Recollections 

 

 

This section includes articles written from a variety of points of view, and some personal recollections relevant to the history of American social welfare programs, issues, and personalities.


  • NCSW Part 2: A Century of Concern 1873-1973: Economic IndependenceFar-reaching changes have occurred in social work during the last century. When the National Conference was created in the early 1870's the common idea was that, for the most part, poverty (and dependency) was the result of personal failure, a flaw in the moral character of the individual; the individual, therefore, not society, was responsible for economic independence. Indeed, it was widely believed that the economic and social order could not operate successfully if the state, through its poor laws, undermined the work incentive by providing citizens a degree of security through public assistance.
  • NCSW Part 3: A Century of Concern 1873-1973: Problems of Effective FunctioningAttempts to define the remedial field often lose more than they gain in elaboration. Once stripped of the categories - "mental health," "corrections," "retardation;" unen­cumbered by the labels - "multi-problem family," "emotionally disturbed child," "juvenile offender;" and liberated from the technical jargon - "psycho-social diagnosis," "therapeutic intervention," the remedial field may be seen in its essence: which is, quite simply, people helping people.
  • NCSW Part 4: A Century of Concern 1873-1973: Social Aspects of HealthPhysicians frequently have had important parts in National Conferences, but seldom as physicians and almost never as bridging persons between medicine and social welfare. For instance, in the 1932 Conference Dr. 'Richard Cabot gave the presidential address and Dr. Ray Lyman Wilbur was one of the principal speakers. However, Dr. Cabot, who was somewhat out of step with some of his medical colleagues, spoke more as the founder of medical social work than as a representative of the medical profession, while Dr. Wilbur, past president of the American Medical Association, formerly dean of one of the leading medical schools in the country, and at the time chairman of the precedent-setting Com­mittee on the Costs of Medical Care, spoke in his capacity as Secretary of the Interior, a political appointment under President Hoover, and only mentioned medical concerns in passing in his address on the United States Children's Bureau.
  • NCSW Part 5: A Century of Concern 1873-1973: Leisure-time NeedsActually, the role of concerned citizens in providing public recreational programs began in the United States as far back as 1885. Unfortunately, although the history of this involvement is spotted with some progressive movement, on the whole lackadaisical developments have failed to keep pace with changes in cultural and social patterns that occur when one ethnic group moves into a community replacing another. In 1885, for example, the first efforts to improve recreational facilities for the underprivileged were led by Joseph Lee, who was shocked to see boys arrested for playing in Boston streets; George E. Johnson was moved at the pathos of the attempts of little children to play in the narrow crowded alleys in Pittsburgh.
 
More Than Sixty Years With Social Group Work: A Personal and Professional History

Personal history is not Truth with a capital T. It is the way the past was experienced and the way the teller sees it. I will try to share with you more than 6o years of group work history that I have been a part of and perhaps a party to.

Daniel Coit Gilman: Unrecognized Social Work Pioneer

Daniel Coit Gilman is most known for his contributions to American higher education. This paper presents information which shows that he developed practice principles that are still valid, opened Johns Hopkins University to a wide range of social welfare education and activities, and educated several of the most important founders of professional social work.