Children’s Aid Society of New York City Commercial

Growing up around New York City I heard this commercial from The Children’s Aid Society almost every day without knowing anything about the organization. It is weird to know nothing about an organization and still be able to sing their complicated “theme song”, so I looked them up and they seem to be doing good work, but what is more interesting in their controversial history. Namely the Orphan Train Movement, which according to Wikipedia:

The Orphan Train Movement was a social experiment that transported children from crowded coastal cities of the United States, such as New York City and Boston, to willing foster homes across the country. The orphan trains ran between 1853 and 1929, relocating an estimated 250,000 orphaned, abandoned, or homeless children. At the time the orphan train movement began, it was estimated that 30,000 vagrant children were living on the streets of New York City.


The Retroist

Editor/Podcaster at Retroist
The Retroist is like a BBQ on a bun without the bones. You're only human daddy. Chomp!

Never Miss an Episode

Stay up-to-date on the latest from the Retroist Podcast. Sign up and receive email notifications when there's a new episode of the Retroist Podcast or when we launch new podcasts.
* indicates required

One thought on “Children’s Aid Society of New York City Commercial

  1. That’s a great song! In Ontario, Canada, they would have to pay actors because there definitely wouldn’t be enough children serviced by the Children’s Aid who would be willing to contribute toward such wonderful lyrics. In Ontario, the Children’s Aid is a horrible organization that needs to be shut down and rebuilt. They take children away from poor families – just because they’re poor (i.e. ‘Need diapers or baby formula? No problem. We’ll take your kid off your hands and adopt them out or put them into a violently abusive foster home for you. Then you never have to worry about diapers or baby formula again!’) – Or, they take a child who needs help, and invoke more harm on them than they were getting in an abusive situation. There are many serious problems with the Children’s Aid in Ontario. They discourage love as principle – loving foster homes or the love between a parent and a child. They exploit desperate adoptive parents by lying to them and withholding important information about the child in their care. They neglect and lie to the children, many times using them as pawns, or leverage, to achieve an ego high, or for money. Conversely, they often turn a blind eye to a child in danger because the cost/benefit analysis does not benefit them enough to help. Instead of helping, they rip caring and loving families apart, while leaving malicious and violent homes in tact. They have never been documented to help a family in need, and often refer a desperate parent to the food bank (while simultaneously taking their child away).

    There are several advocacy groups throughout the US who have noted very similar issues to those in Ontario. I would be very interested to know how families and children, serviced by Children’s Aid Society in New York, feel about the agency… The same funding formula, which has been the impetus for gross human rights abuses in Ontario since the year 2000, has been in place in the US since the early 1970’s. I’m sure many of the same issues exist – the voices of those hurt and oppressed just haven’t been facilitated by anyone.

    The Children’s Aid Society is a very powerful organization, with a very large PR and advertising budget, and strong influences with authorities and wealthy philanthropists. Whether this song actually represents how children and families in New York feel about the Children’s Aid Society, would be very interesting to learn. It is very easy to hide bad works behind good intentions while using people without a voice, as door mats – especially children. That is the saddest part of this equation.

Leave a Reply

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