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Smith, Zilpha Drew

In 1886, Smith was appointed general secretary of the Associated Charities of Boston and formally launched her professional career in the charity organization movement and social work education. Under her leadership, Associated Charities was successful in bringing together most of the charities and relief organizations operating in Boston. Building on the skills she learned earlier, Smith organized a central file of families being served, a system of district offices, paid agents and volunteer friendly visitors. In an 1887 presentation at the annual meeting of the National Conference of Charities held in Omaha, Nebraska, Smith described aspects of the relationship among committees, volunteer visitors and paid agents doing the service of Associated Charities:Continue Reading »

C.C. Carstens (1865-1939)

C. C. Carstens: Interpreter of the Needs of Dependent Children (1865-1939). Written by: Emma Octavia Lundberg.Continue Reading »

Adoption Project: 1937

Modern adoption history has been marked by vigorous reforms dedicated to surrounding child placement with legal and scientific safeguards enforced by trained professionals working under the auspices of certified agencies. In 1917, for instance, Minnesota passed the first state law that required children and adults to be investigated and adoption records to be shielded from public view. By mid-century, virtually all states in the country had revised their laws to incorporate such minimum standards as pre-placement inquiry, post-placement probation, and confidentiality and sealed records. At their best, these standards promoted child welfare. Yet they also reflected eugenic anxieties about the quality of adoptable children and served to make adult tastes and preferences more influential in adoption than children’s needs. The Adoption Project paper is a part of that history.Continue Reading »

Community Councils: What Have They Done And What Is Their Future?

Presentation by John Collier, Director, Training School for Community Workers at the National Conference Of Social Work Annual Meeting in 1919. “I want to insist at once that Community Councils are independent, self -operating neighborhood organizations…As such they remain, now that the war is over, to help in the work of reconstruction and in the upbuilding of a useful and beautiful leisure life.”Continue Reading »

Cleveland Federation for Charity and Philanthropy: 1913

From its inception, the Cleveland-area volunteers were the first in the country to set up a volunteer-driven system to study human care needs, to allocate funds, and monitor their use. The new organization added budgeting to the single campaign concept, i.e., funds were allocated to agencies on the basis of demonstrated need rather than on hopes for as much money as possible. This “citizen review process” became the model for United Way organizations across the country.Continue Reading »

Home Missionary Society of Philadelphia

While some children required long-term placement, assistance was often temporary. One worker describes a case below which particularly displays the “uplift” mentality of the Society:

“After a meeting, I called on a widow with four children. She is sick. To secure daily bread, her boy, twelve years of age, sells papers. He called to see me, asking for a situation in the city, whereby he might help his mother. I knew a man of business who wanted a boy, took him with me and secured the place. He has been with him three weeks, and gives such good satisfaction that his wages have been raised, and he is promised permanent employment with a knowledge of the trade. When the mother had sufficiently recovered she came to thank me for the interest I had taken in her son. In this case it was not the money given which called forth her gratitude, but the fact that I had helped the family to help themselves.”Continue Reading »

Child Study Association: History 1928

“The Last decade of the nineteenth century witnessed the beginning of educational experimentation based on an awakening interest in child psychology. Gradually invasions were made in the old academic curricula as the needs and nature of childhood became more evident.”Continue Reading »

Recreation Movement in the United States

The first playground in the United States to offer recreational opportunity coupled with leadership was in 1885 when a large sandpile was placed in the yards of the Children’s Mission on Parmenter Street in Boston through the efforts of the Massachusetts Emergency and Hygiene Association.Continue Reading »

Community Chest Movement: An Interpretation 1924

“Rich and poor, the various religious denominations, the great forces, social, commercial, and religious, should be willing to join hands for common ideals, to make a better city for the living of human life, better health for all, better educational opportunities for young and old, moral conditions that strengthen character, better laws, less legal restrictions, and better standards of living. The community chest is a factor in this great work, and if organized and carried on in the proper spirit will contribute substantially to the realization of this high aim.” By C. M. Bookman, Executive Secretary, Community Chest and Council of Social Agencies, 1924.Continue Reading »

Community Federation: A Model Constitution and Plan

The community federation, regardless of the way it has been established, must not attempt to be an overlord administering the affairs of the constituent agencies. The federation should be the machinery by means of which the agencies and their social workers function together. When new standards of work are being developed, the federated agencies interested in those standards should help formulate them. The federation can safely exercise administrative direction, but should not exercise administrative control. From this it clearly follows that a social service federation should be entirely representative of the agencies, having only such powers as the co-operating agencies delegate to it.Continue Reading »

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