CHAPTER IX
RELATIVES AS SOURCES

AS BETWEEN the different forms of social case work, it will be seen that, in the first city (where such comparisons could be most safely made), the suburban and the city charity organization society consulted with 35 and 36 Relatives respectively in their 50 cases each, the general private relief society with 39, the public outdoor relief department with 42, the society to protect children from cruelty with 51, the city and state departments for care of children with 68 and 44 respectively, three child-placing agencies with 89, 44, and 48 respectively, a reform school with 26, a children's institution with 20, a day nursery with 29, and three hospital social service departments with 11, 6, and 23 respectively.1 Relatives were seldom consulted by the juvenile court, but in most forms of children's work, in family work, and in medical-social work (though here in a less degree) the figures show frequent consultations.2

What does the reading of case records and the evidence of case workers, in so far as it has been possible to collect this in many interviews with them, show as to Relatives? Clients often do not want their Relatives seen. Why is this, and what mistakes of the social worker may justify, at least in part, this position? More and more social workers are seeking out Relatives, though more and more they are discovering their bias, and the need of sifting their evidence with great care. Just what is gained in accuracy

____________________
2
It must be remembered that only the Relatives outside the immediate family group were counted in the outside sources study. The use of the word Relatives in this chapter is subject to the same limitation but to no other, for it here indicates relationship by birth, by marriage, or by descent. Brothers and sisters living at home are counted as members of the family under treatment; if living away from the family, they are classified as Relatives. A client's kindred and his wife's kindred are regarded here as his and her Relatives, though the distinction between connection by marriage and connection by descent or birth is an important one to make in our consultations.

-180-

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