‘Growing Up Poor’: child welfare, motherhood and the State during the First World War
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Buckley, Sarah-Anne. (2018). ‘Growing Up Poor’: child welfare, motherhood and the State during the First World War. Women's History Review, 27(3), 343-359. doi: 10.1080/09612025.2016.1221285
In the history of child welfare in Ireland and other western countries, the period during the First World War coincided with a time of international attention on poor and working-class families and children. As this occurred at a time of ‘revolution’ as well as a time of war, the efforts of voluntary and state services were often driven by a variety of motives, including genuine concern for poor mothers and children, sectarianism, class bias and international child welfare developments. This article addresses the extent to which the lives of working-class and poor mothers in Ireland were affected by the war—primarily through concern expressed by child protection agencies (such as the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children), directly connecting the history of child welfare with the history of motherhood.