The term hospital social service is unfortunately not a very specific term, as it has come to be used to include a great variety of extra-mural service to hospital and dispensary patients. It has been used to designate such a variety of functions as a simple follow-up system to keep track of patients’ attendance at clinics, friendly visiting in the wards, various phases of public health nursing, a variety of administrative functions at admission desks and in the clinics, and medical-social case work. The fact is that all these various types of service are coming to be recognized as necessary to the improvement of hospital and dispensary service. All of them recognize the necessity of individualizing the patients and taking into account some of the social elements in the patients’ situation. Before we can discuss hospital social work intelligently, we need more specific terminology and definition.
I shall not attempt that now but shall choose for discussion the contribution that was made to the efficiency of medical treatment by the introduction of the trained social worker into the staff of hospitals and dispensaries. Visiting nursing in the homes of dispensary patients antedated the present hospital social work movement by several years and still remains in many cities the long arm of the hospital extending skilled nursing service and hygiene teaching to the patients discharged from the hospital or under supervision of the dispensary. Such service has long been recognized as essential to baby welfare and tuberculosis clinics and has stimulated the development of public health nursing organization in most of our cities.Continue Reading »
Ida Maud Cannon was responsible for developing the first social work department in a hospital in the United States. Convinced that medical practice could not be effective without examining the link between illness and the social conditions of the patient Cannon diligently worked at creating the field of medical social work. During her long career, she worked as a nurse, a social worker, Chair of Social Services at Massachusetts General Hospital, author of a seminal book in the medical social work field, organizer of the American Association of Hospital Social Workers, consultant to hospitals and city administrations throughout the United States, professor and designer of a training curriculum for medical social workers.Continue Reading »
The adoption of the case-work method in the care of the families of soldiers and sailors has been widely considered a significant tribute to the inevitable. But what of the fact that this new extension of Home Service (a division of the American Red Cross) is, for the time being at least, entirely on the same basis? Aside from the practical circumstances that case-work is, if anything, just what Home Service workers have been taught to do, in situation suggests a discussion of the merits of case-work. In relation to a movement so new and experimental nothing should be assumed to be inevitable.
A new appraisal of case-work method is clearly justified. What can case-work do best? What can it do fairly well? What can something else do better?Continue Reading »
“As a united progressive group we do not intend to let go of the tiger’s tail until it has been twisted beyond recognition! A defeat for Tammany in the 1st Assembly District. means a death blow from Tammany in the city. What an opportunity for the American Labor Party and those in sympathy with its aims! For the sake of the thousands who reside in the 1st District., the city and the state, we must not permit it to slip out of our grasp!
“The “Dooling way” is the path to loss of civic self-respect, an acknowledgment of defeat for obtaining the things we want most, an agreement to continue playing with a representative who is tied lock, stock and barrel to a system which has for years been “kidding” the public and is constantly under public scrutiny because of its many excursions into the public through for its own benefit.Continue Reading »
“The Subtle Problems of Charity,” an article written by Jane Addams, Founder of Hull House in Chicago, The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 83, Issue 496, February 1899Continue Reading »
Eduard Christian Lindeman was a remarkable social worker but he is less well known than other early stalwarts. Many factors contributed to this. He was not a self-promoter, he was not a specialist and worked in other fields, and he was not a clinician. Despite these “deficits” his life and writings are of continued value to social work.Continue Reading »
Let me now sum up why I think these three women were great and, as or forebears, worthy of admiration and emulation. First, a caveat. They were not great because they were women. We can be proud they were women, but the qualities that marked them for greatness are not sex related. They were great because they had powerful minds, which they never ceased to sharpen with new knowledge and new experiences….They were great because they cared about what happened to people and they believed in the worth and dignity of ever living creature….They were great because they were fighters. They preserved against great obstacles – obstacles they faced as women and obstacles generated by their advanced ideas. Continue Reading »
The influence of social work on public health administration is found in the development of every branch of that service in the past fifty years. The recreation movement, the child welfare movement, and such special developments as workingmen’s compensation in the industrial field have all been influenced by the humanitarian interests of the forces interested in social work, and each of these has had a direct bearing upon the health of the several communities in this country.Continue Reading »
For the purpose of this discussion we shall define social action as the systematic, conscious effort directly to influence the basic social conditions and policies out of which arise the problems of social adjustment and maladjustment to which our service as social workers is addressed. This definition itself may not satisfy all of us to begin with, for it has at least one debatable limitation. While it does not deny, neither does it specifically acknowledge or emphasize the potential and actual indirect influence upon the total social scene which may emanate from the specific services social workers render to particular individuals and groups, through the traditional primary task of helping people to find and use their own strength and the resources around them for the solution of their own problems and the fulfillment of their own lives. Continue Reading »
Assuming, then, that field work of this sort is an essential part of the social worker’s training, numerous questions of organization arise that present many difficulties, not only to the schools, but to our long-suffering friends, the representatives of the social agencies of our respective communities. How much of the student’s time is to be given to field work, and how can the practical problem of the distribution of the student’s time be arranged? To what agencies shall the time of students in training be entrusted. and how shall their work be supervised? How much time is to be given to any one agency? And what is the relation of field work to classroom work, lectures and conferences?Continue Reading »