The Kansas City Cradle

Kansas City Cradle

1936 -1937 Standards of Admission (to the) Kansas City Cradle

Report: The Kansas City Cradle, Circa 1942, by  the Council of Social Agencies 1020 Main St, Kansas City, Missouri: From the Kansas City Cradle Vertical File in the Missouri Valley Reading Room, Downtown Kansas City Public Library; Written by C. W. Pfeiffer

I. The Cradle will accept for placement boys or girls from birth to age two who

                1. Passed the medical tests.

                2. They have an acceptable social history.

                3. They ave been legally released for adoption.

II. Details of the admission go through the Superindent.

III. The board recomends

                1. The Superintendent meets with the parents.

                2. The parent or both parents remain in the city until the application has been approved.

IV. These standards of admission could be changed by the Board of directors of the Cradle at anytime.

1938 Suggested Case Work Date regarding the adoption of a child

Legal Release

1. Signature of the parents, if married, on regular form.

2. If mother is unmarried, her signature is sufficient unless she is a minor, in which case, the parent or guardian must sign. It must be notarized or signed before two witnesses.

3. Signature of the mother must be checked with the name given at the hospital. If she’s unmarried, after telling the hospital she was married, she must sign a notarized statement saying the child is illegitimate.

4. If she’s married and the husband is not the father, his name must appear with hers on the release. If he can’t be found, advertise for him before the adoption is made.


1. Negative Wasserman test, with the social history.

2. Record of all inoculations and illnesses.

3. Name and address of attending physician if delivery was in a clinic, name of the hospital

4. Date and hour of birth

5. Type of birth: forceps, low forceps, premature, breech, complications, duration of labor, medication of mother (if new born)

6. Pre-natal care. Time spent in maternity home?

7. Allergies? Health record of ancestors.

8. Birth weight, present formula, foods?


1. General idea of ancestry, farm, professional, or laboring class.

2. Grandparents - maternal and paternal, names, ages, residence, education, occupation. If they’ve met with the case worker, the impression of them

3. Aunts and Uncles - names, ages, residence, education, occupation. If children, grade in school, and abnormalities.

4. Parents - Physical Characteristics, age, height, weight, color of hair and eyes, race, religion.

                Education, training, talents and occupation.

                Type of homelife and training

                Personality - attitudes while in conference or in the maternity home

                The story of their request for the adoption on a child

                If married, place and date

                Attitude toward adoption

Social History of the Child After Birth

                Kept by whom? Where? Medical History.

1941 report of the adoptions department

Total petitions filed… 503

Number of petitions denied…1

Number of petitions dismissed (child died)…. 1

Total number granted….454

Number of “Independents“…. 122

Number from St. Anthony’s Home…. 69

Number from the Willows Hospital…. 102

Number from the Fairmount Hospital….. 97

Number from the Kansas City Cradle…. 62




Denied …1

Dismissed…. 1




AZ…. 1

AR…. 3





IL…. 37

IN…. 7

IA…. 7




MN…. 4



NM… 3


OH… 21





Washington, DC…1

WY… 1





Regulations for child placing agencies; adopted by the State Social Security Commission of Missouri on October 8, 1941

Report: The Kansas City Cradle, Circa 1942, by  the Council of Social Agencies 1020 Main St, Kansas City, Missouri: From the Kansas City Cradle Vertical File in the Missouri Valley Reading Room, Downtown Kansas City Public Library; Written by C. W. Pfeiffer

a. Definitions

            I. Child placing agency

            A child placing agency is run by a person, firm, corporation, or association that receives into his custody dependent or neglected children, unattended by parents, and places them in foster care for compensation or otherwise.

             II. Foster Home

            A home, not related by blood or marriage, providing food, shelter, and care for expenses.

b. Licensing of Child-Placing Agencies

            I. No agency can lace children without being licensed.

            II. License will be issued annually.

            III. The license must be placed in a public, conspicuous, place

            IV. Failure to comply with these rules, will result in revocation of license.

c. Administration and organization

            I. The agency will meet the needs of the community as determined by other studies.

            II. It will be controlled by a board of responsible men and women. The board will select an executive, and with the executive, will determine policy.

            III. The board will be responsible for raising funds. The funds will be audited once a year by a CPA.

            IV. The agency will make annual reports.

d. Personnel


            1. Professional staff

            The standards  for education for employees includes pediatrics, dentistry, psychiatry, psychology, nursing, dietetics, and social work.

            A. the executive

            They must have extensive executive ability and case work. If they don’t have the case work experience, there must be a welfare supervisor in charge.

            B. case work staff

            They must have natural ability, professional training, and experience. They should have a minimum of two quarters or 20 semester hours in social work, and at least one year of experience. Training may substitute experience.

            C. Supervision

            In small agencies, the executive may supervise. In larger agencies, they should have professionally trained supervisors.

             2. Clerical staff

            There must be enough staff to keep records, correspondence, books and files in current and good order.

e. Case loads

            The number a worker will vary according to the nature of the agency, the needs of the children, the workers ability, and the size of the territory. In general, the average caseload should no exceed 40 children.

f. Records

The child placing agency is responsible for keeping the following typewritten letters.

            1. Records for each child’s and the child’s family (see D.)

                        A.  A report of the original investigation

                        B. The following identifying info

                                    - child’s full name, date of birth, birth place, and religion of parents and child.

                                    - Parents full names, including mothers maiden name; addresses,; date and place of marriage; if dead, date, place and cause of death; if divorced or separated, date and place of same; names addresses and birth dates of other children in the family; name and addresses of near relatives and god-parents.

                                    - Name and address of person referring the child for care

                                    - date and reason for placement, and financial terms.

                        C. explanation of custody and responsibility of each child

                        D. dates of visits to the child in the foster home and by whom made; a current chronological record of the child’s progress.

                        E. School reports, including grades, progress and adjustment.

                        F. Developments with child’s family

                        G. Discharge after care

            2. Medical records on each child, including reports on admission exam; complete and continued record of illness, communicable disease, follow up treatment and growth


            3. Foster home records, including the applications, report of foster home investigation, periodic evaluations of the foster home, and the following identifying info:

            A. name and address of foster parents. Names, ages and relationship of each member of the family, occupation and wages of adults in the family, and a health report on members of the family.

            B. report of visits to foster home.

            C. Names and addresses of reference and reports of visits to and correspondence with references.

            D. A list of the children placed in the foster home, including names, ages, and dates of placement and reasons for removal.


            All records are confidential and kept in safe files.


f. Service to Children

            A child won’t be removed from a home based on poverty alone.

           Before a child is removed, based on income, a complete investigation will be made that will include:

            1. Clearing of all cases with the local confidential social service exchange, from agncies who knew the family.

            2.  Knowledge of the family’s present situation. (based on interviews with relatives, teachers, doctors, employers, and others who know the family.)

            3. A study of the child’s physical and mental condition, history, personality.

            4. Physical exam including a schick test.

            5. Authorization of the State.

II. Supervision of Children in Foster Homes

The case workers should strive to help the newly formed family adjust to one another.

The foster home should be hand selected for each child to meet their needs.

1 The number of the children in a home should be limited to suit the childs needs. No more than two children should be placed in the same home unless they’re members of the same family.

2. The foster parents should be of the same race and religion as the child and should provide opportunity for religious instruction.

3. The frequency of visits to the home by the case worker depend on the child and the family’s needs.

4. The foster parents should be willing to report to the placing agency change of address, illness, childs development, any marked change ot the home situation.

5. The agency is responsible for seeing the children make it to schoool.

6. The agency will accuro psychological & psychiatric services for children who are not adjusting.

7. The agency will see the children are clothes appropriately.

8. The agency will make every effort to see the family ties are maintained by the child and his family during the period of foster care, unless “exhaustive study” indicates that these are so destructive to the child as to neccessitate a complete break.

9. The agency, with consent of the prarent or gurdian shall be responsible for secring medical care and will provide.:

            A. a doctor for medical care

            B. a physical exam including lab test, blood tests, and immunizations.

            C. Tretement of illnesses

            D. An exam once a year.

            E. Attention for children who are underweight or who have lost weight.

            F. Dental exams with follow up treatment.

            G. A diet in accordance with standards of the physician.

III. Discharge of Children

            1. The final discharge of a minor child will need an order of the court. The discharge will be made after planning for the childs future care. Before a child is returned home to it’s parents a home study will be made.

            2. A child will be placed only when it’s been established the they should be permanently separated form their family. The child will be placed after a careful study and supervision during a probationary period of one year.

            E. Standards of Foster Homes

            1. The child placing agency the minimum standards of foster care as set for by the latest rules and regulations governing foster homes.

              2. The agency will observe the procedure for licensing and reporting of foster homes.  

            3. The agency will not place children outside of Missouri without authorization from the state of placement.