noted that the survey found no fewer than 13 cases 
where the overseer of the poor was giving aid with no other 
information on file than that there was desertion, and with 
no request to the Associated Charities for a thorough investiga- 
tion so that a plan of action might be developed. Whether the 
desertion was temporary or permanent, under no circumstances 
should relief in such cases be given by the overseer of the poor 
without the co-operation of the Associated Charities. 

That society is bound to be in contact with many of the 



families known to the overseer of the poor ; it often has information 
which the latter has not ; it may often secure information through 
sister societies in other cities ; and its corps of volunteer workers 
may often carry out supplementary investigation and treatment 
which it is impossible for the much rushed overseer of the poor 
to undertake. Plans in connection with desertion problems 
deal with particularly delicate situations and are subject to rapid 
changes; therefore, there is need of unusually close co-operation. 
The first of the illustrative records which one may here notice 
shows a family which had transplanted itself from a neighboring 
city. The husband had deserted to Springfield and the wife had 
followed him there with the four children, all under six years of 
age. We are told that the mother was lazy and dirty, would not 
care for the children or home, that the husband was willing to 
provide but had become discouraged. Most of the onus, in 
other words, was placed upon the wife, though it did not appear 
that a careful physical examination was made — a need which 
seemed to be indicated by the possibilities connected with the 
bearing of four children in four years. That might have been the 
reason behind the apparent laziness. The family was referred 
or known to the humane officer and to a religious organization; 
but neither of these two agencies, like the Associated Charities, 
was equipped to make proper investigations in the home city 
of the couple to learn about the personal connections of both hus- 
band and wife ; what sort of bringing up each had had ; what evi- 
dence the relatives on both sides gave as to personal character- 
istics of each of the parents, this being subject, of course, to 
careful comparative consideration and evaluation and sifting; 
whether the home life was at any time better or worse ; all of this 
forming a basis for whatever plans might be made to bring such 
influences into the home, whether the family remained in Spring- 
field or removed elsewhere, as would afford any guarantee against 
a repetition of the difficulties. It was not at all apparent that 
the factors, physical, mental, and temperamental, which have 
produced friction and may do so again in the future, have all 
been discovered, or the underlying causes discovered. It is by 
no means yet determined whether the man is one who should feel 
the coercion of the law even if placed on probation or should be 



dealt with by milder means. The investigating should have been 
done by the Associated Charities which was also called into the 
case and which simply provided clothing. 

It may perhaps be asked what possible lines of treatment 
are indicated by the comparatively meager facts at hand. They 
might have included physical building up of the mother, followed 
by constant personal pressure afterward for her to do her best 
in her home duties, this possibly involving some volunteer 
training in domestic science ; they might also have involved some 
developing of backbone and family responsibility in the man. 

In a second recorded case we have what was lacking in the 
first, co-operation with relatives and through this a return of the 
husband. The mother was forty-five years of age and there were 
two children. The father had been staying with relatives.* 

Of course, the main end to be attained — the actual reuniting of 
the family with no hard feeling engendered on either side — was 
apparently achieved in this case by the Associated Charities, 
and very good work is indicated. Nevertheless it is not entirely 
clear whether advantage was taken of the opportunity to measure 
and evaluate accurately the factors involved, and to consider 
what means for protection against further difficulty — means pos- 
sibly of a psychological character, based upon the temperaments 
and mental make-up of the husband and wife — might be devel- 
oped . Desertion which involves a definite disappearance to escape 
family responsibility oftentimes indicates simple moral flabbiness, 
but desertion requiring reconciliation contains far more subtle 
mental problems. Sometimes the problems are evanescent, 
sometimes they are continuous and are a source of recurrent 

We are informed by the record of another family that the 
Associated Charities secured a friendly visitor and also care dur- 
ing confinement for a wife of about forty, with five children, 
whose husband was separated from her — deserted, it appears 
upon the books of the overseer of the poor. Material relief 
amounting to $24 was given by the overseer of the poor, $5.00 

* It is an interesting fact that among the plajn, simple people known to the 
Associated Charities it is more often the husband than the wife who leaves 
home and returns to the bosom of sympathizing relatives. 



or more by a church, and $i6 by the Associated Charities. 
Manifestly much more work was required. If no clues available 
led to the tracing of the husband, it is certain that the mother 
was liable to break down in an attempt to carry all of the responsi- 
bilities now thrust upon her. There may easily have been a 
question as to whether, for a longer or shorter period, one or 
more of the children should not have received care in an in- 
stitution or have been boarded out. Much depended upon the 
attitude of the mother toward her husband; and it might have 
been wise to have had a complaint sworn out against him to be 
renewed each year so that his return, if he ever did return (and 
deserters turn up most unexpectedly), would have been signal- 
ized by his arrest. The relief was used to carry the mother 
over her most difficult time; but even when restored to health 
it was plainly a very large contract to throw all responsibility 
back upon her, even with a friendly visitor, without having 
worked out, in conference with some of the practical workers in 
the city, a more definite plan as to care of the children, amount 
of work which the mother ought to be expected to do, and when 
she should begin to work at all, what regular relief might be 
required, always conditioned upon the wife having no further 
dealings with the husband. 

The sum and substance of our recorded information regarding 
another family is that the man had deserted ; the wife was thirty 
years old (her first name being given) ; there were two children, 
ages not given; and $15.50 in relief was granted by the overseer 
of the poor. No more absurd contrast between a situation and 
a remedy could be imagined. While it is true that the overseer 
of the poor is strictly a material relief officer, it is possible to 
have co-operation with other agencies, and this matter was not 
even referred to another, though there was an interval between the 
two grants which made up the $15.50. It will be observed that 
this was desertion occurring in a comparatively young family, 
the wife being only thirty years of age and having only two 
children. It was a time to determine pretty accurately whether 
the encouragement of social agencies should be in the direction 
of reuniting the family or of persuading the mother to go on 
alone, having only two children to look after. Of course, this 



could not be determined without an intimate knowledge of what 
the family life had been, the viewpoints and readiness to co- 
operate of relatives on both sides, the temperamental make-up 
of both husband and wife, the industrial record and the industrial 
ability of the man and the woman, the attitude of husband and 
wife toward each other, the true inwardness of the desertion 
which had already occurred, and other factors which could not be 
imagined without knowing a few more facts. The record does 
not show whether in any way the deserting husband could be 
found at the present time. Of course, present inability to find 
him does not relieve the necessity for considering the questions 
previously mentioned ; for deserters are liable to return or to be 
discovered years after the desertion. What is necessary is always 
to have a working plan which includes the policy to be pursued 
if the husband is ever found. 

Mental Deficiency 

Mental deficiency in either father, mother, or child is a most 
baffling difficulty in the struggle to raise the level of family con- 
ditions. If either the father or mother is affected, the possibility 
of a whole family of deficient children coming into being must be 
faced. Again, if it is the father who is mentally deficient, what 
is the effect on his earning capacity? If the mother, what does 
it mean to her homekeeping, her care of the children, particularly 
in the moral training of daughters? If the child, the question of 
suitable custodial care or custodial educational care is immedi- 
ately raised. 

We refer, of course, to all degrees of deficiency, not simply the 
ordinary forms of insanity and feeble-mindedness. Insanity, 
when once determined, pretty generally points to hospital care. 
Feeble-mindedness in adults, under present conditions, does 
not lead toward custodial care in Illinois. Feeble-mindedness in 
the child does, providing the state has room in its institution. 
Both in plainly evident cases of mental deficiencies among 
parents and in border line cases, other than insanity, it must be 
determined whether the f-amily ought to be encouraged to hold 
together or should be broken up, and whether what is done or 
what is not done will help in the right solution of this question. 



In the case of a child not eligible for various reasons for admission 
either to the insane hospital or to a feeble-minded institution, 
treatment in the home presents a tremendously difficult problem. 

A reading of the Springfield cases made it quite evident that 
there were no data upon which to form an opinion as to the 
amount of mental deficiency present in the families under study. 
Only first-rate family rehabilitation work of a kind not yet known 
in Springfield, with the keeping of first-rate records, would bring 
out this handicap and in any appreciable way show its propor- 
tionate seriousness in complicating family problems.* While 
some other disabilities will show up even in very undeveloped 
stages of family work, though not in true proportions, as a rule 
only continuous intensive work will uncover the unseen, often 
unsuspected, but seriously handicapping mental weaknesses. 

The Springfield record for 1913 is for the most part one of in- 
adequacy. Thus, for example, in one family containing a hus- 
band, wife, and five children, we are informed by the case 
record that the wife is mentally deficient. It is evident that she 
is not considered to be insane, but over and beyond that, fact 
we have no really accurate data to deal with this very difficult 
problem. Of course, the most painstaking sort of examination by 
one of Springfield's mental experts should have been arranged for 
with an idea of determining approximately whether the weight of 
influence should be put against the family remaining together, or 
whether the mother was only capable of looking after the younger 
children, or in what ways she was improvable through suggestion 
and education; what elements of strength would have to be 
brought in from the outside, either through relatives or volun- 
teers; what instructions must be given the husband; how far 
the teachers of the older children should participate in specially 
supplementing the home training and in observing growing weak 
or strong tendencies in their charges ; how often the group inter- 
ested in the family should check up with the mental expert as to 

* It was both interesting and significant that the new general secretary of 
the Associated Charities who took up her duties at the time of the field work 
of the survey quickly and continuously found herself troubled with these 
mental complications in families which have long been known to the Associated 
Charities, and which complications had never been considered in connection 
with other disabilities. 


whether the progress of the family was upward or downward; 
in what way the birth of another child might affect the plan, and 
so on. As a necessary part of all this, all the children would 
have to be examined to note just their mental make-up. It will 
not do in such instances to rely upon the observations of lay 
people as to the apparent normal condition of children. Wher- 
ever there is any mental deficiency in a parent it is essential to 
know pretty thoroughly each child's make-up. 

A fourteen-year-old girl, we learn, in connection with another 
family, is mentally defective and was in a private institution for 
wayward girls for one year. Upon her return she fell in with 
bad company and finally was voluntarily committed to a state 
reformatory. Only one agency, the juvenile court, came in 
touch with this family. It is not entirely clear from the record 
that a careful diagnosis of the girl's condition was made and 
whether either institution was exactly the right one for her. 
Everything being dependent upon a far more accurate diagnosis 
of her actual mental condition, it is idle to consider possible 
ways and means of treatment. Considering the institutional 
facilities of the state, it is possible that there was no other place 
where she could be sent. At the same time it should have been 
determined in this as in all other cases just what kind of mental 
deficiency is indicated. If the girl was a moron, nothing less than 
custodial care in an institution would meet the situation. But 
there are certain degrees of mental deficiency which may connote 
treatment in the home. There is very little in the Springfield 
record upon which to individualize treatment. 

In still another case, the fifteen-year-old daughter of an insane 
mother was placed in charge of the probation officer and in 1914 
sent to the state reformatory in connection with apparent im- 
morality. It was extremely necessary that, even before being 
placed in charge of the officer, a very accurate diagnosis of the 
girl's condition should have been made. The experiment of 
probation might have been shown to be a very dangerous one, 
considering the girl's mental make-up, or if she was essentially 
sane, the diagnosis would have indicated what special safeguards 
should be thrown about her. The probation plan was a failure. 
It might have been so anyway, but it is a pretty safe rule in the 



case of delinquent children, especially in the case of girls who are 
inclined to sex waywardness, to be informed as soon as possible 
very accurately as to their mental condition. 

If one thing more than anything else characterizes the present 
work of progressive associated charities and other similar organiza- 
tions, it is increasing attention to mental deficiencies of all kinds, 
their proper treatment through careful planning along psycho- 
logical and psychiatric lines, in cases where hospital or custodial 
care is not necessary. Unfortunately it cannot be said that 
Springfield has gone very far in developing this kind of service, 
since the first essential — carefully recorded mental diagnoses — 
is not a regular part of the local charity work. 


Intemperance is not by any means incurable, but its treatment 
requires thoughtful effort and resourceful planning. It must be 
fought with different weapons for different men (and sometimes 
women) with different make-ups. Treatment which merely 
helps the family along and decries the vice should not be en- 
couraged. The habit itself must be attacked along lines which 
look the most hopeful of results. If in a given case it cannot 
be lessened, there may come a time when the breaking up of the 
family will need to be considered and undertaken. Let us notice 
a few cases showing the handling of intemperance in Springfield. 

Constructive work to some degree is shown in one local in- 
stance wherein, through the efforts of the Associated Charities, the 
wages of an intemperate man, who was a skilled artisan and did 
not lose employment on account of his infirmity, were consigned 
to his wife. During the year a little over $ioo was received from 
the overseer of the poor, as well as about $20 from the Associated 
Charities. These expenditures were justified on the ground 
that the wife was suffering from tuberculosis; So far as it went 
this treatment was good, but of course it was limited. While 
temporarily at least the economic effects of the drinking, so far 
as the wife was concerned, were apparently reduced to a minimum, 
there was no reason to expect that there would not be complica- 
tions with the money coming to her directly. There is still the 
personal influence which the husband may exert to divert money 



his way by the use of persuasion. The worry and mental em- 
barrassment would still be present. There were four children 
under fourteen in the family. The question needed careful con- 
sideration as to whether the health of the wife, just at this time, 
combined with the partial irresponsibility of the husband, would 
make it desirable for her to be relieved, for a time, of the care of 
them all. Then too some plan should have been attempted with 
reference to the intemperance itself. This might have involved 
the interest of the church or of a man volunteer visitor to develop 
purely friendly relations with the husband, to be followed by 
definitely friendly and interested pressure and watchfulness in 
stiffening up his power of resistance. This would have involved 
considerable knowledge of habits and of propensities, and an 
attempt to divert the man's energies into the direction of other 
forms of recreation or of a renewed interest in the pleasures of his 

A summary of the record of another family known to the Asso- 
ciated Charities and consisting of a husband less than forty 
years of age, a wife a few years younger, and three children, 
would indicate that it was considered that no family need 
existed because the man was a chronic inebriate. Of course every 
sort of need existed. When the last definite plan of hopefulness 
with reference to the man had failed it would then be a case of 
considering whether the welfare of the children, moral and other- 
wise, was being seriously jeopardized, and whether an attempt 
should be made to bring them into the juvenile court. 

Again, a motherless girl of eleven was released on probation 
to her father on condition that he stop drinking and remove to a 
suitable abiding place for himself and his child. He had been 
living in some very bad basements. The family was followed for 
three months only after this action. At the end of that time the 
living conditions were not changed and no later visits were made 
or any other action taken. This family was known only to the 
juvenile court, and it is unfortunate that the co-operation of 
other agencies was not secured in working with the court. The 
problem was more acute because there was no mother to serve 
as a buffer and the girl was reaching a dangerous age. There are 
many cases where the appeal to the moral side alone is not suffi- 



cient. Such an appeal is involved in all simple pledges or 
promises or agreements in which the entire responsibility for 
the necessary transformation in conduct is left with the offender. 
As long as the child was allowed to remain with her father, noth- 
ing short of a pretty careful oversight by a volunteer involving 
definite disciplinary treatment, and if necessary treatment of the 
strong arm or some other sort should have been arranged. 

We are unable to find any constructive treatment provided 
in another family where the mother was ill, the husband being 
reported as intemperate and apparently not properly providing 
for his family. The mother was sent to the hospital, a tempo- 
rary home was found for the three children, but so far as the man 
was concerned we find no record of any attempt at correction 
either by coercive, persuasive, or physical treatment. The situa- 
tion apparently would at least warrant the beginning of non- 
support proceedings, which would force the father to contribute 
toward the support of his children wherever placed. 

In a community where effective family rehabilitation work has 
not been developed, coercive methods, such as court proceedings, 
offer the greatest hope of results. The application of more care- 
ful study, and of mental treatment, to an intemperate person 
comes only when investigation and treatment itself have reached 
a good degree of excellence. It should be stated, also, that in 
Illinois there are no satisfactory corrective institutions for the 
care of inebriates, which much complicates the possibilities of 
successful treatment in difficult cases. 

Tuberculosis has often been called a family disease. By that 
is meant that much strength of character in the patient himself 
is required to successfully combat its progress ; that the disease 
is so insidious in its method of infecting its victims, so seemingly 
harmless in its earliest stages, so often prolonged even where the 
outcome is fatal, so vitally affected by all psychical as well as 
physical conditions, as to make impossible its treatment in the 
family group apart from the other problems of the family. Only 
in the isolation of a sanitarium does the problem become a pre- 
ponderatingly individual one. 



It is fortunate that between the two largest social agencies 
in Springfield dealing with families in their homes, which have per- 
manent offices and paid staffs, namely, the Associated Charities 
and the Tuberculosis Association, cordial and close relations have 
always existed. There has been a pretty clear understanding of 
the division of work between the two. This was in substance that 
the Tuberculosis Association would look after the home hygiene 
and nursing side as well as the sending of patients to sanitaria, 
and, in some cases, through its special fund, pay for the care 
of the indigent ones in the Open Air Colony, while the Associated 
Charities would take hold of the family problems, including the 
one of supplemental relief, with those families whose resources 
were not sufficient to justify their being left to work out their 
own destiny, with the educational advice of the Tuberculosis 
Association. We use the word "resources" in a large sense, by 
no means limiting it to financial resources. We mean to include 
mental and moral resources found not only in the family but its 
relatives and other connections. The Tuberculosis Association 
is occupied mainly with educational work in people's homes, and 
of course deals with many families which need this service only, 
but the proportion of families dealt with needing other services 
also is large. 

The presence of tuberculosis in a family, instead of being an 
isolated problem, is one which affects and is affected by every 
other — by habits of life, by moral stamina, by mental equip- 
ment. For instance, a particularly good and affectionate family 
group may unconsciously and perniciously aid the foe by kissing, 
and by humoring the wrong notions which a patient may evolve. 
It is peculiarly difficult, therefore, to comment upon the thorough- 
ness of the planning in connection with records as incomplete 
as those found in Springfield. Take the matter of mere tech- 
nique to prevent infection. Only those who have intimately 
dealt with tuberculosis can realize the numerous pitfalls which are 
presented by a family's habits and lack of reasoning powers. 
We do not refer to pure obstinate carelessness, but to the many 
instances in which families trying to do the right thing fail. The 
cases of simple obstinacy and brutal neglect of precautions will 
be indicated in such records as Springfield furnished, but not 



the many other points involving more technical social service. 
Then, top, the obvious problem of the husband's intemperance 
may be pictured, but not the pessimism of the good husband 
and the indifference of children which may be unfavorably affect- 
ing the recovery of the mother of a family and may be increas- 
ing the dangers of infection. We are beginning to realize that 
the psychical aspects of tuberculosis are as important as the 
physical, as indeed they are in all diseases, only more so in 
tuberculosis. For these reasons we do not think it profitable 
to discuss any records under this heading in an extended way, 
but dimply to comment upon a few with reference to- the apparent 
adequacy of the financial plans and the adequacy of co-operation, 
particularly that existing between the two agencies previously 
mentioned, upon whom must fall the larger part of the burden 
of home care of tuberculosis. 

We find in one family that tuberculosis had attacked the 
father, the mother, two breadwinning children, and two younger 
children in a family group of lo. Home treatment was apparently 
sufficient in the case of the father and the oldest son, and ap- 
, parently they did some work at least. But the young girl of 
working age had to be sent to a sanitarium, and during her 
absence the Associated Charities raised a fund of $iio, largely 
drawn from three co-operating churches, to replace the lost 
earnings and so to prevent the family from becoming too stinted 
in income. There were both co-operation and financial planning 
apparent here. 

We are not sure but that a reference should have been made 
to the Associated Charities in the case of another family, where 
the husband and father was suffering from moderately advanced 
tuberculosis. His wife was middle aged. There were three 
girls of working age, one earning $3.00 weekly, another a small 
amount not indicated, possibly $5.00 weekly; the third, a girl 
of fifteen, not working; and two younger children. A mar- 
ried daughter living in a nearby city is reported to have the 
disease in an advanced stage. This would seem to be a case in 
which some economic problems would have to be worked out, 
especially in view of the fact that two members of the family, 
though one was now away from it, had fallen victims of the dis- 
7 87 


ease. The occupation of the man indicated that when well his 
earnings ran between $50 and $60 monthly — at best never in 
receipt of a large income. A determination of proper income and 
how it should be raised, including the question of the working of 
the fifteen-year-old girl, was evidently required. As a matter of 
fact, we learned that a church did give $7.43; another church 
society was interested but no plan was apparent. 

One of the most interesting families was known only to the 
Tuberculosis Association. It consisted of a middle-aged couple 
with nine children. The father was earning $12 weekly. A boy 
had tuberculosis. Three children of working age were in school. 
Considering the wage of the father and the necessary additional 
expense involved in the proper care of the patient, it is evident, 
we believe, that some economic readjustment was necessary; 
possibly the deferring of further schooling for the time being 
on the part of one child who would seek employment, or arrang- 
ing for other source of additional income. 

There was very good co-operation in another case where a 
young girl under treatment by the Tuberculosis Association was 
living with a father who, though able, was failing to properly , 
care for her. The Associated Charities provided a tent and 
other appurtenances and secured the assistance of relatives who 
took charge of the girl. 

Our general conclusions from an examination of the records 
was that the co-operation between the two agencies previously 
mentioned was one of the most encouraging things about the 
Springfield situation, and that upon it may be developed a far 
more efficient and comprehensive working together. 

In all, 84 families were treated by the Tuberculosis Association 
and of these, non-medical agencies were interested in 23. 

Sickness Other Than Tuberculosis 
It has been seen that a very large proportion of the families 
recorded in 1913 as disabled were in that condition on account of 
sickness other than tuberculosis — approximately two-thirds from 
these other causes. And if we add the families in which blind- 
ness or crippled condition played a part, the proportion is further 
increased. Part of these were cared for outside of their homes, 


and the character and needs of that kind of work have already 
been discussed. As for the remaining considerable number 
of families disabled by sickness, but which could not be treated 
outside their homes, the records tell practically the same story 
of inadequate attention as that already indicated and illustrated 
in connection with other disabilities. In some cases, showing a 
more obvious need of medical care, the home care was provided, 
and resulted in the recovery of the ill member and in a conse- 
quent improvement of home conditions; but in general it must 
be said that investigation of the facts of the cases, their record- 
ing, and any adequate planning and treatment were absent. 

Moreover, it should be pointed out that some of the sickness 
in these families is of a type recognized as largely or wholly pre- 
ventable. It should be reduced not only as a health measure, 
but as a charitable endeavor. Important as is the work to re- 
construct and rehabilitate families already disabled by sickness, it 
is still more important that the activities of the community 
along public health and sanitation lines be so improved as to 
reduce the amount of sickness to a minimum.* 

Irregular School Attendance 
Irregular school attendance is within our definition of dis- 
abilities in that it signifies subnormal conditions in the families. 
Aside from its importance as affecting the educational oppor- 
tunities of the children concerned, it often involves problems of 
child labor, illness in the home, family dependency, and other 
handicaps. It is not to be regarded as merely a police problem 
of locating truants and returning them to school : but rather as a 
problem requiring careful thought and planning, as in the cases 
already discussed — planning aimed at restoring the family to 
normal conditions. 

The importance of irregular school attendance as a com- 
munity problem was so Httle recognized at the time of our in- 
vestigations in Springfield and was so inadequately revealed by 
the data available as to deserve special emphasis here.f 

* For a presentation of the local public health situation and a health pro- 
gram to meet present needs, see Schneider, op. cit. 

t Since the survey field work, some improvement has been made in the ac- 
tivities aimed against truancy, but the situation has not been greatly changed. 



Previous to 19 14 no records of value were kept by the tru- 
ancy officer ; at least no such records were on file in the office of 
the board of education. Beginning the first of the school year 
1913-1914, an index was maintained which up to the time of the 
death of the incumbent, early in 1914, contained a reference to 
children in 65 families — sometimes to more than one child in a 
family. Of these 65 families, 40 were not known to other agencies. 
In addition to the remaining 25 families which were known to 
one or more social agencies, only three cases of truancy were 
noted in the records of these agencies; that is, out of a total of 
1,724 Springfield families known to agencies other than the tru- 
ancy officer, only 28 appear to involve irregular school attendance. 

This is almost certainly an indication of insufficient scrutiny 
and recording of the important elements in cases needing assist- 
ance rather than an indication of an unusually small amount 
of absences and irregular attendance. This conclusion was borne 
out by a special investigation made of six families chosen with 
no reference whatever to this particular disability. The families 
made a surprisingly large showing of child labor and school attend- 
ance problems.* 

Obviously, irregular school attendance will affect the quality 
of the school work done by these children. In order to get some 
indication of results of this kind, a study of the school progress 
of children in a number of families receiving aid was made. 
The test could not be applied to our total of 1,764 families with- 
out asking too much time of teachers and others. It was de- 
cided, therefore, to take all of the families known actively to the 
Associated Charities and whose children were attending public 
(not parochial) schools between February i, 1914, and April 15, 
1914 — the ten weeks next preceding the field work of the survey, 
and in the middle of the school year. There were 49 such families. 

Through the co-operation of the teachers and principals a re- 
port was obtained for all the children of school age in these 
families. It was found that in 38 out of the 49 families there 
were one or more children "over-age " ; that is, two or more years 

* For a discussion of child labor in Springfield see companion report, Oden- 
crantz, Louise C, and Potter, Zenas L.: Industrial Conditions in Springfield, 
Illinois. (The Springfield Survey.) 



older than the ordinary age of their respective classes. In only 
II families were there no over-age children. 

Again, 109 school children were found in these families. Of 
these 55, or about 50 per cent, were over-age, while 24 were three 
years or more over-age. In the study of all school children made 
in the public schools section of the Springfield Survey the per 
cent of over-age children in the elementary school population was 
found to be 24.* Thus in this little group of families we find the 
per cent of over-age children more than double that in the entire 
city. It should not, of course, be hastily assumed that the total 
of families requiring one form or another of social seryice would 
show the same high percentage. In families known exclusively 
to the medical agencies, for instance, there would in all prob- 
ability be a smaller proportion of over-age children than among 
those known to the Associated Charities. Nevertheless the 
families coming to the Associated Charities represent no par- 
ticular type of people, but all types; and with due allowance 
made for the fact that some of the backward condition of chil- 
dren may be due to inferior home environment or mental de- 
velopment, the unwholesome effects of irregular school attend- 
ance are still seen in the very high proportion of backward 
children in the group studied. 

An inquiry into the attention given in these cases showed it to 
be inadequate to reduce these unwholesome effects to a reason- 
able minimum. 

Up to the middle of April of the school year beginning Sep- 
tember, 1913, the 109 children were absent an aggregate ot 
2,064 days, an average of 19 days each. The reasons given for 
absences in 94 instances were ascertained, and are classified in 
Table 6 on page 92. 

The absences on the ground of illness, the reason given in the 
largest number of cases, were not always backed up with proper 
certification. t Illness, uncertified, may of course cover a multi- 
tude of other things; it may become a sort of omnibus excuse. 

* Ayres, Leonard P. : The Public Schools of Springfield, Illinois, p. 50. 
(The Springfield Survey.) 

t For further discussion of proper certification for absences, see section on 
reorganization of the school attendance bureau, p. 146 of this volume. 




Reason given for absence 

Illness of child 

Illness at home 

Needed at home 

Lack of shoes or clothing 



Mental deficiency 


Left city 

Sells papers 


No apparent reason 







But there were other special data obtained from the school 
records, not included in the above table, which show something 
of the laxness prevailing with respect to compelling a better use 
of the golden school days of youth, laxness which can be done 
away with only by better understanding and co-operation between 
the schools and social agencies. Among these were the special 
explanations of absences. A few examples follow: 

Stopped school to work. Age 13. 

Absent to work (18 half days) . Age 1 3 . 

One leg gone. 

Absence due to distance from school. 

Truant and re-entered in March. 

Entered September 22d, left October 31st. Working. Age 13. 

Enrolled for 10 days only. 

Absent 48 days, lives long distance from school. 

Absent 55 days, lives long distance from school. 

Goes to dispensary. Age 10. 

A social worker in the city reported frequently finding children 
at home from school in the families she visited. In one instance 
several children in one family had not been entered in school 
again since the family had moved from one school district to 



another a month or two before, although the fact had been 
reported to the principal twice. In another instance this social 
worker reported to a principal that a child was out of school; 
and the principal said the father was ill and the child was needed 
at home. The worker explained, however, that the father was 
not confined to his home and that the child was not needed. 

In another case a principal considered it a valid excuse for a 
boy to stay out occasionally to peddle. 

Again, during the course of a special medical investigation 
in one school, it was discovered that one child had been out of 
school for a whole year taking care of a baby. 

Still again, our investigator on one occasion saw a number 
of children of school age playing in the streets during school 
hours. The principal of the public school nearby said they must 
belong to a parochial school which was having a holiday. But the 
parochial school was visited and it was discovered that school was 
in session. 

The laxness was not all on the side of the schools; the social 
agencies had not fully measured up to their responsibilities in 
dealing with this important problem. For instance, there 
has not always been insistence by the agencies upon the return 
of children to school, and unnecessary absences have sometimes 
been condoned. On the other hand, in the light of some of the 
illustrations given,' it is only fair to question whether the social 
organizations have not sometimes been handicapped by the atti- 
tude of the school officials themselves. 

One of the great needs, to reiterate, is a tonic strengthening up 
of the co-operation between school and social agencies in the 
oversight of children in families struggling with problems of 
subnormal living. Recommendations for improving the work 
directed against irregular school attendance are presented in 
Part Four, dealing with the social agencies of the city. 

Non-support of Family 
Desertion of family always involves non-support of the family, 
but non-support does not by any means always involve deser- 
tion. A man may be living with his family, for example, and 
still fail to support it. To see just how effectually non-supporters 



who could be gotten hold of were being dealt with by court action 
in Springfield, an examination was made of the non-support 
proceedings (called abandonment proceedings) in the county 
court. It was found that in 1913, 28 cases of abandonment 
were brought by the state's attorney, upon complaint of the 
wives in practically every case. 

The status of these cases at the time of the survey was shown 
by the court records as follows: 



Status of case as shown by court record 


Pending result of divorce suit 

Pending, defendant deserted 


Defendant ordered to make weekly payments to family '■ 

Defendant dead 

Stricken from calendar 

Cases of non- 





Total . 


^The amounts were $1.50, I3.00, $3.00, $4.00. 

This is not exactly a good record. Judging from this and the 
facts in our registration of families, very little progress was being 
made in the solution of the non-support problem. We have 
indicated several instances in the fragments of family histories 
given, wherein the husbands and fathers were not living up to 
their responsibilities. Our records could offer many more if 
necessary, and in still other instances non-support is concealed 
in records which are too meager for us definitely to attempt any 
classification. That non-support was one of the serious un- 
checked evils in the social field in Springfield was quite clear. 

It is observed from the table that court orders had been issued 
in only four instances. We may presume that paroling may be 
effective in the one instance where it was tried. In three of the 
"pending" cases the husband had actually deserted. It is 
likely that some of the other pending cases have this complica- 



tion also. In eight instances the cases have been settled outside 
of court — stricken from the calendar. Adding say four of the 
pending, we have 12 cases where the wife had probably yielded 
to the eloquence of husband, relatives, or others. Now if this 
had meant the actual improvement of home conditions, there 
would be no need of further consideration. But we know, from 
a general knowledge of the Springfield situation, that such dispo- 
sition did not mean this in all cases. Later in our special investi- 
gation of a number of families one of the above families was 
visited, and the very bad conditions found tended to bear out 
this conclusion. 

The failure to bring more such cases to court, and the failure to 
pursue to the end more of the cases brought, was due to the fact 
that there was no organization in Springfield which made this its 
business, both by giving these cases careful attention and by 
giving moral backing to the wife for carrying the proceedings 
through. The state attorney's office informed us that no case in 
1913 could be recalled in which anyone excepting the wife came 
in and asked to have the papers made out. Thus the wife is 
often in a position of complete isolation, with no one urging her 
to remember her duties towards her children as well as towards 
her husband.* 

Income and Cost of Living 
In any consideration of dependency it is necessary to cover 
questions of income and outgo, both with reference to all families 
given assistance and with reference to those families in which 
continued material relief is necessary. This is true in general 
because of the vital connection between wages on the one hand 
and family well-being, physical and otherwise, on the other; 
and it is true of families receiving relief, in particular, because 
the determination of the right amount of supplementary relief 
depends upon an accurate summing up of income and outgo, 
and an estimate of what the family actually requires. Those 
determinations are involved in the principle of "adequate relief." 

* In the period between field work and publication of the survey findings 
some improvement has been made in bringing legal influence to bear upon non- 
supporting husbands and fathers. 



The attempt to set a figure on the cost of Uving immediately 
raises the- question whether a minimum standard of Hving can 
or should be determined upon. While at one time social workers 
were inclined to regard such minimum standards as arithmetical 
positives which must be ascertained and rigidly adhered to, it is 
now affirmed by a growing group that at best they can be only 
approximate variables. There can be no absolute standards; 
such standards as we may succeed in working out must be used 
as principles, not as measuring sticks. To take a parallel 
example, we know in the consideration of a family in which there 
is tuberculosis that we should make every effort to prevent the 
spread of the infection. That is a principle ; but in its applica- 
tion there are endless variations and complications, depending 
upon the peculiar family conditions in each case. So here it is 
impossible for one to say, "Every family must have exactly so 
much income," or "Every family must have exactly so much 
supplementary relief." What can be said is that "Here are 
some gathered data which give us certain standards as to normal 
needs and costs, and which we may use as guide posts." We can 
easily determine, for instance, that an income of $3.00 per week 
against needs standardized at $6.75 for a certain sized family is 
insufficient. We cannot say that an income of exactly $6.75 
will meet the situation and is the least amount which will ; but 
if it falls very far short of that we can say that it is too small. 


Now the records of family rehabilitation work in Springfield 
throw far too little light upon the cost of living. The only old 
records in which much attempt had been made to record sys- 
tematically occupation, wages, and rent, were the records of 
tuberculous patients in the tuberculosis dispensary.* On only 
one of these items — rent — were there sufficient data available to 
make tabulation worth while. 

In 83 out of the total of 1,764 records of families, rent was dis- 
tinctly recorded. The grand total of monthly rent in these 

* Since the field work of the survey the Associated Charities has been making 
careful note in its records of occupations, duration of employment, and wages 
of families with which it has been dealing. 



83 cases was $664, the number of persons involved was 399, 
giving an average of $1.66 per person per month. 

In 53 out of the 83 instances the number of rooms occupied 
was recorded, the total number being 167. The total rent 
charged for these 167 rooms was $392.50, so that the average 
rent was $2.35 per room per month. The highest rent recorded 
was $12 for two rooms, and the lowest, $5.00 for two rooms. 

In 10 of the 53 cases there were two rooms; in 25, three rooms; 
in the other 18, four rooms. For 53 families embracing 245 per- 
sons, there were 167 rooms, or an average of 1.47 persons per 

The average rent per family, irrespective of numbers, was 
roughly $8.00. In only 12 instances was the rent less than $6.00; 
in 22, it was between $6.00 and $8.00; in 49, or 60 per cent, it 
was $8.00 or over. Rent per family has almost as much signifi- 
cance as rent per room, because houses are rented in Springfield 
• — -not tenements. According to the United States Census of 
1910 there were in Springfield 11,905 families living in 11,214 
houses.* In other words, there were practically as many dwell- 
ings as there were families, while in all Illinois cities of 25,000 or 
over the proportion was i ,698 families to each i ,000 dwellings. 

On the basis of these facts it would seem fair to assume a 
minimum expenditure of $8.00 for rent for the normal family of 
from three to six persons requiring three or four rooms. The 
small number of cases used in arriving at this estimate should, 
however, be kept in mind. 

Food Costs 
An attempt was made to ascertain whether any of the social 
workers in the city, in connection with local relief work, had any 
rough and ready approximations of food costs. No evidence that 
such approximations were in use could be found. As a matter of 
fact, systematic continuous relief had seldom been given in the 
work with families in Springfield. Even in cases of continuous 
relief, like the Funds to Parents allowance, for instance, the 
amounts seemed to be given upon some rule of thumb basis 

* United States Census for 19 10. 


rather than on a basis of ascertained need, $8.00 or $10 being 
given to families of many sizes with widely varying incomes. 

It was not possible in the Charities Survey to go into a search- 
ing investigation of cost of living ; but it djd seem advisable and 
necessary, in connection with subsequent work with families in 
the city, to gain at least an approximate idea of the cost of food. 

A suggestive set of menus for meals for a family of six, based on 
an average daily cost of 95 cents and planned for periods of two 
weeks, has been worked out by Miss Winifred S. Gibbs, dietitian 
and teacher of cooking of the New York Association for Improv- 
ing the Condition of the Poor.* "When you use the first set of 
bills of fare," writes Miss Gibbs, "remember they show you 
only the very smallest amount you can give the family to keep 
them well." These menus were submitted to Miss Cleo Jennings, 
manager of the local Young Women's Christian Association 
cafeteria, for comparison with Springfield prices of the present 
day. Miss Jennings was peculiarly qualified to make these 
comparisons because she not only bought in bulk for the cafe- 
teria, but sold, at current retail prices, materials required for the 
use of the cooking classes of the Young Women's Christian 

A detailed statement was made by Miss Jennings of the price 
in Springfield of each item listed by Miss Gibbs in her menu 
for one week. The following table gives for each day of the 
week the amount by which the total cost in Springfield of the 
materials itemized for that day exceeded or was less than their 
total cost in New York in 1909, the date of Miss Gibbs' study. f 

The items of food used in making these comparisons included 
milk, cornmeal, sugar, rice, beef heart, prunes, coffee, tea, cocoa 
shells, butter, bread, potatoes, tripe, molasses, oatmeal, apples, 
and a few others. It is seen from the table that the net cost of 
the week's supplies was lower in Springfield by approximately 8 
cents. Now at 95 cents a day the weekly food cost was $6.65. 
Of this amount 8 cents is only about i per cent. Thus the figure 

* Lessons on the Proper Feeding of the Family, pp. 8 £F. New York Associa- 
tion for Improving the Condition of the Poor, 1909. 

t For comparison between Springfield and New York of the costs of various 
items of food used, see Appendix E, p. 173. 



$6.65 may be considered to approximate the minimum weekly 
allowance for food for a normal family of six. But as stated 
before, this is to serve only as a guide, not as a measure. 



Day of week 

Springfield prices as com- 
pared with New York 

First day . . . . 
Second day . . 
Third day . . . 
Fourth day . . 
Fifth day . . . 
Sixth day. . . 
Seventh day . 

Total . 

Springfield prices for the week less than New York prices by 8 cents. 

No attempt was made to estimate the other items in cost 
of living, because an endeavor to reach even a distant approxi- 
mation within our time limits seemed impracticable. 

We now have at least some rough conception of what food and 
rent costs mean to families with small incomes. In addition the 
cost of clothing must be met, to say nothing of other expenses 
involved in any approximation of normal living. On the basis 
of this we at least know that we cannot expect a widow to sup- 
port herself and three children on I3.00 or $4.00 a week. And 
we know also that in work aimed at rehabilitation, at really 
setting people on their feet and restoring normal home conditions, 
the economic factors may not be disregarded. 

We may go further. As in the case of families disabled 
through sickness, so with families disabled because of inade- 
quate wages, unemployment, intermittent employment, or other 
unfavorable economic conditions; work aimed at removing or 
changing or preventing such conditions is of first importance.* 

* For discussion of wages and home conditions see Odencrantz and Potter, 
op. cit. 



And in all of these connections the social agencies need to establish 
at least some general principles for determining family income 
needs — principles founded on more thoroughgoing study of the 
facts of local costs of living than was here possible. The figures 
presented, as already stated, are intended merely as makeshifts 
and illustration for the rehabilitation work until this further 
inquiry can be made. 


To sum up the main features of the situation in Springfield with 
reference to family disabilities and treatment: 

It was found that over 1,750 families were not able to function 
normally and received some kind of social service from social 
agencies in 1913, the year studied. Although modern methods of 
co-operation in social work would presuppose that a very large 
proportion of these had become known to at least two organiza- 
tions in the city, the number known to only one agency was 
1,467, or over 80 per cent of all. The usual center for coordin- 
ating work for families, the Associated Charities, knew only a 
few more than 200 families out of the total of 1,764, and some 
of them were known only to it. 

The records of the organizations showed the factors in family 
conditions which signified subnormal conditions to be widow- 
hood, tuberculosis, sickness other than tuberculosis, desertion, 
mental deficiency, intemperance, unemployment, irregular school 
attendance, crippled conditions, blindness, and non-support. 
In much the largest proportion of families only one disability was 
recorded per family, which in view of other local facts and of ex- 
perience elsewhere in family work, immediately raised a ques- 
tion as to whether attention was being given to all needs of the 
families under care. 

In the case of 169 families recorded as having two or more 
disabilities per family, sickness, widowhood, desertion, intemper- 
ance, unemployment, and irregular school attendance were seen 
to combine as important factors in family dependency. 

Having classified the families according to the recorded factors 
contributing to their subnormal condition, the records in each 
group were carefully studied. This study, together with facts 



such as the foregoing, led to the formulation of certain general 
conclusions regarding the charitable work of Springfield. There 
were some exceptions to the conclusions, of course, but in the 
main they held true. 

First, the data recorded by the local agencies responsible for 
family care were very incomplete. 

Second, although recognizing that in many cases disabilities 
and other facts were probably ascertained but not recorded, it 
was evident that investigation of conditions in homes was not 
thoroughly and systematically made. 

Third, inasmuch as comprehensive and intelligent treatment 
depends upon a broad basis of fact, it follows that this kind of 
family treatment was not possible with the insufficient investiga- 
tions and record keeping found in Springfield. 

Fourth, in consequence, what was accomplished in actual 
rehabilitation, that is, toward the restoration of families to inde- 
pendence and normal living, was largely fragmentary. 




The Associated Charities 

Ordinarily the work of the Associated Charities covers a very 
broad field. It is aimed to help those who are dependent or 
otherwise in abnormal conditions. In order to get some idea of 
the type of calls for service which come to this organization, a 
quick review was made of the problems which came up for treat- 
ment in some twenty days just preceding the survey. The 
period was not midwinter, when family problems are likely to be 
most acute, but in the late spring. The number of cases involv- 
ing either new problems or new phases of old problems which 
demanded attention exceeded 50 (in the winter months of 1915 
the number exceeded 200) , and represented a great variety of 

needs. Here, for example, was Mrs. W , who came to the 

organization asking for help. She had one child of twelve, and 
had separated from her husband. His whereabouts was not 
known. The woman showed signs of tuberculosis, but was un- 
willing to be examined. She was proud and loth to receive aid, 
but her day's work did not bring in enough to meet her needs. 
The Associated Charities was asked to help. 

In another case the husband was shiftless and seldom worked. 
The wife supported the family by washing, and the children were 
out of school for lack of clothing. A boy of twelve had been 
taken out of school to work, the work certificate being secured 
by false swearing as to his age. The family asked for assistance 
and the Associated Charities was called upon to decide what kind 
of assistance would be best, and then try to provide it. 

Again, the aid of the Associated Charities was asked for a 
mother and her illegitimate child. The woman was keeping 
house with her sister. The father of the child was sending her 
some money, and she stated that he had been in town twice not 



long before. She refused to tell where he was staying or for 
whom he was working. Her mother, living in a nearby town, 
had been visited for help, with no helpful result. The woman 
was in need of assistance. 

Still again, in another family, the father was ill and the mother 
mentally deficient. There were four children, one over fifteen 
who was not working, and one of twelve; another who was a 
cripple; one daughter was married. The home was dirty and 
insanitary, and the family needed attention. 

Thus, through the 50 cases, the problems involved in putting 
the families on their feet again were of many kinds and complex. 
In every case the service needed, if it were to be upbuilding in its 
effect, was more than the mere giving of food, fuel, and shelter, 
necessary as that may have been as a part of the treatment. The 
calls were for many kinds of service. 

To cover this field of work the Associated Charities had, at the 
time of the survey, a staff consisting of a superintendent or 
general secretary and an office helper. The superintendent had 
previous experience in social work but did not have special train- 
ing for the Associated Charities field. As this report goes to 
press, however, the superintendent, who had been quite con- 
sciously bridging over the period until the work could be reorgan- 
ized, transferred her endeavors to a field of work more in line with 
her past experience, and a new superintendent, secured as a 
result of the survey and upon the recommendation of the writer 
of this report, is taking up her duties in Springfield.* 

The offices of the organization on the top floor of the city 
hall provided sufficient space for the present, but they were in 
serious need of rearrangement. The present office of the general 
secretary should be transformed into a reception room and the 
present store room divided up to provide office space for the 
general secretary and an assistant secretary. It may be neces- 
sary to use glass partitions for the proper lighting of the different 
rooms. Such a rearrangement will be made possible when the 
Associated Charities turns its clothes depot over to some other 

* In the period since the survey field work the office helper was replaced by 
a stenographer, thus facilitating the office work and releasing some of the 
secretary's time for more important duties. 



organization of the city, as recommended in a later section of 
this report. 

An examination of the records of 1913 revealed in the first 
place a very poor system of record keeping. A number of ex- 
tremely capable Springfield women working as volunteers on 
the survey had great difficulty in discovering what was the basis 
of fact and what were the essentials of the plan upon which action 
was taken in the cases under treatment; in some instances they 
could not even discover what action, if any, had been taken. 
Thus, while occasionally records showed flashes of excellent 
treatment here and there, in general it must be said that they 
revealed no high standards of work in the direction either of 
thoroughgoing investigation or comprehensive treatment. In 
many instances it seemed to be a case of drifting along. This 
was undoubtedly due in part to the very heavy burden of work 
to be carried with only a small staff of workers provided.* 

Almost the first effect of the survey came as a result of the 
volunteer work of these Springfield women. They, some of them 
members of the Associated Charities board, and the secretary 
at that time, were convinced of the advisability of better 
record keeping, and set about reorganizing the system and in- 
stalling new methods in line with practical experience elsewhere. 
The records of each family have been brought together and 
properly indexed. 

The improvement in office methods should be extended to 
cover one or two other matters. Telephone orders on stores, for 
instance, were not followed immediately by written orders 
confirming them, but the secretary would make a note of orders 
and send confirmations at the end of the month. Orders were 
made from a book which required the filling out of a stub. Then, 
when bills came in at the first of the month, the orders were 
checked with the stubs, and not with the case records, to see if 
the items had been properly entered. Instead of this method we 
should suggest the issuance of the written order immediately 

* Improvements were made in investigational methods and the treatment 
of cases during the interval between the survey field work and the issuing of 
the report. Among these was the appointment of a committee which, during 
the acute unemployment period in the winter of 1914-15, planned and carried 
out a scheme for furnishing work to needy applicants out of work. 



after the telephone request so as to prevent error in amount, 
and so forth; also confirmation of the correctness of the relief 
entries in the case records by checking them with the monthly 

Handling Special Funds 
Another matter of office routine had to do with handUng 
funds. Special contributions for relief were received and ex- 
pended by the secretary. A record was kept of them, but the 
money, being in comparatively small amounts, did not pass 
through the treasurer's hands and no formal receipts were re- 
quired. Moreover, this special fund was used as a "petty cash" 
fund. Most expenditures were by orders on different stores, the 
bills were paid by check once a month; but small expenditures 
were made from the cash on hand in the "special" fund and no 
voucher is taken for it. The system should be changed so that 
all moneys received will pass through the treasurer's hands, 
and vouchers should also be obtained for all expenditures. 
This may be easily effected by having two bank accounts, one for 
the general fund and one for the special fund. Furthermore, 
an effort should be made to develop the special case appeal plan ; 
that is, appeals personally or by letter on behalf of individual 
families, made by paid or volunteer workers. 

Co-operation and Community Movements 
The review of the 191 3 records also revealed a considerable 
amount of co-operation with other agencies, particularly with 
the Tuberculosis Association, the overseer of the poor, the humane 
officer, some of the churches, and the Home for the Friendless.* 
But so far as could be ascertained, this co-operation was unsys- 
tematic, excepting in the case of the Tuberculosis Association. 
The relations between the other agencies and the Associated 
Charities, while generally cordial, were often of a superficial 
character. This organization, which ordinarily would be the 
point of contact for many pieces of co-operative social work, 
was not living up to its opportunities or its responsibilities. 

* More recently, co-operation from the St. Vincent de Paul Society, the 
city physician, the school nurses, and the woman deputy sheriff has improved. 



While we would not disparage for a minute the hard service of 
those who have been the secretaries of the society nor that of 
members who have been actively interested in the work, it never- 
theless should be said that the conditions found at the time of the 
surA-ey led inevitably to the conclusion that the organization was 
still thinking and acting in terms of an earlier period of charity 

Charity and Springfield Housing 
One chief aim in modern charity work is to eliminate abnormal conditions 
of family life and to promote normal conditions, whether the conditions relate 
only to the particular family or are of a general character. Important in 
such a program of work is the establishing and maintaining of reasonable 
housing standards throughout the city 

work. To the rapidly developing standards of family rehabilita- 
tion it had but faintly responded. This was further indicated by 
the fact that the income of the organization had remained sta- 
tionary for many years and that the superintendent has been 
obliged to struggle along with insufficient help. I'ntil within the 



last year, moreover, the society has not recognized the importance 
of professional equipment for the person filling its superin- 
tendency. Not only has this left its serious impress upon the 
family work, but it has made it impossible for the superintendent 
to assume a position of leadership in community movements. 

The Associated Charities had not been active and prominent 
in connection with the social activities of the city — the move- 
ments looking toward improvement of conditions. Its relation 
to the other agencies of the city, as well as to neglected families, 
— it being in fact the general practitioner in the family rehabilita- 
tion field, — should lead it to initiate such movements. For ex- 
ample, the industrial section of the survey reveals many loop- 
holes in the administrative system by which the illegal employ- 
ment of children has been accomplished.* With a proper 
investigating system in the family field, these evils would have 
been discovered long before by the Associated Charities. In 
six families visited by a member of the Charities Survey, illegal 
employment was unearthed in several instances. 

A plan should be worked out whereby, through an examina- 
tion of birth records wherever necessary, the ages of children on 
the border line of fourteen now at work in the families known to 
all of the different social agencies should be checked, and illegal 
employment stopped in these families at least. Furthermore, 
there is the urgent need of educating the community to the gross 
injustices which are now committed upon helpless childhood by 
reason of mistaken industrial and family considerations. As one 
representing the rehabilitation movement, I wish to say emphatic- 
ally that no organization having the interests of a family at heart 
will, under any circumstances, approve of the illegal employ- 
ment of a child for a single day. When such employment seems 
necessary, the necessity must be removed, either by material 
relief, by finding employment or securing better employment for 
breadwinners who can be lawfully employed, by pressure placed 
upon neglectful breadwinners or others who should assume 
responsibility, by the temporary or permanent breaking-up of 
the family if need be, or by what other means seems best suited 
to meet the situation. 

* See chapter on Child Labor in Odencrantz and Potter, op. cit. 



Moreover, in connection with work to improve social conditions 
in the city it is expected that the general secretary will, as a part 
of his or her duties, upon request, serve upon the survey com- 
mittee or its successor, serve as the executive secretary of the 
Central Conference of Social Agencies,* and serve on any other 
boards where he or she may be requested to do so. He should 
be in fact the coordinator in the social field. The function may 
very well have special reference to the follow-up work of the 
Springfield Survey. 

Similarly great evils in connection with irregular school 
attendance have grown up. It was peculiarly the task of the 
Associated Charities to reveal individual instances of these two 
evils, and to promote active propaganda to strengthen the 
administrative machinery or to initiate new legislation where 
needed. It was peculiarly its duty to call into conference the 
agencies co-operating with it to devise a scheme for properly 
dealing with non-support and desertion. In other words, an 
essential feature of the Associated Charities movement, and a policy 
to which all well-organized societies are committed, is that of leader- 
ship in developing preventive and community measures which the 
day-to-day family work shows to be necessary for the improvement 
of social conditions — measures, that is, which are not actively under- 
taken and carried on through other agencies. In the very large 
cities there is greater differentiation of function, of course, but 
even there the Associated Charities are active in community 

The first step toward improving the work of the Associated 
Charities is the reorganization of its staff. Before taking up 
other phases of the Associated Charities situation the recom- 
mendations on staff changes may be summed up. 

Reorganization of Staff 
In the first draft of this report the first recommendation with 
reference to staff was that the superintendent of the organiza- 
tion be made assistant secretary and that a general secretary, 
either a man or a woman, with considerable experience in the 
organized charity field be selected. In the period since, the 
* See page 155 for description of the Central Conference of Social Agencies. 



superintendent has been called to another field of service in the 
city, and the writer was asked to recommend a person to take 
charge of the work along lines to be outlined by the survey. The 
person recommended was secured, taking up her work in mid- 

Second, in view of the number of families the society is called 
upon to care for, it is recommended that an assistant secretary 
be secured. In addition to time devoted to case work, the 
assistant secretary, with the help and oversight of the general 
secretary, should be responsible for the organizing and use of 
volunteer workers and for the successful development of a deci- 
sions committee, the function of which will be outlined later. 

Third, there should be a third person upon the staff, an office 
worker, having charge of clerical details and under the oversight 
of the assistant secretary assuming responsibility for the confi- 
dential exchange. If possible, she should also be a stenographer 
and typist. She should keep the simple books required for the 
operation of the society, including the rec(5rd of subscriptions. 
She may serve as interviewer of clients at the office, and under 
exceptional circumstances might make emergency calls. Other 
additions to the staff will be required from time to time. The 
ratio of field workers to families receiving attention should never 
be less than one to every 200 families per year — in fact one to 
150 is a better ratio. 

What will naturally follow from such a reorganization of the 
staff will be a steady improvement in methods of investigation and 
treatment by the society. It is evident that we mean by investi- 
gation and treatment something different from what is ordinarily 
understood in Springfield by these terms, though some have 
grasped their fuller significance. What we mean has been 
illustrated to some degree in the extracts from family histories 
previously commented upon. There has been a growing recogni- 
tion in social work that much of that done by societies in the past 
and in the present has been next to useless because the ground- 
work of fact has not been sufficiently broad. Investigation is 
not a negative process. It means such a gathering of knowledge 
from many quarters as can be made the basis of a helpful plan 
of action. It results inevitably in the discovery of every weak 



point as well as every strong point in the family, but it does not 
over-emphasize the weak point. There can be no really helpful 
planning that is not based upon a knowledge of facts. Our plans 
may be beautiful, but unless closely related to things as they are, 
they are altogether futile. 

Confidential Exchange 

Up to the time of the survey the Associated Charities had not 
maintained a confidential exchange through which societies and 
individuals might ascertain what other persons or agencies were 
interested in one or more members of particular families. 

We have found agreement among the social workers of the 
city that the problems of their work had become so complex and 
interrelated as to demand the organization of a confidential 
exchange to be maintained by the Associated Charities. Indeed 
the superintendent already had the matter in mind, and soon 
after the field work of the survey was completed started the con- 
fidential exchange. Practically all of the agencies joined, but 
the possibilities and usefulness of the exchange do not seem to be 
fully realized as yet, and it has hardly been regarded as a success. 
The agencies have not inquired with sufficient regularity and fre- 
quency, and they have not for the most part used the exchange 
as much as they should. A few have used it systematically, and 
the fact that the various agencies have consented to inquire of 
the exchange is a good beginning and something to build on in 
the future. 

The primary purpose of the exchange is not to prevent "over- 
lapping of relief" but to utilize the knowledge and experience 
of other agencies in dealing with individuals and to develop co- 
operative plans for their treatment. In places where the ex- 
change has been more fully developed, it records merely identi- 
fying data; each of the general agencies listed (and as far as 
possible the churches also) inquiring of it with regard to each 
new applicant or client must give for identification only, the sur- 
name. Christian name, and address. Each agency so inquiring 
is then informed whenever any other agency is found to have had 
contact with the same family or individual. It should then 
consult at once the agency previously interested, securing 



"TEAM PLAVIN social work 

<♦. ^ 

-^ 1/ ft. 





i^ '^. 


t - ' 




By using the"Confidential Exchange" 
any society or church or public official, 
before deciding what it is bestto do for a 
family in its care, can learn what others 
are acquainted with the family. The workers 
from these agencies can then share 
their knowledge: and wiser, co-operative 
plans with and for the family can be made 

For Better Co-operative Effort 
The i)riniary purpose of the confidential exchange is not to prevent "(3\'er- 
lapping of rehef " but to utilize the knowledge and experience of other agencies 
in dealing with individuals and families, and to develop co-operative plans for 
their treatment. It records only identifying data — no record of relief or 
treatment is included. 

(Panel from the Exhibit of the Cliarity Orj^anization Departnieat, Russell Sage Foundation) 



from it what definite information it has concerning the history 
and problems of the family. In the successful exchanges now 
in existence, as should be the case with Springfield's, it is 
the endeavor of the Associated Charities to bring about informal 
conferences of those found to be interested in one and the same 
case, or to make special investigations for the benefit of all inter- 
ested whenever this might seem advisable. It is hoped that the 
exchange may be further developed and utilized,* for wherever 
it is well established, it saves publicity and much unnecessary 
repetition of confidential matters. No information is given 
save to those who are already charitably interested in a given 
case, and the only information given is a reference to others who 
are or have been interested. 

Decisions Committee 

During 1913 only about 20 family cases had been brought up 
for consideration by the executive committee of the Associated 
Charities. Several months previous to the survey there had been 
an attempt to organize an advisory or "decisions" committee 
to work out plans with the general secretary in connection with 
the more difficult family problems. This had been given up. 
The reasons were not hard to find. For one thing, the records 
of the society were not sufficiently detailed so that a committee 
or anyone else could possibly make discriminating decisions. 

The organization of a decisions committee, or possibly more 
than one, to work out with the general secretary and her assistant 
the plans to be followed in connection with some of the more 
difficult family problems, will be a natural corollary to the reor- 
ganization of the staff. Upon this committee there will be not 
only representatives of the different agencies working in co- 
operation with the Associated Charities, but volunteers who by 
experience and ability will be the most useful advisers. In addi- 
tion there should be a representation from the business men of 
the community, the doctors, and the lawyers. The committee 
should be officially recognized as a committee of the board of 
directors, though of course only a few members of the board will 

* For suggestions on the financing of the confidential exchange, see page 
I60 of this report. 



be included in its membership. Such a committee is necessary 
if there is ever going to be a thoroughgoing working together 
on the part of the family rehabilitation societies of the city. 
In this group will be found an opportunity for the presentation 
of different points of view regarding given families, different 
conceptions of the way to work with them ; the attitudes of the 
different members will help to guarantee that no important 
points shall be overlooked, that due consideration be given to the 
interests of each member of a family, that the emerging plan shall 
be such a synthesis as will preserve ultimately the best interests 
of all, even though in some instances it may lead to the severance 
of sham family ties. In this emerging plan the part to be played 
by the staff of the society, by the representatives of other agencies, 
by the relatives and other connections, by the family itself, will 
be definitely and mutually agreed upon. While it may not be 
possible for all of the families brought to the attention of the 
Associated Charities (either by personal application or by refer- 
ence of one of the agencies or by reference of an individual) 
to be so considered, the discussions of the committee will serve 
to develop standards and methods which in simpler cases may be 
applied quickly by the staff of the society. It should also develop 
a willingness and an opportunity for the agencies to get together 
and discuss the needs of families under treatment; for it is fully 
expected that agencies will more frequently refer families for 
attention to the Associated Charities with the aim of securing 
for them the advantage of a jointly worked out plan in which 
more than one agency may do its part. Even if the originating 
agency is still entrusted with sole responsibility, it will be able to 
work much more effectively and efficiently by following a plan 
which is the result of combined discussion and wisdom. Few, if 
any workers, whether professional or volunteer, can possibly 
do as good work in isolation as when learning constantly from 
the experience of others. Moreover, the work of family rehabili- 
tation is in no sense child's play. Even the combined wisdom of 
the best and most experienced persons in the community is often 
not sufficient to evolve forms and methods of service to the sorely 
beset families, many of them heroically struggling, that will put 
them on their feet again. One of the mistakes made by the 



Associated Charities has been that it has insufficiently taken 
advantage of co-operative thinking, based of course upon more 
thorough investigations than have usually been made, and 
co-operative acting, based on the co-operative thinking. 

Volunteer Workers 

Insufficient use was made in the Associated Charities of vol- 
unteers, and until this situation is remedied the work of the 
society will be very much circumscribed. A paid staff, no matter 
how big, cannot possibly do all the tasks which do not belong to 
any of the specialized agencies, and which need to be done. 
Space does not permit full explanation of the kinds of service 
given by volunteers in other cities. Suffice it to say that such 
service may include clerical work, the dictation of letters, making . 
arrangements for the service of other agencies, supplementary 
investigations (the groundwork having been laid by the paid 
workers), and the carrying out of rehabilitation plans. Such 
service of course to be effective must be definitely guided at 
every point by the secretaries of the society or by the decisions 

The development of volunteer service will come with the 
activities of a general secretary who has kept pace with its best 
development in other cities. In connection with the Charities 
Survey we were amazed at the large amount and high grade 
of volunteer service which was placed at our disposal by the 
women of Springfield. Some of these workers were already doing 
valiant service as volunteers in the Associated Charities, but there 
was a considerable number of others not so connected who were 
simply awaiting the proper call. 

The Clothing Station 
One other matter both of policy and administration needs 
attention. The Associated Charities maintains a clothing station 
at its office headquarters. We believe that the central coordinat- 
ing agency of the city, the agency which is the general practi- 
tioner in the family rehabilitation field, should not be charged 
with the responsibility of a clothing station. It is inevitable, 
when such a station is in an office which is open every day, that 



the time of the staff will be constantly broken into by questions 
of clothing which could easily be settled at other times by com- 
paratively inexperienced volunteers. Under present arrange- 
ments not only is the ofSce overcrowded, but the loss to the 
society in the time spent by a paid worker is considerable. As 
a matter of administrative procedure this is altogether a most 
unbusinesslike arrangement; but beyond that, no good reason 
can be advanced why an associated charities should be an old 
clothes depot. Consideration should be given by the board as 
to what agency might, with volunteer service only, undertake 
this responsibility, and as soon as possible the responsibility 
should be transferred. 

It is not necessary that such a depot should be continuously 
open. It might open on certain days at certain hours, and 
requests from any organizations known to have some real knowl- 
edge of their families might be honored. 

Finance Campaigns 
The responsibility for raising the funds of the organization 
had not been sufficiently assumed by the committee appointed 
for that purpose. At the same time the responsibility for organ- 
izing the financial campaigns had not been sufficiently assumed by 
the executive officer of the Associated Charities. And the com- 
mittee needed the aid that will come through the community 
being kept informed of the activities of the society through 
special pamphlets, reports, and newspaper articles. It may be 
necessary to reorganize radically the finance committee and 
increase its numbers. A larger campaign than usual, a more 
impressive one, needing personal service of its members, should 
be organized by the secretary, appeals prepared, and the com- 
mittee advised as to methods used elsewhere. The secretary, 
however, should not be the collector of funds, — at any rate only 
in exceptional cases where the way has been paved by members 
of the board.* 

* For a brief discussion of other financial considerations in connection with 
the private social agencies, see Appendix F, pp. 174-177. An analysis there 
made of amounts given in 1913 by individual contributors shows in general 
a favorable situation in that the funds come from a large number of small 
contributors rather than a few large givers; but a classification of contribu- 


charities of springfield 


The scope of work of the Associated Charities was seen to be 
^•ery broad, and calls for service were of many kinds. The staff 
of the organization was found to be insufficient to cover the field. 
Although a new trained worker has just been secured as general 
secretary, the staff needs the addition of an assistant secretary 
who, in addition to helping in case work under the secretary's 
oversight, should be responsible for the organization of volunteer 
workers and the development of a decisions committee. 

The offices of the Associated Charities need rearrangement 
and the clothing station should be removed, preferably by trans- 
ferring this service to some other organization in the city. The 
improvement in record keeping made since the field work of the 
survey should be extended to cover methods of confirming tele- 
phone orders on stores, the checking up of deliveries for orders, 
and the handling of special funds. 

While recognizing many instances of excellent work, the con- 
clusion was nevertheless inevitable that the treatment of fami- 
lies was very largely along lines of temporary material relief 
rather than aimed at rehabilitation. The society, moreover, 
had not taken an important part in movements looking toward 
the improvement of social conditions in the city. It is recom- 
mended, therefore, that the general secretary should — in the Cen- 
tral Conference of Social Agencies, and after some progress has 
been made in the consideration of a decision upon the Spring- 
field Survey recommendations regarding the work of the different 
social agencies — take up, upon motion of the board of directors of 
the Associated Charities, any matters developed as a result of the 
case work which point to the need of undertaking some new 
social activity, or of enlarging some activity already undertaken, 
or of effecting some administrative reform or legislative measure, 
or of educating the community. This to the end that there may 
be general participation in those most important social reforms 

tors according to the number of agencies to which they contributed made a 
less favorable showing in that the proportion of contributors to three or more 
agencies was small, thus indicating an insufficient development of broad 
sympathy and interest in social movements. The publication of annual re- 
ports and the use of other methods to inform the public of important de- 
velopments in social work in the city is recommended. 

9 119 


whose need is bound to be revealed in the course of a really 
intensive, thoroughgoing family rehabilitation work. This kind 
of activity may very well be extended to matters in which ex- 
ecutive direction is needed and is not elsewhere available for car- 
rying out any of the recommendations of the Springfield Survey. 

The beginning made toward establishing a workable confi- 
dential exchange should be followed up to the end that the ex- 
change will be developed and utilized. 

The organization of a decisions committee which could give 
opportunity in the treatment of family problems for taking ad- 
vantage of the wisdom of the group and for guiding action accord- 
ingly is strongly urged. Moreover, the work of the paid staff 
should be further strengthened and extended by a greater use of 
volunteer workers. 

Finally, the work of the finance committee should be im- 
proved and the campaigns for funds should be better organized. 

The Tuberculosis Association 
Reference has already been made to the Springfield Tuber- 
culosis Association in the discussion of institutional care of the 
sick. It remains merely to touch briefly one or two points. 
As already indicated, the co-operation between the Tuber- 
culosis Association and the Associated Charities at the time of 
the survey was very close ; relations between these agencies have 
always been close. There nevertheless were indications at that 
time that not all families needing to be referred by the tuberculosis 
dispensary to the Associated Charities for social service were so 
referred. We have every reason for believing that co-operation 
in this matter has now been materially improved. In this con- 
nection it should be pointed out that early reference of patients 
to the Associated Charities for social service in cases where 
future destitution seems at all probable is of great importance. 
Such reference should not be delayed until the family is actually 
destitute, but should cover a family, for instance, which has 
enough subsistence and suitable housing at present, but where 
there is danger of a gradual approach to destitution or over- 
strain on the part of any member of the group. Prevention of 
the spread of infection requires the earliest possible attention to 



a family which seems at all threatened with destitution or indi- 
vidual breakdown. 

The Tuberculosis Association very wisely insists that its service 
must be on the health side and that it is not organized or fitted 
to deal with all the problems which arise when tuberculosis 
invades a family that is poor or inefficient or ignorant. In addi- 
tion to reference to the Associated Charities there should be a 
systematic inquiry of the confidential exchange about all pa- 
tients as soon as they apply, excluding if necessary those visited 
by arrangement with an insurance company. 

The family records of the association are extremely good and 
are well kept. 

Humane Society 

The Humane Society was organized to deal with cruelty to 
and non-support of children, and with cruelty to animals. The 
budget of the society is small. Out of it an annual payment of 
$240 is made to cover part of the salary of a member of the 
police department who is thereby designated agent of the society 
and assigned to cover the type of cases in which the society is 
interested. Technically, of course, control of the society's 
agent must rest with the police department, but as he is also 
responsible to the society and thus serving two masters, he is 
largely left to pursue his own course. 

Our general review of the charity work of the city, and the 
discovery of work in the Humane Society's field which was not 
being handled, led to the conviction that the society was not 
fulfilling a large function. The need of radical reorganization 
was indicated further in the study of the handling of juvenile 
delinquents in the city, where an analysis of the agencies to 
which complaints involving children might be referred, showed 
that some of the functions of the society might be better per- 
formed by other agencies.* 

On the basis of findings with reference to the society, conclu- 
sions were formed as follows :t 

* See Potter, op. cit., p. 125. 

t These conclusions and recommendations were forwarded to Springfield 
in March prior to the publication of this report, and as the report goes to press 
there is indication that action will be taken in Springfield along the lines out- 



First, it is felt that nothing is to be gained in having the 
Humane Society aid in the support of a police officer for the 
work which the society has been endeavoring to do. 

Second, it is felt further that the police department, if re- 
quested by the Humane Society, would undoubtedly and quite 
properly assign a policeman to the special duty of handling 
cruelty to animal cases without any remuneration from the 

Third, cases of cruelty to children could best be handled 
by a probation officer of the juvenile court or a central organiza- 
tion for child welfare ; but to insure that this work — in so far as 
it will go to the juvenile court — and other juvenile court work will 
be at all well handled, it will be absolutely necessary to have at 
least one other probation officer appointed, as suggested by Mr. 
Potter in the corrections section of the Springfield Survey.* 

In other words, the recommendation is that the ultimate and 
permanent object to be aimed at is having all activities of the 
Humane Society relating to children sooner or later removed to 
the juvenile court, or to a central organization for child welfare, 
according to the needs of the individual case. Cruelty to ani- 
mals may continue to be handled by the police. If, however, the 
exigencies of the present situation would seem to make it im- 
possible to start on such a plan, action of a tentative character is 
suggested. It is hoped, however, that the ultimate aim will 
not be lost sight of in any tentative arrangement. 

But before describing these tentative measures we wish to 
indicate that in the scheme of things the Associated Charities 
will have to serve as the originator of many non-support pro- 
ceedings which otherwise would have fallen within the field of a 
reorganized humane society. 

The tentative suggestions are: First, that the mayor be asked 
to appoint the Humane Society as a volunteer and advisory com- 
mittee to aid the police in their protective functions, mainly as 
regards animals. Second, that the children's cases be handled 
through the juvenile court and the central children's agency now 
being established, and that both have the co-operation of the 
Humane Society. 

* See Potter, op. cit., p. 125. 


The only other alternative to the above suggestions con- 
sidered at all feasible would involve a complete reorganization of 
the society; the employment of a trained person as humane 
officer; and engaging in activities promising larger social results 
and requiring the backing of a much larger budget. This does 
not seem advisable under the circumstances. 

Washington Street Mission 

The objects of the Washington Street Mission as officially 
stated are "To carry the gospel into a part of the city not reached 
by the churches and to relieve distress wherever found." 

Its departments of work are: (a) religious; (b) lodging house 
for men; and (c) relief. 

It is not within our field to discuss the religious department 
beyond saying that the mission had evidently found a neglected 
field and was actively and efficiently cultivating it. Its Sunday 
schools were large; its nightly and Sunday meetings were well 
attended. The average nightly attendance at meetings during 
the last quarter of 1913 was 202, and the total attendance for 
1913 was around 20,000. 

The lodging house for homeless men is the only institution 
of its kind in the city which offers cheap lodgings, good beds, 
baths, and harmless fumigation to men without homes. The 
building which houses it and the church auditorium is not well 
adapted for lodging purposes. The dormitories receive their 
light through skylights, the windows being useless because the 
adjoining building has been erected so close by. 

Outside of this grave defect, for which the building ordinances 
of the city are primarily responsible, since they permit the use 
of full widths of lots for building purposes, equipment and 
management were relatively good. The reading room had a 
more or less homelike appearance ; the superintendent seemed on 
frank, cordial terms with the men coming to the house ; and there 
were indications that rules and regulations were not the govern- 
ing force, but a genuine, discriminating comradeship. 

In 1913, a gross total of 6,743 lodgings were given; but we 
were unable to find records showing just how many different men 
were thus served in the period. The nightly number of lodgings 



runs between i8 and 26. The sum of $527.90 was received from 
the men for lodgings in the year. There were 1,182 suits fumi- 
gated and 456 orders for meals were given away; 1,100 other 
orders were given out but paid for later. Employment, tempo- 
rary or permanent, was found for 379 men; and 10 women in the 
neighborhood were also helped to employment. So far as im- 
mediate needs of those coming to it are concerned, the mission 
has felt some responsibility. We refer particularly to medical 
inspection made in cases where men are apparently diseased. 
It will be necessary, however, eventually to provide medical 
inspection for everyone asking for lodgings. 

Realizing the necessity of a lodging house of this sort in Spring- 
field, and appreciating the excellent spirit with which it is con- 
ducted and the undoubted value of its work, we regret that so far 
it has been impossible for the lodging house to adopt a more sys- 
tematic scheme of treatment and record keeping regarding the 
men. It may be asked why, since the men in most cases pay for 
their lodgings, any institution of this sort has a right to go into 
their lives further. The answer is that it is essential that any in- 
stitution having anything to do with homeless men should, as far 
as it can, diminish the stream of rovers. Never will the home- 
less man problem be solved until every such agency endeavors 
to turn some of these men back to home ties left behind, or if 
they have no home or other ties, to get them settled. Now the 
facts on employment secured, and the individual instances of 
effort to promote settlement, as related by the superintendent, 
shows that some constructive work was being done in the mission. 
But no individual records were kept, and there was no way of 
determining whether every practicable effort was made in each 
case. Systematic work is not possible without careful recording 
and a considerable amount of correspondence. We hope that 
eventually the mission will be able to enlarge its social work in 
this regard. 

In commenting upon better social recording and its corollary, 
the better social work which should follow, we are well aware that 
many men come and go after a single night's lodging. Never- 
theless, no one can tell in advance who may sooner or later 
return. It is essential, therefore, to begin record keeping of 



individuals in order to determine what kind of follow-up work 
and intensive recording should be attempted. 

So far as relief to families is concerned, our only source of 
information was the record of about 12,000 garments received. 
The giving out of clothes is considered an adjunct to the re- 
ligious work of the mission. We were unable, therefore, to ob- 
tain any registration of dependent families from the mission 
beyond eight which had unusually difficult problems. We 
cannot commend the policy; indeed we strongly object to it. 
This large relief work — for the intrinsic value of a large amount 
of even second-hand clothing is considerable — cannot be con- 
sidered in the same light as the normal member-to-member help- 
fulness in a church congregation. For this is distinctly help 
from outsiders and therefore is a straight relief proposition. It 
is bestowed without that knowledge of need or of advisability 
which church acquaintance affords; but rather appears to be an 
incentive to participation in the religious activities of the mission. 
This we believe to be a wrong basis of work, either from the relief 
point of view or the religious. 

In the interval between field work and the publication of this 
report, the board of directors of the mission opened a free medical 
dispensary. The establishment of a dispensary under the city 
health department was recommended in the health section of 
the survey,* and has already been recommended in this report. f 

This recommendation is made after careful consideration of 
conditions in Springfield. While the mission deserves credit 
for taking this matter up for the moment, this development 
should be regarded strictly as a makeshift arrangement until 
the city government can be convinced of its responsibility in the 

Finally, to sum up in a sentence or two, except for defects in 
the building, for which the mission was not responsible, the equip- 
ment and management were relatively good. The giving out of 
garments as an adjunct to the religious work is condemned. We 
believe that more systematic effort and the recording of cases 
should be instituted in order to reduce the number of rovers and 
assist toward constructive work. 

* Schneider, op. cit., p. 124. 

t See Part Two, Care of the Sick, pp. 40 and 50. 


the springfield survey 

St. Vincent de Paul Society 

The St. Vincent de Paul Society was organized on November 
20, 1913. A report made early in March, 1914, just before the 
survey was begun, indicated that it had 34 active members and 
117 benefactors. The total number of families known to the 
society at that time was 77, 31 of which were Catholic, 29 Pro- 
testant, and 17 without religious affiliations. Relief had been 
given in the form of groceries, shoes and bedding, coal and 
other special forms. Far more important than the question 
of relief, however, is the fact that the society had recognized 
the necessity of adequate planning and already had established 
cordial relations with many of the social agencies of the city. 
Inexperienced in family rehabilitation, its officers realized the 
tremendous difficulties involved and the value of co-operative 
work. Of course it is not possible at this early stage to form 
any estimate of what has been accomplished. But with increas- 
ing co-operation, especially on the decisions committee of the 
Associated Charities, the society should give a good account of 

Day Nursery 

A day nursery was started while the survey was being made. 
It is a place where working women may leave their children 
under school age when they go out of the house to work. A small 
fee that does not meet actual cost is charged. 

A supplementary study of the nursery has not been possible, 
but such information as has been obtainable at long distance 
indicates intelligent work. In making any final estimate of its 
activities, the following considerations should be taken in ac- 
count: (a) How many individual women have been benefited? 
(b) Has nursery service been provided in cases where ablebodied 
husbands should be supporting families, and to that end have 
the husbands been brought into court and dealt with? (c) In 
cases of women who are widows, or are really deserted, or have 
incapacitated husbands, could other methods have been devised 
for caring for the families at less expense through the co-opera- 
tion of relatives, the engaging of persons to look after one or more 
children in a given neighborhood, the utilization of responsible, 



conscientious neighbors, or by finding home work or other forms 
of work with different hours? There may be considered also the 
greater utilization of relief funds. We exclude, however, the 
use of children of school age during school hours or for a period 
of two hours after school, (d) If it is demonstrated that there 
are 20 or more women who really require the nursery service, 
and in whose cases no reasonable substitutes may be offered, 
the nursery's existence will have been justified. Doubtless the 
nursery management can easily show such justification in ample 

Earl Gibson Sunshine Society 
This society, supported by contributions from its members, 
was engaged in several lines of work, those listed below being the 
main features up to the time of our investigation : 

(a) Support of national work on behalf of blind babies. 

(b) Maintenance of a trained nurse for emergency station during 

the State Fair week held in Springfield. 

(c) Special relief to families brought to the attention of the 

society through the social agencies of the city. 

(d) Providing flowers for patients in hospitals. 

(e) Visiting of people at the county poor farm. 

Any attempt to comment upon the national work is impossible 
here and outside of the general scope of the survey. 

These specific local activities are entirely commendable. It 
is to be hoped, however, that the society will insist upon doing 
relief work through existing agencies and keep in close touch with 
the Associated Charities regarding propositions involving new 
work. It should not attempt to become an agency appealing 
for general public support. 

Salvation Army 
The local branch of the Salvation Army was reorganized just 
prior to the survey and had not progressed far enough upon 
its new program of activities to warrant their study at that 
time. The chief recommendation in this connection is that the 
organization fall in line with the plans for better working to- 
gether which this survey proposes. 


the springfield survey 

King's Daughters Home 

The King's Daughters Home for the Aged is for women 
over sixty, residents of Sangamon County, who have no home of 
their own. To be eligible one must be without serious mental or 
physical handicap. An admission fee of $300 is charged and 
anyone admitted must deed over all her property to the corpora- 
tion. At the time of the survey 21 women formed the family 
group, 18 being residents of Springfield. 

The house occupied is beautifully situated in attractive 
grounds and is well adapted for the purpose. It is most home- 
like in appearance, both in the reception, dining and other public 
rooms, and in the bedrooms. It is as nearly a home as such an 
institution can be. 

We question seriously, however, the advisability of a home of 
this sort charging a fixed fee for admission, and requiring the 
transfer of all property to the institution. We realize that this 
criticism would apply also to a great majority of such institu- 
tions all over the country. Nevertheless, we believe the criti- 
cism just and that our old people's homes should be re-established 
upon a different basis. 

Let us first consider just what kind of women enter institu- 
tions of this sort. They are not the kind who generally find 
their way to county farms. Rather one discovers women of 
considerable culture and refinement brought by unfavoring cir- 
cumstances to the doors of the home. In this Springfield home, 
for instance, there were several former teachers. There are 
always also some who have had very few cultural advantages; 
thus the possible resources of the women and of their friends and 
relatives, more or less distant, may vary considerably. While, 
therefore, a minimum requirement in some cases may meet the 
situation, there may be other instances where a larger amount 
could be afforded and should be required, or where a regular 
weekly board should be charged in lieu of an admission fee. It 
may easily be that some aged woman may find a pleasanter home 
here than with a relative. If so, she should have the advantage 
of it, but the relative should pay what he is able and what it 
would otherwise cost in supporting her in his home. 



It is also unjust that anyone admitted should transfer all 
property to the corporation. Rather should a trust be organ- 
ized by which the income should go to the corporation as long 
as the owner resides in the home, the capital going to the cor- 
poration after her death. If, then, she should at any time 
wish to leave, there are no complications, as the trust can be 
dissolved as soon as all past indebtednesses to the corporation 
have been met. 

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King's Daughters Home for the Aged 
For women over sixty, residents of Sangamon County, who have no home 
of their own. At the time of the survey 21 women formed the family group, 
1 8 being residents of Springfield. The building is beautifully situated in 
attractive grounds and is well adapted for the purpose. 

We heartily recommend that the King's Daughters Home in 
Springfield take the lead in providing for a sliding scale of prices 
charged, based on the financial condition of applicants (with a 
minimum if necessary), and in accepting from the estates of 
those admitted only interest up to the time of death or departure 
from the home, and in not assuming title to the principal. If the 
objection is raised that this would tend to more frequent changes 



in the population of the home, it need only be said that homes of 
this kind always have a waiting list. 

St. Joseph's Home for the Aged 
This is a home for aged men and women conducted by the 
Sisterhood of the Immaculate Conception and receiving general 
support through the Catholic Diocese. A portion of the support 
comes from the Catholic citizens of Springfield. Only those 
sixty years of age or over are admitted. At the time the home 
was visited, it contained 23 women and 17 men, of whom 14 were 
non-Catholics. There is no fixed compensation for admission. 

Springfield Improvement League 
The league was formed in the interval between field work and 
the publication of this report. In the public announcements the 
aim is stated to be to work for a cleaner and more beautiful 
Springfield. Its membership is made up of women from all 
parts of the city, one of the plans being to appoint sub-com- 
mittees for each of the precincts into which the city is divided 
and to have a woman representing each street and avenue of the 
city. Small dues are charged to meet expenses, which are 
relatively small. The league has no salaried officers, depending 
for its activities upon the volunteer efforts of its officers and 

The specific pieces of work undertaken by the league are repre- 
sented by special and standing committees. These in general 
cover the fields into which the Springfield Survey was divided. 
Some of the first matters taken up are cleaner streets, the smoke 
nuisance, garbage disposal, pure food regulations, and the eradi- 
cation of weeds from vacant lots. The league has also become 
interested in the newsboys of the city, and has been the means of 
placing some of the advantages of the local Young Men's Chris- 
tian Association within the boys' reach. The association also 
co-operated by making some concessions to the boys. 

The league offers an effective channel for interesting the pub- 
lic in current civic and social problems, and for developing a pub- 
lic opinion which will be intelligent when action should be taken. 
It will doubtless follow the course of fully learning and analyzing 



the facts of local problems before making definite recommenda- 
tion, as has already been indicated by its use of the survey find- 
ings. The league can be a forceful agency in promoting city 
improvements of which the facts presented in the survey show 
the need. 

The league has also recognized the importance of putting social 
and civic endeavors upon a city-wide basis and dealing with 
them as community problems. To facilitate its activities and 
that of other agencies working for the improvement of social 
conditions, the league should be represented on the Central 
Conference of Social Agencies outlined in this report.* 

* See page 155-156- 




Sangamon County Poor Farm 
On April 8, 1914, an inspector of the Charities Commission 
of the State of lUinois made an ofiBcial inspection of this insti- 
tution and, through the kindness of the secretary of the com- 
mission, Mr. A. L. Bowen, her report has been placed at our dis- 
posal. Both the regular inspection form and a form prepared by 
the survey containing some supplementary questions were used. 
A summary of the facts is here presented; the discussion of the 
facts is ours. 

The farm is situated 15 miles from Springfield near an electric 
railroad. Its population at the time of the visit is shown in 
Table 9. 



Class of inmate 










Sane epileptic 

Insane epileptic 


Blind . 





Paupers not otherwise classified^ 




Grand total . . ... 


^ The classification by sex was not given. 

The land holdings consist of 196 acres, 12 of which were 
in orchards, 14 in gardens, and 109 were farmed. 

The building which houses the inmates fronts to the north, 
and has two stories and a basement. Exterior walls are brick, 



and interior walls and floors are of plaster, wood, and cement. 
The dormitories are approximately 22 by 28 feet with three to 
eleven beds in each. 

The institution, when inspected, had no inmate under twenty- 
five years of age — a very creditable showing. There were only 
two under thirty; five were between thirty and forty; and 28 
between forty and fifty. 

The dormitories are on the two main floors, and cell sleeping 
quarters occupy the basement. The sexes had separate dormi- 
tories and toilets. In the dining room the men ate first, then 
the women. Three verandas were provided for the men, one fac- 
ing south, another north, and a third east; and two for women, 
one facing north, the other east. None was fitted with chairs or 

In the dormitories there were no lockers or other furnishings 
excepting beds, tables, and chairs. The tables in the dining 
room were covered with white oilcloth and the tableware was 
earthen. In the men's sitting room were only chairs and benches 
— no rockers; the room was in the basement and cheerless and 
comfortless. There is no sitting room for the women. No 
assembly hall has been provided, but in case of religious services 
the dining room is used. 

Only a new portion of the building was found to be fireproof. 
The fire protection consisted of 125 feet of hose and chemical 
extinguishers on each floor. 

A well was used for drinking purposes; and the sewage dis- 
posal was by means of a septic tank in the pasture. Toilet and 
bath facilities were found on only two floors, the second floor 
and the basement, as these were the only floors having running 
water. There were ten closets for men and five for women; 
and five bathtubs for men and three for women. The tubs were 
used in common by many inmates. 

Heating was by steam, the plant being in the basement. 
There were no open grates. Lighting was by electricity. No 
ventilation system was provided ; all the ventilation that was ob- 
tained came through the doors, windows, and transoms. 

So far as the bare necessities of life are concerned the inmates 
were fairly fortunate. Oatmeal, syrup, milk, coffee, tea, meat, 



rice, potatoes, beans, dried fruit, and bread appeared upon the 
menu during a week, but it was impossible to secure the exact 
menus for any given time. The menus were prepared by the 
cook. There was no regular annual supply of garments for each 
inmate, but the inspector reported that all seemed decently and 
suitably clothed. An abundance of bedding, linen, blankets, 
and comforters was found. Though an old building, for the most 
part it was fairly free from vermin. 

When it comes to medical and nursing service the conditions 
were not so good. The county physician residing about two 
miles from the institution made visits regularly twice a week, 
and would come upon call. No nurse was employed, however. 

A large room was used by those having tuberculosis but the 
separation from the other patients was by no means complete. 
This room contained five beds and a bathroom. These patients 
when able ate with the other inmates. Those confined to their 
beds were served from the superintendent's table, and there was 
no provision for special diet which is so necessary in the treat- 
ment of this disease. 

All insane patients were kept in a cell house in the basement 
which was damp, uncomfortable, and ill-lighted.* The cell 
house was locked at night. During the year preceding the 
inspection eight male and eight female insane patients were re- 
moved to state hospitals. Five of the remaining worked on the 
farm. One feeble-minded child had recently been removed to 
the Lincoln State School. 

The home was not encumbered with rules and regulations. 
There were no printed rules. Certain standards of cleanliness 
were required; among them that each inmate must bathe once 
a week and change his underwear. Water was changed between 
baths. An effort was made also to see that each one washed his 
face and hands in the morning. In the same way the taking off of 
underwear before going to bed was generally insisted upon. Un- 
fortunately, however, individual brushes and combs were not 

It is apparently a peaceful institution because no special 

* For full discussion of the facilities of the poor farm for the care of the in- 
sane, see Treadway, op. cit., pp. 33-38. 


methods of discipline were reported. There are no hard and 
rough exactions. For instance, the old and feeble may lie down 
on their beds any time they wish during the day. On the 
other hand, no provision was made for the keeping together of 
aged couples. 

Religious services were held once .every two weeks. Outside 
of this there was very little to vary the monotony of the months 
and years spent in such an institution. It is altogether a drab 

Of the non-insane patients, twelve males and five females 
worked about the farm or building with reasonable regularity. 
No occupation was given for any of the other inmates. On the 
reasonableness and wisdom of organizing such an institution so 
that occupations may be provided for as many persons as possible, 
Alexander Johnson has offered some interesting suggestions : 

It may be stated as a rule to which there is no exception that every in- 
mate, except the bed-ridden ones, should have some employment during a 
part of every day, and the more fully the usual working hours are occupied 
the better. All able-bodied inmates who are not violently insane should be 
given a full day's work daily in the house or outdoors. - Usually the men 
are employed on the farm, in the garden, barn, and stable, the roads, and at 
the fences. Women work in the kitchen, laundry, sewing room, etc. There 
are, however, certain outdoor occupations which are admirably suited for 
women; among these may be mentioned the finer parts of kitchen gardening, 
such as weeding, hoeing, setting out plants, care of the flower garden in 
general; small fruit culture; the care of chickens and, young live stock. 
While the majority of women inmates prefer the domestic tasks of the house, 
a few will occasionally be found who are much happier as well as healthier 
when given outdoor labor suited to their strength; and conversely, among 
the defective men in the almshouse will often be found some who will, do 
the domestic much better than the outdoor work. The hardest work of the 
laundry, especially if machinery is used, should be done by men, not by 
women. AU the care of the men's dormitories and day rooms should be 
taken by the men themselves. Occasionally men are found who like to sew 
and knit. 

In assigning tasks it is well, as far as possible, to make them regular and 

permanent. To cut and sew carpet rags is within the power of many an 

old woman who might perhaps be able to do nothing else, and if this is 

assigned to her as a regular duty and some account is taken of what she does 

1° 135 


and some credit given her, it will conduce to her satisfaction. Several cases 
from a Massachusetts almshouse will illustrate this point. An old woman 
of ninety who cannot stand to wash dishes, sits and wipes them. This is 
her task three times daily. She does it cheerfully and feels that she is doing 
her share and is much happier for it. A crippled man who is unable to walk, 
or even stand, whittles out butchers' skewers which are sold for a trifle for 
his benefit. A partly crippled feeble-minded man divides his time between 
the lawn and the greenhouse. 

. . . . Rag carpets, pieced quilts, mats, basket work and a great 
many other manual occupations are available. 

If it is not feasible to hire an assistant as a permanent member of the staff 
who is competent to teach the inmates these various occupations, it is nearly 
always possible to engage an instructor for a period of a few weeks, during 
which period she can teach the inmates and also instruct one of the employes 
who can act as teacher for a short time each day after the manual instructor 
has gone.* 

On the administrative side, a committee of the board of super- 
visors did the buying upon requests made by the superintendent. 
No record was kept of the drawing of supplies from the store 
room. A register of admissions and discharges was kept, but no 
alphabetical card index. The register contained the following 
entries: name, age, color, sex, nationality. No daily journal 
was kept showing farm data, and so forth. A committee of the 
board of supervisors visits the farm monthly. 

The total annual cost of running the institution in 1913 was 
$31,580.03. The number of persons and the length of time 
each was cared for was not obtainable, and thus no basis was had 
for estimating per capita cost or day's care cost. The total value 
of the farm produce was placed at $1,162.50. 

Necessary Improvements 

Certain necessary improvements were suggested as a result 
of this inspection: 

I. The most obvious suggestion is the transfer of its insane 
patients to state hospitals. This is already being pushed by 

* Johnson, Alexander: The Almshouse, pp. 75 ff. Russell Sage Foundation 
Publication. New York, Charities Publication Committee, 1911. Incidentally, 
there are many other excellent suggestions in Mr. Johnson's book, not only 
with reference to occupations but on almshouse management. 



the local authorities, but there is likely to be a residue for some 
time. As Dr. Treadway has pointed out, in addition to demand- 
ing that the state hospitals receive a fair proportion of the insane 
of Sangamon County, effort should be made to secure legislation 
which will provide accommodations in the state hospitals for 
all the insane of Illinois now confined in almshouses.* Ulti- 
mately a statute should be secured absolutely prohibiting alms- 
house care for such patients. Then only, to quote Dr. Treadway 
further, will it be possible to abolish these relics of a former age 
and of a lower conception of our duty to the sick (for these people 
are really sick) than that which should exist today. 

2. With the abolition of the cells for the insane in the base- 
ment, a rearrangement of space, or provision for new space, 
such as will obviate the use of the basement for living purposes, 
should be worked out. 

3. As soon as possible a special pavilion for the tuberculous, 
with provision of special diet, should be built. f 

4. Toilet facilities should be provided on the first floor. 

5. Occupations should be provided for all excepting the 
bedridden. It cannot be too much emphasized that an idle life 
in an almshouse is a most cruel infliction upon any human being 
with any mind at all. 

6. A graduate nurse should be added to the staff. 

7. There should be provision for a sitting room for women. 
The sitting rooms for both men and women should, to quote 
Mr. Johnson again, be provided with benches and chairs; 
"among which should be a good proportion of rocking and easy 
chairs for the older inmates. . . . Good strong tables, one 
or two couches, and a few shelves on the walls for books and 
papers, should complete the furniture of the room. 

"Prints and pictures are now so good and so cheap that 
there is no reason why the walls of the sitting rooms should not 
be ornamented with them. A few plants in the windows are 
bright and cheerful."! 

* Treadway, op. cit., p. 36. 

t This recommendation has been partially provided tor by the recent addi- 
tion of an open-air porch for the tuberculous in the almshouse. 
} Johnson, op. cit., p. 112. 



8. A monthly entertainment of some sort in all excepting 
the summer months should be arranged by interested groups in 

9. The dining room tables for all but the lowest grades of 
inmates should be covered with linen cloth, not oilcloth. 

10. It is further recommended that the Associated Charities 
and the Women's Club should jointly take up the question of 
immediately starting a movement for effecting the changes 
which need not wait, and for the appointment of a special com- 
mittee of the county board to consider the larger building prob- 
lems which are involved. 

Other recommendations which might be made may be deferred 
in the hope of concentration upon these, all of which will tend 
toward a more creditable and livable institution for Sangamon 
County. We believe that no more popular campaign can be 
waged in the city and county than that for making life in the 
county home more normal, cheerful, and comfortable. 

Some of these recommendations involve immediate changes; 
and we would strongly urge that, if necessary, outdoor relief 
(that is, assistance given outside the institution) be reduced in 
amount in order to enable the county to meet these first re- 
sponsibilities satisfactorily. 

Overseer of the Poor for Capital Township 
Capital Township is conterminous with the city of Springfield ; 
and the field of work of the overseer of the poor is thus the assist- 
ance of those in need within the boundaries of the city. The 
office is appointive and unprotected by civil service or by any 
adequate sense of responsibility on the part of the county board 
of supervisors in dealing with dependent families of the city 
along modern approved lines. A change of administration 
generally means a change in the office. Under these circum- 
stances obviously the office is not likely to be filled by anyone 
with experience or ability that amounts to anything in the treat- 
ment of families. Such a state of affairs, unfortunately, is not 
now regarded as criminal malfeasance in office, but the time will 
come when it will be so regarded. It is as serious an error to 
fill this position with other than a social worker with sufficient 



technical training and experience as it would be to fill the position 
of city physician by appointing a man who had not studied medi- 
cine. Both deal with very vital matters connected with the promo- 
tion of normal living. In the period since our field investiga- 
tions a new overseer of the poor has come into office. It is 
yet too early to judge whether he differs radically from his pre- 
decessors, but we know that the appointment was not made on 
the basis of any special experience in modern charity work ; and 
judging from the past, it may be inferred that just when he will 
have gained a rough and ready knowledge and discrimination 
from actual discharge of his duties he will more than likely have 
to make room for a successor. 

It was impossible to obtain figures of the overseer's expenditures 
for the calendar year of 1913, owing to the fact that the fiscal 
and calendar years are not the same. The nearest period obtain- 
able was the twelve months from December i, 1912, to November 
30, 1913. The disbursements for that period for outdoor relief 
and for general purposes are shown in Table 10. 





Outdoor relief 

Outdoor relief to families 

Pauper burials 



Purposes other than outdoor relief 

County patients in hospital 

Isolation hospital 

Tuberculosis patients in Open Air Colony 

Ambulance service 

Contagious cases other than those in isolation hospital 


Grand total 













Relief Work Outside of Institutions 
It is seen from the table that the expenditures for outdoor re- 
lief in the year indicated amounted to $8,245.02, and for other 
purposes $5,722.88, making a total of $13,967.90. The amount 
is not alarming for a city of the size of Springfield, and on the 
score of extravagance there is no necessity for comparisons 
or comment. The more important question is whether the worth 
of the money is being secured, and whether changes in policy 
would bring better returns. The methods of the office cast some 
light upon this point. The record system of the office is good so 
far as fiscal accounting is concerned, but there it ends. Even 
more important, as has been repeatedly shown in all our dis- 
cussions of the right treatment of needy families or individuals, 
is the proper recording of the essential facts of the cases. No 
such record was kept excepting that on the top of the ledger 
sheets the words "Widow" or "Deserted" or "Sick" sometimes 
were found as applying to individual families. Whatever knowl- 
edge of conditions there was, existed in the minds of the over- 
seers alone ; it was too fragmentary to be of any use as a basis for 
the action of any one of them. There was no way of carefully 
studying expenditures made on behalf of individual families, to 
determine whether amounts were adequate, or whether they were 
properly adjusted to the family's need. From the social as dis- 
tinguished from the fiscal standpoint, there was nothing in the 
office of the overseer of the poor at the time of our survey which 
sufficiently explained or justified any of the expenditures. 

The service of the overseer of the poor has been almost entirely 
the giving of material aid. A rough classification of amounts 
given, as far as this could be determined by the overseer's data, 
supplemented by the records of other agencies, was made up and 
is presented in Table 11. 

It will be observed from Table 11 that the amounts given 
were small, in only three cases out of some 300 exceeding $80 for 
the year. Over 70 per cent of the cases received less than $25 
and roughly 60 per cent less than $15. There was a fair degree 
of co-operation between the overseer of the poor and the social 
agencies of the city in regard to individual cases where there 



was question of the giving or withholding of rehef; but the 
giving of rehef to a definite amount, in order to further and form 
part of a definite plan, unfortunately was not practiced. It is 
difficult to see, therefore, in what way these small amounts 
given without sufhcient regard to the needs of the case could be 
of constructive usefulness. With the establishment of the 
confidential exchange and the decisions committee, upon which 
the overseer should serve, substitution of planned for planless 
relief may gradually be brought about. 



Cases which received 







































































































3 5 
I . . 

2; 3 

2; ■ • 

II 4 

2, . . 

.5, 2 I 

. .i i: . . 


















. . ■ • 1 ■ ■ • ■ ■ ■ 
I) . . 1 

Sickness (other than tuberculosis) 

Crippled condition 

Blindness * ........ 




I|. . 




Old age 


I mnrisonment 



Other cases 



8 2 












10 3 2 • • 



^ Corroborative evidence of intemperance in this family as well as tuber- 
culosis. Assignment of man's wages to wife was forced, 
b This figure includes one professional beggar. 

As already indicated in the discussion of care of the indigent 
sick, the payment made by the township to the hospitals in such 



cases is $4.00 per week. The remainder of the cost falls upon 
the shoulders of private benevolence. The treatment of the 
tuberculous is of special importance in this connection since it 
touches so many sides of family life, and we believe the overseer 
should assume a larger responsibility in it. Until the board of 
supervisors build a tuberculosis annex to the county poor farm, 
or some other sufficient provision for indigent and other tuber- 
culous is made, the county, through the overseer, should carry 
a large share of the cost of caring for poor tuberculous patients 
at the Springfield Open Air Colony, paying at least $6.00 per 
week. This rate should also apply to patients in St. John's 
Hospital who are unable to pay. 

Further, in this connection we believe that the funds of the 
overseer would be more usefully applied if, in co-operation 
with the Associated Charities and the dispensary of the Tuber- 
culosis Association, a part were concentrated on the continuous 
relief of families where one or more of the breadwinners are suffer- 
ing from tuberculosis and where the decisions committee decides 
that the family should be kept together and that its income is 
insufficient. This would apply whether being treated at home or 
in the Open Air Colony. Our study of family records where 
tuberculosis was a disability plainly showed inadequacy of funds 
in treating families so situated. In no other kind -of difficulty, 
excepting widowhood with neither working children nor income, 
is the need of planning relief upon a generous basis, to extend 
over an indefinite number of months, more common. 

Transporting Dependents to Other Communities 
The overseer, as was seen in Table 10, spends something 
for the transportation of those asking aid. This is usually in 
the form of railroad tickets to a desired destination. In addition, 
there are cases of expenditures by private agencies for transporta- 
tion, but it was impossible to learn definitely how many. All 
such expense should be borne by the public treasury. But in 
order to insure that the county or city, is not doing some other 
community an injustice by shunting dependent individuals upon 
it, and in no wise helping the person concerned, the overseer's 
office should be a signer of the Transportation Agreement of the 



National Conference of Charities and Correction.* This would 
mean meeting several requirements, chief among them being 
that before the ofhce should decide to furnish transportation in 
any case, it would corroborate, through the public relief officer 
at the proposed ultimate destination or through some other 
source, the statement made by the persons to be sent; and second 
that it would furnish transportation all the way to that destina- 
tion. Ablebodied non-residents who are refused transportation 
may be referred for possible employment or other care to either 
the Washington Street Mission or the Associated Charities. 

To sum up, it is recommended: First, that action of some 
kind be taken to secure experienced workers in the overseer's 
office. The Conference of Social Agencies should protest against 
the present procedure, and in succeeding elections should urge 
upon all parties to make public announcement of a policy pledg- 
ing nominees for supervisorships to take this office out of poH- 
tics and put in it a trained social worker under some kind of civil 
service restriction. ■ Second, the record keeping with reference 
to the essential facts of the cases cared for should be greatly 
improved. Third, the co-operation of the overseer with other 
social agencies should include the treatment of cases according 
to a mutually understood plan. Fourth, the cost of hospital and 
sanitarium care of the sick poor should be borne in larger part 
by the public — at least to the extent of raising the payment of 
$4.00 per week to $6.00 — and in all cases involving tuberculosis, 
special attention should be given that the relief provided is ade- 
quate, following a rehabilitation plan for the whole family. And 
fifth, the overseer's office should be a signer of the Transporta- 
tion Agreement. 

Beyond these special efforts, and indeed in connection with 
them, and until a modern system of recording is installed in the 
overseer's office, it will be desirable for him to keep in daily per- 
sonal touch with the office of the Associated Charities, inquiring 
systematically of its confidential exchange, using the data con- 
tained in its records, and turning over the facts he gathers re- 

* The Transportation Agreement for charitable institutions was drawn ' 
up in 1903. It now has over 600 signers. Copies may be secured by address- 
ing the Charity Organization Department, Russell Sage Foundation, New 
York City. 



garding families to be there recorded.* He should advise with 
the secretaries, and economy of effort should result from co- 
operating in the investigations whenever both agencies are dealing 
with the same famihes. So far as plans are concerned, there 
should of course be a joint understanding with the secretaries 
or decisions committee on these families. In connection with 
families known only to the overseer, he would do well to consult 
the general secretary as to lines of investigation and action. 

Lest we be misunderstood, however, it should be pointed 
out that we are not proposing that the overseer should in any 
way reduce his own authority, but simply that he should increase 
his efficiency. We do not urge that the Associated Charities 
should become his attorney, but that he should work with it in 
close understanding of the ends aimed at. 

Juvenile Court 
At the time of the survey there were 48 families on the Funds 
to Parents List of the juvenile court. A review of these showed 
that grants to widows ran quite uniformly around $8.00 and $10 
per month, although the variations in family needs, of course, are 
considerable. In the nature of things two set sums are very 
unlikely to be just the right amounts for families of different 
sizes and differently situated. This does not mean that the 
grant should be assumed to be the only outside source of income. 
But if, in the cases examined, it was expected that relatives or 
others would make up the necessary remainder, no such plan 
was indicated in the records. No budget was prepared in such 
cases nor was there indication of attempts to estimate what the 
minimum income should be, what amount of work the mother 

* The question may arise as to whether this should apply to families not 
previously known to the Associated Charities. My answer is that it depends 
upon how far the overseer's and the Associated Charities' families are the same. 
In 1913 the overseer had more than twice the number on the Associated Chari- 
ties' roster. But we believe that the latter number was far below normal. 
On the basis of our present information we are inclined to think that the facts 
revealed regarding those families known only to the overseer and not referred 
by him or by others to the Associated Charities may at a later time be read 
into the records of the latter, but not now. It is necessary for the Associated 
Charities practically to start all over again and the recording of the facts 
coming from the overseer must be limited, so that the development of thorough- 
going work may not be impeded. 



should be expected to do — taking into account her physical, men- 
tal, and nervous condition and other characteristics; whether 
there were any children of working age, what amount of their 
wages should go into the family purse ; what amount was prom- 
ised or should be expected of well-circumstanced relatives. As 
a matter of fact, though quite good records are maintained, there 
was practically no investigation made of these applications. 
Certificates or recommendations from persons known in the com- 
munity were required, but these furnished no basis whatever for 
a decision on what was needed. One of the important reasons for 
the insufficient investigation of cases was that the probation 
officer had so much work to do in connection with probation, 
both in the office and outside, that it was impossible for her to 
handle it all well. 

It is strongly urged that the court endeavor to secure a second 
officer who should give special attention to this work, for it re- 
quires not only most thorough initial investigations, but con- 
stant visitation.* The county board of supervisors, upon the 
recommendation of the judge, is now empowered by law to pro- 
vide for the appointment of a second probation officer. It is 
a poor investment simply to make grants, even when more varied 
than they are now, without someone going into the families; 
becoming a close and welcome friend to the widows; advising, 
when they need it, as to employment of themselves and children 
of working age, as to how to make the best use of the money, 
how to manage children who may previously have been guided 
by the father; observing the progress of the children in school 
and seeing that they attend regularly; and watching the health 
of all. It is the universal experience of both public and private 
agencies that nothing but intimate and constant visitation will 
prevent disastrous breakdowns. 

Widowhood plus a grant from the court does not make a 
normal family. It makes possible only a nearer approach to the 
normal, provided it is accompanied by' an intelligent plan into 
which the welfare of each member of the family has been inter- 

* This recommendation is strongly borne out by the findings in the study of 
the juvenile court made in the delinquency and corrections section of the 
Springfield Survey. See Potter, op. cit., pp. 122-136. 


woven and which is carefully watched in its unfolding. And 
even when the amount of a grant has been carefully determined 
upon, it may be necessary to vary it three or four or more times 
during a year on account of changed conditions. For instance, 
the widow's physical condition may change, or a relative who 
has been helping may lose his position, or one of the working 
children may gain an increase in wages, or the children's moral 
welfare may require that the mother work less outside and remain 
more in the home, or a hundred and one similar contingencies 
and complications may arise. // it is worth while arranging for 
widow's grants, it is worth while to see that they really effect some- 
thing, for money relief in itself assures nothing. To this end 
better investigation of needs and planning of treatment, as 
already recommended, should be provided for. As heretofore, 
all widows in need and who are eligible under the terms of the 
law (which requires citizenship and county residence for a term 
of three years) should be referred to the court. If, however, 
there are good and sufficient reasons against making a grant to 
any widow, it will be necessary for the private agencies to work 
with her. All widows who apply for grants and are not eligible 
under the act should be referred to the Associated Charities. 
Furthermore, it is absolutely essential that close co-operation 
should be maintained between the juvenile court and the Associ- 
ated Charities which, by aid of the confidential exchange, will 
bring the juvenile court in contact with all the social agencies of 
the city. 

School Attendance Bureau 
In the educational section of the survey. Dr. Ayres has shown 
that the entire situation in Springfield with respect to the enforce- 
ment of compulsory school attendance is in an unsatisfactory 
condition — that under present methods of enforcement of the 
law, school attendance in this city is at best only mildly com- 
pulsory.* Inasmuch as the problems of truancy and school 
attendance are intimately related to home conditions, and are 
likely to be especially acute in the families known to the social 

* Ayres, Leonard P.: The Public Schools of Springfield, Illinois, pp. 18-20. 
(The Springfield Survey.) 



agencies, consideration is here given to the matter also. It is 
not necessary to review the findings in this connection further 
than to state that Dr. Ayres' conclusion, that "in order to 
remedy the existing conditions at least two competent attend- 
ance officers should be employed," was borne out by our in- 
quiries. With this recommendation as a starting point, with 
knowledge of a considerable local conviction in responsible 
Springfield quarters as to the wisdom of following it out, and 
with the school attendance bureau also in mind as a social 
agency for dealing with families, the following detail suggestions 
as to the method of organizing and administering such a bureau 
are offered.* 

What Cases Should be Reported to Officer? Only when 
a satisfactory excuse cannot be gotten from parents by the use 
of inquiries sent through the mail, should the case be referred to 
the attendance officer. A printed form of inquiry may be used 
for this purpose. It should inform the parent of the date of 
absence and ask to have the reason entered on the lower part of 
the blank. 

What are Satisfactory Excuses? The superintendent or 
the board of education or the two in combination should draw 
up written instructions as to what should be considered by teach- 
ers and principals to be satisfactory excuses. The following 
are suggested as a basis for such consideration : 

1. Mental incapacity, certified to by a physician. 

2. Physical incapacity, certified to by a physician. 

3. Sickness of pupils, certified to by attending physician, 
the certificate to state the probable duration of the absence. 
In the case of contagious diseases the certificate must be en- 
dorsed by the health officer. 

4. Isolation on account of contagious diseases in the family, 
certified to by attending physician and endorsed by the health 

5. Death of a near relative and attendance upon funeral, pro- 
vided said absence does not exceed five days in any one case. 

6. Necessary absence from the city not exceeding five days 
during the year. 

* Suggestions along the lines here presented were prepared and submitted 
to the board of education in June, 1914. Some improvements have since been 


the springfield survey 

Supervision of Acceptance of Excuses by Teachers. 
All excuse notes or blank forms on which are entered the parents' 
excuses, together with the action of the teachers thereon, should 
be filed once a month in the office of the superintendent. Where 
the teachers do not accept excuses there should be immediate 
reference to the attendance officer. Where excuses are accepted 
there should be occasional supervision or examination of the 
blanks by the superintendent or someone else authorized by 
him to determine whether only valid excuses are being accepted. 

Excused Absences May Become Unexcused. All pupils 
absent from school with a valid excuse, except those absent on 
account of mental incapacity, are due back normally at or 
around a certain date. In their roll books, teachers should 
enter the approximate date so that inquiry may be made, if the 
absence is unduly prolonged. No name should be dropped from 
the roll book unless the child is going to another school or the 
family is leaving the city, or other reasons permanently exempt 
it from attendance at school. 

Transfer of Children. If by reason of removal the child 
must be transferred to another public school, or if the family 
decides that it wishes the child to go to a parochial school, im- 
mediate inquiry should be made by form letter or telephone to 
learn if actual transfer has been effected and if the child is duly 

Co-operation with Parochial Schools. Efforts should be 
made through the superintendent or members of the board to 
arrive at an understanding with the parochial schools. It should 
be made clear that the service of the attendance officer is open to 
them in following up absences which are unexcused. With 
proper understanding and with a competent attendance officer 
it would not be unreasonable to look forward to a time when the 
parochial school should offer to the attendance officer the privilege 
of inspecting the rolls of these schools. 

The School Census. We understand that the school census 
is to become a regular annual procedure in Springfield. It is 
scarcely necessary to point out that each year a comparison of 
the school rolls with the returns of the census should be made 



SO that no children shall be lost track of at the beginning of the 
school term. 

Social Problems Involved. But now as to the large number 
of absences for which there is no valid excuse. We are here 
face to face with social problems, not alone school attendance 
problems. The welfare of the children may not be considered 
solely from the point of view of whether or not they are attending 
school. Unfortunately it has been the theory of many attend- 
ance bureaus that if they get the child back to school everything 
is accomplished. Therefore attendance officers have some- 
times become impatient with family rehabilitation societies 
when the latter denied that the furnishing of clothes or shoes 
settled a situation in which, for example, there was an idle or 
loafing father. If in order to put a little stamina into him, 
either by moral suasion or by the offer of employment or legal 
proceedings, the return of the child to school is delayed for a 
short time, the child's interest may often be best conserved. 
Habitual truancy generally indicates a family rather than an 
individual disorder. It points to weaknesses lying much further 
back and is least often overcome by simply forcing a child into 
school again with a few new clothes, a new pair of shoes, and a 
grocery order. Nor should it be forgotten that an attendance 
officer will have to deal not only with habitual truancy but 
with those occasional unexcused absences which retard the in- 
struction of classes because they oblige teachers to help pupils 
who have lost a few recitations to catch up. There are questions 
of adjustment in such families which often cannot be worked out 
by an attendance officer without the co-operation of other social 
agencies of the city. The tvork should be considered as a com- 
bination of school attendance and social service. 

The Attendance Officer. For this reason the attendance 
officer should have experience as a social worker, and a knowl- 
edge especially of the family rehabiHtation field. He or she 
should be in direct contact with the general secretary and the 
decisions committee of the Associated Charities, because the 
society is the center of family rehabilitation work. Many of 
the families into which he goes will already be known to the 
Associated Charities or to one or more of the organizations co- 



operating with it. Whatever he does should be according to 
plans worked out between himself and the officers or the com- 
mittees of that society. He will be ready to make prosecutions 
or to ask another agency to do so when other measures fail. 
He will of course always have clearly in mind the purpose of 
getting the children back to school at the earliest possible moment. 

We urge this close co-operation because the problems in many 
families which were listed with the attendance officer, but which 
may not have come to the attention of any of the societies 
in the city, will not be essentially different from those in families 
which were known to them. Let it be remembered that relief 
problems form only a part of the work of an Associated Charities 
and of the societies co-operating with it. 

Co-operation of Mothers' Clubs. In connection with 
these particular questions, it is our opinion that mothers' clubs 
of the schools should work entirely through the Associated 
Charities, for otherwise they are likely to dissipate their ener- 
gies. Many of the members should be secured as volunteers in 
the working out of plans for rehabilitation. Special funds for 
individual families might be raised through the instrumentality 
of the clubs and upon appeal of the Associated Charities. We 
believe also that, in connection with the co-operative work of the 
attendance officer and the Associated Charities, many opportu- 
nities will be discovered where members of these clubs can tutor 
children who have suffered by irregular attendance, thus render- 
ing a most effective service to the children themselves and to 
the schools. 

Some Detailed Suggestions 

In connection with the plan here submitted, a few details may 
be noted: 

1. We assume that the comparison each year between school 
census and school rolls has already been worked out. A card 
index system will be most satisfactory for this purpose. 

2. The superintendent or someone designated by the school 
board should prepare and present to the board suggested instruc- 
tions as to what will be considered valid excuses. After approval 
these should be printed and furnished to principals and teachers. 

3. Forms to be sent to parents asking for reasons for absence 



should be printed. Whenever the certificate of a physician is 
required this should be plainly indicated on the blank, and in 
fact the reply may be signed by him. 

4. If no reply to such a notice is received within forty-eight 
hours, or an unsatisfactory reply, the attendance officer should be 

5. In cases where children have previously been more or less 
irregular in attendance, teachers may use their discretion in 
immediately reporting absences to the attendance officer. It is 
useless to wait for formalities in connection with families which 
have been difficult in the past. 

6. Notification to the attendance officer may be made by 
telephone but should invariably be followed by written state- 
ment on a printed form. 

7. The attendance officer should first confer with the Asso- 
ciated Charities in connection with all reports. The informa- 
tion already on file should be considered and further investi- 
gating and visiting made as required. 

8. We believe it desirable for the attendance officer to keep 
individual vertical files with family records upon blanks similar 
to those used by the Associated Charities. The information 
which an attendance officer should have is in many respects the 
same as an Associated Charities should have.* 

* When a thoroughgoing reorganization is planned, we suggest that the 
board invite James L. Fieser, formerly director of the school attendance bureau 
of the Indianapolis schools and now general secretary of the Associated Chari- 
ties at Columbus, Ohio, to Springfield for a few days of consultation. Mr. 
Fieser's work along this line in Indianapolis is very highly regarded; and he 
could also help in many administrative details. 






It was realized from the beginning of the survey, of course, 
that the various suggestions and recommendations growing out 
of the facts collected would affect not only individual organiza- 
tions, but also groups of organizations; and as the field work of 
the survey began to draw to an end it became more and more 
apparent that a satisfactory reorganization of the Associated 
Charities would need to be worked out, together with some 
plan for bringing about much closer co-operation among all the 
social agencies. In anticipation, therefore, of such develop- 
ments, and with a view to preparing the way for handling local 
social problems on a community-wide and more co-operative 
basis, a meeting was called by the sub-committee on charities of 
the general Springfield Survey committee. To it were invited 
unofhcially a number of persons vitally interested in the differ- 
ent agencies of the city. The meeting was well attended and 
was quite representative. 

After a statement of the purpose of the meeting and a dis- 
cussion of steps to be taken, the following preamble and resolu- 
tions were adopted : 

Whereas, the Russell Sage Foundation is conducting under the direction 
of Francis H. McLean, General Secretary of the. American Association of 
Societies for Organizing Charity, a survey of the charitable organizations of 
this city, and expects to make a report thereon in the summer or early fall, 

Whereas, said report may contain suggestions which it is desirable to 
adopt and carry into effect, and 

Whereas, to adopt and carry into effect certain of said suggestions may 
require the co-operative action of two or more charitable organizations, 
while other of said suggestions may be adopted and carried into effect by 



the action of a single organization, independent of the action of any other 
organization, and 

Whereas, While action toward carrying said suggestions into effect can 
only be taken by the proper action of the several organizations, none the 
less it is desirable to form a non-official conference of unofficial representa- 
tives of all the charitable organizations of the city affected by said sugges- 
tions to confer in regard thereto: 

Therefore, Resolved that a committee consisting of Rev. C. G. Dimlop, 
Mrs. Stuart Brown, Dr. B. L. Kirby, A. S. Spaulding and A. L. Bowen is 
hereby appointed to call together such conference in the early fall after said 
report shall have been received, to confer in regard to the suggestions therein 

Further, Resolved that the following policy is suggested with reference to 
the recommendations contained in said report: 

(i) Recommendations contemplating co-operation between two or more 
charitable organizations shall be referred to special committees upon which 
members of the governing boards of the organizations affected shall be 
included to consider and submit to the several organizations affected, plans 
for carrying into effect such recommendations in so far as may seem ad- 
visable that the same be carried into effect, such committees to report from 
time to time to the conference. 

(2) Recommendations which affect exclusively one organization shall be 
referred to the organization affected and such organization shall be requested 
to report to the conference by December i, 19 14, what recommendations 
made are or may be carried out, what are approved but seem impossible of 
accompKshment, what are disapproved by the board.* 

(3) Upon receipt of each such report the conference shall offer to appoint 
a Committee on ReconciKation between the recommendations of the report 
and the attitude of the board, the personnel of each committee to be ap- 
proved by the board of the organization involved. 

(4) When the ultimate program of each organization, so far as it may be 
affected by the approval or rejection or the recommendations of the report, 
shall be determined by its board, it shall be requested to make a report to 
the Conference which shall make an omnibus report to the Survey Com- 
mittee or its successor including the reports of all the different organizations, 
such omnibus report to be followed by supplementary reports. 

In accordance with these resolutions, and with a view to 
facilitating the, work, of the Conference of Social Agencies, 

* Owing to the change in the date of publication of this report, it is sug- 
gested that this time be set for April i, 1916. 



the main suggestions and recommendations offered in this report 
will be summarized in two groups — those applying to the indi- 
vidual societies and those requiring united co-operative action. 

Individual Societies 
The chief conclusions and recommendations applying to the 
individual societies may be summed up as follows: 

I. First, as to the institutions providing care for children, 
there are four such. Three of them — the Home for the Friend- 
less, the Orphanage of the Holy Child, and the Lincoln Colored 
Home — are primarily interested in the dependent and neglected 
child. The fourth is the Redemption Home, which takes only 
rescue cases and dependent children who will not be received any- 
where else. All apply practically the same methods of care. 
Although they have marked divergencies of policies, it cannot 
be said that any of them have attacked the causes of child 
dependency after thorough investigation of the cases and upon 
the basis of treatment planned according to the facts discovered. 
Moreover, the records kept do not sufficiently reveal facts on 
local conditions making for child dependency to form a basis for 
community action along preventive lines. While much valuable 
service has been rendered, — service which in the absence of the 
institutions might not have been available at all, — it must 
nevertheless be said that their work has been chiefly custodial 
and in the nature of material relief. The institutions have not 
been made to serve as stepping stones to the re-establishment of 
children in family life nor have they provided such educational, 
recreational, and other advantages for normal life in the insti- 
tutions, as the best current experience would dictate. In view 
of these facts action is recommended along the following lines : 

For the more detailed recommendations, reference should be 
made to earlier parts of the report where the points are discussed 
in full. 

a. Improvements should be made in the investigational 
work and record keeping as well as in the interpretation of 
data collected so that the institutions may become not only 
better educational forces for such children as, after study, 
are found to need the care of an institution, but that they 
shall make themselves into educational forces aimed at re- 
moving the causes of future child dependency. 

b. Each institution should provide only for those children 
who may not, for the time being, be better cared for in a 
family home. It should, therefore, be kept small and 



brought Up to the highest efficiency in diagnostic work, 
with sufficient and well-equipped staffs of workers, with 
well-planned sanitary cottages, provision for medical and 
psychological examinations, and for efficient training of 
older girls, not simply in the ordinary work of the house- 
holds but in domestic science classes. 

c. Except in cases of children requiring custodial care 
all their lives, the institutions should regard themselves as 
means to an end, the end being the re-establishment of 
children in family life; and preferably through a central 
organization for child welfare. 

2. Although established for detention of delinquent children, 
the Springfield Detention Home has been used much more as a 
place to hold poor children. This practice is thoroughly con- 
demned. The holding of dependent children in the detention 
home should be discontinued and provision made for their care 
in some other institution — preferably the Home for the Friend- 
less — unless completely separate wards can be provided for de- 
pendents and delinquents. 

3. More investigation, not only of the facts regarding the 
child's dependency but also of the motives and character of 
those wishing to adopt children, is needed in the county court. 

4. A city dispensary under the city health department should 
be organized, and it should sooner or later provide for those 
suffering from tuberculosis. At the same time one of the specific 
aims of the educational work of the local Tuberculosis Associa- 
tion should be the securing, through city and county funds, of a 
public tuberculosis hospital. 

5. The indigent insane should not be confined in the county 
jail annex. They are ill, and arrangements should be made for 
their care in hospital wards pending transfer to the state hos- 
pitals. . 

6. The insane held at the county poor farm should be removed 
to the state institutions as fast as possible, and no others allowed 
to become inmates. 

7. Confinement in the county jail annex of those suffering 
from grave alcoholic diseases should be discontinued and arrange- 
ments made for treatment in one of the hospitals until such time 
as the state may provide care for alcoholics, 

8. The reorganization of the Associated Charities already rec- 
ommended, under an experienced secretary, is in process. This 
should include among other things the establishment of one or 
more decisions committees, the securing of an assistant secretary, 
the better planning and organization of the financial campaigns 



of the society, the raising of standards of investigation and treat- 
ment, the transfer of the responsibihty for the clothing depot to 
some other organization, and various minor suggestions. 

9. Although co-operation between the Tuberculosis Associa- 
tion and the Associated Charities is already close, the importance 
of referring all cases to the Associated Charities for social service 
where future destitution seems at all probable is strongly urged. 

10. The work of the Humane Society should be reorganized to 
the end ultimately that all activities of the society relating to 
children sooner or later be removed to the juvenile court or to a 
central organization for child welfare, according to the needs of 
the individual case. The work for the protection of animals 
should continue to be handled by the police. It is expected, how- 
ever, that for the present the Associated Charities will need to 
act as originator of non-support proceedings which otherwise 
would have fallen in the field of the Humane Society. 

11. For the part of the Washington Street Mission, it is rec- 
ommended that more detailed record keeping of the work of the 
lodging house for homeless men be gradually developed and also 
of relief work done, that physical examination and treatment be 
extended to all applicants, that a definite effort be made to 
replace men in their ordinary environments, and that the dis- 
tribution of clothing be separated from the religious work of the 

12. The Earl Gibson Sunshine Society should follow a policy 
of doing no relief work excepting through existing agencies in the 

13. The Kings Daughters' Home for the Aged is urged to 
establish a sliding scale of prices charged for admission, setting 
a minimum if necessary; and also to place in trust all capital 
sums received from inmates, demanding during the lives of the 
inmates only the income of their estates. The capital would go 
to the home at the death of the inmate, but in case of a desire to 
leave the institution, the trust could be easily dissolved and the 
capital returned. 

14. A number of building improvements at the Sangamon 
County Poor Farm should be arranged for; occupations for all 
but the bedridden are urged and a graduate nurse should be added 
to the staff. 

15. Improvements recommended for the work of the overseer 
of the poor of Capital Township include the securing of more 
experienced workers to handle, this important office,, a great 
improvement in the record keeping with reference to essential 
facts on the families helped, and closer working together be- 



tween the overseer and other social agencies along some mutually 
understood plan of treatment. 

i6. A second officer of the juvenile court, who shall make 
more careful investigations and carry on continuous and intelli- 
gent visitation of widows, should be appointed. This will 
undoubtedly result in greater variation in Funds to Parents 

17. The school attendance bureau should be reorganized with 
a social worker in charge, and the work developed and sys- 
tematized, as indicated in detail in the report. 

United Action 
Action on the part of more than one society will be required 
with reference to the following proposed developments: 

Confidential Exchange 
The establishment of a confidential exchange by the Associated 
Charities is recommended. It means that the following agencies 
should officially agree to use it and that each should make a con- 
tribution towards its support. These contributions should range 
from $50 to $5.00 per annum. 

Home for the Friendless. 

Humane Society (until its work is reorganized as above 

recommended) . 
Tuberculosis Association. 
Washington Street Mission. 

City Physician ■ (or his successor, a general dispensary) . 
St. Vincent de Paul Society. 
Lincoln Colored Home. 
Day Nursery. 
Salvation Army. 
Springfield Improvement League. 

These are the agencies which are in daily need of a confidential 
exchange and which, except for one, are private in character, so 
that appropriations may be made for the support of the work. 
A committee should be formed in the conference composed 
of representatives of the organizations which agree to support 
the exchange, and this committee should serve as an advisory 
committee to the Associated Charities in connection with the 



exchange. The contributions to the exchange thus made will 
not pay all the expenses involved. 

Only one public agency is here listed, the city physician. 
We doubt if the county board could be induced to make an appro- 
priation for this purpose; but as long as the office of city phy- 
sician continues it will be worth $50 of the salary to the incum- 
bent to have such an exchange, for he can regulate his legitimate 
city work thereby. A dispensary, when established, will inevit- 
ably use it and should make an appropriation for that purpose. 

The following agencies, public in character, will need it daily, 
and should also make use of it. 

Juvenile Court. 

Overseer of the Poor for Capital Township. 

Sangamon County Poor Farm. 

School Attendance Bureau. 

In addition to the above agencies which should use the exchange 
a great deal, the following private agencies will make use of it 
also though not so constantly: 

Orphanage of the Holy Child. 
Earl Gibson Sunshine Society. 
The Churches. 

The churches should co-operate far more closely than most of 
them now do. 

Child Welfare Service 
A beginning should be made toward what will ultimately be a 
well-rounded county-wide child welfare organization which will 
stand firmly for comprehensive and sympathetic case work and 
for constructive measures for community betterment. Such 
an agency should make a thorough diagnosis of each application, 
socially, medically, and mentally; and should stand ready to 
supply treatment either through its own resources or through 
co-operation with other existing agencies. It should initiate 
an up-to-date placing-out work with departments for mothers 
with babies and a strong protective department prepared to 
prosecute when necessary. It should be organically connected 
with the Illinois Children's Home and Aid Society, and should 
work in co-operation with the Department of Visitation of 



Children Placed in Family Homes of the State Board of Adminis- 
tration and also with those institutions of the county which deal 
with children. This work might start under a child welfare 
committee appointed from Sangamon County by the Home for 
the Friendless.* 

Dispensary Service 
The city should establish under its health department a free 
medical dispensary and take over the general medical service 
now performed by the city physician. The management of 
such a dispensary should be in the hands of a paid official, but 
a large volunteer staff of physicians should be organized. The 
responsibility for admission to hospitals on county charge should 
also be placed upon the dispensary. As a first move toward the 
securing of this dispensary service the Associated Charities should 
apppint a special committee to confer with the health depart- 
ment and county officials. The committee might later be enlarged 
to become a committee of the Conference of Social Agencies; 
and in any case should continue in existence until sufficient pub- 
lic backing has been secured to enable the public officials to act. 

Movements for Community Improvement 
The Associated Charities through its general secretary and 
upon motion of its board of directors should take up in the Central 
Conference of Social Agencies or elsewhere any matters developed 
as a result of its case work which point to the need of undertaking 
some new activity or enlarging some activity already under- 
taken, or of effecting some administrative reform or legislative 
measure, or of educating the community. An illustration of the 
need of such activity with reference to preventing violations of 
the child labor law was found in our special investigations of a 
few families, and also in the study of home conditions in the 
industrial section of the survey.! 

Similarly the co-operation of the Springfield Improvement 
League will be of great value in making for a more intelligent 

* Since this recommendation was first made, the Home for the Friendless 
has begun to initiate placing-out and other child welfare work along the lines 
here outlined. 

t See Odencrantz and Potter, op. cit., chapter on Child Labor. 



public opinion bearing upon current social and civic problems in 
the city and county. 

The Ministerial Association should also be counted on in this 

County Poor Farm 
The Conference of Social Agencies should ask a joint com- 
mittee of the Associated Charities and the Woman's Club to 
take up the questions, large and small, connected with the county 
poor farm, calling upon the conference for whatever other 
assistance may be needed in order to carry out an effective, and 
if necessary, long campaign for improvements. This campaign 
should include an endeavor to secure more adequate accommo- 
dations for the insane in state institutions and their removal from 
the almshouse. Some changes can and should be made at once, 
but larger building difficulties may involve a far longer campaign 
to arouse public opinion. 

Public Outdoor Relief 
The conference is also advised to appoint a committee upon 
which should be represented the Associated Charities, the 
Tuberculosis Association, and the St. Vincent de Paul Society, 
to consult with the overseer of the poor of Capital Township 
as to the possibility of . his giving especial attention to tuber- 
culosis relief, the assumption of responsibility in all cases of 
non-residents, and other matters of mutual concern already 
pointed out. We would also recommend that the committee 
take up with the board of supervisors the question of increasing 
the rate of weekly hospital pay for the county's sick. The work 
of the agencies indicated is distinctly affected by the policy of the 
overseer's office. 

Moral Aid for Social Advance 
In addition the conference should lend its moral support, 
in public ways, to those agencies — the Associated Charities and 
the children's institutions, for example — upon which must fall 
the task of making extensive changes in their work involving 
increased expenditures. 



Secretary of Conference 
It is our recommendation that when the reorganization of the 
Associated Charities is effected that the new general secretary 
be asked to serve as secretary of the Central Conference of Social 
Agencies also, if mutually agreeable. 

Future Development 

The organization of this unofficial conference of social agencies 
is suggested so that a center of co-operation may be in existence 
to take up the recommendations of the survey, and work them 
out with individual boards of directors or with joint committees 
and boards. 

This advisory task in itself may require one or two years. 
It is hoped that long before the expiration of this period the con- 
ference will have succeeded in creating a demand which by 
mutual discussion and agreement shall bring about the steady, 
related, coordinated, constructive development of social work in 









of the 



Income =1 from 

Public funds 








$ 988 






Investments ... 

Donations, subscriptions, etc. . . 
Board of inmates . 

Miscellaneous sources 









Expenditure b for 







$ 106 

$ 219 








Miscellaneous purposes 








Total number of children in care . . . 
Average number of children in care 





Per capita expenditure e 






a Not including receipts for purposes other than maintenance. 

b Not including improvements or other extraordinary expenses. 

<^ Not including light. 

d "Buildings." 

« Based on average number of children in care during year. 





Child population of 

for the 




age of 

the Holy 

field Re- 

field in- 

In institutions on day of visit, 
May, 1914 










In institutions at the begin- 
ning of 101"^ 


Received during 1913 


Total cared for in 1913 



15 , 



Discharged during 1913 : 

To parents or relatives . . 
To foster homes: 











To board 


Transferred to other or- 
ganizations . . 



Otherwise discharged . . . 

30 a 

Total discharged during 






In institutions at the end of 






a Discharged in ways specified but figures not distributed. 

Children in institution at 


Beginning of 

End of year 





Home for the Friendless . . . 










Orphanage of the Holy Child 

Springfield Redemption Home a. . 






a Nineteen of the inmates at the beginning of the year were erring girls; the 
remaining 20 were babies or young children. 




s s s 






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s : £ i •<- : 

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The social agencies of Springfield at the time of the survey numbered 47. 
They are listed below together with a brief statement of their scope. 

Private Agencies 

Springfield Home for the Friendless. Deals only with children, 
dependents, and high grade defectives. Receives children for institutional 
care, placing out or boarding at expense of guardians. 

Orphanage of the Holy Child. A home for full orphan girls from any 
part of the Episcopal Diocese (not limited to denominational lines). Chil- 
dren are placed out from the institution. 

Lincoln Colored Old Folks and Orphans' Home. As its name im- 
plies, it is for these two classes of colored people. Children are placed out 
from the home. 

Springfield Redemption Home. A rescue home chiefly sheltering un- 
married women soon to become mothers. Also places out children and is 
generally caring for a few in the home. 

Associated Charities. A society for the co-operative treatment of 
family and community problems. Has been largely a relief organization. 

Springfield Tuberculosis Association. Maintains dispensary for 
the tuberculous, also visiting nurses, who do both tuberculosis and general 
nursing; promotes educational campaigns against tuberculosis. 

Springfield Humane Society. A society "to assist in the enforcement 
of the laws in relation to cruelty to children and animals." 

Washington Street Mission. Maintains a mission with religious serv- 
ices, also a lodging house for homeless men. Gives relief to famihes as an 
adjunct to religious work. 

St. Vincent de Paul Society. Provides material relief for families in 
distress. Membership from Catholic churches. Attempts constructive 

Springfield Day Nursery. A place where working women may leave 
their children under school age when away from home to work. Organized 
while the survey investigations were in progress. 

Earl Gibson Sunshine Society. A society aiming to help families 



through other societies; also makes visits to county poor farm and hos- 
pitals; supports work with blind babies and maintains trained nurse during 
Fair Week in Springfield. 

Salvation Aemy. Maintains mission; provides material relief for 
destitute families. 

King's Daughters Home for the Aged. A home for aged women. 

St. Joseph's Home for the Aged. A Catholic institution for the aged 
of both sexes; no denominational limitations. 

Springfield Improvement League. An organization of Springfield 
women working for a cleaner and more beautiful city. (This agency was 
organized after the field work of the survey was completed.) 

St. John's Hospital. A private pay hospital but receives county pa- 
tients through overseer of the poor, at a weekly rate of $4.00. Carries on 
no public campaign for funds. 

Springfield Hospital. A private pay hospital which, however, main- 
tains a ward for children whose guardians are unable to pay usual charges. 

Protestant Churches (21). Many of these provide some charitable 
relief in addition to religious work. 

Young Men's Christian Association. Religious, recreational, edu- 
cational, and physical organization for boys and men. Has an employment 

Young Women's Christian Association. Religious, recreational, edu- 
cational, and physical organization for girls and women. Maintains also 
a cafeteria and Traveler's Aid. 

Public Agencies 

Sangamon County Poor Farm. For aged people. A few others, in- 
cluding a number of the insane, are cared for. 

Overseer of the Poor for Capital Township. Gives relief in form of 
food, fuel, pauper burials, hospital service, and transportation. 

County and Juvenile Court. Deals with dependent and deKnquent 
children, abandonment and non-support cases, and granting of funds to 
parents. (This is counted here as two agencies.) 

City Physician. Appointed by the board of supervisors for Capital 
Township. Treats poor patients without charge and recommends hospital 
treatment, and so forth, through township overseer of the poor. 

Dental Dispensary. Maintained for school children by board of 

Truancy Officer. An officer of the board of education. 

School Nurses. Officers of the board of education. 

Of these 47 agencies, 36 co-operated by furnishing a complete or partial 



registration of families receiving service from them in 1913, or for other peri- 
ods as noted on pages 60-61. 

As to the II from whom no returns were received, the Young Men's 
Christian Association and Young Women's Christian Association naturally 
have no immediate contact with family rehabilitation; the county poor 
farm does not deal with famiHes in their homes; the Humane Society officer 
declined to submit his individual family records; the Earl Gibson Sunshine 
Society had no records, its family work being done through other agencies; 
the two homes for the aged — King's Daughters and St. Joseph's — dealing 
only with old people, were not asked to register; and a request made to the 
Springfield Redemption Home for registration was withdrawn because of 
the delicate character of its relations with wayward girls. The Salvation 
Army work had just been reorganized and the Springfield Day Nursery 
just organized. The Springfield Improvement League was organized since 
the survey and is not counted among the 47. The absence of registration on 
the part of the Lincoln Home was due to a joint oversight of the home and 
of the survey staff. 





(The size of family used here is six) 



First day 

Corn meal . . . . 



Beef heart . . . . 





Cocoa shells . . 






Second day 
Oatmeal ..... 









Coffee and tea 



2 lbs. 
2 qts. 

I lb. 
i lb. 

2 loaves 

Food cost per family 

per day for article 


New York 













Excess of 
prices over 
New York 
■ prices 




$.71 c 


3 qts. 
I lb. 

3 loaves 

1 qt. 

2 lbs. 








05 d 










a Amount not indicated. ^ Information not available, 

c Not including items for which information for Springfield was not 

d Assuming potatoes were bought by the peck, price $.35. 

^ Since tripe is not readily procured in Springfield, a substitute is assumed. 



The contributors' lists of the different Springfield social agencies, taking 
their last fiscal year, were obtained from the Associated Charities, Home for 
the 'Friendless, Tuberculosis Association, Humane Society, Orphanage of 
the Holy Child, Lincoln Colored Old Folks and Orphans' Home, Washing- 
ton Street Mission, King's Daughters Home, Young Women's Christian 
Association, Young Men's Christian Association, and the Earl Gibson Sun- 
shine Society. They could not be obtained from the Redemption Home 
or St. Joseph's Home for the Aged. The Salvation Army was too lately 
established and the day nursery too recently organized to make any report. 

The lists from the Young Men's Christian Association, the King's Daugh- 
ters, and the Earl Gibson Sunshine Society did not indicate the amounts of 
the individual contributions. None of the lists, of course, included the 
names of purchasers of tickets to entertainments, nor were the purchasers 
of Red Cross Christmas seals included. 

Individual contributors may be classified by total amounts given to all 
causes, so far as known, as shown in Table i6. 


Amount contributed during year 

Persons who 


the amount 


Less than I5.00 

$5.00 and less than $10 
$10 and less than $25 . . 
125 and less than $50 . . 
I50 and less than $100 . 

$100 or more 













This is an interesting result. It shows a pretty democratic support, not 
top heavy with contributors in the classes giving over $50. There is, how- 
ever, too great a decline in the proportions from the $10 to $25 group to the 
next two classes giving larger amounts; there should be more in the two 
latter groups. Satisfactory as the showing on the whole may be, there should 
be an education of more persons to enter the group of smallest givers and also 
a gradual pushing up from the group of small contributors to that of larger 
givers. We question whether anyone would for a moment affirm that any 
of the classes have reached "capacity Hmit." 

Next let us notice the contributors classified by the number of agencies 
which they are assisting to support, as shown in Table 17. 



Number of agencies 








Three. . 

Five . . 




Total . . 


This is a less satisfactory showing. It does not indicate a sufficiently 
broad basis of social sympathy when in a city of Springfield's size, only 42 
persons are contributing to five or more agencies; and only 99 to four or 
more. No evidence was found showing any careful intensive development 
of the field. 


A classification of sources of income from all societies appealing for pubHc 
support, which consented to fill out financial blanks prepared by the survey, 
gives us Table 18. 

Method of Collecting Funds 

The Associated Charities, the Home for the Friendless, the Washington 
Street Mission, the Humane Society, and the King's Daughters' Home for 
Women raised money by personal and correspondence appeals. 

The Washington Street Mission made use of a religious field day in which 
outside assistance in conducting the meetings was secured. The King's 
Daughters had the advantage of the co-operation of 19 local circles. 









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The Young Men's Christian Association raised its revenue largely by 
personal or correspondence appeals but also by benefits and to some extent 
by entertainments. The largest single item in 1913 was $535.91 from a 
circus in the armory. The larger part, $2,500 approximately, was raised 
by appeal. The sum of $1,100 salary was paid for a solicitor in 1913. 

The Tuberculosis Association received the sum of $1,261.99 from the sale 
of Christmas seals. It also is sometimes the beneficiary from dramatic 
entertainments, these being conducted however through an intermediary, 
the Woman's Club, which in the last fiscal year gave $1,000 to the associa- 
tion. It received $429 from an industrial insurance company for nursing 
service for its policy holders. Its other income is in the form of membership 
or contributions. 

The Young Women's Christian Association makes no appeal for general 
contributions, though it is presumed that the interest of some of those hold- 
ing membership cards is philanthropic and not entirely personal. 


We should strongly urge the publication of an annual report by each so- 
ciety having receipts amounting to $1,000 or over. We do not mean a report 
simply given out through the newspapers, but one separately printed giving 
an account of the work, a financial statement, and a Hst of contributors with 
amounts contributed. 

We would also recommend that all societies having receipts amounting 
to $100 or over have their account audited yearly by certified accountants. 

These two essentials to good stewardship of trust funds are not now a part 
of the system of most of the societies. 




An analysis was made of the total amount of material relief given by the 
different Springfield agencies. The exact amounts are not given, but a 
grouping is made of them by $5.00, $ro, and (in one case) $25 classifications. 
These results are shown in Table 19. The table is confined to outdoor 
material rehef, not including expenditures by the county for hospital care 
nor in fact any other county expenditures than those going directly into the 
homes of famiHes living in the city. 



Amount of relief given 
during year 

Less than $$ 

I5 and less than |io. . 
gio and less than $15. , 
^15 and less than $20. . 
$20 and less than $25 . . 
$25 and less than $30. . 
$30 and less than $40 . . 
140 and less than $50 . . 
$50 and less than $60 . . 
160 and less than $70 . . 
$70 and less than 180 . . 
$80 and less than f 90 . . 
J90 and less than lioo . 
$100 or more 


Families that receive the amount 
of relief specified from 




T3 QJ 
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a. (s 

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C taO 




I 301 









Admission and Discharge: rules gov- 
erning for children's institutions, 

Adoption and the County Courts, 

Associated Charities: activities not 
progressive, 108-110; child labor, no; 
clothing stations, 117-118; co-opera- 
tion with health department urged, 
48, 49; co-operation essential in social 
service, 61-100, 105-122; confidential 
exchange needed, 113-115, 160-161; 
decisions committee to organize, 115- 
116, 126; extensive scope of work, 
105-120; finance campaigns, 118; 
fimction of governing admissions, 14; 
mothers' clubs and school work, 150; 
preventive coordination, in; private 
agency for relief, 170, 175; record 
keeping, 107; records of families 
benefited, 57, 59, 61-62, 64, 100, 105- 
107; relation to other agencies, 108, 
no. III, 120; reorganization recom- 
mended, 15s, 158-164; service re- 
forms recommended, 119— 120; special 
fund, 108; staff and office arrange- 
ment, 106-107; staff reorganization, 
111-112, 155, 158-164; supervision 
of child labor, no; Tuberculosis As- 
sociation co-operates, 108; volunteer 
service, 107, 117 

Capital Township: improvements 
suggested, 159; services of overseer 
of poor, 138-142; outdoor relief ex- 
penditures, 139-142 

Central Contekence oe Social Agen- 
cies, in, 119-120 

Charities Survey: aim of, 2; general 
method, 2-3 

Child-Caring Agencies: cost of oper- 
ating, 9; dependent children in, 7- 
20; essential work extended by, 31; 
reports of state board, 9; State De- 
partment of Visitation, 29, 32 

Child Dependency: adequate records 
a preventive measure, 8-11; propor- 
tion in Springfield, 8 

Child Labor, and the Associated 
Charities, no 

Children's Aid Society: urgency for, 

Child Welfare: accurate records es- 
sential, 30; a preventive and con- 
structive program needed, 33-38; 
children's aid society recommended, 
161-162; county organization to pro- 
mote, 32-34; essential provisions, 
30-31; maternity homes and regis- 
tration, 21; organized co-operation 
needed, 17-20; school attendance 
problems, 149-15 1; special training 
for, and high standards, 29, 30, 32-38 

City Physician: and a confidential ex- 
change, 160, 161; duties, and district 
covered by, 41-42; public agency for 
the poor, 171 

Clothing Stations: needed regula- 
tions, 117-118 

Community Problems : civic and social, 

Conference on Social Agencies: ac- 
tivities of, 162 

Confidential Exchange: primary 
purpose, 113-115, 160-161 

Contributors Classified: 174-177 

Co-operative Planning: city and 
county ideals, 30; community meas- 
ures, io8-in; courts and charity 
organizations, 36, 121, 122, 171; es- 
sential in social service, 61-122, 171 

County Courts: adoption without 
special investigation, 20-21 



County Organization: and co-opera- 
tion, 32-34; need of, in Sangamon 
County, 32-36 

County Jail Annex: detention home, 

Deaf and Blind: special provision 
needed, 31 

Decisions Committee: advisory to 
Associated Charities, 115-117, 120 

Department of Visitation: corrects 
abuses, 14, 16-17; high standards of, 
29, 32; supervisory powers of, 32; 
valuable reports of, 9 

Dependents: first child-caring agen- 
cies, 7; delinquents' homes separate, 

Delinquents: separate homes for, 15; 
state provision needed, 31 

Desertion: disability cases, 76-80 

Detention Homes: not for dependent 
children, 38 

Disability: Funds to Parents, 144- 
146; nature of, 64-68, loo-ioi; social 
service records, 62-101; widowhood 
a primary factor, 65, 66, 69-75 

Dispensary Service: recommenda- 
tions for, 41-50; service needed, 161, 
162; Washington Street Mission, 125 

Earl Gibson Sunshine Society: 127; 
private agency for families, 170-171; 
relief work policy, 159 

Educational: attendance bureau, 146- 
151; census reports, 148-149; dental 
dispensary, 171; Dr. Ayres, on com- 
pulsory attendance, 146, 147; laxness 
of schools and social agencies, 89-93; 
parochial schools, 148; reorganization 
measures, 160; school nurses, 171; 
social problems, 149; study of school 
records, 26 

Finance Campaigns: organization of, 
118, 120 

Fire Protection: inadequacy of, 23- 


Food Costs: approximate differences, 
97-99; comparative table, 173; ex- 
tremes of standards, 26 

Foster Homes: inadequacy of, 33; 
institutions which place children in, 
8; State Department of Visitation, 
16-17, 29, 32; state supervision of, 32 

Funds: method of collecting, 175, 177 

Health Protection: hospitals and 
service in Springfield, 41-50 

History of Inmates: meagerness of 
records, lo-ii 

Home for the Friendless: adminis- 
trative problems of, 22, 23; admis- 
sion and discharge, 13, 14; financial 
report and attendance, 167, 168; 
first child-caring agency, 7; fire men- 
ace, 23-24; placing-out work, 16; 
private agency for children, 170, 175; 
records of civil conditions, 11; school 
records, 26-27 

Hospitals: need of, in communities, 31; 
recommendations for promoting ser- 
vice in, 43-50 

Humane Society: cruelty to animals, 
121, 122; private agency for chil- 
dren and animals, 170, 175; promo- 
tion of activities, 159; scope of en- 
deavors, 1 21-123; secures foster 
homes, 8 

Hygienic Conditions: needed re- 
forms in, 25-26 

Illinois Children's Home and Aid 
Society: coordination with Sanga- 
mon County, 34, 35 

Inadequacy: social service records, 

Income and Living Costs: variable 
standards, 95-101, 173 

Income and Sources: table for, 176 

Industrial Training: for young 
mothers, 35; lack of in homes, 27 

Insane: basement cells at Sangamon 
County Poor Farm, 134; facilities 
for, at Sangamon County Poor Farm, 
46-47; hospital wards needed, 50; 



Insane (Continued) 

Jacksonville State Hospital, 46; legis- 
lation to provide state hospitals, 137; 
Sangamon County Jail Annex, 49, 50 

Institution Development and Equip- 
ment, 36-38 

Institution Stmts: nominal salaries, 

Intemperance: rehabilitation work 
necessary, 83-85 

Investigation Methods: 112 

Irregular School Attendance: prob- 
lems involved, 89-93 

Juvenile Courts: and the Humane 
Society, 1 21-122; detention home 
operated by, 7-8; essential in com- 
munities, 30, 31; Funds to Parents 
grants, 144-146; public agency, 171; 
remedial measures to aid, 33; second 
officerneeded, 160; widowhood needs , 

King's Daughters Home for the 
Aged: 128-130; admission charges, 
159; private agency for women, 171, 

Lincoln Colored Home: financial re- 
port and attendance, 167, 168; organ- 
ized in 1898, 7, 12-13; overcrowding, 
afire menace, 23; private agency, 170; 
rules of admission, 12 

Maternity Homes: and child welfare, 
13, 21; industrial training, 35, 36 

Mental Deficiency: care, 46-47; cases 
- of, and inadequate records 80-83; 
training essential, 31 

N. Y. Association for Improving the 
Condition of the Poor: compara- 
tive food costs, 98, 99, 173 

Non-Support Cases: court records, 
83-85, 93-95 

Nurseries: benefit to mothers, 126- 
127; Springfield Day Nursery, 170 

Open Air Colony: Capital Township 
patients, 142; private agency, 48; 
Tuberculosis Association, 45 

13 183 

Operating Costs: a comparison of, 9 

Organized Effort: case histories 
cited, 17-20 

Orphanage of the Holy Child: ad- 
mission and discharge, 13; Episcopal 
home for girls, 7, 8; equipments for 
health reform, 26; financial report 
and attendance, 167, 168; not an 
educational home, 36; private agency 
for girls, 170; protection against fire, 

Orthopedic Service: need of, 31 

Outdoor Relief: committees recom- 
mended, 163 

Overseer of Poor: office of, for Capi- 
tal Township, 138-142; public agency 
for Capital Township, 171 

Parochial Schools : co-operation with 
attendance ofiicers, 148 

Physical Care in Institutions; poli- 
cies regulating, 12-13 

Placing-Out Societies: foster homes, 
34; regulating abuses, 16-17 

Preventive and Constructive Pro- 
gram: necessity for, 33-38 

Private Agencies and Social Ser- 
vice, 105-131, 170-171 

Provisions Essential to Child Wel- 
fare, 30-31, 33-38, 161-162 

Public Agencies: 171 

Receiving Homes: need of, for tem- 
porary care, 31 

Record Keeping: Associated Chari- 
ties, 107; families benefited, 57, 59, 
61-62, 64, 100, 105-107; filing sys- 
tem, 57-59; institutions adopting, 
10; practical methods, 37-38; use- 
less methods, la-ii 

Recommendations for Reorganiza- 
tion: 155-164 

Recreation Needs: facilities lacking, 


Redemption Home: financial report 
and attendance, 167, 168; overcrowd- 
ing, a fire menace, 25; private agency 
for unmarried women, 7, 10, 13, 167, 

Rents: data, and U. S. Census, 96-97 

Reorganization: Associated Charities 
staff, 111-112 

Rescue Home: irregular salaries, 23 

Roman Catholic Orphanage: at Al- 
ton, 8 

Russell Sage Foundation: conduct- 
ing survey, 155 

Salaries: inadequately paid institu- 
tion workers, 22, 23 

Salvation Army: branch, 127; private 
agency and mission, 171 

Sangamon County: reorganization of 
work needed, 32-34 

Sangamon County Poor Farm: cam- 
paign for improvements, 163; insane 
patients, 46-47 ; public agency for the 
aged, 171; recommendations for, 159; 
suggested improvements, 136-138; 
suimnary of report on, 132-138 

Sickness: city physician, 41-42; out- 
side aid, 41-43; public health and 
sanitation, 88-89; Springfield Tu- 
berculosis Association, 41-45; un- 
satisfactory record- keeping, 42 

Social Service: Associated Charities, 
105-120; clothing stations, 117-118; 
confidential exchange, 113-115; co- 
ercive methods in cases of intemper- 
ance, 83-85; co-operation and com- 
munity movements, 108-111; co- 
operation essential, 53-68; day 
nursery, 126-127, 170; decisions 
committee, 115-117; desertion, 76- 
80; disability cases in families, 62- 
loi; Earl Gibson Sunshine Society, 
127; families benefited, 2, 57-68; 
family disabilities, 62-68, loo-ioi; 
food costs, 97-99; handling special 
funds, 108; Humane Society, 121- 
123; income and cost of living, 95- 
101; irregular school attendance, 89- 
93; King's Daughters Home for the 

Social Service {Coniinued) 
Aged, 128-130; mental deficiency, 
80-83; non-support and court rec- 
ords, 93-95; normal conditions pro- 
moted, 53-56; preventive work, 56- 
57; private agencies provide, 105- 
131; problems in treatment of dis- 
abled famines, 69-101; record keep- 
ing, 56-57, 59; records showing in- 
adequacy, 72-101; rents, 96-97; St. 
John's Hospital, 43, 47, 48, 59. 63. 
171 ; St. Joseph's Home for the Aged, 
130; St. Vincent de Paul Society, 59, 
126; Salvation Army, 127, 171; 
sickness other than tuberculosis, 88- 
89; Springfield Improvement League, 
130-131; staff reorganization, iii- 
113; tuberculosis, 85-88; Tubercu- 
losis Association, 120-121, 159, 163, 
170-177; volunteer workers, 3-4, 117; 
Washington Street Mission, 123-125, 
159, 170, 175; widowhood problems, 
69-75, 144-146 

St. John's Hospital, county patients 
in, 43, 47, 48, 63; private agency, 171 

St. Joseph's Home for the Aged, 130; 
private agency, undenominational , 


St. Vincent de Paul Society: co- 
operative service, 126; private agency 
for families, 170; social service rec- 
ords, 59 

Special Funds: handling of, by As- 
sociated Charities, 108 

Springfield Day Nursery: a private 
agency, 170 

Springfield Detention Home: pend- 
ing court decisions, 14-15 

Springfield's Economic Advantages, 

Springfield Hospital, free ward for 
children, 43; private agency, 171 

Springfield Improvement League: 
civic and social problems, 130-131, 
162-163; private agency for civic ser- 
vice, 171 

Springfield Institutions: 
scope of, 34-36 




Stapf or Charities Survey: 3 

State Provision: scope of, 30-32. 

Temporary Care of Children: es- 
sential provisions, 30-31 

TuBERCtTLOSis : almshouse annex 
needed, 142; co-operative service in 
specific cases, 85-88; Open Air Col- 
ony, 4S, 48; patients at Sangamon 
County Poor Farm, 134, 137; 
Springfield Association, free dispen- 
sary, 45, 50; Tuberculosis Associa- 
tion, 41-45, 120-121, IS9, 163, -L^a- 

Tuberculosis AssoaAxiON: co-opera- 
tion with Associated Charities, 120- 
121; outdoor relief committees, 163; 
private agency and dispensary, 41- 
45, 170, 177; social service and the 
Associated Charities, 159 

Transportation Agreement: policy 
of, for dependents, 142, 143 

Volunteer Workers: scope of ser- 
vices, 3-4, 117 

Washington Street Mission: objects 
of, and departments of work, 123- 
I2S; private agency and religious 
adjunct, 170, 175; recommendations 
for, 159 

Widowhood : co-operative service 
needed, 69-75; disability problems, 
69-75! Funds to Parents grants, 144- 

Young Men's Christian Association: 
private agency, 171, 177 

Young Women's Christian Associa- 
tion: comparative food costs, 98, 99, 
173; private agency, 171, 177 



phlet Publications of the Department of 

Surveys and Exhibits, Russell Sage 


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Schneider, Jr. 2 pp. 2 cts. 




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City and County Administration. 25 cts. 

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Public Health of Springfield. 159 pp. 25 cts. 

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Correctional System. 185 pp. 25 cts. 

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Springfield: The Survey Summed Up. 15 cts. 

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BURGH: Summary of findings of taxation inves- 

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SE 19' 


ATION, ITHACA, N. Y. Franz Schneider, Jr. 

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STATES. Franz Schneider, Jr. 21 pp. 20 cts. 

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The Pittsburgh Survey. Six volumes edited by Paul U. Kellogg. Price 
per set, postpaid, $10. 

The Pittsburgh District: Civic Frontage. $2.70. . - 
Wage-earning Pittsburgh. $2.72. 

Women and the Trades. By Elizabeth Beardsley Butler. $1:72. 
, Work-Accidents and the Law. By Crystal Eastman. $1.72. 
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Handbook of Settlements. Edited fey Robert A. Woods an,d Albert J. 





Aiiti-Rust Club 

Ira B. Blackstock 

Board of Education 

A. L. Bowen 

George M. BrinkerhofT 

Brith Sholom by Rabbi Tedesche 

Mrs. Stuart Brown 

John' W. Bunn 

Mrs. Samuel T. Burnett 

Central Baptist Church 

Christ Church 

City of Springfield' 

Clinton L. Cohkling 

Dr. Albert E. Converse 

H. A. Converse 

Mrs. John C. Cook 

Col. Henry Davis 

Dr. Don W. Deal 

Mrs. Thomas Dyke 

Mrs. A. E. Ferguson 

First Christian Church 

First Congregational Church 

First Methodist Church 

First Presbyterian Church 

Mrs. B. M. Griffith 

E. A. Hall 

Frank L. Hatch 

Ozias M. Hatch 

Mrs. Pascal E. Hatch 

Pascal E. Hatch 

Senator Logan Hay 

George B. Helmle 

J. H. Holbrook 

Grace Humphrey 

Judge J. Otis Humphrey 

Mrs. A. L. Ide 

Mrs. Francis P. Ide 

Francis P. Ide 

Hairy L. Ide 

Roy W. Ide 

Mrs. Thomas L. Jarrett 

Jefferson Printing Company 

Mrs. Susan Lawrence Joergen-Dahl 

Robert C. Lanphier 

Senator Hugh S. 'Magill, Jr. 

Mrs, Mary L. Mendenhall 

H. M. Merriam 


Col. Charles F. Mills 

Mrs. Hugh T. Morrisoi 

Gov. W. A. Northcott 

Bishop E. W. Osborne 

Geprge Pasfield 

Dr. C. L. Patton 

Mrs. J. C. Pierik 

Reiscfa Brewing Company 

R. F. Ruth 

Sangamon-Menard County Dental 

Ferd. C. Schwedtman 
Mrs. E. S. Scott 
Edgar S. Scott 

{Second United Brethren Church 
Lavinia Smith 
Mrs. Thomas Smith 
Willis J. Spaulding 
Springfield Branch, Association of 

Collegiate- Alumns 
Springfield Commercial Association 
Springfield Woman's Club 
George B. Stadden 
St. Paul's Church 
Dr. L. C. Taylor 
Rev. Walter L. Turney 
I. A. Weaver 

Mrs. Olive Black Wheeland 
W.F. Workman 



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