Sunday, May 22, 195 5
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Sunday. May 22, 1955 THE MICHIGAN DAILY Page Nine
a private psychiatrist, which I am
empowered to do" WHAT SERVICES are there in
"The ideal for juvenile courts," the community for the emo-
Judge Payne added, "would be to tionally sick or disturbed delin-:
have a psychiatrist on the staff." quent child?
In order for the Juvenile Court
to do a good job, especially in Child Guidance
the prevention of delinquency, the Clinics , . .
staff must be doubled. It should
consist of eight professional work- One of the most important links
ers and four clerical employees. in the State's program for dis-
Judge Payne has applied to the turbed children are the Child
County Board of Supervisors for Guidance Clinics which are oper-
two more workers and a clerical ated under the State Department
employee k of Mental Health.
At present there are 16 clinics
Training Schools . . . of which two are recent additions.
They serve children up to the age
THE MICHIGAN training schools of 16, or high school students.
for juveniles are Boys Voca- Their services are on an out-pa-
tional School in Lansing and Girls tient basis, offering diagnosis and
Training School in Adrian. The treatment. The clinic that serves
job of the training school is a dif- Ann Arbor is located in Ypsilanti.
ficult one because most of the The Child Guidance Clinics are
children who are sent there have doing a fine job but there are just
been unable to benefit from pre- not enough of them.
Children are committed by the Children's Institute ...
Probate Courts between the ages
of 12 and 17. Both institutions con- ANOTHER State-wide agency for
tain schools and attempt to equip children that is doing an ex-
the children with vocational skills. cellent job but lacks sufficient
The Lansing and Adrian institu- staff to serve the whole State ade-
tions suffer because they lack com- quately, is the Michigan Chil-
plete control over their intake and dren's Institute, with main offices
must accept all children commit- in Ann Arbor.
ted by the Juvenile Division of the The primary function of the In-
Probate Courts. They have in their stitute is to place children who are
populations children who are men- referred to them by the courts, ei-
tally ill, of very limited intelli- ther permanently or temporarily
gence and even feebleminded chil- in foster homes. "Boarding parents
dren. are one of the key strengths in
Because each of them must serve getting dependent and neglected
children who present a wide vari- children on the right path," ob-
ety of problems, it is virtually im- served Robert Rosema, superin-
possible to plan or administer a tendent of the Children's Institute.
program that will be of benefit to In order for the Juvenile Court
the widely different types of chil- to function more effectively, the
dren. staff must be doubled
Another problem that the train- Commenting on the total men-
ing schools (especially BVS) must tal health program in the State,
face because they are unable to Rosema said that although there
completely control their intake, is has been an increase in service,
overcrowding. Out of necessity in practically all of the agencies and
BVS, they have had to shorten the institutions are of necessity work-
stay of some of the boys in order ing on an emergency basis.
to make room for newly committed Because of this, a child must be
boys. seriously sick or disturbed before
A bill that is now in the State he will be helped. "We cannot han-
legislature should help to allevi- dle preventive work until we are
ate the situation. Based on the rec- caught up on the emergency situ-
ommendations of the Joint Legis- ation," he added.
lative Committee To Study Foster
Care, the bill stipulates that each Children's Service
county must pay half the cost BOTH Inpatient and out-patient
when it places a child in BVS, GTS services for severely disturbed
or the Michigan Children's In- children are offered by the Chil-
stitute. In return, the State will dren's Service of the Neuropsychi-
pay for one half the cost when a atric Institute in University Hospi-
county provides foster care for a tal. The Children's Service serves
child. the double function of treating a
The advantages of this "Foster limited number of children and
Care" bill, were pointed out by also conducting a training and re-
Sam Rabinovitz, executive secre- search center.
tary of the Michigan Youth Com- At present the inpatient facili-
mission which has supported the ties are limited to 35 beds. How-
bill. ever a psychiatric hospital for
"Many poor counties, who can- children is now under construction
not afford to develop better pro- and this will increase the Chil-
grams, and tight counties place dren's Service capacity to 75 beds.
children in these State institutions The new hospital will be under the
so that they will not have to pay direction of Dr. Ralph Rabino-
for it," Rabinovitz explained. vitch, who is at present chief of
"Making tight counties pay for the Children's Service.
half the cost will make them think
twice before dumping children in Recent Additions
State Institutions. Thus the bill
will help take the pressure off the OTHER recent additions to the
State institutions as well as aid State mental health program
the development of varied resour- are the LaFayette Clinic in De-
ces for the youngsters," he added. troit and the Hawthorn Center
near Northville. The LaFayette
Clinic will function in a similar
way to the Children's Service, op-
erating as a training and research
center with a 25-bed ward.
The Hawthorn Center which is
still under construction will fill the
need in the state for a children's
psychiatric residential center with
a home-like cottage plan organi-
Seriously sick or psychotic
children who need long term care
are usually committed to Ypsilanti
It is obvious that in recent years
the State has made tremendous
progress in its mental care pro-
gram for children. However, even
with these new facilities needs will
not be met. Hospitals and clinics
will still be working on an emer-
Though many of the public
agencies for children in Michigan
are individually doing a good job,
the total public care program is
often confused and inadequate.
There is often duplication in ser-
vice which would be eliminated if
there were one central coordinat-
ing agency in a community re-
sponsible for providing services to
In response to this problem the
Michigan Youth Committee has
recommended that a new county
welfare department be established
by law in each county in the State
or in a grouping of counties. This
new department (which should not
be confused with the present
county department of social wel-
fare) would function in the com-
munity as the central public agen-
cy serving families and children.
The suggested functions of a
new County Welfare Department
Administration of all county
institutional facilities for chil-
dren, such as the juvenile deten-
Provision of social case work
service to families.
Administration of a program of
child placement in foster homes
Provision of after-care or "pa-
role" service to the State juvenile
Provision of social case work
services for children which are
now administered by the juvenile
division of the Probate Court.
IT IS ESSENTIAL that our social workeris reach disturbed fami-
lies before the children become habitual delinquents. Too often
it is only after the damage has been done, that social work
agencies try to help these families who will not seek help.
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