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4/i^r-/STATEC0LLEGE
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IBi

THE OUTLOOK
FOR WOMEN
A/n/

SOCIAL CASE WORK
I WITH FAMILIES
Social Work Series
Bulletin No. 235-4
U. S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Maurice J. Tobin, Secretary

WOMEN’S BUREAU
Frieda S. Miller, Director

fru'L'/iy,;

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
MAURICE J. TOBIN, SECRETARY

WOMEN’S BUREAU
FRIEDA S. MILLER, DIRECTOR

The Outlook for Women
in
Social Case Work
With Families

Bulletin of the Women’s Bureau No. 235—4
Social Work Series

U. S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 1951

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U. S. Government
Printing Office, Washington 25, D. C. Price 30 cents

This bulletin is No. 235-4 in the

SOCIAL WORK SERIES
No. 235-1

The Outlook for Women in Social Case Work in a Medical
Setting.

No. 235-2

The Outlook for Women in Social Case Work in a Psy­
chiatric Setting.

No. 235-3

The Outlook for Women in Social Case Work With
Children.

No. 235-4

The Outlook for Women in Social Case Work With Families.

No. 235-5

The Outlook for Women in Community Organization
in Social Work.

n

LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL
-

United States Department op Labor,
Women’s Bureau,

Washing ton, February 16, 1951.
I have the honor of transmitting this report on the outlook for
women in social case work with families. It is the fourth of a series of
bulletins on the need for women in the social services, resulting from
our current employment opportunities study. The project is planned
and directed by Marguerite W. Zapoleon.
Grateful acknowledgment is made to the many individuals and
agencies who cooperated so generously in supplying information and
helpful criticism for this report, which was prepared and written by
Agnes W. Mitchell.
Respectfully submitted.
Frieda S. Miller, Director.
Hon. Maurice J. Tobin,
Secretary of Labor.
Sir :

hi

FOREWORD
The social well-being of our people, like their health, has received
growing attention over the years. Of the increasing numbers in our
economy engaged in rendering professional social service, two-thirds
or more are women. The story of their progress and the current and
future needs for their services have been the subject of a Women’s
Bureau study which is being reported in a series of bulletins of which
this is the fourth.
The others, like this report on social case work with families, describe
the employment outlook for women in an area of specialization within
the field of social work. The final bulletin in the series will describe
the outlook for women in the entire field of social work, showing its
relation to other professions of women and comparing the specializa­
tions within the field. Unlike the usual monograph which describes
an occupation in detail at a particular point in time, this study, like
the earlier Women's Bureau series on occupations in the medical and
health services and the sciences, is concerned primarily with changes
and trends.
•
Although more than 2,400 books, articles, or pamphlets have been
culled for information, the principal information for this series has
been obtained from professional organizations, public and voluntary
social agencies, schools of social work, and individual social workers.
The following sources have contributed to the study thus far:
Fifty-two national professional organizations. For help on this
particular report, the Bureau is indebted especially to the Fam­
ily Service Association of America.
Fifty-six schools of social work and other colleges and universities.
One hundred and thirty-nine agencies employing social workers,
including 31 community chests and councils of social agencies
and the American National Reel Cross.
Sixty Government agencies concerned with social service programs
or employment in this field, including international, State, and
local agencies, and such Federal agencies as the Bureau of
Labor Statistics and the United States Employment Service
in the United States Department of Labor; the United States
Civil Service Commission; the United States Veterans’ Admin­
istration; the Children’s Bureau, the Office of Education, the
Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, and the Public Health

v

VI

FOREWORD

Service in the Federal Security Agency. Special acknowledg­
ment is due the Bureau of Public Assistance of the Federal
Security Agency for its generous and expert help with this
bulletin.
To these contributors the Bureau is indebted for the raw material
which made this report possible.
It is also grateful to the following for the illustrations used:
American National Red Cross (figs. 2, 8, 13)
Cincinnati Better Housing League, Cincinnati, Ohio (figs. 6, 9)
The Cincinnati Enquirer (fig. 4)
Community Chests and Councils of America, Inc. (figs. 5, 11)
Cook County Department of Public Welfare, Illinois (figs. 15,18)
Department of Public Assistance of Harrisburg, Pa. (fig. 21)
Indianapolis Department of Public Welfare (fig. 19)
Department of Public Welfare, Montgomery, Ala. (figs. 16, 20)
Family Service Association of America (figs. 1, 3)
Family Service Association of Cincinnati (fig. 10)
Hamilton County Bureau of Public Relief, Ohio (figs. 14,17)
Marriage Council of Philadelphia, Pa. (fig. 12)
National Travelers Aid Association (fig. 7)
Syracuse Community Chest and Council, New York (cover picture).

Although readers may recognize gaps in our statistical knowledge
of employment in case work with families and the unsurmounted diffi­
culty of distinguishing always those individuals who are fully quali­
fied for the profession from those who are not, it is hoped that they
will find here a useful synthesis of existing knowledge on an important
field of work in which more women are needed.

CONTENTS
Page

Letter of transmittal______________________________ _______ ,_______ _____
Foreword _
Definitions
Part I. Voluntary agencies______
The setting____________________________________________ ____________
The outlook . .. _____________________________
Demand and supply
Geographic variations in employment_____
Supply------------ _ ----------------------------------------------------------Training____________________
Scholarships and fellowships
22
Earnings, working conditions, and advancement____________________
Earnings___ ,__________________________ _____________________
Hours and working conditions
26
Advancement____________
...
_
_
Organizations^________________
Suggestions to those interested in entering the voluntary family case
work field________
Demand prior to World War II_
Wartime changes in employment_ ____________________________
Volunteers____
Part II. Public assistance_______________________
The setting.
The outlook__________________
Demand and supply________ ________ .________________________
Geographic variations in employment-- _______________________
Supply------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Training-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Scholarships and fellowships7
Earnings, working conditions, and advancement____________________
Earnings------------------------------------------------------------------- J________
Hours and working conditions
57
Advancement________________
Organizations..
____________________________
Suggestions to those interested in entering public assistance work___
Demand prior to World War II
66
Wartime changes in employment
70
Volunteers_______
___________________
.
_________________
Appendix:
Minimum requirements for a beginning Federal civil service position as
social worker____________
Schools of social work in the continental United States accredited by
the American Association of Schools of Social Work_______________
Member schools of the National Association of Schools of Social Ad­
ministration-_
____ ________ __
_______________________
Organizations represented in the Social Case Work Council of the Na­
tional Social Welfare Assembly
76
Sources to which reference is made in the text______________________
vn

nl
v
IX
4
4
7
9
17
18
20
24
24
27
28
30
32
35
38
41
41
44
46
49
49
53
55
56
56
59
61
63

71

73
73
75

77

VIII

CONTENTS

Tables:
1. Geographic distribution of 226 member agencies of the Family Serv­
ice Association of America, January 1950, compared with the
general population
18
2. Geographic distribution of professional State and local public assist­
ance workefs in the United States, June 1949, compared with the
general population
49
Illustrations:
1. A case worker from a voluntary agency interviews a family in their
home
2. A tornado victim discusses the loss of his new home with a case
worker in Red Cross Disaster Service_____________
3. An elderly client is assisted to obtain medical care by a family case
worker in a voluntary agency
4. A case worker with the Salvation Army assists a homeless man_
_
5. A deserted wife makes plans for family care with a case worker in a
family agency
10
6. A social worker explains to a tenant how to pay rent regularly in
spite of low income
11
7. Case workers in Travelers Aid assist those in transit_____________
8. Victims of a plant explosion explain the damage done to their home
to a Red Cross case worker in Disaster Service------------------------9. A home adviser with a voluntary agency promoting better housing
points out the location of blighted homes to the chairman of the
agency board__________________________________________________
10. A group of social work students are instructed on budgeting by a
home economist on the staff of a voluntary family agency______
11. A family case worker assists a father in providing for his children’s
care during their mother’s illness
27
12. A marriage counselor interviews atroubled husband______________
13. Professional Red Cross Home Service workers assist servicemen,
veterans, and their families
34
14. A visitor’s typical day
40
15. A case worker in a county welfare department prepares application
forms for old-age assistance______________ _____________________
16. A case worker confers with an assessor concerning property values
in making allowances for tax payments
52
17. The supervisor in line with her duties confers with a case worker
under her supervision
60
18. A family case worker obtains information from the mother of a pa­
tient in a county hospital while others wait to see her--------------19. A county director of welfare at her desk confers with a staff
member
66
20. A widowed mother who has applied for aid to dependent children
for her three youngest children is interviewed in her home by a
visitor--------------------------21. A visitor at the end of the day plans forthe following day’s work-

Page

x
3
6
9

13
17

22
24

29

45

63

68
71

Case Worker (Professional and Kindred), 0-27.20, as Defined
in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (63)
“Perforins any one or a combination of the following social service
duties, usually requiring a college degree and applying techniques ac­
quired through postgraduate training in social service work, in pur­
suance of a welfare program organized by a public or private agency
or organization. Studies physical and social environment of a family,
person, or persons in order to determine and execute practical plans
for alleviating existing undesirable conditions. Visits persons in
need of assistance or receives clients at intake desk of agency. Inter­
views clients to ascertain nature of their problem. Diagnoses prob­
lems, considering factors involved, and plans treatment. Slakes
necessary contacts to ascertain background and needs of clients and
their eligibility for financial, medical, and material assistance. Helps
clients understand their situations more clearly and assists them to
reach satisfactory solutions for their problems. Refers clients to
community resources, such as hospitals, clinics, recreational facilities,
and schools, which may assist in rectifying the maladjustments. En­
deavors to foster self-development of individuals in order that they
may successfully meet social exigencies. Follows progress of cases
beyond the solution of immediate problems. Keeps case histories and
other records.”
Case Worker, Family (Professional and Kindred); Family Coun­
selor, as Defined in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (63)
“Assists in solving problems that affect the unity and welfare of
the family, such as unemployment, household management, care of
family members, rearing children, and the care of unmarried mothers,
and children born out of wedlock: Attempts to solve problems affect­
ing individual members of family, such as runaway children and im­
provident fathers, by recommending positive steps for remedial meas­
ures. Counsels other family members on eliminating personality
frictions, unsympathetic attitudes toward the maladjusted, and other
barriers to harmonious relationships. In a public welfare program,
ascertains clients’ eligibility for receipt of monetary grants or other
services. Determines amount of payments or assumes responsibility
for services rendered.”
932017°—51------ 2

IX

■FI 111

’

I

Figure 1.—A case worker from a voluntary agency interviews a family
in their home.

x

THE OUTLOOK FOR WOMEN IN
SOCIAL CASE WORK WITH FAMILIES
More than 42,000 social workers in 1949, about 80 percent of them
women, were assisting families to meet the problems with which they
needed outside help. Almost 32,000 of these family case workers were
in government agencies rendering public assistance, and some 10,000
were in voluntary community-supported social agencies, sometimes
known as private social agencies. Social work with families is the
oldest form of social work in the United States, having developed as
a service to meet family needs, and it will probably exist as long as
the family continues to be the basic social unit in our society.
In recent years, social insurance has reduced the extent and amount
of financial need among families, and public welfare agencies have
expanded to supply financial assistance where need is established.
Often, however, where financial need does not exist or where it may
be only a symptom, there are other problems. A mother may be able
to feed her children but feel helpless to deal with their behavior.
A father may be unable to support his family because of a heart con­
dition that reduces his capacity to work. It is the family case
worker’s job to find the basic cause of the problems that threaten the
family’s well-being, to strengthen the inner resources of the family
members, and to help the family to utilize the resources of the com­
munity in working out a solution.
Like all social case workers, the family case worker is skilled in
seeing the individual in relation to his family and all the circum­
stances of his environment and in using community resources in help­
ing him to work out his problem. But the distinguishing character­
istic of family case work has been defined by the Family Service
Association of America, with which about 250 voluntary family serv­
ice agencies in the United States are affiliated. These agencies treat
the needs of a family group or any of its members without restriction
as to the age or type of individual, always taking into account the
interplay of social and personal factors and family interrelationships.
The staff of an agency deals with a wide range of problems, such as
marital difficulties, problems of parent-child relationships, and prob­
lems of the aged (58).
Because satisfactory family relationships are important in individ­
ual adjustment, especially in the case of children, there has been a
growing tendency for family case work to place emphasis on work
l

2

OUTLOOK FOR WOMEN

with children in their homes. In recent years the overlapping of
the work of child welfare and family welfare agencies has caused some
of these voluntary agencies to merge, especially in the smaller com­
munities. The outlook for case workers who work in a child welfare
agency, or primarily with children in a separate unit of a family or
other social agency, will be reported in a later bulletin in this series
on social case work with children.
Because the problems a family encounters are legion, the family
case worker must develop a variety of skills and knowledge. In the
course of a day, as one writer has put it, the family case worker may
be called upon to give financial help to a man for purposes of job
training, to arrange for housekeeping service for the children of a
mother suddenly taken ill, and to counsel a wife who is considering
separation from her husband {26). In dealing with such problems,
she uses her case work skills in assembling background information
bearing on the problem, in seeing it in relation to the family and
the community setting, and in utilizing the resources of the individual,
the family, and the community toward its solution.
In most communities voluntary and public agencies supplement
each other in their efforts to meet the needs of families. When a
family lacks funds for the essentials of living, it can usually obtain
aid from the government agency providing public assistance to the
community in which the family resides, although there are gaps in
assistance plans of some States and communities, and these gaps may
create hardships for needy families. If a family is not eligible for aid
from a public agency, either because it does not meet residence re­
quirements or for some other reason, it may be able to obtain financial
help from voluntary agencies.
Although the voluntary family service agency is usually able to
extend some financial aid in situations where the public agency cannot
function, voluntary agencies are unable because of the limitation of
their funds to fill, in any real measure, gaps left by social insurance
and public assistance provisions. In principle voluntary agencies do
not accept responsibility for supplementing assistance grants or for
providing financial aid to groups not covered by public assistance
grants, for such assistance is regarded as a government responsibility.
The extent to which they give financial assistance varies. A report by
the member agencies of the Family Service Association in 1949 stated
that from 17 to 25 percent of the budget of some of the agencies was
expended in financial assistance (76'). More than 90 percent of the
Catholic voluntary agencies in 1950 were reported as giving some
financial aid to families they were serving. A midwestern voluntary
family agency reported in 1949 that 32 percent of the families apply­
ing for service to the organization had financial trouble; however, the

SOCIAL CASE) WORK WITH FAMILIES

3

Figure 2.—A tornado victim discusses the loss of his new home with a
case worker in Red Cross Disaster Service.

need in the main was for budgeting and financial planning, and only
one-fifth of these families received financial aid as a part of the case
work plan.
When major family problems in addition to financial need are
evident, the public agency often refers the family to a voluntary family
agency for the more intensive case work which the public assistance
visitor may not have the time, or sometimes the skill, to give, and
which the voluntary agencies are primarily equipped to provide. In
rural districts, however, such voluntary resources are generally
lacking.
In many communities interagency relationships between public and
private agencies working with families have been formally worked out,
as public services have expanded. After some decades of progress, the
public assistance agency has become a valued member of local com­
munity councils. Much of this progress is due to the work of
community planning councils in which public as well as private
agencies are represented {55). The work of coordinating and planning
councils will be discussed more fully in another bulletin in this series
on community organization. The present bulletin is concerned
primarily with case workers who deal with families—first in voluntary
social agencies, and secondly, in public assistance programs.

Part I. Voluntary Agencies
THE SETTING
About 10,000 case workers, 80 percent of them women, were employed
in voluntary family service agencies in 1950, according to available
estimates. Voluntary family case work agencies are created and
administered by groups of private citizens. They are financed by
voluntary contributions made either directly or through a community
chest, and sometimes, in part, by fees paid by families receiving service.
These agencies vary as to function, auspices, and standards of per­
sonnel. Almost 250 agencies in 1950 were members of the Family
Service Association of America, which has achieved high standards of
membership. In 1947 this association reported that, through its
member agencies, case work services were available in communities
with populations totaling more than 55 million people or approxi­
mately 40 percent of the population of the country. The large maj ority
of these member agencies were nonsectarian, although about 20 were
Jewish or Catholic agencies. Outside the association were a number
of sectarian agencies, including other Jewish and Catholic agencies,
which ministered primarily to members of their own groups. Many
of these agencies had various functions and were called “multiple
service agencies,” but nearly all offered family case work services.
Many other family agencies in existence throughout the country are
not members of the Family Service Association. For instance, in
1948 only 6 family agencies in Metropolitan Boston were members of
the association, while 14 others were not.
Some family case work is also carried on by travelers’ aid societies,
churches, legal aid societies, housing projects, and international or­
ganizations.
Agencies which carry on family case work vary greatly in size.
Typical of the larger voluntary family agencies is one in a midwestern
city of about a half million population which had in 1949 a staff of
27 professional persons exclusive of clerical staff. This included the
social case workers engaged directly in case work treatment, the ad­
ministrative and supervisory staff, a case work director, a director of
homemaker services, and a home economist. Some agencies in the
Larger cities of the country have a larger professional staff, but, on the
other hand, agencies in smaller communities may have very few pro­
fessional workers. A typical small family agency in a medium-sized
4

SOCIAL CASE. WORK WITH FAMILIES

5

mid western city in 1949 had 4 professional workers, including an exec­
utive secretary, a case supervisor, and 2 staff case workers. Accord­
ing to the Family Service Association of America, its affiliated agen­
cies throughout the country had an average staff of about 9 professional
workers per agency in 1950.
The typical case worker in a voluntary family service agency may
be called upon to give many forms of service during the working
day, such as arranging financial aid for a man in need of equipment
to be used in his employment, or conferring about the care of her
family with a mother facing a long hospitalization. Although, as
noted earlier, some financial assistance is given by voluntary family
service agencies, case workers in such agencies concentrate their efforts
for the most part on situations where family friction, broken homes,
health, or personality problems are producing maladjustments of the
individuals within the family group or of the family as a whole.
The case worker’s aim is to build up the strength of the individual
and of family life. Since every family has its own special problems,
no two families require identical service. A survey in 1949 showed
that over one-third of the problems dealt with by private family
agencies concerned husband-wife difficulties, almost one-fourth were
problems of emotional instability affecting personal and family ad­
justments, about one-fifth involved financial planning, and the re­
mainder were parent-child difficulties (E£).
To be able to meet problems as they arise, the family case worker
must develop a variety of skills. Foremost among them is the ability
to understand the family situation while remaining objective about
it. Focusing on the problems as they are seen by the family mem­
bers and helping the family to move forward in the solution of its
problems form the core of case work with families.
But the family case worker’s function in a voluntary agency does
not end with the rehabilitation of the family. Her responsibilities
include the establishment of satisfactory relations between the family
and the community. The case worker studies the effect of the en­
vironment upon the life of the family and contributes to the over­
all efforts of the agency to improve the condition of the family living
in the community. In this way the case worker helps strengthen
family life, assists the individual in his relationship to his social
setting, and improves community relationships.
The number of cases, or “case load,” assigned to a case worker in
a voluntary family agency is usually smaller than that customarily
assigned in public assistance agencies because of the more intensive
nature of case work in voluntary agencies. Case loads usually aver­
age around 40 to 50 families in a voluntary agency (2If.), in contrast
to 140 to 230 in public assistance agencies. Changes in the case load

6

OUTLOOK FOR WOMEN

isisiP*'

Figure 3.—An elderly client is assisted to obtain medical care by a family
case worker in a voluntary agency.

SOCIAL CASE WORK WITH FAMILIES

7

are usually more frequent in voluntary agencies than in public agen­
cies because many of the problems handled by voluntary agencies can
be solved in comparatively short periods, while in public agencies work
with some families may be required for years, as, for instance, with
those where old age or chronic illness are the causes of financial
need.
THE OUTLOOK
It will be some years before enough case workers are available for
work in voluntary family agencies, according to specialists in this
field. The demand is not only immediate but promises to be pro­
longed, since the need for constant expansion of services in this field
is evident. One authority says that we have not even scratched the
surface of possible services in the complicated realm of family rela­
tionships. Services to prevent the disintegration of family relation­
ships are on the increase, and a definite movement away from institu­
tionalizing family members, in favor of the maintenance of the family
unit, is evident in present-day social work practice. Additional areas
of service are constantly being added to the programs of voluntary
agencies, as their importance in family adjustment is recognized. Some
of those already offered by some voluntary family organizations are
marriage counseling, aid to unmarried mothers and provision for
their children, family budgeting assistance, provision for homemaker
service for the aged and the blind, psychiatric clinical assistance,
vocational guidance and placement services, and travelers’ aid.
In the last 2 or 3 years numerical requests for service have been
definitely on the increase. Although requests for family service in
the past have tended to fluctuate with such major'social pressures as
those occasioned by war or depressions and with the adequacy of
public assistance grants, the current trend in the demand for service
is upward. For example, a family service organization in a large
eastern city in 1949 served nearly 30,000 families, as compared with
27,400 families in the previous year. Reports from other agencies
over the last 2 or 3 years indicate a steadily increasing demand for
service.
The use of voluntary family agencies has been encouraged by the
acceptance of fees for services. During World War II some families
previously served without charge by voluntary family agencies found
that, while their need for case work continued, they could afford to pay
a fee for the services. Even before World War II some agencies had
begun the practice of encouraging contributions or fees from families
served. Some families needing case work services, although unable
to pay large professional fees, would not apply for service unless they
932017°—51----- 3

8

OUTLOOK FOR WOMEN

could pay something for it. As a result of these developments some
voluntary agencies have a policy of offering service on a fee basis
adjusted to the income of the family and waived for families who
cannot pay. In 1947, 45 member agencies of the Family Service As­
sociation charged families a nominal fee ranging from 25 cents to $10,
the most common being $1. In some agencies as many as 500 families
a year were given service on a fee basis. This use of the service fee is
expected to grow, extending the usefulness of family service to a
broader section of the community and resulting in an increase in the
number of social case workers needed for family service.
An increasing number of industrial workers, especially those who
migrate from one community to another as work opportunities change,
are making use of family case work service to help with problems
created by housing and other difficulties encountered in the new com­
munity. During World War II, 12 percent of the industrial popu­
lation moved from one county to another and 6 percent from one State
to another. Modern transportation and communication facilities en­
courage migration, which in turn creates new needs among families
establishing themselves in a community. Displaced persons and
other immigrants who have entered the United States in recent years
often need special help from voluntary agencies in becoming settled
in strange surroundings.
Family case work authorities frequently stress the need for research
and experimental work. Public assistance agencies are usually less
free to undertake experiments because their function is limited by
statute. Therefore, experimental research in social services to the
family comes primarily from the voluntary agencies. These agencies
have accumulated a vast range of knowledge about personal attitudes,
environmental factors, and social requirements which make for a
sound and satisfying family life. In a few voluntary agencies case
workers are already participating in research, and increasing oppor­
tunities for research work are likely to be available for those trained
for family case wmrk, although the difficulty of financing large-scale
research suggests that the total number of research jobs will be small
in relation to the number of case work jobs in this field.
The need for those who can give instruction in case work with
families will also grow with the need for more trained personnel. The
value of instruction and supervised field experience in family case
work as background for other types of work with individuals is also
being increasingly recognized. This growing recognition will add to
the demand for instructional personnel, not only in universities and
schools of social work, but in voluntary family agencies, where those
who supervise the field work of students are employed.

SOCIAL CASE WORK WITH FAMILIES

9

Figure 4.—A case worker with the Salvation Army assists a homeless man.

Family case workers in voluntary agencies play a vital role in im­
proving standards of family life and in preventing breakdown of the
family. They also contribute to the social advancement of the com­
munity by pointing out the need for environmental changes and social
action that they see in their daily work. They will continue to have
the privilege of participating in the improvement of the community
as well as of helping individuals to enjoy a happier family life.
DEMAND AND SUPPLY
The exact number of family case workers in voluntary agencies in
the United States is not known. Employment statistics available from
various national agencies indicate that, for the country as a whole,
the number in 1950 was probably about 10,000. This estimate includes
not only case workers in family service agencies, but home service and
disaster workers in the Red Cross, travelers’ aid workers, and others,
as indicated below. About 80 percent are women.
One of the largest employers of family case workers is the American
National Red Cross and its local chapters. Its home service program
supplies case work service to servicemen, veterans, and their depend­
ents. In 1948 there were 134 professional social workers on the Home

10

OUTLOOK FOR WOMEN

1T--C4C

>v
vV*«

Figure 5.—A deserted wife makes plans for family care with a case worker
in a family agency.

Service staffs in the National Headquarters and in the five area offices,
and 1,460 administrators and supervisors'and 2,496 paid case workers
in the larger chapters among the 3,753 local Red Cross chapters
throughout the country. The Home Service of a Red Cross chapter
in one midwest city in 1949, for instance, included 19 paid profes­
sional workers: 15 case workers, 2 of them men; 2 women case work
supervisors; an administrator; and his assistant, a woman. The edu­
cational requirement for these workers was 1 year of graduate work
in a recognized school of social work. Those with master’s degrees
were preferred, but it was impossible to obtain them at the salary of­
fered. Paid case workers in the chapters in the larger cities, however,
were for the most part graduates of schools of social work or people
with long experience in social work. In chapters in areas of lesser
population where paid workers were employed, many of the workers
were untrained. In many of the smaller chapters service to families
was carried on by the executive secretary, who is chief administrative
officer of the chapter, as a part-time activity or, in very small chapters,
by volunteers. In 1948 more than 4,000 volunteers were reported to
be active in this Home Service of the Red Cross in addition to the paid

11

SOCIAL CASE; WORK WITH FAMILIES

workers. Many of these volunteers were married women who had
been social workers before their marriage and who contributed a few
hours a week of their time to this program, but others were without
specialized training or experience.
The Disaster Services at Red Cross National Headquarters in
Washington, D. C., in 1950 had a regular staff of approximately 30.
professional social workers, 5 of whom were men. All but 2 were
in field jobs. Since 1946, qualifications for the permanent staff have
included 2 years of graduate training in a school of social work, or
equivalent experience in emergency social work, preferably with fam­
ilies. Disaster Services staff supply case work services to stricken
families in communities suffering from floods, hurricanes, fires, torna­
does, or similar disasters. When additional workers are needed for
temporary assignment following a large disaster, names of persons

' . mm

18111118
Figure 6.—A social worker explains to a tenant how to pay rent regularly
in spite of low income.

12

OUTLOOK FOR WOMEN

with previous disaster experience are obtained from current lists of
disaster reserve workers maintained for this purpose. Many private
and public social work agencies permit their professional workers to
serve with the Red Cross on disaster relief operations on a temporary
basis.
The largest group of family case workers are in local voluntary
family agencies. In 1950 approximately 250 agencies of this type,
employing an estimated 2,300 social workers, were affiliated with the
Family Service Association of America. A typical affiliated agency
in a large midwestern city was directed by a man with a professional
staff of 6 women supervisors and 11 women and 2 men case workers.
The position of assistant director, formerly held by a woman, was
vacant, and difficulty in filling the position was attributed to the gen­
eral shortage of trained social workers.
An estimated 2,000 case workers were employed in 1950 in the 265
agencies of the Catholic Charities, sometimes called the Associated
Catholic Charities of the Diocesan Bureau of Social Service. Ninetythree Jewish family case work agencies in this country in 1950 were
staffed by about 450 full-time or part-time workers and supervisors.
A third of these agencies were small and had each only one or two
professional workers classified as case workers or supervisors on their
staff. Some Protestant groups, like the Lutheran wel fare agencies,
also offei'ed family service. Some of these sectarian agencies hired
only social workers of the same religious faith, but others employed
workers with various religious affiliations. In a few of the larger
communities the Salvation Army also offered family case work service.
An estimated 550 workers were employed in travelers’ aid work
throughout the country in 1950, according to the National Travelers
Aid Association, which had 110 affiliated local societies offering serv­
ice in over 625 communities. These workers provided consultative
and advisory case work service to individuals and families in transit
throughout the country and collected and prepared information with
regard to transiency. To provide service where no regular travelers’
aid society existed, almost 1,000 organizations and individuals were
on call, among them many of the family service agencies in the Family
Service Association, local Red Cross chapters, and departments of
public welfare. The headquarters office of the National Travelers
Aid Association located in New York City had a professional staff
of 18 in 1948 (SI). In 1950 local travelers’ aid staffs varied in size:
New York City had 58 professional case workers, Los Angeles had
19, and Boston had 14, whereas many smaller cities, such as Charlotte,
N. C., and New Haven, Conn., had only 2 or 3 professional workers.
In a medium-sized midwestern city in 1949 there were 8 professional
workers on the staff of the local travelers’ aid society, 2 of them men

SOCIAL CASE WORK WITH FAMILIES

13

New Americans.

A stranded family.

A family with a problem.

I

Figure 7.—Case workers in Travelers Aid assist those in transit.

14

OUTLOOK FOR WOMEN

who were part-time students. The administrator, the case supervisor,
and 2 of the 4 case workers were women.
During the past two decades marriage counseling lias become known
as a specialized service offered by some agencies which specialize ex­
clusively in this form of counseling, and by others which include such
counseling in services to families and individuals. Voluntary family
service agencies such as those affiliated with the Family Service As­
sociation are of the latter type. They have no separate marriage
counseling service but assign families with marital problems to ex­
perienced case workers who are prepared to deal with such problems
among other problems of family relationships. One family agency
in a large midwestern city reported that one-fourth of the 3,000 re­
quests for service in 1949 involved marital problems. Clergymen,
physicians, lawyers, and teachers, of course, have customarily given
counsel with regard to marital adjustments in connection with their
other functions, although only a few have taken specialized training
to prepare them for this work. Many who are not equipped to offer
the type of family service available in organized agencies refer fam­
ilies to voluntary or public agencies for help.
In recent years, however, some psychiatrists, clinical psychologists,
urologists, gynecologists, educators, sociologists, clergymen, and law­
yers, as well as social workers, have specialized in premarital counsel­
ing for young adults and aid to maladjusted married couples. A
woman with a Ph. D. degree in sociology headed a marriage counsel­
ing service in an eastern city in 1950. Two full-time and one part­
time counselors, all women, were on the staff, and two men physicians
conducted evening and Saturday clinics. A midwestern city had one
full-time case worker and three part-time case workers in its marriage
counsel clinic in 1948. Marriage counseling clinics charge fees which
vary greatly in amount in different areas but in all cases are on a
sliding scale and are adjusted to ability to pay. Apparently the de­
mand for marriage counselors exceeds the supply, as a midwestern
university reported that in 1948 its sociology department had many
requests for persons trained in this field which it had been unable to
till, and a southern university reported requests from family agencies
for persons qualified in marriage counseling.
Family case workers are also employed in small numbers in other
organizations and agencies where case work service or arranging con­
tacts between families and community agencies is frequently needed.
Some courts and legal aid societies employ case workers to make in­
vestigations of families involved in legal action who require such
services.
In public housing the employment of at least one social case worker
in each large development is considered desirable. Three midwestern

SOCIAL CASE WORK WITH FAMILIES

15

cities and one oil the Pacific Coast were among those reported to have
social workers on the staff of their public housing authorities in 1949.
The housing authority of one of these midwcstern cities in 1950 em­
ployed five housing managers, with training or experience in a social
agency, four of whom were women. These managers each had the
responsibility for the management of more than 1,000 family units.
In one of the larger projects in this city, the manager, herself a
fully trained case worker, had four assistants who served as investi­
gators. These investigators and the managers of the smaller projects
reviewed size of family and income periodically and handled minor
problems which arose among the tenants in the field of domestic
difficulties, health, delinquency, or housekeeping problems, especially
those involving relations with other tenants, such as laundry sched­
ules, garbage disposal, or cleaning responsibilities. Major social prob­
lems requiring intensive service were referred to appropriate
community agencies. The initial selection of tenants was made in
the central office of the authority by a special tenant-selection staff of
four persons, only one of whom had social work experience (with
the local Family Service Association). A private social agency in­
terested in improving housing in the same city had a professional
staff of eight persons in 1950, of whom four, including the two admin­
istrators and an assistant, were trained social workers or in the process
of attaining training in an accredited school of social work.
Family case workers are also attached to some institutions, as, for
example, homes for the aged and correctional institutions and related
organizations. In an eastern city a prison association, supported by
private funds, employed a staff of three men and one woman in 1950;
the latter, a social worker, was in charge of the family service bureau
of the association, which offered case work service to families of men
serving terms in the State institutions. Women deprived of their
husbands’ share in responsibility for the conduct of the family were
helped with problems such as illness in the family. They were also
helped with plans for the prisoner’s release, adjustment of the chil­
dren to their father’s absence, and other difficulties created by the
imprisonment of the head of the family. Families of women pris­
oners were given service by the Women’s Prison Association in the
same city (47). In a midwestern city in 1949 a similar organiza­
tion, known as Prisoner’s Aid, had a professional staff composed of
a woman administrator, a man case worker, and a woman trained as
a medical social worker, who worked part time.
The Navy Eelief Society, which gives assistance to dependents of
Navy personnel, in 1949 had a social worker in charge of its head­
quarters office in Washington, D. C. There were also several social
032017“—51-

-4

16

OUTLOOK FOR WOMEN

woikers on the staff of its auxiliary at one of the large naval training
stations.
In addition to the social workers employed by the Federal Govern­
ment in direct case work to families in the District of Columbia, a
few such workers are employed by the Government elsewhere. For
example, about 30 social case workers were employed in the Indian
Service in the Department of the Interior in 1950 to give direct service
to Indians on government reservations.
A few industrial and commercial establishments employ family
case workers. Among them are firms in such varied fields as soap
manufacturing, retail merchandising, machine manufacturing, and
financing. Some unions have designated counselors among their mem­
bers who supply needed information on community services to other
members.
Comparatively few social workers are employed in industrial coun­
seling, however, in spite of its rapid expansion during and since World
War II. Most firms regard counseling on job and employee-relation
problems as the primary function of their counselors, and therefore
prefer people with industrial and personnel experience, rather than
social workers. The employees, too, may prefer to obtain social serv­
ices when they need them through community agencies to which they
contribute and in which they participate, rather than through their
employers. Nevertheless, a worker’s performance on the job and bis
adjustment to it and to his fellow employees often depend on the solu­
tion of family problems—housing, for example, or day-time care of
children, or marital misunderstandings. Even for the purpose of
referring employees to appropriate agencies for social service, medi­
cal care, or psychological diagnosis, some acquaintance with the social
work field is an advantage. Employee counseling offers interesting
possibilities to persons with industrial experience and social work
training; moreover, salaries in this field are not fixed, but depend to a
large extent on the value of services rendered.
^ -Vu increasing number of family case workers from the United
States are working in other countries. A list of the employed grad­
uates of one accredited school of social work in 1948 included one
teaching social case work in India and others engaged in social work
in the Far East and in various European countries. Experienced
family case workers are among the small but increasing number of
social workers employed by international organizations affiliated with
the United Nations. Others are engaged in working with refugees in
agencies in the United States whose work is with the foreign born.
A knowledge of languages and of the customs and traditions of other
nations is important for work in international organizations or in
work with families in other countries or with foreign-born families.

SOCIAL CASE WORK WITH FAMILIES

17

Geographic Variations in Employment

Country-wide information on the location of positions of case
workers in voluntary family agencies is not available, but the geo­
graphic distribution of the member agencies of the Family Service
Association of America offers a clue. The association represents a
large segment of voluntary family service and accounts for roughly

Figure 8.—Victims of a plant explosion explain the damage done to their
home to a Red Cross case worker in Disaster Service.

one-fourth of all family case workers in the United States. In table 1
the distribution of these voluntary family agencies compared with the
distribution of the population shows a marked concentration of the
agencies in the Northeastern States,1 while the Southern and Western
States have only half as many agencies as their proportion of the total
population warrants. It is generally accepted that the South has
1 Regions as designated in TJ. S. Census reports are used throughout:
Northeastern States—Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey,
New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont.
North Central States-Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri,
Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin.
South—Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky,
Louisana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee,
Texas, Virginia, West Virginia.
West—Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon,
Utah, Washington, Wyoming (62).

18

OUTLOOK FOR WOMEN

lagged behind other sections of the country in providing privately
financed social services, and that the West, because of the relative
recency of frontier conditions, did not generally feel the need for the
establishment of such services until the depression of the thirties.
In 1950, although openings in family service agencies were avail­
able throughout the country, the greatest demand, according to the
Family Service Association, was in the Pacific Coast region. New
voluntary family agencies were being developed in California and in
Oregon; the first voluntary family agency in Portland, Oreg., was
established that year. In 3 months in 1947-48 the Social Workers’
Placement Service of the California Department of Employment re­
ported seven positions open in voluntary family agencies in the West­
ern States. All but one of these were in nonsectarian agencies.
There are still relatively few voluntary family agencies employing
case workers in rural communities because adequate local financial
support is not available. However, several national agencies, among
them the American National Red Cross and the National Travelers
Aid Association, have encouraged the extension of services to rural
areas. In addition, a number of local voluntary family service agen­
cies are serving rural or semirural territory contiguous to the metro­
politan areas in which they are located {10).
Table 1.—Geographic Distribution of 226 Member Agencies of the family Service Asso­
ciation of America, January 1950, Compared with the General Population

Member agencies 1
Region
Number
United States__________
Northeastern States____
North Central States____
South __
__
_
West__________

_

_

Percent

Estimated
population
of United
States, 1949 2
Percent

226

100.0

100.0

98
76
36
16

43.4
33.6
15.9
7.1

26.4
29.7
30.6
13.3

-

\ FPlFk Service Association of America, Directory of Member Agencies, January 1950.
2 U. S. Bureau of the Census (61).

Supply
Graduate schools of social work are not producing enough students
with case work training to fill the continuing demand from long estab­
lished family agencies and also take care of expanding services. The
dean of a midwestern graduate school of social work believes that
incieased specialization in medical or psychiatric social work has
drained off many promising prospects from the voluntary family case
work field. He notes, however, that the whole social work field is
suffering from an under supply and believes that higher salaries would

SOCIAL CASE, WORK WITH FAMILIES

19

help to attract additional persons into the work. An executive in a
southwest family service agency attributes her difficulty in obtaining
trained workers to the lack of a graduate school of social work in her
area. For a number of years this agency has had difficulty in keeping
its staff jobs tilled.
Only about 2,050 men and women received degrees or certificates
from graduate schools of social work in the United States in 1948-49.
Many of these were already employed by agencies to which they were
expected to return following completion of their training and so did
not add to the total supply. In one school all but 4 of the 102
enrolled were committed by agreement to return to their agencies at
the end of a year of training. Another graduate school of social work
reported that about one-fourth of the 200 women graduates in social
case work during a 3-year period from 1944 to 1946 became family
case workers. It is doubtful that as many as one-third, or roughly
680, of the nearly 2,050 graduates in 1948-49 entered voluntary family
case work agencies as new workers, although this is the number needed
for replacements alone.
Even before World War II the Russell Sage Foundation reported
that voluntary family agencies were hiring new workers equivalent
in number each year to one-fifth of their staff (37). Such turn-over,
which does not appear to be diminishing, increases the job openings
for new graduates as well as for experienced workers wishing to
transfer.
Social work graduates, prepared for family case work in 1949, had,
therefore, many opportunities from which to choose in voluntary
family agencies, travelers’ aid societies, religious agencies and insti­
tutions, and a miscellaneous group of other organizations and agencies.
Graduate schools of social work reported a demand far greater than
the supply. One school director s ummed up the situation in 1949 by
saying that anyone with reasonable personal qualifications and 1 year
of graduate training in social work could get a position in almost any
part of the country, and a person with a master’s degree had even
greater opportunity. An administrator in a midwestern family
agency explained that shortages for qualified case work personnel
were caused in 1950, not only by the expansion of services in the entire
social work field but also by the fact that previously well-established
fields, like family case work, have increased their demands for quali­
fied personnel. In addition, the expansion in newer areas, such as
public welfare and psychiatric clinics, drains the already inadequate
supply of available staff so that the voluntary family service field’s
share of the total pool is less. Therefore she expects the demand for
trained case workers to outrun the supply for several years.

20

OUTLOOK FOR WOMEN

TRAINING
In voluntary family service agencies with the highest educational
standards the minimum qualification for professional status as a
family case worker is completion of 2 years of work in a graduate
school of social work, but some agencies have been forced by personnel
shortages to accept workers with less preparation. In a study of 400
social workers in California—a sample of all registered social workers
in that State in 1946 nearly three-fourths of the 70 family case work­
ers included in the sample were college graduates, and one-third of
the 70 had completed at least 1 year or more of professional training.
I he amount of education and training of these family case workers
exceeded the average for all the social workers included in the study,
of whom only 62 percent were college graduates and only 5 percent
had at least 1 year of professional training (39). The trend toward
the lequirement of graduate training in social work before employ­
ment was well established before World War II. In 1939, 207 mem­
ber agencies of the Family Service Association employed 452 new
workers, of whom 58 percent had completed a 2-year graduate course
m social work, and an additional 31 percent had had some graduate
training (57).
Many of those working in voluntary family agencies without
graduate training are older workers who entered the field before such
training was generally available or sought; some, however, are recent
college graduates hired because of a continued shortage of trained
workers. In many of the local agencies visited in the course of this
study, at least one member of the staff was away on educational leave
to complete graduate training. Some authorities in this field believe
I he “case-aide plan” to be most satisfactory. Under this plan women
without graduate training are encouraged to work for a private
agency for a year as case aides and then go to a school of social work
to obtain the necessary graduate training. After 1 year of graduate
work, the beginner is advanced by many agencies to the junior case
work level with an increase in salary. When 2 years of graduate work
and 1 to 3 years of experience in the agency have been acquired, the
worker usually is advanced to senior grade case worker with a further
increase in salary.
In 1950 in the continental United States there were 47 graduate
schools of social work which were accredited by the American Asso­
ciation of Schools of Social Work and offered graduate preparation
for case work in voluntary family agencies. (See appendix, p. 73, for
list.) Social case work is a required subject in the first year of an
accredited program. Students wishing to specialize in family case
work usually do their field work in an approved family service agency.
Some authorities in the family field have emphasized the need for

SOCIAL CASE WORK WITH FAMILIES

21

field work experience in a psychiatric agency as background for
family social workers, because the family case worker deals con­
stantly with personality problems in adults and children. A survey
of over 400 members of the American Association of Psychiatric
Social Workers made in 1942 showed that at that time almost 3 per­
cent were employed in family case work. More recent figures prob­
ably would show a higher percentage in this field, according to some
social case work authorities.
After a case worker becomes a member of a staff of a family service
organization, she usually participates in its staff development pro­
gram. Great variation exists in agency training programs. Usually
staff conferences with her supervisor, institutes, seminars, psychiatric
consultation, and other means are used to integrate her experience and
training. Emphasis is placed first upon an understanding of the
development of personality and of behavior. The worker must learn
to recognize the kinds of situations and experiences that contribute
to normal, healthy development and those that produce anxious, in­
secure, immature, or unstable individuals. She must understand the
meaning and nature of family life and learn how to use this insight.
Skilled supervision helps her develop the necessary professional
discipline that assists her in gaining control over her own bias, preju­
dices, and attitudes, so that she may help the client in a warm, human,
but objective way. Through such vital growth and learning in the
organization, theory, knowledge, and practice are integrated and
become a part of the case worker’s professional equipment (73).
In marriage counseling carried on by specialized agencies outside
the family service field, graduate training is also usually required.
One agency in the East, for instance, set the following specifications
for the acceptance of applicants in 1949: Graduate degree in social
work, psychology, medicine, or a closely related field, and in addition
at least 3 years of experience in the applicant’s own specialized field
or at least 1 year of supervised clinical experience in an established
marriage counseling clinic. Probationary training covered, as a
minimum, 6 months to a year of training at the marriage counseling
clinic. The aptitudes and intentions of the applicant were considered
to be important, and an evaluation was made after 2 months of train­
ing within the agency to determine the advisability of completing
the full probationary period of 6 months or more at the agency.
Some counseling agencies giving comprehensive service include,
counseling on marital problems or family relations. A number of
these are listed in the “1950 Directory of Vocational Counseling
Agencies” issued by the National Vocational Guidance Association
as meeting personnel, procedural, and other standards approved by
the NVGA.

22

OUTLOOK FOR WOMEN

■m&M

Figure 9. A home adviser with a voluntary agency promoting better
housing points out the location of blighted homes to the chairman of
the agency board.
Scholarships and Fellowships

Pi o\ isions for scholarships and fellowships are common in the
voluntary family agency field. The Family Service Association of
America has a special subcommittee devoted to the development of
its scholarship program. In addition, many of its member agencies
have individual programs. In 1948, 160 awards were made by mem­

SOCIAL CASE WORK WITH FAMILIES

23

ber agencies {22). The local agency which grants the scholarship
administers the funds in consultation with the professional schools
involved. In selecting scholarship students, the member agencies
use definite criteria that include a bachelor’s degree from an ac­
credited college or university; a good academic record; an age range
of from 21 to 35 years, although exceptions to the upper age limit
are sometimes made; good health; and desirable personal qualifica­
tions. Personal qualities are difficult to define and measure, but the
following are considered to be desirable: Warmth and sensitivity;
interest in people; emotional balance; capacity for insight and self­
understanding; ability to have a comfortable relationship with men,
women, and children of all ages, and with persons in authority; in­
tegrity ; open-mindedness; some capacity for leadership; adaptibility;
and ability to organize work and time effectively. Agencies recog­
nize the difficulty of determining whether a candidate possesses these
desirable characteristics, especially when she has had no work ex­
perience to be used as a gauge. An extended personal interview and
a study of her background and family relationships are the only
means of gauging her potentialities {69).
When a person is finally chosen for a scholarship, the decision is
made in many instances with an understanding that the award carries
wfith it an obligation for later service in the agency. For this reason,
a married woman must be able to indicate the plan by which she
believes that she is able to take on added responsibilities, unless her
previous work record indicates that her family responsibilities will
not interfere with her scholarship obligations. The motives of the
older applicant for a scholarship are also carefully examined to de­
termine her purposefulness and ability to cope with difficulties. A
list and description of scholarships available through its member
agencies may be obtained from the Family Service Association of
America, Personnel Service, 192 Lexington Avenue, New York 16,
N. Y. The Personnel Service compiles a new list each year.
Other organizations, among them certain Catholic voluntary or­
ganizations, also offer grants for graduate training in case work with
families. Local travelers’ aid societies in 14 cities offer work-study
plans in connection with schools of social work. In some of these
societies only those already on the staff are eligible.
The American Association of Social Workers issues an annual list
of fellowships and scholarships, assistantships, loan funds, and workstudy plans, some of which are specifically designed for training in
family case work and others of which may be used for that pur­
pose {2). For some, in addition to the specified educational quali­
fications, certain other requirements are made relating to religious
affiliations, race, residence, experience, or intended future employment.
932017°—51------5

24

OUTLOOK FOR WOMEN

.

Figure 10.—A group of social work students are instructed on budgeting
by a home economist on the staff of a voluntary family agency.

Frequently a willingness to work in a specified field for a period of 1
or 2 years after completion of the graduate work is required. Many
fraternal, governmental, and professional organizations and women’s
clubs also have educational funds which may be used to train for
social work as well as for other fields.
In spite of all these provisions for financial aid for training, schools
of social work report that the number of applicants for scholarships
and fellowships which they administer is usually greatly in excess
of available scholarships and that an exceptionally good academic
record and evidence of the applicant’s qualification for the field of
social work are essential. Experience, when required, must be of
superior quality. There are few geographical limitations on scholar­
ships available at the schools, and as a result there is a wide
distribution in applications received and in scholarships awarded.
EARNINGS, WORKING CONDITIONS, AND
ADVANCEMENT
Earnings
The average (median) salary of women providing direct services
to individuals in voluntary agencies in Michigan in 1948 was $2,640,
according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. For
women supervisors the median was $3,820; for women executives,
$3,620. Men received $500 to $1,000 more per year in both staff and

SOCIAL CASE WORK WITH FAMILIES

25

executive positions in voluntary agencies, but in supervisory posi­
tions the median for men was $50 a year less than that for women.
Earnings for workers in voluntary agencies were similar to those
received by similar workers in public agencies; but in supervisory and
executive positions average earnings in voluntary agencies were gen­
erally lower than those in public agencies (18). A 1950 study by the
Bureau of Labor Statistics will supply information of this sort for
the country as a whole.
According to a 1950 statement of the Family Service Association
of America, the pay of family case workers compared favorably
with that of teachers and workers in other professions operating under
organizational auspices. Graduate social workers without experi­
ence usually began at $2,700 to $3,000 in large cities, and annual
salaries for experienced workers ranged from $3,600 on up to $10,000
for executives of large agencies or those in leadership positions (22).
The size of the agency had little influence upon the salaries of case
workers but affected the salaries of executives and supervisors, whose
responsibilities tended to increase with the size of the agency. In
voluntary family case work, executive and supervisory salaries were
influenced more by size of agency than by the size of the city in which
the agency was located.
Scattered reports from particular agencies and localities show some
of the local variations in salaries. In a family agency in a south­
western city in 1948, for instance, beginning case workers were paid
from $2,400 to $2,700; experienced case workers, $2,520 to $4,000;
and supervisors from $3,600 to $4,200. In an eastern Jewish family
service agency case workers received from $2,900 to $3,900 per year
in 1949, and a general supervisor received $500 more a year than the
highest paid case worker. All in the latter agency were social workers
with 2 years of graduate training, and all but one had a master’s
degree. In a family service society in a midwestern city the salaries
for case workers varied with the amount of training: For those with
1 year of graduate training the annual salaries ranged from $2,220 to
$2,700; for those with 2 years, $2,580 to $2,940; the top rate was $3,900.
For those without graduate training, the range was from $1,850 to
$2,100; monthly increases of $5 were paid at 6-month intervals witli
the understanding that graduate training was to be obtained if the
worker wished to remain on the staff. In another midwestern city
a family service agency gave $2,700 as its beginning rate in 1949 and
a range of from $3,000 to $4,300 per year to case workers with some
experience. Supervisors received from $3,300 to $4,750; the director
of case work service, $4,200 to $5,500; the public relations specialist,
$3,960 to $4,950; the administrator and his assistant, from $5,940
to $8,250.

26

OUTLOOK FOR WOMEN

In a travelers’ aid society on the Pacific Coast in July 1949 in
which all the professional workers had had 2 years of graduate
training, the salaries of case workers ranged from $2,928 to $3,660
per year, and the supervisor received $5,580. Another travelers’
aid society in the Midwest paid its case workers from $2,500 to
$3,100; its case work supervisor, $3,900. In an eastern city a marriage
counseling organization, operating as a nonprofit community service
in 1950, reported salary ranges of $2,500 to $3,847 a year for social
case workers and from $3,400 to $4,328 for the case work supervisor.
Hours and Working Conditions

Hours vary in the voluntary family service agencies over the coun­
try, but a workweek of 38 or 39 hours is fairly general. The trend
is toward a 5-day week with a skeleton staff on duty on Saturdays.
Some evening work is carried on in voluntary agencies. Overtime
is frequent in winter when case loads are heaviest and some interviews
must be held after regular hours. When overtime is necessary, the
usual practice is to allow compensatory time, usually Saturday morn­
ing, rather than to give overtime pay.
More variation in the workweek of social workers in voluntary
agencies than among those in public agencies in Michigan was reported
by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics following a 1948
study of social workers in that State. One out of 8 voluntary agency
workers was on a schedule of more than 48 hours per week. Almost
1 out of 5 reported a 37^-hour week. Seven out of 10 workers reported
that they were sometimes required to work overtime and were com­
pensated usually by time off. A greater proportion of voluntary
agency workers than public agency workers reported overtime. Paid
vacations and sick leave after a year’s service were customary. Volun­
tary agencies were more liberal in this respect than public agencies;
more than one-half of the workers in voluntary agencies reported a
4-week vacation. About half of all women social workers reported
that maternity leave was permitted, typically without pay. Maternity
leave was more common in government agencies than in voluntary
agencies (18).
About 6 out of 7 social workers in Michigan were covered by some
sort of retirement plan. Only 1 out of 3 workers reported other types
of insurance, of which life insurance was the most usual. Voluntary
agencies provided such insurance less often than governmental agen­
cies, according to the Michigan survey (18). Security provisions
under the revision of the Social Security Act were possible for social
workers in voluntary agencies beginning with 1951.

SOCIAL CASE WORK WITH FAMILIES

27

Advancement

After a woman has acquired 2 or 3 years of experience in social
case work in a voluntary agency, she can expect promotion to the
position of senior case worker. At this level less supervision is given
and the work may become more complex and varied. The practice
in some agencies is to pay senior case workers as much as beginning
supervisors so that some will prefer to continue on as case workers
rather than to move into the supervisory class. They may be even
more valuable to the agency as senior case workers.
Supervisory personnel is usually drawn from the case worker group.
Case workers with a background of experience in the agency and with
the ability to assist less experienced case workers in practicing social
case work within the functions of the agency are chosen for this type
of work. Often in larger agencies two or more grades of supervisory
positions exist. More experienced supervisors may become directors
of training and conduct orientation classes for beginners or training
classes for the regular staff. The average supervisor has some ad­
ministrative duties, but some become case consultant supervisors whose
sole function is to confer with staff case workers regarding problem
cases. Women predominate in the supervisory group as well as among
the case workers of all grades.

•%yFh

Figure 11.—A family case worker assists a father in providing for his
children’s care during their mother’s illness.

28

OUTLOOK FOR WOMEN

The administrator of a voluntary family agency, known by various
names such as executive, secretary, or director, may be a man or woman
with a background of social work training. Recently there has been
an increase in the number of men holding executive jobs, but women
predominate in actual numbers in this field. The predominance of
men in executive jobs found in the public assistance field is not charac­
teristic of voluntary family agencies. Women headed two-thirds of
48 family agencies, in 16 cities scattered throughout the country, on
which staff information was made available to the Women’s Bureau in
1949. Of the 226 member agencies of the Family Service Association
for which this information was given in the 1950 directory, nearly
three-fourths had women directors.
A minimum of 5 or 6 years in case work and supervisory work is
necessary for a person to qualify for an executive job. Most voluntary
family agencies are free from the practice found in some other agencies
under which men with lower qualifications are promoted before wellqualified women.
A woman who enters the field of social work in a voluntary family
agency may prefer to specialize in other types of work after she has
gained some experience in voluntary family service instead of seeking
advancement in that particular type of work. The various kinds of
related work described in this bulletin and other bulletins in this
series indicate many possibilities in both voluntary and public social
work.
ORGANIZATIONS
The principal organization in the field of voluntary family welfare
work is the Family Service Association of America (formerly Fam­
ily Welfare Association of America). It had about 1,000 lay and
professional individual members in 1950, and its directory listed 229
agencies which held full memberships. In addition, a number of
premember affiliates were listed. Member agencies of the association
are required to employ as case workers only those who have completed
2 years of graduate work in an accredited school of social work.
General individual memberships are open to those who are or have
been active in any family service agency through service on com­
mittees or boards, or as volunteers, and to other persons who are
interested in the association or the family service movement in gen­
eral. Professional individual memberships are open to members of
professional staffs of the member agencies, members of other social
work associations, and graduates of accredited schools of social work.
The association operates as a voluntary membership federation,
serving as a national channel for joint planning and exchange of ex­
periences among the family service agencies of the country. Specific

29

SOCIAL CASE WORK WITH FAMILIES

services, geared to meet changing problems, include field, information,
personnel, and public relations services and publications. The as­
sociation encourages member agencies to adopt certain minimum
standards to improve and strengthen agency practices. The official
channel of communication for the membership is the monthly High­
lights. The organization also publishes a monthly professional jour­
nal, Journal of Social Casework.
Many family case workers belong to the national professional or­
ganization for social workers, the American Association of Social
Workers, with 11,500 individual members in 104 chapters in 1949.
The National Social Welfare Assembly includes a Social Case Work
Counsel, consisting of the representatives of 19 national agencies
which meet once a month to discuss common problems and to develop
closer relations in social case work fields.

I1M

Figure 12.—A marriage counselor interviews a troubled husband.

30

OUTLOOK FOR WOMEN

One sectarian organization has a Family Service Division and de­
votes a large part of its activities to the family welfare field—the
National Conference of Catholic Charities, with 2,500 individual
members and 1,700 member organizations and institutions. It pub­
lishes the monthly Catholic Charities Review. Another sectarian
organization, engaging in family case work, the National Conference
of Jewish Social Welfare, had 237 member organizations and 725
individual members in 1949 and published a social work magazine
entitled, Jewish Social Service Quarterly.
The American Association of Marriage Counselors, organized in
1943 and incorporated in 1947, had 49 individual members in 1950,
including both active and associate members. Nineteen of the active
and 6 of the associate members were women. Active members are
individually engaged in marriage counseling, and many are con­
nected with organizations providing clinical services. Associate
members may not be actually engaged in marriage counseling but have
made some contribution to the field or have had some recognized
clinical experience in marriage counseling. Some members of the
association have had training in the field of social work, but the
exact number of these is not available. The association is active in
establishing and maintaining professional standards and in supply­
ing information on premarital and marital relations to its member­
ship, to members of allied professions, and to writers, publishers, and
the lay public.
SUGGESTIONS TO THOSE INTERESTED IN ENTERING
THE VOLUNTARY FAMILY CASE WORK FIELD
The young woman who wants to work with a voluntary family
agency should prepare herself by obtaining 2 years of training in an
accredited graduate school of social work, if this is at all possible.
With this training, which includes supervised field work experience,
she will be considered qualified by the agency and eligible for a de­
sirable position, so far as educational requirements are concerned.
However, there are a few family agencies where a promising college
graduate without such training may be able to obtain a position on
the understanding that she will take graduate training within a given
length of time and will continue to work with the agency for 1 or 2
years thereafter. In some agencies she may have her entire training
financed, while in others she will be granted leave without pay to at­
tend graduate school. A student must have a good academic record
in undergraduate work to qualify for scholarships or educational
leave.
While graduate training is important, a family case worker must
also have a healthy outlook on life and a satisfactory personal adjust­

SOCIAL CASE> WORK WITH FAMILIES

31

ment before she can aid others with their difficulties and obtain their
confidence. Some specialists in this field believe that women are better
adapted to this work than men because they have less difficulty in gain­
ing the confidence of the mothers in the families which apply for
service. Some very young women workers, because of their youth,
have difficulty at the outset in obtaining the trust of older women
receiving aid. With the passage of time, they acquire confidence and
skill if they have the interest and the patience that are also requisites
for success in this work. Since marriage and motherhood are consid­
ered assets in this field, provided family responsibilities do not inter­
fere with the work, a trained woman worker may marry and be a
homemaker for a period and later return without difficulty.
There is some conflict in opinion regarding the most desirable under­
graduate curriculum to follow in preparation for graduate training.
Over 130 undergraduate schools offered courses in social work in 1950.
However, many administrators and educators in the family social work
field believe that preparation should be through orientation, social
security, and community organization courses rather than through
courses which attempt to teach the individual how to do social work.
The consensus at present among many outstanding administrators and
educators is that a broad liberal arts course with emphasis on the social
sciences is the best preparation for family case work and that the
student should attempt to gain a clear picture of present-day family
life in particular. The student is advised to pursue a well-rounded
social science program, to major in one of the social sciences, and to
take, if possible, certain home economics courses relating to family life.
The American Association of Schools of Social Work has discussed
this subject fully in its 1949 bulletin “Preprofessional Education for
Social Work.”
In voluntary family agencies the choice of personnel is dependent
not on merit ratings but on the employer’s appraisal of the training and
experience of the applicant. In some agencies a committee of board
and staff members sets the standards. Many agencies have job classi­
fications which are used as an employment basis. The persons who do
the selecting usually consider the age of 21 years a minimum, since
maturity is needed in this type of work. Good health is a requisite for
the family worker, as well as the ability to work at high pressure dur­
ing certain periods. Physical examinations are usually required
before employment, and periodic examinations thereafter are common
in many agencies.
In addition to meeting these general qualifications, it may be neces­
sary to meet special qualifications for employment in certain agencies
or areas, and these it is desirable to make inquiry about. For instance,
a knowledge of languages may be required in some locations for work
932017°—51----- 6

32

OUTLOOK FOR WOMEN

with foreign-born groups. Some sectarian agencies require that em­
ployees be members of the sect, while others prefer a variety of reli­
gious representatives on the staff. Some agencies give preference to
local residents. The possession of a car may be necessary in an area
where distances are great.
A probationary period of employment for G months or a year is
customary before a permanent appointment is made. Written con­
tracts of employment are in general use.
Voluntary family case work has developed a prestige and efficiency
which makes possible accomplishment and satisfaction. It has become
a democratic sharing process in which human dignity is respected
throughout treatment {59). More benefits and security are being
offered to employees in this field as time goes on. The earnings for
beginners are similar to those for beginners in other professional
groups; for those with experience attractive salaries as well as work
in related fields are possibilities. In developing her ability to advise
skillfully and competently and to aid families and their individual
members toward self-determination and adjustment, the woman with
social consciousness may find great possibilities for her own growth and
gratification in her contribution to her community.
DEMAND PRIOR TO WORLD WAR II
In the early part of the nineteenth century relief societies had vol­
unteer workers, known as “friendly visitors,” who provided financial
aid in a small way to families whose need was overwhelmingly evident.
But virtually no emphasis was placed on rehabilitation or preventive
work. A more fundamental service to needy families was ushered in
when the first family service society was established in Buffalo, N. Y.,
in 1877. Professional salaried workers gradually began to replace
volunteers in local charity organizations in the latter part of the past
century. The first professional school of social work to train such
workers was set up in New York City in 1898. In 1909 the Russell
Sage Foundation established its Charity Organization Department,
and in the same year Mary E. Richmond became the director of a
department of the Foundation set up to “study, teach and publish in
the charity organization field.” Publication in 1917 of her “Social
Diagnosis” laid a pattern for present-day method in social case work.
She changed the concept of the “poor” into that of the “client,” a
person incapable of full self-maintenance in his social setting. This
publication also established the generic base in social case work as
the process of formulating a social diagnosis, that is, collecting and
evaluating evidence and the drawing of inference therefrom.

SOCIAL CASE. WORK WITH FAMILIES

33

Meanwhile, the Family Service Association of America 2 stimulated
further development in family social work. Gradually, with the
evaluation of data and the development of the treatment process, the
basic principles of family social study evolved.
That family case work had developed rapidly by 1927 was indicated
in a study by tbe Family Service Association of America, which re­
vealed 1,434 workers in 169 family welfare organizations (). By
1939 more than 2,000 social workers were working in 207 family
agencies reporting to the Russell Sage Foundation. A 1936 study
indicated that only 6 percent of the social workers in family agencies
were men (37).
The depression of the 1930’s deluged the family social work agen­
cies with problems arising out of mass unemployment. They con­
tributed as much as they could from their limited budgets until State
and local public relief agencies were able, with Federal aid, to pro­
vide more adequate public assistance. The Social Security Act in
1935 provided the basis for a more definite relationship between public
and voluntary agencies. The administration of financial assistance
became the responsibility of public agencies, and voluntary agencies
specialized in preventing individual and family disorganization in tbe
community, providing financial aid only in emergencies not covered
by public agencies.
The opening of the decade of the 1940’s found the family case work
field continuing to expand and maintaining a high standard of prep­
aration for its professional workers. A report of 398 social workers
newly hired by member agencies of the Family Welfare Association
in 1938 indicated that 58 percent had completed a 2-year course of
graduate study in a school of social work and that an additional 31
percent had had some graduate professional training (37).
In 1941 the Red Cross provided Home Service in its 3,726 chapters
and 6,000 branches throughout the country, through trained social
workers wherever possible or through volunteers in the smaller com­
munities (26). With the launching of the defense program, before
the actual hostilities of World War II began, the work of the Red
Cross began to expand and assume an even greater importance. The
effect of defense measures was also beginning to be felt by the volun­
tary family agencies in early 1941. A Family Welfare Association
survey covering 194 of its 233 member agencies revealed that 86 re­
ported no change in their personnel for the first 9 months of 1941 but
that 108 agencies reported 371 social workers had left during this
period. Some of those who left were replaced, and some vacant posi­
tions were abolished, but 84 vacancies remained which the agencies
2 This association, organized in 1911 as the American Association for Organizing Family
Social Work, changed its name in 1930 to Family Welfare Association of America, and
again in 1946 to its present name, Family Service Association of America.

34

OUTLOOK FOR WOMEN

Preparing a veteran’s
application form for
Government benefits.

-xsm
Visiting an ill serviceman’s mother.

Figure 13.—Professional Red Cross Home Service workers assist
servicemen, veterans, and their families.

SOCIAL CASE' WORK WITH FAMILIES

35

were unable to fill. Although the number leaving directly because
of defense was reported to be small, the indications were that the
defense program was causing dislocations in the labor market which
made the procurement of suitable staff members difficult.
Agencies which lost staff members with 2 or 3 years of experience
and training in the agency suffered severely. The situation seemed
to aggravate and intensify difficulties already recognized by some of
the smaller agencies in the field, such as low beginning salaries and
remoteness from large centers of population. The exodus of staff
members was greatest proportionately from small and medium-sized
cities. However, a case supervisor in a large city stated in 1941 that
she could never recall in 20 years of experience a time as difficult as
that year for obtaining promising candidates for positions. More
than usual difficulty was being experienced in replacing staff members
with those of equal caliber. As a result, agencies tended to hold posi­
tions open longer than advisable and finally to make replacements
with workers who had less experience and training than those who had
left (71).
WARTIME CHANGES IN EMPLOYMENT
Trends noticeable in the defense period were accentuated after the
United States entered World War II in December 1941 and were
radically affected by the course of subsequent events. The most strik­
ing changes were the reduction in the number of families needing
financial help and the increase in the proportion needing intensive
work. The case work staff in voluntary family agencies became pro­
gressively smaller. A report on 59 of these agencies showed a total
of 1,147 executives and case workers in 1944, as compared with 1,351
in 1940. The number of students from schools of social work doing
field work in these agencies fell during the same period from 324 to
258. This was roughly a 15-percent reduction in paid personnel and a
20-percent reduction in social work students working on cases (36).
The high rate of personnel turn-over, which had long characterized
social work, coupled with increased demands for social workers out­
side of family agencies, continued to decimate the case work personnel
in family agencies during the war period. Some family case work­
ers joined the staff of the Selective Service System and the War Re­
location Authority. Some went to the American Red Cross and the
United Service Organizations. All agencies competed for staff mem­
bers. Further staff dislocation was caused by men on the staff enter­
ing military service and by the marriage and pregnancy of women
staff members or their removal to other communities to be near their
husbands in the armed services.
As early as 1942 the Family Welfare Association of America esti­

36

OUTLOOK FOR WOMEN

mated that 200 vacancies for professional workers existed in its mem­
ber agencies. A number of these vacancies had been open for 3 months
or longer. A year later they were 2y2 times more numerous. Work­
ers with less professional training had to be hired as replacements.
To make employment more attractive, salaries were increased, per­
sonnel practices were improved, work-study plans were offered, and
more in-service training programs were installed to improve the qual­
ity of the work (1). Meanwhile, war workers, swarming into areas
with small populations, created a demand for skilled family case work­
ers to cope with the problems of war- workers’ families.
A report from Jewish family agencies, covering the period from
1940 to 1944, showed that, while the number of families applying for
service was decreasing, the proportion of these families needing inten­
sive case work treatment was increasing. Families needing financial
assistance dropped from 40 percent of the case load in 1940 to about
26 percent in 1944, but over the same period families needing intensive
case work treatment increased from 72 to almost 81 percent of the total
active cases (IS). The Family Service Association reported for the
period from 1938 to 1945 that case workers found it necessary to give
increasing amounts of time and attention to individual cases. Over
the same period, the association experienced an average decrease of
nearly 11 percent in professional personnel throughout its member
agencies.
While there was less financial need in the war period, the high prices
and the rationing of food created problems of budgeting and the wise
use of income. Young people leaving high school to supplement the
family income needed counseling. Mothers sought advice on parentchild relationships or on the suitability of entering war production or
remaining at home. War brides needed counseling in their efforts
to adjust themselves to their new lives under trying circumstances.
Aging family members needed help in adjusting to a war tempo. The
care of children during the clay was a problem for many mothers in
war work. At this time 25 voluntary family agencies had provisions
for homemaker service for children in their homes, and a number of
children’s agencies also offered this service. In these ways the vol­
untary family agency made an effort to protect the individual from
being lost in the mass (28).
With the pressure of population on new or suddenly expanded warindustry communities, the Family Service Association began to re­
ceive many requests for assistance in the development of local serv­
ices in these communities. To meet this vital need for additional
facilities and resources, a war service program began operations in
January 1944, jointly planned and financed by the association and
other national agencies and known as the American War Community

SOCIAL CASE WORK WITH FAMILIES

37

Services. This war service program included a personnel recruiting
program for the entire field covered by the joint agencies, a veterans’
consultant service, the preparation of publications on counseling in
industry and other related material, and a war-service program of liai­
son with Federal Government activities. This resulted in a greater
realization of the value of social case work services in community life
and an increased need for trained workers by the agencies (23).
The American Red Cross also needed an increasing number of case
workers to carry on its diversified services to civilians and the mili­
tary forces. In 1943, 3,755 chapters were in existence, in almost onethird of which the home service program was directed by profes­
sionally trained case workers (7). Liaison was possible between serv­
ice people in the armed forces and their families through the auspices
of the Red Cross; veterans returning home were assisted in their read­
justments to civilian life by the provision of a comprehensive planning
service. A comprehensive disaster service was also planned by the
agency throughout the country, in case of bombings. These extended
services increased the demand for personnel trained in family case
work.
Other agencies needed family case workers. The United Service
Organizations provided health and welfare facilities for military
personnel. As a member agency of the United Service Organizations,
Travelers Aid stationed family case workers in defense areas where
a multiplicity of problems arose as people migrated into these sec­
tions from all parts of the country.
Another drain upon the supply of social case workers resulting from
World War II was the recruitment of social workers in 1945 for work
outside the country under the auspices of the United Nations Relief
and Rehabilitation Administration. Some of the 1,400 to 1,500 pro­
fessional social workers from various countries employed at the peak
of this program in May 1946 were undoubtedly from the family case
work field. Among those sent to devastated areas were more than 600
experienced workers from 200 voluntary family agencies in the United
States.
Some social workers entered military service. Among the WAVE
officers who had social work training or experience when they entered
military service, at least 5 had been administrators in family and child
welfare work. Some others from this field may have been among the
80 WAVE officers who were professional social workers at the time
they entered the service but whose special field was not recorded.
The American Association of Schools of Social Work carried on a
recruitment program which publicized the need for trained workers,
and every effort was made to encourage people to enter graduate
schools of social work. Nevertheless, the number of new workers
entering the family case work field was disappointing.

38

OUTLOOK FOR WOMEN

Although many war emergency services gradually became unneces­
sary with the return to peace, the shortage of family case workers
continued. The demand for service was intensified by the habit de­
veloped by many families during the war of seeking skilled help in
solving nonfinancial problems. One group of 84 family agencies
reported that four-fifths of its families in 1944 sought counseling only.
Such service to financially independent families forecast the need for
a proportionately larger postwar professional staff (6).
VOLUNTEERS
Since for many years family welfare work was carried on entirely
by volunteers, their continuing use, though in a smaller degree, ap­
pears natural. By World War II, however, most of the volunteer
service, except in the American Red Cross, was confined to clerical,
transportation, or similar nonprofessional duties, leaving the profes­
sional part of the work entirely to paid staff. During the war period
the extreme shortage of professional workers compelled voluntary
family agencies to make greater use of volunteers, especially in the
performance of work complementary to that of the paid workers in
direct service to families. The volunteers were used for friendly visits
to shut-ins, to accompany elderly persons to agency offices, and to
assist in obtaining such necessary records as those of birth, divorce,
debts, or ownership.
In a 1945 study of 60 family case work agencies scattered through­
out the country, 11 reported a total of about 40 volunteers assisting
in case work at least part of the year, most of whom were in a single
agency. Such workers had been used in some agencies over a period
of years and were considered a satisfactory addition to the staff.
However, the proportion of volunteer workers to paid staff in
voluntary agencies is very small (36).
Many voluntary agencies have exercised great care in the selection
and training of their volunteers. They have set up formal volunteer
programs, utilizing a reserve force of retired women or housewives
with former case work experience as case aides, case workers, con­
sultants, or board members. Some act in a public relations capacity
by dispensing information about the agencies to the public (JJj).
One agency used women volunteers during the war period to certify
families for Federal food stamps. These workers, under the direction
of a professional supervisor, spent one day a week visiting families.
In addition to the time of professional case workers these women saved
the agency, they rendered service by creating a better understanding
of the agency in the community. The women themselves gained a
clearer realization of the social and economic needs of their own

SOCIAL CASE WORK WITH FAMILIES

39

community (17). Catholic organizations encourage participation in
volunteer work among their members.
The American National Red Cross uses the largest number of volun­
teers in work with families, as well as the largest number of paid
workers. Many former case workers are among the part-time volun­
teers of the Home Service of the Red Cross, engaged in vital work
with military personnel, veterans, and their families. The peak of
volunteer service was reached in this agency in 1945 with approxi­
mately 1,400 volunteer administrators and supervisors and 14,000
volunteer case workers. The Disaster Service of the Red Cross also
keeps a list of available persons in each community who are willing
to serve as volunteers when a disaster strikes. If the disaster reaches
great proportions, an appeal may be sent out in the stricken area for
additional volunteers to work during the emergency.
Many administrators believe that volunteers will continue to be
useful in administrative and service functions, although because of
the complexity of the work involved in executing social service pro­
grams, they can be used on the whole only in a somewhat limited
capacity in assisting the case worker with her professional duties.

40

OUTLOOK FOR WOMEN

Visiting a man receiving
aid to the blind.

Visiting a nine-member
family where the father
is unemployed.

Arranging for the delivery
of Government surplus
foods to a needy family
where the father suffered
a crushed hand.

Figure 14.—A visitor’s typical day.

Part II. Public Assistance
THE SETTING
In 1949, some 31,500 public assistance workers, about four-fifths of
them women, were employed by State or local government agencies
to provide financial assistance to families and individuals outside of
institutions who needed such help. Sometimes called “public welfare
workers” because they work in departments of public welfare, they
are called “public assistance workers” in this bulletin to distinguish
them from other social workers in public welfare departments. Those
engaged in direct work with families are usually referred to as
“visitors,” the term most frequently used for them by the families
themselves.
Public assistance workers usually comprise the largest group within
a department of public welfare. For instance, one midwestern county
department of public welfare in 1949 had 130 public assistance workers
as compared with less than 100 in all its other activities, including
institutional work, court work, and guidance clinics. Another large
midwestern county department of public welfare in 1950 had a public
assistance division with 233 social workers. Its other welfare activ­
ities were carried on by a children’s services division with 30 social
workers, a women’s services division (for unmarried mothers and
pregnant girls) with 3 social workers, an intake unit (which took
applications for all welfare service) with 35 to 40 social workers,
a homemakers’ service with 1 social worker, 2 schools for delin­
quents with 4 social workers, and a shelter for indigent men with
2 social workers. In this county three-fourths of the social workers
in the public welfare department were in public assistance work.
Even when all social workers in voluntary as well as public agencies
are included, public assistance workers still rank as the largest group.
For instance, more than one-third (35.5 percent) of the 3,500 social
workers in Michigan in 1948, according to the United States Bureau
of Labor Statistics, were public assistance workers (18). The next
largest group (8.8 percent) was in voluntary family service work.
This State-wide study also revealed that more than three-fourths (77.8
percent) of the public assistance workers in Michigan were women.
The typical public assistance visitor is employed in a local public
welfare agency serving a county, a city, or a township. In some
States the local offices are branches of the State administration. In
41

42

OUTLOOK FOR WOMEN

other States the local agencies are administrative units of the local
government and operate under the supervision of the State agency
responsible for the public assistance program. In almost all States
assistance is available to the aged, the blind, and dependent children,
and Federal funds are available under the Social Security Act to
assist States with such programs. General assistance to the unem­
ployed and others needing financial help is available in many com­
munities and is financed by State and/or local funds.
The typical visitor interviews persons who come to the office to
apply for public assistance and gives them information about the
eligibility requirements. She also interviews persons in their homes
to secure information to establish their eligibility in accordance with
the rules and regulations governing the public assistance program.
When necessary, she obtains additional information from other per­
sons through visits or correspondence to establish eligibility such as
proof of age and information about ownership or property. The
visitor determines whether the person has enough income to provide
him with the essentials of living included in the assistance standard
developed by that particular State and, if not, how much financial
assistance can be paid in accordance with the policies and procedures
governing the assistance programs. She then makes recommenda­
tions regarding the initial payment and takes care of any subsequent
changes in the amount of payment or cancellations of payment, as
necessary. She assists the family in utilizing available resources both
in and outside of the public agency for health care, recreation, employ­
ment, legal aid, and a variety of other services. She records informa­
tion on eligibility for financial assistance and welfare services and
prepares the required agency forms, reports, and correspondence.
If the family is dissatisfied with the decision about eligibility or
the amount of the payment, the visitor informs the family of their
right to a fair hearing before a State agency, and, if they so desire,
the visitor assists them to request such a hearing. She also receives
any complaints and makes possible adjustments. As a staff member,
she participates in the agency interpretation of its program and of
community needs.
In the larger centers of population, the visitor has the advantage
of the resources of other public agencies and of voluntary agencies to
which she may refer families in need of specialized case work services
not provided by her agency {19). Duplication of effort among the
various agencies in large communities is avoided through interagency
clearance on policies and programs and through a social service ex­
change accessible to both voluntary and public agencies which records
the agencies that have already served the family. Duplication in
current services is further avoided by having periodic money payments

SOCIAL CASE WORK WITH FAMILIES

43

come, for the most part, only from the public assistance agency. When
voluntary family agencies give occasional financial aid, it is usually
for items which the public agency cannot legally provide or to supple­
ment the assistance grant.
In addition to the customary duties of determining the eligibility
of families for financial assistance, many visitors help in the rehabili­
tation of those who can be made employable and provide other con­
structive and preventive service to those included in their case load.
The purpose of such a plan is to aid the needy to live satisfying and
useful lives consistent with their potentialities. This type of planning
is interesting and challenging to the public assistance staff and adds
to the variety of the work.
The visitors’ case loads vary greatly from State to State, and
sometimes from county to county. Case loads may also vary in ac­
cordance with the categories of assistance provided, since the work
required by one category may call for a greater number of visits and
be more time-consuming than the work required by another category.
For example, visitors assigned only old-age cases by one midwestern
agency in 1949 were assigned 300 cases. Other visitors were as­
signed 100 cases of families with dependent children or general as­
sistance cases. Still other visitors had 175 single-person cases
(generally known as one-member family cases, as problems such as
those of food and rent costs are similar for both large and small
families). The average number of visits per day, including visits
not only to those receiving assistance but visits to landlords and
employers, for example, was 3y2.
In some offices case loads are not specialized, but all types of cases
are present in one case load. In fact, most States follow the practice
of giving mixed case loads to their visitors. Estimates of the size of
case loads made for June 1949 by the Bureau of Public Assistance
indicated that in about one-half of the 28 States for which data
were available a mixed case load fell between 140 and 230 families
per visitor. In the same month the median number of cases carried
by a full-time visitor, working on one type of case only, was estimated
at 228 if she worked only on blind cases; 224, if on old-age cases;
113, if on dependent children cases; and 108, if on general assistance
cases (SO). This indicates that general assistance and aid to de­
pendent children require more of a visitor’s time per case than is
required in the other types of assistance. The ideal number of cases
is difficult to determine, but mixed case loads exceeding 200 are
generally conceded to be too large for efficient service.
About 2,000, or 6 percent, of all public assistance workers in 1949
were employed in State offices of public assistance in specialized tech­
nical or social work. Some were field representatives who had super­

44

OUTLOOK FOR WOMEN

visory responsibility over local offices with respect to general
administration, determination of eligibility for needy families, and
provision of financial assistance and other social services. Others
were supervisors who participated in case conferences or had training
responsibility for the professional or clerical staff. Some did highly
specialized work such as participating with fiscal officers in the prep­
aration of a budget, contributing to the preparation of social legis­
lation, acting as consultants in committee meetings, writing policy,
or developing professional ethics in the organization. About 100
other public assistance workers were employed in the Bureau of
Public Assistance of the Federal Security Agency to administer those
parts of the Social Security Act which provided grants-in-aid to the
States for the care of the needy aged, the blind, and dependent
children.
THE OUTLOOK
With vacancies reported in over 2,000 public assistance positions
in State and local public assistance offices in June 1949, with the
need for replacements as time passes, and with a continuing demand
for the services offered by this type of aid, there will be good op­
portunities for employment in this field for adequately trained people
for some years to come. In June 1949, 2,600,000 persons in the United
States were receiving old-age assistance; 537,000 families, including
1.366.000 children, were receiving dependent children grants; nearly
71.000 needy blind persons were receiving Federal aid; and about
461.000 needy families, including approximately 1,000,000 persons,
were being ajded through general assistance.
The number of people over 65 in the United States is expected to
increase from the 10 million reported in 1945 to over 17 million in
1975, if the present trends in population growth continue {60). Al­
though social insurance will tend to reduce the proportion of the
population needing public assistance, it may be some time before
coverage by and amounts payable under social insurance will be such
as to reduce materially the need of the aged, children, and' the
unemployed for supplementary assistance.
Whenever the needs for economic assistance decrease, however, the
visitor experienced in public assistance work will find opportunities
for case work service beyond that directly connected with financial
aid, judging from trends in communities with well-established pro­
grams. With the public’s growing realization of the need for and
support of preventive and remedial as well as financial assistance
programs, some welfare departments have been adding other services
to those of public assistance. For instance, one large midwestern
city in 1949, through its department of public welfare, arranged for

SOCIAL CASE WORK WITH FAMILIES

45

groups of aged people to spend ten autumn days in camps used by
children in the summer months. In the same city hobby shows were
held annually to exhibit and sell craft products made by elderly
persons. The demand for such specialized welfare services, especially
in communities where voluntary agencies are not available or are
not adequate, is expected to keep active the demand for adequately
trained social workers in public welfare agencies. If there is any
lessening of need for economic assistance, public assistance workers
are sure to find new outlets for their training and experience in
such activities.
The shortage of visitors in public assistance programs reported in
1949, however, indicated that the gap between demand and supply in
this field would not be filled for a number of years, under the most
favorable circumstances. Actually, the supply in this work is diffi­
cult to estimate because of the varying requirements for the work
in the different States. But the oncoming supply of individuals with

Figure 15.—A case worker in a county welfare department prepares
application forms for old age assistance.

46

OUTLOOK FOR WOMEN

training in social work was known to be entirely inadequate for fill­
ing current vacancies for beginning visitors, much less to meet grad­
ually increasing needs.
It is a conservative assumption that at least 2,000 persons will be
needed each year merely to replace those who withdraw from public
assistance work each year. Relatively few of the 2,000 persons, in­
cluding 1,454 women, who were graduated in 1949 from schools of
social work accredited by the American Association of Schools of
Social Work were added to the supply of visitors. Rot many schools
were offering courses in public assistance and many of the students
were already committed to jobs in medical, psychiatric, and child
welfare settings, as well as to administrative and supervisory posi­
tions in public assistance. One graduate school of social work, which
reported in 1949 that most of its graduates work in public agencies,
indicated that the majority of its 1950 graduates were already com­
mitted to jobs, many being on scholarship leave from public agencies
to which they had promised to return. Such graduates cannot be
considered a new addition to the supply.
Many of the graduates of the member schools of the Rational Asso­
ciation of Schools of Social Administration in 1949 were expected
to go into public assistance work. According to the association,
their undergraduate training was aimed at giving them some immedi­
ate preparation for such jobs, with the idea that later they would
complete their training in a graduate school on a part-time or workleave basis. Ro statistics are available on the total number graduating
from these schools in 1949. However, the latest report from the
association showed the September 1949 enrollment of students major­
ing in social work courses in its 21 member schools to be 153 graduate
students and 818 juniors and seniors (83). (In 1950, 33 schools were
affiliated with the association. See list, appendix, p. 75.) In mem­
ber schools of the American Association of Schools of Social Work,
another 2,000 undergraduate students were enrolled in 1948-49 social
work courses. However, the total number of students coming to
public assistance work both from accredited graduate schools of social
work and directly from undergraduate courses is not enough to supply
the needs.
DEMAND AND SUPPLY
The great majority of public assistance workers are employed in
local public welfare offices, of which there are more than 3,000 through­
out the country. A smaller number are employed by State agencies
and a few in the Public Assistance Bureau of the Federal Security

SOCIAL CASE. WORK WITH FAMILIES

47

Agency. The distribution of social workers doing public assistance
work in State and local agencies in 1949 was approximately as follows:
Number
employed

Total______31,500
Local agencies
Visitors__________________
Supervisors-------------------Consultants, etc_________
Executives, directors, etc
State agencies.
Directors____________
Field representatives.
Supervisors-------------Case workers________
Consultants--------------

22,800
2,500
800
3,400

2,000
400
600

100
400
500

In local offices.—In most States the local offices served a single coun­
ty, but in a few States the area served comprised more than a county
(as in Texas) or less than a county (as in Massachusetts). Some
cities, such as New York, have a public assistance department covering
only the city in its jurisdiction. Almost 12 percent of all public as­
sistance workers in the country were reported to be employed in New
York City in 1950. In some other large cities, the county government
operates a centralized organization covering both the city and the
county surrounding it, as for example, Allegheny County, Pa., in which
Pittsburgh is situated.
About 80 percent of the 29,500 public assistance workers in local
offices are women.
In 1949 the largest group of public assistance workers in local
offices—about 22,800—were visitors. About 2,500 supervisors were
in charge of these visitors and about 800 other workers, not visitors,
were employed in the local office as consultants or in other capacities.
The number of visitors in local offices varies considerably. Accord­
ing to local reports, there were extremely large staffs in such cities as
New York with 4,000 and Los Angeles with more than 1,000 in 1950.
Cook County, 111., including Chicago, had about 800 in 1949 (38).
Cleveland, Ohio, had 215 public assistance workers in 194G (72).
In rural sections, however, there may be a small office that has only
one director-worker, who handles all aspects of public welfare, in­
cluding public assistance. Hundreds of offices employ only one or two
persons. More than 80 percent of the local offices had fewer than 10
full-time public assistance workers, according to a survey by the
Bureau of Public Assistance made in 1946 (9).

48

OUTLOOK FOR WOMEN

Heading about 1,700 smaller offices in 1949 were director-workers
whose duties combined those of administration and direct services to
families, and, usually, the administration of all other public wel­
fare activities. In some areas the case load is so small that the di­
rector-worker may be employed only part time. Again, she may wTork
full time but administer other health and welfare programs, serving,
not strictly as a public assistance worker, but as the “welfare lady,’’
who in a rural setting is often called upon for a variety of services.
In addition to these director-workers, there were about 1,700 di­
rectors in larger communities who were engaged exclusively in ad­
ministrative duties in public assistance and who had one or more
visitors on their staffs.
Reports are that in the director group men are in the majority but
that among the visitors and supervisors women predominate. How­
ever, the proportion of directors who are women varies in different
parts of the country. In North Dakota, for example, in 1949, half
of the county public assistance directors were women; and in Alabama,
in 1950, all were women.
InState agencies.—State public assistance agencies employed about
2,000 persons in executive and social work positions in June 1949.
Included in this number were about 400 with the rank of director.
In 51 jurisdictions of the United States (including Alaska, Hawaii,
and the District of Columbia), there were, in December 1949, 56
agencies administering public assistance programs at the State level,
of which 4 wei'e headed by women. In addition to this executive
group, there were about 600 field representatives, about 100 super­
visors, 400 case workers, and about 500 other social workers with vari­
ous other duties as consultants or specialists. About 75 percent of the
field representatives were women. The practice at the State level, even
more than at the local level, for the most part seemed to be to advance
women into supervisory positions but to prefer men for administra­
tive work. Vacancies at both the State and local levels in 1949 were
roughly 6 percent of the total positions.
In the Federal Security Agency.—At the Federal level, 9 social
work positions out of 103 budgeted in the Bureau of Public Assistance
in the Federal Security Agency, were vacant in 1950. Persons in
these positions need experience in the public assistance field as well
as sound social work training, in order to administer the grants-in-aid
program, advise State officials, and review State plans for the ad­
ministration of assistance to insure conformity with the Social Secu­
rity Act. Eighty-five of the 94 persons holding social work positions
in this Bureau were women.
In teaching and research.—Other workers with experience in the
public assistance field are needed in teaching and research. As far as

49

SOCIAL CASE. WORK WITH FAMILIES

can be determined from school bulletins, about 75 persons, of whom
38 were women, were engaged in teaching public assistance or other
courses in public welfare in accredited graduate schools of social work
in the United States in 1949. Twenty-two research workers, of whom
13 were women, were employed in both supervisory and nonsupervisory positions in research work in the Federal Bureau of Public As­
sistance in early 1950. According to the Bureau, about 125 research
workers were engaged in research in the State offices, and about 20
worked in the research field in the larger county public assistance
offices. Opportunities for these specialists will be treated at greater
length in another bulletin in this series on social work teaching and
research.
Geographic Variations in Employment

On the whole, public assistance programs, although not evenly devel­
oped, are general throughout the country, as indicated by a 1949 study
of public assistance workers in State and local offices by the Bureau
of Public Assistance of the Federal Security Agency (66). The
Northeastern States, and the West had a somewhat larger proportion
of social workers than of population, and the North Central and
Southern States had a somewhat smaller proportion. (See table 2.)
The distribution of visitors alone, the largest group among the pro­
fessional staff, follows closely that of all public assistance workers.
Relative to the estimated population, the Northeastern and Western
States apparently had a greater proportion of public assistance work­
ers than the North Central and Southern States in 1949.
Table 2.—Geographic Distribution of Professional State and Local Public Assistance
Workers in the United States, June 1949, Compared -with the General Population
'■

Public assistance workers
Executives 3 and
visitors
Number

Percent

Visitors only (included
in preceding columns)
Number

Percent

Estimated
population
of United
States,
1949 *
Percent

Continental United States-------- -----

31,322

100.0

23,003

100.0

100.0

Northeastern States------------------------------North Central States-------------

10,171
8, 673
7, 559
4,9iy

32.5
27.7
24 1
15.7

7, 482
6,159
5. 667
3,695

32.5
26.8
24.6
16.1

26.4
29.7
30.6
13.3

West

1 See footnote 1, p. 17.
2 Bureau of Public Assistance, Pederal Security Agency (66).
3 Executives include directors, director-workers, supervisors, field representatives, consultants, and all
social workers other than visitors.
* U. S. Bureau of the Census (61).

Supply
Public assistance workers are largely employed through civil serv­
ice or merit examinations held by Federal, State, or local agencies.

50

OUTLOOK FOR WOMEN

Amendments to the Social Security Act, effective January 1, 1940,
require an approved merit system for State and local personnel who
administer assistance programs financed partially by the Federal
Government. Although the Federal Government provides funds for
a large part of the public assistance program throughout the country,
it has no authority over the selection, tenure of office, or the com­
pensation of the individual employees hired in accordance with the
required merit system. In some States, visitors in local offices who
administer general assistance alone are not under the merit system,
although visitors assigned to the aged, the blind, and dependent chil­
dren cases in these offices are subject to a civil service or merit system
under the regulations of the Social Security Act. The machinery for
establishing merit and the minimum requirement for visitors varies
greatly in State and local communities. In some States, visitors are
under a merit system established by the State for a limited number of
State agencies, or by the State public assistance agency for all county
public assistance agencies. In a few States the visitors in one or more
counties are included under a county-wide civil service system. Ex­
aminations, whether given by the State or county to set up lists for
those eligible for appointment, usually provide for a rating of educa­
tion and experience, a written test, and an oral test. Before an
appointment is made permanent, a probationary period, usually of 6
months, is customary.
Five States in 1949 stipulated no educational requirement for those
taking the examination for the position of visitor, and 37 made a high
school education a minimum requirement. A few required at least
2 years of college work or a college diploma. None required training
in a graduate school of social work for beginning workers in 1950.
Many leaders in social work hope that some time in the future a pro­
fessional education in a graduate school of social work will be required
for applicants in this field. Actually, persons who have such train­
ing are more likely to obtain a high place on the list of those who pass
the merit examination. Persons with educational background which
is not qualifying, if permitted to take the examination, are less likely
to be placed on the list of eligibles. One western State reported that
t>6 percent of the applicants for jobs in its local offices were college
graduates and that higher standards for appointment than those that
prevailed during the war period were possible in 1950. (See ap­
pendix, p. 73, for minimum requirements for visitors in the District
of Columbia in 1949.)
In spite of the relatively low educational requirements for employ­
ment, the supply has not kept pace with the ever-growing needs of
the field, as indicated by the 2,000 vacancies in public assistance posi­
tions at the State and local levels in June 1949. In addition, many

SOCIAL CASE. WORK WITH FAMILIES

51

local positions were filled with persons having poor educational quali­
fications who would not have been employed if better-trained appli­
cants had been available.
The most important shortage was reported to be in the supervisory
group. As experienced visitors and supervisors were drained off from
public assistance work (as from other social work) during World
War II by expanding agencies like the American Red Cross, the
United Service Organizations, and the Veterans’ Administration, they
were usually replaced, when replacements were available, by persons
with less training and experience, who in turn created a need for un­
available, highly competent supervision.
Reports from local communities illustrate the supply problem. One
large midwestern city in 1948 recommended waiving both State and
county residence requirements to obtain applicants for two advanced
supervisory jobs paying $300 to $400 a month. One local public as­
sistance office reported a recruitment problem in 1949 which it tried
to solve by making use of 25 students from the nearby State university
who worked part time under the supervision of university and staff
supervisors. Such student programs are generally considered in­
effective and unsatisfactory. A shortage of visitors was also reported
in 1950 in the District of Columbia agency where salaries were set by
the Federal civil service system. Residence requirements, the un­
certainty of Federal appropriations, and the infrequency of examina­
tions given by the Civil Service Commission were reported to be the
causes of the five vacancies reported in 1950. Supervisory and adminis­
trative jobs were especially difficult to fill in this local agency.
Also in other large cities and in States the lag in civil service or merit
recruitments was reported to complicate actual placements. In many
instances, when the registers of those who had passed the examination
became exhausted, the lapse of time before new examinations could be
given and new lists prepared caused delays in placements. In addi­
tion, many persons on registers apparently had taken the examination
as a sort of insurance and, when called, reported themselves unavail­
able. In one State in 1948, because the registers were used up very
quickly, merit examinations for visitors were given monthly. Another
State reported in 1947 that its civil service registers for visitors were
exhausted almost as soon as they were published and new employees
were being hired at starting salaries above the minimum. Sometimes
provisional appointments were made to fill the vacancies.
Also militating against obtaining workers in this field were low
salaries (in some offices); fear of poor supervision; heavy case loads;
insecurity of tenure because of the possibility of legislative interference
(in a few States); and restrictive conditions of work (in some
offices)—for instance, the necessity of owning a car. The residence

52

OUTLOOK FOR WOMEN

requirements imposed by some States for all or certain positions also
tend to limit the supply.
A study of social work education currently being made under the
sponsorship of professional associations in the field of social work
shows their interest in and concern with the supply problem. The
report on the study, due in 1951, will undoubtedly prove helpful in ana­
lyzing the problem and in suggesting solutions (S3). Meanwhile,
authorities in public assistance programs'say that the proportion of
graduates of schools of social work who enter the public assistance field
has been declining during the past few years; they stress the impor­
tance of interesting more students in the held of public assistance. A
large eastern graduate school of social work, whose graduates have
traditionally entered public assistance agencies, states that of 976
graduates in 1944 only 65 entered the public assistance field and that
half of these were in administrative work. Many beginning visitors
have come from the ranks of college teachers, personnel workers, indus­
trial employees, and military services, rather than from schools of

Figure 16.—A case worker confers with an assessor concerning
property values in making allowances for tax payments.

SOCIAL CASE. WORK WITH FAMILIES

53

social work. The major problem of supply is to find ways and means
to prepare adequately the more than 2,000 persons needed annually in
public assistance work.
TRAINING
The ideal training for public assistance workers, according to some
administrators in this field, is 2 years of graduate training in a social
work school. In actual practice, many visitors lack graduate training,
and some, although a declining proportion, have had no undergradu­
ate college work. This unusually lowT educational level for beginning
positions, which are generally conceded to require a high degree of
judgment and of skill in social case work, resulted in part from the
rapid expansion of the emergency relief program during the depres­
sion days of the 1930's, when adequately trained personnel were not
available in sufficient numbers. The situation was further compli­
cated in the war period of the 1940’s, when social workers were offered
many opportunities and higher salaries in fields other than public
welfare and public assistance. As a result, it wTas necessary to employ
untrained people and to give them training on the job in order to
continue the assistance program to those in need.
According to authorities in the public assistance field in 1949, a
minority of the visitors had some training in schools of social work.
For example, 22 percent of the more than 500 visitors in Georgia in
1949 had had some graduate social work training. In Michigan, the
proportion was apparently higher. There, a survey of 771 visitors out
of a total of 1,535, indicated that 43 percent had attended a graduate
school of social work (S3).
.
The trend is toward higher standards in this field. State officials
in general have approved the requirement of a college degree for new
employees. They desire also to raise the requirements for beginners
as soon as the situation permits. Beginners, they believe, should have
at least 1 year of training, including field work training in a local
public assistance office, in one of the graduate schools of social work
approved by the American Association of Schools of Social Work
(1$). (See list of member schools, appendix, p. 73.) Alabama pro­
vides an example of the trend: Here about half of the local office
visitors' in 1946, but four-fifths of those hired in 1949, were college
graduates. In a southwestern State, where only 30 of 600 visitors
had had at least 1 year of training in a graduate school of social
work and only 6 had master’s degrees, the State director reported
in 1948 that improved preparation among new visitors was becoming
a reality. The merit requirements of the agency were 2 years of
college undergraduate work, totaling 60 semester hours, although ex­
perience in any recognized social agency might be substituted for
education, year for year.

54

OUTLOOK FOR WOMEN

It is evident that in the past few persons have entered public assist■ ance work with the 2 years of graduate social work training considered
desirable for case workers in public as well as voluntary agencies.
Recognizing this situation and the need for some specialized training
below the 2-year graduate school level for those who were entering
public assistance work immediately upon graduation from college, the
National Association of Schools of Social Administration was formed
in 1942 to promote training in undergraduate social work. Under
the association’s program undergraduate curricula were developed for
students who, it was hoped, would augment the small numbers of social
workers available during the war in such fields as public assistance
and recreation. Social work training and agency experience were
offered for those who intended to take positions in welfare agencies
immediately upon completion of their undergraduate work. How­
ever, students who could go on to graduate schools of social work
were urged to do so, and some member schools of the National Asso­
ciation of Schools of Social Administration offered a year of graduate
work (47) (7^).
More numerous were the almost 400 undergraduate colleges which
offered at least a course or two in social work (33). In Alabama,
for instance, 18 out of 31 colleges offered special courses in social
work, not including sociology, in 1946. However, such courses were
meant to be introductory only, and few offered the practice or field
work deemed as necessary in social work as an internship is in medi­
cine. The American Association of Schools of Social Work has con­
sistently encouraged colleges and universities to offer some under­
graduate social work training and has also maintained consulting
service to schools and colleges. In its 1949 pamphlet on “Preprofes­
sional Education for Social Work,” the American Association of
Schools of Social Work has discussed the undergraduate preparation
it considers appropriate or desirable for entrance to its member
schools. Also, in the colleges and universities where the association’s
member schools were located, undergraduate courses in social work
were offered in which 2,000 students were enrolled in 1948^49. Some
individuals believe that social work training should be excluded en­
tirely from undergraduate colleges, because, they say, college students
need the more general arts and sciences, are too immature, do not have
the proper background, and lack the time to profit by such courses.
They believe that basic information courses are more important and
useful to such students.
Most public assistance agencies have encouraged their visitors to
make up their deficiencies in training, and many offer educational
leave with scholarships for this purpose. In communities where
schools of social work are accessible, the agencies encourage visitors

SOCIAL CASE WORK WITH FAMILIES

55

who have not. completed their training to attend classes in the late
afternoons or evenings or on Saturdays. Work schedules are some­
times changed to make class attendance possible. Employees usually
pay their own tuition and expenses under this system.
In-service training has also been used extensively by public assist­
ance agencies, although they have been faced by the dilemma of a
wide variation in educational backgrounds of the visitors and a short­
age of visitors which limits the time available for training. However,
most agencies concerned with maintaining high standards of service
attempt to improve staff competence and performance. In some
States new visitors are taken to State headquarters or to local orienta­
tion centers for training. One State, for instance, assigns the new
visitor, after 3y2 days of orientation in the local office, to a specialized
training district where supervised field work and class instruction are
given. Many States follow the practice, usual in merit systems, of
having a limited 6-month training period after hiring during which
the new visitor is on probation. At the end of the probationary
period, if the visitor is satisfactory, she becomes a permanent member
of the staff, participates in regular staff training, and is expected to
carry a case load of at least 75 cases (21). The staff training varies
from individual conferences to formal group participation.
Some States also provide training for the supervisory personnel,
at the State offices or in training centers. The Bureau of Public As­
sistance in the Federal Security Agency in Washington, D. C., has
provided consultation and advice to the State agencies in establishing
adequate training programs (61±).
Scholarships and Fellowships

Educators in the field of social work have expressed the belief that
the public assistance field will not recover from the wartime drain
on its personnel without a large degree of scholarship aid. Efforts
in that direction have increased the aid available. The report of the
American Association of Social Workers for the school term of 1947—
48 indicated that, of all students in its accredited schools, two-thirds
were the recipients of scholarship aid. Of these 65 percent were re­
ceiving aid from public agencies, 23 percent from voluntary agencies,
and 12 percent from schools of social work.
Scholarships for visitors come from various sources. The Hart­
ford, Conn., Department of Assistance in 1949 awarded $2,000 to a
staff member for training in family case work. The Grace Abbott
Fellowship in Public Welfare Administration, amounting to $1,000,
is open annually to any woman who is a graduate of an accredited
college and employed in public welfare or public assistance programs
and who plans to return to such work after the completion of the
study financed by the fellowship (2). In 1943 to 1945, 38 States

56

OUTLOOK FOR WOMEN

granted educational leave to 468 visitors; 30 of these States granted
the leave without pay (.fj). One Southern State granted tuition for
1 year of graduate work, plus $100 a month for 9 months, to college
graduates, employed or not yet employed on the State welfare pro­
gram ; unless employment of 18 months followed, however, the amount
of money advanced under the scholarship plan was to be repaid over
a period of time (68).
To States which match them, Federal funds also are available to
help to finance educational leave for public assistance workers. The
Bureau of Public Assistance in the Federal Security Agency an­
nounced a new educational leave policy, effective September 1, 1948,
for probationary or permanent employees in the field of public as­
sistance under the State merit systems. According to the regulations,
the employee on educational leave retains job status during the period
absent from the agency. The leave payment may include money for
tuition, incidental school expenses, maintenance in the community,
travel, and per diem payments to and from school. The school must
be one accredited by the American Association of Schools of Social
Work, but the employee has the choice of the school. The minimum
period of attendance is 1 year, and the employee must sign an agree­
ment to return to the agency to work 2 years for each year of study,
although the local agency may arrange a shorter period of service.
In 1949, 11 States had taken advantage of this leave policy. The
small number may be explained by the fact that before Federal funds
are made available matching funds from the State or locality must
be provided.
Liberal educational leave and work-study plans offered in public
assistance work provide unusual opportunities for college graduates.
The visitor can improve her educational background, obtain training
in an accredited school of social work, and thus qualify for advance­
ment in her agency and in her chosen field.
Information on scholarships and fellowships may be obtained from
the American Association of Social Workers, One Park Avenue, New
York, N. Y., which publishes lists of scholarships and fellowships
periodically (2).
EARNINGS, WORKING CONDITIONS, AND
ADVANCEMENT
Earnings

Salaries for public assistance workers vary by locality and State.
In general salaries have been low in rural communities and have in­
creased with the size of the community. The U. S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics study, already mentioned, on salaries of social workers in
Michigan in 1948 shows that in that State the median annual salary

SOCIAL CASE' WORK WITH FAMILIES

57

of women social workers in voluntary agencies and women visitors in
governmental agencies was identical—$2,640. For women super­
visors in government agencies, the median was $3,420; for women
executives, $4,000. About half received between $1,980 and $2,760.
The great majority of government workers were employed as visitors
in public assistance programs, although no separate statistics on their
earnings were available (18). A similar Nation-wide study by the
Bureau of Labor Statistics, begun in 1950, will supply comprehensive
information for the country as a whole.
A study made by the Bureau of Public Assistance found that in
1946 the salaries of almost 15,000 visitors averaged $1,980 a year,
with half receiving from $1,740 to $2,340. For supervisors, who
comprised about 1,700 of the professional personnel and who were
employed only in the larger offices, the median salary was $2,520.
Included in the study were about 2,500 directors, who were the re­
sponsible heads of their offices. For them the median salary was $2,220,
hut salaries varied (in part with the size of the office) from less than
$1,440 to $4,560 and over (65). However, authorities on the public
assistance program state that salary rates and ranges have increased
since 1946. Many States, it is reported, recognize that true economy
is effected by employing well-trained personnel to administer assist­
ance in a competent way and have tried to raise salary levels. Pros­
pects of public assistance workers were on the whole much better
in 1949 than they had been in the past. Although in some communities
salary rates were still reported to be too low to permit the employ­
ment of really qualified personnel (34), rates offered in others were
encouraging.
Salaries for beginning visitors in a number of States in 1948 ranged
from $1,700 to $2,700, but in some urban centers they were as high as
$3,000 to $3,100. Higher-paid staff workers included senior case
workers, supervisors, and consultants. Scattered information on
the salaries of these workers indicated that experienced case workers
were paid up to $3,784 and supervisors and consultants, up to $5,000.
The directors’ salaries in some rural counties were quite low, but
most salaries offered in 1949 ranged from $3,600 to $10,000. Minimum
salaries for State directors in 1947 ranged from $3,000 to $16,500 a
year, with a median minimum of $6,778, according to a study made
by the American Public Welfare Association. Salaries at the Fed­
eral level in the Bureau of Public Assistance in the Federal Security
Agency ranged from $4,600 to $11,000 per year in 1950.
Hours and Working Conditions

According to a 1946 report, the number of hours of work per week
required of public assistance workers in local offices varied from 33

58

OUTLOOK FOR WOMEN

to 48. Thirty-five States had a workweek of 40 hours or less. Only
two States had a maximum of 48 hours in some of their local
offices. Although the 5-day week pattern was generally followed
in other States, it was the custom in some local offices to have at least
a portion of the staff on duty for part or all of Saturday, in case of
emergency calls (65). In Michigan in 1948, the United States Bureau
of Labor Statistics found that four-fifths of the social workers in
government agencies were on a 40-hour week and that the schedule
of hours of government workers varied less than that of voluntary
agency employees. About 7 out of 10 workers in both voluntary and
public agencies stated that they were sometimes required to work
beyond the normal weekly schedule. Half of these reported some
overtime compensation, usually in time off rather than in additional
cash pay (18). More current, Nation-wide information on hours
and other conditions of work will be available from the study now
being made by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Working conditions
are believed to be improving on the whole.
Public agencies appear to be less liberal than voluntary agencies
in the matter of paid vacations, if the 1948 Michigan study by the
United States Bureau of Labor Statistics is indicative of the country
as a whole. Only 1 in 14 of the public agencies reported a paid 4-week
annual vacation after 1 year of service. One day a month was the
most common provision for a vacation, and the same amount of sick
leave was usual. Maternity leave, however, was more common in the
governmental agencies in Michigan than in voluntary agencies,
although more than half of all types of workers reported that they
were entitled to maternity leave, mostly without pay.
Six out of 7 social workers in both public and voluntary agencies
stated that they were covered by some sort of retirement plan, and
1 out of 3 workers reported provision for some type of insurance,
most usually life insurance. Government agencies provided retire­
ment pensions more frequently and other insurance plans less fre­
quently than did voluntary agencies (18).
Like some social workers in private agencies, some public assistance
employees in local offices work in undesirable quarters, in a basement
or a condemned building which may have been donated or offered at
a low rental to the agency. Relatively few public assistance em­
ployees work in modern office buildings centrally located and equipped
with adequate comforts and facilities. One southern State reported
in 1949 that 28 of its county offices were in fair to good condition but
that the other 38 were in poor condition and needed replacement.
The possession of an automobile is virtually a requirement in certain
sections of the country where families on the assistance rolls live long
distances from the office, and there it is the practice to hire a visitor

SOCIAL CASE WORK WITH FAMILIES

59

willing to supply his own car. Although a mileage rate is paid, it is
often too low to provide adequately for the upkeep of the car. In
some States cars are provided by the agency. Welfare administrators
contend that their employees, like employees in other State and local
agencies, should be provided with agency-owned cars when they are
needed.
Advancement

The possibility of advancement within a local public assistance
office depends in part upon its size. A survey by the Bureau of Public
Assistance in 1948 indicated that more than 80 percent of the local
offices had fewer than 10 full-time employees (9). In many small rural
communities, in which only 1 or 2 people operate the assistance pro­
gram, the only possibility for advancement is transfer to another
county that has a larger staff. Where offices are well staffed and
where a number of offices exist in one county or city, as is common
in industrialized districts, the opportunity for advancement is greater.
After a few years of experience as a visitor, a woman may be advanced
to a higher salary grade as a senior visitor and be given more difficult
cases. Or she may become an assistant supervisor over a group of 5 or
6 workers. After'some experience at this beginning supervisory work,
she may be given a more responsible supervisory position with a
greater number of persons to supervise and more administrative duties,
may be made a supervisor of several assistant supervisors, or may have
responsibility for orientation courses for beginners on the staff and
for providing leadership to other aspects of staff training.
The highest administrative official in charge of one of the larger
local offices is usually known as the local director. A figure on the
proportion of local directors who are women is not available, but in
1950 about one-third of the members of the National Council of Local
Public Welfare Administrators of the American Public Welfare As­
sociation were women. Many of these directors have other duties
besides the operation of public assistance programs and may be respon­
sible for child welfare, foster care, and related medical programs. In
large local welfare departments, however, there is usually a division
of public assistance, often headed by a woman.
At the supervisory level, as well as at other levels, opportunities
not only in public assistance but also in other programs under the
department of public welfare may offer variety or advancement. A
visitor, for instance, may become supervisor of a homemaker service
in the welfare department which supplies housekeepers to families
in which the homemaker is absent. Within the welfare department, a
visitor may transfer to institutional work with the aged or with chil­
dren or adolescents. Other alternatives are work with transients,
or work in voluntary family agencies, or even international social

60

OUTLOOK FOR WOMEN

Figure 17.—The supervisor in line with her duties confers with a case
worker under her supervision.

work. Transfer to State or Federal work is another possibility.
Some public assistance workers with appropriate educational quali­
fications become consultants or field representatives. These repre­
sentatives act as liaison between the larger and the smaller
governmental units to assure a fair, consistent, and effective adminis­
tration of assistance in conformity with the law. Records indicate
that State offices in many instances fill their vacancies from local offices
within the States and that the Bureau of Public Assistance in the
Federal Security Agency prefers people with extensive experience in
local or State agencies. The Federal Bureau of Public Assistance in
1950 was headed by a woman with a long and distinguished career
in social work, and there were 85 women on the social work staff of
the Bureau. This is further evidence of the possibilities for the
employment of women and their advancement in this type of work.
The top level executive in the public assistance program in a State
is usually the director of public welfare, but great diversity exists
among the States as to the status and duties of the chief executive
of the assistance program. A few directors of public assistance are

SOCIAL CASE WORK WITH FAMILIES

61

cabinet officers in their State and have no connection with the welfare
department. Others may head up a division of public assistance in
a department of health and welfare and be directly subordinate to
the commissioner or director of health and welfare who is a cabinet
officer. The heads of public assistance agencies are usually appointed
by the executive of the State or by the State welfare board. In some
States the director of public assistance must qualify under the State
merit system, but in other States this official is the only one in the
program, other than the State director of welfare, who is exempt
from the merit system. The opportunities for women as State direc­
tors are not as good as they are in lower levels of administrative jobs,
since men predominate at the highest level. State directors or com­
missioners of health and welfare, in the States which have a depart­
ment of assistance as a division in the more comprehensive program,
usually have had no previous experience in social work agencies. In
1918 about five were professional social workers, and of the remainder,
about half had a background of business experience, and the others
had administrative and professional experience other than social work.
Some visitors may achieve advancement through having specialized
in teaching, research, or public relations in public assistance. (Such
specialists are also recruited from other social sciences, or from law
or journalism, as well as from social work.) Whatever their profes­
sional background, they need special skills in these respective fields,
in addition to an understanding of the purpose and operation of social
work programs.
ORGANIZATIONS
The principal professional organization for social workers in public
assistance and other public welfare work is the American Public
Welfare Association, organized in 1930, having over 4,000 individual
members and 400 organization members in 1949. In 1948, of nearly
3,000 members listed in its directory, 59 percent were women. Infor­
mation on the proportion of these members employed in public assist­
ance is not available. Active membership in the association is open
to those who are employed in public welfare work, including those in
public assistance programs and also those in such public agencies
as the Veterans’ Administration. Associate membership is open to
other social workers and interested persons.
The association assists in the development and maintenance of
sound principles and effective administration of public welfare serv­
ices throughout the country and provides technical, consultive, and
advisory services to legislative and administrative authorities and to
public welfare and assistance officials. It acts as a clearinghouse
for the exchange of thought and experience in this field and promotes
the development of methods of training public welfare and public

62

OUTLOOK FOR WOMEN

assistance personnel. In these activities the association cooperates
with Federal agencies and with national organizations in public and
voluntary fields.
The association holds an annual conference in December and has, in
addition, a program of regional conferences to serve its entire member­
ship. It has committees on services for children, personnel, welfare,
policy, medical care, administrative practices, and social work educa­
tion. Monthly publications of the association include the Letter to
Members and Public Welfare {29).
The National Council of State Public Assistance and Welfare Ad­
ministrators and the National Council of Local Public Welfare
Administrators are organized within the American Public Welfare
Association. Membership in these groups is open only to those who
qualify because of their administrative responsibility for welfare or
assistance programs in a State or local unit. In 1950 the Council of
State Administrators had 60 members, of whom 5 were women, and
the Council of Local Administrators had 1,431 members, of whom
550 were women. Among the members of the American Public 'Wel­
fare Association itself, according to a recent directory, were 661 public
welfare administrators, of whom 121, or about 20 percent, were women.
Of these, 42 were listed as directors in public assistance work
exclusively (5).
Many public assistance workers, together with other trained social
workers who meet the education and experience requirements, belong
to the American Association of Social Workers. About 40 percent of
the 11,500 members of this association in 1949 were in the field of
public welfare, including public assistance (53).
Public assistance workers are eligible for membership in several
labor organizations for government employees. Two of these are
AFL affiliates: The American Federation of Government Employees,
with a membership of 46,000 in 1949, and the American Federation of
State, County and Municipal Employees with a membership of 90,000.
The Government and Civic Employees Organizing Committee (CIO)
received its charter early in 1950 and had over 200 locals in 1951.
There is also an independent union, the National Federation of Fed­
eral Employees, which had 93,000 members in 1949. Other unions
are also in existence, some in a state of reorganization.
In a number of States local directors of public welfare have organi­
zations which provide the opportunity for exchange of experience and
for cooperation as a group on administration and program develop­
ment. Also, the State and National Conferences of Social Work offer
opportunity for professional contacts for all persons in the public wel­
fare field.
(These are discussed more fully in the bulletin in this
series on Community Organization.)

63

SOCIAL CASE WORK WITH FAMILIES

WELFARE

Figure 18.—A family case worker obtains information from the mother
of a patient in a county hospital while others wait to see her.

SUGGESTIONS TO THOSE INTERESTED IN ENTERING
PUBLIC ASSISTANCE WORK
A local public assistance office encounters a variety of problems and
emergencies on which individuals seek help for their families. Al­
though few visitors still use snowshoes or rowboats to reach isolated
families, assist at births, or prepare bodies for burial, they are part
of a public organization which deals with manifold human prob­
lems and must be ready to respond in emergencies and be resourceful
in handling them. Emotional maturity is the quality most often
stressed by administrators as important for this type of work. This
includes a consideration and a respect for other personalities and an
appreciation for customs and traditions which differ from one’s own.
The visitor needs sympathetic understanding and sensitivity, com­
bined with integrity and the ability to maintain a calm perspective in
emergencies {19).
Opinions vary as to the most advisable type of undergraduate work
for the person who desires to become a visitor. Some educators sug­
gest a broad foundation in the social sciences, such as economics, politi­
cal science, psychology, or sociology; some prefer a full major in
sociology. Others stress a college curriculum which gives compre­

64

OUTLOOK FOR WOMEN

hensive training in the humanities and natural sciences and specialized
courses in delinquency, unemployment, housing, and nutrition prob­
lems, they believe such a curriculum will become increasingly desir­
able for visitors in the next decade (33). Still others would add an
introductory course in social welfare.
Administrators in public assistance generally give preference to
those with adequate educational preparation. A year in a graduate
school of social work is of great assistance in acquiring the necessary
background and training for this work (20), and 2 years of graduate
work with a master’s degree give an applicant a preferred position in
applying for work in public assistance. Field work under super­
vision of a public assistance agency is very valuable to the beginner
(42). Some administrators believe that a year or two of work in a
local office before undertaking graduate work is preferable to contin­
uing on in graduate school immediately following completion of un­
dergraduate work. On the other hand, training in case work in a
graduate school is of great value to the beginner in a public assistance
agency. A visitor so trained can concentrate to a large extent on the
maze of agency policy and regulations. She is not forced to learn
both agency policy and case work procedure at the beginning of her
employment, as is the new visitor who lacks case work training.
Those who rise to administrative posts in public assistance are sub­
ject to constant public scrutiny and criticism and need the bulwark of
confidence that possession of adequate training provides. Further,
visitors who do their work under specific laws and practices of the
government, must learn the extent to which aid can be extended to a
family and be able to explain the services offered, as well as the inade­
quacies which, because funds are insufficient, may arise under the
organization s policy. Although the visitor may be part of a large
organization, she must disassociate herself from the idea of mass ap­
proach, with its connotation of low standards and lack of warmth and
understanding. She must be friendly without making personal
friends of the family members, be able to individualize needs, and be
interested and helpful without destroying the recipients’ initiative.
In addition, she should have attained some skill in writing during her
training period, so that she knows how to write letters with warmth,
courtesy, and understanding in simple language and how to prepare
adequate reports for the permanent records. But she must also fit
into the team pattern of her agency, be able to disagree without rancor,
and learn to conform to the many specific regulations which charac­
terize Government employment.
In work with the aged, the blind, and dependent children under the
provisions of the Social Security Act, the visitor is subject to merit
or civil service regulations in all States in which these services are

SOCIAL CASE. WORK WITH FAMILIES

65

offered, and in certain States visitors with general assistance cases are
also under a merit system. The applicant for a position in public as­
sistance work should know in advance the requirements for positions
in the State and community in which she wishes to work. The woman
who does not obtain this information may find herself disqualified for
failure to fulfill some requirement, although she may be exceptionally
well trained in the profession. For instance, residence requirements,
rigid in some States, may be waived in others or be nonexistent.
Merit and civil service systems confer a measure of job security upon
the public assistance worker which the nongovernmental worker does
not have. In addition, sound promotion schedules evolved in many
of these agencies enable the beginner to rise to higher levels with
increases in pay in the course of time, providing her work is satisfac­
tory. Programs of staff development in operation in many offices offer
training in the philosophy and in the specific activities of the public
assistance program. The numerous possibilities of educational leave
and scholarships are attractive to those with ambition to progress.
One advantage of this type of work is that it may be combined
well with marriage and family responsibilities. It is possible for
women to continue on their jobs under the merit system, either as full­
time or part-time workers, after marriage. Some have found it pos­
sible to leave the field for a time and to return later when family
responsibilities permit. Maturity and the experience of successfully
rearing a family may be considered assets in this type of work,
although some agencies prefer younger workers.
The many social vrnrk journals are helpful both to those progressing
in the field and to women who wish to keep abreast of developments
while rearing their families at home. A special Public Welfare Index,
available in most reference libraries, lists articles appearing in profes­
sional and popular journals concerned with this type of work.
Within the public assistance program, the future offers both variety
and challenge. Because this work is comparatively new as a Nation­
wide program, dating from the passage of the Social Security Act in
1935, the visitor entering an agency can expect to have a part in the
actual development of various phases of the program (31). New
fields of specialization, as in work with the aged, challenge the visitor.
Adding immeasurably to the interest of the work is the fact that no
two cases are exactly alike and the method of approach must be worked
out on an individual basis for each family. Moreover, the woman
in public assistance who sees her task as more than a routine job will
find an excellent opportunity for her own growth. As she considers
the needs of the people she serves and their right to understanding and
intelligent helpfulness, she will be dissatisfied with anything less
than the well-rounded expansion of her talents and skills in their

66

OUTLOOK FOR WOMEN

behalf. In working toward such a goal, she will find widening hori­
zons for herself as well as a growing satisfaction in her work for the
public. Women who take training in graduate schools of social work
during the next few years with the idea of entering public assistance
work are bound to find their services in demand. Ultimately they will
also have unusual opportunity for leadership in a program important
to the welfare of the community.
DEMAND PRIOR TO WORLD WAR II
The early administration of aid for the poor under local authorities
in the United States was patterned after the pauper relief legislation
of an Elizabethan statute, passed in England in 1601 (14). From
colonial days until the latter part of the nineteenth century, almshouse
care and other forms of institutional relief, with some assistance to
families in their homes, called “out-door relief,” were dispensed by a
political appointee, working usually within the confines of the county
(54-) ■ Gradually, some States, as well as local communities, estab­
lished an organized program for direct financial assistance, as well
as for institutional care (40). The first conference of the Boards of
Public Charities was held in New York City in 1874. Women early
became active in this type of service; in 1915 a woman held the posi-

Figure 19-—A county director of welfare at her desk confers with a
staff member.

SOCIAL CASE. WORK WITH FAMILIES

67

tion of director of the Department of Social Work of the City and
County of Denver, Colo. (5).
In the 1920’s an increasing emphasis on relief outside of institutions
included aid to special groups in their homes, such as aid to needy
mothers, the aged, the blind, and veterans (54) ■ For example, in 1922
most of the counties in Virginia began such service with one relief
worker and a clerical assistant in each county.
The depression of the early 1930’s, which exhausted relief funds of
many local communities and States, confronted the Federal Govern­
ment with requests from these areas for funds for the relief of the
unemployed. In 1933 the Federal Emergency Relief Administration
was established which gave grants to the States for work relief and
general aid to the needy, the first direct assumption of relief by the
Federal Government. The director in charge of the New York State
Temporary Emergency Relief Administration was appointed to take
charge of the Federal program. During the next few years a number
of federally sponsored work programs were launched to offset the
paralysis of large-scale unemployment which gripped the Nation and
placed as many as 40 percent of the population in some States on
public relief (52) (11). The Federal programs included the Civilian
Conservation Corps, the National Youth Administration, and the
Works Progress Administration. In 1934 one-fifth of the people in
the country were receiving aid of various types, including aid through
work programs and in kind. Since those who received help under
these programs had to prove their need, a tremendous work load was
placed on local and State relief agencies administering the programs
in their areas.
No criteria were set up by the Federal Government at this time for
local personnel employed as social workers or investigators. Num­
bers of social case workers were loaned or released by voluntary agen­
cies to administer public relief, and most of these workers remained
in the public field in supervisory or administrative capacities (8).
The rapid expansion of public relief, for which the social work field
was unprepared, soon exhausted the supply of trained social workers.
Low civil service requirements in some States, insecurity of tenure,
and meager salaries discouraged many of the more capable students
contemplating careers in social work from entering this work (27).
Staffs were recruited hastily, in some instances including unqualified
persons obtained from the rolls of the unemployed. Although a few
States were able to require 4 years of college training from their re­
cruits, other States were forced to capitulate to the realities of the
situation and accept lower standards (12). An effort was made later
to weed out the more unsuitable workers and to supply in-service
training for those who showed some aptitude for the work.

68

OUTLOOK FOR WOMEN

■SfcJ

Figure 20.—A widowed mother who has applied for aid to dependent
children for her three youngest children is interviewed in her home
by a visitor.

SOCIAL CASE) WORK WITH FAMILIES

69

Later, as the need lessened, the Federal Government withdrew its
emergency program from the general relief field but assumed a perma­
nent responsibility for grants to the States for limited assistance
programs under the Social Security Act. Enacted in August 1935,
this act provided funds to States for use in old-age assistance and aid
to the blind and to dependent children. In addition, the act provided
for unemployment insurance, a system of old-age benefits and sur­
vivors’ allowances, and certain health and welfare services. Public
assistance in categories other than aid to the aged, the blind, and
dependent children became entirely a concern of State or local
governments.
Until the latter part of the 1930’s some of the States considered their
public assistance programs as emergency measures. Even in New
York State, from 1931 until 1937, staffs in local assistance offices were
employed on an emergency basis. Finally the permanent need for
the program was recognized, and in 1937 employees were given status
under the State civil service system by legislative action {13).
To obtain supervisors and consultants capable of teaching and
guiding the staff in local offices and of forming policy in this new
and rapidly expanding assistance program, the more able visitors were
encouraged to attend graduate schools of social work which offered
suitable instruction. Leave of absence was granted for this purpose
in some instances. In 1936 and 1937, 147 fellowships were given to
visitors in New York State, exclusive of those from New York City
{13). During this period also, the Federal Emergency Relief Ad­
ministration financed undergraduate scholarships.
That women were gaining a place in public assistance administration
was evident from the lists of public welfare administrators published
by the American Public Welfare Association in 1939. In 114 city
and county public welfare administrations in areas exceeding 100,000
population, 22 women had administrative positions (3), and of the
95 officials at the State level administering public welfare, 28 were
women (4). These public welfare administrators in many instances
controlled related services, as well as public assistance programs.
Another development at the end of the 1930’s was enactment of the
merit-system amendments to the Social Security Act, effective Jan­
uary 1,1940, which applied to the personnel of the Federal, State, and
local agencies administering old-age assistance, aid to the blind, and
aid to dependent children. Some States had merit systems in opera­
tion at this time, but those that lacked them set about establishing
some type of merit rating system in order to comply with the amended
Federal law, so that Federal grants for the three special categories
would be continued. No general type of merit system was recom­
mended, and the State and local agencies were free to choose their

70

OUTLOOK FOR WOMEN

own, so long as tlie system adopted was effective and would provide
for the necessary methods of administration and for the establishment
and maintenance of personnel standards. Each State or local agency
was free to make provision for its own selection of personnel, tenure
of office, and compensation.
WARTIME CHANGES IN EMPLOYMENT
Defense preparations, begun in the 1940’s, and later World War
II brought many changes to the public assistance program. Case
loads contracted steadily as opportunities for employment increased.
The effect of old-age and survivors’ insurance also was beginning to
be felt, reducing the need of some older persons and of children for
public assistance (44) ■ General assistance cases, country-wide, fell
from 1,239,000 in 1940 to 354,000 in 1943 (SO). In Milwaukee County
the costs of the program declined from $10 million in 1940 to $4 million
in 1945 (36).
Although the shrinkage of case loads for a time eased the problem
of replacing visitors leaving public assistance agencies, the loss of
public assistance personnel soon assumed alarming proportions. The
competing demands of Selective Service, the Federal Government,
the American Red Cross, and the member agencies of the United
Service Organizations made it impossible to retain a well-trained
social work staff. A large Louisiana parish reported the resignation
of 5 case supervisors and 69 visitors in 1941 and found no trained
personnel available to replace them (67). In Rochester, N. Y., 292
visitors were employed in 1941, as compared with 400 in 1939. More
than three-fifths had left for higher-paying positions in voluntary
social work or in other fields, and one-fifth because of marriage (46).
By 1942 there were only 20,000 to 25,000 visitors left in public assist­
ance agencies, and a shortage of 1,500 public assistance workers was
reported (32).
As the proportion of inexperienced persons on public assistance
staffs increased, social workers who were graduates of schools of
social work were in demand for supervisory and administrative jobs
to supervise and train the staff. Twenty-two of 179 women, who
reported their employment the year following their graduation from
one school of social work in 1941-42, were in public assistance and pub­
lic welfare agencies (46). In some instances relatively inexperienced
persons trained and supervised new workers. In Louisiana, for ex­
ample, supervision in the majority of smaller offices was given by su­
pervisors who lacked professional training and who had learned
through apprenticeship methods (56).
Under these circumstances, the need for staff training was imper­
ative. Where social work schools were available, visitors were en-

SOCIAL CASE WORK WITH FAMILIES

71

.
Figure 21.—A visitor at the end of the day plans for the following
day’s work.

couraged to take night or Saturday classes. States receiving funds
under the Social Security program were encouraged to permit edu­
cational leave for staff members (J$). Public assistance officials kept
as a goal a broad social service preparation with 2 years of professional
training in a graduate school but realized that this could not be ex­
pected under the existing conditions.
The war brought the visitor many new problems. In most offices
case loads were ultimately increased because of personnel shortages.
State and local public assistance staffs were called upon by the Selec­
tive Service Boards to aid in determining whether need existed for
deferment from military service because of dependency. The short­
age of rubber for tires and gasoline rationing curtailed the use of
motor cars in visiting families. The visitor, however, continued to
administer financial assistance and such other aid as was available
in the community. She never lost sight of the opportunity to re­
habilitate those who were capable of employment and tried to estab­
lish the best possible living arrangements for those who were unem­
ployable. In December 1945, after the close of World War II, an
estimated 23,900 persons were employed in executive and social work
positions in public assistance in the United States. Of these persons,
18,700 were director-workers and visitors. Eight out of every 100
budgeted positions were reported to be vacant at that time.
VOLUNTEERS
Volunteers in public assistance work are sometimes used for routine
clerical work in the offices, or to assist clients with transportation
problems by driving them to and from clinics, doctors’ offices, or hos­
pitals. All persons administering public assistance under the Social

72

OUTLOOK FOE WOMEN

Security Act to the aged, the blind, and dependent children must have
qualified under a merit system. Therefore, volunteers are not used
in the areas of direct administration, supervision, and case work.
Furthermore, the family-worker relationship is considered confiden­
tial, and the family receiving assistance usually expects its identity to
be protected and would resent the employment of anyone other than
the visitor on the case.
However, a number of women serve on State and local boards of
public assistance with no remuneration except expense payments.
These lay boards, composed of men and women from various com­
munity groups according to law, have advisory or policy forming
powers in the administration of public assistance in their communi­
ties. 1 hey also gain support for the agencies’ program through de­
velopment of informational and public relations programs.
W hile not directly associated with welfare organizations, many
women’s groups, such as women’s clubs, church organizations, and
civic clubs, have welfare activities and provide supplementary funds
and services for needs not covered by public appropriations and
agency regulations.

APPENDIX
Minimum Requirements for a Beginning Federal Civil Service Position
as Social Worker 1
(As taken from the Civil Service Announcement No. 99, assembled, Code P-185­
1-3; issued May 4, 1948, closed October 5, 1948.) (This is the last examination
given in this type of employment up to the early part of 1951.) 2

Citizenship in the United States.
Age: Over 18 years and up to but not including 62 years.
Physically capable of performing the duties of the position. Passing
of a physical examination is necessary for appointment.
Education and Experience:
Applicants must have one of the following or a combination of them:
A. Completion of one full year of study in an accredited school of
social work.
B. Completion of a course of study leading to a bachelor’s degree
from a college or university of recognized standing plus one year of
experience in social case work.
C. Five years of experience in social case work.
Note: A number of types of social workers were included in this
examination. Those significant to this study were public welfare
workers in the District of Columbia and other social workers in
Federal service throughout the United States.
Schools of Social Work in the Continental United States Accredited by the
American Association of Schools of Social Work3
[As of September 1950]
Atlanta University School of Social Bryn Mawr College,4
Carola Woerishoffer Graduate Depart­
Work,
ment of Social Economy and Social
247 Henry St. SW.,
Research,
Atlanta, Ga.
Bryn Mawr, Pa.
Boston College,
Carnegie Institute of Technology,
School of Social Work,
Department of Social Work,
126 Newbury St.,
Pittsburgh 13, Pa.
Boston 16, Mass.
Boston University,
School of Social Work,
264 Bay State Road,
Boston 15, Mass.

Catholic University of America,4
National Catholic School of Social Serv­
ice,
Washington 17, D. C.

] The beginning salary was $3,100 in 1950 for a GS-5 (P-1) position.
2 For more complete and later information, consult announcements of the Civil Service
Commission posted in first- and second-class post offices.
3 This list is subject to change. For more complete and later information, write to the
American Association of Schools of Social Work, 1 Park Ave., New York 16, N. Y. Cata­
logues are available on request to the individual schools.
4 Offers doctor’s degree in social work.

73

74

OUTLOOK FOR WOMEN

College of William and Mary,
Richmond-School of Social Work,
901 Franklin St.,
Richmond 20, Va.

Simmons College,
School of Social Work,
51 Commonwealth Ave.,
Boston 16, Mass.

Florida State University,
Tallahassee, Fla.

Smith College,
School for Social Work,
Northampton, Mass.

Fordham University,
School of Social Service,
134 Bast 39th St.,
New York 10, N. Y.
Howard University,
Graduate School of Social Work,
Washington i, D. C.

Tulane University,
School of Social Work,
New Orleans 15, La.
University of Buffalo,
School of Social Work,
25 Niagara Sq.,
Buffalo 2, N. Y.

Indiana University,
Division of Social Service,
122 East Michigan St.,
Indianapolis 4, Ind.

University of California,
School of Social Welfare,
Berkeley 4, Calif.

Louisiana State University,
School of Social Welfare,
Baton Rouge 3, La.

University of California at Los Angeles,
Department of Social Welfare,
Los Angeles 24, Calif.

Loyola University,
School of Social Work,
S20 N. Michigan Ave.,
Chicago 11, 111.

University of Chicago,4
School of Social Service Administra­
tion,
Chicago 37, 111.

Nashville School of Social Work,
412—21st Ave. South,
Nashville 4, Tenn.

University of Connecticut,
School of Social Work,
17 Broad St.,
Hartford 5, Conn.

New York School of Social Work
Columbia University,4
2 Bast 91st St.,
New York 28, N. Y.

University of Denver,
School of Social Work,
Denver 10, Colo.

Ohio State University,4
School of Social Administration,
Graduate Program,
Columbus 10, Ohio.

University of Illinois,
Division of Social Welfare Administra­
tion,
Urbana, 111.

Our Lady of the Lake College,
Worden School of Social Service,
San Antonio 7, Tex.

University of Kansas,
Department of Social Work,
Lawrence, Kans.

St. Louis University,
School of Social Service,
221 N. Grand Blvd.,
St. Louis 3, Mo.

University of Louisville,
Raymond A. Kent School of Social
Work,
Louisville 8, Ky.

4 Offers doctor’s degree in social work.

SOCIAL CASE: work with families
University of Michigan,
Institute of Social Work,
60 Farnsworth Ave.,
Detroit 2, Mich.
University of Minnesota,*
School of Social Work,
Minneapolis 14, Minn.
University of Missouri,
Department of Social Work,
Columbia, Mo.
University of Nebraska,
Graduate School of Social Work,
Lincoln 8, Nebr.

75

University of South Carolina,
School of Social Work,
Columbia, S. C.
University of Southern California,
School of Social Work,
Los Angeles 7, Calif.
University of Utah,
School of Social Work,
Salt Lake City 1, Utah.
University of Washington,
Graduate School of Social Work,
Seattle 5, Wash.
University of Wisconsin,
Department of Social Work,
Madison 6, Wis.

University of North Carolina,
Division of Public Welfare and Social Washington University,
George Warren Brown School of Social
Work,
Work,
Chapel Hill, N. C.
St. Louis 5, Mo.
University of Oklahoma,
Wayne University,
School of Social Work,
School of Public Affairs and Social
Norman, Okla.
Work,
Detroit 2, Mich.
University of Pennsylvania,1
School of Social Work,
2410 Pine St.,
Philadelphia 3, Pa.

West Virginia University,
Department of Social Work,
Morgantown, W. Va.

University of Pittsburgh,4
School of Social Work,
Pittsburgh 13, Pa.

Western Reserve University,
School of Applied Social Sciences,
Cleveland 6, Ohio.

Member Schools of the
National Association of Schools of Social Administration 5
Alabama College,
Montevallo, Ala.

Kalamazoo College,
Kalamazoo, Mich.

Bradley University,
Peoria, 111.

Loyola University,
New Orleans, La.

Carleton College,
Northfield, Minn.

Michigan State College of Agriculture
and Applied Sciences,
Bast Lansing, Mich.

Florida State University,
Tallahassee, Fla.

Montana State University,
Missoula, Mont.

George Williams College,
Chicago, 111.

Nazareth College,
Nazareth, Mich.

4 Offers doctor’s degree in social work.
6 List subject to change. For more complete and later information, write to Mrs. Mattie
Cal Maxted, National Association of Schools of Social Administration, University of
Arkansas, Fayetteville, Ark. Catalogues are available on request to the individual schools.

76

OUTLOOK FOE WOMEN

Ohio University,
Athens, Ohio

University of North Dakota,
Grand Forks, N. Dak.

Southwestern Louisiana Institute,
Lafayette, La.

University of Oklahoma,
Norman, Okla.

Tennessee A. & I. State College,
Nashville, Tenn.

University of Oregon,
Eugene, Oreg.

University of Alabama,
University, Ala.
University of Arkansas,
Fayetteville, Ark.
University of Georgia,
Athens, Ga.
University of Houston,
Houston, Tex.
University of Idaho,
Moscow, Idaho.
University of Kentucky,
Lexington, Ky.
University of Maine,
Orono, Maine.

University of South Carolina,
Columbia, S. C.
University of South Dakota,
Vermillion, S. Dak.
University of Tennessee,
Knoxville, Tenn.
University of Wyoming,
Laramie, Wyo.
Utah State Agricultural College,
Logan, Utah.
Valparaiso University,
Valparaiso, Ind.

University of New Hampshire,
Durham, N. H.

Western Michigan College of Education,
Kalamazoo, Mich.

University of New Mexico,
Albuquerque, N. Mex.

Wilberforce University,
Wilberforce, Ohio.

Organizations Represented in the Social Case Work Council of the
National Social Welfare Assembly
American Association of Medical Social Workers
American Association of Psychiatric Social Workers
American Federation of International Institutes
American National Red Cross
American Public Welfare Association
Association of Junior Leagues of America
Bureau of Public Assistance
Child Welfare League of America
Community Chests and Councils of America
Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds
Department for Displaced Persons, Church World Service
Episcopal Service for Youth
Family Service Association of America
International Social Service
National Board, Y. W. C. A., Counseling Service
National Conference of Catholic Charities
National Travelers Aid Association
The Salvation Army
United Service for New Americans

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(1) American Association of Schools of Social Work. Professional education
for social welfare services in wartime. Pittsburgh, Pa., the Association,
1943. 66 pp. Mimeo.
(2) American Association of Social Workers. Social work fellowships and
scholarships offered during the year 1948-49. New York, N. Y., the
Association, October 1947. 18 pp.
(3) American Public Welfare Association. Directory of city and county pub­
lic welfare administrators in cities of over 100,000 population. Chicago,
111., the Association, Sept. 1, 1989. 15 pp.
(4) ------ — Directory of State agencies and officials administering public wel­
fare functions. Chicago, 111., the Association, June 1, 1939. 49 pp.
(5) ------ — The public welfare directory, 1948. Chicago, 111., the Association,
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In National Conference of Social Work Proceedings, 1943. New York,
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(8) Brown, Josephine Chapin. Public relief 1929-1939. New York, N. Y.,
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(9) Browning, Grace. Public administration and human welfare. The Social
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(10) --------- Rural social programs. In Social Work Yearbook, 1949. New York,
N. Y., Russell Sage Foundation, 1949. Pp. 446-453.
(11) Bruno, Frank J. Trends in social work as reflected in Proceedings of
National Conference of Social Work 1874-1946. New York, N. Y., Colum­
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(12) Chiekering, Martha A. What a visitor in a public agency should know. In
National Conference of Social Work Proceedings, 1938. Chicago, 111.,
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(13) Clarke, George. Recruiting of personnel in public welfare administration.
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(14) Clarke, Helen Isabel. Principles and practices of social work. New York,
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(16) Current and future directions in family service programs. Highlights
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Michigan. Social Work Journal 30 : 63-66, April 1949.
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(20) --------- People and process in social security. Washington, D. C., American
Council on Education, 1948. 165 pp.

77

78

OUTLOOK FOR WOMEN

(21) Eisner, Clara. Specifics of training new workers in public assistance
agencies. Journal of Social Casework 28: 382-388, December 1947.
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(25) Gomberg, M. Robert. The specific nature of family case work. In A
Functional Approach to Family Case Work. Jessie Taft, editor. Phila­
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(26) Hagan, Margaret. Techniques of psychiatric case work with the service­
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(27) Hathway, Marion. Education for public social services. In National
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(28) Hertel, Frank J. Case work services offered by family agencies. The
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ahead. New York, N. Y., Columbia University Press. (In press.)
(34) Howard, Donald J. Public assistance returns to page one—II. Compass
29: 114^120, July 1948.
(35) Hunter, Joel D. Summary of reports. Milwaukee County survey of social
welfare and health service, ine., July 1949. 94 pp.
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agencies—1945, with trend data for the period 1936-1944. New York,
N. Y., Russell Sage Foundation, 1946. 31 pp.
(37) --------- Recent hiring practices in private family agencies. In The Family
20 : 286-289 and 20: 181-184, October 1939 and January 1940.
(38) Illinois Public Aid Commission. Summary of public aid in Illinois and
Commission activities. Presented by Carl K. Schmidt, Jr., March 4, 1949.
51 pp. Mimeo. (Exhibit B.)
(39) Isham, Mary Elizabeth. State registration of social workers in California.
Berkeley, Calif., University of California, School of Social Work, 1948.
110 pp. Ms. Thesis.
(40) James, Arthur Wilson. The State becomes a social worker: An adminis­
trative interpretation. Richmond, Va., Garrett and Massie, Inc., 1942.
368 pp.
(41) King, Anna E. Education for social work. In Social Work Yearbook, 1947.
New York, N. Y„ Russell Sage Foundation, 1947. Pp. 157-166.

SOCIAL CASE WORK WITH FAMILIES

79

^42) Lehrman, Louis .T. Field work training in a public assistance setting.
Social Casework 31: 145-150, April 1950.
(43) Manning, Catherine M. The impact of defense on a public agency pro­
gram. In New York State Conference on Social Work Papers. Buffalo,
N. Y., the Conference, 1941. Pp. 25-33.
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Council. Report of a study of volunteer services in selected case work
agencies. New York, N. Y., the Assembly, 1947. 55 pp. Mimeo.
(46) New York School of Social Work, General announcement, 1943-1944.
New York, N. Y., Columbia University, April 1943. 47 pp.
(47) New York (State of). The 104th annual report of the Prison Associa­
tion of New York. New York, N. Y., Publishers Printing Co., 1948.
102 pp. (Legislative Document No. 43-1949.)
(48) Odencrantz, Louise C. The social worker in family, medical, and psychi­
atric social work. New York, N. Y., Harper Bros., 1929. 374 pp.
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families and children. Training for social work. Vol. 6. May 2-9, 1942.
15 pp.
(50) Personnel in State and local public assistance agencies, June 1949. Social
Security Bulletin 13 : 7-12, April 1950.
(51) Public Administration Clearing House. Public administration organiza­
tions, 1948. Chicago, 111., 1948. 216 pp.
(52) Russell, Howard L. Public welfare. In Social Work Yearbook, 1947.
New York, N. Y„ Russell Sage Foundation, 1947. Pp. 409-418.
(53) Schneider, David M. A. A. S. W. members, as revealed by 1945 member­
ship census. Compass 27: 4-8, June 1946.
(54) Schneider, David M. and Deutsch, Albert. The history of public welfare
in New York State 1867-1940. Chicago, 111., University of Chicago, 1941.
410 pp.
(55) Sieder, Violet M. Public welfare—local community council relationships.
In New York State Conference on Social Work Papers. Syracuse, N. Y.,
the Conference, 1945. Pp. 113-129.
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Family 22: 336-343, February 1942.
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New York, N. Y., Russell Sage Foundation, 1941. Pp. 207-212.
(58) Swift, Linton B. The purpose and program of a family case work agency.
The Family 20: 3-7, March 1939.
(59) Turner, J. Sheldon. Considerations basic to the review of the policy and
practice In the administration of public assistance. Statement made
August 15,1946, Hartford, Conn. 11 pp. Mimeo.
(60) U. S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. Forecasts of the
population of the U. S., 1945 to 1975. Washington. D. C., U. S.
Government printing office, 1947. 113 pp.
(61) --------- --------- . Provisional estimates of the population of the United
States by regions, divisions and States, July 1949. Washington, D. C., the
Bureau, Nov. 4, 1949. 2 pp. (Current population reports, population
estimates, Series P-25 No. 32.)
(62) ------ -—------------ 16th Census of the United States, 1940.
Population,
Volume III. The labor force. Part I. U. S. Summary. Washington,
D. C., U. S. Government printing office, 1943. 301 pp.

80

OUTLOOK FOR WOMEN

(63) U. S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Employment Security. Dictionary
of occupational titles. Volume I. Definitions of titles. Washington,
D. 0., U. S. Government printing office, March 1949. P. 204. (2nd ed.)
(64) U. S. Federal Security Agency, Social Security Administration, Bureau
of Public Assistance. Case records in public assistance. Volume I,
No. 2. Washington, D. C., the Bureau, January 1919. 237 pp. Mimeo.
(65) --------- ■--------- —------ Personnel in local offices of State public assistance
agencies, 1946. Part I, Salaries. Washington, D. C., the Bureau,
August 1947. 60 pp. (Report No. 12.)
(66)
----------------- ------ - Public assistance personnel, January-June 1949.
^
Table 2. Washington, D. C., the Bureau, April 28, 1950. 23 pp. Mimeo.
(67) U. S. Office of Defense Health and Welfare Services. Shortages of quali­
fied social welfare personnel in 1941. Washington, D. C., the Office.
March 14, 1942. 17 pp.
(68) Virginia (State of), State Board of Education. Work for those
_
interested in public welfare. In Work and Training 9: 7, May 1950.
(69) Waite, Florence T. Selection of scholarship students. Journal of Social
Casework 28: 337-342, November 1947,
((0) Walling, Lorraine D. State leadership in local staff development.
Journal of Social Casework 28: 228-235, June 1947.
(71) Mead, Margaret. Personnel changes in member agencies of the Family
Welfare Association of America. Washington, D. C., Office of Defense
Health and Welfare Services, Dec. 22, 1941. 4 pp. Mimeo.
(72) Welfare Federation of Cleveland. Study of turnover of professional social
work personnel in greater Cleveland. Cleveland, Ohio, Research
Department, the Federation, May 1947. 50 pp.
(73) Younker, Ira M. Family counseling in action today. Journal of Social
Casework 29 : 106-111, March 1948.

CURRENT PUBLICATIONS OF THE WOMEN’S BUREAU
FACTS ON WOMEN WORKERS—Issued monthly. 4 pages. (Latest statistics
on employment of women; earnings ; labor laws affecting women; news items of
interest to women workers; women in the international scene.)
1950 HANDBOOK OF FACTS ON WOMEN WORKERS.
1950.

Bull. 237.

106 pp.

300.

THE AMERICAN WOMAN—Her Changing Role as Worker, Homemaker,
Citizen. (Women’s Bureau Conference, 1948.) Bull. 224. 210 pp. 1948.
EMPLOYMENT OUTLOOK AND TRAINING FOR WOMEN
The Outlook for Women in Occupations in the Medical and Other Health Services,
Bull. 203:
1. Physical Therapists. 14 pp. 1945. Out of print.
2. Occupational Therapists. 15 pp. 1945. Out of print.
3. Professional Nurses. 66 pp. 1946. 150.
4. Medical Laboratory Technicians. 10 pp. 1945. 50.
5. Practical Nurses and Hospital Attendants. 20 pp. 1945. 100.
6. Medical Record Librarians. 9 pp. 1945. 50.
7. Women Physicians. 28 pp. 1945. 100.
8. X-ray Technicians. 14 pp. 1945. 100.
9. Women Dentists. 21 pp. 1945. 100.
10. Dental Hygienists. 17 pp. 1945. 100.
11. Physicians’ and Dentists’ Assistants. 15 pp. 1945. 100.
12. Trends and Their Effect Upon the Demand for Women Workers.

55 pp.

1946. 150.
The Outlook for Women in Science. Bull. 223 :
1. Science. [General introduction to the series.] 81 pp. 1949. 200.
2. Chemistry. 65 pp. 1948. 250.
3. Biological Sciences. 87 pp. 1948. 250.
4. Mathematics and Statistics. 21 pp. 1948. 100.
5. Architecture and Engineering. 88 pp. 1948. 250.
6. Physics and Astronomy. 32 pp. 1948. 150.
7. Geology, Geography, and Meteorology. 52 pp. 1948. 200.
8. Occupations Related to Science. 33 pp. 1948. 150.
The Outlook for Women in Police Work. Bull. 231. 31 pp. 1949. 150.
Home Economics Occupation Series. Bull. 234. The Outlook for Women in:
1. Dietetics. 80 pp. 1950. 250. (Others in preparation.)
Social Work Series. Bull. 235. The Outlook for Women in :
1. Social Case Work in a Medical Setting. 59 pp. 1950. 250.
2. Social Case Work in a Psychiatric Setting. 60 pp. 1950. 250.
3. Social Case Work with Children. (In press.)
4. Social Case Work with Families. (Instant publication.)
5. Community Organization in Social Work. (In press.) Others in prep­
aration.
6. Social Work Administration, Teachings, and Research. (In press.)
Your Job Future After College. Leaflet. 1948. 50.
Your Job Future After High School. Leaflet. 1949. 50.
Occupations for Girls and Women—Selected References. Bull. 229. 105 pp.
1949.

300.
81

82
Training for Jobs—for Women and Girls.
vocational training purposes.] Leaflet 1.

[Under public funds available for
1047. 5<f.

EARNINGS
Earnings of Women in Selected Manufacturing Industries.
14 pp. 1948. 100.

1946.

Bull. 219.

LABOR LAWS
Summary of State Labor Laws for Women. 8 pp. 1950. Mimeo.
State Legislation of Special Interest to Women. Mimeos. for 1948 and 1949.

Minimum Wage
State Minimum-Wage Laws and Orders, 1942: An Analysis. Bull. 191. 52 pp.
1942. 200. Supplement, July 1, 1942-July 1, 1950. Bull. 227. (Revised.)
68 pp. 1950. 200.
State Minimum-Wage Laws. Leaflet 1. 1948.
Model Bill for State minimum-wage law for women. Mimeo.
Map showing States having minimum-wage laws. (Desk size; wall size.)
State Minimum-Wage Orders Becoming Effective Since End of World War II.
1950. Multilith.

Equal Pay
Equal Pay for Women. Leaflet. 1949. 50 ea. $1.75 per 100.
Chart analyzing State equal-pay laws and Model Bill. Mimeo.
Texts of State laws (separates). Mimeo.
Model Bill for State equal-pay law. Mimeo.
Selected References on Equal Pay for Women. 10 pp. 1949. Mimeo.
Movement for Equal-Pay Legislation in the United States. 5 pp. 1949.
lith.

Multi­

Hours of Work and Other Labor Laws
State Labor Laws for Women, with Wartime Modifications, Dec. 15, 1944.
Bull. 202:
I. Analysis of Hour Laws. 110 pp. 1945. 150.
II. Analysis of Plant Facilities Laws. 43 pp. 1945. 100.
III. Analysis of Regulatory Laws, Prohibitory Laws, Maternity Laws. 12 pp.
1945. 50.
IV. Analysis of Industrial Home-Work Laws. 26 pp. 1945. 100.
V. Explanation and Appraisal. 66 pp. 1946. 150.
Working Women and Unemployment Insurance. Leaflet. 1949, 50.
Maps of United States showing State hour laws, daily and weekly. (Desk size;
wall size.)

LEGAL STATUS OP WOMEN
International Documents on the Status of Women. Bull. 217, 116 pp. 1947. 250.
Legal Status of Women in the United States of America, January 1, 1948:
United States Summary. Bull. 157. (Revised.) (In press.)
Reports for States, Territories, and Possessions (separates). Bulls. 157-1
through 157-50. (Revised.) • 50 and 100 each.
The Political and Civil Status of Women in the United States of America. Sum­
mary, including Principal Sex Distinctions, as of January 1, 1948. Leaflet
1948.
Women’s Eligibility for Jury Duty. Leaflet. July 1, 1950. 50.

83
Reply of United States Government to Questionnaire of United Nations Economic
and Social Council on the Legal Status and Treatment of Women. Part I.
Public Law. In 6 Sections: A and B, Franchise and Public Office; C, Public
Services and Functions; D, Educational and Professional Opportunities; E.
Fiscal Laws; F, Civil Liberties; and G, Nationality. Mimeo.
HOUSEHOLD EMPLOYMENT
Old-Age Insurance for Household Workers. Bull. 220. 20 pp. 19-L. 1Q$Community Household Employment Programs. Bull. 221. 70 pp. 1948. 20$.
RECOMMENDED STANDARDS for women’s working conditions, safety, and
health.
Standards for Employment of Women. Leaflet. 1950.
When You Hire Women. Sp. Bull. 14. 16 pp. 1944. 10$.
The Industrial Nurse and the Woman Worker. Bull. 228. (Partial revision of
Sp. Bull. 19. 1944.) 48 pp. 1949. 15$.
Women’s Effective War Work Requires Good Posture. Sp. Bull. 10. 6 pp.
1943. 5$.
Washing and Toilet Facilities for Women in Industry.
1942. 5$.
Lifting and Carrying Weights by Women in Industry.

Sp. Bull. 4.

.
Sp. Bull. 2.

11 pp.

(Rev. 1946.)

12 pp. 5$.
Safety Clothing for Women in Industry. Sp. Bull. 3. 11 pp. 1941. 10$.
Supplements: Safety Caps; Safety Shoes. 4 pp. each. 1944. 5$ each.
Poster—Work Clothes for Safety and Efficiency.
WOMEN UNDER UNION CONTRACTS
Maternity-Benefits Under Union-Contract Health Insurance Plans.
19 pp.

1947.

Bull. 214.

10$.

COST OF LIVING BUDGETS
Working Women’s Budgets in Twelve States.

Bull. 226.

36 pp. 1948.

15$.

EMPLOYMENT
Women’s Occupations Through Seven Decades. Bull. 218. 260 pp. 1947. 45$.
Women’s Jobs: Advance and Growth. Bull. 232. 88 pp. 1949. 30$. Popular
version.
Employment of Women in the Early Postwar Period, with Background of Pre­
war and War Data. Bull. 211. 14 pp. 1946. 10$.
Women Workers in Ten War Production Areas and Their Postwar Employ­
ment Plans. Bull. 209. 56 pp. 1946. 15$.
Women in Higher-Level Positions. Bull. 236. 86 pp. 1950. 25$.
Baltimore Women War Workers in the Postwar Period. 61 pp. 1948. Mimeo.

INDUSTRY
Women Workers in Power Laundries. Bull. 215. 71 pp. 1947. 20$.
The Woman Telephone Worker [1944]. Bull. 207. 28 pp. 1946. 10$.
Typical Women’s Jobs in the Telephone Industry [1944], Bull. 207-A.

52 pp.

1947. 15$.
Women in the Federal Service. Part I. Trends in Employment, 1923-1947.
Bull. 230-1. 81 pp. 1949. 25$. Part II. Occupational Information. Bull.
230-11. 87 pp. 1950. 25$.
Night Work for Women in Hotels and Restaurants. Bull. 233. 59 pp. 1949.
20$.

84
WOMEN IN LATIN AMERICA
Women Workers in Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay. Bull. 195. 15 pp 1942
5 <t.
Women Workers in Brazil. Bull. 206. 42 pp. 1946. 10^.
Women Workers in Paraguay. Bull. 210. 16 pp. 1946. 10<L
Women Workers in Peru. Bull. 213. 41 pp. 1947. lot-.
Social and Labor Problems of Peru and Uruguay. 1944. Mimeo.
Women in Latin America: Legal Rights and Restrictions. (Address before the
National Association of Women Lawyers.)
THE WOMEN’S BUREAU—Its Purpose and Functions.

Leaflet.

1950.

For complete list of publications available for distribution, icrite—
The Women’s Bureau

U. S. Department

op

Labor

Washington 25, D. C.

o


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, One Federal Reserve Bank Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63102