what was the orphan train

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The Orphan Train movement wasan effort to transport orphaned or abandoned children from cities on the United States East Coast to homes in the newly settled Midwest. The movement was created in 1853 by Protestant minister Charles Loring Brace,founder of the Children Aid Society of New York City.

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  • What was the Orphan Train movement?

  • History. When the orphan train movement began, it was estimated that 30,000 abandoned children were living on the streets of New York City. Charles Loring Brace founded the Children Aid Society in order to help these children.

  • Why did the children Aid Society train orphans?

  • There, the Children Aid Society workers hoped, they would be adopted by families and put to work in fields and on farms. They were part of what is now known as the orphan train movement, a sweeping attempt to protect homeless, poor and orphaned children in a time before social welfare or foster care.

  • Why did Charles Loring Brace start orphan trains?

  • Orphan trains were the brainchild of Charles Loring Brace, a minister who was troubled by the large number of homeless and impoverished children in New York. A massive influx of new immigrants had crowded the city, and a series of financial panics and depressions in the late 19th century created unemployment.

  • Did the Orphan Trains influence the foster care system?

  • Although they ended, the orphan trains did influence today’s foster care system. The Orphan Train Society of America was founded in 1986 and still hosts reunions. The National Orphan Train Complex opened in 2007 in Concordia, Kansas and is dedicated to preserving the history of the Orphan Train movement.

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