(in the USSR), an institution under the state program for the protection of mothers and children in which are reared children without parents, abandoned children, children of single mothers, and children of citizens deprived of parental rights.
Infants’ homes are under the direction of public health agencies. Before the Great October Socialist Revolution there were so-called foundling hospitals in Russia, which were maintained at the expense of charitable societies; their basic purpose was to care for abandoned and illegitimate children. Such homes also exist in capitalist countries today. In infants’ homes children are raised from birth to the age of three, after which they are transferred to preschool institutions, called children’s homes, under the Ministry of Education. Children are maintained without charge in infants’ homes. A mother who brings her child to an infants’ home may take it back at any time. Children of unknown parents accepted into infants’ homes are given first names, patronymics, and surnames, and within a three-day period they are registered at the local office of civil registration in accordance with the admissions act.
In homes with facilities for 30 children two groups are formed—one group for children up to the age of 14 months and one group for children between the ages of 14 months and three years. In homes with facilities for 45 children, there are three groups—one for children up to eight or nine months, one for children from eight or nine months to two years,, and one for children between the ages of two and three. Strict daily routines and diets are established for each age group (children up to three or four months old are supplied with mother’s milk). Extensive health measures are carried out, such as outdoor naps and strolls and the sending of children to homes in the country for the summer. Infants’ homes are headed by pediatricians, and the children’s upbringing is directed by a teacher; each home has a board of guardians.
O. G. FROLOVA