The broad social aims of the settlement are those common to all social work: strengthening of family life and democratic society through helping individuals achieve happiness and security, developing satisfying relationships through group experiences and organizing programs for the well-being of the total community….The specific objectives of the settlement today are: (a) to help the people of a neighborhood to live together in such a way to become a source of enrichment to one another in their social relationship; (b) to discover and develop indigenous leadership which will operate for the good of all people across racial, religious, and nationality lines; and (c) to help people fulfill their citizenship responsibility to one another and the wider community through effective patterns of individual and group action.

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It seems inappropriate to consider the “manpower crisis” only in terms of numbers of social workers, psychiatrists, psychologists, and nurses. Rather, it seems more important to discuss the use which is made of these professions in the structure of mental health programs as they function today and as they may function in the future. The program of the National Institute of Mental Health has been oriented from the first to the problem of increasing the quality and the quantity of trained personnel in the United States. The purpose of the Mental Health Act of 1946 was explicit on this point. In providing funds for increased support for training, the extension of research, and for expansion of services throughout the United States, the major decisions have been based on the central objective of ultimate provision of complete coverage for the total population in terms of mental health diagnostic and treatment facilities.

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The problem of professional education for community mental health practice is one that poses a number of intricate questions for both educators and practitioners. The complexity and size of the mental health problem and the growing support for mental health programs throughout the country together indicate that the field of social work must make a major effort to relate soundly to the educational needs in this field. The work of the Joint Commission on Mental Illness and Mental Health clearly indicates the need for useful data on which to assess and evaluate the current and future directions of mental health programs. There is a strong feeling among those who have some awareness of where we now stand that current efforts in mental health fall far short of meeting the vast needs. There is continued questioning of the nature and content of service available and there is a high degree of curiosity about the effectiveness of current services. We now face the disconcerting fact that we may not really be meeting these needs just by increasing the number of known and existing services; rather the implication of present-day thinking is that we need to bring about some radical changes in our working philosophy and in our practice if we are to make any realistic impression on mental health problems.

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Social work is making a contribution to the field of mental retardation but social workers are not giving the substantial services which are needed and which they have the competence to give. Along with other professions and the general public, social work failed for many years to give focused attention to the mentally retarded as a group in the population which needed their services. Lacking knowledge of ways to help the severely and moderately retarded, the social workers helped parents place their children if that seemed the best solution at that time. Other social services were given, but often they were fragmentary and somewhat isolated. What amounted to neglect rose more from frustration and lack of knowledge than from indifference.

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Verne was a social worker whose commitment to human service became the essence of her being, and both the source and focus of her energy. Her life and work were illuminated by a holistic view of social relationships, which links all persons as members in the human family. She considered that solutions to social problems could be achieved through united, collective activity, and that prevention is the most effective approach to social problem solving. Verne Weed understood that the social functioning of individuals and families is related to the level of nurturance and social responsibility in the society in which they live. She undertook professional advocacy and political activity which transformed those concepts into social action. For Verne, daily participation in the struggle to produce a socially responsible society was as essential to her life as the air she breathed.

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Health Conservation and WPA

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The essence of the WPA program is cooperation. It is ready with the workers to help public-spirited citizens make their communities better places to live in. People in this country do not need to take their desires for better sanitation out in merely wishing. They can help turn the hopes and dreams of sanitary engineers into realities. They do not need merely to wish that it were unnecessary for thousands of cases of serious illness to remain untreated. They can and should see that medical and nursing services are extended to a larger number of people who cannot pay for them.

The National Health Survey, one of our greatest WPA projects sponsored by the United States Public Health Service, revealed that every year some 2 million cases of serious illness go entirely without medical treatment. That is why the WPA maintains and assists clinics in most of our cities. That is why it sends nurses into the homes of the poor. That is why it builds hospitals and provides medical and dental treatment for people who could not receive such treatment otherwise.

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Insuring Democracy

On September 10, 2014 By

But all children, it seems to me, have a right to food, shelter, and equal opportunity for education and an equal chance to come into the world healthy and get the care they need through their early years to keep them well and happy. And though one may not trust oneself to direct their lives, every mother should encourage them to self-confidence and should give them the feeling that whatever happens in life, there is a place where they can turn for understanding and help.

If you have this feeling about your own children, you should have it about all children, and for that reason I have always been interested in the problems of the children in our communities. Under the standards which we have set to guide us in the upbringing of our children, we used to be very individualistic, with, however, certain strongly marked influences such as those of the church, and group traditions in which we had grown up. For instance, in New England the customs of the Pilgrims shaped the child’s education, just as later the Quakers had a great deal to do with the character and upbringing of the young Philadelphians.

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When sometimes I hear it said that in my husband’s time we started something dreadful, something which they called “creeping socialism,” I wonder whether instead we didn’t really face the fact that a democracy must meet the needs of its people, and whether what we did was not actually to save democracy, to save free enterprise, to keep for ourselves as much freedom as we possibly could. Had we not met the needs of the people, we might have waked up and found ourselves not just in creeping socialism, but perhaps going actually to the far extremes of either fascism or communism, because we could not find a way to meet the needs of the people.

As I have been around the world it has seemed to me that we in this country, when we talk of capitalism or free enterprise, should explain what we mean, because there are many areas of the world in which it is not at all understood what we actually mean when we talk of our own capitalism, of our own development in the past thirty years or forty years, let us say.

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Since Flint lives and has its being through General Motors the staggered production-plan, by which fewer families will get work but they have more steady employment, will it is generally agreed make less high peaks in relief but by the same token prevent the minimum drops of last Spring and Summer here. The tentative production schedules of Buick and Chevrolet, on which Fisher Body and accessory companies depend, are based on “reasonably optimistic” plans. Those two companies expect to employ more than 8,000 less than they did last year at their peaks. Chevrolet, for instance, went up to between 18 and 19,000 last Spring. While now only at 3,900 it expects by the middle of December to have 10,000 employed. By February 1 it expects to have 13,000 employed. It will continue, according to present plans on that schedule.

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Although it might seem presumptuous to encompass in a portion of a paper so vast a topic as the scope and function of social casework, it is necessary to attempt at least a sketch of this. The reason is that social casework is in constant flux. As it responds to two sets of influences, changes in society and the findings of the social and biological sciences, it takes on a role which I believe makes it quite different from what it was twenty or thirty years ago.

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