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POOR-LAW CHILDREN. An interesting meeting, hitherto un- reported, was held during the session of the North Western Poor law Con- ference at Blackpool, on Friday, when Sir JOHN T. HIBBERT, K.C.B., Bart., took the chair, and expressed the hope that the leading unions of Cheshire and Lancashire might see their way to act as decoy-ducks in desirable work connected with the after-care of poor-law children. A central mixed and undenominational committee of well-known experts has been established, and it is hoped that the district committees and union committees, to meet as required locally, may be presently formed on the same lines to aid those concerned in the after-care of girls. For 22 and 23 years respectively the M.A.B.Y.S. I.. in the Metropolitan area, and the G.F.S. in the other districts have been working with this object. Miss GRAFTON, central head of the department for candidates from workhouses and orphanages, pointed out that this definite and established work (now undertaken and per- mitted in 450 out of the 649 unions) has frequently been unknown because of its success. Henceforth guardians should receive everywhere, as they had received in some unions, the report forms of girls whose care has been undertaken by the special associates of the G.F.S. In the G.F.S. reports we have these remarkable figures. The society began this work in 1877 with 27 girls; in 1887 it had 1,660 on its books; from 1887 to 1897 nearly 10,000 girls were registered and received help, training, and friendship, not only in their own unions, but wherever they went. When the work first began, one in five of such girls habitually returned to the workhouse; this was reduced to one in 38, and now to nearly one in 52. The saving to the ratepayers as well as the improve- ment of the girls is thus shewn to be con- siderable. A South Toxteth guardian expressed his surprise at not knowing about the work, and said that from his experience the poor- law children should not be sent out till really able to earn their living honestly. The Hon. Mrs. CAMPIKR, president of the G.F.S., said this society would meet the needs of guardians who thought thus, by its careful following-up and care of girls, friendless, untrained, and delicate, and their gradual admission to mem- bership if suitable, or relegated to other agencies. Mrs. FRANK WILBRABAM and Mrs. ANTROBUS (Eaton Hall, Congleton), described how the Cheshire Unions, though with various limitations, permitted the work of the society in nine out of the eleven unions. In one small union it had not been considered | that there were enough children to need such arrangement, and in one other the G.F.S. had not been able to find a competent worker with time for the work. This part of G.F.S. organi- sation had been steadily growing and thriviag quietly in Cheshire since 1881, but was in need of more funds. For what had been done girls bad often shewn themselves most touchingly grateful. Other information relative to the Unions in the North-Western District, which includes the dioceses of Liverpool and Man- chester, was given; but it is hoped that Cheshire Guardians will be particularly interested in the records of the Cheshire papers. When the work is publicly pressed upon their notice by such an authority as Sir JOHN HIBBERT, it may be taken that the prin- ciple is established. No work can be of more importance to ratepayers and philanthropists than that of the after-care of poor-law children, and we most earnestly recommend the subject to the attention of our Cheshire Unions.

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