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What is Social Group Work?

The group-work process. — Group work may be defined as an educational process emphasizing (1) the development and social adjustment of an individual through voluntary group association; and (2) the use of this association as a means of furthering other socially desirable ends. It is concerned therefore with both individual growth and social results. Moreover, it is the combined and consistent pursuit of both these objectives, not merely one of them, that distinguishes group work as a process. But what do we mean by a process?Continue Reading »

Eileen Blackey: Pathfinder for the Profession

In Blackey’s view a school of social work had many constituencies—the university, the profession, the communities and clients served, cooperating agencies, and the general public. With all of them Blackey urged the maintenance of meaningful ties and a leadership role that in large measure remains elusive. She hoped that schools of social work would have a stronger presence within their universities; she envisaged greater involvement of the schools in formulating social policy and advocacy on behalf of vulnerable groups in society; and she wanted agencies to be more open to experimental approaches to practice. These are goals still to be achieved.Continue Reading »

Training The Rural Relief Worker On The Job (1935)

The rural social worker is confronted with a real dilemma in knowing how much of a family’s welfare is her responsibility. It is not unusual to find that man’y of our rural areas have been untouched by social working organizations, or, for that matter, by few if any community organizations. The rural worker is called on to provide for the health needs of the families in many instances where there is inadequate medical and nursing service. School attendance becomes her concern where the state laws are static in their effectiveness. She finds mental problems of long standing, or disturbances of an acute nature, in her families, and since she is the only representative of an agency in the area, securing treatment or institutionalization becomes part of her service to the family. Whether she is equipped for it or not, emergencies arise where the worker participates in removing children from the home, in institutional placement of delinquents, feeble-minded, or handicapped members of the family.Continue Reading »

Settlements and Neighborhood Centers

“The settlements and Neighborhood Centers are multifunctional agencies, which exist to serve the social needs of persons in given geographical neighborhoods—the neighborhood is their “client.” It provides: (1) Informal Educational and Recreational Services, (2) Neighborhood Services, and (3) Personal Services.”Continue Reading »

Education For Community Mental Health Practice: Problems And Prospects

The problem of professional education for community mental health practice is one that poses a number of intricate questions for both educators and practitioners. The complexity and size of the mental health problem and the growing support for mental health programs throughout the country together indicate that the field of social work must make a major effort to relate soundly to the educational needs in this field. The work of the Joint Commission on Mental Illness and Mental Health clearly indicates the need for useful data on which to assess and evaluate the current and future directions of mental health programs. There is a strong feeling among those who have some awareness of where we now stand that current efforts in mental health fall far short of meeting the vast needs. There is continued questioning of the nature and content of service available and there is a high degree of curiosity about the effectiveness of current services. We now face the disconcerting fact that we may not really be meeting these needs just by increasing the number of known and existing services; rather the implication of present-day thinking is that we need to bring about some radical changes in our working philosophy and in our practice if we are to make any realistic impression on mental health problems.Continue Reading »

What Social Work Has To Offer In The Field Of Mental Retardation (1960)

Social work is making a contribution to the field of mental retardation but social workers are not giving the substantial services which are needed and which they have the competence to give. Along with other professions and the general public, social work failed for many years to give focused attention to the mentally retarded as a group in the population which needed their services. Lacking knowledge of ways to help the severely and moderately retarded, the social workers helped parents place their children if that seemed the best solution at that time. Other social services were given, but often they were fragmentary and somewhat isolated. What amounted to neglect rose more from frustration and lack of knowledge than from indifference.Continue Reading »

Weed, Verne

Verne was a social worker whose commitment to human service became the essence of her being, and both the source and focus of her energy. Her life and work were illuminated by a holistic view of social relationships, which links all persons as members in the human family. She considered that solutions to social problems could be achieved through united, collective activity, and that prevention is the most effective approach to social problem solving. Verne Weed understood that the social functioning of individuals and families is related to the level of nurturance and social responsibility in the society in which they live. She undertook professional advocacy and political activity which transformed those concepts into social action. For Verne, daily participation in the struggle to produce a socially responsible society was as essential to her life as the air she breathed.Continue Reading »

Terminology Of Social Casework: An Attempt At Theoretical Clarification (1954)

Although it might seem presumptuous to encompass in a portion of a paper so vast a topic as the scope and function of social casework, it is necessary to attempt at least a sketch of this. The reason is that social casework is in constant flux. As it responds to two sets of influences, changes in society and the findings of the social and biological sciences, it takes on a role which I believe makes it quite different from what it was twenty or thirty years ago.Continue Reading »

Medical Social Work: A Review of Harriett Bartlett’s Book 1934

This is a 1934 review of Harriett Bartlett’s Book “Medical Social Work.”Continue Reading »

Chicago’s Early Settlement Houses Heritage

“The Heritage from Chicago’s Early Settlement Houses: 1967,” by Louis C. Wade. “The contrast between progress and poverty in American life was obvious in the 1880s and glaring by the 1890s. Violent confrontations like the Haymarket riot and the Homestead and Pullman strikes served to illuminate the dangerous chasm, which separated the very rich from the very poor.”Continue Reading »

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