The Children’s Charter

FROM THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES: “The Children’s Charter was adopted as a set of national goals by the White House Conference on Child Health and Protection in 1930. The Conference had prepared 31 volumes of technical findings and recommendations covering every conceivable childhood concern from prenatal care and a safe environment during childhood to expanded educational opportunities and the promise of health care for the physically and mentally handicapped. Realizing that the public would have a hard time understanding such detailed recommendations, President Hoover urged the preparation of the Children’s Charter to summarize the Conference’s more important recommendations and to solicit public support for state and local efforts to make the recommendations a reality. To read the Children’s Charter is to realize how much has been accomplished as a result ˆ and to re-dedicate ourselves to fulfill its pledge in our time.”

The Children’s Charter, White House Conference on Child Health and Protection, November 22, 1930


I. FOR every child spiritual and moral training to help him to stand firm under the pressure of life.

II. For every child understanding and the guarding of his personality as its most precious right.

III. For every child a home and that love and security which a home provides; and for that child who must receive foster care, the nearest substitute for his own home.

IV. For every child full preparation for his birth, his mother receiving prenatal, natal, and postnatal care; and the establishment of such protective measures as will make child-bearing safer.

V. For every child health protection from birth through adolescence, including: periodical health examinations and, where needed, care of specialists and hospital treatment; regular dental examinations and care of the teeth; protective and preventive measures against communicable diseases; the insuring of pure food, pure milk, and pure water.

VI. For every child from birth through adolescence, promotion of health, including health instruction, and a health program, wholesome physical and mental recreation, with teachers and leaders adequately trained.

VII. For every child a dwelling-place safe, sanitary, and wholesome, with reasonable provisions for privacy; free from conditions which tend to thwart his development; and a home environment harmonious and enriching.

VIII. For every child a school which is safe from hazards, sanitary, properly equipped, lighted, and ventilated. For younger children nursery schools and kindergartens to supplement home care.

IX. For every child a community which recognizes and plans for his needs, protects him against physical dangers, moral hazards, and disease; provides him with safe and wholesome places to play and recreation; and makes provision for his cultural and social needs.

X. For every child an education which, through the discovery and development of his individual abilities, prepares him for life; and through training and vocational guidance prepares him for a living which will yield him maximum satisfaction.

XI. For every child such teaching and training as will prepare him for successful parenthood, home-making, and the rights of citizenship; and for parents, supplementary training to fit them to deal wisely with the problems of parenthood.

XII. For every child education for safety and protection against accidents to which modern conditions subject him—those to which he is directly exposed and those which, through loss or maiming of his parents, affect him directly.

XIII. For every child who is blind, deaf, crippled, or otherwise physically handicapped, and for the child who is mentally handicapped, such measures as will early discover and diagnose his handicap, provide care and treatment, and so train him the he may become an asset to society rather than a liability. Expenses of these services should be borne publicly where they cannot be privately met.

XIV. For every child who is in conflict with society the right to be dealt with intelligently as society’s charge, not society’s outcast; with the home, the school, the church, the court and the institution when needed, shaped to return him whenever possible to the normal stream of life.

XV. For every child the right to grow up in a family with an adequate standard of living and the security of a stable income as the surest safeguard against social handicaps.

XVI. For every child protection against labor that stunts growth, either physical or mental, that limits education, that deprives children of the right of comradeship, of play, and of joy.

XVII. For every rural child as satisfactory schooling and health services as for the city child, and an extension to rural families of social, recreational, and cultural facilities.

XVIII. To supplement the home and the school in the training of youth, and to return to them those interests of which modern life tends to cheat children, every stimulation and encouragement should be given to the extension and development of the voluntary youth organizations.

XIX. To make everywhere available these minimum protections of the health and welfare of children, there should be a district, county, or community organization for health, education, and welfare, with full-time officials, coordinating with a state-wide program which will be responsive to a nationwide service of general information, statistics, and scientific research.
This should include: a.) Trained, full-time public health officials, with public health nurses, sanitary inspection, and laboratory workers, b.) Available hospital beds, c.) Full-time public welfare service for the relief, aid, and guidance of children in special need due to poverty, misfortune, or behavior difficulties, and for the protection of children from abuse, neglect, exploitation, or moral hazard.


we are each one of us responsible

“We are each one of us responsible for every war because of the aggressiveness of our own lives, because of our nationalism, our selfishness, our gods, our prejudices, our ideals, all of which divide us. And only when we realize, not intellectually but actually, as actually as we would recognise that we are hungry or in pain, that you and I are responsible for all this existing chaos, for all the misery throughout the entire world because we have contributed to it in our daily lives and are part of this monstrous society with its wars, divisions, its ugliness, brutality and greed — only then we will act.” — J. Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known

QUOTE: J. Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known. IMAGE: Untitled (hand and mirror), Dora Maar

28 – 175 Miles Removed

They chose not to stay
and so, by the luck of the draw
or the sheer will of two 22-year olds,
I am 175 miles removed
from what I might have been,
which, despite the short distance,
is miles away from What I Am.

We – my alternate possibility and I –
live on opposite sides of
this monumental divide of
culture and politics and
bedrock beliefs,
our Who We Are
similar I supposed to the
genetic variation in species
that live at different altitudes.

By comparison I wonder,
does Loxodonta africana
African Bush Elephant
ever glance across the savanna to
Loxodonta cyclotis
African Forest Elephant
and consider it
black to its white,
red to its blue,
big end to its small.

Or is it a purely human trait
to organize and classify
ourselves beyond recognition,
so that 175 miles
seems light years away?

IMAGE: From the Monastery of St. Nicholas, one of the clifftop monasteries in Meteora, Greece. It depicts the scene from Genesis 2:19-20, when Adam names the animals which God had created. Click here for details. With a nod to Jonathan Swift’s Lilliputian divide. Poem ©2018, Jen Payne. National Poetry Month #28. If you like this poem, you’ll LOVE Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind! BUY IT TODAY!

27 – Ride a Painted Pony Let the Spinnin’ Wheel Fly

Inspired by the headline “Ancient Mass Child Sacrifice May Be World’s Largest,” National Geographic, April 26, 2018.

In engineering,
redundancy is the
“duplication of critical
components or functions…
with the intention
of increasing reliability
of the system,
usually in the form
of a backup or fail-safe,
or to improve actual
system performance”

In our day-to-day,
is the reliable,
and often
undermines systems,
which is why we engineered
components of faith
and backups of hope,
neither so far
proving fail-safe
or of the quality
of improving much,
most especially
human nature.

Definition of redundant systems from Wikipedia. Image: Carousel, by Sue Coe. Poem ©2018, Jen Payne. National Poetry Month #27. Find more poems with a note of social commentary in Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind! BUY THE BOOK

Words, Crazy Words Reviews Evidence of Flossing

“Payne’s other work as an essayist is evident in many of the narrative poems. Strong sense of place and point of view carry the individual poems as a cohesive whole. This collection is one I will turn to again and again. I anticipate greater appreciation for this thoughtful collection each time.” — Tara Huck, Words, Crazy Words

CLICK HERE to read the full review!

This post is part of a month-long, nationwide blog tour for my new book Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind, hosted by Wow! Women on Writing. Buy the book today!


The Promise of More

Oh good, I just read
we’ll have a new store!
I was worried a moment:
where would I buy more?

More trinkets and whatnots,
more must-haves and then,
not one or two thingies
but eight, nine…no TEN!

Ten more things to purchase,
ten more for display,
ten more for the storage
I rented today.

If you like this poem, you’ll LOVE Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind, the new book by Jen Payne. Click here to buy your copy today! ©2017, Jen Payne

Book Launch! Evidence of Flossing!

Join us to celebrate the publication of the newest book by Jen Payne!

Saturday, October 14 • 3:00PM – 6:00PM
Book Signing, Refreshments & More

– – – – –

Sunday, October 15 • Noon – 2:00PM
Artist Talk with Jen Payne & Martha Link Walsh
Conversation, Refreshments & More

– – – – –

Hosted by
Martha Link Walsh Gallery
188 North Main Street • Branford, CT

For more, email

A Way with Words: Payne Pens Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind

By Pam Johnson, Senior Staff Writer, Shore Publishing

No doubt about it, Jen Payne has a way with words. From her volunteer “pet project” as web designer for the Branford Land Trust (BLT) website for nearly 20 years to her newest book, Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind, the Branford author and artist brings together words and images to champion the natural world and remind us of what she terms “our divine and innate connection with nature.” The book also provides telling social commentary and photos showing “evidence” warning of a growing disregard for nature’s gifts and for each other. (Read More)

Have you seen Evidence of Flossing?

We have and we can’t wait to show you!
Join us for the official launch of Evidence of Flossing…

– – – –

Saturday, October 14 • 3:00PM – 6:00PM
Book Signing, Refreshments & More

– – – –

Sunday, October 15 • Noon – 2:00PM
Artist Talk with Jen Payne & Martha Link Walsh
Conversation, Refreshments & More

– – – –

Hosted by
Martha Link Walsh Gallery
188 North Main Street • Branford, CT

For more, email