There are fifty children born into the community each year. As a Nurturer, Jonas's father is in charge of caring for them. He is also in charge of calculating growth measurements physically and emotionally.
"He (Jonas) listened politely. . . while his father took his turn, describing a feeling of worry that he'd had that day at work: a concern about one of the new children who wasn't doing well. Jonas's father's title was Nurturer. He and the other Nurturers were responsible for all the physical and emotional needs of every new child during its earliest life. It was a very important job. . ." (7).
A committee names each child, but Nurturers are not supposed to call the new children by their names. The names are revealed at the Naming Ceremony when the children are placed with their family units. Jonas's dad breaks a rule by prematurely finding out a name from the list because he thinks it may help one certain child to grow and develop better. Also, Nurturers are not supposed to take the new children home with them. Eventually, he gets permission to bring Gabriel home in an effort to save his life.
If there are twins, then the smaller of the two is "released." Once a child is scheduled for "release," Jonas's father must insert a needle into the baby's head and administer a deadly drug. Then he packages up the baby in a box and sends it down a garbage tube. Being able to do such a murderous thing would mean that Nurturers probably aren't allowed to bond emotionally to the babies. The babies that survive the Nurturing Center are given to family units eventually, so Nurturers would have to be able to let go of them each year.