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Raising Government ChildrenA History of Foster Care and the American Welfare State$
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Catherine E. Rymph

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469635644

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469635644.001.0001

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Helping America’s Orphans of War

Helping America’s Orphans of War

(p.66) Chapter 3 Helping America’s Orphans of War
Raising Government Children

Catherine E. Rymph

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines the impact of World War II, which increased the need for foster care, decreased the supply of foster parents, and exacerbated tensions over women’s roles as workers, mothers, and caregivers. In an effort to meet wartime needs for foster parents, child welfare professionals turned to the rhetoric of war service to recruit foster families, celebrating foster mothers’ caregiving as part of the war effort. As was also the case for other women working in war industries, however, champions celebrated foster mothers’ motivations in traditionally feminine terms while often downplaying the very real economic considerations at play. The chapter examines the role of a program to temporarily place British children in American homes (administered by the US Committee for the Care of European Children) in further developing the American child welfare infrastructure. It also explores child welfare professionals’ opposition to institutional day care.

Keywords:   Child welfare infrastructure, foster parenting in wartime, foster parent recruitment, US Committee for the Care of European Children (USCOM) day care

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