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New Concepts in Community Organization – 1961

Certain broad concepts about community organization as carried on by social workers have been developed in the social work curriculum and in practice. We have developed certain values which give us a philosophical underpinning. In addition, we have a body of rough-and ready rule-of-thumb ideas about how to carry on our daily tasks. However, if our literature is a guide, we have moved very slowly toward the development of any precise or clear body of concepts to govern either the teaching or the practice of community organization. This gap is found primarily between the philosophy, which tempers our work, and the mechanics of day-by-day action. This fact becomes apparent when we try to translate our philosophy into operational theory.Continue Reading »

Hamilton, Amy Gordon (1892 – 1967)

While teaching at NYSSW, Hamilton also sought social work practice opportunities in local and national agencies. She became associate director of social service and adviser on research at Presbyterian Hospital in NYC (1925–32). From this experience came her first book: Medical School Terminology (1927). During the Great Depression, Hamilton worked with federal relief agencies and helped establish the 1st Federal Emergency Relief Administration training program. For the years 1935 and 1936, Hamilton took a leave of absence from NYSSW in order to serve as social services director of the New York State Temporary Emergency Relief Administration. After World War II, Hamilton became involved in international social welfare. She worked with the Church World Services and the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration from 1944 until 1952. She also worked as a research consultant at the Jewish Board of Guardians, in New York City from 1947-1950.Continue Reading »

Case Work in the Administration of Public Relief: 1935

In your citation from the Mayor’s Committee on Unemployment Relief the statement occurs – “The one million men and women who are unemployed today in New York City as a result of the depression cannot be regarded as maladjusted individuals in need of case work.” This is another version of the old “worthy” and “unworthy” concept, which holds that ordinary poor are to be regarded as just maladjusted people who may be subjected to an unpleasant discipline called case work; but the new or worthy poor, or the poor “through no fault of their own” must be protected against this case work.Continue Reading »

Family Social Service During War Time

Part of essential manpower is essential mother power. It is true that women are needed in war production, and they must go into it in great numbers, and we cannot let down for an instant. But it is also true that the production and raising of healthy children is a priority in war as in peace. It is hard to get the various programs into effective balance. We launch drives to get women, including mothers, to work in war plants, and then we launch drives to control delinquency — and all the while we know that the one strongest factor in the prevention of delinquency is the stable home. There is no doubt of the values of supervised recreation of wholesome sorts, vocational guidance, and other activities for young people, but we who are closest to families know that without strong family life you have a chronic deficiency which is difficult to overcome. It is better for children to have good parents than any vitamins we know of today. Insofar as we cannot have this, there are effective substitutes, but we need to conserve our mother power very, very carefully.Continue Reading »

Family Service During War Time

Many mothers have come to us in conflict as to whether or not to go to work. The motives may be patriotic, or desire for a more adequate income, or deeper personal urges for greater independence and release from home care. Since the absence of the mother from the home often creates serious problems of childcare, the decision is particularly crucial. We believe firmly that a mother’s care of her children is in itself an “essential industry”, but, if we are to be realistic, we know that it will not for every woman take priority over other “essential industries”. Our efforts have been to engage in a sort of “screening process”, to try to determine as promptly and soundly as possible the best solution for all concerned, to help the woman who should not work accept her homemaking role as a dignified and contributing one, and to help the mother who should work maintain all possible security for herself and her children.Continue Reading »

A Discussion of Public Relief: 1940

This report was prepared by Anna Kempshall, Director of Family Service, and most likely to have been presented to the Board of Directors of the Community Service Society November 4, 1940. The subject of relief was very timely because a number of the New Deal programs enacted in 1935 created the nation’s first universal social safety net that included federal and state funding for financial grants to poor individuals and families. Continue Reading »

Family Service: Community Service Society 1940

A report to the board of directors of the Community Service Society of New York, 1940, by Anna Kempshall, Director of Family Service. “The realization that there is nothing more precious than the life of a child places upon our caseworkers a grave responsibility. To understand the impact of, the currents and cross currents of the environment upon the delicate and elusive mechanism of a child’s mind and heart is a challenge to science, religion, education, and social work.”Continue Reading »

Institute of Family Service, C.O.S.

Written by Anna Kempshall, Director of the Institute of Family Service. “The recent period of social and economic change has affected the programs and functions of many social agencies in the community. The Institute of Family Service has constantly adjusted its program in relation to the total community situation, making such revisions of practice and procedure at various times as seemed indicated.”Continue Reading »

Family Service In The Charity Organization Society, 1935

This article was written by Anna Kempshall, a nationally renowned social worker. “Two general principles that are basic in casework philosophy help in differentiating the specialized service of a caseworking agency: (1) that individuals react differently to the problem of need and dependency (2) that casework services have not been limited to persons in economic difficulty.”Continue Reading »

Tentative Observations On Basic Training

While the committee agreed on the foregoing, it was observed that a characteristic of family case work, whether United Hebrew Charities, Charity Organization Society, or International Migration Service, was that the family was the unit around which the action centered; in Childrens’ or Travelers’ Aid work, on the other hand, the child or the traveler was, generally speaking, the center of work, and the environment was adjusted to the central figure, or vice versa. This is even more true, perhaps, in hospital or psychiatric case work. In this type of agency the patient would be apt to be the center of the case work adjustment, while the family case worker has generally two or more foci in his circle.Continue Reading »

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