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Embury House : a receiving home for children : an evaluation of its population, program, and desirable development (Regina, Saskatchewan, 1949-1950) Wilson, Harold Thomas


This study is concerned with a twofold problem: the present operations of Embury House, a receiving home for children in Saskatchewan, and its desirable role in relation to the total child welfare program of services in Saskatchewan. At present Embury House lacks any suitable program to serve the needs of those children requiring institutional care. Consequently, it is not an institution with a definite purpose, but a place where dependent and neglected children in Saskatchewan are kept when there are no other services available to meet their needs. The evaluation of present operations in Embury House is based on the records of fifty children placed there during 1949-1950. These fifty children, the average monthly population of the institution, reveal a typical cross-section of the problems and needs of children kept in Embury House. Analysis showed the children fell into three groups, each needing a different type of service: (a) casework services in their own home, (b) placement in foster homes, and (c) placement in an institution. It also showed that only eighteen per cent of the total population of Embury House could profit by the services of an institution for general care, which type seemed most nearly to describe Embury House. In addition, the analysis showed that eighteen per cent of the total population required the specialized services of a study and treatment institution, fifty per cent required foster home care, and fourteen per cent required case work services in their own home. The program of services offered by Embury House during 1949-1950, was evaluated in terms of the standards for children's institutions recently constructed for the State of Washington. The program was also assessed by applying four criteria to the institutional program: (a) the social service program, (b) the physical care of the children, (c) the education and social training, and (d) the quality of the staff. This showed that the physical needs of the children and their education and social training are well served at Embury House, but there are serious lacks in the social service program and in the staff. Recent trends in professional thinking regarding the services which can or should be offered by an institution are reviewed. A definite classification is also made of children who should not receive institutional care, and of children who can be served in an institutional setting. Against this background, there is evidence that Embury House could serve more effective purposes in the child welfare program than it does at present. There are no facilities for the treatment of emotionally disturbed children in Saskatchewan, but these children tend to be placed in Embury House. It is suggested that Embury House could fulfil a necessary role as a study and treatment centre for seriously disturbed children. There are undoubtedly more children in Saskatchewan who could benefit from such a service; and it would be better to work out a foster placement and case work program for those children not suited for institutional care. Revision of the social service program, and certain changes and additions in the staff, as recommended, would modernize Embury House as a valuable study and treatment institution.

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