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Widows and Waifs

Written by Dr. June Hopkins, Armstrong Atlantic State University. This essay investigates the connections between the child-saving movement to reform orphanages and the widows’ pension movement in New York City during the Progressive Era.Continue Reading »

Social Work and Aftercare of the Mentally Ill in Maryland

“The question of affording proper care for patients discharged from hospitals for the insane is by no means a new one. The best and most satisfactory method of administering this aid has not yet been entirely decided…” (Arthur P. Herring, Secretary of the Maryland Lunacy Commission, September 14, 1910).Continue Reading »

Wilbur J. Cohen and the Expansion of Social Security

We tend to think of the expansion of social security as something impersonal and bureaucratic. It is almost as if the program expanded by itself. The basic old-age insurance program never posed issues that defined the political or cultural character of an era. Yet we know that the process of social security’s growth was neither smooth nor straight forward. Continue Reading »

Framing the Future Social Security Debate

Having recently completed work on a documentary history of the Social Security program1, several insights suggest themselves which might be useful in framing the (inevitable) future debates over Social Security policy. The first and most salient realization is that to a remarkable degree the policy debates in Social Security seem to contain some hardy perennials.Continue Reading »

The Scientific View of Social Work

Since its inception social work has struggled with the questions of the extent to which it should use and it could have confidence in basing practice on knowledge derived from the social and biological sciences. The Scientific Basis of Social Work is a volume that gives an emphatic yes to this query Continue Reading »

More Than Sixty Years With Social Group Work

A personal and professional history written by Catherine P. Papell, Professor Emerita, Adelphi University School of Social Work. “Personal history is not Truth with a capital T. It is the way the past was experienced and the way the teller sees it. “Continue Reading »

Workmen’s Compensation

In the drive for social justice, a new attitude began to reveal itself in trying to mitigate the evils of industrialization. One of these was in the area of safety. After the Civil War, numerous States attempted to establish–by statute–minimum safety standards for various types of industrial workers. Continue Reading »

Widows’ Pensions

Widows’ Pensions by Dr. June Hopkins, Armstrong Atlantic State University   Note: This article is an excerpt from Dr. Hopkins’ book, Harry Hopkins: Sudden Hero, Brash Reformer. “There is always the danger that in our dread of making people dependent we shall cease to do good for fear of doing harm.” Harry Hopkins, 1914 The Origins… Continue Reading »

Widows Pensions: An Introduction

Adhering closely to the Progressive credo of scientific investigation into municipal problems, the Bureau of Municipal Research in New York City conducted numerous studies of social, economic, and political issues in the early twentieth century. It was largely a male preserve, which sought to apply scientific and business practices to urban government. Following the passage… Continue Reading »

Social Security: Unemployment Insurance

“The fundamental case for unemployment protection lies in the fact that under a democratic form of society we are forced to prevent any large-scale starvation. Funds must be provided somehow . . . It is practical sense to build a system which will gather the funds in good times and disburse them in bad times. This simple theory underlies all formal proposals for unemployment insurance, for unemployment reserves.” Stanley King in American Labor Legislation Review, December 1933, p. 170.Continue Reading »

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