Eleanor Roosevelt – My Day: April 1-7

April 6, 1962

“ST. LOUIS…On April 9 the Children’s Bureau of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare will celebrate its 50th year of service to the nation’s children.

I can remember well the hard work on the part of many women that went into the establishment of this agency. It was the feeling of these women that our children were entitled to the highest standards of care, and this included consideration of the needs of the mothers of our country as well.

Ours was the first country in the world to establish a Children’s Bureau, and since our pioneer effort more than a score of nations has followed the example. The emphasis in the early days was on the reduction of infant mortality. However, the agency soon realized that much of what it wanted to accomplish would have to be done by the states themselves, and the states were enabled to promote programs with the support of the Federal bureau. Thus, much progress has been achieved in medical, surgical and scientific development in state programs of child care.

It is interesting to note that one of the bureau’s publications, “Infant Care,” is the all-time government best-seller. Four other of its publications have ranked among the first six top-selling government booklets. At the time the bureau was established, authoritative child-care publications were practically nonexistent.

The Children’s Bureau has worked as a partner with both public and voluntary agencies. It has insisted on high standards of care, providing guide lines for child welfare services, and is ever watchful for new scientific developments that might benefit the children of our country. For its work the women of America should be grateful and give the bureau their warm support.”

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