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Effect of Economic Conditions Upon the Living Standards of Negroes (1928)

Presentation by Forrester B. Washington, Director, Atlanta School of Social Work, given at the 55th Meeting of the National Conference on Social Welfare, 1928. “The problems which I will discuss are health, education, delinquency, crime and family disorganization. They follow logically those discussed by Mr. Thomas. In addition, I will attempt to summarize his paper and my own and present our combined recommendations.”Continue Reading »

Medicaid Program (circ. 1980)

Medicaid (Title XIX of the Social Security Act) was created with little debate in 1965. Its purpose was to provide federal financial assistance (FFP) to states in providing health care for public welfare recipients. Similar to other state-federal public welfare program, states had to choose whether or not to participate in the Medicaid program.Continue Reading »

Mental Health America – Origins

In 1908, Clifford Whittingham Beers published his autobiography “A Mind That Found Itself.” The publication chronicled his struggle with mental illness and the shameful state of mental health care in America. In the first page of his book, Beers reveals why he wrote the book: “…I am not telling the story of my life just to write a book. I tell it because it seems my plain duty to do so. A narrow escape from death and a seemingly miraculous return to health after an apparently fatal illness are enough to make a man ask himself: For what purpose was my life spared? That question I have asked myself, and this book is, in part, an answer….” Continue Reading »

Sanger, Margaret

Margaret (nee: Higgins) Sanger risked scandal, danger, and imprisonment to challenge the legal and cultural obstacles that made controlling fertility difficult and illegal. Ms. Sanger viewed birth control as a woman’s issue and she was prepared to take on the medical establishment, the churches, the legislatures, and the courts. She was persuasive, tireless, single-minded, and unafraid of a fight. On October 16,1916 she opened a birth control clinic in Brooklyn, was arrested, and served thirty days for distributing information about contraceptives. From that experience, Sanger moved on to assume leadership of the struggle for free access to birth control. In 1921 she founded the American Birth Control League, the precursor to the Planned Parenthood Federation, and spent her next three decades campaigning to bring safe and effective birth control into the American mainstream.Continue Reading »

U.S. Public Health Service

The history of the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) developed in stages: 1) the U.S. Marine Hospital Service (1798-1902), 2) the U.S. Public Health and Marine Hospital Service (1902-1912), and 3) the U.S. Public Health Service (1912-present).Continue Reading »

The 1970’s as Policy Watershed

In 1974 the expansive social policy system that had prevailed in the postwar era ended, and a more restrictive system that would characterize the rest of the seventies and the early eighties began to take its place.Continue Reading »

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