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Child Care in Black and WhiteWorking Parents and the History of Orphanages$
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Jessie B. Ramey

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036903

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036903.001.0001

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Contesting Orphans

Contesting Orphans

(p.194) Conclusion Contesting Orphans
Child Care in Black and White

Jessie B. Ramey

University of Illinois Press

This concluding chapter demonstrates how James Caldwell's experience highlights the way in which orphanages served as “community institutions,” serving the needs of the local people who used them. But institutional child care was contested terrain. Both the United Presbyterian Orphan's Home (UPOH) and the HCC illustrate how many different stakeholders negotiated the development of child care institutions, each with sometimes competing agendas and expectations. Similarly, the managers displayed motives of social control, wishing to not only assist poor children, but to reform poor families themselves. These managing women were the most powerful stakeholders in the orphanages, but they were never alone; their control of the institutions was mediated by constant interaction with working-class families, reformers, staff, and the broader community.

Keywords:   James Caldwell, community institutions, institutional child care, United Presbyterian Orphan's Home, Home for Colored Children, social control, poor families, managing women

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