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McLean, Francis H.

In 1908, McLean gave another presentation at the 35th annual session of the National Conference of Charities and Correction held in Richmond, VA. The title was: “How May We Increase Our Standard of Efficiency in Dealing with Needy Families.” One of his major points was the necessity for workers to record and maintain Diagnosis and Treatment Cards for the families they are trying to help. He said:

“…A growing realization of the need of an aid which would impart definiteness to records and give one a clear idea of not only the main problem, but all of the subsidiary problems, caused the Field Department last fall to send out to the societies in the exchange branch of the department, a proposed form to be known as a diagnosis and treatment sheet. A study of the records last winter has convinced the field secretary that these sheets are an absolute necessity, and should be used by all the societies. Even the very best of the records would have been much clearer to the reader with such a sheet. In many cases, apparent lapses in treatment would have been revealed to the societies, if they had attempted to fill out the blanks….”Continue Reading »

Glenn, Mary Wilcox

Mrs. Glenn’s move to New York coincided with the growing awareness for the need for professional training for charity workers and the importance of trained caseworkers. It was also a time when social welfare advocates and charity workers were beginning to realize the necessity for more efficient organizations of “good will” and better means for dealing with the conditions of a society where large numbers of able-bodied workers were being compelled to seek handouts, depend on breadlines and soup kitchens. Mrs. Glenn became an active participant in discussions about the possibilities of a larger, national movement that would bring together local agencies and advocates into some form of national organization.Continue Reading »

The Individual Approach: 1915

Mrs. Glenn was a close friend and colleague of Mary Richmond and one of the influential voices in support of casework and social work education. In this 1915 presentation she describes her vision of a sensitive and helpful caseworker. One of the paragraphs states: “…The worker’s effort is futile unless the individual to be aided become first a co-worker and then pass on to take the lead in carrying through any plan made in his behalf. The worker, whose aim is to rehabilitate men, must be one whose preparation for the task has carried him deep in a considering of human life lived in simplicity and in close relation to those who earn their daily bread. The study of recuperative power must lead the worker back to gauge the mainsprings of strength that lie hid in the individual’s past. But there must be more than the harking back, there must be the readiness to take a forward leap, He is not what he may become, is the attitude of mind which gives the power to stir men to be twice made, and it is faith in one’s fellow which gives the power to make men make themselves. An intense desire to see life well lived makes a worker, with tender, with restrained devotion, care to see the “downmost man” come through his wracking experience actually on top….Continue Reading »

Educational Alliance

“Educational Alliance: A History of a Lower East Side Settlement House,” by EJ Sampson. “The Educational Alliance…balanced the growing professionalization of settlement house work by becoming community-based, and kept its emphasis on encouraging public civic culture even as in other ways it aligned with a social service “agency” model. And it kept it eyes on its Jewish origins not only in its neighborhood work, but in negotiating its internal ethos. “Continue Reading »

What is Professional Social Work?

Social work does not consist of maintaining any social activity which has become standard and permanent. Social workers are continually originating certain activities and vindicating them and making them standard and permanent but after they have reached that stage they are not rated as social work. At one point kindergartens which are now a regular part of our educational system were promoted and maintained as social work. Some activities that are more or less permanent and standardized in regard to their procedure such as the relief work of old family welfare societies are nevertheless exceptional activities because the circumstances of the different individuals require and receive special treatment in each case. Even relief giving may pass out of the realm of social work if it is put on the basis of flat pensions and paid for out of taxation, as in the case of soldier’s pensions; or if pensions are given as a part of a fixed policy of a big corporation toward its employees, there is no reason to class the administration of these pensions as social work. Continue Reading »

Lutheran Social Services of Michigan

This entry was copied with permission from the book “This Far By Love: The Amazing Story of Lutheran Social Services of Michigan” by Nancy Manser. Motivated to serve others as an expression of the love of Christ, Lutheran Social Services of Michigan continues today to help those in need regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or national origin.Continue Reading »

Urbanization And The Negro: 1933

It is a significant fact that while there was a distinct loss in both Negro and white rural farm population during the past decade, the land operated by Negroes decreased by 31,835,050 acres, approximately 5,992 square miles (an area slightly larger than the combined land areas of Connecticut and Rhode Island), between 1920 and 1930. At the same time there was a very substantial increase of 34,743,840 acres, or approximately 54,287 square miles for white farm operators.Continue Reading »

Menace Of Racial And Religious Intolerance (1925)

Presentation by Professor Charles Ellwood at the National Conference Of Social Work. Dr. Ellwood was concerned that intolerance seemed to be growing in every form of American life and he concluded that intolerance was a handicap to social progress. Continue Reading »

Family Life Of The Negro In The Small Town– 1926

Even the briefest account of the family life of the Negro must include a consideration of the history back of the present Negro family. This history naturally divides itself into three periods: Africa, slavery, and freedom. While the African period, it must be remembered, does not claim our attention because an unbroken social tradition still affects the present formation of the Negro family -although traces of the African tradition were detected in marriage ceremonies near the opening of the present century —it is necessary to call attention to this period because of subsequent events. In Africa the Negro lived under regulated sex relations which were adapted to his social and physical environment. It was through the destruction in America of these institutionalized sex relations that slavery was able to bring about complete subordination. Continue Reading »

Program of Work for the Assimilation Of Negro Immigrants In Northern Cities (1917)

Presentation by Forrester B. Washington, Director of the Detroit League on Urban Conditions Among Negroes, given at the 44th Meeting of the National Conference on Social Welfare, 1917. “The establishment of a bureau of investigations and information regarding housing comes next in importance. The character of the houses into which negro immigrants go has a direct effect on their health, their morals and their efficiency. The rents charged determine whether the higher wages received in the North are real or only apparent, whether the change in environment has been beneficial or detrimental. The tendency is to exploit the negro immigrant in this particular.”Continue Reading »

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