The entries in this section include a variety of points of view and some personal recollections relevant to the history of American social welfare programs, issues, and personalities.

Click here for a list of all Recollections

  • Defining Community - Harris Chaiklin, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, University of Maryland School of Social WorkUntil the Civil War to be oriented to the community as a social reference was in conflict with Individualism which was the dominant American philosophy. The way these ideas played against each other illuminates an important part of the American experience, one that continues to be active today.
  • Employment Services: A Brief HistoryPresident Warren Harding called a Conference on Unemployment in 1921. This Conference, of which Mr. Herbert Hoover (at that time Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce) was chairman...In commenting on the need for such a service, Secretary Hoover said, "One of the causes of ill will that weighs heavily upon the community is the whole problem of unemployment. I know of nothing [more important] than the necessity to develop further remedy, first, for the vast calamities of unemployment in the cyclic periods of depression, and, second, some assurance to the individual of reasonable economic security--to remove the fear of total family disaster in loss of the job. . . . I am not one who regards these matters as incalculable. . . There is a solution somewhere and its working out will be the greatest blessing yet given to our economic system, both to the employer and the employee."
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.