Arguments to Bring Back American Orphanages- An Introduction

In the early 1900s, people began to voice concern over the state of the child welfare programs in the United States. This led to the end of the orphanage system and the beginning of the foster care system that we know today. However, during the 1980s, the tides began to shift in the other direction. People began to voice concern about the state of the foster care system, questioning whether or not the foster care system was really the best option for children, especially those who came from abusive or neglectful families. These included professionals such as family court judges and sociologists who worked with the current foster care system and saw various problems every day. These problems include the limited availability, in some areas, of foster care homes, problems with abusive foster care homes, the social effects of foster homes on children, and so on. The professionals also made some suggestions on how to rectify those problems by switching to a childcare system that consist of the different lessons that we have learned through the foster care and orphanage systems that the United States has used. The following articles go over some of the arguments that have been given in the last thirty years about the failings of the foster care system and some examples of institutions (orphanages) that are currently in use today.

Modern Alternatives

At the 1909 childcare conference in Washington, D.C., hundreds of childcare professionals had gathered from across the United States with the goal of reforming the childcare system that existed at that time. The professionals came up with two different solutions to the childcare crisis that they were facing around the turn to the twentieth century. The original childcare system that was proposed by the professionals at this conference was the . . . Read More

The School that Chocolate Built

In the early 1900s, Milton Hershey, founder of the Hershey Chocolate Company, and his wife, Catherine “Kitty” Hershey, decided to build an orphanage for boys. The couple could not have kids because of an illness Kitty had that made her very ill. They decided to give the fortune they had earned from Milton’s ownership stake in the Hershey Chocolate Company . . . Read More

A Town for Boys

In the early 1900s, Father Edward J. Flanagan was working as a young Catholic priest in Omaha, Nebraska. While in Omaha, he operated what some called a “Working Man’s Hotel” which was little more than a warehouse where he provided food, clothing, and shelter to the homeless men in Omaha. While serving those men, he began to see a pattern that began when the men were young boys. . . . Read More