Working Parents’ Use of Orphanages as Child Care
This chapter focuses on how the United Presbyterian Orphan's Home (UPOH) proudly reflected on the thousands of children they had helped and pictured them in a long procession next to a line of dedicated orphanage managers. Parents are not only missing from this imagined scene but are literally portrayed as absent from their children's lives. In their self-representations, the Home for Colored Children (HCC) often painted an even more dismal picture of parents, pointing to not only their absence but their alleged abuse and neglect of children. However, beneath the surface of orphanage rhetoric and managers' historical memory, parents were very much present and played a crucial role in the institutions. Parents viewed their children's institutionalization as a temporary necessity, a deliberate parenting choice and not an abandonment of their parenting responsibilities.
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