Nearly a hundred years ago, mothers were already sending mail to Washington, DC, to advocate for their children’s healthcare.

Public health and medical historian Emily K. Abel reviewed nearly 600 letters sent to either to Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt or the Children’s Bureau in the 1930s; the letters are preserved in the US National Archives. While children and “a variety of relatives” wrote letters to the Roosevelts and the Children’s Bureau, the overwhelming majority of the missives came from mothers. Health concerns described in the letters included children with intellectual and developmental disabilities, heart conditions, and epilepsy.

“The conditions discussed in the letters are heavily biased toward chronic illnesses and disabilities,” Abel writes, “perhaps because mothers were unlikely to embark on the lengthy process of soliciting help from the federal government for problems that would be resolved relatively quickly.”

Read more in Jstor Daily.

Written by External Article
Everyone is talking about caregiving, but it can still be difficult to find meaningful information and real stories that go deep. We read (and listen to and watch and look at) the best content about caregiving and bring you a curated selection. Have a great story about caregiving? Use our contact form to submit it to us so we can share it with the community!

Related Articles

Me, myself and I

Me, myself and I

So tightly drawn are local council eligibility criteria that many older people do indeed need to be almost at deaths door (or at risk of passing...

The Man in Room 117

The Man in Room 117

Three years ago, when he stopped taking his antipsychotic medication, her son withdrew into delusions, erupting in unpredictable and menacing...

Popular categories

After Caregiving
Finding Meaning
Finding Support

Don't see what you're looking for? Search the library

Share your thoughts


Share your thoughts and experiences

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Join our communities

Whenever you want to talk, there’s always someone up in one of our Facebook communities.

These private Facebook groups are a space for support and encouragement — or getting it off your chest.

Join our newsletter

Thoughts on care work from Cori, our director, that hit your inbox each Monday morning (more-or-less).

There are no grand solutions, but there are countless little ways to make our lives better.

Share your insights

Caregivers have wisdom and experience to share. Researchers, product developers, and members of the media are eager to understand the nature of care work and make a difference.

We have a group specifically to connect you so we can bring about change.