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May 22, 1955 - Image 14

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1955-05-22

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Page Eight


Sunday, May 22, 1955

Local Agencies for Children Evaluated:

By RONA FRIEDMAN Family Service which is financed
HOW EFFECTIVE are the exist- by the Community Chest.
ing agencies and services in Family Service is doing a fine
Ann Arbor that are trying to pre- job counseling parents and chil-
vent and control delinquency? dren. Any family can seek help at
Though there has been a tre- Family Service regardless of theirr
mendous improvement in facili- ability to pay. Fees are based on
ties during the past few years, the the weekly income of clients.
fact that delinquency is increasing Family Service is severely lim-
indicates that in some aspects the ited because they lack a sufficient
existing facilities are inadequate. staff. The present staff is composed
of three caseworkers and a part-
The School. . . time consultant psychiatrist. It is
UTSIDE of the home, the child the same staff that Family ServiceN
spends most of his time in had in 1946. The number of fam-
school. It is in school that a child's ilies served, however, have in-
problems can be spotted and help- creased 72 percent since 1946.
ed most easily before they become .
serious. Pollee Department .. .
In the Ann Arbor public schools,
the facilities for treating and HE FIRST official agency that=
counseling children have been ex- the delinquent child comes in
panded, but there is still a need for contact with is the police depart-
further development. ment. Police officers see more al-
leged delinquent children than the
There is one school psychologist personnel of any other agency.,
In the public school system. In the The manner in wsich a police
elementary schools, there is a full- officer conducts himself with a
time and part-time visiting teach- child may'have a very important
er. There is one guidance counsel- e ect on the child's future atti-
or in the junior high schools. Ann tude towards the law. Even more
teacherrH School has a visiting important, for both the communi-
selor for the girls a ty and the child,is the decision
selo fo th gilsthe individual pfficer makes con-
The preventive value of a strong cerning the child's future.
visiting teacher and counseling A child may need mental aid or
program is great. The lack of may need temporary or permanent
enough money to expand the pres- r em orary oe en-
ent facilities and the lack of per- removal from a harmful home en-
sonnel to fill the positions is a manynmhildren ordeto prevent
pattern that is not limited to the bitumany children from becoming ha-
schools but applies to most of the linuend perhaps dangerous de-
agencies dealing with children bens, t understanfacchimds
throughout the State and Nation. b able to understand a child's
needs. It is obvious that the po-
F 'lice officer dealing with children
amily Service * needs more than common sense
Another important preventive to guide his decisions.
agency in Ann Arbor is the local Sgt. George Simmons, head of

Aid Necessary

as a spring breeze

the Youth Bureau in Ann Arbor
(a relatively new addition to the
police department), has taken sev-
eral courses on juvenile delin-
quents on his own initiative, Spe-
cial training on how to handle and
understand delinquents, however,
should be a part of the basic train-
ing course and not left to the initi-
ative of the individual officer.
Some Youth Bureaus throughout
the country have incorporated
special courses on delinquents into
their basic training programs.
The Youth Bureau received over
1000 complaints and dealt with
over 1200 alleged delinquents dur-
ing 1954. The staff consists of two
police officers and a part-time
secretary. In order to function
more effectively and comply with
national recommended standards,
the staff should be increased to
three or four officers,
However, the Police Department
should be commended for making
the first large step towards deal-
ing with juvenile delinquents more
effectively - by establishing a
Youth Bureau,
Juvtenile Cougrt
THE JUVENILE court is the sec-
ond principal treatment agen-
cy for juvenile offenders in Ann
Arbor. Juvenile Court Judge Jay
H. Payne is also Probate Judge.
This means that besides serving
children in Washtenaw County, f
Judge Payne must also administer
the estates of deceased persons,
appoint guardians for minors and
other legally disqualified persons,
deal with petitions to commit the
mentally ill, epileptic, feeblemind-
ed and alcoholic to State hospi-
tals, as well as other miscella-
neous functions.
As judge of the Juvenile Court,
Judge Payne presided over 150 of-
ficial cases concerning dependent
and neglected children and 127
official delinquency cases during
The Court is only able to de-
vote two half-days a week to the
hearing of juvenile cases. (The Ju-
venile Court staff carries on the
work of the Juvenile division be-
tween Court sessions.)
The office of Juvenile Court
Judge in Washtenaw County is a
full time job and should be made
separate from the position of Pro-
bate Judge. National standards
recommended by the United States
Children's Bureau and the Nation-
al Probation and Parole Associa-
tion, states that whenever pos-
sible the Juvenile Court should be
separate from other courts.
The staff of the Juvenile Court
which consists of four profession-
al employees and two secretaries,
is impossibly overburdened with
The county agent, for example,
besides being responsible for
youths paroled from the State
training schools, boarding - home
applicants and adopting parents,
must conduct the pre-hearing in-
vestigations on the new depend-
ent, neglected and delinquency
The Juvenile Court received 479
cases last year. The National Pro-
bation and Parole Association has
recommended that one worker
should not conduct more than 14
pre-hearing investigations per V
month. This means that the case
load of the local county agent is
three times the recommended
For effective probation work, the
worker must establish a close re-
lationship with the child. Because
the probation workers have huge
case loads which are constantly in-
creasing, they are unable to devote
the necessary time to each case.
The only 'solution' has been to fo-
cus on the children that appear
most likely to permanently benefit
from probation guidance.
A problem that Judge Payne
faces in delinquency cases is the
long delay in getting psychiatric
appraisals on the children. "I

would send, more to the Huron
Yalley Guidance Clinic in Ypsi-
lanti but it takes too long," he
pointed out. "I can't wait two
months for their appraisal When
it is possible I send cases to them
Or to the Children's Service in
the Neuropsychiatric Institute.
But if necessary I send children to


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