Disadvantaged children

The problem with waifs and strays is obviously not a new problem:

There are 4123 children under the control of the department. The Minister states that it is well that the State is prepared to stand `in loco parentis’ to this large family of waifs and strays, but it is a matter for public concern that year after year there should be a constant supply of such children claiming the State as its foster-parent.

It has to be admitted with regret that home influence is not so strong nor of so fine a type as it was a generation ago. It has often been urged that, rather than the children, parents who have proved themselves unfit to be parents should be placed under restriction. It certainly seems to be the height of folly to take children from a home which is judged to be unfit for children and from parents who are unfit to rear children, and yet to wait year by year for the succession of additional children which proceeds from the same home.

In many cases the evil effects cannot be remedied even if the children are taken charge of from infancy, for physical or mental infirmity are often stamped on the children for life through the moral or physical degeneracy of their parents.

There has never been easy solutions to bad parents and parenting,  and unsatisfactory home situations for children.

That’s from the ODT 26-9-1917: https://www.odt.co.nz/opinion/100-years-ago/industrial-school-system


  1. Kitty Catkin

     /  September 29, 2017

    That date doesn’t surprise me. People have been saying this for a very long time as anyone with any knowledge of social history and ‘social realism’ literature will know. The golden age was usually 50 years before the present.

    • “It has to be admitted with regret that home influence is not so strong nor of so fine a type as it was a generation ago”.

      Sounds familiar.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  September 29, 2017

        It would have sounded familiar to Dickens and Jane Austen and Chaucer’s Parson.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  September 29, 2017

        Spoiled and neglected children have been around in literature for centuries.

        The quote about the youth of today which is attributed to Socrates is bogus, of course-one only needs to look in any reputable book of quotes to see that it’s not there. I forget when it appeared, but I am certain that it was the 20th century (it has also supposedly been found in other ancient sources, all bogus)