It has long been believed that children who must spend much of their lives in institutions inevitably develop personality deficiencies that make them liabilities to society
This book represents the first portion of a longitudinal study of the children of the Neil McNeil Home from infancy into adulthood. The study was begun in 1957 with a twofold purpose: first, to provide a therapeutic environment for children who had already suffered mental and emotional damage from an institutional milieu; and second, to devise methods of institutional care that would conduce to the normal development of children deprived of the usual supports of family relationships. The case histories presented here are interesting documents in themselves, but the book is more than a study of individual cases. It presents a detailed description of the process of creating in a child-care institution something of the atmosphere of a normal home. The conclusions reached depart in significant ways from former studies of institutionalized children, and will be of great importance and usefulness both to those who work professionally with children and to those concerned with the social future of children raised outside the family unit. The book was sponsored by the Institute of Child Study, University of Toronto.