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Experiencing Aging: A Social Group Worker’s Self-Reflection

The concept “experiencing aging” is different than ‘’aging’. It is a proactive state of being. It is not theory. Rather it is what exists uniquely in the mind and heart of each elderly member. Group workers are ever seeking to find it in their group members and to help the members find it in themselves and in each other.Continue Reading »

Redefining the Federal Role in Social Welfare: 1995

The November 1994 congressional elections transformed the perennial debate over how much of the national income should be allocated for social welfare, how broadly or narrowly should the welfare responsibility of government be defined, what populations or institutions should receive benefits or administer them, and how to divide the costs. Continue Reading »

Current Issues and Programs in Social Welfare

American social welfare, thanks to Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the Social Security Act of 1935, is furthered currently by two major categories of cash support programs: social insurances? and public assistance. Social insurances are based on the prior earnings and payroll contributions of an individual, while public assistance, commonly known as “welfare,” is based on the financial need of an individual.Continue Reading »

Fred Berl And The Spirit Of Social Casework

The few people who were lucky enough and plucky enough to escape the horror that Hitlerism and Stalinism brought to this world made great contributions to America. While much of this history has been written for social scientists, the same cannot be said for social workers (Boyers, 1972). I knew some of them.Continue Reading »

Cohen, Wilbur J.: Mental Retardation Legislation

On mental retardation legislation, the second major sustained effort of the Kennedy years, Cohen operated as the servant of others. Cohen worked hard on this matter, and that was because Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who was an extraordinarily driven and dedicated woman, wanted him to do so.Continue Reading »

Wilbur J. Cohen And The New Frontier

When Wilbur Cohen went from Madison to Washington, D.C. in 1934, he traveled by car and bus. Twenty-seven years later, when he went from another midwestern university town to Washington, he flew. In both cases, he left academia to seek work in a Democratic administration. In both cases, he helped first to create and then to gain Congressional approval for a broad range of social welfare programs.Continue Reading »

Jane Addams and Wilbur J. Cohen

It is one of the ironies of social welfare history that Jane Addams died in 1935, the same year that the Social Security Act was passed. It is tempting to see that year as an important watershed.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 »

Cohen, Wilbur J. : A Perspective

Wilbur Cohen bounded off the plane and down the jet way at Logan Airport. Unlike the other passengers, who were somewhat tentative as they faced the uncertainties of a new city, he did not measure his step. He walked, with determined energy, straight ahead.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 »

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