1. Compiled by
Madurai Institute of Social Sciences
2. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
History of Social Welfare/ Social Work ..........................................................................................................................3
The need to understand history of social work .............................................................................................................3
Framework to understand History of Social Welfare / Social Work ..............................................................................4
Understanding History through Historical Phases .......................................................................................................5
Photos of Walter Friedlander & Simon Patten 9who used the term social work first time) ....................................9
The Settlement House ............................................................................................................................................10
Understanding the History of Social Welfare from various Welfare Traditions .......................................................11
Social Work in historical perspective ......................................................................................................................11
2. Understanding the History of Social Welfare from various welfare Traditions ....................................................11
Three Social Welfare / Social Security Tradition ........................................................................................................11
The Poor Law tradition ...............................................................................................................................................11
Poor Law Tradition ..................................................................................................................................................12
The Poor Law Tradition ...............................................................................................................................................12
Work House Conditions .....................................................................................................................................14
Work Houses ......................................................................................................................................................14
Social Insurance Tradition ......................................................................................................................................14
Welfare Tradition ...................................................................................................................................................17
The Welfare State – ................................................................................................................................................17
The Welfare State Why did it all start? .................................................................................................................17
Three Social Security Strategies .................................................................................................................................18
The Social Assistance strategy originating in the Poor law tradition ..........................................................................18
Social Insurance Strategy ............................................................................................................................................18
Social Allowance Strategy ...........................................................................................................................................18
Founders of the Welfare State-Photo Album ............................................................................................................19
History of Social Welfare in USA ..................................................................................................................................20
Celebrating Social Welfare / Work Pioneers ..............................................................................................................25
Elizabeth Gurney Fry ...............................................................................................................................................25
Octavia Hill ..............................................................................................................................................................26
Arnold Toynbee ......................................................................................................................................................27
Jane Addams ...........................................................................................................................................................28
George Orwell, John Howard Griffin, Pat Moore, Tolly Toynbee, Günther Wallraff, Barbara Ehrenreich ............30
Sir William Beveridge ..............................................................................................................................................32
Jane Jacobs (1916-2006) .........................................................................................................................................33
Joel Fischer ..............................................................................................................................................................35
Understanding Social Work history by understanding the history of fields of social work .....................................36
Indian History Timeline ...............................................................................................................................................37
Evolution of Social Welfare Ministry in India...............................................................................................................38
Table: Establishing an Independent Ministry of Social Welfare –Timeline .................................................................39
Subjects allocated to the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment -India ..............................................................41
Ministry of Women and Child Development -India .....................................................................................................42
Subjects allocated Ministry of Women and Child Development -India .......................................................................43
3. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
History of Social Welfare/ Social Work
The need to understand history of social work
The need to understand history of social work
The diversity of social work represents a great challenge for social work research, education and practice in
the rapidly internationalizing and globalizing world. This challenge can be met successfully only with a deep
philosophical and historical understanding of the characteristics of a particular country - and welfare regime –
including the specific traditions of welfare systems and the position and role of social work within them.
Research into the philosophy and history of social work strengthens this understanding through analyzing the
conceptual and genealogical fundamentals of the traditions of social work. This kind of research contributes to
the theoretical self-conception of social work which is necessary for the development of social work as
a modern professional system, a scientific discipline and a research-based activity. The development of social
work as a modern social system depends on its intellectual capacity based on this kind of theoretical self-
Issues within the philosophy of science, political philosophy and the general theory of social action play an
important role in the philosophy of social work. Philosophical analyses are closely connected with the history of
concepts of social work, but also contribute to the history of social work as a professional social system and
social work practices in individual countries. There are several specific areas in practical social philosophy
dealing significantly with the theoretical self-conception of social work, for example the philosophy of family,
educational philosophy, the philosophy of law, and the theory of human rights. In addition to this, issues of
philosophy of science are of great importance for the development of the science of social work.
IN AN ERA OF CHANGE
…to reach an understanding of
what Social Welfare / Social Work
is?.. the issues it should address..
how it should be carried out?…
social workers travelled a long
path…and it is worth knowing
4. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
Framework to understand History of Social Welfare / Social Work
Understanding history through historical phases /
Understanding history by understanding different
Understanding the Social Welfare / Social Work
history in UK & USA that shaped the global history
Framework to understand
History / evolution of Understanding history by understanding
Social Welfare / Social contributions of pioneers of Social Work
Work can be understood in
Understanding William Beveridge Contribution that
shaped global welfare policies
Understanding the historical development of
various fields of social work –Medical &
Psychiatric Social Work, School/Correctional
Social Work etc
Understanding the evolution of Social Welfare in
India, largest democratic & welfare state in the
5. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
Understanding History through Historical Phases
Understanding History through Historical Phases
History of Social Work – UK & USA
Social Work during primitive stage (before 1200 AD)
Social Work during 1200 -1500 A.D
Social Work during 1500 – 1600 A.D.
Social Work during 1500 – 1600 A.D.
Social Work during 1600 -1800 A.D.
Social Work during 1800 -1900 A.D.
Social Work during 1900 onwards
Prior to Tofler‟s Agricultural Society: special values about caring for individuals evolve. Emergence of
1600 unconditional charity toward individuals in times of hardship
1084 Almshouses for the poor and handicapped are established in England.
1300s Bubonic plague kills nearly 1/3 of European population. Labor shortages force the State to
intervene. Laws passed to compel all able-bodied men to accept employment. Alms to able-bodied
beggars were forbidden.
1313 Christianity legalized by Roman Emperor, Constantine. Church sanctioned to use donated funds to
Prior to 1600
aid the poor. Charitable attitudes and behaviors expected of the rich; redistribution of wealth not
part of charitable principles
1348 The Statute of Laborers is issued in England, requiring people to remain on their home manors
and work for whatever lords want to pay. Begging and Almsgiving is outlawed except for the aged
and those unable to work. For the first time, a distinction is made between the "worthy poor" (the
aged, handicapped, widows, and dependant children), and the "unworthy poor" (able-bodied but
1500 Henry VIII in England broke from the Roman church. State confiscates Church wealth, leaving it
without means to carry out charity expectations. Spain introduces first State organized registration
of the poor.
Social Work during 1600 -1800 A.D.
1600 - 1800
1600s Poor Law principles introduced to New World by Plymouth colonists. Poor and unfortunate
divided into two groups: "deserving" sick, disabled, widows, orphans and thrifty old;
and "undeserving" offenders, unmarried mothers, vagrants, unemployed and the old
1601 The Elizabethan Poor Law is established. Built on the experiments of the earlier Henrician
Poor Law (1536) and the Parish Poor Rate (1572), this legislation becomes the major codification
of dealing with the poor and disadvantaged for over 200 years. It also becomes the basis for
dealing with the poor relief at the colonial level, taxes people in each parish pay for their own
poor, establishes apprentice programs for poor children, develops workhouses for dependant
people, and deals harshly and punitively with able bodied poor people.
1650 The influence of Luther, Calvin, and others has become established and manifested as the
Protestant ethic, a philosophy that becomes influential in England, parts of Europe, and American
colonies. It emphasizes self-discipline, frugality, and hard work and leads many of its adherents to
frown on those who are dependant or unemployed.
1662 The Law of Settlement and Removal is established in England as one of the world‟s first
"residency requirements" in determining eligibility to receive help. Municipal authorities to help
only poor local citizens and to expel from their jurisdictions anyone else who might become
dependant for assistance. This law causes authorities to evaluate people as to the likelihood of
their becoming poor. Thus, though the law is basically harsh and punitive, some efforts too look at
the causes of poverty are codified.
6. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
1697 The workhouse system is developed in Bristol and soon spreads throughout England and parts
of Europe. It is designed to keep down poor taxes by denying aid to anyone who refuses to enter
a workhouse. These institutions are usually managed by private entrepreneurs who contract with
the legal authorities to care for the residence in exchange for the residence in exchange for using
their work. Residence - including very young children, the handicapped and very old people – are
often given minimal care and are worked long hours as virtual slaves.
1700 Humanitarian groups in Quebec establish centers for the relief of the poor; Nova Scotians
adopt English Poor Laws.
1782 The Gilbert Act is passed in England, enabling humanitarians, appalled by the exploitation of
workhouse residence, to institute reforms in many English jurisdictions. Many workhouses are
closed, assistance to the poor in their own home is established, and children under 6 are placed
with families. Many private entrepreneurs are replaced by municipal employees as managers of
the remaining workhouses.
1795 Speemhamland system establishes earliest "poverty line" based on the price of bread and
number of dependents in a workers family; subsidization provided when wages dipped below the
Social Work during 1800 -1900 A.D.
1800s Reforms to Elizabethan Poor Laws. Denigrating principles of "less eligibility" and "perception of
need" imbedded in society‟s attitudes toward the poor and less able bodied. Reform activists work
for the abolition of illiteracy, preventable diseases, sweated labor, slums and overcrowding,
unemployment and poverty.
 Charity Organization Societies (COS) form in England with an emphasis on detailed
Volunteers recruited to befriend applicants, make individual assessments and correct their
 Thomas Malthus, British East India Company economist, documents population numbers
multiplying faster than production of goods to meet their needs. Coincides with Darwin‟s theory of
evolution based on natural selection. Applied to human condition by Herbert Spencer‟s declaration
that poverty was part of natural selection; helping the poor would only perpetuate unfit laziness
and non industriousness.
 Protestant Ethic emphasizes self-discipline, frugality and hard work; encouraged disapproval of
dependence on others.
 Feminists in America convene to declare the goal of equal rights for women; suffrage, equal
opportunities in education and jobs, and legal rights.
1819 Scottish preacher and mathematician Thomas Chalmers assumes responsibility for Glasgow‟s
poor. He develops private philanthropies to help meet the economic needs of the poor and
organizes a system of volunteers to meet individually and regularly with disadvantaged people to
give them encouragement and training.
1833 Antoine Ozanam established in the Saint Vincent de Paul Society in Paris, using lay volunteers
to provide emergency economic and spiritual assistance to the poor.
1834 The new Poor Law is established in England to reform the Elizabethan Poor Law (1601). The
underlying emphasis of the new law is on self-reliance. Public assistance is not considered a right,
and government is not seen as responsible for the unemployed. The principle of "less eligibility" (a
recipient of aid can never receive as much as does the lowest-paid worked) is enforced.
1844 1844: The first YMCA is established in London, England.
1867 1867: The British North America Act created a political union between New Brunswick, Nova Scotia,
Canada East, and Canada West -- the Dominion of Canada. Responsibility for social welfare given to
the provinces. Welfare was not seen as a major function of governments.
7. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
1883 Chancellor Bismarck of a newly united Germany introduces first national health insurance
1887 Royal Commission on the Relations of Labor and Capital reported on conditions for workers in
the Dominion of Canada.
1889 In Chicago, Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr open Hull House, which becomes one of the
most influential social settlement houses in the United States.
1898 The first school for social workers is established. The New York School of
Philanthropy (later to become the Columbia University School of Social Work) grows
out of a series of summer workshops and training programs for volunteers and
friendly visitors and offers a one-year educational program. Faculty member and COS
administrator Mary E. Richmond publishes Friendly Visiting Among the Poor.
1897 Herbert Ames' study of the poor in Montreal was published.
Social Work during 1900 onwards
1900 - 1950
1900  Educator Simon N. Patten coins the term "social workers" and applies it to friendly visitorsand
settlement house residences. He and Mary Richmond dispute whether the major role of social
workers should be advocacy or delivering individualized social services.
1910-21 Jane Addams and Mary Richmond trade leadership positions in the National Conference of
Charities and Corrections (NCCC). Later renamed National Conference of Social Work.
1911  Great Britain passes the National Insurance Act, which organizes a health and compensation
program paid for by contributions from workers, employees, and public.
1914  Canada‟s first school of social services at the University of Toronto; emphasis of first
curriculum on social economics, social psychology and social ethics theories; practice emphasis on
social settlements and community work, penology, medical social services, recreation,
immigration, labor, and child welfare.
 Canada‟s first women‟s right to vote legislation in Manitoba.
1915 Einstein‟s special law of relativity; forerunner of quantum physics and subsequent sciences of
complexity in the 20th century.
In an address to the National Conference on Social Welfare, Abraham Flexner declares that
social work has not yet qualified as a profession, especially because its members do not have a
great deal of individual responsibility and because it still lacks a written body of knowledge and
educationally communicable techniques.
1917 Mary Richmond publishes Social Diagnosis. Social workers use her book as a primary text and
as an answer to Flexner.
 The first organization for social workers is established. The national Social Workers Exchange
exists primarily to process applicants for social work jobs.
1919 The 17 schools of social work that exist in the United States and Canada form the
Association of Training Schools for Professional Social Work to develop uniform
standards of training and professional education. This group is later renamed the
American Association of School of Social Work (AASSW), eventually becoming the
Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
 Social workers employed in schools organize as the National Association of Visiting Teachers.
 The Charity Organization Societies (COS) becomes oriented increasingly toward helping
families. Many local societies change their names to Family Welfare Agency. The National Alliance
for Organizing Charity is renamed the American Association for Organizing Family Social Work. By
1946 this Organization is known as the Family Service Association of America (FSAA), renamed
Family Service America (FSA) in 1983.
1927 Canada introduces social security; subsidized old-age pension program for over 70 year old
citizens, based on a strict and often humiliating means test -- Old Age Pensions Act 7
8. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
1928 International Permanent Secretariat of Social Workers founded; Canada is a charter member;
spear headed by Dr. Rene Sand, Belgian advocate of social medicine; predecessor to International
Federation of Social Workers (IFSW).
1928  The Milford Conference convenes to discuss whether social work is a disparate group of
technical specialties or a unified profession with more similarities than differences among its
specialties. In 1929 the report of the conference is published as Social Case Work: Generic and
1929 Famous Five women from Alberta (Murphy, McClung, Parlby, Edwards, McWhinney) win
approval from Privy Council in England that women are included as "persons" making them
eligible for appointment to Canada‟s Senate.
 Stock market crashes and Great Depression begins.
1930 Gordon Hamilton extends Richmond‟s "man in his environment" concept to "person-in-
situation" within a organist context; Bertha Reynolds saw social work in a "between client and
1931 Social worker Jane Addams becomes co recipient of the 1931 Nobel Peace Prize.
1937 The AASSW declares that beginning in 1939 the requirement for social work accreditation will
be a two-year master‟s degree program. The MSW becomes a requirement to be considered a
professional social worker
1939 American Association of Schools of Social Work, the accrediting body for social workers,
declared MSW degree as the minimum requirement to be a professional social worker.
1940 Mary Parker Follett‟s posthumous book Dynamic Administration is published; it becomes an
influence in the field of social welfare administration.
1941 Atlantic Charter; historical meeting between Churchill and Roosevelt, formulated as one of its
agreements citizen rights to social security.
1942 The Beveridge Report is issued in Great Britain, recommending as integrated social security
system that attempts to ensure cradle-to-grave economic protection for its citizens. Many of the
report‟s recommendations go into effect after World War II.
1945 World War II ends. On October 24, the United Nations is established.
1946 Great Britain establishes its National Health Service.
Social Work during from 1935 onwards
1950 - Present
1950  Canada has 8 graduate schools of social work offering two-year professional programs –
Maritime School, Laval, University of Montreal, McGill, St. Patrick‟s, Toronto, Manitoba and UBC.
1952 The CSWE is formed through a merger of the AASSW and the NASSA –the two competing
organizations that had been setting standards for schools of social work. CSWE is soon granted
the authority to accredit graduate (MSW) schools of social work.
1950 to the Present
1954 In social casework, the so-called "diagnostic" and "functional" schools begin to merge and lose
their separate identities. The functional school had been oriented toward a highly focused, goal-
oriented approach to casework intervention. The diagnostic school had been influenced by
Freudian theory, but adherents of this approach develop more of a psychosocial orientation in the
1955 On October 1, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is created through
the merger of seven organizations – the AASSW, plus the American Association of
Medical Social Workers (AAMSW), the American Association of Psychiatric Social
Workers (AAPSW), the National Association of School Social Workers (NAASW), The
American association of Group Workers (AAGW), the Association for the Study of
Community Organization (ASCO), and the Social Work Research Group (SWRG).
Membership is limited to members of the seven associations and subsequently to
master’s degree-level workers graduating from accredited schools of social work. 8
9. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
1958 Working Definition of Social Work Practice, headed by Harriett Bartlett, defines person-in-
environment as social work‟s comprehensive domain of practice; published in 1970 by Bartlett in
Common Base of Social Work; reaffirmed in two special issues of Social Work on conceptual
frameworks in 1977 and 1981.
1959 Social Work Education Curriculum Study, headed by Werner Boehm, claimed a broad-based
orientation for social work that recognized five specialization methods: casework, group work,
community organization, administration, and research.
1962 NASW organises the Academy of Certified Social Workers (ACSW), restricted to NASW members
with accredited MSW degrees, two years‟ agency experience under certified social work
supervision, and adherence to the NASW Code of Ethics. ACSW membership requirements are
1950 to the Present
subsequently revised to include testing and professional recommendations.
 CSWE recognizes community organization as a legitimate specialization for social work
1966 Canada Assistance Plan introduced; a cost-sharing conditional grant from federal government
on an open-ended basis: 50% of provincial expenditures for welfare and social services of all
1972 Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work (CASSW) becomes Canada‟s accrediting
body for social work education.
1974 Council of Social Work Education, social work‟s new accrediting body in the U.S., revises former
standard to include the BSW as a professional social worker.
1975 CASW reorganized into a federated structure of 11 organizational members: 10 provincial and 1
1977 CASW develops comprehensive code of ethics, based on Canadian Bar Association guidelines;
revised in 1983; accepted as a national standard in 1984; updated in 1994.
1982 Global definition of social work approved by the 44 nation members of IFSW; Members from
Canada and Spain had the special honor of preparing and presenting the final draft to the
federation‟s General Meeting for approval.
1983 NASW establishes the National Peer Review Advisory Committee and trains social workers to
evaluate the work of other social workers to promote accountability and to meet quality control
requirements of government and third-party funding organizations. The CSWE issues a Curriculum
Policy Statement for baccalaureate as master‟s degree programs in social work education. BSW
education is recognized as the first level of professional social work education.
1987 The NASW Center for Social Policy and Practice is established to co-ordinate the exchange of
information, education, and policy formulation pertaining to social work and social welfare in the
Photos of Walter Friedlander & Simon Patten 9who used the term social work first time)
Simon N. Patten
coins the term "social
workers" and applies
it to friendly visitors
and settlement house
residents. He and
dispute whether the
major role of social
workers should be
Walter Friedländer individualized social
(1891- 1984) services. 9
10. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
The Settlement House
The settlement House
The settlement house, an approach to social reform with roots in the late 19th century and the Progressive
Movement, was a method for serving the poor in urban areas by living among them and serving them directly.
As the residents of settlement houses learned effective methods of helping, they then worked to transfer
long-term responsibility for the programs to government agencies. Settlement house workers, in their work to
find more effective solutions to poverty and injustice, also pioneered the profession of social work.
The term "neighborhood center" (or in British English, Neighbourhood Centre) is often used today for similar
institutions, as the early tradition of "residents" settling in the neighborhood has given way to professionalized
The first settlement house was Toynbee Hall in London, founded in 1883. The first American settlement house
was The Neighborhood Guild (later the University Settlement), founded by Stanton Coit, begun in 1886.
The best-known settlement house is perhaps Hull House in Chicago, founded in 1889 by Jane Addams with
her friend Ellen Starr. Lillian Wald and the Henry Street Settlement in New York is also well known. Other
settlement houses, like Both of these houses were staffed primarily by women, and both resulted in many
reforms with long-lasting effect and many programs that exist today. Other individuals known as settlement
house leaders include John Lovejoy Elliott and Mary Simkhovitch.
Mary McDowell, Alice Hamilton, Florence Kelley, Francis Perkins, John Dewey and Eleanor Roosevelt
are among the many women and men connected at some point in their careers with settlement houses.
11. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
Understanding the History of Social Welfare from various Welfare Traditions
2. Understanding the History of Social Welfare from various
“Any religion that professes to be concerned with the souls of men and is not concerned with the slums
that damn them, the economic conditions that cripple them, is a dry-as-dust religion”
The Poor Law tradition
Three Social Welfare /
The Social Insurance tradition
The Welfare State tradition
Social Work in historical perspective
Social Work in Historical Perspective
Liberalism Liberalism Vs Conservatism Conservatism
• Democrat • Republican
• Institutional View of Social • Residual View of
Is there a middle, or more
Welfare Social Welfare
• Encourage moderate • Resistance to change.
In the 20th Century there
change. • Individuals are
was a move towards developing
• Government regulation and autonomous
a middle, and more rational,
intervention is necessary and • Government regulation
approach to the polar opposites
required. and intervention should be
of liberalism & conservatism.
The modern welfare state is a
European invention - in the Historic Shift
same way as the nation state, • Historically the social welfare needs of individuals were handled by
mass democracy, and less formal means.
industrial capitalism. It was • Everyone knew each other and problems were more visible than they
born as an answer to are today.
problems created by capitalist • With the rise of the industrial society that changed.
industrialization; it was driven • A need for a different model of delivering social welfare services was
by the democratic class required.
struggle; and it followed in the The Business of Social Welfare
footsteps of the nation state • When the less informal means of meeting social welfare needs were
(Flora 1986: XII) inadequate the business of social welfare evolved.
12. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
Poor Law Tradition
The Residual versus Institutional View of Social Welfare
• The debate between the residual and institutional views of social welfare has been in existence
throughout history – it is as old as humankind.
• The debate will continue.
• There is probably no right or wrong answer to the debate – both sides have their positive aspects.
• Intelligent people, people of good intent can and do differ on their views in this area.
The Rugged Individualism Approach The Institutional View
• Funds and services are not a right (something • Social welfare is an acceptable, and legitimate,
you are entitled to) but a gift. function of modern industrial society in helping
• Whoever receives that gift has certain individuals achieve self-fulfillment.
responsibilities and obligations. • Difficulties are often beyond the persons
• Usually associated with wanting to help “the immediate control.
deserving poor.” • Social Insurance programs such as Old Age,
• General belief that, in general, a persons Survivor, and Health Insurance are examples of
misfortunes (with few notable exceptions) are of institutional programs – as are public assistance
their own making. programs.
• A societal stigma attached to receiving
services. The Poor Law Tradition
It originates from the secularization
of poor relief stated in the English
Poor Law Acts from 1598 and 1601
under the reign of Queen Elizabeth
It is rooted in economic liberalism
and Christian values, with respect to
the principle of individual
responsibility and work ethics.
It distinguishes between ''deserving
poor'' (=orphans, aged, disabled)
and ''undeserving poor''
(=vagrants and beggars)‫‏‬
The Poor Law Tradition
represents important values in
social welfare and service
 Rugged individualism and self ELIZABETH I 1558-1603
reliance or self sufficiency: public The daughter of Henry VIII and Anne
assistance should be a last resort Boleyn, Elizabeth was a remarkable woman,
 Importance of the family in noted for her learning and wisdom. From
supporting its own members first to last she was popular with the people
 Legal residence and duration of and had a genius for the selection of
settlement is still an issue for capable advisors. Drake, Raleigh, Hawkins,
immigrants and refugees. The latter the Cecils, Essex and many many more
are given short time limited benefits made England respected and feared. The
on arrival which are cut off after one Spanish Armada was decisively defeated in
year when they are on their own. 1588 and Raleigh's first Virginian colony was
Fear of a powerful central founded. The execution of Mary Queen of
government leads to de- Scots marred what was a glorious time in
centralization of services and great English history. Shakespeare was also at
variability in programs, and benefit the height of his popularity. Elizabeth never
rates married. 12
13. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
Feudalism The Elizabethan Poor Law
 Three elements existed and characterize the England passed several Poor Laws between
period: lords, vassals and fiefs. Feudalism is the mid-1300s and the mid-1800s.
defined by how these three elements fit together. The most significant was the Elizabethan Poor
 A lord was a noble who owned land. A vassal Law of 1601 enacted during the reign of Queen
was a person who was loaned land by the
The fundamental provisions of this law were
lord. The land was known as a fief. In incorporated into the laws of the American
exchange for the fief, the vassal would Colonies.
provide military service to the lord. The Fundamental purpose was NOT to alleviate
obligations and relations between lord, vassal poverty but to eliminate, or at least control,
and fief form the basis of feudalism. widespread begging.
Who Received Relief?
Decline of Feudalism Three categories of relief recipients were
By the thirteenth century Europe's economy established.
was involved in a transformation from a mostly 1. Able-bodied Poor
agrarian system to one that was increasingly Given low-grade employment, and citizens were
money-based and mixed. forbidden to offer them financial help. Anyone
Industrialism, trade, and money were who refused help was placed in stocks, or in jail.
Replacing land. 2. The Impotent Poor
 People unable to work. This included the
Many people were displaced from the land and elderly, blind, deaf, mothers with young children,
their communities and those with physical or mental disability.
Events of the middle ages:  They were placed together in an almshouse
 Famines unless they had a place to reside, and it was
 Wars cheaper for them to stay there.
 Crop failures  People living outside the almshouse were
 Pestilence given “outdoor relief” usually “in kind” (food,
 Breakdown of the feudal system. clothing, and fuel).
 Former methods of providing for relief (church, 3. Dependent Children
family, etc.) were ineffective. Children with parents or grandparents unable
 Widespread begging ensued. to support them were apprenticed out to other
The Early Middle Ages Boys were taught a trade and had to serve
 All societies develop ways to meet the needs until their 24th birthday.
of those who are unable to do it for themselves. Girls were brought up as domestic servants
 Societies do this for humanitarian as well as and were required to remain until they were 21 or
utilitarian (Genuine interest in relieving suffering married.
& Interest in avoiding social unrest) reasons: How It Worked
People were ineligible if parents, spouse,
 As the Church became steadily more powerful
children, or other relatives were able to provide
In the Middle Ages it developed and provided a
variety of human services.
The parish (town or community) was
Monasteries served as sanctuaries, refuge, assigned
and places of treatment for the mentally ill. the responsibility of implementing the provisions
 Belief that the wealthy or those with using donations and tax revenue.
adequate resources had a duty to help the less Residency requirements: The parish
fortunate. responsibility extended only to its residents
 Little interest in finding out the cause of (usually being born there or residing there for 3
poverty or other social problems. years)
 People were helped simply because they
needed the help. 13
14. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
Work House Conditions
Management of Work Houses - Pamphlet issued during that period
What were workhouses?
Before 1834, poor people were looked after by buying food and clothing from money collected from
land owners and other wealthy people.
The Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834, ensured that no able-bodied person could get poor relief
unless they went to live in special workhouses. The idea was that the poor were helped to support
themselves. They had to work for their food and accommodation.
Workhouses were where poor people who had no job or home lived. They earned their keep by
doing jobs in the workhouse. Also in the workhouses were orphaned (children without parents) and
abandoned children, the physically and mentally sick, the disabled, the elderly and unmarried
mothers. Workhouses were often very large and were feared by the poor and old.
A workhouse provided:
*a place to live * a place to work and earn money *free medical care *food *clothes
*free education for children and training for a job.
The staff of a workhouse included:
*a Master *a Matron *a Medical Officer *a Chaplain *a porter *a school-teacher
Workhouses provided almost everything that was needed onsite:
Why were workhouses feared by the poor and old?
The government, terrified of encouraging 'idlers' (lazy people), made sure that people feared the
workhouse and would do anything to keep out of it.How did they do that?
What were workhouses like?
Women, children and men had different living and working areas in the workhouse, so families
were split up. To make things even worse they could be punished if they even tried to speak to
one another! The education the children received did not include the two most important skills of
all, reading and writing, which were needed to get a good job. The poor were made to wear a
ocial Insurance Tradition
uniform. This meant that everyone looked the same and everyone outside knew they were poor
and lived in the workhouse. Upon entering the workhouse, the poor were stripped and bathed 14
(under supervision).The food was tasteless and was the same day after day.
The young and old as well as men and women were made to work hard, often doing unpleasant
jobs. Children could also find themselves 'hired out' (sold) to work in factories or mines.
15. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
Social Insurance Tradition
Social insurance is a program
that is implemented and
carried out by the government
with the aim of providing
economic assistance to people
who are unemployed, disabled,
injured or part of a group of
senior citizens or the elderly.
Social insurance aims to
provide economic assistance
by providing these people with
financial assistance that is
mainly obtained from the
monetary contributions of Bismarck in Germany
employed individuals, introduced the first
employers and those who are rudimentary state
paying taxes. Financial social insurance scheme
assistance may also be taken
from the revenue of the
Germany became the first nation in the world to adopt an old-age social insurance program in 1889,
designed by Germany's Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck. The idea was first put forward, at Bismarck's
behest, in 1881 by Germany's Emperor, William the First, in a ground-breaking letter to the German
Parliament. William wrote: ". . .those who are disabled from work by age and invalidity have a
well-grounded claim to care from the state."
Bismarck was motivated to introduce social insurance in Germany both in order to promote the well-
being of workers in order to keep the German economy operating at maximum efficiency, and to
stave-off calls for more radical socialist alternatives. Despite his impeccable right-wing credentials,
Bismarck would be called a socialist for introducing these programs, as would President Roosevelt 70
years later. In his own speech to the Reichstag during the 1881 debates, Bismarck would reply: "Call
it socialism or whatever you like. It is the same to me."
The German system provided contributory retirement benefits and disability benefits as well.
Participation was mandatory and contributions were taken from the employee, the employer and the
government. Coupled with the workers' compensation program established in 1884 and the "sickness"
insurance enacted the year before, this gave the Germans a comprehensive system of income security
based on social insurance principles. (They would add unemployment insurance in 1927, making their
16. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
Social insurance is any government-sponsored Similarities to private
program with the following three insurance
characteristics: Typical similarities
* The benefits, eligibility requirements and between social insurance
other aspects of the program are defined by programs and private
statute; insurance programs
* It is funded by taxes or premiums paid by include:
(or on behalf of) participants (although * Wide pooling of risks;
additional sources of funding may be provided * Specific definitions of the
as well); and benefits provided;
* The program serves a defined population, * Specific definitions of
and participation is either compulsory or the eligibility rules and the
program is heavily enough subsidized that amount of coverage
most eligible individuals choose to participate. provided;
Social insurance has also been defined as a * Specific premium,
program where risks are transferred to and contribution or tax rates
pooled by an organization, often required to meet the
governmental, that is legally required to expected costs of the
provide certain benefits. system.
Social Insurance Vs Private Insurance
Typical differences between private insurance programs and social insurance programs
* Equity versus Adequacy: Private insurance programs are generally designed with
greater emphasis on equity between individual purchasers of coverage, while social insurance
programs generally place a greater emphasis on the social adequacy of benefits for all
* Voluntary versus Mandatory Participation: Participation in private insurance
programs is often voluntary, and where the purchase of insurance is mandatory, individuals
usually have a choice of insurers. Participation in social insurance programs is generally
mandatory, and where participation is voluntary, the cost is heavily enough subsidized to
ensure essentially universal participation.
* Contractual versus Statutory Rights: The right to benefits in a private insurance
program is contractual, based on an insurance contract. The insurer generally does not have
a unilateral right to change or terminate coverage before the end of the contract period
(except in such cases as non-payment of premiums). Social insurance programs are not
generally based on a contract, but rather on a statute, and the right to benefits is thus
statutory rather than contractual. The provisions of the program can be changed if the
statute is modified.
* Funding: Individually purchased private insurance generally must be fully funded. Full
funding is a desirable goal for private pension plans as well, but is often not achieved. Social
insurance programs are often not fully funded, and some argue that full funding is not
17. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
The Welfare Tradition
It originates in the ideas of Lord Beveridge exposed in his
reports: Social Insurance and Allied Services (1942) and Full
Employment in a Free Society (1944).
It is rooted in humanistic convictions that there is a common
responsibility of the society as a whole for the well-being of
It is to promote social integration and progress towards an
equal society with full employment by state intervention:
social expenditure is seen as desirable.
The Welfare State – 4. Squalor
The Welfare State Why did it all start?  Although council housing had been
A long time ago…. introduced at the end of the nineteenth century,
 The Welfare state began during the second there was not enough and many people were still
World War. living in slums.
 During the war, the government appointed a  This was attacked by a massive council
committee under Sir William Beveridge – to housing program and the New Towns Act. This
investigate the problems of social insurance enabled the setting up of new towns in the
 The report said that there were five evil countryside; removed from the slums of the big
facing Britain which had to be destroyed… 5. Idleness
The Five Evil Giants  At the start of the war over 10% of the
1. Want workforce was unemployed. This was however,
 Many people were living in poverty through there own choice.
no fault of their own because they were sick,  This was attacked by the government
widowed or unemployed. nationalizing some industries and setting up
 This was attacked by the introduction of boards to help industries in high areas of
National Insurance 1945 - 51 unemployment.
2. Disease 1. The Welfare State… today.
 Although medical insurance had been The Welfare State in the UK uses National
introduced, there was no free medical treatment Insurance and taxes to provide…
and many people could not afford to see a doctor  Free education for everyone up to the age of
when they were ill. 18, and help with university education.
 This was attacked by the establishment of the  Free doctors and hospitals for everyone. Help
National Health Service. Providing free hospital with dentistry, opticians and prescriptions.
treatment for everyone.  Payments for the unemployed
3. Ignorance  Social security so that everyone has a
 Secondary education was only available to minimum income.
those who could pay or who passed a scholarship  Pensions for old people
at the age of 11.  Child benefit for children under 19 in full time
 Most children left school at the end of education
elementary education when they were 14.  Housing benefits
 This was attacked by 1944 education act  Job centers for setting up in employment.
which introduced secondary education and raised 2. It provides training so everyone can find
the school leaving age to 15. work.
Definition of Welfare State
The Welfare State consists of a number of programs through which governments pursue 17
the goal of social protection against economic and social risks of life & well-being
18. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
Born 5 March 1879Rangpur, India (now Bangladesh)
Died 16 March 1963 (aged 84) Oxford, Oxfordshire, England.
Education Charterhouse School and Balliol College, Oxford.
Title 1st Baron Beveridge
William Beveridge Known for Work towards founding Britain's welfare state.
Father of Social Welfare
Three Social Security Strategies
From these three social security traditions emerged three types of social security strategies in Europe
The Social Assistance strategy Social Insurance Strategy Social Allowance Strategy
originating in the Poor law The redistributive goal is horizontal This strategy aims at universal
tradition redistribution from workers to coverage and vertical
The redistributive goal is to retired old, from childless to families redistribution is considered as a
reduce poverty that is to provide with children, from healthy to the goal. It considers a guaranteed
a socially acceptable minimum sick, etc. Benefit entitlement is minimum income as a right of
support. Vertical redistribution. dependent on and related to past nation-state citizenship.
Social assistance is targeted on contributions or earnings Social allowances are granted
individuals meeting certain The social security goal is poverty according to demographic criteria
criteria of neediness. prevention. It provides a social such as children and age.
Criticism: economists have security the market can hardly Criticism: very expensive, today
argued that it can discourage supply. facing financial crisis; risk of
labour supply because of the risk Criticism: it leaves outside of the inadequate levels of benefits with
of poverty-traps and that it can coverage the non regular full-time persistent poverty; risk of
increase costs of administration employees: self-employed, atypical welfare-dependent underclass
and surveillance forms of contracts, etc.
19. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
Founders of the Welfare State-Photo Album
Founders of The Welfare State
Sir Edwin Chadwick Josephine Butler Joseph Chamberlain Octavia Hill
1800 –1890 1828-1906 (1836 - 1914) (1838-1912)
Charles Booth Sir Ebenezer Beatrice Webb Sidney Webb
Edwin Chadwick 1868-1921 Howard (1850-1928) (1858–1943) (1859–1947)
Lloyd George David Lloyd George Seebohm Rowntree Eleanor Rathbone William Beveridge
Seebohm Rowntree (1863–1945) (1871–1954) (1872–1946) (1879–1963)
Richard Henry Aneurin Bevan Richard M Titmuss
Tawney (1880-1962) (1897–1960) (1907–1973) R.I. Morant
20. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
History of Social Welfare in USA
Puritan Beliefs and Charity-Religious
Poor Laws of 1601 - Elizabethan laws lay the beliefs of the Pilgrims shape attitudes
groundwork for social policy in America. Puritan beliefs became the foundation for
America's foundation for social welfare comes from early America's social welfare philosophy.
the laws and traditions of England. English welfare These Puritans believed in an ordered,
practices had been codified into law by Parliament hierarchical universe with God reigning
during the reign of Elizabeth. supreme. The world, as God's creation,
History of Social Welfare in USA
Main principles included local control, with reflected this hierarchy and the presence of a
administrative units made up of parishes, and select permanent underclass fit into this world view.
residents of the parish designated "overseers of the Believing in predestination, Puritans could
poor." look at poverty as revealing a flaw in the poor
These overseers had responsibility for the poor of person's character; a sign that he or she was
the parish, including finding work, taking care of out of favor with the higher power.
neglected children and providing relief for "the lame, While acts of charity to help the needy were
impotent, old, blind, and such other among them, an important part of religious practice, there
being poor and not able to work." Emphasizing care was not an expectation that such charitable
for the disabled and aged made a distinction acts would raise the underclass out of poverty.
between "deserving" and "undeserving" poor. Charity was viewed as comfort to those
For neglected children, whose parents were found by unfortunates doomed to suffer in this world,
the overseers to be unfit to "keep and maintain" and the charitable act a sign of the goodness
them, care took the form of being apprenticed to a of the giver.
Local control of social welfare under the Poors of
1601 also meant local financing, with overseers given A New Nation -Democratic spirit and
broad authority to levy taxes on parish residents new religious fervor
The 1601 Poor Laws were the basis of English social The newly independent United States of
policy until the mid-1800's. Their influence on America enjoyed great prosperity and
American practice, particularly in New England, was expansion in the early nineteenth century. An
tremendous. In fact, until recent times, New invigorating democratic spirit influenced all
Hampshire welfare case-workers were called aspects of society.
"overseers of the poor." Responsibility for governing was now in the
hands of the people. The nation's elite saw a
need to educate, improve, and uplift the people to best prepare them for this new
challenge. The creation of societies for civic improvement was widespread and social
movements like temperance and abolition got their start.
A similar spirit of optimism and hope was alive in the Church. A movement called "The
Great Awakening," begun in the 1700's, had challenged the deterministic view of the
Puritans. Emphasizing spiritual rebirth and salvation, this view held more hope for the
Monarchy had relied on rigid class distinctions that allowed no upward mobility. Religion
had reinforced acceptance of a permanent impoverished class. With its space and
abundant resources, egalitarian philosophy, and a renewed religious vigor, America
enthusiastically tackled social ills.
21. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
Social Workers begun their great
journey as friendly visitors
In the 1850s, rapid urbanization &Industry-
alization, increased city social problems. Poverty
& its accompanying difficulties forced society to
address needed services. As a result, new
charities, both public and private, responded to
the challenge. As charity resources expanded,
experienced workers saw the need for improved
organization and management and they began to
to apply order to the problems in their
communities. The hardship and slow economy of
the 1870s threw millions of men out of work and
sparked riots and strikes. The strikes shut down
most of the nation's railroad traffic and, as a
result, commerce came to a halt. Elected
officials, shocked and frightened by the poverty,
destitution and general unrest, expanded local
relief efforts hoping to moderate the
depression's severity and to re-establish social
order. During this time, a new movement of
charitable organizations began to appear that we
now associate more directly with the evolution
of early social work.
The charity organizations were created to
reorganize the public and private resources that
had proliferated during the 1870s. In 1877, the
first American charity organization society was
established in Buffalo, New York. At the turn of
the century, virtually every major urban area in
America hosted some form of charity
organization society. Leaders believed poverty
could be eradicated through planned Mary Richmond
intervention or treatment rather than by direct
relief (i.e. monetary assistance) alone. Many
were disturbed by what they saw as an
inefficient and chaotic array of urban
philanthropy. Therefore, a central record
keeping system was created to track those who
received assistance and prevented the indigent
from receiving relief from more than one agency.
Someone, though, had to perform the crucial
tasks of investigation and treatment, and that
someone was the “friendly visitor”, and yielded
the birth of what would be the social work
profession was born. In the early 1890s, Mary
Richmond, then director of the Baltimore Charity
Organization, began developing training
programs. In 1898, the New York Charity
Organization started the first school for social
workers. The original curriculum was designed as
a six week set of summer classes and included
formal lectures and field work.
22. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
Early Reforms - "Outdoor" relief moves "Indoor"
The social welfare practices of colonial America and the early United States were a
legacy of English practice.
Appointed overseers of the poor in each community made provision for the needy:
securing pensions, apprenticing wayward youth to tradesmen, and, in some cases, auctioning off care of
people to the lowest bidder. The low bidder would be paid to care for an indigent person in his home, with
little financial incentive to provide quality care.
This decentralized system was called "outdoor" relief because care took place in people's homes, outside
While at times abused by its disinterested overseers, outdoor relief was also criticized for delivering service
in homes, instead of motivating the needy to get out and help themselves.
Reformers of the time stressed the environmental factors that shaped social ills, such as poverty and
alcoholism. They built institutions to provide corrected, safe environments. Homes for the disabled, mental
institutions, even prisons grew out of this movement.
History of Social Welfare in USA
Many states created institutions for the impoverished. "Indoor" relief was born, and the era of the
Civil War - War redefines The Gilded Age - Industrialized economy booms for some.
balance between state and In 1869, the just-completed transcontinental railroad connected
federal. the West to the East.
The US Civil War was a conflict With North and South no longer at war, the nation moved solidly
between state and federal power. in the direction of commerce. The railroad united new industries
One consequence, though and vast fortunes were made in steel, oil, and banking.
perhaps coincidental, While some tycoons, like Andrew Carnegie and
was a change in the John D. Rockefeller, would become legendary philanth
federal government's -rapists ,so-called "robber-barons" viewed the world
role in social welfare, exclusively as a competitive arena where every possible advantage
particularly in public should be exploited.
health. These "Social Darwinists" extrapolated the "Survival of the Fittest"
At the War's outset, appalling theories of Charles Darwin to mean the pursuit of individual
numbers of troops succumbed to wealth was natural and right.
disease, due largely to poor Darwin's work challenged prevailing religious views about Man's
sanitation. A very effective origins. Just as some religious interpretation had led to acceptance
Sanitary Commission was of a permanent underclass, this interpretation of Darwin's work
established to disseminate proper served the purpose of the wealthy
Though it was not a government
agency, the Commission Cities and Settlement Houses - Immigration,
demonstrated to federal and state urbanization challenge cities.
governments that a nationally led Post-Civil War industrialization and immigration lead to enormous
organization could be effective in city growth, as many newcomers to America were crowded into
promoting the public welfare. cramped and filthy tenements.
It also demonstrated that some The settlement house movement sought to relieve the pressures
issues, like public health, were of urban immigrant life by providing community social services in
larger than local concerns and an informal, neighborly setting.
required cooperation between The most famous example is Chicago's Hull House, founded by
units of government. social reformer Jane Addams. Less concerned with providing the
The Commission also created new moral improvement charitable organizations sought, Hull House
roles for women by putting nurses offered some practical services to its community, like the first
near the front. childcare and kindergarten in Chicago.
23. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
The Progressive - Era Government gets The Social Worker - The rise of the profession.
involved. In 1921, at a Milwaukee conference, the American
Around the turn of the last century, the Association of Social Workers was established. This
excesses of the Gilded Age became politically movement toward a more professional approach
unpalatable. The laissez-faire style of evolved throughout the early decades of the 20th
government that had allowed unrestricted century.
commerce did little to protect the rights of The complexity of modern life and the social ills
workers or provide for the needy. associated with city growth were thought too
In Wisconsin, Bob LaFollette fought political daunting for the traditional untrained charity worker.
corruption. In Washington, President The social work profession devised standards and
Theodore Roosevelt broke up the trusts that training and advocated social research and scientific
had monopolized whole sectors of the methods.
economy. And around the country, farmers While such professionalism lead to more consistent
and laborers organized for political unity. and focused care for individuals in need, much of the
Journalistic endeavors in this era of reformist zeal and desire for social change, so vital in
muckraking shed light on dangerous work the 19th century, fell by the wayside.
conditions and squalid housing. Famous
examples include Jacob Riis's photography and
writing about tenement life and Upton
History of Social Welfare in USA
Sinclair's exposure of unsafe meatpacking
A 1909 White House Conference on
The Great Depression - Millions of unemployed;
Dependent Children signaled a change in
"alphabet soup" of agencies
government interest in children's welfare. After the 1929 stock market crash, and President
Previously considered a local or private Hoover's ineffectual response, America faced its
charitable concern, children's welfare received greatest economic crisis. Millions of newly
federal attention with the creation of a US unemployed were exhausting private relief
Children's Bureau. organizations.
In New York state, Governor Franklin Roosevelt
viewed the unemployed as a vast social problem that could only be fixed by government. An emergency
temporary relief agency delivered funds to local work projects and relief providers.
As President, Roosevelt's first major act was creation of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration
(FERA, the first of an "alphabet soup" of relief agencies) to fund locally administered unemployment relief.
The principle of locally funded, locally controlled welfare dates back to America's colonial era and the Poor
Laws of 1601. But the problems of the Depression proved too great for local governments or charities.
Federal funding came with guidelines, including the hiring of social workers. Many private charity social
workers now entered government service.
Social Security - Wisconsin economist directs effort
After the Band-Aid work of emergency relief, Roosevelt turned to developing a more
permanent safety net to keep Americans from destitution in the future.
A Committee of Economic Security was established with University of Wisconsin Professor
Edwin E. Witte as its director. Witte was an economist who had worked on Wisconsin's pioneering
unemployment insurance program. The committee devised a widespread program of social insurance that
became law in 1935, little more than a year after the committee began its work.Old age pensions and
unemployment insurance were funded by payments from both employers and employees. Funding was
provided to states to administer relief to the disabled, widowed, and to single-parent families in a
program that would become AFDC.
For the first time in US history, a certain amount of assistance was federally guaranteed to all citizens as
24. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
4 War and Postwar - Wartime
factories retooled for prosperity
"The more women work, the sooner
we win" read this recruiting poster
from World War II.
Millions of men were away in the
military. To keep them supplied in the The Great Society -War on poverty, and war in Vietnam.
field, factories hired women for jobs Having grown up in the remote Texas Hill Country, Lyndon B.
that had previously been only done by Johnson understood the "Other America" – places like
men. Appalachia where poverty persisted. Having seen electricity
After so many years of widespread come to the Hill Country, Johnson felt government could do
unemployment, the enormous needs great things.
of the national war effort brought A die-hard New Deal Democrat who had idolized FDR, LBJ
unprecedented opportunities for wanted to make a similar mark. Taking many initiatives started
women and for minorities. under Kennedy, Johnson created a program dubbed the "Great
Just a few years before, aid to support Society." Central to the program was a "War on Poverty."
History of Social Welfare in USA
single mothers at home had been Although Edwin Witte was able to devise Social Security in a
passed as part of the Social Security matter of months, speed worked against the War on Poverty.
Act. Now a very different public image The crisis mentality of War meant many programs were poorly
of women was being projected. conceived and badly administered.
Although "Rosie the Riveter" was Meanwhile, another war, a real one in Vietnam, consumed
expected to return to homemaking more of Johnson's attention. Protests against the war and
after the war, seeds of social urban rioting showed that Johnson was ineffective at providing
transformation were planted. either guns or butter. His effort to fight Communism overseas
Wartime production gave way to divided the country. A riotous underclass destroyed the image
postwar prosperity, as factories turned of a prosperous, united nation. Government seemed impotent
out consumer items for a growing at quelling rebellion, on one extreme, and a failure at providing
middle class. But amid the apparent economic justice for the largely minority underclass, on the
affluence and anti-Communist fever of other extreme.
the postwar era, there was a growing While there were some Great Society successes like Head Start
"Other America" – rural areas and and adding two-parent families to AFDC, Johnson Era programs
inner cities that had not enjoyed an would become the prototype of the "Big Government"
economic boom. approach neoconservatives would fight against for years to
1996 Welfare Reform Bill Ending welfare as we know it.
The 1994 Congressional elections would be dubbed the "Republican Revolution," as
Newt Gingrich engineered a majority-taking election effort. Republicans united by the
"Contract with America" made welfare reform a top priority.
Core to these Republicans' philosophy was a belief in "devolution" – the ceding of federal power to state
or local government. Local government should be more empowered and more responsive than a federal
bureaucracy could ever be.
History had expanded the federal role in social welfare through the Civil War, Progressive Era, and greatly
so during the Depression.
This new approach called back upon the principles of local control codified in the Poor Laws of 1601, the
original model for American social policy. As Gingrich praised the idea of orphanages, he approached the
reformist zeal of early American "indoor" relief advocates.
Negotiating with a Republican Congress, President Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and Work
Opportunity Reconciliation Act in 1996.
Wisconsin had for many years been experimenting with programs to emphasize work over welfare. The
bill's passage paved the way for even more bold experimentation, and for states to follow Wisconsin's
25. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
Celebrating Social Welfare / Work Pioneers
Elizabeth Gurney Fry
Celebrating Social Welfare / Work Pioneers
Elizabeth Gurney Fry (1780-1845)
Elizabeth Gurney Fry (1780-1845) is most known for her successful reform of British prisons. It was a
complete innovation that a woman would do this kind of work. It was also new that she established a
voluntary committee of women for this work. Fry became known as „the
angel of the prisons‟. Since 2002 she is honored for her work through
being depicted on the British five pound note.
Betsy Gurney grew up in a well off Quaker community in Norfolk, the
east of England. The Quakers had strong ideals about equality and peace.
They belong to the early opponents of slave trade and were very active in
a wide range of philanthropic projects. The death of her mother when
Betsy was 12 years old had a significant impact on the young girl and cast
a shadow over her youth. At the age of 17 she started organising a primary
school for poor children at her home. After her marriage with
Joseph Fry (in 1800) she gave birth to eleven children. Even so she
continued her social work, such as taking care of lonely sick neighbours.
It is 1813 when Elisabeth Fry First entered Newgate prison (in London,
closed and demolished early 20th century). She was shocked by the inhuman circumstances in which
women and children were imprisoned.
The reports on her conversations with the women in Newgate prison were impressive. She also invited
important people to come and visit the prison to see the poor living conditions themselves. Fry
opposed the solitary imprisonment, which was standard procedure at the time. She argued it was bad
practice for the health and mental sanity of the prisoners. Fry became the first prison reformer to
focus on the moral improvement of prisoners through personal contact, conversations, education and
work. To accomplish this work, she established a voluntary committee of women.
The method used by Elizabeth Fry had three core ingredients:
 Male and female prisoners had to be separated. Guards had to be same gender as the prisoners.
This became international practice since.
 For the visits of female prisoners, women committees had to be established. The volunteers had
to take care of education, paid work and support after their clients were discharged from prison.
This task developed into professional probation services.
 Prisoners had to get opportunities for education and paid work.
Fry visited many prisons across the UK. Her actions were effective for her approach was (partially)
incorporated in the British prison law of 1823. She was consulted by Queen Victoria, Parliament and
became a source of inspiration for nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale. She also took her work
internationally, e.g. to the Netherlands. Thanks to the work of Elizabeth Fry, treatment of prisoners
became more humane.
To commemorate the contribution Fry made to social work, the school of social work of the university
of Stanford is housed in a building named after her.
 Young, A. F., & Ashton, E. T. (1956), British social work in the nineteenth century,
26. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
Celebrating Social Welfare / Work Pioneers
Octavia Hill (1838-1912)
It is 1864 when teacher and artist Octavia Hill (1838-1912) starts to work in
the poor neighborhoods of Late Victorian London (in what is now Marylebone
burough and one of the most expensive places to live). She works with people
at the bottom of the social ladder: poor, unemployed, living in cold and damp
dwellings. Housing is her main focus. Hill sees a well-maintained house,
however small, with light, air and space – and with neighbours who care about
each other – as life necessity
# 1. Money from the art critic John Ruskin enables her to buy three houses in
what is now central London. Each week, she personally collects the rent and
discusses issues with the tenants. Housing is the basis, but also the starting
point of other activities: development of gardens, play gardens for the
children, excursion. Octavia Hill starts living in the Marylebone borough of
London herself, and builds an accommodation behind her house to host
weekend- and evening activities for children, women and elderly persons.
As a result of careful housing management, she succeeds in having a 5%
return-on-investment. Her housing projects become an attractive investment.
She expands her work, gathers more funds and support. Many women receive
training enabling them to act as social workers. Octavia Hill works in a way that strengthens self
respect and trust in own capabilities. These days, we would call that empowerment and resilience.
She hates philanthropy that creates dependency. In 1869, she is one of the founding members of the
Charity Organization Society that aims to modernize poverty work. Its origins go back to Elberfeld,
Octavia Hill starts advocacy work for nature in and around London in 1975. She becomes one of the
three founding members of the National Trust in 1894. The organization is still an important actor in
the maintenance of parks, castles and nature in the UK. Octavia‟s influence is far reaching, and has
links to Amsterdam, Berlin and Chicago. Her 1883 publication The homes of the London poor
(http://www.victorianlondon.org/publications/homesofthelondonpoor.htm) helps spreading her ideas
across the world.
Although by the end of her life, interest in her thinking declined because of her great emphasis on
individual and small-scale social work, the past few decades have seen a renewed interest. Hill
refused to acknowledge that significant government intervention could be needed to deal with major
social problems such as poverty, housing and unemployment. In her thinking, government initiatives
should never replace voluntary action. With the emergence of the welfare state, her popularity
eroded. Within the current discussion about the sustainability of the welfare state, parts of Hill‟s work
Octavia Hill is remarkable in the history of social work because she rejected alms. Those would only
bring curses and keep citizens at the edge of pauperism. Hill believed in a paternalistic approach that
changed the attitudes of poor people. More and better houses wouldn‟t help to get rid of slums: “The
people‟s homes are bad, partly because they are badly built and arranged, they are tenfold worse
because the tenants‟ habits and lives are what they are. Transplant them tomorrow to healthy and
commodious homes and they would pollute and destroy them” (1875)
1. Smith, Mark K. (2008), Octavia Hill: housing, space and social reform, 2. Hill, Octavia (1883), Homes of the
London Poor 3. Lewis, J. E. (1991), Octavia Hill, 1838-1912, 4. Lewis, J. E. (1991), Women and social action in
Victorian and Edwardian England, Links The Octavia Hill society (and birthplace) Wikipedia about Octavia Hill
27. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
Celebrating Social Welfare / Work Pioneers
Arnold Toynbee (1852-1881)
Arnold Toynbee (1852-1881) didn‟t get to live long, but was much
appreciated in his short life as a scholar. He lectured economical history in
Oxford where he was very critical about the industrial revolution he saw
emerging all around him. His key message was that: “The effects of the
Industrial Revolution prove that free competition may produce wealth
without producing well-being". The biggest poverty became concentrated
in urban slums. This didn‟t allow for indifference. As a consequence, he
urged his students to show some real engagement.
Using the ideas of Edward Denison (1840-1970), Toynbee argued for
conditions. The confrontation with the harsh reality of social inequality would not only sharpen their
University Extension, an outreaching type of learning in which students worked with the poorer
parts of the population and applied their course material as a way of voluntary work. Students thus
would become more aware of daily living sense for social responsibility, but also bridge class
segregation. This idea was later labelled Practical Socialism (1888) by Toynbee‟s think-alike and
Anglican priest Samuel Barnett. It received plenty of support in Oxford and Cambridge, from which
it gained international recognition.
After Toynbee‟s death, Barnett continued work on the University Extension. Students would not
only work to enhance the living conditions of the poor, they would also live among them for at
least a year. The University Settlement was born. This would guarantee a stronger link between
scholars and urban slums, and achieve better results. In 1884 Toynbee Hall opened in East
London. Graduated students cam and lived there, while often working elsewhere, and contributed
to neighbourhood development. They studies the living conditions and necessities of the working
class, and organised activities to contribute to community building, (informal) education and social
liberation. They worked to achieve improvements in the poor law, better pension rights and an
overall enhancement of living conditions. Toynbee Hall quickly became an inspiring example of
community development in both the US and Europe. In the beginning of the 20th century, one of
the people to live and work at Toynbee Hall for a short period of time was William Beveridge.
Extra Toynbee Hall celebrated it's 125th anniversary in 2009. On the 1st of June, there was a
party for the volunteers. This was also the launch of the movie "Celebrating Volunteers at
Toynbee Hall". (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwHo55IzD6Y&)
 Barnett-Rowland, Henrietta (1913), Canon Barnett, his life, work and friends,
 Wikipedia on Arnold Toynbee (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnold_J._Toynbee)
 Toynbee Hall now (http://www.toynbeehall.org.uk/)
 Settlements and social action centers (http://www.infed.org/association/b-settl.htm)
28. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
Jane Addams Celebrating Social Welfare / Work Pioneers
Jane Addams (1860-1935)
Jane Addams (1860-1935) was born in Cedarville, Illinois in a well-off Quaker family. After her studies,
she visited Toynbee Hall in London and inspired by it, she developed a very similar initiative in Chic-
ago. Together with her friend Ellen Starr, she started the first settlement house in 1889 in Near West
Side, a neighbourhood with plenty of European immigrants: Hull House. It quickly developed into a
real action centre with plenty of room for children, education for adults, culture and focus on social
progress. Addams however didn‟t only work with the poor but also engaged in political action aimed at
establishingnew laws to protect the poor.
Addams assembled a group of very committed young women. They became the female face of the
democratisation movement in the Progressive Era. From 1900 onwards the United States saw a wave
of interest in women‟s emancipation, new social laws and attention for social and racial tensions. The
Hull House group professionalised the contribution of women in social work. With their neighbourhood
work, they contributed to a more structural political focus.
They started from a profound analysis of real situations and by doing so contributed to later social
science research. In the Hull house maps and papers they reported on the effects of concentration of
different ethnicities and their living conditions, about labour circumstances in the sweatshops, about
child labour. This was work done by e.g. Julia Lathrop and Florence Kelley. This approach to „mapping‟
contributed to the start of the famous Chicago school in urban sociology with key figures like George
Herbert Mead and John Dewey. For the academic researchers, Addams and her colleagues were just
data collectors, while for themselves their research was a tool and starting point for social action.
With the strong combination of professional interventions and structured reseach, Addams succeeded
in establishing a specific basis for American social work which raised international interest. From the
very beginning, Hull house received numerous visitors from abroad.
Many initiatives were launched from Hull house. Julia Lathrop later became the first director of the
Children‟s Federal Bureau (1912). She succeeded in raising concerns about child labour and child
The power of the settlement work translated to a broad social engagement of Jane Addams in which
she combined here work for Hull House with an at least equally passionate contribution to the peace
movement during the First World War. That earned her the nickname Saint Jane. Four years before
her death, she received the Nobel Prize for the peace (1931).
Jane Addams is still actively being remembered in the US. The social work department of the
University of Illinois at Chicago is named after her: Jane Addams College of Social Work.
 Allen, J. D. (2008), Jane Addams (1860-1935): social worker and peace builder,
 Addams, Jane (1910), Twenty Years at Hull-House,
 Hull House museum in Chicago (http://www.uic.edu/jaddams/hull/)
The urban experience in Chicago: Hull House and its neighborhoods
29. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
Celebrating Social Welfare / Work Pioneers
Mary Ellen Richmond (1861-1928)
With her book Social Diagnosis from 1917, Mary Ellen Richmond (1861-
1928) constructed the foundations for the scientific methodology
development of professional work. She searched for the causes of poverty
and social exclusion in the interaction between an individual and his or her
environment. Mary Richmond can be described as the mother of social
Richmond spent her youth in Baltimore on the American east coast. Aged
4, she became an orphan. She was an intelligent young lady and was
raised by her feminist grandmother. After having worked for eight years in
a bookshop, she dedicated the rest of her live from 1889 onwards to
modernizing and professionalizing of care for the poor.
She started her career with the Charity Organization Society (COS) in Baltimore, a US branch of the
organization Octavia Hill established in the UK. Richmond‟s capacities didn‟t remain unnoticed and
soon she was offered leading position in COS in Baltimore and Philadelphia. From 1909 until her
death, she was director of the charity department of the Russell Sage Foundation in New York, an
influential fund supporting social science research.
In modern social work, about everybody agrees there is a need for diagnosis and research to happen
before care provision. It was Richmond who systematically developed the content and methodology of
diagnosis in the period around 1910. Her first principle was that care had to focus on the person
within her or his situation. Building on extensive research, she developed what she labeled as „social
diagnosis‟. Her famous circle diagram visualized the correspondence of client and environment.
Richmond identified six sources of power that are available to clients and their social workers: sources
within the household, in the person of the client, in the neighborhood and wider social network, in civil
agencies, in private and public agencies. This is a precursor of the system theory that was so popular
in 1970‟s social work.
Through her approach to research, Richmond gave social work clients a voice for the first time. In this
way, she opened a new and fruitful area of social research which is up to now a cornerstone of social
work. With her broad instructions on how to gather information, interview methodologies, establishing
contact and conducting conversations, Richmond gave social casework a strong professional status. In
her second big publication What is social casework? (1922) Mary Richmond introduced the
methodology of „learning from cases‟. She provided extensive comments to six elaborately described
practice situations. New was her plea to also cover psychological elements. First came however an
open and honest communication with clients, without encumbering formalities. Strengthening the
resilience of clients is a natural component of this approach. Richmond‟s plea to involve clients in the
solving of their problems still provides inspiration, even a century later.
The work of Mary Richmond was highly influential in the US, UK and internationally. There are few
countries where current social work has not been influenced by her work and thinking.
 Richmond, Mary Ellen (1899), Friendly Visiting among the Poor. A Handbook for Charity Workers
 Richmond, Mary Ellen (1908), The good neighbor in the modern city
 Richmond, Mary Ellen (1913), A study of nine hundred and eighty-five widows known to
certain charity organization societies in 1910
 Richmond, Mary Ellen (1917), Social diagnosis
Richmond, Mary Ellen (1922), What is social case work? An introductory description
30. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
George Orwell, John Howard Griffin, Pat Moore, Tolly Toynbee, Günther Wallraff, Barbara Ehrenreich
Celebrating Social Welfare / Work Pioneers
George Orwell, John Howard Griffin, Pat Moore,Tolly Toynbee, Günther Wallraff, Barbara Ehrenreich
There was a time when Eric Blair wasn‟t yet know as George Orwell, the
author of 1984 and Animal Farm. It was a time in which he was so poor that
he needed to move to Paris where the cost of living at the time was much
lower. He wrote up his experiences combined with those upon his return to
London and thus provided a great description of what poverty really looked
like. He provided a view on the (in)humanity behind statistics with more
vividness than any quantitative research could ever achieve.
To give one example, Orwell describes how he and his Russian friend Boris
are short of food and spent their last money on some bread and garlic. The
combination is part of their survival skills: "the point of rubbing garlic on
bread is that the taste lingers and gives one the illusion of having fed
recently." Others wrote similar accounts of poverty and injustice. Well known
examples include John Howard Griffin, a white man who decided to dye
himself black to experience society like „a black‟. During some months in 1959,
he lived like a black citizen in the segregated deep south of the US. The
diaries he kept were published the year after as Black like me and showed
the many (ugly) faces of day-to-day racism. Griffin became a respected civil
rights activist but also received death threats and was at one time severely
beaten by members of the Ku Klux Klan. Similar to Griffin‟s work is Pat
Moore‟s Disguised, a true story from 1985. A student of gerontology,
Moore wanted to get a better understanding of what it meant to be a senior
citizen and started being one by applying a gray wig and e.g. blurring her
sight by applying baby oil to her eyes. Travelling through the US and Canada
in this disguised way, she organized her own excursions into the world of the
elderly. Although somewhere in the intro to her book she is described as not
being a social worker, she most definitely is.
Her project became a great example of how bad design of products (incl.
buildings, transport,...) excludes people with impairments. She also clearly
illustrated how working on social progress can go hand in hand with business
Griffin and Moore worked in North America and are not very known in Europe.
The same approach has however gained widespread fame in Europe through the
work of the German journalist Günther Wallraff. Around the same time as Pat
Moore‟s work, Wallraff disguised as a Turkish immigrant worker. He worked for
several companies, including German‟s steal industry giant Thyssen and the fast
food champion McDonald‟s. His book Ganz Unten was translated in many
languages and made a great impact as it illustrated both the exploitation of
immigrant workers in the labour market as well as day to day racism from
All of the above are prime examples of the use of immersive research and role
play techniques to highlight situations of social injustice. This is not something
from the past, but still being done in our time. Examples include the UK
journalist Tolly Toynbee who worked as a low-skilled employee and published
her experiences in Hard work, the US writer Barbara Ehrenreich who did the
31. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
same and published Nickled and dimed, and the French journalist Florence
Aubenas who lived for six months as a low-skilled single woman in a poor area
of the French city Caen. All three of these recent examples of immersive
research illustrate life at the bottom of society is not easy.
If three well educated woman with plenty of life experiences did not manage
to remain out of poverty when acting as a low-skilled person, how could
somebody really in that situation do it? Their research shows that society still
has not succeeded in building „ladders out of poverty‟.
 Orwell, G. (1933), Down and out in Paris and London
 Griffin, J. H. (1960), Black Like Me
 Moore, P., Conn, C. P., & Conn, P. (1985), Disguised: A True Story
 Wallraff, G. (1985), Ganz unten, translated as 'Lowest of the low'
 Toynbee, P. (2003), Hard work, life in low-pay Britain
 Ehrenreich, B. (2002), Nickel and dimed, undercover in low-wage
 Aubenas, F. (2010), Le Quai de Ouistreham
32. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
Sir William Beveridge
Celebrating Social Welfare / Work Pioneers
Sir William Henry Beveridge
Most social work in Western countries is currently provided within the context of
the welfare state, whose origins can be traced back to the work of sir William
Henry Beveridge at the time of the second World War.
Beveridge was born in 1879 in India, at that time part of the British Empire. He
studied law in Oxford and quickly became fascinated by early forms of social
security, rapidly turning into an authority on pensions and unemployment
benefits. At the beginning of the twentieth century, his thinking already had an
impact on the development of national insurance and policy on poverty in the
UK. Soon after the First World War, he was knighted. His work was greatly
influenced by the Fabian society, who clearly also liked his work for they gave
him the post of director of the London School of Economics (LSE). Early on
during the Second World War, the Minister of Health commissioned a report on
the state of social insurances in the UK and invited Beveridge to be chair. In
1942, they published their report Social Insurance and Allied Services, which
quickly simply became know as „the Beveridge report‟. It was followed in 1944
by a report entitled Full Employment in a Free Society. Both reports were to
have far reaching consequences, way beyond the government‟s initial
Beveridge‟s work labeled the main challenges for social policy as „the five
giants‟: avoid squalor, ignorance, want, idleness and disease. Social insurance
was but one element to address these challenges. Equally important were
education, health care, and housing and employment services. Each of these is
currently a sector where social workers are active. Beveridge argued for a
central role of the state in guaranteeing the necessary resources for the welfare
state, as well as being the main provider of services. Every citizen would
contribute to this universal system of solidarity according to his/her capabilities,
and would be able to make use of it according to his/her needs. Key to all this
was full employment.
In 1945, the Labour party won the elections and defeated Churchill. They
quickly announced the intention to build a welfare state as described by
Beveridge. This resulted in, among other things, the start of the National Health
Service (NHS) in 1948. The relevance of Beveridge was however not limited to
the United Kingdom. Many leading politicians from across the world spent time
in London during the Second World War, and were well aware of the ideas
proposed in the Beveridge report. Once peace established, the ideas were
exported e.g. by Arie van Rhijn to the Netherlands and Louis Major to Belgium.
As such, it can be said that Beverigde was the architect of the global building
plans for the welfare state.
There may have been one building plan, but it was not one welfare state that
developed. Implementation of the ideas in the Beveridge report was influenced
by local politics, and as a consequence welfare states across the world differed from each other and
from the original plans. Well known classifications of welfare states to describe this diversity have been
made by Richard Titmuss (1974) and later by Gøsta Esping-Andersens (1990).
 Beveridge, W. (1942), Social insurances and allied services the first 20 pages of 'the Beverigde
 Beveridge, J. (1954), Beveridge and his plan
 Timmins, N. (1996), The five giants, a biography of the welfare state 32
33. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
Jane Jacobs (1916-2006)
Celebrating Social Welfare / Work Pioneers
Jane Jacobs (1916-2006)
More than anyone else, Jane Jacobs (1916-2006) influenced our thinking about cities and city life
during the second half of the twentieth century. A lack of any formal education in city planning or
related subjects didn‟t put a brake on her influence. At a very early age, she moved to Greenwich
Village, a neighborhood in Manhattan, New York, where she had to take several different jobs to
survive amidst the economic crisis. Times of unemployment were filled with long walks through the
city. During that time, her eloquent writing and sharp analytic eye became to be noted. She married
an architect and started writing for Architectural Forum. In this way, she developed a keen interest in
cities and city life.
Jacobs published here best-known book in 1961: The death and life of great American cities. It
was a protest against the megalomaniac plans of Robert Moses, the city architect of New York. He
wanted to build huge traffic gateways through the inner city to give maximal freedom to car transport.
Jacobs was furious about these drawing board plans, and argued a city is not created on maps but
grows like a living organism. Cities are like bodies, and streets are the arteries. Through her
publications and protest actions, Jacobs together with many others succeeded in stopping the building
of the Lower Manhattan Expressway. She had been wrestling with Moses, and won.
In 1968, Jane Jacobs moved to Toronto as a protest against the war in Vietnam and to avoid military
service for her sons. She‟d stay in Toronto until her death in 2006. The situation Jacobs found in
Toronto wasn‟t that different to New York. Plans existed to build the huge Spadina Expressway all the
way through the center of town. Jacobs became one of the most visible activists against these plans,
and again she and her companions succeeded in stopping the further planning and building of this
In many cities across the Western world, the notion of make room for car mobility has gradually been
replaced by the notion that other transport is equally relevant and car-free zones are a benefit for the
34. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
A few key elements in Jacobs‟ vision on the city are still present in our present day thinking. She
argued that a mix of functions on the local level was a key element for general attractiveness of a
neighbourhood. If functions would become geographically separated, we get neighborhoods that are
only partially used, e.g. places where people only come to sleep, places where people only shop,
places that are only used during office hours. Jacobs had a strong preference to intertwine these
functions in the same locality, thus making for continuous activity.
Related to this Jacobs introduced the notion of eyes on the street. Plenty of people that make use of
the city at different hours would create a light form of social control that would enhance public safety.
Robert Putnam would later use and expand this notion in his work on social capital.
Another still very popular idea from Jane Jacobs is her saying that „old ideas can sometimes use new
buildings, but new ideas must use old buildings‟. City development is not about destroying old
buildings and constructing new ones, but about giving old buildings a new purpose. Numerous
examples exist, such as Tate Modern in London, housed in an old power station.
To commemorate Jane Jacobs, several cities have installed Jane‟s walks: city tours focuses on the
current live in neighborhoods, guided by citizens themselves. These give a view on the living city, not
on the historical „dead‟ city. They are also called urban safaris.
 Hospers, G.-J. (2006), Jane Jacobs: her life and work, (http://www.dime-
 Jacobs, J. (1961), The death and life of great American cities
 Sparberg Alexiou, A. (2006), Jane Jacobs, urban visionary
 Flint, A. (2009), Wrestling with Moses, how Jane Jacobs took on New York's master
builder and transformed the American city.
 Goldsmith, S., & Elizabeth, L. (Eds.). (2010), What We See, Advancing the Observations of
35. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
Celebrating Social Welfare / Work Pioneers
It is early 1973 when the at the time little known Joel Fischer publishes a
paper in Social Work, the journal of the US‟ National Association of Social
Workers. After the professionalization of social work through the work of
Mary Richmond and the establishment of higher education for social work,
Fischer asks the question whether there is any indication on the
effectiveness of social casework. Are the goals one expects to reach also
To the surprise of many, research at the time indicated that social casework
was not very effective and that about 50% of the clients were worse off
after treatment than before. Fischer consequently argues social work should
not be satisfied with good intentions, but look critically into the effects of its
actions “The issue of effectiveness of practice always must be of paramount
concern to the profession and cannot be brushed aside.”
Joel Fischer‟s article caused a debate in the subsequent issues of Social
Work and other scholarly social work journals. It is probably one of the most
reprinted and most cited single publication in the entire social work
literature. The article and the ensuing debate can be seen as the start of
professional doubt. No doubt in a cynical way, but as a healthy level of
scrutinizing one‟s work and monitor the effects of social interventions as a
foundation for continuous improvements.
Fischer did not linger in questioning the effectiveness of social work, but in
the decades after 1973 published several manuals on how to liaise science
and social work. His Evaluating practice (together with Martin Bloom and
John Orme) received its sixth edition in 2009. It focuses on the use of
single-system designs to evaluate social work practice.
Fischer had an infectious enthusiasm and optimism about science and social work growing close. He wrote
e.g. in 1993: “By the year 2000, empirically based practice – the new social work – may be the norm, or
well on the way to becoming so.” You could argue that scientific based social work is still not the norm, but
the discussion about why and how is certainly dominating a great number of discussions within the
Professional doubt as the driving force behind innovation has gained much attention since 1973. Social
work followed in the footsteps of medicine and invests in evidence based practice. Whole libraries have
been written on this subject by now and organizations such as Social Care Institute of Excellence (SCIE) or
the Campbell Collaboration (C2) make it a core part of their reason of existence to contribute to the
scientific grounding of social work.
 Fischer, J. (1973), Is casework effective? a review, (http://lyceumbooks.com/pdf/Toward_Evidence-
 Bloom, M., Fischer, J., & Orme, J. (2009), Evaluating Practice Guidelines for the Accountable
 Fischer, J. (2009), Toward evidence-based practice: variations on a theme,
36. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
Understanding Social Work history by understanding the history of fields of social work
Practice of Social Work with Correctional / Forensic Social Social Work with Gay, Lesbian,
Individuals, Families and Groups Work Bisexual, and Transgender
Social Work with Organizations, Gender and Social Work Practice Psychiatric Social Work
Communities and Larger Systems
Addictions and Social Work Social Work Practice in Health- Social Work with Disabled
Practice Care Settings
Social Work and Familiy Welfare Gerontological Social Work Poverty: Opportunities for
Rural Social Work / Community Social Work in Industries/ Labour
School Social Work
37. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
Indian History Timeline
This will help the students to compare Indian welfare efforts with UK & USA from 1600 AD (CE)
Indian History Timeline
 1600 East India Company is formed in England.
Gets exclusive trading rights with India. • Chera Empire • 300 BCE–200 CE
 1605 Akbar dies, and is succeeded by his son • Chola Empire • 250 BCE–1070 CE
• Satavahana • 230 BCE–220 CE
Jehangir. • Kushan Empire • 60–240 CE
 1628 Jehangir announces "Chain of Justice" outside • Gupta Empire • 280–550
his palace that anyone can ring the bell and get a • Pala Empire • 750–1174
personal hearing with the emperor. Jehangir dies, • Chalukya Dynasty • 543–753
• Rashtrakuta • 753–982
and is succeeded by his son Shah Jahan. • Western Chalukya Empire • 973–1189
 1630 Birth of Shivaji. Hoysala Empire 1040–1346
 1644 Shivaji takes oath of Independence at Kakatiya Empire 1083–1323
Islamic Sultanates 1206–1596
Raireshwar. • Delhi Sultanate • 1206–1526
 1658 Shah Jahan completes Taj Mahal, Jama • Deccan Sultanates • 1490–1596
Masjid, and Red Fort. Imperial treasuries drained by Ahom Kingdom 1228–1826
Vijayanagara Empire 1336–1646
architectural and military overexpenditures. Shah Mughal Empire 1526–1858
Jahan dies, and is succeeded by his son Aurangzeb. Maratha Empire 1674–1818
 1659 Shivaji personally kills Adilshahi commander Sikh Confederacy 1716–1799
Afzal Khan in a thrilling fashion. Sikh Empire 1799–1849
British East India Company 1757–1858
 1674 Forces led by Shivaji defeat Aurangzeb's British Raj 1858–1947
troops, and establishes Maratha Empire. Modern States 1947–present
 1680 Shivaji dies of fever at Raigad.
 1681 Aurangzeb invades the Deccan
 1707 Aurangzeb dies, and is succeeded by son Bahadur Shah I.
 1717 Pamheiba decrees Vaishnavism as the state religion of Manipur
 1719 Bajirao I is appointed the Peshwa by Maratha Emperor Shahu.
 1735 Annexation of Rajputana by Peshwa Bajirao
 1737 Bajirao I conquers Delhi, Mughal Emperor is spared and kept as titular head.
 1740 Bajirao I annexes Bengal and Orissa.
 1740 Bajirao I dies, with the distinction of winning every battle he fought. He is succeeded by
 1757 The British East India Company's private army under Robert Clive annexes Bengal for
the company in the Battle of Plassey. Edmund Burke has Robert Clive arrested for the act.
 1760 Marathas comprehensively defeat the Nizam; Maratha Empire reaches its zenith.
 1761 The Marathas are defeated in the Third battle of Panipat bringing an end to their
 1766 -1769 First Anglo-Mysore War
 1772 Young Madhavrao Peshwa dies of tuberculosis.
 1773 Narayanrao Peshwa is murdered by his uncle Raghunathrao's wife in front of
38. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
 1774 Chief Justice of the Maratha Empire, Ram Shastri passes death sentence against the
ruling Peshwa Raghunathrao for murdering his nephew.
 1777 -1782 First Anglo-Maratha War begins and ends with the restoration of status quo as per
Treaty of Salbai.
 1779 Maratha sardar Mahadji Shinde routs the British army at the Battle of Wadgaon.
 1780 -1784 Second Anglo-Mysore War begins. ends with the Treaty of Mangalore.
 1789 -1792 Third Anglo-Mysore War begins.
 1790 The Marathas under Holkar and General de Boigne comprehensively defeat the Rajputs
of Jaipur and their Mughal allies at the Battle of Patan, where 3000+ Rajput cavalry is killed
and the entire Mughal unit vanquished. The defeat crushes Rajput hope of independence from
 1798 – 1799 Fourth Anglo-Mysore War begins. ends with the death of Tipu Sultan and the
restoration of the Wodeyar dynasty.
 1803 1805 Second Anglo-Maratha War
 1817 - 1818 Third Anglo-Maratha War begins and ends with the defeat of Bajirao II and the
end of the Maratha Empire leaving the British with control of almost the whole of India
Evolution of Social Welfare Ministry in India
Evolution of Social Welfare Ministry in India
For social welfare three important dates occur in the evolution of the Ministry of Social Welfare
in India. These are 14 June 1964 when the Department of Social Security was created; 24
January 1966 when the Department of Social Security was redesignated as Department of Social
Welfare; and 24 August 1979 when the Department of Social Welfare was elevated to the status
of an independent Ministry.
A memorandum was submitted on 12 May 1956 by the Indian Conference of Social Work (now
Indian Council of Social Welfare) to the then Prime Minister, urging the creation of a Central
Ministry of Social Welfare.
The Conference felt that the early establishment of a Social Welfare Ministry at the Centre was
very necessary not only to integrate the administration of social welfare in the country, but also
to provide the policy of social development with a driving force which can only be given through
a well-formulated philosophy of social progress
The Study Team on Social Welfare and Welfare of Backward Classes constituted in 1958 by the
Committee on Plan Projects of the Planning Commission under the chairmanship of Smt. Renuka
Ray pointed out inter-alia that various social welfare subjects are dealt with in different
Ministries. The Team was of the view that the plans and policies of social welfare have not had
the advantage of an integrated approach and direction. It, therefore, recommended the setting up
of a Department of Social Welfare. The Study Team further suggested that the work relating to
youth welfare, recreational services, education and welfare of the handicapped, social work
research and training dealt with by the Ministry of Education; and the work relating to beggary
and vagrancy, juvenile delinquency and probation, social and moral hygiene and rehabilitation of
persons discharged from correctional and non-correctional institutions dealt with by the Ministry
of Home Affairs, be transferred to the new Department of Social Welfare. The Study Team also
suggested that administration of a national social welfare policy; initiating, reviewing and
39. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
watching implementation of social welfare legislation by State Governments; coordination of
social welfare schemes of the State Governments on a broadly uniform pattern; promotion of
social research, and constitution and administration of a Central cadre of welfare administrators
should be the other functions of the suggested Department of Social Welfare.
Table: Establishing an Independent Ministry of Social Welfare –Timeline
Establishing an Independent Ministry of Social Welfare –Timeline
Although a separate social welfare sector has been in existence ever since the beginning of the First Five
Year Plan (1951-56), a separate Department of Social Welfare came into being only after about thirteen
1956 A memorandum was submitted by the Indian Conference of Social Work (now Indian Council of Social Welfare)
to the then Prime Minister, urging the creation of a Central Ministry of Social Welfare
1958 The Committee on Plan Projects of the Planning Commission under the chairmanship of Smt.
Renuka Ray recommended the setting up of a Department of Social Welfare.
1964 The Department of Social Security was created
1966 The Department of Social Security was renamed as Department of Social Welfare
1967 Administrative Reforms Commission suggested to group various subjects with the Department of
Labor and Employment to constitute a Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Welfare -Transfer
of charitable and religious institutions from the Ministry of Law to the proposed Department and
also to transfer child welfare from Social Welfare Ministry of Health, Family Planning and Regional
1979 The Department of Social Welfare was elevated to the status of an independent Ministry
1985- The erstwhile Ministry of Welfare was bifurcated into the Department of Women and Child
86 Development and the Department of Welfare. Simultaneously, the Scheduled Castes Development
Division, Tribal Development Division and the Minorities and Backward Classes Welfare Division
were moved from the Ministry of Home Affairs and also the Wakf Division from the Ministry of Law
to form the then Ministry of Welfare.
1998 The name of the Ministry was changed into Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.
The list of subjects which stand allocated to the Ministry of Social Welfare would show that several
subjects or significant parts of these subjects administered by other Ministries could perhaps be
administered by the Ministry of Social Welfare, as, for instance, social education and adult education
and youth welfare activities (Ministry of Education and Culture); welfare of labor (Ministry of Labor);
legal aid to the poor (Department of Legal Affairs, Ministry of Law, Justice and Company Affairs);
and relief and rehabilitation of displaced persons (Department of Rehabilitation, Ministry of Supply
1999 The Tribal Development Division had moved out to form a separate Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
2007 The Minorities Division along with Wakf Unit have been moved out of the Ministry and formed as a
It is not known whether the creation of the Department of Social Security in 1964 was a direct
outcome of the recommendations of the Renuka Ray Team or of other conferences and
committees. The subjects then allotted to the newly created Department of Social Security
included an assortment or items like child welfare, orphans and orphanages, education of the
handicapped, social welfare, the scheduled castes, the scheduled tribes, ex-criminal tribes and
other backward classes, unemployment insurance, social security measures, the Central Social
Welfare Board, coordination and development of village industries including Khadi and
handicraft, prohibition, Ambar Charkha, and UNICEF. Later on, certain subjects like social
security, village industries and the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes were allocated to other
40. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
In 1967 in its report, the Study Team appointed by the Administrative Reforms Commission to
examine the machinery of the Government of India and its procedures of work suggested that
rehabilitation and social welfare should be combined into a single department and the
department should then be grouped with the Department of Labor and Employment to constitute
a Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Welfare. It further recommended that considering
the tremendous influence that charitable and religious institutions can have on social welfare
programs of the Government and in molding public opinion in the field, this subject should be
transferred from the Ministry of Law to the proposed Department. The Study Team was of the
view that child welfare should not be separated from health and family planning and should be
transferred from the Department of Social Welfare to the proposed Ministry of Health, Family
Planning and Regional Planning.
ALLOCATION OF SUBJECTS
The subjects allocated to the Department of Social Welfare need also to be viewed in the context
of the consecutive Five Year Plan policies and programs. Although a separate social welfare
sector has been in existence ever since the beginning of the First Five Year Plan (1951-56), a
separate Department of Social Welfare came into being only after about thirteen years.
The Department of Social Welfare was elevated to the status of an independent Ministry on 24
August 1979 and was placed under the charge of a Cabinet Minister. This opportunity was not,
however, availed of to regroup or reallocate subjects related to social welfare from amongst
different Ministries. The subjects allocated to the Ministry of Social Welfare cover child welfare
and development, women's welfare and development, welfare of the physically handicapped,
social defence, social welfare planning and research, etc. The Ministry provides general direction
in social welfare policy formulation, promoting legislation and amendments to legislation,
review of welfare legislation, implementation of schemes, promotion and assistance to voluntary
effort and coordination.
The list of subjects which stand allocated to the Ministry of Social Welfare would show that
several subjects or significant parts of these subjects administered by other Ministries could
perhaps be administered by the Ministry of Social Welfare, as, for instance, social education and
adult education and youth welfare activities (Ministry of Education and Culture); welfare of
labor (Ministry of Labor); legal aid to the poor (Department of Legal Affairs, Ministry of Law,
Justice and Company Affairs); and relief and rehabilitation of displaced persons (Department of
Rehabilitation, Ministry of Supply and Rehabilitation).
The allocation of subjects to the Ministry of Social Welfare has thus not strictly followed any set
pattern or direction. It has over the years primarily been based on the views of policy-makers and
administrators as to which Ministry would be in a better position to discharge a particular
41. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
Subjects allocated to the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment -India
Subjects allocated to the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment
 Social Welfare: Social Welfare Planning, Project formulation, research, evaluation, statistics and
 Conventions with other countries in matters relating to social defense and references from United
Nations Organization relating to prevention of crime and treatment of offenders.
 Institutional and non-institutional services for the care and development of children in need
including orphans and orphanages. # Education, training, rehabilitation and welfare of the physically
and mentally handicapped
 National Institute for the Physically Handicapped and Mentally Retarded
 Rehabilitation of the persons with disabilities and rehabilitation of the mentally ill.
 National Centre for the Blind including the Central Braille Press, Dehra Dun, Training Centre for the
Adult Deaf, and School for the partially deaf children, Hyderabad; Model School for Mentally
Retarded Children, New Delhi and other national institutes. # Social and Moral Hygiene Program #
 Research, evaluation, training, exchange of information and technical guidance on all social defence
 All matters relating to alcoholism and substance (drug) abuse and rehabilitation of addicts/families
 Promotion of efforts including voluntary efforts to ensure the well being of the older persons.
 All matters relating to prohibition. # Educational and social welfare aspects of drug addiction
 Charitable and religious endowments pertaining to subjects allocated to this Ministry
 Promotion and development of voluntary effort on subjects allocated to this Department
 National Institute of Social Defense # National Institute for the Physically Handicapped, New Delhi
# National Institute for the Orthopedically Handicapped, Kolkata
 National Institute of Rehabilitation, Training and Research, Cuttack
 National Institute for the Mentally Handicapped, Secunderabad
 Ali Yavar Jung National Institute for the Hearing Handicapped, Mumbai
 National Institute for the Visually Handicapped, Dehradun
 National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation, Faridabad
 Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India, Kanpur
 The Rehabilitation Council of India Act, 1992 (34 of 1992) and Rehabilitation Council constituted
 The Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act,
1995 (01 of 1996) # The National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy
 Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act, 1999 (44 of 1999) # Chief Commissioner for
 Scheduled Castes and other Backward Classes including scholarships to students belonging to such
Castes and Classes # National Commission for Scheduled Castes
 Development of Scheduled Castes and other Backward Classes
Note:- The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment will be the nodal Ministry for overall policy,
planning and coordination of programs of development of Scheduled Castes and Other Backward
Classes. In regard to sectoral programs and schemes of development pertaining to these communities,
policy, planning, monitoring, evaluation etc as also their coordination will be the responsibility of the
concerned Central Ministries, State Governments and Union Territory Administrations. Each Central
Ministry and Department will be the nodal Ministry or Department concerning its sector.
 Reports of the Commission to Investigate into the conditions of Backward Classes
 National Commission for Safai Karamcharis and all matters pertaining thereto
 Implementation of the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1995, and the Scheduled Castes and the
Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, excluding the administration of criminal
justice in regard to offences in so far as they relate to Scheduled Castes
42. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
Ministry of Women and Child Development -India
Ministry of Women and Child Development
The Department of Women and Child Development was set up in the year 1985 as a part of the Ministry
of Human Resource Development to give the much needed impetus to the holistic development of women
and children. With effect from 30.01.2006, the Department has been upgraded to a Ministry under the
independent charge of Minister of State for Women and Child Development.
The broad mandate of the Ministry is to have holistic development of Women and Children. As a nodal
Ministry for the advancement of women and children, the Ministry formulates plans, policies and
programs; enacts/ amends legislation, guides and coordinates the efforts of both governmental and
non-governmental organizations working in the field of Women and Child Development. Besides, playing
its nodal role, the Ministry implements certain innovative programs for women and children. These
programs cover welfare and support services, training for employment and income generation, awareness
generation and gender sensitization. These programs play a supplementary and complementary role to
the other general developmental programs in the sectors of health, education, rural development etc. All
these efforts are directed to ensure that women are empowered both economically and socially and thus
become equal partners in national development along with men.
For the holistic development of the child, the Ministry has been implementing the world's largest and most
unique and outreach program of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) providing a
package of services comprising supplementary nutrition, immunization, health check up and referral
services, pre-school non-formal education. Ministry is also implementing Swayamsidha which is an
integrated scheme for empowerment of women. There is effective coordination and monitoring of various
sectoral programs. Most of the programs of the Ministry are run through non-governmental organizations.
Efforts are made to have more effective involvement of NGOs. The major policy initiatives undertaken by
the Ministry in the recent past include universalization of ICDS and Kishori Shakti Yojana, launching a
nutrition program for adolescent girls, establishment of the Commission for protection of Child Rights and
enactment of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act.
First Chairman, CSWB
43. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work
Subjects allocated Ministry of Women and Child Development -India
Subjects allocated Ministry of Women and Child Development
Welfare of the family.
•Women and Child Welfare and Coordination of activities of other Ministries and Organization in
connection with this subject.
•References from the United Nations Organizations relating to traffic in Women and Children
•Care of pre-school children including pre-primary education
•National Nutrition Policy, national Plan of Action for Nutrition and National Nutrition Mission.
•Charitable and religious endowments pertaining to subjects allocated to this Department
•Promotion and development of voluntary effort on the subjects allocated to this Department
Implementation of -
•Immoral Traffic in Women and Girl Act. 1956 (as amended up to 1986) .
•The Indecent Representation of Women (Prevention) Act, 1986 (60 of 1986).
•The Dowry Prohibition Act. 1961 (28 of 1961)
•The Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act, 1987 (3 of 1988), excluding the administration of criminal
justice in regard to offences under these Acts.
•Implementation of the Infant Milk Substitutes, Feeding Bottles and Infant Food (Regulation of Production,
Supply and Distribution) Act, 1992 (41 of 1992).
•Coordination of activities of Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE)
•Planning, Research, Evaluation, Monitoring, Project Formulations, Statistics and Training relating to the
welfare and development of women and children, including development of gender sensitive data base.
•United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
•Central Social Welfare Board (CSWB)
•National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development (NIPCCD)
•Food and Nutrition Board
•Food and Nutrition Board (FNB)
(i) Development and popularization of subsidiary and protective foods.
(ii) Nutrition extension.
•Women‟s Empowerment and Gender Equity.
•National Commission for Women.
•Rashtriya Mahila Kosh (RMK)
•The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 (56 of 2000).
•Probation of Juvenile offenders.
•Issues relating to adoption, Central Adoption Resource Agency and Child Help Line (Child line.)
•The Children Act, 1960 (60 of 1960).
•The Child Marriage – Restraint Act, 1929 (19 of 1929).
44. S.Rengasamy-History of Social Welfare / Social Work