The United States Children’s Bureau, created in 1912, was the first national governmental office in the world focusing solely on the well-being of children and their mothers.
Throughout WWII, the Children’s Bureau promoted the well-being of American children by developing day care standards for children of working mothers and a campaign to meet children’s physical and emotional needs during wartime.
The Children’s Bureau also worked with the U.S. Committee for the Care of European Children to maintain a central register of unaccompanied refugees arriving in the United States, overseeing their placement with agencies and foster families and establishing standards for their care.
In 1946, the Children’s Bureau was folded into the Social Security Administration. In 1963, it moved to the Social Security Administration’s newly created Welfare Administration. Finally, in 1969 it was moved to a new Office of Child Development within the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.