Plzeňské sympozia

Martina Halířová

The establishment and Operations of the land Board for Children and Youth Affairs

pp. 151–155 (Czech), Summary p. 156 (English)

The author deals with the origin and operations of the Bohemia Land Board for the Protection of Young Children and Care for Adolescent Youth between 1908 and 1914. This association continued to be active through the First World War and during the First Czechoslovak Republic. The Bohemia Land Board was established in 1908 as an outcome of the first conference centered around the issue of child protection. This conference took place in Vienna in 1907. The present paper describes the association’s activity at its early stages, and its endeavours to improve the organizational aspects of child protection. It set up local branches – District Boards –, thereby forming an important network of control over the provision of social care for children and young persons. At the same time, it participated in its funding and in its own capacity either established or supported the establishment of new institutions specializing in the upbringing and education of sick children. It introduced a new instrument of care for orphans: family colonies which were to function as surrogate for family upbringing. The colonies had to comply with rules set by the Bohemia Board, which was subject to regular supervision. Family colonies represented a format straddling the borderline between family and institutional care. Their number was limited by the extent of willingness to admit children into care, and by the Board’s financial capacities. The Bohemia Land Board became an important organizational element in the field of social care for children and youth. Its members included specialists in sociology, medicine, and law, whose activity laid down solid foundations with which the Bohemia Board could link up in the subsequent period.

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