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The CHAIRMAN. What is the overhead cost, that is, the cost of paying the compensation of the employees?
Mrs. West, I am not able to estimate that accurately.
Mrs. WEST. For our entire work we have a staff of 22 persons, and only about nine of those are directly responsible for the supervision of our 2,000 wards. A large part of our work is in the investigation of complaints as to cruelty and immorality concerning children, and neglect of children in their own homes. This work is usually done by a separate organization—a society for the prevention of cruelty to children.
The CHAIRMAN. Are all of the people in your service paid out of the Public Treasury?
Mrs. WEST. We have a few volunteers, but they are only helping us to do our job a little better. We have a voluntary board of nine members.
The ('HAIRMAN. How many children are you required to provide homes for; have you any idea?
Mrs. West. I can not tell you just how many, because some are committed to us temporarily and some permanently. The average number of new children committed during the year is in the neighborhood of 600.
The CHAIRMAN. By the court?
Mrs. West. By the juvenile court. We have no control over the commitments.
The CHAIRMAN. What disposition do you make of these children committed to you by the court-make the same disposition as to all?
Mrs. West. No. There are certain types of delinquent children that we feel, for a period at least, would do better in an institution. We find certain others who would do better in homes. We do just what seems to be best for the particular child.
The CHAIRMAN. How long do you keep supervision over them?
Mrs. WEST. As long as they are committed to us. If they are committed to us until 21 years of age we keep them, unless they are discharged from guardianship for some very good reason.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the average time of those you put into public homes; how long are they kept there?
Mrs. WEST. In institutions?
Mrs. WEST. It depends upon how long we think the child needs institutional care.
The CHAIRMAN. Then what becomes of them?
Mrs. WEST. If they are free for placement, if they are children who have no family ties, we would try to find good, free homes. Others we would place with good relatives or in family homes to board.
The CHAIRMAN. What class of families do they come from?
Mrs. West. Different classes. It depends upon the reason for their commitment. If they are children that we take in from unfit homes, the surroundings are usually of the poorest. We do not take in children on account of poverty or anything of that sort.
The CHAIRMAN. Only on account of incorrigibility?
Mrs. West. We only take our wards into the court for incorrigibility. The court commits other delinquent children to us as it deems advisable. These children are not taken in on our petition.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the earliest age that you take in?
The CHAIRMAN. Under what circumstances are they committed by the court-death of the mother or father or one?
Mrs. WEST. If there were no relatives to come forward and care for the child we would ask for the guardianship.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the maximum age of children committed ? Mrs. West. Dependent children, 16 years of age and delinquent,
age. The CHAIRMAN. And down to what age is the minimum for delinquency?
Mrs. West. Usually from 12 years of age up. Occasionally, perhaps, a little younger, but, of course, not usually.
The CHAIRMAN. You are doing a very interesting work.
Mrs. WEST. We think the most interesting of all, with the greatest possibilities for real service.
('ARE OF CHILDREN COMMITTED TO GUARDIANSHIP.
The CHAIRMAX. In the next paragraph, on page 32, you eliminate $1.500 and change the language to “$6.000 (in addition to the sum of $1,500 heretofore authorized).” Please explain to us just what that means?
Mrs. West. Every year Congress appropriates a certain sum of money.
The CHAIRMAN. That you can give to somebody in a lump sum?
Mrs. WEST. It is paid to sectarian institutions for monthly care of children. We are not handling any lump sum in our office. We are asking for $6,000, which is four times as much as the original amount, because we find it necessary to care for a larger number of children, particularly in sectarian institutions.
The CHAIRMAN. That is just for the remaining part of this year?
The CHAIRMAX. This is the deficiency bill. I do not know what the District bill for the next fiscal year carries. I do not recall.
Mr. DONOVAN. A limitation of $1,500. It has carried that for a number of years.
Mr. Byrns. The bill that passed the House the other day?
The CHAIRMAX. If we increase this to $6,000 it can only be for the next four months, and if you have to go back to $1,500 at the end of four months it would not be any advantage to do this?
Mrs. WEST. No, sir. We are in debt to the sectarian institutions for quite a large amount. It has been the custom year after year for the money to be made up by a deficiency in that way. Perhaps Mr. Wilson can explain that.
The CHAIRMAN. I do not think that this language is proper.
Mr. Wilson. That deficiency, if authorized, would be applicable to any part of the current fiscal year. Up to this time the so-called sectarian institutions have taken children from your board and have cared for them and the bills are now due and payable, but not paid, because the limitation has been reached. Several thousand dollars, I think, beyond the limitation have already been incurred.
The CHAIRMAN. It seems that if there are bills due to pay which you have not the money to pay with you want the $6,000 payable out of the appropriation!
Mr. Donovan. We have the money, but the limitation prevents us from paying them.
The CHAIRMAN. You are asking for $15,000.
Mrs. W'Est. $6,000 out of the $15,000 should be used for paying the sectarian institutions in addition to the sum of $1,500 already authorized, the sum not to exceed $6,000 out of the $15,000 deficiency.
The CHAIRMAN. That would make it $7,500.
Mr. Byrns. If given authority to use that amount, you have enough money without the appropriation of this $1,500 ?
Mrs. West. No, sir. We are estimating in addition for $6,000 for sectarian institutions. We have asked for a deficiency of $15,000 for the board and care of children, and that out of the $15,000 not more than $6,000 should be used to pay sectarian institutions. That would still mean that we would need $9,000 for board and care of other children not in sectarian institutions,
The CHAIRMAN. For 1922 you asked for $200,000, and you received $160.000?
Mrs. WEST. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Is that because obligations have already been incurred?
Mrs. West, Partly, Mr. Chairman. We have to use a number of sectarian institutions for our incorrigible boys. We have at St. Mary's Industrial School in Baltimore some 20 or 25 of our boys usually. I feel that when boys are committed to us that we must co the best we can for them. If they are incorrigible and we can not control them, we send them first to institutions where we can control their length of stay before asking the court to commit them to the National Training School, and we are using these institutions for only a temporary period.
The "CHAIRMAX. We might as well have an understanding about this deficiency business. We do not want to discriminate against Mrs. West because she happens to be a woman. We have read a lecture to everybody about deficiencies, and I would not want her to go away with the feeling that she has not been as well treated as everybody else.
Mrs. West. I understand the point. I was asking Mr. Wilson the reason why only $1,500 is estimated for sectarian institutions every year when it is always necessary for us to expend a much larger amount as we have no public institutions to meet the need.
The CHAIRMAN. The point is if there is any way to control the expenditures within the limit of the appropriation, of course, we are very anxious to see that they are so controlled.
Mrs. WEST. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Our work here has been very hard because of the tendency of the bureaus and departments to pay no attention to the appropriations. On the other hand, they have gotten into the
, practice of making the appropriations themselves and then coming to us to supply the money to meet them. We have just stopped that. We are not going to allow anybody to make appropriations after this. It is a bad place to come for deficiencies, but, of course, there are cases, I am frank to say, that justify deficiencies. Whether this is one of them, I am not prepared to say.
Mr. Donovan. Every year for the last 15 years it has been necessary to come to Congress and ask for an increase of this limitation.
The CHAIRMAN. And you never get the increase?
Mr. Donovan. Never in the first place; we have always had to come back for a deficiency.
Mr. Byrns. Did the subcommittee pass on an increase of the limitation?
Mr. Donovan. That was not passed on as far as I know; it was not brought up.
The CHAIRMAX. I do not believe there is much advantage in increasing the limitation, because it can not last more than four months, to the 1st of July.
Mr. Donovan. It would take care of the obligations incurred.
The CHAIRMAX. We could provide for meeting the obligations that exist between now and the 1st of July if we did not fix the limitation. If we do anything at all, we should authorize the amount which you might find necessary to pay.
Mrs. WEST. We have obligations for the first half of the year of $3.746.06 to sectarian institutions.
The CHAIRMAN. You have found it necessary to put the children into sectarian institutions to an extent greater than the authority fixed by law?
Mrs. WEST. That is what we have done.
The CHAIRMAN. And you think for the remaining part of the year it will increase to such an extent, if you go at the present rate, that you will need $6,000 ?
Mrs. West. Yes, sir; for the remainder of the year practically the same amount as for the first half of the year.
The CHAIRMAN. That will come out of the appropriation for the current fiscal year?
Mr. Donovan. That is true; yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Really you do not need $15,000. I am just now making a hypothetical solution of the case without committing myself. If we authorize jou to meet the obligations that exist up to the amount of $6,000, payable out of the current appropriation
Mrs. West (interposing). We are asking for a $15,000 deficiency for the entire board, and out of that amount
The ('HAIRMAN (interposing). You will not need $15,000?
Mrs. West. I wish I thought we did not. We have asked over and over again for workers enough for the Board of Children's Guardians to find free homes for the children.
The CHAIRMAN. What did they give you?
I have asked the Senate for five more.
The CHAIRMAN. You do not go to the Senate after you get through the House?
Mrs. WEST. Oh, yes. I think we ought to tell our needs. I think Congress should know that if we had workers we could save money. There would be no need now for the $9,000 deficiency if we could have two more workers for the rest of the year at an expense of perhaps $1,200.
The CHAIRMAN. If we give you two workers for the rest of the year?
Mrs. West. Yes, sir.
Mrs. WEST. Absolutely not, except for the feeble-minded and sectarian institutions, as already stated.
The CHAIRMAN. If we give you the money you can use it to employ them?
Nr. Donovan. Not under that appropriation.
Mr. DONOVAN. You would have to authorize their employment in connection with the appropriation.
Mrs. WEST. That would be $1,200 as against $9,000.
Mrs. WEST. I will guarantee you that I will not stay with the Board of Children's Guardians if we can not do it; I am that certain.
The CHAIRMAN. You do not release us from the obligation of $6,000 ?
Mrs. WEST. With the more than $3,000 of obligations and the need for the remaining months it could not be done.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 1922.
STATEMENT OF MR. WALDO BURNSIDE, CLERK.
COMPENSATION OF JURORS.
The CHAIRMAN. You are the clerk of the juvenile court?
Mr. BURNSIDE. The only thing that concerns us right now is the jury fund. The appropriation has been running at $900 since 1915. For several years we have had to ask you to appropriate a deficiency fund, and last year it was $800. We did not spend all of that, we turned back $149.
The CHAIRMAN. That is for the jurors?
The CHAIRMAN. Of course, you can not control the number of jurors that will be called ?
Mr. BURNSIDE. No, sir.