At the end of the 19th century, infant mortality was high in urban and rural areas in Sweden. In Stockholm, the mortality rate was particularly high among foster children. This study addresses the importance for health of targeted public policies and their local implementation in the reduction of excess mortality among foster children in Stockholm at the turn of the 19th century. In response to public concern, a law was passed in 1902 on inspections of foster homes. Stockholm city employed a handful of inspectors who visited foster homes and advised parents on child care and feeding.
Analysis of historical records from the City of Stockholm was combined with epidemiological analysis of mortality rates and hazard ratios on individual-level data for 112, 746 children aged