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Decisions of removal or retention in child neglect cases : an analysis of the reasons for decision in… Campbell, Doreen Evelyn 1951

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R\  DECISIONS OF REMOVAL OR RETENTION IN CHILD NEGLECT CASES An analysis of the reasons for decision i n the cases of twenty disturbed children known to family and childrens' agencies i n Vancouver.  by DOREEN EVELYN CAMPBELL  Thesis Submitted i n Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree of MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK i n the School of Social Work.  1951. The University of British Columbia  The subject of this study i s the disturbed child, who has been emotionally and physically neglected. The area of concern i s the agency's decision whether to continue service with the child removed from his own family, or with the child retained i n his family. For the welfare of the child, i t i s essential that the caseworker, drawing on the growing body of knowledge regarding parent-child relationships and on her own individual s k i l l , make the choice which w i l l give the child the greatest opportunity for normal development. The seriousness of the child's disturbance, the parents' attitude and maturity, the quality of.other feelings, must a l l be carefully weighed i n this d i f f i c u l t decision. Several obstacles to an objective decision are present. These are the quality of the caseworker's s k i l l , the inadequacies of the protection of children's act, and the existence of some administrative limitations. With these handicaps to casework already i n mind, the actual reasons for the decision, as they became apparent from a comparison of ten removed children and ten retained children, were considered. A number of factors were found to be more often the determinants of the decision than the caseworker's careful assessment of the parent-child relationship. These were (a) the parents* and the community's awareness of a problem, (b) the disturbing events produced by the child's behaviour, rather than the emotional deprivation, (c) the amount rather than the quality of parents' rejection, (d) the professed function of the agency (whether specializing i n children's or family service) i n which the child neglect case appeared. Accordingly, an overall implication of the study i s the need to strengthen procedures which offset this tendency for agencies to l e t circumstances be the determinant and which w i l l place more responsibility for the decision on the caseworker and her professional assessment.  TABLE OF CONTENTS  Chapter 1.  Disturbed Parent-Child Relationships*  General and emotional neglect. Disturbed parent-child relationships. The caseworker's part i n the decision to remove or to retain. Some hindrances to casework. Chapter 2.  The Children Studied.  The purpose of the study. The method: two groups of children, removed and retained. The criteria for selection of children. The schedule. Similar and dissimilar characteristics of the two groups. The parents' request at intake. Chapter 3. rison.  The Behaviour of the Children. The d i f f i c u l t i e s of classification. A forecast of the compaDescriptions of the children i n the two groups. Summary.  Chapter k*  The Attitude and Maturity of the Parents.  Adverse parental attitudes and the child's reaction. The basis for the assessments of maturity. Descriptions of the parents i n the removed group. Examples of parents of the retained group. The results of comparisons. Chapter 5.  An Evaluation.  The need for casework with child neglect cases. Kind of parents with whom casework, i s more or less effective. Some of the reasons for failure. Summary of the factors that affect the decision: diagnostic or circumstances ? Some proposals. Appendices: A. Schedule for Case Analysis. B. Bibliography.  DECISIONS OF REMOVAL OR RETENTION IN CHILD NEGLECT CASES An analysis of the reasons for decision in the cases of twenty disturbed ohildren known to family and childrens' agencies i n Vancouver.  CHAPTER 1 DISTURBED PARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIPS Several years ago a committee set up by the Family Welfare Association of America to study the relation between family and children's services defined a situation requiring child protective services as "one i n which a child... i s being subjected to destructive family or community influences and needs casework service or legal action to remove, reduce, or prevent such effects"."'" A child i n this kind of a situation i s said to be neglected.  However, this i s a relative term.  The degree to which a child can be said to be neglected, that i s , the extent to which the quality of his care f a l l s below an accepted standard, so that the community has the right to interfere with the fundamental rights of parents, i s dependent on many factors. Gane l i s t s them as "the period, the law, the local standards, the sensitiveness of the community as a whole, the alertness, willingness, and authority of a social agency to assume responsibility for helping the neglected child, and the 2 extent to which a court i s free to use i t s own judgment".  The case  that i s most easily detected as neglect by the community may be one that offends the community more than i t hurts the child.  An example i s the  child i n the dull, easy-going family, where customary standards are at odds with the sensibilities and standards of the group. Although the material things may be lacking, this child i s receiving from his family the affectional security which i s so essential for his growth and development. Another family may lavish material benefits upon the child 1 Jean L. Gregory, "Relations between family and children's services", The Family, Nov., 19kk*, p.251. 2 Margaret E. Gane, "A programme for the Protection of Children", Proceedings of the National Conference of Social Work, 191*6, p.383.  - 2 but, because of personality difficulties i n the parents, may be i n capable, •without help - or perhaps never w i l l be capable - of giving him that warm, close relationship to which every child has a right. Disturbed Parent-Child Relationships. Depending upon the total or partial absence of positive feeling for the child, the quality of other feelings, and the length of the deprivation, the effect upon the child w i l l be more or less destructive.  There are all degrees of neglect ranging from the kind  ascribed to the parents who give their children only love and very l i t t l e else, to those whose only feeling for their children i s pathological. The seriousness of physical neglect or abuse i s not necessarily the only measuring-stick of parental feeling, because there are more subtle forms of cruelty and even sadism.  To recognize these other parental attitudes,  the caseworker must have a high degree of diagnostic understanding. As Dorothy Hutchison says "to know what we are dealing with i s the best guarantee of service as well as an insurance against damage to parents and children.3 To help these families, the caseworker needs to know many things. It i s now generally recognized that the child's difficulties are often those of the parents.^ Even i n the normal parent-child relationship there are a great many forces of the unconscious which must be reconciled.  Usually these forces are subject to sublimation.  "Instinctual  tendencies of a sexual nature are transformed into motherly tenderness, i n analogy with the process of development i n the child, aggressiveness  3 Dorothy Hutchison, "The request for placement has meaning", The Family, June, 19kk, P.129. 1+  (see footnote, page 3).  - 3 i s transformed into protective activity, the excessive narcissistic need to be loved i s actively gratified i n maternal love, and the masochis: t i c tendencies are gratified i n the mother's willingness to sacrifice".^  The mother, owing to the greater demands which children  make upon her time, health, and energy i s the parent who does not make the transformation of impulses easily and i s most l i k e l y to feel some hostility.  The interference of children with the activities and desires  of the father i s usually less direct. The i l l - w i l l which fathers bear towards their children i s , therefore, more l i k e l y to be aroused as a consequence of jealousy.^  Nevertheless, i n the case of the father too,  there almost always, sooner or later, arises some degree of interference with his pleasure, his comfort, his work, or his ambition so that he feels that his children constitute a burden which seriously hampers his individual progress or enjoyment. In some instances, the resolution of these conflicts does not occur easily. One group of parents are openly rejecting their children, perhaps even to the extent of trying to deny that they exist, as i s often the case with unmarried mothers.  Also, i n this group, are those parents  for whom one child of the family touches off some long repressed feeling of not being loved by their parents or their respective husband or wife. A l l the hate that they dared not express i s displaced on the child. certain amount of guilt may be rationalized away or projected.  A  The parents  w i l l try to prove that the child i s bad and has never responded to them from the begijining so that they w i l l feel justified i n rejecting the child. H Helene Deutsch, The Psychology of Women, Gruen and Stratton, P.295. 5 Ibid., p.296. 6 J. C. Flugel, The Psycho-analytic Study of the Family, New York: International Universities Press, 19U6, p.160. 19UU,  - U Certain aspects of this feeling for the child may be isolated so that the parent i s able to think and do hostile things to the child without feeling the appropriate accompanying emotions. For another large group, this rejection of the child may be so painful to their conscience or super-ego that they must repress the feeling.  By means of reaction formation, the feeling returns i n the  acceptable guise of overprotection.  The parent w i l l have to utilize a  great many defence mechanisms, ways of controlling unacceptable i f he i s to continually check himself from harming the child.  impulses, This i s  the case with the extremely over-anxious mother who cannot l e t the child out of her sight for fear something w i l l happen to him.  Every so often,  the rejection comes through and the mother restricts the child i n pleasurable activity.  Usually she w i l l rationalize and say she i s pro-  hibiting the child for his own good. this group.  The ambivalent parent f a l l s into  Often the overprotection takes a very active form and the  domineering mother drives the child into passivity and dependence by her very aggression. There i s another form of overprotection which shows i t s e l f i n a much more passive way.  This i s the overindulgent mother or father  who subjects himself or herself completely to the tyranny of the child. A l l wishes and desires of their own are given up and satisfied entirely through the unconsciously hated child. which i s called altruistic surrender.  This i s the defence mechanism It would seem to be prompted by  masochistic guilt-laden sources. Not a l l overprotection i s a compensation for unconscious hostility.  It can be rooted i n an over-abundant and unreasoning love for  1  7  Deutsch, op_. c i t . , p . 3 H .  - 5the child which has been disproportionately increased as a result of the parent having no other outlet for his love drives, or as a result of previous traumatic experiences which have intensified the parent's fear of separation from a known love object. Also, there i s the overprotection that i s based on a too close identification by the parent of the child with himself. The parent wants to achieve through the child what he could not achieve himself. The most destructive attitude of a l l occurs when the rejection i s extreme but the parent's need ties the child to them.  The child  may serve as someone to punish, or as proof of femininity or masculinity, or as proof of status, or as someone to control and have dependent upon them, or as someone through whom they can satisfy their own dependency needs. The reaction of the child varies with the different attitudes of the parents.  The extremely aggressive child who acts out of  his impulses or the child with the primary behaviour disorder i s usually reacting to gross and early parental neglect or total rejection by one 8  or both parents.  This disturbance i s called primary because i t begins  i n the f i r s t years of l i f e .  The dominant characteristics are extreme  aggressiveness, a deficient super-ego or conscience and a good deal of narcissism or self-love.  A loved child i s usually kept from meeting an  outside reality that i s too painful and, through love for his parents, i s able to curb his natural aggression at frustrations and internalize a not too strict ©onscience.  The rejected child has known only severe  and painful reality and never any love that makes i t worthwhile for him 8 Gordon Hamilton, Psychotherapy i n Child Guidance, New York, Columbia University Press, 19U7, p.278.  to renounce his aggression i n the face of frustrations. he internalizes a deficient super-ego.  Therefore,  He i s neither restrained from  within nor held back by social controls.  „  It i s not that he has no  super-ego, because he knows what he does i s disapproved, but he himself does not disapprove of i t .  As he feels, so he acts.  The more passive child w i l l show residual habit disorders such as prolonged thumb sucking and be stubborn, obstinate and disobedient the more aggressive child w i l l show conduct disorders i n temper tantrums, rebellion, fighting, or running away; or both disorders may be combined 9  in the one child.  Neurotic traits may be superimposed on earlier  structures of habit and conduct disorders but more frequently they are i n combination with habit disorders.^  The neurotic t r a i t or symptom  i s a manifestation of the conflict that results when part of the aggression i s internalized. Even a very deficient super-ego may cause some children to shift back and forth between symptoms and dissocial behaviour. The aggression may be hostile, non-erotic (preoedipal), or erotic (oedipal), or both.  In the pre-oedipal type, the child feels  that everyone i s against him and that he must constantly be prepared to defend himself.  His behaviour i s provoking but to him i t i s necessary  retaliation in advance of anticipated attack.  In oedipal aggression,  the child i s usually reacting to a marital disharmony i n which he has become involved during the oedipal period. than jealous.  He i s usually more angry  As he has never possessed his parents, he i s not troubled  9 Bamilfton,2'6p. c i t . . p. 27. 10 J.H.W. Van Ophuijsen, ^|Primary Qonduct Disturbances", i n Nolan D.G. Lewis and Bernard L. Pacella,' edu, Modern Trends i n Child Psychiatry, New York, International Universities Press, 19U5, p»37.  with giving them up. conflict.  Rather he gives up any attempt to solve the  Because he feels weak i n the face of the harsh, depriving  reality he often i s boastful and frequently used magical methods to bolster his courage. Always he i s selfish and self-centred, wanting infantile gratifications and never giving. A child who has not been given to or loved by his parents i s not capable of loving back. He renounced his parents  1  love and f a l l s back on his own narcissism.  Another category i s that of the anxious or psychoneurotic child.  l e i s usually overconcerned, negative about himself, timid,  shy and withdrawn.  This i s a reaction to parental love which has  never been sufficiently satisfying but rather has been inconsistent, rigid, threatening or intermittent."^ This i s characteristic of the ambivalent, the overprotective, compulsively "good" parents, and the indulgent, indifferent ones.  The child i s never sure whether he i s  loved or not, but i t seems to him that he has only been loved when he was good and lived up to exacting parental expectations.  Therefore,  he tries to check a l l his primitive impulses and mixed feelings of resentment.  In the oedipal period, when the primitive impulses become  stronger, the child who has received only a l i t t l e love i s l i k e l y to have more conflict.  Anxiety at this time i s usually indicative of  disturbed parental relationships caused by interacting neurotic needs 12 xn the married couple.  His l i f e energies become blocked and dis-  torted because they are partially fixated i n the infantile wishes and impulses which the child's ego rejects. Anxiety and inhibition may be diffuse or they may be bound up with symptoms. Physical symptoms 11  Hamilton, op_. c i t . , p.75.  12  Ibid., p . 2 7 8 .  - 8are regarded as anxiety equivalents. the impulses w i l l break through.  There i s always the fear that  The neurotic child checks this  rising tension or anxiety with various defences such as denial, reaction formation, isolation.  I f the defences are not successful, the anxiety  breaks through or the neurotic symptom: permits the gratification of the wish i n disguised form.  The f i n a l neurotic symptom i s a combination of  repressed drives, super-ego restrictions, ego factors and secondary gains.^ While the child with the primary behaviour disorder i s i n direct conflict with his environment, the psychoneurotic child has an internal conflict which he denies or walls off. behaviour disorder.  There i s always some  By being aggressive or destructive, the child i s  overcompensating for his feelings of weakness and inferiority.  This  outward behaviour may appear to be the same as that of the behaviour disorder but actually, because of i t s genetically different onset, the behaviour of the anxious child has a higher more discriminating level of organization and he functions i n a more complicated way.  He has fears  of a l l kinds, such.as nightmares and night terrors and may show food fads, sleep walking, diffused body aches, pains and complaints.  The psycho-  neurotic child always i s sensitive and feels very inadequate. feelings cause him to be s e l f - c r i t i c a l arid self-punishing.  His guilt  Obviously,  there i s a close similarity between the child with behaviour disorder and neurotic traits or symptoms, and the child with psychoneurosis and behaviour disorder.  However, the classification i s usually made depending  15 on which grouping of symptoms i s dominant. 13 lli 15  Ibid., p.97. Hamilton, op. c i t . . p. 9 7 .  - 9 The more pathological the parents' attitudes are, the more likelihood there w i l l be of severe disturbance i n the child.  A  psychosomatic illness may be the result or a severe behaviour disorder or a severe psychoneurosis.  Even a psychosis may develop.  As a last  defence against deep disturbance i n emotional l i f e , the child may turn to psychosomatic illness.  Instead of acting out his impulses the child  may work out the conflict on himself such as the child who channelizes his  aggression through projectile vomiting or enuresis or other physical  expression.  The anxious child may equate illness with punishment and use  i t i n this way.  Invariably, at the bottom of the psychosomatic illnesses 17  are the familiar frustration-aggression-anxiety syndromes.  The over-  protectiveness and concern for the child's health on the part of the mother may be a reaction formation against unconscious rejection.  Psycho-  somatic symptoms are serious i n children and i t i s only i n the early stages that the disease process i s reversible. The disturbance which gives rise to the psychopathic personality usually begins early i n childhood. The family of many psychopaths often shows great social pathology which may indicate a family tendency or a family environment.  However, while some authorities claim early  deprivation or punitive mother and weak submissive father can create the male psychopathic personality, Gordon Hamilton believes/that usually the mothers are weak, overindulgent childlike people and the fathers are 18 often harsh, punitive or colourless.  In later l i f e , the psychopath's  behaviour i s characterized by overt delinquency, unconventional behaviour, 16 17 18  Hamilton, op. c i t . , p.278. Ibid., p.102. Ibid., p.116.  - 10 great emotional instability and sexual irregularities.  Like the  child with the primary behaviour disorder, the psychopath shows aggression, absence of guilt feeling and narcissism but the psychopath i s different i n that he has more of a distorted super-ego rather than a deficient one; he deviates more to abnormal emotional l i f e , abnormal sexuality, asocial and amoral behaviour.  He i s not capable  of giving up his narcissism for love as the primary behaviour disorder i s ; his primary fixation does not permit object love. Closely related to the psychopath i s the neurotic character 19 but he i s less primitive. and the psychoneurotic.  He stands mid-way between the psychopath  The conflict between instinctual drives and  reality, centering around the oedipal situation, i s similar to that of the psychoneurotic.  Whereas the neurotic solves his conflict through  the formation of symptoms, the neurotic character solves his i n action. The conflict varies with the strength of the super-ego. The neurotic character's reactions to frustrations are temper, sullenness, attack or rebellion.  However, he suffers also from unconscious guilt, inferiority  feelings, depressions and self-damaging activities.  His activities are  carried out so as to ensure punishment. Severe psychoneurotic  children are those with obsessional  20 and compulsive neuroses.  Compulsions are a defence against the ob-  sessional ideas that occur i n children between six and ten or even as early as three who have repressed anxiety around the oedipal situation. The child s t i l l retains infantile attachments to the parent figures. He may be able to avoid the threatening situations by a phobia but 19 20  Hamilton, op. c i t . , p.119. Ibid., p.111.  - 11 otherwise he -will regress using compulsive acts to relieve his anxiety. The compulsive acts neutralize the obsessional neurotic's constant fear that he w i l l carry his thoughts into action. He has a tendency toward superstition and uses magic to bind his hostile thoughts. Psychoses are not common i n children and are very hard to diagnose because the manifestations are usually not the characteristic ones of the adult psychosis. classifications.  Also the behaviour may overlap with other  Schizophrenia i s the most serious psychosis of children.  It i s defined as a "severe disturbance of the entire personality, most conspicuously distinguished by lack of interest i n and of voluntary conpi tact with the environment".  A common family constellation i s that of  an extremely controlling, narcissistic mother and a weak submissive 22 father.  The child i s preoccupied with his own thoughts, phantasies  and solitary activities.  He regresses to an earlier level and turns to  a psychosis as the only means of solving his conflict.  Because his ego  i s so weak, he can not deny, as the neurotic does but instead projects. In his delusions and projections he uses a l l his l i f e experience up to the point where he started to regress.  Therefore, while his behaviour  i s . childish he does not become like a very young child.  His observable  behaviour traits include seclusiveness, excessive day dreaming, bizarre behaviour reactions i n play, noncompetitiveness  and l i t t l e emotional  relationship to the environment. Treatment The problem of the caseworker i s to assess the seriousness of disturbance in the child and the capacity of the parents to change. 21 Charles Bradley, "Psychoses i n Children", Modern Trends i n Child Psychiatry. p.li;5. 22 Hamilton, p_>. c i t . , p. 110.  - 12  -  Separation for the child i n his early years i s not so traumatic but once he has reached the oedipal stage i t i s seen by him as confirmation of his worse fears about his own undesirability and the badness of his parents.  The caseworker w i l l not be afraid of separating the child  from his parents i f she i s aware of her own feelings i n the situation and sure of her diagnostic s k i l l s .  However, a careful weighing of the  positives and negatives i n the family situation i s necessary to see i f the positive could be strengthened and the child remain i n his own home, perhaps with direct treatment.  Where there are not enough positives to  insure growth within the normal range, but the child serves a neurotic need of the parents, steps may have to be taken to protect the child which w i l l threaten the ego strength of the parents.  The caseworker  should endeavour through relationship to give the parents other satisfactions for their needs so that the parents' total functioning w i l l be not too greatly impaired i f the child i s removed. In every case, the parent should be viewed as a whole person and not just a parent.  When he functions badly i n many areas, the case-  worker can be reasonably sure that the parents ego strength and maturity 1  w i l l be limited and w i l l not permit any basic change of attitude. modifications may be possible.  Other  With parents of greater ego strength and  maturity, the caseworker can proceed more hopefully i n a plan of treatment, which includes the child remaining i n the family. The plan, whether i t involves removal or not, should be primarily focused on the child and designed to provide him with the best  - 13  opportunity to grow and develop.  -  Once having decided on a plan of  treatment, the caseworker should be free to carry i t out.  This not  only requires skilled casework but also an enlightened child protection law which enables the caseworker to effect her decision based on caref u l diagnosis, social agencies whose administration i s aimed toward getting the best possible service to their clients, and ample resources so that the caseworker can choose whatever form of placement i s dictated by the child's needs whether i t i s a study home, foster home, treatment centre or adoptive home. However, i n actual fact, at present, caseworkers' s k i l l s are not always of the highest kind and the other requirements for a good service to parents and children are not always present. Some hindrances to good casework As the community became more aware of the close relationship between neglect and the neglected child, i t tended to focus the respons i b i l i t y on the parents.  Therefore, many family and child casework  agencies, which had ignored the problem of neglect as such, now expanded their function to concentrate more and more on direct casework with any or a l l of the members of a family group as the need arose.  This has  resulted i n a confusion for the programme of child protection.  While  expanding i t s programme, the family agency has hesitated to recognize the broadly protective cases which appear i n i t s caseloads.  Rather, i t  has tended to assume that neglect cases inevitably end up i n placement and, therefore, belong to the children's agency.  - Iii The hesitancy seems based on a fear of the use of any form of authority.  The argument most often advanced against the private family  agency's greater participation i n protective casework i s that i t does not have the authority of the children's agency.  The fallacy l i e s i n  the fact that the attributes of authority utilized by the private children's agency are equally the s k i l f u l tools of treatment of the family caseworker.  Examples are the authority of the caseworker's  professional knowledge, the authority of the objective situation, and the a b i l i t y to use authority while maintaining a good relationship. The obvious fear of the family agency i s that large numbers of clients who come voluntarily would not come i f the family agency gained a dictatorial reputation.  Yet, the family agency i s actually  handling the same problem every day i n marital conflicts, where one partner wants the agency to be punitive towards the other, and i n parentchild conflicts, where the mother of an adolescent g i r l wants the agency to make her daughter conform.  Also, there are only a few people who are  capable of the maturity needed to ask directly for help with problems of family relationships.  The majority need varying degrees of help i n  starting, as well as continuing, the process of helping themselves. Actually, the functions of family and child welfare agencies are overlapping to a certain extent, as placement i n almost a l l instances can not be successful without family casework and treatment of the family does not preclude removal of a child from his family as part of a treatment plan focussed around the family constellation.  As far as different-  iation i s possible, the family agency w i l l be concerned with the welfare  - 15 of children i n their own homes and the children's agency with the placement of children separated from their families. Berkowitz' solution to the differences that s t i l l exist i s as follows:  "family and  children's fields should determine consultatively their respective abilities to help within the scope of their functions, and share cooperatively the onus of informing the public of those areas wherein 23 current social work f a c i l i t i e s and s k i l l s f a i l to meet the need. An even better solution would be the joint family and children's agency. One danger i n the present tendence for the children's agency to be so largely public supported i s that i t constitutes a threat to the philosophy behind private agencies.  The reason for private agen-  cies i s that they are equipped to give an intensive, specialized and 2J qualitative service that the public so far has not been able to support. If protection services have validity, they should eventually become i n large part the function of the public family agency, since the private agency i s always limited i n i t s coverage. Once having decided where the responsibility l i e s , i s the authority of the agency and the s k i l l of the caseworker enough to protect the child ? Some parents cannot move towards change without coining up against the authority of the court.  The extent to which a child i s  suffering from his home conditions i s determined by the agency through the caseworker.  It i s the worker who secures the information and orga-  nizes i t to present at court, who petitions the court, and who endeavours to prepare the parents, as well as the child, for this action, so that 23 Dorothy Berkowitz, "Protective Case Work and the Family Agency", The Family, Nov., 19U3, p.266. 2k  Jean L. Gregory, op. c i t . , p.255.  -  16  -  the parents feel that even the court action i s part of a continuing concern for the child.  However, under the present terms of the law  and i t s interpretation by the courts, i t almost i s impossible to prove that a child s extreme unhappiness or his neurotic behaviour f  i s due to his parents' cruelty and i s sufficient evidence to warrant his removal from the harmful surroundings i f these parents provide good physical care and contest the action.  On the other hand, i t i s  comparatively easy to prove neglect against a parent who gets drunk and beats his child, although the child may get more satisfaction from his home, more companionship and love from h i s \ most-of-the-time-good father than he could from placement elsewhere.  The child may have a  surprising understanding of his father's weakness. The existence of many cases of cruelty and neglect of a more intangible kind, d i f f i c u l t to prove under present law, presents a serious dilemma.  These cases which involve parental neglect were  neither understood nor anticipated when the definitions of neglect were put upon the statute work and are not understood by the general public yet.  The laws generally are not sufficiently flexible to protect  children from psychological cruelty at the same time that they uphold the constitutional rights of parents. In B.C., the law designed to safeguard children i s the Protection of Children's Act revised i n 19U8. It i s administered by the Superintendent of Child Welfare under the Social Welfare Branch of the Department of Health and Welfare and proposes "to provide care and control of children i n need of protection and gives authority for the appointment of a Superintendent of Child Welfare  - 17 and the incorporation of Children's Aid Societies whose duties include 25 preventive as well as protective measures". Quoting from the law, the child considered to be neglected i s the one who "is found begging on the street....", or "sleeping at night i n other than proper housing  " or " i s associating or dwelling  with a thief, drunkard, or vagrant.... by reason of neglect or drunkenness or other vices of the parents or guardians, i s suffered to grow up without salutary parental control and education" or "is found guilty of petty crimes, and who i s l i k e l y to develop criminal tendencies i f not removed from his surroundings", or "is ill-treated so as to be in p e r i l in respect of l i f e , health or morality by continual personal injury, or 26 by grave misconduct or habitual intemperance of the parents.  Obvious-  l y , i t i s very d i f f i c u l t to separate a child from a sadistic mother unless she i s clearly psychotic or overtly and grossly cruel.  The only  section which, through differing interpretation, lends i t s e l f to action on any of the more intangible situations which create suffering i n the child i s section 7 (k).  I t reads: "the child, whose home, by reason of  neglect, cruelty or depravity i s an unfit place for the child, or who has no proper guardianship, or who has no parent capable of exercising 27 proper parental controll!  This last section does introduce something  of parental responsibility which i s unfortunately often subordinated to parental rights. The rights of parents are not always identical with the rights of children, especially of those children found i n an agency's caseload. 25 Canadian Welfare Council, Summary of the Laws of Canada and Her Provinces As Affecting Children, Council House, Ottawa, Canada, 19hk, p.27. 26 Canadian Welfare Council, op_. c i t . , p.368. 27 Loc. c i t .  - 18 -  The child can not t e l l us what are his rights but we are gradually learning what they are for two parents who w i l l take the responsibility of providing him affection, care, guidance, and normal limitations with a view to having him grow up. I t i s the writer's opinion that we underestimate and even defraud the public when we do not make the public aware of the effects on the child that result from damaging but subtle attitudes on the part of the parents, and of what can be done legally and i n other ways to alleviate this tragedy. While the present laws exist, i t i s the social worker's responsibility to interpret the parent-child relationship to the particular judge so that both the parents' and the child's rights are recognized.  The caseworker cannot ask a judge to break a law or. disregard  legal factors but she can help him to see beyond the legal considerations to the psychological gist of the case, i t s significance for or against placement and finally, what her services may reasonably be expected to accomplish and under what conditions. An account has been given of the desirable method of deciding whether a child should be removed from his family or not and also of some of the hindrances to the realization of this desirable method. The present study proposes to investigate the reasons for the removal or retention of twenty disturbed children to determine how closely the reasons approximated the desirable criteria and what factors caused the deviation.  - 19 -  CHAPTER 2 THE CHILDREN STUDIED The purpose of the present study was to determine what actually were the factors influencing the decision to remove or retain for twenty disturbed children.  I t was thought that a comparison of ten disturbed  children who were removed from their own homes and ten disturbed children who were retained i n their own homes would be the best method of pointing up the two aspects of the decision.  In order to make the comparison  possible and useful, the following criteria for selecting the children were decided upon.  To assure that the children were really disturbed,  only children whose behaviour clearly indicated some emotional disturbance were chosen.  I t was desirable that each child have two parents i n the  picture, whether married, common-law or step-parents, because the attitude and maturity of parents are known to be an important element i n removal or retention.  However, children with only one parent were included when  the parental attitude was considered to be the significant factor i n removal.  Only children who were old enough to clearly show problem behaviour,  but who were not yet into puberty to avoid the different trend of behaviour toward emancipation from parents, were selected. wards or non-wards were accepted.  In the removed group,  To make for consistency i n the appli-  cation of the child protection act, children were chosen who had been made wards not earlier than three years ago. The twenty children were selected from the fll.es of the Family Welfare B,ureau, the Children's Aid Society and the Catholic Children's Aid Society.  In the main, the childrens' agencies were approached for  the removed children.  The Children's Aid Society supplied eight of  - 20 these children and the Catholic Children's Aid Society, two. While the majority of the retained group were from the Family Welfare Bureau, one of the retained children was supplied by the Children's Aid Society. In the removed group nine of the children are wards and one i s a non-ward. The section of the child protection act under which most of these children were committed i s section (k), that section which, i n a negative way, does provide for some rights of children. One child was committed under section ( i ) which speaks of the child who i s incorrigible and cannot be controlled by his parents and one child, under section (g) which describes a child found guilty of petty crimes and l i k e l y to develop criminal tendencies i f not removed from his surroundings. The Schedule The two groups of cases were examined i n detail on the basis of a schedule drawn up for the purpose. A period of a year from the i n i t i a l opening or from the reopening of a case was decided upon as the length of time for which a record would be followed up. this period was easily delimited.  With the retained cases,  However, with the retained group the  agency contact could be divided into before placement and after placement and, as the time before placement varied for each case, i t was sometimes necessary to follow up a case for over the period of a year to get a comparable picture.  Besides the statistical information such as name, age,  occupation of parents, status of child (i.e. retained or removed, non-ward or ward), and request of parents at intake, the schedule included four main areas.  These were the behaviour of the child i n his own home for both  groups and, briefly, i n the foster home or Receiving Home for the removed  - 21 group j the casework with the child during the entire contact i n the retained group or, mainly, before placement i n the removed group; the attitude and maturity of the parents; the casework with parents. It was almost always possible to obtain enough description from the record of the child's behaviour i n his own home to place him diagnostically into one of the three classifications, primary behavioursdisorder, psychoneurosis, or severe disturbance. As the focus of the study was primarily on the child i n his own home leading up to a decision to remove or retain, information on the child's behaviour i n the foster home or Receiving Home was only used to corroborate diagnoses of the children's behaviour patterns. Any mention of direct interviewing with the child i n his own family or preparation of the child before^ removal, was very sketchy except for the few children i n the removed group who received play therapy.  However, the pressure of heavy caseloads, individual  differences^ i n recording, and the absence of treatment centres must also be borne i n mind. With regard to attitude of parents, i t was comparativel y easy to establish the attitudes of open rejection, overprotectionrejection or ambivalence, over-indulgence, indifference, neurotic need, or, i n the rare parent, mature love. The maturity of the parents was more d i f f i c u l t to determine.  Many assessments were based on recording that  did not cover the four areas outlined i n that section of the schedule dealing with the maturity of parents.  These four areas were intended to cover  the parent's a b i l i t y to meet his reality situation, to establish relationships, to get, hold and master a job which was suitable to his reality situation, and to find love objects who satisfied his dependency and  -  sexual needs.  22  -  The estimates of casework with parents were made with  similar limitations. Similar and dissimilar characteristics of the two groups In superficial ways, the two groups are very much alike.  The  median ages for the children i n the removed group and retained group are six and a half and seven respectively.  The average age i s 7.1 for the  removed group and 6.7 for the retained group.  In intelligence, the two  groups of children are very much the same with the great majority of average intelligence.  Estimates of intelligence by the school or by the  Child Guidance Clinic were not always available, but i n the removed group, eight of the children are of normal intelligence and one i s of dull norma l intelligence i  In the retained group, six are of normal intelligence,  two are superior and one i s said to be dull. in each group have one sibling or more.  The majority of the children  Provided other qualifications  were present, the children selected for the present study were the children who had been singled out from other siblings for special rejection by one or both parents.  This selection was usually not d i f f i c u l t because i t i s  rare to find families i n which a l l children are equally disturbed.  In  the removed group there are three only children and, i n the retained group, four.  The parents of the children i n the two groups come from similar  backgrounds of emotional deprivation as w i l l be shown later.  The occupat-  ions of the fathers i n the retained group seemto be of a slightly more skilled and permanent nature than those of the fathers i n the removed group. Some of the occupations of the fathers i n the retained group are conductor brakeman, advertising salesman, railway storekeeper, draughtsman,  - 23 timberman, labourer and i n the removed group, logger, mechanic, lumber grader, labourer, shingler. It was to be expected that there would be considerable difference between the two groups with regard to the parent's request at intake, the behaviour of the children, and the attitude and maturity of the parents.  As the purpose of comparing the two groups of children  was to point up the different elements i n the decision to remove or to retain, a careful analysis of these three features was indicated.  This  was done i n the following chapters. As a final check on the findings of this analysis, i t was thought that a comparison of the casework with parents and children i n the two groups would throw light onto the reasons for removal or retention from another angle.  This proved to be true.  The Removed Group In analysing how these children came to the agency, i t was found that they f e l l into three groups.  Neighbours or relatives had re-  ported one group with complaints of maltreatment. had referred another group for placement.  Parents or relatives  The third group had been re-  ferred for help with behaviour problems. Alan B. (10),  Charlie D. (5),  Danny E. (6),  group recognized by the community as neglected.  f a l l into the  In the case of Alan B.,  the Children's Aid Society were asked to investigate a complaint of neglect made to the Family Welfare Bureau by the maternal and paternal grandmothers.  Alan was only one year old at this time.  After several  v i s i t s to Mrs. B. alone, as Mr. B. was overseas, the worker decided there was l i t t l e indication of neglect and the case was closed. After nine  - 2U -  years, when. Alan was ten, the neighbours called i n the police because Alan was being beaten.  Charlie D. was f i r s t heard of by the C.A.S. when  he was 10 months old. A complaint of neglect was received stating that Charlie was l e f t alone for hours at a time.  This case was referred to  the F. W. B. who subsequently closed their case a few months later.  Four  years later, when Carlie was five, Foster Day Care Association asked that the mother, separated from her husband, be interviewed because, as Mrs. D. worked as a dancing teacher at night and as a waitress i n the day time, Charlie was l e f t to come on his own every morning to F. D. C. A. The Social Welfare Branch, who had three of Danny E's, siblings i n care, asked the C. A. S. to v i s i t Mrs. E. and her common-law husband regarding the behaviour problems of Danny. Brian C , (7), Edward F., (2|), Gail H., (6), and Harry I., (11), came to the attention of the agency i n i t i a l l y around placement.  In Brian's  case, the paternal grandmother, who had been looking after Brian and his brothers since their mother had deserted, wanted to be relieved of the responsibility.  The father was i n the home and favoured adoption.  Mrs. F.  f i r s t contacted the C. C. A. S. for assistance i n removing Edward, age LU months, from a private boarding home. He had been i n eight separate boarding homes but Mrs. F. had found fault with a l l of them. Edward's father had died several months before Edward's birth.  He was placed for a time  in the Baby Receiving Home but was discharged to his mother. At the age of 2\ he came into care again, as Mrs. F. was hospitalized for T.B. Gail H. came into care at the age of 6 when her mother, separated from a common-law husband, requested placement of Gail for the summer months.  - 25 The F. W, B., acting on the advice of their psychiatric consultant, referred Harry I., and his family to the C. A. S. for placement. In the group referred for behaviour problems are Freddie G., (6),  Ian J., ( 9 ) ,  Jimmie K., (9).  Freddie's maternal grandmother con-  tacted the C. A. S. to discuss Freddie's behaviour.  The case was re-  ferred to the F. W. B. but after three months they decided Freddie would have to be committed and referred i t back to the C. A. S.  In the meantime,  his behaviour had become so extreme that pressure from the community forced the C. A. S. to apprehend almost immediately.Mrs. J. consulted the C. A. S. for help with Ian's behaviour. Mr. J. deserted.  Removan was not a factor until  Then, Mrs. J. did not want the responsibility of Ian  although she kept her three younger children.  Jimmie's step-mother,  Mrs. K., could not cope with his behaviour and contacted the C. W. D. who referred her to the C. C. A. S.  Actually, placement was what Mrs. K.  really wanted for Jimmie. In these cases of children who were eventually removed, the signs at intake of overt rejection are f a i r l y obvious i n the majority and the child i s clearly the focal point of dissatisfaction. The Retained 6/roup The situation i s a l i t t l e different for the children i n the retained group.  There i s not the same awareness on the part of the parents  of a problem i n their relationship with their child.  The request at i n -  take, as stated by the parents of the retained children, i s for help with marital problems, or with financial and employment planning.  There was  a group of parents who wanted help with behaviour problems.  As compared  - 26 to the group of children who were eventually removed, whose parents requested help with behaviour problems, the children's behaviour was either not as extreme or the parents were not as clearly rejecting as those i n the removed group. Mrs. 0 . came to the F. W. B. for help with Norma who,  she said, was beyond her control.  ment but was very ambivalent.  She said she wanted place-  A Metropolitan Health nurse referred Mrs.  T. to the F. W. B. after Mrs. T. had asked for help with Stanley at the school c l i n i c . The mothers of Larry M., (7),  May N., (8),  (2),  and Rickie S.,  a l l came to the F. W. B. for help with their marital problems. Mrs. M. came simply for help with the marital problem.  Mrs. N., May's step-mother,  was on the verge of separation and wanted help i n finding a position as a domestic where she could take her own child.  She had been to the National  Employment Service but they had sent her to the F. W. B.  Mrs. S. came at  the suggestion of the C. G. C , where the S's had taken Rickie f i r s t . Olive P., (11), and her brother Paul, (7),  and Kathie L.,  (2),  came to the attention of the F. W. B . following an i n i t i a l contact regarding financial assistance. Mr. P. wanted temporary financial aid but the case has been reopened many times i n the last 15 years.  Mr. and Mrs.  L. were sent by the Red Cross for a loan for food over the weekend. Only one of the children i n the retained group was actually referred to the family agency and accepted by them as a protection case. The W. s had applied to the F. W. B. for financial assistance when Yerna 1  was four.  Six years later, the school complained of Verna's stealing,  truancy and general misbehaviour and the F. W. B. reopened their case.  Walter A., (6),  was also referred by the school because of his enuresis  but the complaint was to the C. A. S. who treated the situation with Walter remaining i n his own home. The subsequent action on the cases i n both groups seems to have been conditioned to some extent by the presenting request and the agency to which the request was made. The majority of the parents i n the removed group were more decided upon placement than those i n the retained group and went to a child placing agency where their child was eventually placed. The parents who went or were referred to the F. W. B. were more undecided about placement, and treatment was undertaken with the child i n the home. The implication i s that a too rigid differentiation of function between the two agencies makes the decision to remove or retain a foregone conclusion depending on which agency i s chosen by the client.  However, this  w i l l be investigated more thoroughly later. The foregoing analysis of the parents* request at intake points up the far greater awareness of the parents i n the removed group of a problem i n the parent-child relationship.  The community, too, recognized  these children as a problem i n some way, either to their parents or to the community i n general. However, only two of the retained group were referred by a source other than their parents. some difference between the two groups.  Therefore, there must be  The difference may l i e i n the  children's behaviour, i n the attitude of the parents toward the children, or i n both areas.  - 28 CHAPTER 3 THE BEHAVIOUR OF THE CHILDREN From the analysis of the parents' request at intake, the existence of some discernible differences i n the behaviour of the two groups of children was suggested.  The problem was to devise a method of analysing  which would point up these differences most effectively.  It was decided  to classify the children i n each group under the diagnostic classifications of primary behaviour disorder, primary behaviour disorder with neurotic traits, psychoneurosis, and severe disturbance. Classification of children at any time i s extremely d i f f i c u l t because of the overlapping of symptoms and because of the rather f l u i d state of children's behaviour patterns as compared with the more fixed behaviour of adults.  The classification of primary behaviour disorder with neurotic  traits has been used for children who seemed more disturbed than those with primary behaviour disorder, but not as disturbed as the classification of neurotic character, a sub-section under the severe disturbance category, warranted.  However, classification of primary behaviour disorder with  neurotic traits overlaps with several other classifications.  In the f i r s t  place, i t does not provide a clear differentiation from the children with primary behaviour disorder who are i n the oedipal stages. Nevertheless, the primary behaviour disorder with neurotic traits classification has been used when the child was thought to be internalizing a certain amount of his conflict.  Then, the classification overlaps with that of psycho-  neurosis i n which the child attempts to solve the greater part of his conf l i c t within himself rather than act i t out against the environment.  When  the symptoms of the primary behaviour disorder classification predominate,  - 29 this classification has been made and, similarly, the classification of psychoneurosis has been made when the neurotic traits predominate. Despite these limitations, i t was hoped that such c l a s s i f i cation would reveal significant differences between the two groups. What differences could be expected ?  From what has been said of the  desirable basis on which children should be removed or retained, i t might be expected that, i n the removed group, the children would be more disturbed than those i n the retained group.  The parent-child relationship  would have been found to lack enough positives to give the child sufficient opportunity to develop normally.  Dependent on how long the child  had been subjected to this emotional deprivation and the quality of the parental feelings, would be the degree of disturbance exhibited by the child at the time of removal.  A sustaining casework relationship and  such f a c i l i t i e s as study homes and treatment centres should be ready for him until he i s able to take on a new parent-child relationship. In contrast, as the parent-child relationship for the retained group would have been found to offer more potentially for the child, the retained child might be expected to be less disturbed.  Both groups of children  should be receiving direct treatment toward helping them understand those characteristics of the parents which are too basic to change. It remains to be seen what classification of these children actually does show in regard to the nature of their disturbance. The Removed Group Five of the removed children show the behaviour traits of the primary behaviour disorder.  These are Charlie D., (5), Edward F., (2^),  - 30 Freddie G., (6), Harry I., (11).  The outstanding characteristics are  running away, stealing, lying, lighting fires, impulsiveness.  A differ-  entiation occurs i n the group depending -upon whether the child seems to be predominantly i n a pre-oedipal or oedipal stage.  Edward, Freddie and  Harry seem to be pre-oedipal. Edward, (2§), i s very active and aggressive, sucks his thumb, and seems hostile towards his mother.  Before  being admitted to care, he had been i n numerous private boarding homes, in a l l  of which his mother found something wrong.  She never allowed him  to form any ties within a family group at the age when he needed them most. His father had died before he was born. er  He seemed quite fond of his young-  sister, whom Mrs. F. allowed to make a better adjustment i n her private  boarding home. Freddie G., (6), was cared for i n his baby years by a very s t r i c t grandmother who completely dominated his very weak mother. His father had l e f t the family when Freddie was two years old. Freddie began riinning away from home when he was two and a half.  Running away  appears to the worker to f i l l Freddie with "triumph and joy". He also began entering parked cars, stealing car keys and money until neighbours in the community insisted he be apprehended.  Extremely hyperactive and  distractible, he rebels when his mother and grandmother try to make him (11), conform to unreasonable demands. Harry,/whose "irresponsible and careless" mother died when he was four, has been seen by his father as a source of trouble ever since Mr. L. remarried a year later.  Harry had  enuresis t i l l 10 years of age, i s said to be unmanageable and disobedient. At one time, he was fond of playing with matches and l i t fires i n the home. His father cured this by whipping.  He frequently runs away from  home and i s known to the police for stealing at school and i n the community.  -  Charlie D., (5),  31  -  and Ian J. ( 9 ) , seem to have some oedipal  involvement as well as oral and anal.  Charlie continually strives to  win his rejecting mother's love and i s well mannered with her although hostile towards the social worker (a woman). Also, he runs away frequentl y , lights fires and steals other children's toys and tricycles.  In an  attempt to grow up to be "a strong man" very fast, he tries to be independent, staying out t i l l eleven o'clock at night and riding the store elevators during the day.  Ian J . , ( 9 ) , shows such traits as extreme  aggressiveness, lying and stealing, enuresis, sex play with other children. Like Charlie, he tries desperately to find some satisfying love from his mother.  He tries to assert himself i n a masculine way, which to him  means being powerful and subduing the others.  Also, like Charlie, he  steals a bicycle which may symbolize to him a way of being stronger and above the others.  In his deficient social feelings, his uncontrolled  impulses, there are attributes of a developing psychopathic personality. Alan B., ( 1 0 ) , Danny £., ( 6 ) , Gail H., ( 6 ) , Jimmie K.,  (9),  a l l seem more seriously disturbed than the others but do not f i t into any of the categories l i s t e d under the severely disturbed child.  Rather, they  seem to be most closely a l l i e d to the primary behaviour disorder group, with the added feature of neurotic traits. When the police investigated the neglect complaints sent i n by his maternal grandmother and paternal grandmother, they found Alan B., ( 1 0 ) , with a large scar on his chest and stomach where his father had burned him with a hot iron, with black and blue shins where his father had kicked him, and with a scar under his eye caused by a blow from his mother.  In a  psychiatric examination i t was revealed that Alan i s a very disturbed boy  - 32 who explains to himself the ill-treatment he had received by deciding that he i s a very important person, particularly to his mother, and this i s the reason his father punishes him so much. He had been completely toilet trained at 3 years but then developed enuresis. His parents forced him to sleep outside because of this.  Uncooperative  and moody at school, he tends to play with younger children and frequentl y eats other children's lunches.  His worried expression i s another  indication of the anxiety he i s not able to repress around his conflicting feelings <3f love and hate for his parents. The remaining children, Danny, Gail and Jimmie seem to be pre-oedipal. father.  Danny E., (6), received ill-treatment at the hands of his  Like her common-law husband, Mrs. E. seems to satisfy a need  to punish through Danny. He i s an extremely hyperactive child, talking constantly and always moving.  He i s quite destructive i n his play.  His mother complains of his disobedience and of his running away at every opportunity.  A psychiatric examination indicated that Danny thinks the  world i s f u l l of vague and undefined horrors. He was found to be not completely linked up with reality and to have some tendency toward paranoia.  The neurotic elements were present i n his repressed guilt and fear  of punishment for which he tries to compensate by attempting to dominate every situation.  However, the diagnosis of primary behaviour disorder  with neurotic traits rather than psychoneurosis seems justified on the basis of his early deprivation and the amount of acting out which i s present. Gail, (6), has only been with her mother four months at a  time i n her lifetime.  The rest of her l i f e she has been i n different  boarding homes i n which her mother began placing her, ever since she l e f t Gail's father soon after Gail was born.  Mrs. H. says when Gail i s  with her Gail ignores her, laughs at her, and i s defiant.  The worker  noted that Gail "let on" that she was indifferent to her mother but responded with clinging affection to any show of interest by her mother. In the private boarding homes, she was demanding of attention, given to lying and stealing, bossy and resentful of the other children. said to have a good deal of charm.  She i s  In a later contact with a psychiatrist,  i t was thought that she tended to punish herself and to try to maneuver others into punishing her. Jimmie K.'s  (9) early care was rather haphazard.  His  own  mother died when he was three and he, along with his older and younger sisters, spent the next three years with his paternal grandmother who l i t t l e real feeling for Jimmie. children of her own.  had  His father remarried a woman with several  There had been some stealing while the grandmother  looked after him but, at the time of referral, he was stealing bikes and breaking into school offices to take money. Enuresis was a problem. frequently played truant from school.  He  Always quiet, i t i s said that,  after one of his stealing escapades, he i s even more seclusive and completely withdrawn.  Other children often annoy him at which time he loses  his temper, biting and kicking them. He i s said to have no fear of punishment and to be completely indifferent to anyone who tries to talk to B r i a n C , (7), are anxious and fearful.  seems to f a l l into the group of children  him. who  He had been l e f t f a i r l y often by his mother with  his s t r i c t paternal grandmother, while Mr. C. was overseas.  Then, his  mother l e f t Mr. C. for another man shortly after the father returned home. Brian i s said by his father to be rather stubborn at times. When taken to a private boarding home by his father, Brian said, "Well, my mom didn't want me and I guess you don't want me either".  He has an  undiagnosed eye condition although one doctor thought i t was due to a fall. The Retained Group The children i n the retained group divide themselves a l i t t l e differently under the diagnostic classifications from the children i n the removed group.  Only three children instead of five show the characterist-  ics of the child with a primary behaviour disorder and of these three, two do not show the violent acting out of the removed five.  Norma 0.,  (9),  was known to the Family Welfare Bureau for a brief period when she was two and a half years old. At that time she was described as appearing "bright, well cared for and well adjusted". Now, at 9 years, her mother says Norma refused to do anything she t e l l s her. constant difficulty, lying and stealing.  In school, she i s i n  She i s said to be very bossy  with other children and to fight with them when she does not get her own way. The teaher claims Norma Is very stubborn and a show-off i n school, dancing i n front of the class when she i s out of the room. Norma i s supposed to be of borderline intelligence .although one would wonder how much of this i s due to emotional factors.  Norma's father went overseas  when Norma was two and a half years old. When he returned, Mrs. 0. d i vorced him and, later, married Mr. 0., when Norma was six years old.  - 35 From Mr. 0., Norma receives only an indifferent interest but she likes Mrs. G.'s ne'er do well brother who "fusses over her". is also described as a problem i n school.  Stanley T., (6),  He i s hyperactive and his span  of attention i s short.  He fights and is cruel with other children but yet  they seem to like him.  Very possessive of his teacher, he w i l l not leave  unless she kisses him good-bye every day. attempts to control him.  At home, his dominating mother  He runs away when forced by her to stay inside  away from the other 'children.  There may be neurotic aspects i n his behav-  iour because, after a f a l l downstairs, i n which he knocked out a tooth, he developed an eye squint.  One wonders how much of this f a l l and eye squint  would be self-punishment and guilt for preconscious hostility towards his mother. Verna W., (10), has many of the characteristics of the children with primary behaviour disorder i n the removed group. plays truant, and does not respond to punishment.  She steals, l i e s ,  She i s always untidy and  is enuretic. At school she tries to make friends with the other children but i s not accepted because of her enuresis.  She carries none of her lying  and cheating into the classroom setting.  Her thefts consist of small sums  of money from the teachers and of food.  One time she stole five pounds of  sugar and ate part of i t .  Verna and her two older brothers are Mrs. V. 's  children by another marriage but Verna has never been told that Mr. V. i s not her real father.  She would only have been a year old when Mrs. V. re-  married. Larry M., ( 7 ) , has been placed i n a group by himself because, like Alan, Danny, Gail and Jimmie of the removed group, his conflict i s not  - 36 acted out completely as i n the primary behaviour disorder but, on the other hand, i s not as internalized as that of the psychoneurotic nor as severe as that of the neurotic character. night.  He soils and wets day and  His mother whips him repeatedly although his father objects. As  soon as Larry comes home from school, he sits i n a basin of hot water to f a c i l i t a t e elimination, at the same time sucking his thumb and picking his nose.  He i s fussy about his food and very stubborn at times.  He  frequently has temper tantrums and i s always cranky i n the morning. More passive symptoms are his fear of other children and of the dark. The largest number of the retained children f a l l into the psychoneurotic classification - Olive P., (11), Paul P., (7), Rickie S., (2), Walter A., (6), Kathie L. (2)}-, Olive P. and Paul P. are brother and sister.  Although both can be diagnosed as psychoneurotic, each shows  different aspects of this classification.  Olive i s extremely nervous,  irritable, and given to frequent crying spells.  Since early childhood  her mother has encouraged her i n a very close attachment. At the age of eleven, Mrs. P. made Olive the confidante of her pregnancy and attempted abortion. two.  Olive i s a fearful child and has had nightmares since she was  Also, she has many symptoms of anxiety similar to her mother's such  as a "gone" feeling i n her stomach.  Olive has resented i t when Mrs. P.  went out i n the evenings with Mr. P. and has often protected Mrs. P. against Mr. P.  Paul, on the other hand, has been kept more infantile by his mother.  His speech i s described as like "baby talk". expresses some of his aggression i n enuresis.  Very shy and retiring, he He i s said by his mother to  be the easiest child to manage. A neurotic symptom i s his insistence on  - 37 wearing the aame sweater on a l l occasions. Rickie S., (2), child.  also has many of the attributes of the anxious  He i s very subdued and wants to be l e f t alone.  At the nursery  school group (at Gordon House), he appeared to be distrustful of adults and became very upset i f he was the object of the group's attention.  He  quickly learned a l l the routines at the nursery s chool and was very conforming.  He i s thought to be a l i t t l e deaf and has strabismus i n one eye.  When he was a year old, he went on a t r i p to England with his mother. Ever since this trip, he screams' uncontrollably and almost unceasingly when alone with Mrs. S.  With Mr. S., he i s said to be more relaxed.  Walter A., now age 6, had temper tantrums when his mother went back to work i n his third year. ing  However, his mother ignored these.  Fail-  i n this aggressive manner of expressing his anger and frustration and  being a weak child from birth, Walter gave up the attempt to win his mother and chose a more passive form of revenge.  By means of day and night enu-  resis, he caused his mother considerable work with washing.  For the same  reason, he i s dirty and careless about his clothes. Because he i s poorly developed and underweight he probably feels inferior.  His father's punish-  ment and his mother's lack of interest would contribute to this feeling. He plays with girls because they are not so rough, i s timid, and cries easily.  He tries to compensate for his feelings of inferiority by an active  phantasy l i f e .  His truanting seems part of this.  His enuresis, while  giving him revenge on his mother, i s a drawback i n entering a group. When he i s teased he withdraws temporarily but then tries again.  He seems very  desirous of forming a t i e somewhere and derives pleasure from membership  -  38  -  i n a story telling group at Gordon House. Kathie L., age 2, i s the last of the psychoneurotic children.  Her chief symptom i s "black-out spells".  The parents describe  these as short periods of unconsciousness which may last as long as ten minutes.  Following a spell she i s quiet and l i s t l e s s .  She usually  cries suddenly before going unconscious and has one on the average of once every two weeks.  The worker records that there i s some suggestion  that these attacks occur when she i s denied some pleasure or when she i s i n conflict with her older step-brother. However, they do occur when she i s playing by herself.  She has had these unconscious spells ever since  she was nine months old."*" At that time, Kathie and Mrs. L., who was an unmarried mother, were living with Kathie's maternal grandmother. When Kathie was one year old, Mrs. L. married Mr. L. who had a son by a former marriage.  Kathie i s a very timid, fearful child and w i l l wake up at night  screaming that her mother has l e f t her. May M., ( 8 ) , i s the only child i n the severely disturbed group, being thought by the case consultant at the Family Welfare Bureau to be pre-psychotic with a tendency towards schizophrenia. May's mother died of infantile paralysis when May was four and a half years old, but while she was living, May had to be hospitalized for malnutrition.  May  was then looked after by a r i g i d grandmother for part of the following year and boarded i n a kindergarten for the remainder of the year.  Mr. M«  remarried when May was five and a half years old. Her step-mother made an attempt to get close to May but, when she failed, reacted f i r s t with guilt over her failure and then with hostility.  When May i s upset or  1 There i s no record of a neurological examination having been made, and this would be necessary for correct diagnosis.  - 39 crossed, she refuses to eat.  These "hunger strikes" may last as long  as a week. Her face becomes pinched and white and she i s unable to have a bowel movement. A number of what seem to be hallucinations have been noted in the record.  She does not want to go outside to play with the  other children and her step-mother describes her "as not of this world". There appears to be a gradual loss of emotion.  Quoting her step-mother  again, "the only way you can get under her skin i s to get angry with her".  DIAGNOSTIC CLASSIFICATION  REMOVED  RETAINED  I Primary Behaviour Disorder  5  3  II Primary Behaviour Disorder with Neurotic Traits  ii  1  III Psychoneurosis  1  5  IV  0  l  10  10  Severe Disturbance  TOTAL  To summarize the findings of the classification of the two groups of children, i t can be seen that, i n the removed group, there are five children with primary behaviour disorder, as compared with three in the retained group.  If the children with primary behaviour disorder plus  neurotic traits are included, the combined number of children who are acting out their conflict, i n the removed group i s nine, i n the retained group, only four.  This i s a sizeable difference.  Going on to the next  - ho classification, i n the removed group, there i s only one child classified as psychoneurotic.  In the retained group, there are five.  Only  one child f i t s into the severely disturbed classification and that i s a child from the retained group. Several observations can be made. The outstanding contract between the two groups i s the number of children with primary behaviour disorder, with or without neurotic traits, i n the removed group, and the number of children with psychoneurosis i n the retained group.  It appears that the  children who are exhibiting the most extreme behaviour such as stealing, lying, running away, are more often removed than the quiet, fearful children in the retained group.  A further observation i s the fact the child-  ren i n the removed group, while showing more extreme behaviour than those in the retained group, are not necessarily more disturbed as would be expected. Rather, the behaviour of the children i n the retained group is equally serious but of a different kind. These observations suggest several possibilities.  It i s probably  easier to remove children who are displaying extreme behaviour that offends the community.  The child protection law i s known to make provis-  ion for the apprehension of these kinds of children.  Then, again, an  investigation of the casework with t he parents of these children may clarify why they come more easily into care than the others.  Certainly,  an analysis of the parents' attitude toward the children i n each group as i t affects removal or retention, i s indicated.  The degree of the  parents' maturity must necessarily be considered, together with their attitude toward the child, i n assessing the quality of the parent-child relationship, and i t s effect on the decision to remove or to retain.  -hi CHAPTER 1*  THE ATTITUDE AND MATURITY OF THE PARENTS The a t t i t u d e significant factors  and m a t u r i t y o f t h e p a r e n t s  i n removal o r r e t e n t i o n .  s i g n i f i c a n c e w o u l d t a k e f o r t h e two g r o u p s  were expected t o  be  To k n o w w h a t d i r e c t i o n t h i s  o f p a r e n t s was r a t h e r  difficult.  I t w a s known t h a t t h e d i s t u r b a n c e o f p r i m a r y b e h a v i o u r d i s o r d e r was o f t e n a r e s u l t of e a r l y r e j e c t i o n and t h a t o f psychoneurosis, of overprotection-rejection. groups  As t h e d i f f e r e n c e  the  most  result  i n b e h a v i o u r f o r t h e two  o f c h i l d r e n was c h a r a c t e r i z e d b y a p r e d o m i n a n c e o f p r i m a r y b e h a v i o u r  disorders,  with or without neurotic t r a i t s ,  psychoneurosis,  f o r the r e t a i n e d group,  f o r t h e removed g r o u p ,  and  i t w o u l d b e e x p e c t e d t h a t t h e two  p r e c i p i t a t i n g p a r e n t a l a t t i t u d e s w o u l d c h a r a c t e r i z e t h e two groups  of  parents. If  the p a r e n t a l a t t i t u d e s  are  damaging t o t h e c h i l d r e n ,  n e c e s s a r y t o a s c e r t a i n how f u n d a m e n t a l t h e s e a t t i t u d e s of the parents  are.  d e t e r m i n e s w h e t h e r casework w i l l be e f f e c t i v e  b r i n g i n g about e i t h e r a change o f a t t i t u d e t o w a r d t h e c h i l d , for  the b e s t i n t e r e s t s  of the  rejection,  i t was d e c i d e d t o c l a s s i f y t h e a t t i t u d e s  or not i n or a decision  attitude  o f the parents  o f o v e r i n d u l g e n c e and o v e r i d e n t i f i c a t i o n appeared  two o f t h e f a t h e r s  a n d one o f t h e m o t h e r s i n t h e r e m o v e d g r o u p ,  o n l y one o f t h e f a t h e r s of  The m a t u r i t y  as  o v e r p r o t e c t i o n - r e j e c t i o n , n e u r o t i c need o r mature l o v e .  two a t t i t u d e s  analysis,  i n the retained group.  these a t t i t u d e s  is  child.  To d i s c o v e r w h a t i s - t h e t r u e n a t u r e o f t h e p a r e n t s ' maturity,  i t  and open  The  i n only and i n  Therefore, f o r the purposes  were grouped t o g e t h e r as  "varieties of  over-  protection".  Assessments of the parents' maturity were based on the  four area maturity section of the schedule. Those parents who rated 1  to any extent i n a l l four areas were said to be highly mature, i n three areas, moderately mature, i n two areas, somewhat immature, and i n only one or no areas, very immature.  To point up any correlations between  the parental attitude and maturity, and the children's behaviour, the parents were f i r s t grouped under the behaviour classifications of the children. The Removed Group: ATTITUDE  r  S! 5  OIAGMOSTIC  5  CLASSIFICATIONS  h  It  OF CHILDR.EH  MOTHERS c o  6 a  is  P 1  z  Z.  i  I  1  0  0  0  10  4  z  3  PRIMARY BEHM/IOUR. DISOROtft.  S  2.*  WITH MEO«flT\C -TO-AiTS  4  p 9 vcno>-t£uRo;>i S  &OTH A flATEWSAL.  a 3 r r  3  TOTAL  h  ClRArtOMOTHeR  AttO A  T-10THCf<  M  FATHERS Ml  §i  H i*  T o  6  i  0  1  0  0  0  1  z.  M A T U R I T Y  p  In  9  Z  0  0 I  *I  I - i hI I ! 4I f H is £ ti « 4 z" I1 f 0  3  2.  FATHERS  MOTHE.RS  X  0  0  c?  1  i  <5 3  *\  .1 si ?* 1f 0 .i  t  2  0  0  3  o  0  Z  0  o  1  0  0  6  1  0  0  i  0  0  1  1  0  HAVE QEtn CMTCRE.O FOB. One CHIU5 Irt TW»S C\ROuP.  It can be seen that, for the removed group, there are no obvious differences between the attitudes of the parents of children with primary behaviour disorders and those with primary behaviour disorders with neurotic traits.  One minor difference i s the fact there  are more parents i n the second classification with an attitude of neurotic need than there are i n the f i r s t classification.  This i s to be  expected i n the parents of children with primary behaviour disorders  1  See Appendix A.  - U3 with neurotic traits.  The predominate attitude of the mothers i n these  two classifications i s clearly rejection with neurotic need a close second.  The attitudes of the fathers are more scattered. The number of  rejecting parents i s i n keeping with the theory that primary behaviour disorder with or without neurotic traits i s usually a result of early rejection.  The one child i n the psychoneurotic classification stands as  rather an isolated case but the combined attitudes of indulgence and overprotection-rejection doubly provide the parental attitudes that are most common i n the parents of the anxious child. Considering maturity, there i s very l i t t l e differentiation between the parents of children i n the f i r s t , second and thir_d c l a s s i f i cations.  A l l the mothers are very immature or have some immaturity.  The  same i s true of the fathers except for one i n the f i r s t classification who is moderately mature. The Removed GroupSummaries of the various parents may be useful i n clarifying the basis upon which these designations of attitude and maturity were made. Starting with the children under primary behaviour disorder, Charlie D. s mother has been described as a very cold, unreliable person. 1  She  separated from her common-law husband and supported herself by working as a waitress during the day and as a dancing teacher at night.  She says  she has no friendsor relatives to turn to and Charlie i s the only person she has.  Aside from her a b i l i t y to support herself i n work that she  apparently enjoys, she f a l l s down i n the remaining three areas.  In her  attitude toward Charlie, she i s hostile i n not helping or guiding him and in punishing him when he does something she does not like.  She was very  -Unopposed to the idea of placement and seems to need Charlie to punish. She says she would never l e t Mr. D. have Charlie. Mr. D. i s a much more mature person than Mrs. D. He worked steadily, although at different logging jobs, during the depression.  After serving i n the  army, he took a vocational training course and since then has worked continuously.  Interested i n Charlie, he visited him regularly and gave  Mrs. D. money for his support.  He can be said to be moderately mature.  Mrs. F., Edward's mother, had a very barren l i f e herself, being placed i n a "Home for the Friendless", at the age of three. not surprising^ that she has been diagnosed as psychopathic.  It is  She attempt-  ed suicide several times and i n 19kl developed T.B. Mr. F., who had served several j a i l terms for breaking and entering, died of a cardiac condition a few months before Edward was born. formed various common-law alliances.  Since then Mrs. F. has  She placed Edward i n many private  boarding homes but could not allow him to remain i n any one for any length of time.  Instead, she would remove him continually claiming that he had  been terribly ill-treated i n the private boarding home, even those approved by the agency.  I t i s for these reasons that she has been classi-  fied as very immature and her attitude that of neurotic need.  It i s  surprising that Edward i s not more disturbed but i t i s possible that he received some affection i n his early years from the various boarding home mothers with whom he was placed. The important person i n Freddie G.'s early years was his rejecting grandmother.  She reluctantly looked after him when he was a baby,  as his mother was "nervous" for a long time after his birth.  Mrs. G. i s  - U5 classified as very immature.  She i s extremely dependent on her own  mother but married Mr. G. when she was twenty, only to return home to her mother very frequently and, after one and half years, permanently. She i s extremely religious and i s said to be almost delusional i n her fanatic beliefs.  Much of the time she seems to be i n a dazed state and  w i l l not leave her mother's home until after dark. and never worked before or after her marriage.  She has no friends  In her attitude toward  Freddie she i s quite passive and indulgent but, at times, tries to copy her mother's s t r i c t methods with Freddie. ure.  Mr. G., too, seems very immat-  He never worked before joining the airforce and soon l e f t Mrs. G.  after his discharge.  When notice of the committment was sent to him,  he wrote to Freddie and revealed a rather indulgent attitude saying that Freddie'srunning away was like his own desire to wander and that, when he made lots of money, he would come back for Freddie and they could wander together. Harry I.*s real mother died when he was four.  Little i s  known of her except that she was "irresponsible and careless". A minister's daughter, she has had a very s t r i c t bringing up. she would have had any affection for Harry.  I t i s unlikely that  His father remarried when  Harry was five years old. Harry's step-mother had been very competent and efficient as store manager's assistant before her marriage.  This  gives her a very low score on the rating scale and s t i l l places her i n the very immature group.  She i s very rigid and controlling and i s afraid  of the disgrace Harry brings upon her.  In her attitude she i s openly  rejecting, refusing to take Harry back after he had been temporarily placed during her confinement.  Mr. I. works steadily as a mechanic.  - U6 However, he, too, seems very immature.  The worker describes him as  "weak, dependent, immature and irresponsible".  He is dominated by his  wife and has l i t t l e affection for any of the children.  Towards Harry he  is rejecting. Ian's mother married Mr. J. when she was fifteen years old. Before marriage she worked as a salesgirl.  She has never wanted to assume  responsibility for Ian but rather has pushed him into growing up too fast. She does attempt to cope with the other three children although one of them seems to be showing behaviour problems.  She projects most of the  blame for Ian's problems and, altogether, seems to be a person with some immaturity.  Her attitude toward Ian is mainly rejecting but she hesitat-  ed about placement of Ian when his maternal grandmother did not approve. After placement she made false promises to Ian about taking him home or buying him gifts, so that Ian never knew whether she loved him or not. The basis of her rejection is thought to be her great fear of male sexual i t y and her identification of Ian's unrepressed sex play with his father's excessive sexual demands.  However, she does not reject Ian openly and he,  therefore, nurtures the hope that, i f he could grow up and be strong like his father, he could make his mother love him. Mr. J. is classified as very immature because of the many psychopathic traits which he shows in avoiding difficult situations and in making excuses in anticipation of criticism.  He refused to assume responsibility for any of the children  and deserted frequently. rejection.  His attitude toward Ian is one of overprotection-  He visits Ian often and attempts to ingratiate himself but  makes no attempt to maintain Ian.  - U7 Alan B. i s the f i r s t child listed under the primary behaviour disorder with neurotic traits classification.  Mrs. B. was pregnant  with Alan before her marriage and received a great deal of criticism from Mr. B's relatives.  Mrs. B. says this i s the reason she has dis-  liked Alan from birth.  However, when Alan i s present, she i s not so  openly rejecting.  To his foster home she wrote very "loving" letters.  She admits she has been unusually c r i t i c a l of Alan "for fear he w i l l develop some of the traits she dislikes i n Mr. B." While making a good impression, she can only be rated as very immature.  Her own father de-  serted the family when she was just a few years old which may be the basis for some of her hostility towards Alan and Mr. B. While Mr. B. was overseas she i s cited to have been involved i n immoral relationships. She i s said to have a compulsive need to prove her ability as a wife and mother which would probably account for her attitude of overprotectionrejection.  Mr. B. i s an even more disturbed person taking a sadistic  pleasure i n beating and branding Alan.  He has no guilt over his abuse  of Alan and had d i f f i c u l t y i n remembering the reason he burned Alan with a hot iron.  He i s accused of having homosexual relations with Alan.  The record t e l l s of Mr. B. having had a very severe and dominating mother. Danny E.'s mother had been a ward of the Children's Aid Society before her common-law alliance with Mr. E., having been apprehended because she had been subject to incestuous relations with her father and brothers and used for purposes of prostitution by her step-mother who was also a bootlegger.  A l i s t l e s s , passive person, her only apparent strength  was i n her a b i l i t y to finish public school and to take a course i n dress-  - U8 making.  She eventually joined the army and later stayed with Mr. E.  for seven years i n a relationship of some permanency. During this time she had four children. a neurotic need to punish.  Her rejection of Danny almost borders on However, she was very willing to place him,  saying he was completely unmanageable. Mr. E., on the other hand, did not want Danny placed and, i n his frequent beatings of Danny, the satisfaction of some neurotic need i s more clearly seen. very immature because he f a l l s down i n a l l areas.  Mr. E. i s classed as He changes jobs fre-  quently; his aunt and uncle who brought him out from Denmark at the age of 13 say he i s "shiftless and irresponsible"; he satisfies his dependency needs neurotically by periodic paralysis of his right hand; adequacy as a husband or parent i s lacking. Gail i s another of the group who has only one parent i n the picture.  Mrs. H. i s the oldest of four children and never got along with  her father who was very strict and domineering.  At eighteen years of age,  she married a drug addict only to go away with Mr. H. who drank and was abusive.  She l e f t him soon after Gail was born.  called very immature.  Her behaviour can be  She rejects Gail, saying "she's just plain bad.  It's born right i n her, she's just like her father".  At times, she l a v i -  shes affection on Gail and w i l l never agree to release her to ward care. Through Gail, she seems to satisfy some neurotic need. Jimmie has had an assortment of mother figures which may be responsible for his severe behaviour to a greater extent than the rejecting attitude of his present step-mother. Jimmie's mother died when he was three years old. L i t t l e i s known of her attitude toward Jimmie but i t is unlikely that she would have much time for him while having five children  - 49 i n five years. rejected him.  Jimmie next stayed with his paternal grandmother who His step-mother i s the dominant one of the family. She  prides herself on her a b i l i t y to handle children by means of corporal punishment, but gave up trying to cope with Jimmie's behaviour. frankly expresses her dislike of Jimmie.  She  Both she and Mr. K. seem some-  what immature. Mr. K. gives the impression of being an intelligent, ambitious person but i s unable to hold jobs.  He punished Jimmie for his  behaviour but, when this did not help, decided that Jimmie was mentally unbalanced.  He i s rather ambivalent i n his attitude, wanting Jimmie  placed but appearing pleased when Jimmie returned for a brief period. The parents of Brian C., the only child i n the psychoneurotic group, separated when Mr. C. returned from overseas.  Mr. C. gave Mrs.  C. the choice of keeping the three children, whom she said she wanted, i f she did not go away with her brother-in-law but she chose the brotherin-law.  She was said to have been very indulgent with the children the  three years she kept them with her while Mr. D. was overseas. During this time, she frequently l e f t the children with their paternal grandmother who claimed the children were badly "spoiled". she never once enquired about the children. she recognized the children on the street.  After she l e f t , Mr. C ,  One day, four years later, She had l e f t her brother-in-  law by this time and wanted to take the children back, planning to support them by making slip covers.  Previous to her marriage to Mr. C. she had  been known to the police on a shop-lifting charge.  She said she married  Mr. C. to get away from her home i n which bootlegging was the means of livelihood.  Mr. C,also, i s a very immature person, very dependent on  his domineering mother. He never held a steady job.  He was given  to considerable intellectualization about his problems which he projected as a conflict between war and religion.  He f i r s t wanted adoption for  the children but when not sufficiently helped at this point, decided on foster home care, an example of his ambivalent attitude.  He f e l t con-  siderably relieved when the responsibility of the children was taken off his hands and never wrote nor kept up foster home payments. The Retained Group;  Dl A G H O  ATTITUDE  t ui •c o  S T I C  J  MOTHERS  X :J  C L A S S l F I C A T I O M S  C 0  < Ui  r r  5 8 &  BEHAVIOUR DISORDER  3  z  PRl t-lARy fJEHAVIOUR. DISORDER WITH neuaoTic T K A I T S  1  OF  CHlL-OREri  PRIMARY  SEVERS WSTUR&AtE TOTAL  BOTH  A  3T£*>-MOTHER A NO  A  if  n  V  MATUI5.IT  F A T H E R S  ft si M ft ii S 3 o  r 0  F u  8 UJ  Ir 6 2  M  ?  Ss  >f \l 1£ sI **  2 = r  0  o  0  1  0  0  1  0  o  6  0  4  l  0  <?  0  4  0  1  1  1*  0  o  <?  o  a  i.  10  5  6  z.  0  0  1  4  2.  HAVE  ft£Ert  E N T E R E D R>R OUST CHILD l r t -|Wtb  rAoX^CO.  <?  MOTHERS  •  1  y  j  <  t  > h S  H  ii  »i  111 J  M  i i <?  o Z. 6  3  1  (9  i*  0  2.  o  1  .5  s  3  V  <?  2  o  £AOOP.  With regard to attitude i n the parents of the four children, i n the f i r s t two classifications, the attitudes are quite scattered.  On the whole, aa i n the primary behaviour disorder with  or without nourotio traits o f children i n tho removed group, the a t t i tudes of the mothers are more damaging than those of the fathers. fathers show mature love for their children.  H  o  <J <?  <?  ?I  >•  I  3  0  ft i<  Two  By far the most out-  standing attitude of both mothers and fathers of psychoneurotic children  - 51 is overprpteetion-rejection.  The parents of the one child i n the severely  disturbed classification are an isolated example but attitudes of rejection, overprotection-rejection and neurotic need on the part of the mother, stepmother, and father are not surprising. With regard to maturity, i n the f i r s t two classifications, which include four children, a l l the mothers have some immaturity with the exception of one who i s very immature.  The fathers show quite a variation again,  with one or more entered i n every column except the final"high maturity" column.  In the last two classifications, ten of the fathers and mothers ou-e  entered under "very immature" or "some immaturity", the mothers having slightly more strength than the fathers. As the manifestations of parental attitude for each behaviour classification are very much the same, whether the child i s removed or retained, and, as parental descriptions sere given for every child under the behaviour classifications i n the removed group, only the typical and atypical parents under each behaviour classification w i l l be described for the retained group.  To consider f i r s t a few examples of parents of children  with primary behaviour disorder, Norma O's mother makes a good impression and apparently was successful as a hairdresser. she i s not so adequate.  However, i n other areas  Her own father died when she was very young and  she and her twin brother spent three years i n a convent.  Her brother has  been i n j a i l for burglary.  She said she disliked her step-father and her  mother until later i n l i f e .  Her f i r s t marriage ended i n divorce when Norma  was five years old and she remarried again when Norma was six years old. In her attitude toward Norma, she i s both rejecting and overprotective, at  - 52 one time complaining greatly of Norma and making plans for placement, yet unable to go through with the plans.  She seems to project many of  her own repressed wishes onto Norma, fearing Norma's stealing w i l l destroy her reputation with the neighbours or fearing the possibility of sex play between Norma and older boys.  There seems to be a self-punish-  ing element i n the many operations she has undergone. L i t t l e i s known of Norma s own father's attitude. 1  He went overseas when Norma was two  and a half years old. Mr. 0. was brought upfeya very strict mother as his father died when he was very young. He went to sea at sixteen years of age, and now i s a railway storekeeper.  Believing Mrs. 0. i s smarter  and more capable than he i s , he takes very l i t t l e responsibility around the house.  Five years younger than Mrs. 0., he rates as somewhat immature.  In his attitude toward Norma, he i s rejecting and disinterested.  He  wants Mrs. 0. to send Norma to her real father, who has legal custody, or to place her.  He seems rather ashamed of Norma's "dullness". Stanley T.'s mother has also been married before but her  present husband i s Stanley's father.  Subsequent to her divorce and before  her marriage to Mr. S., she had a Chinese child which she placed.  She i s  an extremely controlling person anxious to achieve material wealth. She continually nags and belittles Mr. T. whom she feels does not come up to her standards, does not cooperate i n her strict methods with Stanley, and does not show enough interest i n her. neighbours.  She i s very quarrelsome with her  Very restrictive and punishing towards Stanley, her attitude  may be said to be rejecting. Mr. T., on the other hand, i s a moderately mature person, who  - 53 owns two houses and makes a comfortable living.  He has mature love  for Stanley but following the Polish pattern leaves the care of Stanley to Mrs. T.  As a result of an accident, he has an injured arm about which  he i s rather sensitive. Aware of his wife's disfavour, he turns to his foreign friends and his work. Verna W.'s  father i s the only example i n this group of a  parental attitude of neurotic need. describes himself as a l l "nerves".  He has a history of syphilis and He i s thought by the case consultant  to be a compulsive obsessional person with paranoid trends.  Very insecure  in the dominant male role, he tries to keep control over the children and maintain his status.  Incestuous desires are believed to be at the basis  of his dominating attitude toward Verna.  His extreme hostility when Verna  lies or steals may be an indication of his own guilty wishes.  His frequent  illnesses and accidents are thought to be a way of regressing to a more dependent state. The M.*s  are the only parents with a child i n the primary  behaviour disorder with neurotic traits group. person with l i t t l e capacity for relationship.  Mrs. M. i s a very immature Her own family relation-  ships were very rigid and she probably had very l i t t l e affection from either parent. of a father.  In her marriage, she tries to place her husband in the role Satisfying neurotic need in the marital relationship as she  does, i t i s unlikely that she w i l l ever separate, despite the fact that she asked for help with her marital problems. also revealed i n her attitude to Larry. obvious.  Her h o s t i l i t y to men i s  Her desire to punish him i s very  She makes no secret of her partiality for the older g i r l .  -5kRejecting any suggestion of help for Larry towards making him happy, she would only consider an institutional form of placement. Mr. M., on the other hand, seems to have potentially mature love for Larry. As a conductor-brakeman, he i s popular with the men at work. On the other hand, he shows some immaturity i n his dependency, and, like his wife, i s f e l t to be using the marriage as an attempt to punish the partner for not playing the role of the good parent. In the group of children with psychoneurosis, most of the parents are overprotective-rejecting with both mothers and fathers mainly very immature.  Kathie L.'s parents seem like a typical example as both  Mr. and Mrs. L., i n attitude, are overprotective-rejecting and both are very immature. pendent.  Mrs. L. had a very domineering mother who kept her de-  Her father was the "town drunk" and Mrs. L. was very sensitive  about this at school, although she was f e l t to identify with her father to a certain extent. illegitimate child. with Mr. L.  She l e f t home, only to return with Kathie, her Later, she entered into a common-law relationship  When she and Mr. L. quarrel, or when she i s afraid Mr. L.  w i l l leave her, she becomes hysterical and threatens suicide.  However,  she was developing a relationship with the worker and the worker f e l t she had more strength than Mr. L. seems protective.  In her attitude toward Kathie, she  However, this i s l i k e l y an acceptable guise for re-  jection i n view of her own background and because of the guilt she feels about Kathie's illegitimacy. her illegitimacy.  She says she wants to make up to Kathie for  Mr. L., also, i s a very immature person.  Much of this  i s probably due to his early deprivation i n orphanages and to his own overprotective-rejecting father who appeared at the orphanage from time  - 55 to time, promising to make a home for Mr. L. While making a good impression on employers, he never keeps a job any length of time. He intellectualizes many of his own problems and phantasies a great deal about what he plans to do but never does. before and had a son.  He, too, had been married  He seems to over-identify with this son and to  resent Mrs. L.'s attentions being divided between the two children. Towards Kathie he professes affection, but there i s an underlying a t t i tude of rejection. Mr. S's overprotective attitude i s rather unique.  It i s  closely related to Mr. L. s attitude of identification with his own son. 1  He has been overprotected-rejected by his own family but continually returns to them. Accustomed only to rejection and depreciation from women, his f i r s t marriage ended i n divorce.  His eight year old daughter i s with  his mother. He then married a very depreciating woman in Mrs. S. A l though he i s ineffectual and dependent, he i s thought to have more strength than Mrs. S. However, her problems are increasing his tendency towards alcoholism.  Towards Rickie he i s affectionate and his protectiveness  does not seem underlined by hostility. Walter A. s parents are the only parents in this group who 1  are moderately mature. Mrs. A. had a very deprived background.  She lived  in a Shelter from the age of three, when her father deserted, until the age of twelve, when her mother re-established the home. She has worked ever since she was thirteen years old and continued working as soon as she could after Walter's birth. things.  She has a great desire for material  However, she did meet the agency half way and enjoyed her working  companions.  Although some marital problem had been reported, both Mr. and  - 56 Mrs. A. denied this throughout the contact. Mrs. A. seemed ambivalent in her attitude toward Walter.  She was quite punitive with regard to his  enuresis but refused to consider placement.  Mr. A. worked steadily as a  painter and built a house i n the evenings.  He was well thought of by the  neighbours although he said he was an "outcast from his own family".  At  times he seemed to have more understanding of Walter than Mrs. A., but he too seemed quite ambivalent.  Walter seemed very much afraid of him.  The parents of May N. s are the only parents i n both groups 1  with a severely disturbed child.  May's own mother died when she was four  and a half years old. The record does not cover this part of May's l i f e but i t can be assumed that her mother's attitude must have been one of extreme rejection as i t was necessary for May to be hospitalized for malnutrition during the time her mother was looking after her. May's stepmother i s moderately mature, as shown by her early ouvertures of friendship towards May and her many attempts to find a solution to the problem. However, when she failed to reach May, she projected her guilt over failure onto May herself and reacted with hostility.  Mr. N., on the other hand,  is a very immature man satisfying some sadistic need through May. indulging May, he i s said to suddenly be extremely cruel.  After  He straps May  when she does not eat her breakfast and taunts her with the fact that Mrs. N. does not love her.  One time he appeared nude before May, threw her on  the floor and struck her.  He, also, i s quite abusive toward Mrs. N.  He  refused to l e t May get help through the school psychologist. When the parents i n the two groups are compared generally, several similarities are quite outstanding.  One i s the regularity with  - 57 which a history of broken homes, desertion, and institutional care occurs i n the backgrounds of parents i n both groups. Another similarity between parents i n both groups i s the frequency of divorce, especially after the husband returned from overseas.  On the whole, the formative  years of the children studied were concurrent with the war years. When the two groups of parents are compared i n detail, some differences can be noted.  With regard to the mothers attitude, six of 1  the mothers i n the retained group as opposed to two i n the removed group are overprotective-rejecting.  The attitudes of the fathers are almost  identical but i t must be remembered that two fathers are lacking i n the removed group. his child.  One more father i n the retained group has mature love for  The degree of maturity of the mothers i s alike with the except-  ion of two mothers i n the retained group who are "moderately mature". Comparing the maturity of the fathers, six out of the eight fathers i n the removed group are very immature as compared with five out of ten i n the retained group.  However, of the remaining five i n the retained group,  three show some immaturity.  The removed group has one father who i s  moderately mature and the retained group, two. The conclusions that may be drawn from this comparison are several.  It i s obvious that maturity of parents, while very slightly su-  perior for the retained group, i s not sufficiently different between these two groups to indicate that i t i s a major factor i n removal or retention. One reason for this could be the legal difficulty i n separating a child from a neurotic or psychotic parent who i s not abusive.  The number of  mothers i n the retained group with the attitude of overprotection-rejection  would seem to indicate that the legal difficulty was certainly an important factory and also indicates the greater d i f f i c u l t y i n separation of children from overprotective parents and, therefore, the need for greater casework s k i l l .  The caseworker's ability to assess maturity i n  her clients would also have to be taken into account.  The degree to  which caseworkers are influenced and, to a certain extent, hampered by the settings i n which they operate with their clearly stated functions of helping children i n their own homes or out of their own homes, must also be considered.  CHAPTER 5 AN EVALUATION The importance of good diagnostic understanding and casework treatment s k i l l s on the part of the social caseworker i n both the family and childrens' agencies can not be underestimated.  It i s only by knowing  what i s compelling the parents to act as they do and by understanding what the child i s trying to express through his behaviour that the social worker can assess correctly the value within the parent-child relationship to the child for growth within the normal range.  A careful evaluation of  the parents' maturity should be used as a gauge of their a b i l i t y to change their attitude.  A l l this i s very important for the parents studied because  of their adverse parental attitudes and their degree of immaturity.  Once  a tentative decision has been reached as to whether treatment for a particular parent and child w i l l be directed toward maintaining the child i n the home or toward removal, the social caseworker must have the s k i l l to build on the strengths within the parents and free them to change their attitude toward the child or, i f removal i s in the best interests of the child, to guide and support the parents to this end without damage to their already weak ego strength. Casework with the parents and children has only been examined i n the early interviews of the contact as i t i s not the province of this study to analyze the casework with children i n foster homes, with foster parents and with own parents after placement. The kind of casework needed Ideally, when a father or mother feels uncomfortable enough about his child's behaviour or attitudes to ask for professional help and, equally, when a parent has been reported by the coimminity as neglecting  - 60 his child, i t i s important for the caseworker, whether the child i s eventually treated or not, to convey an understanding and desire to work with the person who i s feeling the discomfort, that i s , the parents."*" The caseworker knows that each individual has his own strengths to contribute to the family balance and each lis own needs which must be met to some degree within the family i f he i s to function comfortably i n his home and i n outside relationships.  The child i s dependent primarily on  his parents for basic satisfactions, but the parent can give the child affectional security only according to the degree to which his own needs have been and are being met. To determine the family interaction, the caseworker wants to know what the child's problems are, how the parents feel about these problems and what they think can be done about them.  The problem at intake  i s one of helping the parent come to some recognition of the part he w i l l play i n the continuing process.  In many instances, this w i l l be achieved  by helping him to an awareness of his discomfort and his need for relief, and that his part i s an important one i n any solution the agency w i l l  2 help to achieve.  This requires special casework s k i l l with the parent  who feels that he i s painfulHyconfessing failure by asking for help, and who i s even more painfully threatened by the idea that he may be i n some way responsible.  The intake worker with s k i l l i n helping him to feel  understood, can overcome this. The parents' awareness of the problem i n their relationship with their child i s reflected i n the agency they choose.  Those parents  1 Alice Barauck, Lorna C. Brangwin, Jeanne E. Hamilton, "Casework for Troubled Parents", Social Casework, March, 1950, P.113. 2 Charles Millar, "Request for Placement at Intake i n a Child Guidance Clinic", Bulletin, Child Welfare League of America, Inc., vol.21, no. 5, May, 19U2, p.2.  - 61 who come to a family agency may be primarily concerned with their marital problem and i t i s only later that the problems of the children become apparent.  Included i n this group, may be the parent who i s not  ready to take the definite step of going to a child placing agency. These ambivalent parents w i l l discuss placement only with a great deal of disturbance, uncertainty and doubt.  The parents' desire for placement may  not crystallize u n t i l after a period of treatment.  Ambivalence about  placement i s , almost always, a reflection of similar feelings toward the child.  A state of tension exists i n which i t i s not possible for the  parents to resolve the conflict i n either a positive or negative direction. However, for the time being, i t i s important that the status quo remain unchanged and that service be offered as an opportunity to explore the possibility of keeping the child at home or at least to clarify what i t i s the parent really wants, with placement only as a future possibility which may never materialize. An even more distraught group of parents come to child placing agencies, although the request for placement can validly begin i n either a family or children's agency.  I t i s usually the culmination of unbearable  degree of repudiation of the child, whether openly expressed or disguised beneath a mixture of guilt, martyrdom and possibly indulgence.  Many parents  w i l l be driven to great lengths before they can ask for placement, as i t so violently contradicts the individual's and society's concept of the customary family l i f e .  Even i f the placement i s requested with overt re-  jection or for a mature reason, i t i s s t i l l a blow to the parent's selfesteem. At this point, the parent w i l l need the worker's approval and support.  - 62 The intake worker must carefully assess the request to see whether this i s simply a parent asking for the necessities which he cannot provide for his child, or whether i t i s a parent whose hostility and rejection towards his child has made the child's presence unbearable. Either situation creates anxiety.  The intake worker must consider the  extent of this anxiety and determine whether enough support can be given the parent to carry him over this period, or whether he needs to be relieved of the children.  The child's need to remain with or be separated  from his parents, must also be considered. At intake, the worker wants to get some idea of whether this w i l l be a long term or a short term placement for the child so that she can plan accordingly. An evaluation of the degree to which casework i n the i n i t i a l interviews with parents and children i n this study approximates good i n take procedure can only be based on recording. In agencies with such heavy caseloads as those of the childrens' agencies the recording i n many instances, i s terse and lacking i n feeling tones.  At optimum conditions  of staff and caseloads, there are always individual differences i n recording which make quantitative assessments show a large margin of error. With the best of diagnosis and casework treatment s k i l l s , there are s t i l l some parents whom the caseworker finds d i f f i c u l t to help.  Three  groups can be distinguished: (a)  The overprotective but basically rejecting parents.  These parents require a special kind of s k i l l on the part of the caseworker, f i r s t , to encourage them to the point where their guilt feelings are at a minimum and they can ask for placement, and then, to maintain them i n this  -  63  -  decision with approval and support. Always there i s the danger that they w i l l swing back again, especially i f casework help i s not continued. Only examples w i l l make this clear. and her step-father openly rejecting.  Norma 0 . s mother was very ambivalent 1  Mrs. 0 . , a person of some immatu-  r i t y , came to the Family Welfare Bureau asking for placement but was one of those parents who was not yet ready to take the definite step of going to a child placing agency.  Although Mrs. 0 . vacillated considerably,  there were several times over the year for which the agency contact was examined when Mrs. 0 . was anxious for placement. were not taken at these times.  Steps toward placement  Rickie S. i s another example. Although  Mrs. S., a very immature person, came to the agency for help with her marital problems at the suggestion of the Child Guidance Clinic, Rickie's screaming was certainly of great concern to her. At Child Guidance Clinic, Mrs. S. had asked for foster home placement for Rickie and later she told the Family Welfare Bureau worker that she wanted Rickie i n a nursery school a few hours each day "to get him off her hands". Mixed with this rejection was Mrs. S.'s guilt over her "failure as a mother". After six months of casework directed towards the really f u t i l e task of changing Mrs. S.*s wish for placement to a desire to keep Rickie, a conference with the Children's Aid Society was held to discuss placement.  Placement  through these channels moves slowly and i s , no doubt, complicated by the Children's Aid Society's lack of foster homes. A month later, Mrs. S. phoned demanding immediate placement.  A month after this phone c a l l ,  Mrs. S. had changed her mind about placement and the contact with the Family Welfare Bureau waned.  - 6k -  For another group of ambivalent parents who really reject their children, the support and approval of the worker i s very important. For example, Mr. C. asked originally for adoption for Brian at the Catholic Children's Aid Society. However, he was persuaded to accept foster home placement.  As i t worked out, Mr. C. took no further interest  i n Brian. A permanent plan would have met Brian's needs better. (b)  The overtly rejecting parents.  different problems to the caseworker.  These parents present  They are the parents who go to the  child placing agency and for whom, because of their feelings towards the child which are reaching an unbearable point, delay i n being relieved of their children creates intense anxiety. After the Children's Aid Society investigated a request by the Social Welfare Bureau with regard to Danny's behaviour problems they found Mrs. E. was very anxious for placement of Danny. Here i s one example i n which the worker did not assess correctly Mrs. E.'s need to be relieved of the child immediately although Mrs. E. phoned continually to ask that Danny be committed soon as he was "absolutely unmanageable". After making one last request, Mrs. E., who had separated from her common-law husband, went into the interior of B.C. to work taking Danny with her.  Soon after, the Children's Aid Society were  compelled to apprehend Danny as the mother sent him down on the train to his father who did not meet him.  His maternal grandmother refused to  take him i n and the police turned him over to the Children's Aid Society. Verna W.'s parents were also very rejecting and lacking i n sufficient maturity to be capable of changing with casework help.  They had gone to  the Family Welfare Bureau for financial assistance. Therefore, when Verna's  - 6$ -  behaviour caused a disturbance i n school, the Family Welfare Bureau reopened their case.  A short time after the worker's i n i t i a l v i s i t  regarding the complaint from the school, Verna's parents announced that they had decided they wanted Verna placed. A t r i a l period of two months was suggested to which the W.'s doubtfully agreed.  A rather inactive  contaet was maintained over the year for which the record was examined. On the f i n a l contact for this period, the W.'s told theTOrker of their summer plans and their hope of leaving Verna indefinitely with the friends they intended to v i s i t . (c) a neurotic need.  Parents who retain their children to satisfy  Under the present child protection law, a third group  of parents present the caseworker with an extremely hard task.  They are  the parents who are not capable of giving any love to their children but hang on to them to satisfy a neurotic need. As these parents are usually very immature, the caseworker can only hope to give them other satisfactions for their needs. With these parents, too, i t i s sometimes necessary to effect placement at a time when the parents are asking for i t .  Charlie  D. s mother who retained Charlie to satisfy a neurotic need was inter1  viewed several times by the Children's Aid Society at the request of Foster Day Care Association around plans for placement of Charlie. A whole year passed with Mrs. D. cancelling appointments and the worker having d i f f i c u l t y i n locating her.  VJhen the mother f i n a l l y did begin to consider  Charlie a problem she could not handle and requested foster home care, the Children's Aid Society were not able to f i l l her request. As time passed, Mrs. D.'s attitude changed once more. Later, when placement plans and  - 66 committal were discussed with her, she was very much opposed to the plan. The situation was such that the Children's Aid Society were able to apprehend but the mother continued to v i s i t Charlie and to alienate foster mothers against the agency.  The court did finally take Mrs. F.'s parental  rights from her and give guardianship of Edward--to the Children's Aid Society on the testimony of several doctors and psychiatrists that Mrs. F« was psychopathic and clearly incapable of looking after Edwards.  The  situation was different with Mrs. M., who went to the Family Welfare Bureau to discuss her marital problems, because the effect of her attitude on Larry could not be established legally.  In discussion with the case  consultant, i t was decided that i t was practically impossible to work with Mrs. B. to minimize her h o s t i l i t y toward Larry.  Action on this decision  was complicated by the fact that Mrs. B. would never agree to any plan, whether for foster home placement or even play interviewing, i n which there was any suggestion of making Larry happy. The worker did proceed with an unattractive proposal f o r institutional placement but Mrs. B. withdrew from the agency. Two children with whom casework did have a measure of success were Stanley T. from the Family Welfare Bureau and Walter A. from the Children's Aid Society, two children from the retained group. With Stanley T. the caseworker was able to bring about a superficial change i n Mrs. T.*s attitude toward Stanley by capitalizing on her desire to achieve and turn i t into a desire to be a good mother. Mrs. T. began to take pleasure i n the changes i n Stanley.  Mr. T., who was a man of moderate  maturity, was built up and encouraged to take a more important place  - 67 -  with Stanley. Walter A.'s parents were both moderately mature but, in their attitude toward Walter, were overprotective-rejecting.  The  caseworker was unable to bring about any basic change i n their attitude but did minimize the more damaging elements.  Their feeling for Walter  included enough positivesjto enable them to l e t Walter get help through play therapy and to encourage him i n his improvement. Workers i n both family and children's agencies sometimes made faulty diagnosis of the degree of anxiety i n the parents with the result that some parents, i n an effort to be relieved of the children, made ill-advised plans of their own.  While the Family Welfare Bureau  had time to do a more thorough job of assessing with the parents what their feelings toward the child were and what they thought could be done about the problem, months of work was sometimes wasted because of failure to recognize or act on the immaturity of many parents.  There was a  seeming persistency on the part of the workers to continue to offer service with the child remaining i n the family even, when, after a period of treatment, the parents' desire for placement had crystallized.  At the Family  Welfare Bureau effecting placement requires a conference and a worker from another agency, who neither knows the child nor the parents, to select and supervise a foster home. The difficulties inherent i n this system of families and children being served mainly by two distinct agencies i s , no doubt, one reason why Family Welfare Bureau workers delay so long i n arranging placement. At Children's Aid Society the problem was sometimes one of too few interviews with parents before and after the child was removed.  - 68  -  The children came f a i r l y easily into care.  Most of the parents were  asking for temporary or permanent placement.  The remainder of the  children came to the attention of the agency for protection reasons and for these, grounds for apprehension were usually present.  However, i n  these cases, the children and parents were too often unprepared for placement.  Once i n care, the parents and child were split between the  two departments, family work department and child placing department, with the casework centering more around the child.  Yet, unless parents  have their own needs met i n some way or are helped to feel they have done the right thing i n placing the child, no long term plan can be made for the child with any degree of surety.  Because of failure to recognize  this faet, problems with the parents arose later. For a l l children studied there was a lack of direct interviewing with the child, with the removed group before and. after the child was placed, with the retained group, throughout the contact.  After place-  ment, many of the children i n the removed group received play therapy. Several of the overprotective-rejecting parents, so common in the retained group, were too threatened by even the suggestion of play interviewing. Casework with a l l disturbed children was handicapped by the lack of adequate foster homes, study homes and treatment centres. Factors determining the decision It i s possible now to attempt to sum up the factors which determine whether a disturbed child w i l l be retained i n his own family or removed.  Such a summary i s at least possible for the twenty neglected  children,studied.  An analysis of the manner i n which the children came  to the attention of the agency reveals that, from the beginning, the  - 69 parents of the removed group were more aware of a problem i n the parentchild relationship than were the parents of the retained group.  The  community, too, was more inclined to recognize the removed children as a problem. authority.  Only two of the retained children were referred by an outside Obviously, there was some difference between the two groups i  of children, at least, i n the eyes of their parents and the community. The next task was to see what this difference was.  It became  apparent from a comparison of the two groups of children that the group the parents and community regarded as the greater problem were displaying the more extreme behaviour but were not necessarily the more disturbed because of this.  The internalized conflicts of the children i n the re-  tained group were at least as severe a disturbance as the externalized or partially externalized conflicts of the removed group.  In fact, psycho-  neurotic children with their guilt feelings and divided loyalties are a harder group to treat directly than the children who are acting out their conflicts and are psychologically, at least, separated from their parents before removal. The next point to clarify was the attitude of the parents i n the two groups towards their children.  The most outstanding difference  was the much greater preponderance of overprotecting-rejecting mothers i n the retained group as compared to the number i n the removed group.  It is  clear that the overprotective-rejecting mothers do not relinquish their children.  But the children were as severely disturbed i n the retained  group as i n the removed group.  Therefore, the criteria for removal or  retention of children based on the best interest of the child were not  - 70 being followed. I f this was the case, one reason was probably the failure of the protection law to safeguard the rights of children to parents who can give them unconditional love. However, there was the possibility that the parents of the retained children were more mature and, therefore, more capable of changing their attitude toward their children with casework help. A comparison of the maturity of the two groups of parents reveals that a l l but a very few of the parents i n both groups were characterized by some immaturity or were very immature with the retained group only very'slightly superior than the parents of the removed group. This pointed to the legal difficulty again and also suggested the possib i l i t y of faulty diagnosis on the part of the caseworkers.  However, the  caseworker should not overlook the greater maturity present at times i n a parental decision to place. An investigation of the casework with parents and children points up a number of cases where anxiety had been falsely assessed by workers and where rejection had gone unrecognized or ignored i n parents asking for placement.  Despite the efforts of each agency to provide a  complete service independently, the parents and children had suffered because of the lacks i n either family or children's service, depending on whether the agency concerned specialized i n family work or children's work.  The greater f a c i l i t i e s of play interviewing and placement at the  children's agency were often n u l l i f i e d by the lack of adequate work with parents and the more intensive casework with parents at the family agency was often wasted because of the failure to interview children directly and to provide them with substitute homes when necessary.  -  71  -  From the findings of case analysis of the twenty disturbed children used for this study i n the areas of parents' request at intake, children's behaviour, parents' attitude and maturity, and casework with parents and children, i t may now be concluded that the decision to remove or retain for these children i s not usually based on the caseworker's careful assessment of the parent-child relationship. Rather, the decision i s influenced by a variety of circumstances, such as parents' and community's awareness of a problem, the disturbing events rather than the emotional deprivation indicated i n the child's behaviour, the degree of parental rejection, and the "speciality" of the agency to which the parent had gone.  Caseworkers should assume more responsibility than they  do for this important decision requiring professional assessment. One of the more obvious difficulties i s the child protection law. Changes i n this area can only be brought about by the private agencies discharging their duty more f u l l y of educating the community to a better understanding of the responsibilities as well as rights of parents and the emotional as well as physical needs of children.  In other areas, too,  such as what the agencies can do, and what they cannot do, because of lack of resources like study homes and treatment centres, the public should be given more facts.  The results might be surprising.  Another  recommendation for better service to parents and children i s a joint f a mily and children's agency.  Always basic, of course, i s the need for  good casework. While many other measures i n the community, such as better housing, marriage counselling, and economic security, are v i t a l in a preventive way, once the damage has been done, casework, with i t s  - 72 way made clear of legal and administrative handicaps, i s really the only hope for breaking the wretched chain apparent i n this study of disturbed children becoming disturbed parents and producing disturbed offspring.  7> Appendix A. Schedule used for Case Analysis.  I. General: A. Barnes of parents  Birth date  B. Hames of siblings  Birth date  Occupation  Agency Case number Date of opening  C. Referral: 1. Voluntary - details of parents' request 2. iron-voluntary - details of referral D. Age of disturbed child at beginning of agency contact E. Status: 1. Removed: a. Hon-ward b. Ward - date committed, section of Child Protection Act 2. Retained II. Child: A. Assessment of behaviour i n own home: 1. Primary behaviour disorder: a. conduct disorders,e. g., lying, truanting, stealing, disobedience, running away, destruotiveness, fighting, sexual activities, temper tantrums. b. frequently, habit disorders, e. g«, thumb sucking, masturbation, enuresis. (i) pre-oedipal - generalized aggression (ii) oedipal - specific aggression d. absence of guilt feelings e. narcissistic self-evaluation 2. Primary behaviour disorder with neurotio t r a i t s : - same as primary behaviour disorder, except that some neurotic traits are present which are the manifestation of an internalization of aggressiveness and i t s resulting unconscious conflict. 3. Psychoneurosis: a. habit disorders b. some conduct disorders c. outstanding characteristics: fearful, anxious, overconcerned about self, shy, withdrawn, timid, selfc r i t i c a l , self-punishing. d. neurotic symptoms 4. Severe disturbance: a. psychosomatic illness  ?1 . •  -. - 2 ^  b. psychopathic personality: aggressiveness, narcissism, distorted super-ego. c. neurotic character: oedipal conflict, temper, sullenness, attack, rebellion, self-punishing, unconscious guilt. d. obsessive compulsive: oedipal conflict, superstitious, uses magical methods to control anxiety, compulsions. e. psychosis, usually schizoid: severe disturbance of entire personality, preocoupied with own thoughts, phantasies, projection, delusison^ l i t t l e emotional relationship to the environment, excessive daydreaming, bizarre behaviour reactions i n play. B. Behaviour i n substitute home; briefly, to confirm diagnosis. C. Summary of Child Guidance Clinic examination. D. Intelligence E . Casework with child  III. Parents: A. Parental attitude toward child, e. g., open rejection, overprotection- reject ion, overindulgence, overprotection, neurotic need, mature love. B. Assessment of the maturity of both mother and father based on: 1 . his a b i l i t y to meet his reality situation: a l l those things for which the person i s responsible or should face and master for his own long term welfare, his responsibilities for care and support of himself and his dependents, the health of the members of the family, money and financial matters within the family, what others expect of him and their attitudes toward him, what efforts he must make to maintain his competitiveness and his competitive situation. 2. his ability to get, hold and master a job which i s suitable to his reality situation. 3. his ability to establish relationships on the job, i n his family, i n play groups, i n religious groups. 4. his ability to satisfy his dependency needs, so that he can aocept from others as well as give; his ability to satisfy his love needs, so that he i s comfortable with his own sex and does not have to deny i t , i s able to have satisfying relationships with the opposite sex, i s able to marry and be happy i n the marriage relationship, and i s able to be &: parent and hayeisgtisfJing relationships with children and they with him. C. Casework with parents  Appendix B.  Bibliography.  General References; Deutsch, Helene, the Psychology of Women, Vol.11, Guen and Stratton,  19UU.  Canadian Welfare Council, Summary of the Laws of Canada and Her Provinces as Affecting Children, Ottawa, Council House, 19UU. Fluegel, John, The Psychoanalytic Study of the Family, New York, Columbia University Press, 191*7. Specific References; i- C  Barauck, Alice, Brangwih*'Jeanne E. Hamilton, "Casework for Troubled Parents", Social Casework, March, 1950. Berkowitz, Dorothy, "Protective Casework and the Family Agency", The Fainily, November, 191*3• Bradley, Charles, "Psychoses i n Children", i n Lewis, Nolan D. C , and Pacella, Bernard L., ed., Modern Trends i n Child Psychiatry, New York, International Universities Press, 19U5« Gane, Margaret E., "A Programme for the Protection of Children", Proceedings of the National Conference of Social Work, 19&6. Gregory, Jean L., "Relations between Family and Children's Services", The Family, November, 1914*. Hamilton, Gordon, Psychotherapy i n Child Guidance, New York, Columbia University Press, 191*7. Hutchison, Dorothy, "The Request for Placement has Meaning", the Family, June, 19UU* Millar, Charles, "Request for Placement at Intake i n a Child Guidance Clinic", Bulletin, Child Welfare League of America, Inc., vol.21,  no. 5, May, 191*2.  Van Ophuijsen, J. H. W., "Primary Conduct Disturbances", i n Lewis, Nolan D. C , and Pacella, Bernard L., ed., Modern Trends i n Child Psychiatry, New York, International Universities Press, 191*5.  Abbreviations Used In this Study  C. A. S.  Children's Aid Society  C. C. A. S.  Catholic Children's Aid Society  C. G. C.  Child Guidance Clinic  C. W. D.  Child Welfare Division  P. D. C. A.  Foster Day Care Association  F. W. B.  Family Welfare Bureau  


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