This chapter traces the promotion of home care in the two decades after WWII, looking at social welfare non-profits, government, and pioneering hospital provision of home care. It demonstrates how competing definitions of care—particularly the labor of care—fundamentally shaped old age, disability, and welfare policy; job training; and an emerging labor market. Gendered and racialized understandings of carework, home life, rehabilitative missions, and institutional authority initially led home care down two developmental tracks: one associated with social work and welfare and the other, more prestigious and better-funded, with health and the hospital. The shift of clientele from families with children to aged and disabled people and the increased medicalization of care thwarted the efforts of the Children’s Bureau network of women to create full-time, even public civil service, jobs than part-time, casualized ones. By the early 1960s, the Public Health Service replaced the Children’s Bureau as the center of government coordination of a joint private-public effort.
Keywords: U.S. Children’s Bureau, Montefiore Hospital, public health, Commission on Chronic Illness, homemaker services, Kerr Mills Act, New York City, social welfare, rehabilitation, 1956 Amendments to the Social Security Act
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