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Children’s Bureau, United States

The establishment of the U.S. Children’s Bureau (USCB) in April 1912 marked the first time that a national government created an agency solely to investigate and report on the needs of a nation’s children and youth. With a meager budget of only US$25,640 for its inaugural year of operation, the agency’s mandate and scope put a small staff to work investigating and reporting on what the bureau and its supporters defined as the whole child. The law creating the agency mandated its scope to broadly include “all matters pertaining to the welfare of children and child life among all classes of our people.” This entry describes the origin of the USCB, its work over four decades, and its legacy and continued work.

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