Care in the community of the mentally disordered: the case of the Guardianship Society, 1900-1939

Westwood, Louise (2007) Care in the community of the mentally disordered: the case of the Guardianship Society, 1900-1939. Social History of Medicine, 20 (1). pp. 57-72. ISSN 0951-631X

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The independent, charitable Guardianship Society began providing foster-care for children with mental and physical disabilities in turn-of-the-century Brighton. This approach was the antithesis of the well-documented shift towards care in a controlled and secure environment. After 1913, the Society worked with adults and pioneered boarding-out schemes and work placements for training while allowing their 'charges' to enjoy considerable freedom in the community. This approach followed a much older tradition of community care within the family, which had been evident from the seventeenth century, but the Society's approach was organised in homes in which the guardians were not family relations. The ideals of the Society were in direct opposition to the 'ascertainment' (processs of actively seeking out persons with mental disabilities), segregation and institutional policies being pursued after the 1913 Mental Deficiency Act. This article highlights the conflicts with the regulating authorities caused by the Society's determination to maintain an independent approach; it eventually became an all-encompassing mental welfare organisation, despite working in a hostile environment with little financial support.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > History
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA History of Great Britain
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 19:31
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2012 08:55
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