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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.






  • Madison House and the Great Depression - Jeanne TalpersThis retrospective view of Madison House highlights the contributions of Felix Adler and the Ethical Culture Society. Madison House was funded by the Ethical Culture Society but was governed democratically by club members and staff who planned activities and programs for all ages. By Jeanne Talpers, Daughter of Philip Schiff, Headworker of Madison House 1934-1939
  • Madison House in 1938"A Day in the Life of Madison House – 1938." This entry about Madison House was contributed by Jeanne Talpers, daughter of Philip Schiff who attended Madison House as a youngster from the age of 10 and grew up to become the Headworker in 1934.
  • Madison House: Tops In Every Respect - Jeanne TalpersThis Is a Retrospective View About the Origins and History of a Settlement House on the Lower East Side of New York City written by Jeanne Talpers, Daughter of Philip Schiff, a Social Work Pioneer, Who Attended Madison House as a Youngster and Grew Up to Become the Headworker in 1934.
  • Maid Narratives The stories personalize the sufferings by these southern black women who worked as young children in the cotton fields and who managed somehow to raise their children and protect their men folk in a racially hostile environment. The economic oppression they endured was echoed by legal constraints that always favored the dominant race at their expense. The norms of segregation, as the book explains, were enforced by white men bent on suppressing black men and keeping them away from their women. At the same time, these men had access to black women, a fact of which they often took advantage. The term segregation to the extent that it means separation of the races does not really apply. In any case, the social system that evolved following slavery. Consider the tremendous legal battles that ensued to keep the races separate in the schools and universities.
  • March on Washington, D.C. August 28, 1963On August 28, 1963, more than 250,000 people from across the nation came together in Washington, D.C. to peacefully demonstrate their support for the passage of a meaningful civil rights bill, an end to racial segregation in schools and the creation of jobs for the unemployed.
  • March on Washington, DC: My Omen For The Success Of The March - John E. Hansan, Ph.D.In August 1963, I was a member of the Cincinnati Committee for the Washington March, serving in my role as Chairman of the Ohio Valley Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. Our committee recruited a contingent of 500 supporters from the Cincinnati, OH area who paid their own fares for a two-night roundtrip train ride to Washington, D.C.
  • More Than Sixty Years With Social Group Work - Catherine P. Papell, Professor Emerita, Adelphi University School of Social WorkA personal and professional history written by Catherine P. Papell, Professor Emerita, Adelphi University School of Social Work. "Personal history is not Truth with a capital T. It is the way the past was experienced and the way the teller sees it. "
  • NCSW Part 1: A Century of Concern 1873-1973: Table of Contents, IntroductionIn emphasis, the National Conference of Social Welfare - like the serving professions themselves who constituted its membership - has swung between the pleas of social action and social service. Its presidents have been selected from among those who can best be understood as social prophets - Jane Addams and Whitney Young, for example - and from among those who had made technical contributions of surpassing importance to the better service of health, education, and welfare - Homer Folks, for example, and Dr. Richard Cabot. Its leaders­ Conference Presidents and Conference Secretaries alike, and all that great host of program committee members, panel participants, and executive officers - have most often, how­ever, combined a concern for the reform of social evils with a commitment to more effective service. Such persons engaged in attempts to create a synthesis between the two phases on the grounds that they were not, ultimately, mutually exclusive or contra­dictory, but mutually supportive and complementary.
  • 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.