MAY 13, 1943
NEW YORK, Wednesday—I have just heard that 75 Red Cross Scholarships will be available July 1st for selected persons, who will be eligible for training in approved schools for social work. The need for trained personnel in home service activities has increased so much, that the Red Cross finds its obligations to the families of men in the armed forces can only be fulfilled by relieving this shortage of trained personnel at home.
This shortage of trained personnel is felt in many fields. We hear a great deal about the rise in juvenile delinquency and we often think of that as meaning only youngsters between sixteen and twenty- five. It really includes those youngsters from 7 years up, whose mothers have taken war jobs.
Instead of having more people to supervise playgrounds and after-hour school play, there are fewer of them. Instead of being able to develop more programs to interest these young people in games, new occupations and skills of different kinds, it is almost impossible to find people to carry on such programs as were already started before the war.
Industry, civic groups and the government have begun to do something by establishing day nurseries to meet the problem of the very young child, but we have done comparatively little as yet to face the more serious problem of the older children. Equipment will be needed in many cases, as well as trained personnel to take care of them.
It may not sound as though care of children was in any way a part of the war effort. Yet, if we really expect women to work in greater numbers than ever before in the factories and in any of the innumerable war time jobs that are now open, the communities will have to see that these services are available for the care of the children.
Mr. Robert Cleveland, who has written a delightful book for young children, which the Junior Literary Guild has taken, feels that he could contribute to this problem of occupation for the youngsters by putting some of his ideas on the screen. If he is right, we shall have a new medium for bringing activity and imaginative use of the ordinary materials to be found in almost every home within the reach of our children.
Yesterday afternoon, I had a succession of visitors, and most of them must have felt that I was a very unsatisfactory hostess, because they were conscious that somebody else was waiting to come in the minute they finished talking.
I spoke at an informal meeting at the National Catholic School of Social Science in the evening, and am in New York City today to attend a meeting of the United States Committee for the Care of European Children.