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Three Notable African American Women in Early Child Welfare

Written by Wilma Peeples-Wilkins, Boston University. “For the most part, social welfare history has focused on efforts to protect dependent and delinquent white immigrant children. Information on the care of African American children has been excluded. Because of racial separation and discrimination, information describing the care of African American children has often been left out. It is important to call special attention to this situation.”Continue Reading »

Widows and Waifs

Written by Dr. June Hopkins, Armstrong Atlantic State University. This essay investigates the connections between the child-saving movement to reform orphanages and the widows’ pension movement in New York City during the Progressive Era.Continue Reading »

Child Welfare

Child Welfare: A Brief History by Linda Gordon, Ph.D., New York University, New York, NY Children have been central to the development of welfare programs in the United States. Indeed, sympathy for poor and neglected children was crucial in breaking through the strong free-market individualism that has been mobilized repeatedly to condemn public aid to… Continue Reading »


Written by Professor Ellen Herman, University of Oregon. “Since ancient times and in all human cultures, children have been transferred from adults who would not or could not be parents to adults who wanted them for love, labor, and property. Adoption’s close association with humanitarianism, upward mobility, and infertility, however, are uniquely modern phenomena.”Continue Reading »

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