Milt Conrath (Part 2)

Milt Conrath, Dakota County Administrator, speaks of his early years in the field.

Giving Up Your Child in Order to Receive Services

(Run time :57)

That was the counsel to families at the time. To receive services from the County, you had to give up your rights. You had to commit your son or daughter to the system and to the hospital in particular.

It was a different kind of commitment than what we ordinarily think of. If you are sentenced, for instance, to jail for a crime or if you are committed as mentally ill, it's always for a specific time and place. This was unlimited, never-ending commitment.

And families were encouraged not to be involved, to get away from their individual. That didn't mean all families did that, but that was - what was said was that, you know, you basically have created some kind of monster and it's best out of sight, out of mind, and we'll take care of that individual to the point that they have food and clothing.