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Fostering on the Farm – Child Placement in the Rural Midwest - Illinois Scholarship Online
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Fostering on the Farm: Child Placement in the Rural Midwest

Megan Birk


From 1870 until after World War I, reformers led an effort to place children from orphanages, asylums, and children's homes with farming families. The farmers received free labor in return for providing room and board. Reformers, meanwhile, believed children learned lessons in family life, citizenry, and work habits that institutions simply could not provide. Drawing on institution records, correspondence from children and placement families, and state reports, this book scrutinizes how the farm system developed—and how the children involved may have become some of America's last indentured la ... More

Keywords: reformers, farming families, placement, orphanages, children's homes, farm system, foster care, adoption, family preservation, abuse

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780252039249
Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017 DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252039249.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Megan Birk, author
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley