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Boehm, Werner W.

in: People

Werner W. Boehm (1913 – 2011) — Social Work Educator, Scholar, and Author


Editor’s Note: At the bottom of this narrative is a resume for Dr. Boehm he prepared while teaching at the University of Minnesota.  It includes details about his work history and publications.


Werner W. Boehm
Werner W. Boehm
Photo: NASW Foundation

Dr. Werner W. Boehm came to the United States from Germany in 1937. He became a citizen in 1944. He received an L.L.B. in 1936 from the University of Dijon, France and an MSW from Tulane University in 1941. Mr. Boehm is known as a social work educator whose pioneering work was in curriculum development in the U.S. and social work in Canada. He taught at the University of Minnesota from 1958 to 1963. He also taught at the Graduate School of Social Work at Rutgers University and was the dean from 1963 to 1972.

Dr. Boehm enjoyed a varied and highly respected career as a practitioner, academic administrator, and scholar, and for almost half a century he provided leadership to Social Work education. He is best known for having directed a landmark study on Social Work curriculum development for the Council on Social Work Education from 1955-1960. Many of the findings and recommendations of that Study have relevance for Social Work education in the new millennium. In addition to his books, monographs, and more than one hundred papers, Dr. Boehm served as Editor of the Journal of International Social Work and the Harper and Row Social Work series. He also served as a Social Work Specialist for the U.S. State Department, providing consultation to the United Nations in the U.S., Europe and South America.

Dr. Boehm was the recipient of many awards and honors, including a Fulbright award (1969), the Rutgers Medal (1983), the National Association of Social Work’s Social Worker of the Year (1983), an honorary doctorate from the Tulane University School of Social Work (1992) and the Council on Social Work Education’s Significant Lifetime Achievement award (1995).


Werner B. Boehm

Associate Professor of Social Work

University of Minnesota

I.   Education: L.L.B. 1936, Ph.D. 1937, University of Dijon, France. M.S.W. 1941, Tulane University.

II.   Experience:

A. Casework

National Refuge Service, Summer of 1940.

Community Service Society, New York City, 1941-1943.

Family Service, Boston, Massachusetts, 1943-1944.

Also case consultant, Hyde Park Y.M.C.A. and student supervisor.

Army of the United States: 1944-1946.  McCloskey

General    Hospital, Temple, Texas, psychiatric social worker  and in charge of psychological laboratory.

Bruns General Hospital, Coordinator, T.B. non-medical services  in 1000 bed hospital.


University of Wisconsin, 1946-1951. Field work instructor for   three years. Planning and coordinator of course on growth and human behavior. Teaching beginning and advanced casework. Consulting with family and psychiatric agencies. Supervision of Master’s research projects. Teaching the Field of Social Work (advanced undergraduate course).

University of Minnesota, 1951 to date. Teaching advanced casework; co-teaching general doctoral seminar. Consulting with family agencies and psychiatric clinics. Teaching advanced  seminars in family social work, seminar on agencies and institutions (common and different elements in settings), seminar on professional issues. Supervision of Master’s research projects. Member, Sub-committee on doctoral program (this involves both curriculum development and examination of research study designs). Member, Curriculum Sub-committee on social services, Chairman, curriculum sub-committee on casework.

C. Research

I am engaged, with the support of several research grants from the University of Minnesota, in a monograph on the Theory of Social Casework (see list of publications for portions of this project published so far).

Student research which I have stimulated has to do with the relationships of social-psychological factors (status, role) with problems of individual disfunctioning such as are serviced by family agencies.

D. University Service

Member, Social Science Research Council, University of Wisconsin, 1946-1951; Secretary, 1949-1951.

Member, University of Minnesota Span Committee, 1952-

Member, University of Minnesota Graduate Group Committee on the Social Studies, 1953-1954; also, Social Studies Advisory Committee, College of S.L.A., 1953-1954.

Member, Senate Committee on Education, Sub-committee on Faculty Information.

E. Community Organization and Administration

Wisconsin Welfare Council, Chairman, Program Committee, 1948-1949; Member of the Board, 1949-1951.

Minnesota State Welfare Conference, Chairman, Program Committee, 1954; Vice-President, 1954-1955.

Hennepin County Welfare Council, Member, Executive Committee, Family and Children’s Division, 1952-; Chairman, Committee on Services to Children et al.

National Conference of Social Work, Chairman, Madison, Wisconsin Area Committee, 1949; Program Committee, Section on Community Organization, 1954-1957, Section on Research and Social Studies, 1953-1956.

F. Professional Writing


Le Statut Juridique des Refugies, Proceedings, Premier Congres d’Etudes Internationales 1937, Paris, 1938.

The Veteran and His Community, Wisconsin Welfare, February 1947.

The Effect of War Upon Europe’s Children, Proceedings, 1947. University of Wisconsin Child Development Institute, 1948.

International Social Work, Proceedings, 1948. Summer Institutes for County Directors and Social Caseworker, 1949.
State Programs for Displaced Persons (paper read at the National Conference of Social Work, Cleveland, Ohio, 1949). Social Service Review, December 1959 (also published by Interpreter Releases, August 1949).

A Survey of Subsidy Policies of University Presses (at the request of University of Wisconsin Social Science Research Council), mimeographed 1949.

The Role of Values in Social Work, Jewish Social Service Quarterly, June 1950.

“Diagnostic and Functional Social Casework,” Letter to the Editor, Social Casework, April 1951.

Summary of Group and Discussion Meetings, Proceedings, 1950, University of Wisconsin Institute for County Directors and Social Caseworkers, 1951.

Social Work and the Social Sciences—A Theoretical Note, Journal of Psychiatric Social Work, September 1951.

The Role of the Faculty in Staff Development, paper read at the 79th National Conference of Social Work, 1952. Social Welfare Forum 1952, Columbia University Press 1952.

Shaping the Professional Person, a paper read at the 1953 Minnesota State Welfare Conference. Minnesota Welfare, April 1953.

Social Work Education in the United States, by Ernest V. Hollis and Alice L. Taylor, review article, Jewish Social Service Quarterly, Winter 1953.

Review of the 61st Annual Conference, Minnesota Welfare, May 1954.

The Terminology of Social Casework: An Attempt at Theoretical Clarification. Paper read at the 81st National Conference of Social Work, 1954. The Social Welfare Forum 1954, also Social Service Review, December 1954.

The Role of Psychiatric Social Work in Mental Health, chapter in book on the Sociology of Mental health, Arnold M. Rose, editor, in press.

Book Reviews:

About 20 book review in Social Service Review, Social Casework, Jewish Social Service Quarterly. The Annals, Journal of Educational Research, etc.

III. Other Professional Activities:

A. Professional Organizations
AASW, Dane County Chapter, Executive Committee, 1948-1951, Vice-Chairman 1950-51; Delegate 1951; Twin City Chapter, Executive Committee, Chairman, Committee on International Social Welfare, 1952-1954.

AAFSW, member, Wisconsin Branch, Secy-Treas. 1949-1950.

AASSW, member, Committee on Admissions, 1947-1949.

Council on Social Work Education, member, 1954.

AAAS, member, 1953-

AAUP, member, 1947-, Chairman, membership Committee, University of Minnesota, 1953-1954.

SWRG, member, Committee on Social Work Research Function, 1951-1954.

B. International Activities

International Conference of Social Work, member. Participant, VII International Conference of Social Work, Toronto, Canada, July 1954.

U.S. Committee on the International Conference of Social Work, member 1948-1951, 1954-.

U.N. Expert, 1952. Conducted Seminar in Social Casework in French.

Conducted seminar on social casework under auspices of Israel Ministry of Social Welfare, August 1952.

C. Institutes and Workshops

Planned and coordinated statewide summer institutes for public welfare workers, University of Wisconsin, 1946-1950.

Institutes on Supervision, The Use of Authority in Supervision, The Consultation Process, Interviewing for Wisconsin State Welfare Conference, Minnesota State Department of Public Welfare, Wisconsin Division of Children and Youth, 1947-.

Staff Development: Institutes conducted for Hennepin County Welfare Board staff dealing with supervision each phase of the public assistance and child service program, summer of 1954 and currently intensive institutes supervision.Workshop on Teamwork, VII Regional N.P. Conference, Little Rock, Arkansas, February 1955.

Orthopsychiatric Association Meeting, Chicago, Illinois, February 1955:

Workshop on psychiatric consultation with Miss Annette Garrett and Dr. Irving Kaufman.

Workshop on the Use of Authority in Supervision, Child Welfare Leagueof America, Regional Meeting, St. Paul, Minnesota, May 1955.

IV. Biographical Data

Born: June 19, 1913 in Germany.

Golden Book of the City of Paris, 1937.

Who’s Who in American Education, 1948.

Source: Werner Boehm Papers. Box 1. University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Social Welfare History Archives. Minneapolis, MN

How to Cite this Article (APA Format): Social Welfare History Project. (2014). Werner W. Boehm (1913 – 2011) — Social work educator, scholar, and author. Social Welfare History Project. Retrieved [date accessed] from