FIJ Quarterly - Summer 2022 Edition

leadership role historically contributing to structures that have harmed children and families, CHSW must also serve as an ally to those it has harmed to create new systems of care that are responsive to the lived experiences of the families and communities it serves. This transformation requires determined work both internally and externally that requires vulnerability, cultural humility, and a willingness to fail during the learning process as we seek to create more equitable support systems for families. CHSW was born out of the Progressive Era. The National Children's Home Society was formed in Illinois in 1883 on the new idea of placing orphaned children for adoption in family foster homes rather than in orphanages. Founded on the Social Gospel, the Children’s Home Societies were a national movement that was unabashedly “child savers.” These beliefs regarding child saving would come to dominate the American child protection system to this day and Children’s Home Society of Washington played a leadership role in these beliefs both in Washington state and the nation. Born in the Midwest, this movement was a reaction to the Orphan Train movement that “rehomed” children indiscriminately from the urban East Coast to the agricultural Midwest. Children’s Home Society organizations were also a reaction to the institution of orphanages with the belief that children should be raised in ideally White, Protestant Christian families. Unlike in the East, where the Orphan Trains primarily relocated children of White immigrants, in Washington, most of the children were American born, but also, almost exclusively White and matched with White families. Black children were largely served by the carceral system and Indigenous children were served by the boarding school systems. CHSW recently celebrated its 126th anniversary, and Dave currently serves as its 15th administrator. Libby and Harrison Brown were CHSW’s founder administrators. Harrison was a Methodist minister and with exception of Libby Brown, the first seven administrators would be clergymen until the agency professionalized its leadership with a social worker in 1937. Throughout most of its history, CHSW’s mission far exceeded its financial capacity to meet the needs of the time. It should be noted,

Dave Newell

Shrounda Selivanoff

FIJ Quarterly | Summer 2022 | 73

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