February 22, 2024
The New England Home for Little Wanderers began as a traditional orphanage. Today it's more of a cross between
a college dorm and a day care center. The residential treatment program is home to about 60 children, ages five to
12. Most of the kids are not actually orphans. Incidents of abuse and neglect keep them from living with their
families. The atmosphere is one of tough love. Producer Tovia Smith presents a documentary, which combines the
stories of these children with the voice of an adult orphan who achieved a productive and successful life, puts the
welfare issue in a historical context.
"Little Wanderers" won a 1995 Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism from the Casey Journalism Center for
Children and Families. The Casey Medals honor distinguished coverage of disadvantaged children and their
families, and the instutions and agencies charged with serving them. The judges said this report on orphanages was
"an illuminating documentary at a time when the country is considering going back to orphanages as a way of
caring for children. This comprehensive piece touched on many important angles of the debate. It took you on a
journey and raised critical questions, but left you thinking and asking more questions. She was able to bring the
experience alive from the point of the children."
The Home for Little Wanderers