Rewind: Child Welfare and Fostering (September, 1964)

This article from September 1964 discusses the importance of providing care and a good home to children in need. 

 

One of the main functions of this Department is the protection and care of deprived children whose parents cannot or do not take care of them.

To this end departmental welfare officers investigated allegations of the neglect and destitution of children, bring cases before court where necessary and, if so empowered by the court, arrange the foster placement, family care, or adoption of children concerned.

The Department is very grateful for the assistance afforded by those foster families who have accepted the care of children from the Department. However, the availability of foster homes is still far below the number required and the search for suitable placements for deprived children is an unceasing one. The principles underlying this area of the Department’s work are:

  • That the natural parent(s) of a child shall have every encouragement and support in providing normal family experience for their children within their home
  • But if after such encouragement and help the home environment still continues to be detrimental to the child so as to bring it in to mental, moral or physical danger, the Department may be forced to intervene for the child’s sake.
  • In arranging foster home or other family placement, the Department endeavours to find substitute parents capable of understanding and supplying the particular needs of the child.
  • The Department’s officers maintain an intimate relationship with and support of substitute parents. However, in those cases where the foster parents-ward relationship does not develop to the best advantage of the child, fresh placement is made without hesitation.
  • While recognising that certain groups of children suffering from specific defects or serious deprivation may, for a time, be advantaged by institutional placement, the Department subscribes to the view that any child ultimately capable of normal family living should be placed within a family home as early as possible.

Foster parents receive from the Department an amount of $56/per week per child, plus medical and dental expenditure and cost of school books. 

There is no single ideal type of foster-parents. The kinds of people who make good foster parents are those who feel and can show an unselfish love of children: this is the major factor in successful child-rearing because the child’s awareness of love gives him security, reassures him against rejection and teaches him to display his own loving response both as a child and later as an adult.

The Department needs, too, those who have successfully brought up their own children and are still young enough to cope with a second family; those who can identify with the feelings of children but can still retain the necessary family discipline; “open” and frank types who do not have too great a sense of privacy, and –especially- patient, well-adjusted, happily married, companionable couples.

If YOU know of such a family or families, willing and eager to foster a child, please ask them to contact the Child Welfare Department’s Boarding-Out Officer for further particulars. This officer would welcome enquiries. Foster homes are especially required for boys.

The Department thanks the Civil Service Association for affording its space in this journal to acquaint Members with an important part of its activities.  

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