Ad Infinitum Books

Quick Search

Advanced Search



Click on Title to view full description

1 BIRK, MEGAN. Fostering On The Farm: Child Placement In The Rural Midwest.
University of Illinois Press, Urbana and Chicago: 2015. h Hardcover with dustjacket. Brand new book. 
Shedding light on a somber chapter in the history of American childhood From 1870 until after World War I, reformers led an effort to place children from orphanages, asylums, and children's homes with farming families. The farmers received free labor in return for providing room and board. Reformers, meanwhile, believed children learned lessons in family life, citizenry, and work habits that institutions simply could not provide. Drawing on institution records, correspondence from children and placement families, and state reports, Megan Birk scrutinizes how the farm system developed--and how the children involved may have become some of America's last indentured laborers. Between 1850 and 1900, up to one-third of farm homes contained children from outside the family. Birk reveals how the nostalgia attached to misplaced perceptions about healthy, family-based labor masked the realities of abuse, overwork, and loveless upbringings endemic in the system. She also considers how rural people cared for their own children while being bombarded with dependents from elsewhere. Finally, Birk traces how the ills associated with rural placement eventually forced reformers to transition to a system of paid foster care, adoptions, and family preservation. Megan Birk is an associate professor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (formerly the University of Texas-Pan American). "Provides an important window into social welfare policy and rural history. Contributes to the slow but ever-increasing interest into rural childhood."--Kathleen Mapes, author of Sweet Tyranny: Migrant Labor, Industrial Agriculture, and Imperial Politics "This book explains a particularly important set of transitions in America's social history. . . . Megan Birk's book is required reading for all scholars interested in understanding rural America, child welfare, and the Gilded Age and Progressive Era."--Pamela Riney-Kehrberg, author of Childhood on the Farm: Work, Play and Coming of Age in the Midwest 
Price: 52.25 USD
Add to Shopping Cart

Questions, comments, or suggestions
Please write to
Copyright©2017. All Rights Reserved.
Powered by