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PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA Annual Report of The Social Assistance Branch of the Department of the Provincial… British Columbia. Legislative Assembly 1946

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 PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
Annual Report of
The Social Assistance Branch
of the
Department of the Provincial Secretary
For the Year ended March 31st
1945
VICTORIA,   B.C. :
Printed by Charles F. Banfield, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.
1946.  Victoria, B.C., November 21st, 1945.
To His Honour W. C. Woodward,
Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of British Columbia.
May it please Your Honour:
Herewith I beg respectfully to submit the Annual Report of the Social Assistance
Branch for the fiscal year ended March 31st, 1945.
GEORGE S. PEARSON,
Provincial Secretary.
Office of the Provincial Secretary,
Parliament Buildings, Victoria, B.C. Social Assistance Branch,
Victoria, B.C., November 21st, 1945.
The Honourable G. S. Pearson,
Provincial Secretary, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit the Annual Report of the Social Assistance
Branch for the year ended March 31st, 1945.
I have the honour to be,
Sir,
Your obedient servant,
E. W. GRIFFITH,
Assistant Deputy Provincial Secretary. TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Page.
Assistant Director of Welfare  10
Child Welfare Division  16
Collector of Institutional Revenue  23
Family Services  28
Medical Services Division  31
Mothers' Allowances .  33
Old-age Pension Board  39
Research Consultant  57
Social Allowances  58  REPORT OF THE SOCIAL ASSISTANCE BRANCH.
Victoria, B.C., November 21st, 1945.
E. W. Griffith, Esq.,
Assistant Deputy Provincial Secretary.
Sir,—In the past it has been the custom for the various divisions of the Social
Assistance Branch to present their separate reports, but for the fiscal year April 1st,
1944, to March 31st, 1945, I beg to submit under one cover a record of the activities of
the Branch as a whole. The reason for this change is to give in a concise form a fairly
comprehensive review of the year's operations of the several divisions comprising the
Social Assistance Branch.
The reports of the various divisions or services are indexed for the convenience
of those who may be interested in only one particular phase of our activities, but as
the integration has proceeded and become more effective it is difficult at times to draw
a distinct dividing line between two services. This is particularly true in respect to
" Family Services " and the Child Welfare Division.
The underlying reason for the amalgamation of the Unemployment Belief Branch
and the Welfare Branch was to give a better service to the residents of this Province
and to avoid duplication in the matter of visiting clients. Previously, the Old-age
Pensions Board, Welfare Branch, and Unemployment Belief Branch had their respective field staffs trained in their own particular phase of social service work and whose
duty it was to obtain the information required for the administration of that particular Act or regulations. Under the amalgamation we expect every member of our field
staff to be able to handle, in so far as possible, any situation which may arise in connection with social service work. Since trained social workers are simply not available
in sufficient numbers, and as many of our field staff had training in possibly only one
aspect of our work, we have endeavoured through our own " In-service Training School "
to give such employees a working knowledge of the other social services. The difficulties
encountered and assistance received from the University of British Columbia in the
matter of staff are dealt with more fully by the Assistant Director of Welfare in her
report, which also gives details as to case-loads, etc. When one considers the number
of Provincial Acts and regulations and the complexity of situations found in connection
with social services, it will be realized how great a responsibility rests on the field staff
and the necessity of thorough preparation before being assigned to a district office.
In each Divisional office there are Supervisors whose duties involve instruction and
advice to the field workers and who are especially chosen by reason of training, experience, and ability to direct along the most effective lines. This is particularly required
in complicated situations, of which there are many. For purposes of our work the
Province is divided into five regions, each in charge of a Regional Supervisor. The
duties of these officials are many and varied, but one of their chief values lies, I believe,
in establishing liaison between the municipalities and the Provincial Government. It is
our constant endeavour to merit and obtain the fullest possible co-operation of municipalities and private agencies throughout the Province. Our efforts have met with
considerable success, particularly with the larger municipalities, who have their own
welfare branches or departments. Many of the smaller municipalities, also, are evincing a greater interest in social welfare matters and there is every reason to hope that
their full co-operation will be forthcoming.
7 In such an amalgamation as we have effected there are bound to be many intra-
divisional situations which require clarification. To this end Divisional Supervisors
meet each month and their recommendations have been valuable. By means of regional
conferences officials from the various Divisions have also met with members of the
field staff to give first-hand information on policy and also discuss with the workers
any matters which may be giving them concern.
While the various divisions and services are dealt with under their own headings
I should like to refer briefly to two of these—namely, the Family Services and our
Medical Services Division.
In " Family Services " we are endeavouring to give help in various family or home
situations and where assistance of a financial nature is not presently involved. This
is particularly true in reference to child behaviour problems, as if by our efforts we
can resolve the situation to preclude the necessity of a child being committed to the
Industrial School or placed as a ward we are undoubtedly saving the taxpayers many
hundreds or thousands of dollars. I feel I must, however, stress the amount of time
and quality of case-work and supervision required for this particular service. In many
instances the problem is of such a complicated nature as almost to defy solution,
requires a vast amount of study of the family situation and all the tact and abilities
which trained and experienced workers and supervisors can give. The time element
involved in this type of case has given me no little concern, but I am confident it is
well spent and will show excellent results in home or family relationship which will be
directly reflected in the broader field of good citizenship.
Through the Medical Services Division persons in receipt of social assistance are
able to receive necessary medical services and drugs. In respect to those recipients
residing in organized territory, the municipalities are, of course, responsible, but with
those cities and district municipalities which have made satisfactory arrangements with
their doctors to render general medical services, the Province shares the cost. We
also reimburse such municipalities on a fifty-fifty basis for the cost of doctor's prescriptions to the recipients of social assistance. All but a few of the municipalities
in this Province have accepted this plan. That it is filling a need and is appreciated
is attested by letters we have received and the verbal comments to our workers in the
field.
While the improved economic conditions due to war-time activities have undoubtedly reduced the number of calls on our Branch for financial aid, on the other hand it
has greatly increased our work. I refer chiefly to the contacts we have made for the
Dominion Government in respect to the Dependents' Allowance Board and the Dependents' Board of Trustees. Dislocation of family life, in many instances due to the
husband or father being in the armed services or engaged in war-work away from his
home, has been the underlying reason for many referrals to our Branch.
The aim of the Social Assistance Branch is to give a comprehensive social welfare
service to the residents of this Province in that we can assist in an adequate and
acceptable manner those persons who come to us for aid. To this end we have increased
our staff of field workers and supervisors in so far as possible, but more are required.
Staff turnover has been considerable, again greatly attributable to war conditions, and
it is due in no small measure to the untiring efforts of the Assistant Director of
Welfare that we have been able during this past year to render a reasonable degree
of service.
I feel I can not conclude these remarks without expressing my appreciation of the
assistance and co-operation I have received from all members of the staff of our
Branch. In many respects this year has been trying in that war-time conditions have
imposed additional demands on our staff who have met them cheerfully and, I believe,
ably.    This is particularly true in respect to regional and divisional supervisors and REPORT OF THE  SOCIAL ASSISTANCE BRANCH, 1944-45. R 9
social workers. The Branch as a whole will doubtless be judged by the general public
through their contacts with our field representatives. It is our constant endeavour to
send to district offices only workers who are trained and can interpret Government
policies. Of these workers we demand a great deal in the way of education, ability
to meet the public, good common sense, and hard work. On their part they are carrying case-loads which would daunt those whose interest in the well-being of their fellow
citizens is not sincere. Travel conditions in many parts of this Province are rigorous
in the extreme and have been additionally so because of certain war-time restrictions.
The quality and quantity of work turned in by our social workers are such as to leave
no question as to their industry and loyalty to this Branch and to their chosen profession. Their efforts should do much to raise the standards of social welfare in this
Province, are worthy of commendation, and are an inspiration to those whose duties
lie in administration.
Respectfully submitted.
C. W. Lundy,
Director of Welfare. R 10 BRITISH COLUMBIA.
REPORT OF THE ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF WELFARE.
The office of the Assistant Director of Welfare is charged primarily with the
management of personnel and with setting and maintaining standards of professional
performance. The first conforms necessarily with the regulations of the Civil Service
Commission, which has throughout the two years of transition from the administration
of the old " Civil Service Act " to that of the new Act passed in 1945, co-operated to the
fullest extent in the matter of salary adjustments and in defining the eight classifications of jobs within our Department. The adopted policy of appointing trained
personnel (when available) gives recognition to the profession of social work, and indicates an appreciation on the part of the administrators of the need of such professional
services to the people of this Province.
The second function of setting and maintaining standards of services has been
attempted through the active co-operation of the divisional superintendents and chief
supervisors, who have met monthly to confer on matters of policy and staff development.
Constant interviews with the Assistant Deputy Provincial Secretary and the Director
of Welfare have resulted in a close co-ordination of thought in policy making and a most
satisfactory integration of the work of the Divisions.
The maintenance and improving of standards of professional performance has been
met through an active programme of staff development, which forms a subdivision of
this report. We are also indebted to Miss Marjorie Smith, head of the Department of
Social Work of the University, for her generous assistance in giving the staff a four-day
Institute in two of our regional areas—the Kootenays and the Okanagan Valley.
In addition to these principal functions, this office has been responsible for setting
up methods of office administration. A modern filing system, adapted to our particular
needs, has been installed in all district offices and in the Social Service Department of
the Division of T.B. Control. An office manual, for the use of social workers and their
clerical staffs, has been compiled and revised, setting out a uniform method of office
practice. In matters of accounting—a phase of the work that has not always been
thoroughly understood by the staff as a whole—much valued help has been given by our
Chief Accountant.
Management of a fleet of some forty-six cars has been assumed in the past year by
this office, involving contacts with the Dominion Control Boards and careful recording
of mileage and expenses in their operation.
The volume of correspondence indicates the general increase in the amount of
detailed work accomplished. In April, 1944, this amounted to 558 incoming and outgoing pieces, while in the month of March, 1945, the total was 1,596.
In September, 1944, the Assistant-Director was appointed Secretary of the
Eugenics Board of British Columbia, and in October, 1944, Chairman of the reorganized
Committee on Collections of Institutional Revenue, and, in a consultative capacity, has
worked with the Provincial Board of Health, the Recreational and Physical Educational
Branch of the Department of Education, and with various municipal officials. There
has also been participation in a variety of community affairs, such as the Vancouver
Welfare Council, Citizens' Rehabilitation Council, and the John Howard Society, in all
of which executive positions are held.
This office is constantly called upon to interpret the work of the Department and in
this connection public addresses and personal interviews have been an important phase
of the work. Persons seeking jobs and officials from the armed forces and from other
Provinces, the Federal National Selective Service, and other professional groups have
been served in this way.
In October, 1944, Miss Anna Faust was appointed to the Boys' Industrial School
as Social Work Supervisor.    Under her experienced direction the new office was co- REPORT  OP THE  SOCIAL ASSISTANCE BRANCH, 1944-45.
R 11
ordinated into the school programme, and interdepartmental and interagency policies
were established. The Field staff now have a much closer tie-in with the work of the
school than has existed heretofore, and more effective work is possible, not only with
the families of the boys, but also with the boys themselves after they return home from
the school.
On December 1st, 1944, Miss Helen Sutherland was appointed Provincial Supervisor in the Division of Venereal Disease Control. Miss Sutherland is well equipped
for this position, having received her Master's Degree in Medical Social Work at
Simmons College, Boston.
District Offices.—During the year under review district offices were opened at Williams Lake, Salmon Arm, and Fernie. Owing to shortage of staff our Smithers office
was closed in September, 1944, and the Salmon Arm office closed in February, 1945.
Mention should also be made of the appointment of a Community Counsellor in
Kelowna. While this worker is directly responsible to the municipal council and
citizens' committee of that city, much of the preliminary planning was conducted in
conjunction with our Department, which makes a contribution to the Counsellor's
salary. Our participation in this project was purely experimental and at this time it
is impossible to say what the final adjustment will be. Our assistance was given
because of a strong realization on the part of our officials that when the people in a
community attempt to meet their own problems, some preventive work will be done
which will eventually mean a lessening of our case-load.
Personnel.—Actual appointments made during the year under review totalled
thirty-four. To offset this there were seventeen resignations and three members of
staff were given leave of absence, which means an actual increase of only fourteen.
The following figures show the number of social workers in both divisional and district
offices:—
Staff as at April 1st, 1944.
Staff as at March 31st, 1945.
Men.
Women.
Total.
Men.
Women.
Total.
23
5
32
55
5
28
4
36
64
Regional supervisors —-	
4
28
1
32
13
60
14
32
3
36
27
68
30
Totals   - 	
29
45
74
35
63
98
The number of social workers in divisional offices shown last year included only the
Child Welfare Division and Divisions of T.B. and V.D. Control. The total of 30 as at
March 31st, 1945, is made up as follows:—
General Administration     2
Child Welfare Division  11
Social Allowances, etc     3
Research Consultant     1
Training Supervisor     1
Temporary War Services     2
Division of T.B. Control     7
Division of V.D. Control     3
Total  30
It will be noted that these figures do not include social workers at the Boys' Industrial School, Old-age Pension Branch, or Psychiatric Division, as the transfer was not
effected until April 1st, 1945. R 12 BRITISH COLUMBIA.
During the year there were 23 transfers from one district office to another or from
district and divisional offices.
The number of cars used in the field as at March 31st, 1945, was 46. Of this
number 24 were Government owned and 22 privately owned. These figures compare
with 42 cars for the previous year, of which 20 were Government owned and 22 privately owned.
At April 1st, 1944, there were 19 district offices and 3 municipal offices under the
staff amalgamative scheme. During the year 1 other district office was continued in
operation and 1 additional municipality (North Vancouver) came under the amalgamation plan.    Therefore as at March 31st, 1945, the number of district offices totalled 24.
At least one visit has been made to every district office in the Province, with the
exception of the Peace River, and in most of the districts two or three visits have been
made. Economy has been effected by having staff conferences within each region, as
a result of which there has been much valuable interchange of ideas between departmental heads and the field staff The staff felt free to discuss their problems frankly,
and have advanced many recommendations, all of which have been given careful consideration. Divisional work and its particular problems were interpreted at the same
time to the field staff, and it is felt that there is now a closer and more understanding
relationship between the two. Too much can not be said of the need for this mutual
respect between divisional and district staffs. Better understanding of each other's
problems makes for smoother functioning, and results in more.valuable service for the
people whom we serve.
Conferences.^-The Canadian National Conference on Social Work, held in Winnipeg on May 15th to 18th, 1944, was attended by four members of our Department; i.e.,
Misses M. Johnson, R. McKay, J. Kilburn, and A. Leigh.
Regional Supervisors' Conference was held in Vancouver, May 1st to May 5th, 1944.
Regional staff conferences were held as follows: Region 2, Vancouver, September
18th and 19th, 1944; Region 1, Victoria, November 24th and 25th, 1944; Region 4,
Nelson, February 26 to March 2nd, 1945.
Student Placement.—In addition to the student placement in divisional and district
offices in or adjacent to Vancouver, two students completed their field work in our Prince
Rupert and Nelson offices under the supervision of Miss Snider and Miss York. They
were paid a living allowance of $50 per month and their travelling expenses to and from
the district.
Statistics.—New monthly report forms were devised and put into effect July, 1944,
and were revised in February, 1945. These reports give an accurate analysis of the
number and types of cases carried by each staff member. This analysis is used in personnel management to indicate in which districts new staff should be placed. We now
have a complete over-all picture of the volume of our generalized service. Every three
months new staff lists are circulated. We have found it necessary to revise them every
three months due to the tremendous turnover of staff, but it is hoped that as the situation stabilizes after the war they will only have to be issued twice a year.
In district offices outside of areas where there is staff amalgamation, the average
case-load as at March, 1945, was 341, as against 385 in April, 1944.
In the municipalities where there is staff amalgamation, the average case-load as
at March, 1945, was 349, as against 372 in April, 1944.
The case-load at March 31st, 1945, in categories is as follows:—
Social Assistance Branch— Case-Load
Social Allowances    4 ggg
Mothers' Allowances   9gg
Family  Services          ig3
Old-age Pensions   15 ggg
Child Welfare Division     3 4Qg REPORT OF THE SOCIAL ASSISTANCE BRANCH, 1944-45. R 13
Provincial Board of Health— Case-load.
Tuberculosis Division   414
Venereal Disease Division   9
Hospitals and Institutions—
Mental Hospital   319
Child Guidance Clinic  41
Hospital Clearance   17
Welfare Institutions   30
Provincial Infirmary  26
Collections    51
Federal Services—
Dependents' Board of Trustees   235
Dependents' Allowance Board   41
Directorate of Social Science  80
War Veterans' Allowance   7
Total   26,413
Surveys.—In the interests of accumulating information regarding the nature of
the work done, distances travelled, community resources, industries, and special characteristics of the various district areas, valuable surveys were made by the staff which
can be used in a variety of ways, but principally in the preparation of staff for work in
any new district.
At the same time surveys were undertaken by the divisions, in which full definition
is given of the duties and functions undertaken in that division. Job analyses—that is,
detailed description of the work expected of divisional staff members—were also started.
These projects provided an opportunity for much-needed stock-taking on the part of
those concerned, and served to highlight the areas in which changes and additional
work needed attention.
Supervisors' Council.—Monthly meetings with divisional heads or their senior
supervisors have been held, the principal work involving policy making with respect to
interdivisional supervision. Many cases carried in the field are served by more than
one division—such as Mothers' Allowances, in which perhaps tuberculosis and delinquency are additional problems. It has been possible to work out a sensible method of
supervision to avoid needless overlapping, which at the same time makes for uniform
advice and help to the field worker. Staff development has also been a major study of
this group, and an experiment in personal supervision was undertaken in Region 2 and
analytic reports submitted to the Council. The meetings have served to acquaint each
division with the problems and new developments of the others, and has made for a
spirit of understanding and general unity.
Staff Development.—The Training Supervisor was appointed in May, 1943, under
the supervision of this office. As no detailed report has been previously given, the following outlines the scope of work covered in the two-year period:—
1. In-service training: (a.) Three training classes for members of staff from
the former Unemployment Relief Branch and Old-age Pensions staff were conducted.
The first, which was experimental, lasted for three months, the staff being those
employed in and around Vancouver. The next two were six weeks in duration. A total
of twenty-four persons received this training, six of whom were municipal staff members from Vancouver and Burnaby.
(b.) Four courses of three months' duration were conducted for "apprentice"
staff, two of which overlapped with the two six weeks' courses noted above. A total of
fifteen persons received this training, five of whom were Vancouver City appointees. (c.) Part-time University training was arranged for three Provincial and four
city staff members.
(d.) In July and August, 1943, informal weekly evening discussions on Supervision, led by Miss Alice Taylor, of the Montreal School of Social Work, were attended
by ten Provincial and municipal supervisors. A refresher course in advanced casework under the auspices of the University Department of Social Work, was held in the
summer of 1944 and was attended by seven Provincial supervisors. This was given
University credit.
2. Orientation of New Staff: Itineraries have been arranged for all new members
of staff to visit and observe in divisional offices. A certain amount of this orientation
period has been spent with the Training Supervisor to discuss questions arising out of
their visits to divisional offices. In this way the Training Supervisor has become well
acquainted with each new worker. Her office is constantly used by new workers for
informal consultation on matters of a personal nature having to do with the job.
3. Conferences: Regional conferences were arranged in the summer and fall of
1943 at Prince George, Vancouver, and Penticton. The programme covered the full
scope of the work, with discussions led by divisional superintendents.
4. Publications: Official publications distributed during the year, prepared by the
Training Supervisor, were as follows:—
The Bulletin, first issued in December, 1943, when 123 copies were distributed,
increasing to 245 copies in March, 1945.
The Book List, published September 1st, 1944;   93 copies distributed.
Outline of B.C. Public Welfare Programme, published December, 1944;   335
copies distributed.
Resources Manual,  Federal Section,  published  January,   1945;    186  copies
distributed.
5. Library: A total of 30 new books and 35 new pamphlets have been added to the field
staff library, making a total of 128 books and 55 pamphlets. Volumes of periodicals are
also available to the staff. A card system is being set up as the books and pamphlets
are properly catalogued. Workers have been encouraged to obtain reference material
from the Training Supervisor. A total of 104 books have been circulated among the
district offices at the request of various workers, and the library has been used extensively by In-service Training Classes, City Staff, Divisional Supervisors, and University students.
6. Evaluations: An evaluation form was devised for use by regional supervisors
in giving an appraisal of the quality of work done by the staff. This valuation covers
such points as office routine, organization of work, community contacts, general knowledge, professional and personal qualities.
7. Divisional and Regional Surveys: An outline for the guidance of divisional
heads was prepared in order that necessary surveys of the actual nature of the work
done in the field and divisions might be uniformly recorded. These included job
analyses of individual jobs within each division.
8. Resources Manual: The resources available to the workers in the field through
Federal, Provincial, municipal, and voluntary agencies were outlined in a concise form.
This included a brief outline of our Public Welfare programme.
In addition to the above specific functions the Training Supervisor has served on
sub-committees of the Supervisors' Council which studied Civil Service examinations
and statistical forms. A survey was conducted also to determine the possibilities of
case-work supervision in the regions and detailed reports were presented to the Supervisors' Council. Six weeks' valuable field experience in the Nelson district office and
a total of three months' work as supervisor in the East and South Units of the City
Social Service Department gave the Training Supervisor a practical knowledge of the REPORT OP THE SOCIAL ASSISTANCE BRANCH, 1944-45. R 15
problems of the field. Interpretation of the work of the Department as a whole, and
of our programme of staff development, was made through addresses to various groups,
contributions to the Canadian Welfare Magazine, and written accounts for various
American and Canadian agencies.
Conclusion.—It must be borne in mind that the nature of the work of this Department is extremely arduous, fraught as it is with the problems and difficulties of some
26,000 individuals and families scattered throughout this large Province. The social
workers in the rural areas are called upon to cover wide territories and to give a
" generalized " service, which entails administering all aspects of our Public Welfare
programme; i.e., Social Allowances, Family and Child Welfare, Health Services, Institutional Placements, Mental Hygiene, and certain Federal War Services. No two cases
are ever alike and each must be treated according to its individual merits. Those who
occupy supervisory positions in the divisional offices have the difficult task of guiding
the social workers in the field, which imposes on the supervisors grave responsibility,
for the science of dealing with the social needs of individuals and families is one which
must be accompanied by knowledge, wisdom, and tolerance.
War-time pressures have been felt in this Department as in most others. Staff
shortages have been serious and have resulted in extraordinary demands being made on
an already overworked staff. Perhaps I can best express my appreciation to a loyal
group of co-woi'kers by saying that if our Department could honour civilians, every
member of our staff would receive a citation for Distinguished Service.
Amy Leigh,
Assistant Director of Welfare. REPORT OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF CHILD WELFARE.
The fiscal year in the Child Welfare Division has been one of many changes.
Miss Isobel Harvey, who had been the Superintendent of Child Welfare for seven years,
left to become Research Consultant in the Department of the Provincial Secretary on
September 1st, 1944, and your present Superintendent was appointed at that time.
As intimated in the last report, the Child Welfare Division had reached a point
where it seemed essential to develop a specialized form of supervision if the ever-
increasing field staff members were to be given the direction they required, and this
change took place on April 1st, 1944. Previously, the Division had operated on a generalized basis; that is, each supervisor was allocated a certain number of districts
throughout the Province, and was responsible for the supervision of all child welfare
cases arising within those districts — Protection, Unmarried Mothers, Foster-home
Finding, and Placement and Supervision of Children in Foster-homes, Adoptions, and
Delinquency. However, as case-loads in all Social Assistance Branch categories
increased, and the numbers of workers doing a generalized job throughout the Province
increased, it became evident that the generalized form of supervision in the Child
Welfare Division office was not meeting the needs. The setting-up of the four specialized sections within the Division—Protection, Unmarried Parents, Adoption, and Placement (Supervision of Children in Foster-homes)—and following through the many
administrative changes involved has meant constant thought and planning on the part
of all members of staff, both professional and clerical. Policies and procedures have
had to be changed or newly formed, not only within the Division but between other
Divisions and Departments of the Social Assistance Branch and with outside agencies.
There have been times of discouragement when we seemed to be having more than our
share of staff members leaving to be married, and the task of attending to the everyday job seemed more in itself than could be handled, but we start our new fiscal year
confident that we are on the right road and that we can see concrete evidence of a pattern of orderliness and unity in our new division of work which will result in increased
help to district workers and through them better service to clients.
PROTECTION SECTION.
The establishment of a Family Division within the Social Assistance Branch has
made it possible for us to think of our " Protection " work as being that area of Child
Welfare work with families who are not providing adequate protection for their children,
leaving the broad field of family work to the Family Division. A Family Service could
actually have been developed within the Child Welfare Division, thus making a combined family and child welfare service, since we have for a number of years accepted
cases which had no true elements of neglect, but did require a service to the family.
The ultimate development of the Family Division in the Social Assistance Branch has,
of course, the advantage of equalizing the service to all families, whether in receipt
of a form of Social Assistance or not. Its disadvantage from our standpoint is the
fact that the Family Division office is in Victoria and the Child Welfare Division office
is in Vancouver. This has presented very real difficulties in the working-out of policies
and in the actual sharing of cases to both district workers and the two head offices.
We are hopeful that in the not too distant future some form of amalgamation can be
made whereby a truly all-over Family and Child Welfare service for the Province can
be developed.
As a result of there being a Family Division, however, the Protection Section of
the Child Welfare Division will become more selective in its intake policies, and family
cases formerly accepted will be routed direct from the field to the Family Division.    It REPORT  OP THE  SOCIAL ASSISTANCE BRANCH, 1944-45.
R 17
was not possible nor practical to turn over en masse to the Family Division the large
number of " family " cases being carried in the Child Welfare Division, but we plan
to accomplish this during the next year, when both Divisions will be in a better position
to state their future lines of development and to estimate their needs.
Under this new intake policy, the Protection Section accepted 735 new cases during
this past year as against 912 in 1943-44, and, while 2,952 cases of Protection were
carried during the year (as against 2,581 in 1943-44), as a result of closing 894 cases
during the year (a few were transferred to Family Division), we will begin the new
year with a case-load of 1,900 as against 1,927 Protection cases on April 1st, 1944.
These cases represent varying degrees of family disintegration, and, while the majority
will remain as a family unit—with continued help from the worker—in some the
children may have to be removed from circumstances which do not afford sufficient
protection to them. For instance, as in the case of a motherless home, where we tried
over a period of time to help a father keep his family of eight children (three boys and
five girls) together. When he was later convicted of a statutory offence under the
Criminal Code, the eight children were in need of protection and were subsequently
made wards of the Superintendent of Child Welfare. In other instances children may
have to be removed temporarily for preventive reasons, and it is in these cases that we
continue to meet with difficulty when the family's legal residence is in organized territory. Because non-ward care is not a Court action and carries with it no Court order
for the child's maintenance, municipalities are loath to agree to pay the usual per capita
costs. Most municipal officials admit the value of such preventive work, but their
resources are limited, and in the smaller municipalities the costs of such care can
present a real financial problem. As a result there have been several instances this
past year where we were unable to admit children to care, even though, as in three
instances, the Child Guidance Clinic recommended strongly that the child be placed
temporarily away from his home. One of these children was on the point of being
committed to the Boys' Industrial School when, after several weeks of waiting in his
home (while we tried to obtain the municipality's agreement to pay the per capita per
diem rate), the relationship between the stepfather and the child became so strained
that the child expressed his unhappiness by stealing some one else's belongings and was
brought before the Court under the " Juvenile Delinquents Act." We were finally able
to convince the municipality of the economy of temporary foster-home placement and,
with the co-operation of the Court, we believe that the temporary removal of this boy
from his own home has averted a serious behaviour difficulty and has given him an
opportunity to develop into a worth-while citizen.
We have reached a critical point in our preventive child welfare work and are in
the process of reviewing our present financial arrangements with municipalities. We
are hopeful of working out a policy which will afford a more equitable distribution of
costs for children in care, as between Provincial and Municipal Governments.
Cases carried in 1944-45 under " Protection of Children Act."
Region.
Carried
over as
at April
1st,
1944.
New.
Reopened.
Transferred
In.
Transferred
Out.
Closed.
Total
Cases
carried,
1944-45.
Carried
over as
at April
1st,   .
1945.
1                 •	
Sll
904
337
202
173
93
410
94
73
65
18
79
18
8
9
19
72
23
35
9
19
63
22
41
13
88
451
158
106
91
441
1,465
472
318
256
334
951
292
171
152
2 •  	
o
4 •    .                       	
5         	
Totals 	
1,927
735
132
158
158
894
2,952
1,900 R 18 BRITISH COLUMBIA.
FOSTER-HOME PLACEMENT SECTION.
This past year has seen considerable growth in our Foster-home Placement Section.
As at July 1st, 1944, the Child Welfare Division agreed to take over a part of the
Children's Aid Society of Vancouver foster-home area in the Fraser Valley. This
meant the transfer of fifteen homes and twenty-four children to Child Welfare Division
supervision. In addition, we have resolved to take care of as many of our own children
in our own areas as possible, rather than continue to expect the Children's Aid Societies
in Vancouver and Victoria to extend their services to include children for whom we are
responsible. As a result, throughout the year we cared for 352 children in Child
Welfare Division foster-homes; of these, 177 are wards of the Superintendent of Child
Welfare and 137 are non-wards of the Superintendent. The other 38 are wards and
non-wards of the three Children's Aid Societies in Child Welfare Division foster-homes.
The Children's Aid Societies in Vancouver are still extending their services to those of
our children for whom we can not provide special services in the rural areas—medical,
psychiatric, special classes, etc. They are also continuing to act as our " receiving
home " for children taken into care from areas near and about Vancouver. Under this
arrangement we had 24 wards and 53 non-wards with the Vancouver Children's Aid
Society, 20 wards and 16 non-wards with the Catholic Children's Aid Society, and, in
addition, 19 wards and 8 non-wards with the Victoria Children's Aid Society. As at
March 31st, 1945, there were 285 children being cared for in Child Welfare Division
foster-homes, as against 203 children at March 31st, 1944.
The value of specialized supervision in the Division as against the generalized type
has been proven beyond question in our Placement of Children and Supervision of
Foster-homes Section. Because it is now one Supervisor's responsibility to know and
consider the plans for all children in care, we are better able to judge the standard of
work we are doing in this field in relation to resources available.
We have inaugurated many changes in our admission of children to care policies
and in our methods of evaluating a placement. One of the most important developments in this section is the setting-up of " personal histories " for each child in both
district and divisional offices. These will contain all information pertinent to the
child's background and problem—our goal being that both the Divisional Supervisor and
the district worker will make an analysis of the child's progress in the foster-home once
every three months, and by having an exchange of thinking on what has (or has not)
been accomplished, both supervisor and district worker will be better able to meet what
difficulties the child may be presenting.
This frank analysis of our work is increasing our awareness of the lack of
resources for child care throughout the Province. Our foster-home programme has met
the needs of many children, but it is not the answer to all. We need an observation
centre, where diagnoses can be made and treatment given by skilled workers to children
presenting serious behaviour difficulties. We need a form of institutional care for
children whose personality difficulties make it impossible for them to accept a foster-
parent relationship, but who would benefit from the more impersonal relationships in
an institution. In other words, we should plan to have available in time every type of
care required to meet the needs of every child for whom we have assumed responsibility.
A programme including these resources would mean additional expenditures, but would
pay dividends in the increased number of children who would be helped towards complete and satisfying living. REPORT OP THE SOCIAL ASSISTANCE BRANCH, 1944-45.
R 19
Foster-homes carried, 1944-45.
Region.
Carried
over as
at April
1st, 1944.
New.
opened.
Transferred
In.
Transferred
Out.
Closed.
Total.
Carried
over as
at April
1st, 1945.
1    _	
55
23
111
47
22
37
73
49
42
20
6
1
1
2
4
1
2
7
1
22
17
24
21
7
92
98
166
94
44
70
2 -	
3	
81
140
4 _.._	
66
5   	
36
Totals -	
258
221
8
7
10
91
494
393
Throughout the year there were 245 children in rural foster-homes being paid for
through the Child Welfare Division, with a total of 69,637 days' care.
Amount paid for children in  Child Welfare Division
foster-homes     $55,565.01
Less credits       18,930.74
$36,634.27
Amount paid to Children's Aid Societies for children for
whom the Provincial Government is responsible	
Less credits	
Total amount paid.
$143,636.52
23,984.94
$119,651.58
$156,285.85
ADOPTION SECTION.
The Adoption Section, too, has found that the specialized form of supervision
increases opportunities for evaluating standards of work, and allows for more intensive
study of the meaning of adoption placement to the child and adopting parents. We
have already made a brief but interesting study of four adoptions which ended in
divorce of the parents during the past two years, with a resulting lack of protection and
security to the four children concerned. In two of these the adopting mother was also
the natural mother, and she and her husband had adopted the child jointly. Both the
husbands were serving overseas in the armed forces at the time application to complete
the adoption was made and, because of the uncertainties created by a war situation, we
felt justified in waiving the usual year's residence clause. With the marriages ending
in divorce, the two children involved have each a father they will never know nor live
with, and the fathers concerned have a legal and moral responsibility towards the children which they may never wish to assume.
In the other two instances the study of the home, both before and after placement,
failed to detect the unsound marital relationships which existed between the adopting
parents and which finally ended in divorce. As a result, two children are denied a
normal home life.
I cite these negative cases because too often, perhaps, we think of adoption placements as " the happy ending " for both the adopting parents and the children adopted.
Many are, and most can be, if we make reasonably certain that the relationships in the
adoption homes are sound, and we are satisfied that we are not risking a child's future
happiness in the hope of stabilizing an already shaky marriage. R 20
BRITISH COLUMBIA.
There are still a large number of private adoption placements being made, and
while some work out satisfactorily many do not, and the Children's Aid Societies and
the Child Welfare Division are in process of considering ways and means of better
meeting the needs of parents who wish to place their children for adoption. As the
majority of children placed for adoption are illegitimate, the problem becomes a question of what services are available for the unmarried mother. We hope to work out a
policy with the Inspector of Hospitals whereby we would be advised of all illegitimate
births occurring in hospitals. These will then be referred to district workers and Children's Aid Societies to offer whatever help is required in making a satisfactory plan
for both mother and baby. Also, we are hopeful that legislation will be passed before
too long to prevent the outmoded practices of advertising babies for adoption, or of
prospective adopting parents advertising for children to adopt. It is through this
medium that some of the most unsatisfactory adoption placements are made, and it
would seem that British Columbia has long passed the point where we can permit a
child to be bartered as a household commodity.
There were 292 adoptions completed this year as against 234 in 1943-44, and we
are carrying over into the new fiscal year 709 adoption placements under supervision.
Adoption Cases carried in 1944-45.
Children in Home.
Region.
Carried
over as
at April
1st,
.1944.
New.
Reopened.
Transferred
In.
Transferred
Out.
Completed.
Closed.
Total
Cases
carried.
1944-45.
Carried
over as
at April
1st,
1945.
1   	
2	
3  	
165
372
69
47
56
85
227
37
23
29
2
8
1
1
2
13
30
7
3
8
21
31
8
3
9
63
163
30
20
16
18
58
14
13
9
265
637
114
74
95
163
385
62
4  	
5   	
38
61
Totals	
709
401                 14                 61
1                     1
72               292
112
1,185
709
Approved Homes.
Region.
Carried
over as
at April
1st,
1944.
New.
Re-
op-ened.
Transferred
In.
Transferred
Out.
Closed.
Total
Cases
carried,
1944-45.
Carried
over as
at April
1st,
1945.
1  	
40
28
25
18
9
22
15
11
11
5
2
1
1
2
1
10
7
8
4
5
62                 51
2 	
47                 40
3  	
4                .   ..
36                28
30                 26
5 -
15                 10
Totals	
120
64
4
2
1
34
190               155
Homes waiting Approval
1  	
63
33
1
3
3
37
100
60
2  	
52
47
1
1
3
46
101
52
3   	
39
22
2
22
4   	
20
15
3
11
35
21
5	
20
15
1
1
	
13
37
24
Totals	
194
132
3
5
11
129
334
194 REPORT OP THE SOCIAL ASSISTANCE BRANCH, 1944-45.
R 21
CHILDREN OF UNMARRIED PARENTS SECTION
The year's statistics in this Section again show an increase in illegitimacy (573
new cases), but when we compare our figures with those released by the Division of
Vital Statistics (825 illegitimate births registered in the same period) it is evident that
our services do not reach a large number of unmarried mothers. It may be that there
is more illegitimacy than previously in a strata of society economically and socially able
to plan for the mother and baby without outside help, or there may be a large group of
unmarried mothers not aware of available social services, or still another group unwilling to accept their help. Whatever the answer may be, the Children's Aid Societies
and the Child Welfare Division are giving considerable thought to ways and means of
extending the present services for unmarried mothers. Certain changes in policies
being contemplated will help, but only as social workers become more able to understand
the meaning of family relationships in relation to the unmarried mother's problem will
we be able really to understand and cope with the many implications of illegitimacy.
We, as a Division, are very conscious of our responsibility in this matter of staff
development, and we are endeavouring to bring to district workers new thinking and
information about child welfare that will be of help to them in their daily work. District
and divisional workers have expressed the opinion that the conferences held this year
in Vancouver, Kamloops, and Nelson were an excellent means of accomplishing this, and
we hope that they will become an integral part of the future Social Assistance Branch
staff development programmes.
Collections.
As a result of the satisfactory working relationship which has existed between the
Division and Commanding Officers and the Dependents' Allowance Board in the administration of this Act during these war years, our collections have grown to an almost
unbelievable amount. This year, with the war reaching an end, and men being gradually demobilized, we begin to show a decrease. The total collections of $34,013.48 made
during the year are $1,601.15 less than last year, and as putative fathers return to
civilian life and also to various parts of the Dominion (or world) from which they
came, we can expect even larger decreases.
Cases carried in 1944-45 under " Children of Unmarried Parents Act."
Pending.
Region.
Carried
over as
at April
1st,
1944.
New.
Re-
op'ened.
Transferred
In.
Transferred
Out.
Closed.
Total
Cases
carried,
1944-45.
Carried
over as
at April
1st,
1945.
1                                   	
135
374
41
36
45
66
341
42
30
35
4
1
28
78
15
4
13
24
96
10
5
12
77
303
30
26
17
229
797
99
70
93
128
2                                   	
398
3                  	
59
4 —
39
5                                   	
64
631
514
5
138
147
453
1,288
688
Orders and Agreements.
1                                   	
69
315
53
55
33
11
31
7
4
6
2
3
1
11
40
6
2
5
9
39
6
2
1
23
84
12
15
7
93
389
66
61
45
61
2                                  	
266
3                                     	
48
4	
44
5	
.   37
Totals 	
625                59                  6
i                   [
64
57
141
654
456 R 22 BRITISH COLUMBIA.
OVERSEAS CHILDREN.
Our overseas children are a gradually diminishing group; twenty-nine returned to
the United Kingdom this past year, and it is likely that the majority will have returned
by this time next year. They are returning with mixed feelings: they will miss many
of the things Canada has come to mean to them; but, for the most part, they are happy
in the thought of being with their families once again. From some of the letters
we have received from parents of returned children they, too, have mixed feelings.
Nothing we could tell them in letters during the children's stay in Canada could prepare
them for the changes which have taken place in their children during the past four
years. Boys and girls who came out as " little ones " are returning as young men and
women. Undoubtedly, there will have to be adjustments made by both parents and
children, but, as one parent expressed it in his letter, " their stay in Canada will make
them better able to meet the difficulties which they and their families must face in the
United Kingdom in that period of reconstruction following the war."
The overseas children leave behind them many pleasant and happy memories, and
also many lonely foster parents. In most instances the friendship which exists between
foster parents in Canada and parents and children in the United Kingdom will last a
lifetime, and will serve to strengthen the bonds of fellowship and goodwill between
Canada and the Mother Country.
Before ending this, my first annual report, I would like to say a special word of
thanks to Miss Laura Holland and Miss Zella Collins. I know my predecessor, Miss
Isobel Harvey, will agree fully with me when I say the goals we have attained in Child
Welfare in British Columbia have been attained because of the sound foundations laid
by these two pioneers in social work, and our success in the future is assured if we
keep before us their philosophies and ideals.
I would like also to express my appreciation of the three Children's Aid Societies
and their Board members for the splendid co-operation I have received, and to the
members of the Welfare Field Service staff for their unfailing and willing support.
Ruby McKay,
Superintendent of Child Welfare. REPORT OF THE SOCIAL ASSISTANCE BRANCH, 1944-45.
R 23
REPORT OF COLLECTOR OF INSTITUTIONAL REVENUE.
I submit herewith report of the activities of this office for the fiscal year ended
March 31st, 1945.
In addition to the information given in the following tables, we also arranged and
advanced transportation for fifty-two tubercular patients.
PROVINCIAL TUBERCULOSIS UNITS.
Total Admissions, Deaths, and Discharges, both Provincial and Municipal.
Admissions.
Deaths.
Discharges.
Municipal.
Provincial.
Total.
Municipal.
Provincial.
Total.
Municipal.
Provincial.
Total.
1944.
44
60
60
39
30
35
40
40
32
35
23
44
30
18
26
33
31
24
27
24
21
31
32
29
74
78
86
72
61
59
67
64
53
66
55
73
7
11
5
11
10
8
5
6
8
11
3
10
11
4
4
7
4
2
7
10
3
7
3
9
18
15
9
18
14
10
12
16
11
18
6
19
35
48
29
33
37
28
32
35
30
25
18
42
21
38
27
22
10
20
21
18
31
17
19
26
56
May —	
86
56
July 	
55
47
September
48
53
53
December.	
1945.
January	
February   	
March.— —
61
42
37
68
Totals—-	
482
326
808
95
71
166
392
270
662
Contracts (private paying) made during the fiscal year 1944-45 are as follows:
1944—
April 	
May	
June 	
July	
August —
September
October _____
November _
December _
1945—
January __
February __
March 	
TotaL.
19
19
25
29
29
19
21
30
23
27
21
27
289 R 24
BRITISH COLUMBIA.
Admissions, Deaths, and Discharges by Municipalities.
Municipality.
Admissions.
Deaths.
Discharges.
1
20
3
3
1
2
1
2
5
7
5
2
1
3
6
4
1
1
12
12
6
1
2
1
2
2
1
1
10
15
2
11
1
8
282
2
34
7
1
2
1
1
1
2
3
3
3
3
1
1
2
1
1
1
1
1
57
6
17
1
7
District of Coquitlam  —   	
1
1
2
3
1
1
7
City of Kelowna  —-     -	
5
1
7
1
1
District of Mission
2
1
4
10
5
3
5
City of Port Alberni __	
3
City of Port Moody-  	
1
10
7
1
City of Trail _.__ _ 	
5 REPORT OP THE SOCIAL ASSISTANCE BRANCH, 1944-45.
R 25
Number of Patients, Patient-days, and Total Municipal Collections.
Municipality.
No. of Patients
in Hospital,
April 1st, 1944,
Municipal
Charge.
No. of Patient-
days charged
Municipality,
April 1st, 1944-
March 31st, 1945.
Total Municipal
Collections,
April, 1944-
March, 1945.
19
2
6
1
1
2
2
1
1
7
6
1
2
8
5
2
2
1
1
6
9
5
5
5
2
1
10
1
5
2
3
3
4
1
6
222
5
14
7
'     361
6,902
991
1,248
346
138
416
481
465
1,120
105
177
2,230
2,232
701
416
2,082
1,723
955
395
365
157
1,263
3,889
2,649
1,604
22
1,161
351
294
243
501
52
3,677
365
340
957
1,821
694
189
1,032
172
2,558
76,884
974
6,895
2,250
3
$232.00
6,066.40
735.20
2,248.80
292.00
183.20
316.00
424.80
293.60
705.60
181.60
166.40
City of Kamloops       -  	
1,672.80
1,115.20
1,001.05
1,353.35
2,339.20
1,259.20
828.00
District of Mission   -     .„ -
412.00
292.80
126.40
City of Nelson    	
1,198.40
3,704.80
1,904.00
1,399.20
15.20
District of Penticton - - - -   — 	
2,017.60
City of Port Alberni..._.  	
288 80
104.80
City of Port Moody	
327 20
41.60
3,188.00
2,320.80
1,204.00
151 20
185.60
City of Trail    '	
1,888.80
65,952.00
1,349.60
3,487.20
1,966.80
	
80 00
Totals	
386
134,846
5117,965.60
Municipal collections, fiscal year 1944-45  $117,965.60
Municipal collections, fiscal year 1943-44     111,249.41
Increase, 1944-45      $6,716.19 R 26
BRITISH COLUMBIA.
Statement of Collections, Fiscal Year 1944-45.
Month.
Private
Paying.
Department
of Veterans'
Affairs.
War
Veterans'
Allowances.
Old-age
Pensions.
Dependents'
Allowances.
Silicosis
and Indian
X-rays.
Total.
1944.
April	
May-	
$2,764:02
3,862.73
1,678.09
3,832.78
4,586.26
3,417.18
2,522.61
2,770.92
2,312.99
4,454.16
2,166.86
4,555.07
$5,974.00
6,504.70
6,028.50
5,852.30
5,742.10
6,036.30
7,224.30
7,044.10
7,974.60
7,604.20
8,647.50
6,841.10
$150.00
123.08
105.00
112.50
30.00
155.61
90.00
44.03
105.00
81.61
87.50
85.16
$121.73
121.73
96.73
96.73
96.73
113.08
100.00
120.00
175.00
25.00
100.00
79.45
$300.33
449.15
274.67
374.00
486.33
537.00
415.36
343.65
360.59
502.80
607.66
408.23
$260.82
46.25
$9,570.90
11,107.64
8,182.99
July -  	
22.00
2,669.27
336.00
30.00
10,290.31
13,610.69
September..	
10,596.17
10,382.27
10,322.70
December. -	
1945.
January	
February	
2,112.00
83.72
1.61
13,040.18
12,751.49
11,611.13
11,969.01
Totals	
$38,923.67
$81,473.70
$1,169.49
$1,246.18
$5,059.77
$5,551.67
$133,434.48
Collections, fiscal year 1944-45  $133,434.48
Collections, fiscal year 1943-44     100,019.46
Increase, 1944-45     $33,415.02
Provincial Mental Hospital, Essondale, 1944-45.
Month.
Contracts.
Estates
located.
Collections.
Private
paying.
Estates.
Home for
Aged.
1944.
18
20
16
14
23
12
18
21
21
28
18
41
16
24
18
20
33
10
15
30
17
16
15
15
$3,173.36
2,346.16
1,954.64
2,607.91
2,393.37
3,590.32
2,851.84
3,325.58
2,060.70
2,515.70
2,237.44
2,740.86
$1,338.90
4,245.32
1,387.15
3,696.46
672.02
2,975.82
1,222.58
1,073.32
3,023.42
5,426.85
3,242.27
3,318.18
$99.65
79.00
130.53
60.00
98.00
79.00
'67.00
79.00
60.00
1945.
92.00
19.00
19.00
Totals       	
250
229
$31,797.88
$31,622.29
$882.18
Fiscal year 1944-45
Fiscal year 1943-44
$31,797.88
33,864.48
$31,622.29
16,289.40
$882.18
1,642.85
t Increase.
$2,066.60*
$15,332.89f
$760.67*
* Decrease.
Total Provincial Mental Hospital collections, $316,219.37, include above amount
of $31,797.88.
Total Provincial Home for the Aged collections, $39,846.71, include above amount
of $882.18. REPORT OF THE SOCIAL ASSISTANCE BRANCH, 1944-45.
R 27
(N.B.—All Provincial Mental Hospital contracts are made through this office, but
it is optional whether maintenance payments are made to this office or direct to the
hospital.)
(N.B.—All collections re Estates are remitted direct by this office to the Inspector
of Municipalities, Victoria.)
1944
April 	
May 	
June 	
July 	
August	
September
October _
November
December .
1945
January ___.
February _.
March 	
Provincial Infirmary, Marpole.
Estate Collections, Fiscal Year 1944-45.
$36.83
532.58
346.50
886.23
95.28
132.14
508.98
326.93
161.93
113.36
467.89
744.96
Total   $4,353.61
Number of estates of patients in the Provincial Infirmary administered by this
office during 1944-45, 16.
Provincial Infirmary collections, fiscal year 1944-45  $4,353.61
Provincial Infirmary collections, fiscal year 1943-44    4,307,18
Increase
$46.43
J. G. McRae.
Collector of Institutional Revenue. R 28 BRITISH COLUMBIA.
REPORT OF SUPERVISOR, FAMILY SERVICE.
" Family Service " is a new term in public welfare in British Columbia. It is not,
however, a new service, but rather one to which new emphasis has been given within
this fiscal year, both in extension of services and in reorganization within the administration, whereby we are able to give a more adequate social assistance. More thought is
being given in terms of the total needs of the people whom we serve, and less importance
is attached to the categorical " tag." We are not engaged primarily in giving " kinds of
assistance " in conformity with rules and regulations, but rather we are attempting to
know and to meet individual needs.
Since the establishment of the Welfare Field Service in April, 1935, under the able
supervision of Miss Laura Holland, there has been a growing recognition of the resulting values of social service to those in need of it, whether or not it is accompanied by
financial aid. It is a requirement that we shall have proof of eligibility for service and
financial aid in relation to that which is available through the specific agency and provisions. This is particularly true in a public welfare programme where the matter of
accountability must always be borne in mind. This does not limit the service, however,
but rather protects the individual recipient from exploitation and unwarranted dependency, and, at the same time, safeguards the agency. With this approach, it has been
possible over the past decade to give increasing emphasis to Family Services because
of new legislation and provisions which have enabled us as an agency of government to
function in terms of public service as expressed through specific legislation and provisions, and, at the same time, serve those suffering from some aspect of social disability
or disadvantage with emphasis upon the case-work point of view and individualized
service to those in need of it. To this end we have endeavoured throughout the year
to take stock of our performance and to align our services in order to give a more
adequate coverage to present public needs and demands. This we realized could best
be done through the establishment of a Family Services Division.
Into the Family Services Division have been brought all cases within the categories
of Mothers' Allowances and Social Allowances, and all cases requiring services other
than financial aid, and whose immediate requirements can not be met by the specialized
services made available through such as the Child Welfare Division, Child Guidance
and Psychiatric Services, Medical Social Services, and so forth.
Announcement with regard to the establishment of the Family Services Division
was made in October, 1944. Within the six-month period October 1st, 1944, to March
31st, 1945, 214 family units, where no financial aid was required, were referred for
service. The needs of these families, however, which brought them to our attention
differ not at all from the needs in many of the families who are in receipt of financial
aid from Mothers' Allowance and Social Allowance funds. Service on the basis of need,
therefore, is the same for all categories. Not all of those who are in receipt of financial aid require services in addition. And not all of those whose circumstances and
behaviour bring them into difficulties can be helped by case-work treatment at our
service level.
Requests for services other than financial aid, or in addition to it, and referral of
cases, have come from the following sources:—
(a.) Direct request from the individual or family concerned, or from local
citizens who are concerned on their behalf, because of physical, psychological, or social circumstances with which they are unable to cope, and
which might shortly result in temporary or permanent dependency were
it not for available preventive services which trained and experienced
workers are able to give. Ill-health, domestic entanglements, behaviour
problems of children, destructive attitudes of mind, and many other fac- REPORT OF THE  SOCIAL ASSISTANCE BRANCH, 1944-45. R 29
tors can disrupt family life as surely as inadequate income. These
disruptive forces are less easily detected, but in many cases are more significant in relation to the breakdown of family life than actual physical
want. As there has been considerable extension of service to meet these
situations, we wish to cite one simple case to illustrate the value of
preventive work:—
Mr. and Mrs. X. are a young couple of moderate means, located in a
rural area, on a small up-to-date farm. They have three children, one of
school age and two of pre-school age. Mrs. X was referred to our social
worker by a member of the Parent-Teacher Group, as she was having
difficulty with the eldest child who was reported to be a behaviour problem in the home, although quite well behaved at school. Mrs. X. did not
need and did not ask for financial assistance. She was discouraged, and
needed help in other ways to enable her to carry on, and, as she said,
" keep the family together."
Our social worker found the family struggling with problems which
they, in their spirit of independence, wished to keep to themselves, but
could not meet from resources within themselves and the home. Then,
too, the problems were of community concern.
An elderly father-in-law in the home had previously spent some time
in the mental hospital following accidental injury; Mrs. X. was fearful of
him because at times he was quite irresponsible. Mr. X. was working
long hours and in his spare time endeavouring to build an addition to the
house to accommodate the father-in-law, who, though financially independent, demanded much from his son. Mrs. X. worried about Mr. X. as at
one time he had been infected with tuberculosis and she feared another
breakdown. The second child required special care because of a serious
skin condition, which had not responded to local treatment. The social
worker was able to consider the needs of this family as a whole rather
than the specific function of each agency whose help they needed.
The psychiatrist was consulted and advised the removal of the father-
in-law from a home with young children. Fear of tuberculosis was
reduced to a minimum following examination of the parents and children
at Tuberculosis Clinic, and the father was advised to work shorter hours.
The handicapped child was considered to be curable and was admitted to
the Solarium for treatment for a temporary period. These and other
services did not create a dependent family, but rather preserved its independence and prevented complete breakdown. No financial aid was
required other than that full payment could not be made to the Solarium.
With a minimum of service much was saved.
(&.) From the Child Welfare Division when the family is no longer in need of
its services from the point of view of neglect and child protection, but is
still in need of supportive and counselling service.
(c.) From the Tuberculosis Social Service when the major problem is social
rather than medical.
(d.) From the Psychiatric Division when the specialized service is no longer
necessary but contact with the patient and family in follow-up service is
essential if complete rehabilitation is to be effected.
(e.) From the Old-age Pensions Social Service Division when there are minor
children in the pensioner's home in need of supervision. R 30 BRITISH COLUMBIA.
(/.)   From temporary War Services when in the course of the investigation
for specific purpose they learn that a continuing social service is needed
and requested.
(g.)   From Juvenile Courts and from the Boys' Industrial School, when treatment for the delinquent can be given in the home and local community,
and when co-operative service is necessary in an effort to interpret the
school to the home and the home to the school, in order that satisfactory
plans might be made preceding the boy's parole from the school.
(/..)   From private agencies (within the Province and without) when problem
families remove from their jurisdiction into Provincial territory, and
when inquiry service is necessary.     (This is a reciprocal service.)
(..)   From public agencies  (other than our own)  from within the Province
and without.     (This is largely an inquiry service.)
(/.)  From the Junior Red Cross for investigation of requests for aid to handicapped children who are located in areas beyond the jurisdiction of the
Public Health Nursing Service.
In co-operative cases major supervision is carried by the Family Services Division
and specialized services are used in a consultative capacity and as resources for
treatment.
It has not been possible in the short time that we have given emphasis to Family
Service to analyse and tabulate results. We are satisfied, however, that there has been
a great saving of social values and financial costs to the Province of British Columbia.
A. L. Mess,
Supervisor. REPORT OF THE SOCIAL ASSISTANCE BRANCH, 1944-45. R 31
REPORT OF ACTING DIRECTOR, MEDICAL SERVICES
DIVISION.
The duties of this Division are to carry out the programme formulated by the
Provincial Government to give general medical and special medical, dental, and optical
services to persons in receipt of social assistance—Old-age and Blind Pensions, Mothers'
Allowances, Social Allowances, and to cases which can be considered as " border-line "
to being on assistance.
The offices of this Division are located in the City of Vancouver, and applicants
for Social Allowance in that city are examined by the Acting Director to determine
their employability. Where total disability of the husband or health of the mother
is a factor in dealing with Mothers' Allowance applicants in that city the services of
the Acting Director are also utilized. Medical certificates from other parts of the
Province are also forwarded for review and opinion.
Responsibility for arranging and providing transportation for social assistance
recipients to and from hospitals and doctors' offices for diagnosis and treatment rests
with this Division.
All accounts for medical services and drugs are received, checked, and passed for
payment.
A dispensary is operated by the Division, and the City of Vancouver and the Provincial Infirmary are supplied with drugs at a considerable saving. In addition, insulin
and certain drugs are forwarded to patients in outlying districts and drugs and dressings to nurses located in isolated areas. The pharmacist also checks prescription
accounts received from druggists before they are passed for payment.
The supervision of medical services and the appointment of medical men for the
Provincial Infirmary, subject to the approval of the Branch, is another responsibility
of this Division.
On the following pages is a financial statement of the expenditure of this Division
for the fiscal year under review, and in comparison with the previous year. It will be
noted that there was an increase in expenditure, due no doubt to greater advantage
having been taken of the services offered. R 32
BRITISH COLUMBIA.
Comparative Statement of Expenditure, Fiscal Years 1943-44 and 1944-45.
Regional
District.
Fiscal
Year.
Hospitals.
Doctors'
Accounts.
Prescriptions.
Dental.
Optical.
Transportation.
Sundry.*
Totals.
No
1
1943-44
1944-45
1943-44
1944-45
1943-44
1944-45
1943-44
1944-45
1943-44
1944-45
1943-44
1944-45
$180.00
35.00
57.00
44.00
$6,236.25
8,785.34
2,407.25
3,417.39
$7,344.73
10,064.89
7,682.97
12,941.81
$67.00
173.50
37.00
54.00
$43.50
162.50
91.00
149.00
$142.10
334.45
183.85
170.55
$5,802.40
6,828.15
29,666.81
33,095.52
$19,815.98
No
2
pei
S
26,383.83
40,125.88
Dis
_sary
49,872.27
2,040.82
95.00
225.00
121.00
240.00
20.00
50.00
1,340.83
No
148.70
4,987.31
10,077.38
3,555.75
5,694.93
4,218.75
6,234.40
2,030.48
4,916.42
1,649.31
2,445.08
1,499.31
2,585.09
201.50
210.00
65.75
78.00
82.00
191.50
142.05
209.55
510.10
229.66
1,788.02
2,153.65
1,164.71
2,217.43
1,627.90
2,207.47
8,769.75
4
5
17,855.78
No
112.00
7,641.81
10,895.14
No
390.51
218.15
7,998.59
Totals..
11,432.79
1943-44
1944-45
$888.21
297.15
$21,405.31
34,209.44
$20,206.80
32,953.29
$453.25
707.00
$370.50
826.50
$2,766.12
3,097.86
$38,261.82
44,348.57
$86,392.83
117,780.64
* In " Sundry " column are included payments to municipalities under the general medical services plan and
payments to doctors in certain areas on a per capita per month basis.
1943-44. 1944-45.
Totals      $86,392.83        $117,780.64
Allco Hospitalt        40,704.86        	
$127,097.69        $117,780.64
t During fiscal year 1944-45 Allco Hospital considered as part of the Provincial Infirmary.
Dr. A. S. Simpson,
Acting Director, Medical Services Division. REPORT  OP THE  SOCIAL ASSISTANCE BRANCH, 1944-45.
R 33
REPORT ON MOTHERS' ALLOWANCES.
As in the past few years, the trend has again been downward, both in expenditure
and in numbers on allowance. The graph on the following page presents the case-load
and expenditure under this form of social assistance since its inception in 1920. It will
be seen that the case-load reached an all-time high of 1,778 in May, 1940, but there has
been an uninterrupted decrease since then to 940 mothers on allowance in March, 1945.
The following table gives the expenditure over the past six years:—
Fiscal Year.
Total
Expenditure.
Change over
Previous Year.
Percentage
Change.
1939-40-
1940-41-
1941-42 .
1942-43-
1943-44..
1944-45-
$810,688.12
798,097.32
751,835.56
667,213.02
581,541.29
528,442.87
+ $20,586.83
— 12,590.80
— 46,261.76
— 84,622.54
— 85,671.73
— 53,098.42
+ 2.65
— 1.55
— 5.79
—11.26
— 12.85
— 9.13
During the year 264 allowances were cancelled and for the following reasons:
Analysis of Cancelled Cases.
Reason for Cancellation. No. of Ca
Mother employed   56
Mother remarried  42
Husband ceased to be totally disabled  28
Income from other sources  (War Veterans' Allowance, Dependents' Allowance, Workmen's Compensation)  27
Children employed and able to support  21
Children under 16 years ceased to attend school  21
Children under 18 years ceased to attend school  21
Became ineligible because of age of children  12
Mother ceased to be " fit and proper person "  8
Mother deceased  5
Mother in hospital indefinitely  4
Mother removed from British Columbia  4
Husband released from penitentiary  3
Whereabouts of mother unknown  3
Only child removed from home  3
Only ch ild deceased  2
Personal property in excess  2
Deserting husband returned  1
Social allowance preferable form of assistance  1
Total  264 R 34 BRITISH COLUMBIA.
The usual questionnaire as to the present means of support of the mothers whose
allowances were cancelled was sent out and a review of the replies received reveals
the following:—
Present Means of Support. No. of Cases.
Remarried and husband supporting  45
Children's earnings   41
Mother's own earnings  38
Earnings of mother and children  27
Husband employed   20
Dependents' Allowance  11
Earnings of mother and assistance from relatives     7
Workmen's Compensation    1
Legacy      1
Insurance      1
Independent of public aid  192
Provincial Social Allowance  32
War Veterans' and Widows' Allowance  15
Reinstated on Mothers' Allowance     9
Municipal Social Allowance     5
Still dependent on public aid     61
Circumstances unknown     11
Total  264
Of the 264 families whose allowances were cancelled last year and whose present
circumstances are known, 192 or 75.88 per cent, are now independent of public assistance. This is slightly lower than the three preceding years, which showed 81.72 per
cent, for the year 1943-44, 82.32 per cent, for the year 1942-43, and 81.94 per cent, for
the year 1941-42.
The following table shows the length of time the 264 cases which were cancelled
during the year had been on allowance:—
Years     1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8     9   10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Cases    36 46 29 27 21 18 13 24    8    6    4    8    9    3    3    8    1
Total, 264.    Average length of time on allowance, 5.45 years.
There were no amendments to the Act or regulations during the year and policy
dealing with earnings and (or) income of mothers and earnings of children remained
substantially the same as in the previous year.
The Medical Services plan continues to be of great assistance to mothers on
allowance as is evidenced by letters we have received from them.
Under the Government's " Control of Tuberculosis " policy, in homes where members of the family are affected with this disease it has been possible to grant additional
assistance by way of a Social Allowance.
The Mothers' Allowances Advisory Board remained unchanged under the chairmanship of Mrs. I. E. Smelts, Vancouver. Three meetings were held during the year
and among the subjects discussed were:—
(1.)   Policy in dealing with reduction in allowance because of earnings of
mother and (or) children.
(2.)  Medical services to mothers and children on allowance.
(3.)  Benefits available to recipients of Mothers' Allowance by reason of the
Government's " Control of Tuberculosis " policy. NET EXPENDITURE
POPULATION
CASE
ao.000
76.0CO
1900
.2,000
1800
64000
1700
64.000
^'"^W
1600
60,000
1500
.58,000
1400
SMfiOO
^
3300
<&poo
1200
44,000
uoo
4O.0OO
1000
J6.00O
800
&&.GOO
It
It
a4O0Q
600
400
16,000
400
j&eoo
500
300
JOO
0
O
J&20     1921 1922 1023        1024.        1925        1926        1927        1QZQ        1929        1930 1931 1932        1933        1934        1935        1936        19S7        193d        1939        194-0 1941 1942 1943        1944        1945
MOTHERS' ALLOWANCES
BRITI5H COLUMBIA
LEGEND:—NET EXPENDITURE
«CASE LOAD
POPULATION     Cfcj. .*,"i*r£*..-*6,~) REPORT OF THE  SOCIAL ASSISTANCE BRANCH, 1944-45. R 35
(4.)  Policy  to  be  followed   in   respect  to   children   on   allowance  who  are
employed during the school holidays.
(5.)   Advantages and disadvantages of abolishing categorical assistance, to be
replaced by one form of social assistance.
(6.)  Rehabilitation of " disabled " husbands.
(7.)  Advisability of restoring the " Bursary System " to children 16 to 18
years of age in Mothers' Allowance homes.
From the foregoing it will be seen that various problems were discussed;   the
interest displayed by all members of the Board and their suggestions and recommendations have been of great value in the administration of the Act.
Of the total case-load, 940 (March, 1945), 223 mothers were on allowance because
of the total disability of their husbands. A review of the causes of disability reveals
that tuberculosis was responsible in 59 cases, or 26.5 per cent, of the whole. This
would appear to furnish a measure of proof, if any were required, of the value of the
Government's efforts to control this disease.
During the year under review problems engendered by war-time conditions again
had to be faced. The same war-time conditions also brought about improved economic
conditions, greater employment opportunities for mothers, husbands, and children, and
which have been directly reflected in the lowered case-load.
I feel I must again stress the necessity of a proper relationship between the
mothers and our social workers if the fullest possible benefits are to be derived from
this form of social assistance. I have every reason to believe that on the whole this
has been very good and in spite of extremely heavy case-loads and war-time restrictions
the members of our field staff are deserving of commendation for their efforts during
this past year.
FINANCIAL STATEMENT.
Fiscal Year April 1st, 1944, to March 31st, 1945.
Advance received from Minister of Finance  $528,450.00
Bank interest   10.71
Amount of Amount of
Month. Advance. Interest.
March        $1.09
April  $47,250.00 1.20
May   47,000.00 .63
June   46,750.00 .19
July   45,550.00 .96
August  43,000.00 1.74
September   44,000.00 .83
October   43,750.00 .65
November    42,750.00 .84
December   42,500.00 1.11
January   42,000.00 .83
February   41,750.00 .64
March   42,150.00         	
$528,450.00 $10.71 $528,460.71 R 36 BRITISH COLUMBIA.
Allowances paid as follows:—
Amount of
Month. Allowances.
April   $47,811.75
May     46,815.96
June      45,707.95
July     44,577.42
August      44,328.21
September      44,148.51
October      43,496.88
November      42,861.65
December      42,340.78
January      42,079.32
February     42,161.45
March      42,112.99
■ ■    528,442.87
Balance to be accounted for  $17.84
The books and records of the Mothers' Allowances Fund have been examined under
my direction.    I hereby certify that the above statement is a true account of the
Receipts and Disbursements of the Superintendent of Welfare under authority of the
" Mothers' Allowances Act" for twelve months ended March 31st, 1945, according to
the information furnished me, and as disclosed by the books and records submitted
for my inspection. _ _
J. A. Craig,
Comptroller-General.
Statement of Credits and Refunds deducted from Total Amount of
Allowances paid out.
Total amount paid out from April 1st, 1944, to March
31st, 1945, inclusive   $529,303.87
Less refunds  861.00
$528,442.87 REPORT  OP THE  SOCIAL ASSISTANCE BRANCH, 1944-45.
R 37
The following summary gives the cause of death of the husbands in cases of widows
in receipt of assistance at March 31st, 1945:—
Cause of Death. Cause of Death.
Infectious and parasitic diseases-
Diphtheria     	
Influenza      	
Septicaemia     	
Spinal   meningitis
Tuberculosis  	
Typhoid  	
52
3
70
Cancer and  other tumors-
Cancer    	
Other tumors 	
Rheumatic and other general diseases-
Arthritis     	
Diabetes   _.. .._ 	
Muscular   atrophy
Rheumatism  	
68
2
—    70
2
'   1
—    13
Diseases of the blood,
Hodgkin's   disease   _.
Leuksemia     	
Purpura    	
Chronic poisons and intoxicants-
Toxemia  —  -
2
—      2
Diseases of nervous system and organs of special
senses—
Abscess of brain     	
Brain  tumour   ,	
Cerebral haemorrhage
Cerebral thrombosis ...
Encephalitis    	
General paresis 	
Insanity   __	
Neurasthenia    	
Paralysis  agitans   	
Paralysis
Parkinson's disease
Thrombosis undefined
Diseases of circulatory system-
Angina pectoris _. 	
Aortic aneurism 	
Arteriosclerosis
Coronary thrombosis and sclerosis
Coronary  occlusion    	
Embolism    _ -	
Endocarditis  	
Heart   (ill-defined)    __ 	
Hypertens ion      	
Pericarditis  - —
3
6
29
3
1
3
17
1
1
90
5
1
— 146
Diseases of respiratory system-
Asthma  — 	
Bronchiectasis     „.
Bronchitis    	
Oedema glottis	
Oedema  lungs	
Pleurisy    	
Pneumonia
Silicosis   	
1
1
1
2
46
1
—    57
Diseases of digestive system-
Appendicitis  	
Colitis   _	
 -  6
   ____ 1
Gastroduodenal ulcer  _ _   9
Intestinal intoxication  _____ _   1
Intestinal obstruction  _  4
Gall bladder     1
Liver disease   2
Pancreatitis   ___ _   1
Peritonitis   _  10
Diseases of genito-urinary system—
Bright's disease  . 	
Chronic nephritis —
Kidney trouble 	
Urasmia  	
Violent or accidental  deaths—
Accidents   __.	
Burns   	
Drowning   	
Fractured skull  _ _
Murdered   	
Post-operative shock
Suicide    	
Ill-defined causes-
Asphyxia  	
Blindness 	
General debility
Haemorrhage   	
Osteomyelitis   __„
Others    	
Poison    	
Rupture  	
Sclerosis   	
Ulcers  	
Total
— 35
1
11
2
7
— 21
46
2
12
1
1
1
11
— 74
. 1
.    1
2
.    7
2
0
2
3
3
1
5
— 27
  595 R 38
BRITISH COLUMBIA.
The causes of total disability of husbands in cases coming under the classification
of " husbands totally disabled " at March 31st, 1945:—
Cause of Disability. Cause of Disability.
Infectious and parasitic diseases-
Poliomyelitis 	
Tuberculosis   	
Cancer and other tumours—
Cancer  __ 	
Other tumours 	
Rheumatic and other general diseases—
Arthritis   __
Diabetes    	
Rheumatism   	
Spondylitis —
3
59
—    62
5
0
22
2
3
1
Diseases of the blood,
AnEemia   	
Polycythemia 	
etc-
Diseases of nervous system and organs of special
senses—
Brain tumour  —_ 	
Cerebral haemorrhage  	
Cerebral thrombosis  —_ 	
Chorea     — —	
Disseminated sclerosis
Eczema   	
Encephalitis  	
Epilepsy   	
Glaucoma   	
Insane  	
Kyphosis of spine
Mastoid   	
Neurasthenia   	
Neuritis    	
Paralysis
Paralysis  agitans  ._
Parkinson's disease
Psychosis 	
Psycho-neurosis  	
Spinal urebellar 	
Others    	
28
Diseases of circulatory system—
Angina pectoris  	
Arterio sclerosis  —_	
 _     1
 _        2
Coronary sclerosis and thrombosis     6
Heart  (ill-defined)     25
Hypertension    _    5
Diseases of respiratory system—■
Asthma   	
Pneumonia   _
Silicosis  	
Diseases of digestive system—
Colitis  	
Gastroduodenal ulcer	
39
Diseases of genito-urinary system—
Epididymitis    ._ 1
Nephritis   _ — __ 1
Prostatitis  ._.   2
Injuries  or accidents—
Accidents    —   _     5
Dislocated hip       1
— 6
Ill-defined  causes—
Blindness    __    10
General debility  -    6
Osteomyelitis         1
Others __   _     1
Pseudo-angina      1
Rupture    __     3
Sclerosis     _     5
Senility         2
— 29
Total -
223
The status and number of children of families in receipt of assistance in March,
1945, was as follows:—
Number of Children.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
1
9-     i
1
0.
Total.
Widows	
253
73
7
11
6
6
3
10
1
187
74
18
5
3
5
6
2
0
94
38
9
5
1
3
3
0
1
43
23
6
1
0
1
0
1
0
10
8
2
0
0
2
0
1
0
5
6
1
0
0
1
0
0
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
l
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
595
223
Deserted. _ —	
43
22
10
19
__
12
Foster mothers 	
14
2
Totals -	
370
300
154
75
23
13
2
1
1
1
Number of individuals benefited-
Mothers   	
9^
to
23
56
Husbands 	
25
Children 	
1,9.
3,129
C. W. Lundy,
Director of Welfare. REPORT OF THE SOCIAL ASSISTANCE BRANCH, 1944-45. R 39
REPORT OF THE OLD-AGE PENSION BOARD ON THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE " OLD AGE PENSIONS ACT," 1944-45.
GENERAL.
The year under review in this report saw a continuation of the upward trend in
both number of pensioners and expenditure. The number of pensioners, including
both old-age and blind, on the pay-roll at the end of the year was 15,684 as compared
with 14,804 the year before, and the total expenditure on old-age and blind pensions,
exclusive of the cost-of-living bonus, for the year, was $4,510,253.28 compared with
$3,889,432.63 the year before. The amount paid to the pensioners by the Province
itself in cost-of-living bonus was $850,849.13 compared with $820,983.92 during the
previous year.
Theee increases were due largely to the natural increase in the number of persons
in the Province of pensionable age and an amendment made to the Act raising the
amount of the total allowable income, thus rendering more people eligible from the
means test point of view. In spite of the substantial increase in number of pensioners,
however, there was actually a slight decrease in the percentage of pensioners to the
total number of people over 70 years of age. The percentage last year was 34.48 while
for the year under review it was 33.36. This decrease would seem to be accounted for
largely by the high rate of employment during a peak year of war-work causing a
lessening of dependency.
AMENDMENTS TO THE ACT AND REGULATIONS.
In last year's report a history of the amendments made to the " Old Age Pensions
Act " and regulations from the inception of the legislation in 1927 to March 31st, 1944,
was given. During the year now under review further amendments were made to both
the Act and the regulations, but they were not extensive.
The Act itself was amended by Order in Council P.C. 3377, dated May 29th, 1944,
and passed under the authority of the "War Measures Act" ("Revised Statutes of
Canada," chapter 206). The purpose of this amendment was to increase the maximum
allowable income. The maximum rate of pension (exclusive of cost-of-living bonus)
was increased last year, effective as from September 1st, 1943, from $20 a month, or
$240 a year, to $25 a month or $300 a year, but at that time the total allowable income
was not increased. From the beginning in 1927 the total income allowed a pensioner,
including the pension itself, had been $365 a year. The fact that this amount was not
increased when the rate of pension was increased in 1943 meant that pensioners who
had incomes at that time over and above their pensions ranging between $65 and $125
a year received only a portion of the $5 a month increase in the pension rate, while
pensioners with incomes of more than $125 a year over and above their pensions
received no increase at all. This caused widespread dissatisfaction and criticism. To
meet the situation the above-mentioned amendment of May 29th, 1944, was passed.
This increased the total allowable income of pensioners from the previous $365 a year
to $425. As a result all pensioners were now able to benefit to the full from the
increase in pension rate.
By the same Order in Council the Act was amended in respect of applicants for
blind pension to allow a single blind pensioner an income, including the pension, of
$500 a year instead of $440 a year as formerly. Thus blind pensioners were also now
enabled to benefit fully from the increase in pension rate.
As the Provincial Government decided to continue to pay its cost-of-living bonus
of $5 a month to all pensioners whose pensions were granted in this Province, all such
pensioners, whether old-age or blind, may have $60 a year in addition to the total R 40 BRITISH COLUMBIA.
allowable incomes mentioned above. In other words it is possible in some instances
for an old-age pensioner in British Columbia to have a total income of $485 a year and
a blind pensioner to have $560.
The regulations were amended by Order in Council P.C. 3376, dated May 29th,
1944. The main provisions of the amendments had the effect of relaxing the regulations in respect of residence. Previous to this date an applicant for pension was
required, among other things, to have lived in Canada a total of at least 5,844 days
within the twenty years immediately preceding the date of the proposed commencement
of pension. There were some cases in which this requirement created a hardship, for
even though certain applicants might be far past seventy years of age, might have
been born in Canada and might have lived in this country for fifty or sixty years they
could still be ineligible. To take care of such persons Order in Council P.C. 3376
amended the regulation concerned by deeming, among other things, that an applicant
has been resident in Canada for the twenty years immediately preceding the date of
the proposed commencement of pension if he has actually lodged within Canada for
5,844 days within the said twenty years " or since attaining the age of fifty years,"
in the case of an applicant for an old-age pension, or since attaining the age of twenty
years in the case of an applicant for a pension in respect of blindness.
Another change relating to residence dealt with by the same Order in Council
concerns Provincial residence. The " Old Age Pensions Act" requires that an applicant must have resided in the Province in which application for pension is made for
the five years immediately preceding the proposed date of the commencement of
pension. The regulations modified this by presuming that an applicant has lived in
the Province in which application for pension is made for the said five years if he is
then residing in the Province and if he has lodged therein on at least 700 days in the
five-year period.
As the pertinent regulation stood it created a hardship for a number of old people,
many of whom had lived in Canada all their lives, but had not been living in the Province in which they made their application for 700 days. Because they had not been in
that particular Province for 700 days they either had to return to the Province in
which they did have 700 days' residence during the past five years and make application
there or else stay in the Province in which they were now living until the required 700
days had been made up before applying.
The amendment to this regulation effected by the Order in Council referred to
overcame this difficulty by presuming that an applicant is residing at the time his
application is made in any Province in which he has lodged for at least 700 days within
the said period of five years, notwithstanding that he is in fact residing either permanently or temporarily in another Province at the time aforementioned.
There were two or three other changes in the regulations of minor importance
covered by Order in Council P.C. 3376, but they are not significant enough to warrant
their being outlined in detail in this report. One deals with the residence of an applicant who has been employed on a ship registered at or sailing regularly from any
Canadian port, or who has been employed on any other ship or who was a fisherman
whose duties required him to be outside of Canada but who maintained in Canada
a self-contained domestic establishment.
Another change deals with the case of an old-age or a blind pensioner whose spouse
is not in receipt of pension. Previously the sum of $365 was deducted from the joint
income of pensioner and spouse before arriving at the net income applicable to the
pensioner in the case of an old-age pensioner, whereas now the sum of $425 is deducted.
Similarly in the case of a blind person, while the sum of $165 was formerly deducted
from the joint income of pensioner and spouse (including any old-age pension payable to the spouse) before arriving at the net income applicable to the pensioner, now the
sum of $225 is deducted.
One other change had to do with a voluntary transfer or assignment of property
less than five years before the date of application for pension. If the person to whom
the property had been transferred or assigned refused to retransfer or reassign such
property to the pensioner the pension authority was previously empowered to defer the
payment of pension until such time as the pensioner's equity in such property had been
exhausted at the rate of $365 a year if the pensioner was single or living alone or $730
if the pensioner was living with his spouse. The change in this regulation provided
that in such cases the pensioner's equity would be exhausted at the rate of $425 and
$850 a year respectively.
The only other change was one to define the meaning of the phrase " self-contained
domestic establishment."
CHANGES IN POLICY.
A considerable number of changes in policy were made during the year under
review. Some of these were of minor significance and would be of little interest here,
but the more important ones may be outlined briefly as follows:—
Claims against Estates.
Under subsection (3) of section 9 of the Act, the pension authority has always had
the right to make claims against the estates of deceased pensioners in certain circumstances, but it is expressly prohibited from making a claim against an estate which
passes either by will or on an intestacy to (1) another pensioner, or (2) any person
who had assisted the pensioner to a degree regarded by the Board as reasonable considering that person's circumstances. When any person requests the Board to waive
its claim against an estate in his favour he is required tp present facts in support of his
request in affidavit form.    The Board then judges the case on its merits.
Except in the two types of cases mentioned above, it had formerly been regarded
as mandatory upon the Board to exercise the right given to it by subsection (3) to make
claims. Early during the year covered by this report, however, the Federal Government informed the Board that thereafter it would offer no objection if the Board
refrained from making any claims against estates not exceeding $2,000 in value or
against the first $2,000 of estates exceeding that amount. After careful consideration,
therefore, the Board adopted the following policy which is now in force:—
Where the deceased pensioner leaves a will and the estate does not exceed
$2,000 in value the Board makes no claim.
Where there is a will but the estate exceeds $2,000 in value no claim is made
against the first $2,000, but a claim may or may not be made against the
excess over that amount, depending on the circumstances.
Where there is an intestacy and the estate does not exceed $2,000 the Board
reserves the right to make a claim or refrain from doing so as circumstances dictate.    Each case is judged on its merits.    In certain cases, such
as where the deceased pensioner has no relatives, or where he has expressed
a desire that his estate should not go to his relatives, the Board submits
a claim.    Otherwise, in practice fewer claims are made in this type of
case now than previously.
Where there is an intestacy and the estate exceeds $2,000 the Board may or
may not exempt the first $2,000, depending on the facts of the situation,
but the old policy is adhered to in respect of the excess over that amount.
Pensioners are inclined to do a great deal of fearful thinking.    One of the causes
of this has been the thought that at their death their possessions might be taken by the R 42 BRITISH COLUMBIA.
Board. These possessions are frequently pitifully small in monetary value, but they
assume a value out of all proportion to reality in the eyes of their owners. The adoption of the new policy above outlined has already done much to lessen fear and misapprehension on the part of the pensioners, and it is hoped that it may continue to
increase their sense of security as it becomes more widely known and understood.
Liquidation of Overpayment.
Fairly frequently a case of overpayment of pension occurs. Occasionally this
happens as a result of deliberate withholding of information by the pensioner respecting his income, but much more frequently it is simply a result of misunderstanding
or, at worst, carelessness on his part. Overpayments call for suspension of pension.
If the overpayment is large, thus causing a long period of suspension, much hardship
may result. To avoid undue hardship in special cases where there was no intentional
wrong-doing the Board has now adopted the policy of reducing the pension only instead
of suspending it entirely for a period sufficient to liquidate the overpayment. It is
understood, however, that the Provincial Government must assume any loss that may
result from the death of the pensioner before the full amount of the overpayment is
liquidated. This policy is followed only sparingly lest it be abused, but it does make it
possible to prevent excessive hardship on the part of innocent pensioners.
Mothers' Allowances as Income.
It had for some time been the policy of the administration to consider part of a
Mother's Allowance received by the wife of a pensioner as income when computing the
rate of pension to be paid to the husband. The part of the allowance paid in respect
of the children was not so considered, but the part paid in respect of the mother was
regarded as part of the resources of the husband and wife. In some instances, therefore, receipt of a Mother's Allowance by the wife resulted in a reduced pension for the
husband. It was found, however, that this policy was not required by the regulations
and was not being followed in the other Provinces; hence it has now been discontinued.
The receipt of Mother's Allowance by the wife therefore does not now affect the
husband's pension in any way.
Bible Records as Proof of Age.
If neither a birth certificate nor a baptismal certificate is obtainable an entry in
a family Bible is acceptable under the regulations as proof of age of an applicant, provided the record is authentic. It is required by the regulations, however, that all documents or records used as proof of age be forwarded to the pension authority. A strict
interpretation of the regulations meant that where an applicant was unwilling to remove
the pertinent page from the Bible—and one could understand his not wishing to do
this—the whole Bible had to be sent and many of the older Bibles are very large, thus
making extremely bulky parcels for mailing or shipping.
Early in the present year, therefore, the Board made the request of the Federal
Department of Finance that permission be given to accept a copy of the record covered
by an affidavit sworn to by a member of the field staff. This request was granted on
the understanding that the workers would be warned to make certain that the records
so submitted were authentic beyond any reasonable doubt. In the same way a notarial
certificate may be accepted where the Bible record happens to be in the possession of
some one living outside the Province. As a result of this arrangement applicants are
no longer required to send their large Bibles to head office for examination. A source
of much irritation has thus been removed in this way. REPORT OF THE SOCIAL ASSISTANCE BRANCH, 1944-45.
R 43
THE LENGTHENING LIFE-SPAN OF PENSIONERS.
It is common knowledge that the longevity of the human race is increasing. The
average life expectancy at birth for the Roman citizen was 23 years. In New England
in 1850 life expectancy was 40 years. To-day the life expectancy of white people in
North America is somewhat over 63 years.
On more than one occasion observant officials of old-age pensioners' organizations
have remarked that the lives of many of their members have definitely been lengthened
by the receipt of the pension. They assert with evident conviction that this is due to
the added sense of security which even this modest income gives them. These expressions of opinion, and the awareness of the rapid lengthening of the life-span of people
generally, interested us in doing some research-work to find out how well British Columbia pensioners really are doing relatively in the race for longevity.
A survey was made of the files of all pensioners who died in 1928, 1936, and 1944.
Though it was in 1927 that both the Dominion and Provincial Acts came into force,
1928 was the first complete calendar year during which pensions were paid in this
Province. The year 1944 is the latest one for which records are available and 1936 is
the middle year of pension history. It was felt, therefore, that an examination of the
records for these three years would reveal the information desired.
In all, 2,650 files were studied and from them were obtained the following data:—
Year.
Sex.
Number
who died.
Average
Age.
Increase
in Years
over 1928.
Increase
in Years
over 1936.
1928 ._    .
Male
Male
Male
Female
Female
Female
210
656
810
97
362
507
77.676
78.523
79.512
78.546
79.494
80.160
0.847
1.836
.........
0.948
1.614
1936    _	
1944..    	
1928-.            	
0.989
1936.   --.-	
1944 -	
0.666
From the above it will be noted that the life-span of male pensioners has increased
by nearly two years and that of female pensioners by only slightly less between 1928
and 1944, or since pensions were first granted. Doubtless the receipt of the pension
was not the only cause of the increase in length of life, but it would seem reasonable to
conclude that it was at least an important contributing factor.
Obviously the country is ageing rapidly. The future holds promise of great
change, but this change may be a great boon or a great curse. Longer life with good
health, useful activity, and enjoyable leisure can be both a benefit to the individual and
an asset to the State, but longer life without these conditions could be not only an
individual tragedy but the origin of a social evil destructive of the national economy.
In the interests of all concerned, therefore, it is becoming increasingly necessary that
greater provision be made for the prevention and treatment of the ailments of the
aged, that useful and suitable employment be found for them and that it be made possible
for them to spend their leisure time happily, secure in the knowledge not only that their
needs will be provided for but that they are useful and that they are wanted.
THE SOCIAL SERVICE DIVISION.
" The duty of the State to provide some system of financial security and modest
independence for its aged citizens is taken for granted by all." When referring in these
terms to the first old age pension scheme in Great Britain, Mr. Lloyd George added these
further significant words, " Financial security is the first essential, but it is by no means
the only kind of provision for the aged which the community ought to concern itself to R 44 BRITISH COLUMBIA.
make.    A highly civilized community will find means to support a decent standard of
life for all its citizens."
The experience of two years in the Social Service Division has clearly revealed the
truth of this statement and improving the standard of life for our older citizens would
seem to be the chief function of the Social Service Division of the Old-age Pension
Administration. Shortage of qualified workers, common to all social work fields has
made it impracticable for the Division to gather the data essential to the planning and
developing of a constructive and workable programme for the aged. It has, however,
been possible to arrive at certain conclusions from the following sources:—
1. The large number of old people resident in Vancouver, as well as from other
parts of the Province, calling from day to day at the Pension Board Office.
An arrangement is in effect whereby the City Social Service Department has
accepted responsibility for all services to pensioners but a large number
of the old folk still drop into Head Office to make inquiries or discuss
changes in their circumstances which may affect their pension.
Into our small reception-room during the past year came an average of 250
callers a month, all of whom were seen by our intake social worker.
Approximately 75 per cent, of these were recipients of pension, the others
interested persons. Inquiries varied widely from a simple question as to
whether a pension would be cut off because of a visit to a daughter
in Ontario, to those involving the clarifying of tangled property transactions. When one recalls the handicaps of loss of memory, defective
hearing, and general slowing up incidental to old age one realizes that
dealing with the older group can be most time-consuming. Moreover,
it requires unlimited patience and understanding. Pensioners frequently
express their appreciation of the treatment and help received. Such contacts tend to increase the pensioners' confidence in the Board and facilitate
the keeping of complete records.
During the year, 214 pensioners from outside points as far distant as Pouce
Coupe, or the Nass River, 100 miles north of Prince Rupert, visited Head
Office at 411 Dunsmuir Street, Vancouver. The most common reasons
given for travelling were medical treatment, visits to relatives or friends,
and investigation of possibilities for a permanent move. A special problem is presented by this tendency of so many of the pensioners to come to
the city without making previous arrangements for accommodation—or
even for the medical treatment they expected to obtain. A persistent
effort to educate them along this line is meeting with some success.
(2.) The large number of communications from pensioners received by the Board.
Many of the letters, while not referring specifically to social factors, do reveal
the attitudes and problems of the old people. Mrs. A. sends in the required
information with regard to additional funds offered by relatives because
of her husband's illness. One detects in her letter an underlying note of
anxiety lest the Board should find it necessary because of these additional
funds to take drastic action which would increase the strain under which
she is already labouring.
Mr. B. inquires what will happen to his pension if he sells the farm which he
is no longer able to cultivate. One is aware of a feeling of bewilderment
and insecurity about the future on the part of the pensioner which it
would be hard for him to put into words.
Mr. C. has been asked to give information with regard to earnings. He is full
of open hostility and resentment at what he considers " interference."
From his remarks, it is evident he has heard a great deal of talk about the REPORT OF THE SOCIAL ASSISTANCE BRANCH, 1944-45. R 45
hardness of the Board and the difficulty of recovering the pension once it
has been cut off.
Letters such as these, as well as those concerning more obvious social problems are referred to the Social Service Division. That the clerical staff
are alert to social implications is evident from the increased number of
these referrals.
(3.) Reports forwarded to Head Office from members of the Provincial Field
Service staff located at twenty-five district offices throughout the Province.
The regulations require that each pensioner be visited at least once each year
and a report covering essential financial factors forwarded to Head Office.
It is evident that if the objective is to improve the living standards of our
older citizens there could be no better means of obtaining a general picture
of their situation than through the interest and observation of the visiting
social workers. Those reports which suggest social problems are passed
on to the Social Service Division for such help and guidance as may be
indicated. Although the staff shortage and frequent changes in personnel
have made it necessary to limit services to the minimum, one can not fail
to note throughout the reports generally many indications of growing
interest and a more understanding approach to the old people. In many
instances frequent calls are made and resources found to meet the
pensioners' special needs during a time of stress.
A new field service report form has recently been set up. It is designed to
condense the required financial details and allow for more social information. When a larger field staff is available the new form should prove
effective, not only in time-saving and better presentation of material but
also in gathering essential data from which to develop further plans.
From our contacts to date it has seemed that the following might be suggested as
some of the more general and urgent needs of the old-age group.
(T.) Interpretation.—Aged people of to-day lived the greater part of their active
lives in a world in which completion of government forms, annuities, and legal phraseology were not everyday matters. They need help in understanding the provisions of
the Act and their own relationship to the Board. They need more clear-cut information as to available services. Consistent effort is being made to provide it. A specific
example is the " Handbook for Old-age Pensioners " compiled in Head Office. This
pocket manual presents in the simplest form information on those sections of the Act
and regulations which give most trouble.
(2). Medical Services.—It is not possible to give the exact figures as to the number
of pensioners served through the medical services plan inaugurated by the Provincial
Government. The scheme is in operation in all unorganized territory and in most of
the municipalities. We do know that the aged group are profiting largely by this service
—probably to a greater degree than any other category to which it is extended. Pensioners residing in any of the fourteen municipalities which have not yet accepted the
plan are at a serious disadvantage and frequent appeals are made for assistance with
the health problems in these districts. The difficulty is accentuated when a pensioner
who has been receiving free medical treatment in unorganized territory or in a district
where the plan is in effect, moves—all unwittingly—into one which does not provide
such service.
There are still several special services which are not covered by the medical plan
and are urgently needed. Foremost of these is that of dental services—particularly
provision of dentures. Reading-glasses are also important. There is no uniform policy
in effect in this regard although limited assistance is given, depending upon the par- R 46 BRITISH COLUMBIA.
ticular district and circumstances. Constant inquiries come in concerning hearing
aids.    Chiropodists' services would also be most helpful in many instances.
(3.) Accommodation and Care.—In British Columbia we have a large number of
pensioners entirely without family connection. The mining prospector doesn't stake
a claim and proceed in due course to find himself a wife and establish a family in the
fastness of the mountains. He keeps on chasing the elusive pot of gold, often until he
is an old man, perhaps spending his winters in the Kamloops Home and his summers
still on the trail.    The same is true in a lesser degree of loggers and fishermen.
The report of 1943-44 showed 17 per cent, of our pensioners as single people.
Among these there will be no incidental assistance from relatives, so public welfare
authorities must bear full responsibility for all services. Add to these the natural
breaks over a period of time in the group formerly under the married status, now listed
as widows or widowers, and it is found that 60 per cent, of the total group of pensioners are without marital partners. So it would seem that in British Columbia we
have a special problem because of the large number of old people who are obliged to
live alone.
In any case, social trends are all away from the idea of old people living with
younger relatives. This fact is so well known as to need no comment, but it must be
recognized that every move in this direction increases the responsibility of the State
for provisions other than financial.
Housing and living arrangements generally are deplorably poor and unsuited to
the requirements of the aged. This is true in both rural and urban areas, and unquestionably has a bearing on the number of demands for expensive boarding and nursing
home or institutional care. In many cases it should be possible to arrange for the old
people to remain in their own community where the feeling of belonging adds greatly
to their comfort. In fact, it is apparent that it is not just " Old People's Homes "
that are needed but several different types of accommodation, varying all the way from
the self-contained establishments for pensioners still able to " do " for themselves
(given suitable surroundings) to those providing custodial care for cases of advanced
senility.
In spite of other developments, for many of the group the time will come when it
is essential to have the nursing care that is available only in an institution—be it large
or small. The infirmary, other than the Home for the Aged at Essondale, is the only
Provincial institution offering care for chronically ill or incapacitated aged persons.
Applications for the admission of seventy-nine pensioners were made during the past
year. Of these only forty-seven could be admitted and these frequently after a considerable delay. This is only one side of the picture since the lack of accommodation
is so well known that applications are made only in urgent cases.
This report is not the place to discuss in any detail the subject of nursing facilities
for the aged, which must include a much larger group than pensioners. The situation
in this respect, however, presents such a serious problem at the present time that it
could not fairly be disregarded in any consideration of social service with old people.
Landlords, relatives, interested friends, social agencies, and members of our own field
staff are faced with a frustrating problem which well-nigh defeats other efforts to help
the old folk.
(4.) Social Contacts and Community Developments—Closely related to the question of living arrangements is that of social contacts. From Field Service Reports
and other sources we find there is a great scarcity of interests and outlets for the old
people who eagerly welcome the " Welfare Lady " and the " Government Man " if for
no other reason than just to have some one with whom to talk. Family ties, where
they have existed, may have weakened.    It is not easy for old people to make new REPORT OF THE SOCIAL ASSISTANCE BRANCH, 1944-45. R 47
friends. It must be admitted that the present amount of the pension cheque covers
only barest necessities and offers little opportunity to enjoy the amenities of life.
A comment might be made at this point with regard to the resourcefulness of a few
pensioners in rural areas who manage surprisingly well on their allowance. Most
pensioners have no income beyond the $30 a month. Statistics show that in British
Columbia 71 per cent, have less than the exempted $250 cash reserve and that 57 per
cent, hold less than the equivalent of that amount in real property. For the present
at least we must look to good neighbours and voluntary organizations to fill the gap!
A striking example of what can happen was reported recently. Mr. and Mrs. D.
are a fine old couple. The husband has a bad arthritic condition. The wife suffers
from a serious heart ailment and is so frail that tenure of life is questionable. Medical
opinion indicates infirmary care, but we have no institution providing accommodation
for a married couple, and these old people just won't be separated. Friends in the
community got together and have made the home more comfortable and convenient by
the provision of labour-saving devices, including an oil-burner in the kitchen range
and the installation of a telephone. Mrs. D. has rallied more than could have been
expected. Although very frail, she is " up and about" doing a share of the housekeeping. They are content and enjoying a security of a very real sort and the independence of living in their own home, which they are determined to maintain as long
as strength permits.
While it is to local groups that we feel we should look for development of many of
these specialized services, the community may rightly expect support from social workers
in such undertakings. They are vitally interested and have much helpful information
within easy reach. Promising beginnings are already under way in Vancouver and
in some of the smaller municipalities. Special mention should be made of the Committee on Care of the Aged set up under the Welfare Council of Greater Vancouver
and one of its most active groups. By encouraging efforts to develop services and
facilities, we shall make it possible for old persons to remain integrated as long as
possible in the general life of the community—a better solution than any institution
can provide.
It would seem then that service to older folk should be a co-operative undertaking
of interested agencies and persons. The Social Service Division works closely with
the Social Allowance Division, the Medical Branch, and the office of the Inspector of
Hospitals in the Provincial Secretary's Department. Other agencies with which the
Division is brought into close contact, because of their large contribution to the health
and welfare of the pensioners, are the Vancouver General Hospital (including the social
service staff), the Cancer Clinic, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, the
Victorian Order of Nurses, Gordon House Community Centre, Alexandra Neighbourhood House, the Y.W.C.A.—including the Travellers' Aid, Crescent Beach Summer
Camp, and the Welfare Council of Greater Vancouver.
During the past year the Supervisor of Social Service gave consultative service in
1,072 cases, the great majority resident in districts outside Vancouver. Problems
included a wide variety, relating to health, family relationships, placement, difficulties
in managing because of lack of maintenance for other members of a family who were
consequently dependent on the old-age pension of a relative, instances in which the
pensioner was antagonistic, misunderstanding in relation to the administration of the
Act, hardship arising from suspension of pension and numerous emergencies. In
February the Supervisor attended a conference of District Workers in Nelson where
the work of this Branch was fully discussed.
Under the supervision of the Social Service Division, fourteen new workers from
time to time throughout the year spent a day each at Head Office seeing what goes on
there and discussing old-age pension work as carried on in the districts. R 48 BRITISH COLUMBIA.
The Supervisor attended eighty-five meetings all closely related to the work of
the Department generally or to the welfare of the aged specifically.
In collaboration with two other social workers, a short training course for Friendly
Visitors in Vancouver was arranged and carried out. Later a manual of local resources
for aged persons was compiled. Through the Christmas Cheer Committee of the
Welfare Council of Greater Vancouver and the Canadian Ladies' Golf Union Sweepstake Committee the Supervisor was provided with funds to the extent of $750 for use
in meeting particularly urgent needs for which no other resources were available.
Almost all of the money was used for obtaining dentures. This is only one of many
indications of interest in the welfare of the old people in Vancouver.
The post-war period will bring more in the way of security for the aged, as well
as for other classes in society. Whatever this security represents, the ageing group
will still be at a great disadvantage in trying to fend for themselves in a highly competitive world—still in danger of becoming a forgotten group unless, along with our
economic security, we make a determined effort to safeguard their position and, what
is perhaps more important, to bring within easy reach interests and opportunities
which will help to give them a satisfying life as well as a long one.
GRAPHIC PRESENTATION.
On the following page will be found a graphic presentation of the trends in old-age
and blind pensions in British Columbia from the coming into force of the " Old Age
Pensions Act" in 1927, and the amendment to that Act to provide for a pension in
respect of blindness in 1937, to the end of the fiscal year 1944-45.
The red line graph shows the trend in cost of pensions; the unbroken black line
shows the trend in numbers of persons in receipt of pension; and the broken line shows
the trend in total population. These graphs may only be compared one with another
in general as they are not based on any common unit of amount. The trend of costs
graph includes a factor, three squared times ten cubed. The trend of number of pensioners graph includes a factor, three times ten squared, and the trend of population
graph includes a factor, three times ten to the fourth. The graphs are based on
statistical records of the Old-age Pension Board and population figures from Dominion
Census Records.
It will be seen from the graphs that during the first two years' operation of the
Act there was a sharp rise in both the number of pensioners and the cost of pensions.
This, of course, was due to the large initial number of applicants who were granted
pensions in this period.
After this early period there was a lessening in rate of increase of the number of
pensioners added to the pay-roll until the middle of 1930 when, it will be noted, a
further increase in the rate of pensions granted began and continued fairly steadily
until about the middle of 1939.
From the middle of 1939 until the end of 1940 the rate of increase in number of
pensioners is seen to continue evenly. This represented the early period of the war.
The later period of the war, beginning with the year 1941 and continuing into the
early part of 1944, shows a rate of increase in the number of pensioners less than in
any former period. However, early in 1944 it is noticed that a sharp rise began in
this rate of increase, became steeper toward the end of that year and continued into 1945.
When the graph representing the number of old-age pensioners is compared in a
general way with the graph representing the total population of the Province it is
evident that at first the number of old-age pensioners increased much more quickly
than population, which, of course, was to be expected. However, this difference in
percentage increase has become less within more recent years. REPORT OF THE SOCIAL ASSISTANCE BRANCH, 1944-45. R 49
When the graph representing the cost of pensions is compared with the graph
representing the number of pensioners it is seen that, after the initial sharp rise, the
graph of cost maintained a general, regular, upward trend until the period between
March and April of 1942, when there was a sharp rise, and another of about similar
amount between September and October, 1943. The first of these rises was due to the
granting of the cost-of-living bonus of $5 a month to pensioners in this Province by
the Provincial Government, which bears the full cost of this additional expenditure
itself. The second resulted from an increase of $5 a month in the rate of pension
payments authorized by the Dominion Government under the " War Measures Act " on
August 10th, 1943, by Order in Council P.C. 6367. It will be seen that although the
cost occasioned by the extra $5 a month under the " War Measures Act" resulted in
high points in the graph for October and November, this fell off sharply during the
next two months. The explanation is that the $5 a month payment was made retroactive so that there resulted an accumulation of more than one month's payment to be
made. A somewhat similar sharp rise followed by a decline is noticed for the middle
period of 1944. This rise is explained by the amendment to the Act which provided
for an allowable income of $425 instead of the former $365, and the computations
following this, too, were made retroactive. For this reason the highest point on the
graph was above that which otherwise would have resulted, and the following months
therefore showed a recession. R 50
BRITISH COLUMBIA.
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STATISTICS FOR THE YEAR ENDED MARCH 31st, 1945.
OLD-AGE PENSIONS.
Table 1.—Disposition of Applications.
Current Total to
Year. March 31st, 1945.
Number of new applications received  1,986 33,532
Number of new applications granted  2,050* 30,127
Number of new applicants ineligible      197* 	
* Includes some held over from previous year.
Table 2.—Miscellaneous.
Number of B.C. pensioners returned to B.C  76
Number of new " other Province " pensioners transferred to
B.C.  453
Number of B.C. pensioners transferred to other Provinces  70
Number of pensioners from other Provinces transferred out ,
of B.C. or suspended  273
Number of B.C. reinstatements granted  213
Number of B.C. pensions suspended  274
Number of deaths of B.C. pensioners  1,195
Total number of pensioners on pay-roll at end of fiscal year____ 15,347
Table 3.—Causes of Ineligibility op Applicants.
Ineligible on account of age  40
Ineligible on account of residence  18
Ineligible on account of citizenship  8
Ineligible on account of income  42
Ineligible on account of assistance from children  40
Ineligible for other miscellaneous reasons  49
Total number ineligible  197
Table 4.—Sex of New Pensioners.
Males   1,015
Females   1,035
Total  2,050
Table 5.—Marital Status of New Pensioners.
Married  _  861
Single  i ;  297
Widows  . -- 517
Widowers  230
Separated   129
Divorced  16
Total  2,050 R 52 BRITISH COLUMBIA.
Table 6.—Birthplace of Applicants for Pension.
Per Cent.
British Columbia '.     1.70
Other parts of Canada  25.38
The British Isles .  53.44
Other parts of the British Empire     1.70
The United States      6.27
Other foreign countries  11.51
Table 7.—Ages of Applicants for Pension.
Per Cent.
Age 70  _.  45.80
Age 71   14.24
Age 72   10.06
Age 73  5.79
Age 74   5.72
Age 75   2.97
Age 76 to 80  10.64
Age 81 to 90  4.56
Age 90 and up  0.22
Table 8.—Living Arrangements of Applicants for Pension.
Per Cent.
Living alone  27.78
Living with spouse  34.87
Living with spouse and children     7.66
Living with children ,  17.22
Living with others   10.20
Living in public institutions     1.36
Living in private institutions     0.91
Table 9.—Economic Status of Applicants for Pension.
(a.)  Holding real property of value— Percent.
Under $251  57.41
$251 to    $500     8.66
$501 to $1,000  13.68
$1,001 to $2,000  14.20
$2,001 to $5,000  5.80
$5,001 and up  0.25
(b.)  Holding personal property of value—
Under $251   71.77
$251 to    $500  13.74
$501 to $1,000     8.22
$1,001 to $3,000     5.63
$3,001 and up     0.64
Table 10.—Claims against Estates, Old-age and Blind.
Number of cases of deaths  1,214
Number of cases where claims made  135
Number of cases where claims were waived or withdrawn in
favour of beneficiaries  76
Number of claims on which collections were made (including
cases from former years)  326
Total amount collected :  $84,918.36 REPORT OF THE  SOCIAL ASSISTANCE BRANCH, 1944-45. R 53
Table 11.—Percentage of Pensioners to Population.*
Percentage of pensioners to the total population of the Province    1.65
Percentage of all persons over 70 years of age to the total population of the Province     4.94
Percentage of pensioners to the population over 70 years of age 33.36
* Percentages based on population estimated as at March 31st, 1945.
BLIND PENSIONS.
Table 1.—Disposition of Applications.
Current Total to
Year.        March 31st, 1945.
Number of new applications received  25 574
Number of new applications granted  35* 454
Number of new applicants ineligible     2* 	
* Includes some held over from previous year.
Table 2.—Miscellaneous.
Number of new " other Province" pensioners transferred to
B.C.   5
Number of B.C. pensioners transferred to other Provinces  1
Number of pensioners from other Provinces transferred out of
B.C. or suspended  7
Number of reinstatements granted  1
Number of B.C. pensions suspended  2
Number of deaths of pensioners  19
Total number of pensioners on pay-roll at end of fiscal year  337
Table 3.—Causes of Ineligibility of Applicants.
Ineligible on basis of property transfer     1
Ineligible on basis of incomplete application     1
Total number ineligible     2
Table 4.—Sex of New Pensioners.
Males   19
Females   16
Total  35
Table 5.—Marital Status of Pensioners.
Married   12
Single      9
Widows        6
Widowers      2
Separated     4
Divorced    2
Total    35 R 54 BRITISH COLUMBIA.
Table 6—Birthplace of Applicants for Pension..
Per Cent.
British Columbia  00.00
Other parts of Canada  11.76
The British Isles  76.48
Other parts of the British Empire  00.00
The United States  00.00
Other foreign countries   11.76
Table 7.—Ages of Applicants for Pension.
Per Cent.
Age 40 to 44  00.00
Age 45 to 49     5.88
Age 50 to 54  23.52
Age 55 to 59       5.88
Age 60 to- 64  29.42
Age 65 to 69  29.42
Age 70 and up .     5.88
Table 8.—Living Arrangements of Applicants for Pension.
Per Cent.
Living alone   11.76
Living with spouse  29.42
Living with spouse and children  11.76
Living with children  00.00
Living with others  41.17
Living in public institutions     5.89
Living in private institutions  00.00
Table 9.—Economic Status of Applicants for Pension.
(a.)  Holding real property of value— Percent.
Under $251   64.28
$251 to $500      7.14
$501 to $1,000   28.58
(b.)  Holding personal property of value—■
Under $251   78.56
$251 to $500  14.29
$501 to $1,000     7.15 REPORT OF THE SOCIAL ASSISTANCE BRANCH, 1944-45.               R 55
FINANCIAL STATEMENT FOR FIS(
Table 1.-
Total amount paid pensioners in British Columbia—
Old-age	
:AL YEAR ENDED MARCH 31st, 1945.
—Pensions.
Pensions.                    Bonus.                    Total.
$4,411,917.58 $832,016.07 $5,243,933.65
98,335.70      18,833.06       117,168.76
Blind 	
Totals 	
Less—
Amount of refunds from pensioners and estates—
From estates of old-age pensioners     	
$4,510,253.28 $850,849.13 $5,361,102.41
$84,765.60
152.76
4,480.79
280.00
2,527.37
25.00
$205.00
5.00
$84,765.60
152.76
4,480.79
280.00
2,732.37
30.00
From estates of blind pensioners
Overpayments refunded by old-
age pensioners 	
Overpayments refunded by blind
pensioners 	
Miscellaneous refunds from old-
age pensioners 	
Miscellaneous refunds from blind
pensioners   	
Totals 	
Net amount paid pensioners in British Columbia—
Old-age 	
Blind   _	
$92,231.52
$210.00
$92,441.52
$4,320,143.82 $831,811.07 $5,151,954.89
97,877.94      18,828.06       116,706.00
Totals 	
Add—
Amount paid other  Provinces on
account of pensioners for whom
British Columbia is partly responsible—
Old-age 	
Blind  	
Totals 	
Less—
Amount received by British Columbia on account of pensioners
for whom other Provinces are
partly responsible—
Old-age 	
Blind 	
Totals                     	
$4,418,021.76 $850,639.13 $5,268,660.89
$23,922.24
481.59
$4,574.75
30.00
$28,496.99
511.59
$24,403.83
$4,604.75
$29,008.58
$224,958.21
4,536.65
$36,532.29
305.00
$261,490.50
4,841.65
$229,494.86
$36,837.29
$266,332.15
6 R 56 BRITISH  COLUMBIA.
Less—
Amount refunded by the Dominion
Government—
Old-age     $3,236,033.65 $3,236,033.65
Blind   73,302.49 73,302.49
Totals   $3,309,336.14 $3,309,336.14
Total amount paid by British Columbia—
Old-age       $883,074.20 $799,853.53 $1,682,927.73
Blind   20,520.39      18,553.06 39,073.45
Totals       $903,594.59 $818,406.59 $1,722,001.18
Table 2.—Administration Expenses.
Bank exchange  $1,416.11
Salaries and special services   58,438.09
Travelling expenses  _•_  512.47
Telegraph and telephone  999.77
Postage   8,056.10
Printing and stationery   3,635.78
Permanent equipment  347.46
Miscellaneous   764.70
Total   $74,170.48
J. H. Creighton,
Chairman, Old-age Pension Board. REPORT OF THE SOCIAL ASSISTANCE BRANCH, 1944-45. R 57
REPORT OF RESEARCH CONSULTANT.
The position of Research Consultant was established in September, 1944. It is
my understanding that under the pressure of routine work and the development of new
fields that the various divisions of the Social Assistance Branch found it impossible
to spend the time and effort on even small research projects on their own work. With
the expansion that was taking place, changes in policy and procedure were indicated
but could not be recommended except on a basis of accurate factual information.
Therefore the appointment of a worker whose whole time would be devoted to research
and surveys was made in the position of Research Consultant.
In order that wise decisions should be made as to the projects to be undertaken,
an advisory committee to the Research Consultant was appointed, consisting of Miss
Holland as chairman, Mr. Lundy, secretary, and Miss Leigh. Meetings are held to
choose new work to be undertaken and to discuss the findings on work being done or
completed.    The Research Consultant has found this committee invaluable.
A survey of the Fairbridge Farm School has been undertaken in the summer of
1944, while the Research Consultant was still Superintendent of Child Welfare. This
was completed in the fall and a good deal of committee work regarding the recommendations done.
It was decided at the first meeting of the Advisory Board that as there had been
a change in Superintendent of the Girls' Industrial School that a survey of the school
should be made at this time. This was accordingly done. Charts were prepared covering all girls admitted to the school from April 1st, 1935, and released previous to
August, 1944. These charts showed the Court by which the girl was committed, her
age, the number of months spent in the school, her mental age, school grade, home
environment, and her conduct since release. The school and its routines were also
studied and a report prepared using all information obtained as a basis for recommendations.
Following this, medical forms and face sheets were drafted at the request of the
Superintendent of the school and are now in use.
The next work chosen was a survey of the Boys' Industrial School, covering the
group admitted between April, 1935, and March 31st, 1940. As the number covered
in this survey is much larger, it is our intention to make an intensive study of the
boys committed from the Vancouver Juvenile Court and to make an endeavour to find
out the conditions under which they lived before they went to the school, their own
mental equipment, their abilities, and their careers since leaving. The school itself will
also be studied and recommendations made of the basis of all findings.
From this survey, even as far as it has gone, material has already been gathered
for a study of immigrant families, one or more members of which have been in the
Boys' Industrial School.
A start has also been made on a survey of the Provincial Infirmary, but this will
not be completed for some time.
It has been the experience of the Research Consultant over these seven months
that it takes a great deal of time to prepare even a short study, as it is absolutely
essential that all information be factual and therefore much study of records must be
made before charts can be made and findings evaluated. In changing from the study
of one branch of social work to another a great deal of general study must be done
through books and periodicals so that one may become familiar with the new field and
with the latest developments in it.
Isobel Harvey,
Research Consultant. R 58 BRITISH COLUMBIA.
REPORT ON SOCIAL ALLOWANCES.
" Unemployment relief " ceased as at October 1st, 1942, since which date " social
allowances " have been available to persons who are unemployable. This form of
assistance is necessitated by the fact that many of our residents were precluded from
accepting employment by reason of advanced age, mental or physical disability, family
ties, or some other reason for their unemployability. The improved economic conditions prevailing during the war years have provided employment opportunities to many
people and which are reflected in the costs and numbers on assistance. In March,
1942, a total of 14,617 persons were in receipt of unemployment relief, but this number
had decreased to 8,469 individuals in September, 1942, the month prior to the discontinuance of unemployment relief. During the month of March of the past three years,
the numbers on social allowance are as follows: March, 1943, 7,844; March, 1944,
6,869;   March, 1945, 7,611.
A breakdown of the figures for this same month of the past two years reveals the
following:—
Total Case-load.
March, 1944. March, 1945.
Municipal— Municipal—
Heads of families      714 Heads of families      843
Dependents   1,192 Dependents   1,491
Single  2,682 Single  2,894
Total  4,588 Total  522g
Provincial— Provincial-
Heads of families  405                Heads of families      433
Dependents   825               Dependents       951
Single  969                gi    j         999
*AUco   82
Total  2,281 Total  2>383
Grand total  6,869 Grand total  7,611
* During the fiscal year ended March 31st, 1945, Allco Hospital Camp has been considered as part of the Provincial Infirmary. REPORT OF THE  SOCIAL ASSISTANCE  BRANCH, 1944-45. R 59
The following comparative statement covering the past two years gives a breakdown of expenditure on this form of social assistance:—
Expenditures made by the Province for Social Allowances,
Medical Services, etc.
Fiscal Year Fiscal Year
Cases who are the responsibility of a munici-        1943-44. 1944-45.
pality (80 per cent, paid by Province) __    $721,647.10 $841,279.28
Cases who are the sole responsibility of the
Province (100 per cent, paid by Province)       377,541.04 460,653.80
Repatriation, transportation within the Province, nursing home care (other than T.B.)
for Provincial cases  11,494.20 14,055.29
Medical Services—Provincial and municipal
cases (Social Allowance, Old-age Pensioners,  and  Mothers'  Allowance  Cases)       127,097.69 117,780.64
Emergency payments—such as where family
may lose their home by fire or similar
circumstances   92.55 2,231.14
Municipal and Provincial cases—
(a.)  Tuberculosis nursing home cases  640.94
(&.)  Tuberculosis private home cases  635.00 53,790.61
(c.)  Transportation of tuberculosis cases   1,622.95
(d.) Comforts allowance for tuberculosis
cases    52.50
Dependents of conscientious objectors  468.90
Dependents of enemy aliens  5,908.93 4,026.57
Allowances to Saskatchewan Mennonites  6,065.20 4,486.35
$1,250,481.71        $1,501,088.97
Less recovered by refund and payment
from Dominion Government, " Conscientious Objectors "  $468.90
Less recovered by refund and payment
from Dominion Government, " Dependents of Enemy Aliens "  $5,908.93 4,026.57
Less recovered from Province of Saskatchewan, " Mennonite Settlers"  5,934.00 4,486.35
Total refunds         $11,842.93 $8,981.82
Total expenditure by Province _ $1,238,638.78       $1,492,107.15
Social Allowances are administered by the local area in which the recipient
resides; i.e., by a municipality or by our district offices for residents in unorganized
territory. Financial responsibility is determined under the terms of the " Residence
and Responsibility Act," as the cost of this form of social assistance is shared by the
Province and municipalities for municipal cases. For municipal cases, the Government reimburses the municipalities 80 per cent, of the amount of Social Allowances
granted on the basis of our Social Allowance Guide. The Provincial Government
assumes the whole cost of Social Allowances granted to Provincial cases.    A further R 60
BRITISH COLUMBIA.
increase in the rates of allowances became effective April 1st, 1944, this being the
third upward revision since October, 1942, and Social Allowance rates are now practically on a par with Mothers' Allowances.
One outstanding advancement during the year under review has been in the
Government's " control of tuberculosis " policy. While this came into being during
the previous year it will be seen from the preceding statement of expenditure that
this form of additional aid became more widely used and appreciated. The co-operation of the various municipalities as they became more familiar with its benefits has
been more pronounced.
Assistance to dependents of interned enemy aliens and conscientious objectors is
a responsibility of the Dominion Government who have reimbursed us for aid so
granted. Likewise the assistance granted to Mennonite settlers from Saskatchewan
was underwritten by that Province.
The increase in expenditure during the year as compared to the previous fiscal
year is to be attributed, I believe, to the larger allowances and more widespread use
of the T.B. benefits, rather than to the slightly higher case-load.
C. W. Lundy,
Director of Welfare.
VICTORIA,   B.C. :
Printed by Charles P. Banfikld, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.
1945.
605-1245-9780  

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