Children Astray

Children Astray

Children Astray

Children Astray

Excerpt

These cases are presented with two entirely distinct, although not divergent, aims. One of these is the gradual creation of a teaching literature for social work. Just as law, medicine, business administration, logic, and even ethics, can best be taught by the case-method, so social work, which often cuts across all these other fields, can best be transmitted to prospective workers through study of cases. The presentation of social case-histories involves problems different from those of legal cases, a difference in which inhere both a strength and a weakness. In legal cases there is an ultimate decision before a supreme judicial body. In social work authoritative procedure and technique have still to be worked out, and, what is more important, there never issues a final decision as to who is right and who is wrong.

The second aim in the presentation of these cases is to demonstrate the possibilities of using orphanages for special cases, rather than utilizing such institutions only for the easy and "normal" problem of child dependency. Such a practice is exactly opposite to that followed so religiously by all such institutions up to a decade ago and still lingering in many places.

Other types of case-histories are now emerging into print. Those issued by the Judge Baker Foundation are admirable. Our own cases are presented from a different point of view. The Judge Baker Foundation presents the work of psychologists from the psychological point of view primarily, with incidental attention to sociological settings and implications. Our cases are presented frankly from the sociological point of view, with incidental reference to psychological diagnoses and prognoses. Both of these methods may be used simultaneously; they are not mutually exclusive. Who shall say . . .

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