Fredericka Douglass Sprague Perry (b.1872)

Fredericka Douglass Sprague Perry was a juvenile court worker and an early pioneer in African American social work and child welfare services. The granddaughter of Frederick Douglass, Fredericka founded the Colored Big Sister Association of Kansas City, which operated the Colored Big Sister Home for Girls. This organization was created to prevent dependent African American girls from being placed in the Missouri state institution for delinquents, and to conduct home finding activities. Fredericka served as superintendent of the Colored Big Sister Home for Girls from its founding in 1934 until 1943, providing an invaluable service to delinquent girls who were unable to obtain state-supported foster care. This work that Fredericka dedicated her life to was especially important during the 1930’s because at that time “home finding was only conducted by the local Community Charities Chest Committee for needy white children in Kansas City.  Dependent African American children age 12 years and older were routinely sent to a state delinquency institution until age 17.  (
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