Progressive Reformers and Staff in the Development of Child Care Organizations
This chapter considers how the Home for Colored Children (HCC) recorded a version of its founding story that traces the genesis of the institution to a state law. Several succeeding versions of this tale cite the role of legislation in prompting the formation of a new institution for African Americans, suggesting that the state acted as a progressive agent, forcing changes in the handling of all dependent children. While this version of HCC's founding story is not entirely accurate, it contains an essential truth: progressive reform ideas were starting to circulate in this period and had real impact on the development of child care institutions. The story locates the impetus for change outside of the orphanage founders themselves, placing it instead on progressives working through the government to enact new state laws regulating child welfare.
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