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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.






  • 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.
  • NCSW Part 6: A Century of Concern 1873-1973: Provision and Management of Social ServicesImagine a network of rural villages and surrounding farms -- populations of 2,000 are large. Slow transportation makes them physically isolated and economically and socially self-sufficient. Most citizens are called yeoman farmers: they own and work their land. They are militant Protestants, likely to be of a single denomination and congregated in a single church. They are democrats, proud of their revolution, jealous of their rights, scorning the pretensions of European aristocracy. They are said to be friendly and gener­ous with neighbors and strangers, but acquisitive and zealous for the main chance. Such communities were most clearly realized in the New England towns that Alexis de Tocqueville described in 1835 and in the settlements of religious groups, such as the Mormons. In many places settlers were too few and scattered to establish close ties, but where they could they did.
  • NCSW Part 7: A Century of Concern 1873-1973: Societal ProblemsThis paper will trace certain con­tinuities in the responses to poverty and social problems in America over the past cen­tury. It will show that despite the emphasis on "novelty," "discovery," and "invention," there have been continuities in the treatment of dependency and poverty in America, which have affected the development of the social welfare system, especially where the traditional attitudes have handicapped creative responses to social problems.
  • NCSW Part 8: A Century of Concern 1873-1973: BibliographyThis bibliography was an important part of the pamphlet published by the National Conference of Social Welfare on the occasion of its 100th Anniversary. The bibliography covers the Introduction written by Clarke Chambers as well as the six essays written by leaders in the field of social welfare.
  • Organization of Municipal Charities and Corrections (1916)Paper presented by L. A. Halbert, General Superintendent, Board of Public Welfare of Kansas City, Missouri at the National Conference Of Charities And Correction Held In Indianapolis, 1916. "If we were able to ascertain the activities of all incorporated towns and cities, it would show a tremendous volume of activity and an expenditure of many millions of dollars."
  • Over The Hill To The Poor-House (1872)Poem written by Will Carleton in 1897.
  • Perkins, Frances, Change AgentIn 1913 Perkins married Paul Caldell Wilson. He was handsome, rich and a progressive. She defied convention and kept her maiden name. After several attempts at conceiving a daughter was born. Life did not treat Frances well. Both husband and daughter were depressed and institutionalized for long periods. While she had some help with living from her wealthy friends Frances paid their bills until they died. She also dealt with a myriad of stresses they introduced into her life. She did not believe in divorce. Despite her personal miseries Frances continued to develop her political skills.
  • Perkins, Frances: The Roosevelt YearsThe Labor department that Perkins found called into play all her research and political skills. It was corrupt and inefficient and hadn’t accomplished much. Many were removed and some eventually went to jail. No detail was too small. In her shabby offices cockroaches were found. This was because black employees were not allowed to use the department cafeteria and brought their lunches to work. She and her secretary cleaned the office and soon ordered the cafeteria to be integrated.
  • Redefining the Federal Role in Social Welfare: 1995 - John E. Hansan, Ph.D. and Dr. Robert MorrisThe November 1994 congressional elections transformed the perennial debate over how much of the national income should be allocated for social welfare, how broadly or narrowly should the welfare responsibility of government be defined, what populations or institutions should receive benefits or administer them, and how to divide the costs.