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Height, Dorothy Irene

Dr. Height held many positions in government and social service organizations, but she is best known for her leadership roles in the Young Womens Christian Association (YWCA), and the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW).Continue Reading »

Halbert, Leroy Allen

By John E. Hansan, Ph.D. Leroy Allen Halbert (1875-1958) — Pioneer Social Worker, Director of the Nation’s First Department of Public Welfare, Advocate for the Unemployed, Social Reformer, and AuthorContinue Reading »

Carstens, Carl Christian

Carl Christian Carstens (April 2, 1865 – July 4, 1939): First Executive Director Child Welfare League of America. Written by Emma Octavia LundbergContinue Reading »

Virginia Industrial School for Colored Girls

The residents of the Industrial School were, for the most part, delinquent or dependent colored girls sentenced to prison by local judges and then paroled to the school. There were no foster homes for colored girls who needed care and jail or prison was the only alternative. It is reported that several of the girls were “feeble minded” and a few arrived with contagious diseases…the goal of the school was to teach self-direction and character building with the expectation that… a girl could be “paroled” to a private family in the Richmond area and work for normal wages.Continue Reading »

U.S. Public Health Service

The history of the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) developed in stages: 1) the U.S. Marine Hospital Service (1798-1902), 2) the U.S. Public Health and Marine Hospital Service (1902-1912), and 3) the U.S. Public Health Service (1912-present).Continue Reading »

Children’s Bureau

Written by Kriste Lindenmeyer, Ph.D., Professor of History, University of Maryland, Baltimore County. The establishment of the U.S. Children’s Bureau in 1912 marked a high point in the effort by many Americans to improve the lives of children.Continue Reading »

Child Welfare League of America

“Formally established January 2, 1921, the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) has been one of the most important national organizations in the history of American child welfare. The creation of the CWLA coincided with the end of the progressive era and the beginning of another: an era dedicated to establishing national policies and standards combined with developing and disseminating program materials and practices to affiliate members thereby raising the quality of child caring services throughout the nation.”Continue Reading »

The 1970’s as Policy Watershed

In 1974 the expansive social policy system that had prevailed in the postwar era ended, and a more restrictive system that would characterize the rest of the seventies and the early eighties began to take its place.Continue Reading »

Miss Bailey Says

In the depth of the Great Depression, the March 1933 issue of Survey Midmonthly journal carried the first in a series of columns that would continue for a decade. The subject of the columns — Amelia Bailey — “Miss Bailey” to most people — was a 1930s-style virtual-reality public relief supervisor.Continue Reading »

Three Notable African American Women in Early Child Welfare

Written by Wilma Peeples-Wilkins, Boston University. “For the most part, social welfare history has focused on efforts to protect dependent and delinquent white immigrant children. Information on the care of African American children has been excluded. Because of racial separation and discrimination, information describing the care of African American children has often been left out. It is important to call special attention to this situation.”Continue Reading »

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