The WESTERN RESERVE CHILD WELFARE COUNCIL (1911-17) represented the first organizational effort to regulate services for CHILDREN AND YOUTH in Cleveland. The council resulted from the Western Reserve Conference on the Care of Neglected and Dependent Children, held on 17-19 November 1910, a year after the White House Conference on Dependent Children. Participants in the local conference recommended creating the Western Reserve Child Welfare Council to improve and standardize child placement and CHILD CARE in institutions. The organizing committee was composed of JAMES RUDOLPH GARFIELD, chair, M. A. MARKS, CORDELIA O'NEILL, George S. Adams, Douglas Perkins, and A. B. Williams, secy. Garfield became president of the council, which formed a Central Committee on Child Welfare. This committee, which met quarterly, was composed of 2 representatives from 50 different groups, both public and private, concerned with children's health and welfare, including SETTLEMENT HOUSES, ORPHANAGES, maternity homes, hospitals (see HOSPITALS AND HEALTH CARE), the CLEVELAND PUBLIC SCHOOLS, CUYAHOGA COUNTY JUVENILE COURT, and others. The committee charged the Western Reserve Child Welfare Council "to preserve the integrity of the family with due regard always for the welfare of the child." The council studied children's needs in the city and tried to coordinate the activities of the disparate associations working in the field. Acting as a sentinel, it addressed such areas as infant health, illegitimacy, child labor, and EDUCATION, in addition to institutional care. In 1914 the Western Reserve Child Welfare Council changed its name to the Cleveland Welfare Council. Three years later it merged with the Federation of Charity and Philanthropy to become the Cleveland Welfare Federation.

Western Reserve Child Welfare Council Records, WRHS.


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