Difference between revisions of "Social work"

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Latest revision as of 01:47, 12 September 2019

Social work began as “friendly visiting,” a practice made famous by the reformer Mary Richmond, where concerned members of the upper classes would periodically check in on poor households to engage, per Husock, in the “retail dissemination of social norms.” These “friendly visitors,” by the passage of the Social Security Act of 1935, had become the progenitors of the modern social worker, and things once reserved for civil society were farmed out to the burgeoning class of well-credentialed practitioners of what was once called “scientific charity.” Social workers became hyper-rational intermediaries between the federal government’s menu of social programs and the poor bound to receive them — “eligibility for aid,” Husock demurs, required that the recipient accept “individual counseling, provided by trained professionals rather than concerned neighbors and citizens.”

- John Hirschauer's review of Howard Husock's book Who Killed Civil Society?