Survey Associates.

Survey midmonthly : journal of social work (Volume 74) online

. (page 46 of 109)
Online LibrarySurvey AssociatesSurvey midmonthly : journal of social work (Volume 74) → online text (page 46 of 109)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

welfare in its broadest sense; to provide the setting in
which all the groups that have a stake in this enterprise
may meet ; to see that they do meet, get acquainted, recog-
nize their common interests, find stimulation in their differ-
ing viewpoints, pool their thinking and unite for action
whenever it is possible.

Is it the place of the council to provide the traffic lights
and call attention to them? Yes; but not to enforce ob-
servance with a policeman's star, or even a financial big
stick. If an agency runs through the red light, we are in the
position of the Wisconsin game warden who said he had
"full powers except the power of arrest." Our hope lies in
being able to create a spirit of friendly cooperation which
makes running through the red light very bad form.

To a council of social agencies, the profession of social
work is only one of many community forces. Social wel-
fare, today, is not the exclusive problem of any one pro-
fession. The council belongs to the community and social
work is a tool which is useful in getting a community job
well done. The job itself is everybody's responsibility. It is
the council's business to take many problems back to the
community and to specific agencies; to be alert to new de-
velopments, quick to recognize new groupings, and to draw
them into our neighborhood of ideas and purposes, intro-
ducing them to old residents who share their interests, help-
ing them find places among congenial spirits, making them
feel at home.

There have been so many new faces these last few years
that these responsibilities have doubled and trebled. Fitting
federal programs into our own program, planning for relief
and work relief, housing and recreation, employment and
social security or, as it has sometimes seemed, fitting our
local plans into the huge federal design haf been far from
easy. But it has been possible because of the fact that, to a

MAY 1938


great extent, the new federal agencies in Chicago have
drawn their man and woman power from our older public
and private agencies which have had a quarter century's
experience in team play. The development of left-wing
movements among social workers has introduced fresh ele-
ments into our community of ideas and purposes ; and here
again the leaders are not strangers. Most of them are
young men and women who came into these same agencies
in the early years of the depression. Between them and our
more conservative leaders there is no broader gap than that
between the generations in any neighborhood.

How does a council of social agencies, today, go about
its business of representing the welfare interests of the
whole community? Begin with our board of directors.
Technically, this policy forming body is selected from the
boards and staffs of agencies which hold membership in the
council. But 211 agencies with 4200 board members and
heaven-knows how many staff members afford a wide range
of choice. Every field of social work must have its spokes-
man. Both public and private effort must have a voice.
There must be wide religious, racial and occupational rep-
resentation. Bankers, industrialists, doctors, nurses, lawyers,
teachers, ministers. Important new developments in Chicago
must find a place. We drew out a chair two years ago for
the Illinois State Employment Service. At the monthly
luncheon meetings of our board the profession of social
work rubs elbows with these other interests and finds
common ground with them. It sometimes takes or gives-
a nudge in the ribs, gets its toes stepped on under the table,
or does a little stepping on its own part.

Long before some of these community interests appear
on the board, they are reflected in the activities of scores



National Recreation Association

dams. Macmillan. 1909.

Because although written slightly earlier than the desig-
nated period, its picture of city youth helped lay founda-
tions for the recreation movement.

WHAT MEN LIVE BY, by Richard C. Cabot, M.D. Houghton,
Mifflin. 1914.

Because it persuasively presented buoyant, positive, bal-
anced, real living.

PLAY IN EDUCATION, by Joseph Lee. Macmillan. 1915.

Because it still stands as an imaginative, accurate, mas-
terly picture of play as the serious business of childhood.

THE IRON MAN IN INDUSTRY, by Arthur Pound. Little,
Brown. 1922.

Because it proved that to educate for life today must
mean to educate for leisure.

per. 1931.

Because it convincingly insisted that skill-hungry men and
women must have co-education of mind and body.

1937 BOOK


by Jesse P. Stainer. Social Science Research Council.

Because its listing of trends and of needed research con-
stitutes a thrilling challenge for the future of recreation.

of committees under the council's divisions, sections and de
partments. All down the line, laymen and social worker:
are working together at a wide range of specific undertak
ings: planning an intake system for Chicago's clinics; grap
pling with the problems that confront unmarried mothers
revising the standard budget for dependent families ; study
ing the division of responsibility between "protective" agen
cies and other fields of work ; arranging institutes and shon
study courses; reviewing budgets for the community fund

The council's weekly News Letter on social work in Chi
cago goes to 1500 key people laymen and social workers
In its interpretation of events it sometimes tries to preseni
a consensus of opinion and sometimes provides a forum foi
several different points of view. New voices can be recog-
nized in the News Letter before they are heard on commit-
tees or on the board of directors, if what they have to sa\
is important to social welfare in Chicago. Points of view oi
unions of social workers and client organizations, activities
of pressure groups, controversies between the profession oi
social work and its neighbors, can be aired thoroughly ir
its pages. Developments in the federal and state welfart
programs are put before the local community in the Newt
Letter, thus making it an added link between public and
private social work.

There are other ways of keeping our neighborhood oi
ideas and purposes in touch with its many parts and with
the rest of the world. Summarized reports of health centers
in New York and other cities were recently sent out to th
members of our health division. Executives of member agen-
cies have just been circularized with a reprint of Dr. A. C.
Bachmeyer's article, Labor Unions in Hospitals, which they
probably missed when it appeared in The Modern Hospital.
New trends in social welfare work are written into Chi-
cago's history by inclusion in the Council Year Book.

Special meetings and open forums are another technique
for "keeping the welfare army swinging along in step." The
Council of Social Agencies called one of the first large
meetings of social workers and laymen ever held in Chicago
to consider unemployment compensation and old age in-
surance. Perhaps it was the first we can't remember. But
at any rate, it was back in the dear dead days of 1928,
when the idea of social insurance was so new in this coun-
try as to be almost revolutionary. Noses were carefully
counted to be sure there were no newspaper reporters present.
At the 1938 board member conference of the council, the
best speakers we could muster brought an intelligent group
of laymen up to date on the federal housing program, and
on the influence of psychiatry on human behavior. Delegates
lay and professional were called together this winter
to hear the report of the survey committee on Cook County
Hospital and to listen to what the United States Public
Health Service had to say about syphilis in Chicago.

Study courses offer another opportunity for better ac-
quaintance between fields of social work as well as between
the profession of social work and its neighbors. Recreation
leaders from the city park system are getting a taste of case
work this winter in a course on principles and practices in
the case work and group work fields. For the past three
years a- large and enthusiastic class of Protestant ministers
has met each winter for a council course on Chicago's social

The departments of social work of leading universities
give generously of their time and thought to studies carried
on by the council's department of statistics and research,
and their representatives serve on many committees.



All this goes fairly smoothly. It also goes slowly. We can
seldom point with pride to outstanding victories and say,
"This was achieved, alone and single-handed, by the Coun-
jcil of Social Agencies." What usually happens is something
like this: We call a big meeting to discuss the lack of
[ambulance service in the city of Chicago. The right people
come to it. The newspapers give it a little space. The Newt
\Letter gives it an airing. When after a long time the
city of Chicago gets twenty-four new ambulances, it isn't
our story. The commissioner of police sends out the re-
leases. No one but the secretary of the council's health
division will ever know how much time he spent in talking
to the people who could do the job or the people who were
especially interested in getting it done, and in stirring up
excitement about it.

This part of the council program is carried by the pro-
fessional staff, and it's "done with the legs and the back."
If a local public agency and a new federal agency have simi-
lar or conflicting plans for vocational guidance; if a
new plan for public recreation overlaps an existing service
in the private field ; if there is distrust or misunderstanding
between public and private health agencies or tension be-
tween the new city relief system and the private family
welfare agencies, somebody on the council staff should
serve, and frequently does, as a trouble-shooter. Sometimes
a couple of interviews will do the trick, backed up by a
round table discussion among the people most concerned
and a story in the News Letter. Sometimes all that is
needed is an introduction or a word of explanation between
two people who really want to see the same thing accom-
plished. Sometimes a little well directed pressure from all
the agencies in a section is indicated ; sometimes months of
patient liaison work among the many community groups
which can contribute to the developing program.

Frequently we fail. We miss many good bets because of
lack of time, or staff, or money or because of plain human
frailty. But our staff has wide interests and many points
of view. As individuals, they have contacts with all sorts
of groups, from labor unions to the Junior League. The
members of council committees cover a lot of ground, too,
and are pretty good talkers and listeners. All this keeps us
fairly well-informed and alert. Of course we never see the
outer edges of our opportunity. But that's a perpetual chal-
lenge. Often, the job is done, and well done, without our
raising a finger. The council doesn't claim the credit for all
the fine cooperation in social welfare that goes on in

This, however, is the least of our worries. We have no
"status" to maintain, no "face" to save before the world.
We are still enough of a "Council of Social Agencies" to
be satisfied when we see member organizations perfect their
programs and collectively find a greater strength than
the sum of their individual efforts. As a common denomi-
nator of these separate' endeavors, the interest of the coun-
cil i-. in seeing things happen, in opening up channels
through which they may happen.

Because our main purpose is to bring individuals and
organizations together for the general good, the board of
directors seldom takes action on controversial issues. But the
council often provides a neutral ground' on which both
parties can be heard,' especially when there is hope of their
finding common cause; and individuals of board and staff
range far afield and can be found on both sides of a dozen
controversial fences.

An individual agency among council members is usually

the spear-head of a new development. When interest broad-
ens to include several agencies we recognize it, call it to
the attention of the rest of the circle, study its place in the
picture. The next steps depend on whether it is a threat
or a promise, in the majority opinion, to the best interests
of the people whom social agencies exist to serve.

We are sometimes accused of standing outside the- battle.
A friendly but leftish contributor to the Nru's Letter
writes, "Perhaps this story will be up your alley. It seems
to be such a broad alley!" It has to be a broad alley, if 21 1
social agencies, with their 4200 board members and heaven-
knows how many staff members are to march down it in
any kind of orderly formation.

However, it isn't an alley. It isn't a four-lane highway.
The nearest figure of speech I can find for it is the one I
started with: a mental neighborhood of ideas, ideals and
purposes. Even that is not quite right, for the relationship
between the community forces for which the council is the
common denominator is both more and less than neighbor-
liness, as a city of four million human beings is both more
and less than a small community of friends.

But we do have something, strong yet intangible, among
the social agencies in Chicago, which we are proud to think
the council has played a part in building. People from other
cities notice it and say sometimes a little wistfully that
we seem to know and understand and trust each other
pretty well. Sometimes they ask how we got that way.
There isn't any simple answer. I have tried to make a partial
and very incomplete one, by describing some of the things
we do together. But we didn't achieve fellowship overnight.
It has been growing for a quarter of a century, and has
all the years ahead in which to grow.


Group Work
Listed by GRACE L. COYLE

School of Applied Social Science. Western Reserve

DEMOCRACY AND EDUCATION, by John Dewey. Macmillan.

Because in providing the basis for the "new education,"
u gives direction and motivation for group work.

THE NEW STATE, by Mry P. Follett. Longmans. 1918.

Because it provided an understanding of the process of
integration in groups and communities.

FOUNDATIONS OP METHOD, by W. H. Kilpatrick. Macmillan.

Because it formulated principles which are basic to the
educational philosophy of group work.

COMMUNITY, by R. M. Maclver. Macmillan. 1928.

Because it put group life into its social setting in the
community and treated both in terms of dynamic process.

WHO SHALL SURVIVE, by J. L. Moreno. Nervous and Mental
Disease Publishing Company. 1934.

Because it made important contributions in the area of
concepts and methods with which to study group behavior.

1937 BOOK [ Added V The Editors]

STUDIES IN GROUP BEHAVIOR, edited by Grace L. Coyle.

Because it provides the group work field with case ma-
terial for analyzing group processes and the group leader's

MAY 1938



FRANK TUCKER, 1913, Seattle

To cry. for social justice is easy; to attain it
is a long and wearisome journey.

GRAHAM TAYLOR, 1914, Memphis

CERTAINLY nothing could so impressively
attest the fact that religion has builded bet-
ter than it knew as to find the state becom-
ing more of a schoolmaster than the church;
to find the county taking care of more sick
and aged, widows and children, than the
church can care for; to find the city shelter-
ing more homeless strangers than were ever
found within the gates of the Christian

MARY WILLCOX GLENN, 1915, Baltimore

PERHAPS at no other period of time has it
been so apparent that freedom must be
won and held through many different kinds
of effort made by varied types of men.

REV. FRANCIS F. GAVISK, 1916, Indianapolis

OUR civilization and social life have become
so complex that what affects the individual
reacts upon the community at large so that
each phase of social betterment or special
endeavor is of interest to every other.

FREDERICK ALMY, 1917, Pittsburgh

MOST of all we must avoid the error of
smug capitalism which thinks that because
things are better than they were they are
very well, and that capital can keep its seat
in the saddle to the end.

ROBERT A. WOODS, 1918, Kansas City

THE keen isolations which have often ex-
isted among social workers are beginning to
disappear as the community is a more and
more important watchword among us all.

JULIA C. LATHROP, 1919, Atlantic City

THE power to maintain a decent family liv-
ing standard is the primary essential of child
welfare. This means a living wage and
wholesome working life for the man, a
good and skillful mother at home to keep
the house and comfort all within it. Society
can afford no less and can afford no ex-

OWEN R. LOVEJOY, 1920, New Orleans

THE world is in tragic need of engineers
or adventurers into the rich realm of pos-
sibility and freedom. But they must be
adventurers who are willing to teach and
not to dictate.

ALLEN T. BURNS, 1921, Milwaukee
WE have been talking about method and
organization and administration, and we
have not stopped to realize that there are
great ground swells of human action that
are carrying life forward almost irrespective
of what we may be doing.

ROBERT W. KELSO, 1922, Providence

THE public welfare departments are the
scene of a great seismic disturbance. . . '.
In some states our departments of public
welfare are taking leadership in the con-
structive social services of the community.

HOMER FOLKS, 1923, Washington

THE shifting in emphasis from caring for
the end results of disease and poverty to a

So They Said

Medal by Victor Brenner which com-
memorated the twenty-fifth annual
meeting of the National Conference
of Charities and Correction, New
York, May 18-25, 1898. President,
William Rhinelander Stewart, New
York; general secretary, Hastings H.
Hart, St. Paul.

constructive preventive program, including
public agencies, makes it all the more im-
perative that action be planned upon the
widest possible basis of knowledge. A group-
ing together and rounding out of the vari-
ous federal activities dealing with social
welfare in one adequate department . . .
seems a natural solution.

GRACE ABBOTT, 1924, Toronto

WHETHER or not we extend the field of
public service it already is so important that
one of the tasks we have always with us is
to protect and at the same time to raise
our standards of public administration.

WILLIAM J. NORTON, 1925, Denver

THE changes that have come in the quality
of freedom and the approach to opportunity
with their violent contrasts of glory and
degradation are of such importance that
they threaten the very existence of a social
structure founded upon the ancient precepts
unless somehow, somewhere, guaranties are
offered against inequalities, injustices, losses
of opportunity and the results of incapacity
and misfortune.

GERTRUDE VAILE, 1926, Cleveland
A MORE abundant life the individual to
become the best he can be, the community
to become the finest and fullest expression
of social life that it can be, with no one
left behind: such is the goal that grows
more clear before us.

JOHN A. LAPP, 1927, Des Moines

OUR only hope for individual freedom is
the constant advance of social control and
the achievement of social justice. Otherwise
man will be crushed beneath the wheels of
the economic juggernaut.

SHERMAN C. KINGSLEY, 1928, Memphis

IT would seem that there should be wisdom
and concern on the part of social engineers,
business men, statisticians, financiers, suffi-

cient so to adjust the social and financial
affairs of our country that there would be
less of this periodic and gigantic distress.

PORTER R. LEE, 1929, San Francisco

FROM a movement dominated largely by
motives it (social work) has developed into
a movement in which motives compete for
dominance with intellectual conviction. Fifty
years ago charity was the mainspring of so-
cial work. Today its driving power is a
conception of social welfare.

AN increase of social workers brings about
an increase in social problems as each social
worker is a social thinker. As we think more
clearly we become more sensitive. As we be-
come more sensitive our standards of life
are enlarged. We are unwilling, in behalf
of those we serve, to accept life on just
any terms.

RICHARD C. CABOT, M.D., 1931, Minneapolis

LET us criticize and reform ourselves before
some less gentle and appreciative body takes
us by the shoulders and pushes us into the

C. M. BOOKMAN, 1932, Philadelphia

WE can scarcely respect ourselves if we are
content to limit our activities entirely to the
ameliorative and case work aspects of the
social program. We must be interested in
the problem of a better organized and con-
trolled economic system in which depres-
sions may be minimized.

FRANK J. BRUNO, 1933, Detroit

No civilized society, potentially capable of
providing for every man's need, can afford
to condemn men to idleness. Entirely apart
from the economic losses it is barbaric and
unnecessary to permit men to suffer the
humiliation of involuntary uselessness.

WILLIAM HODSON, 1934, Kansas City

BEYOND relief and beyond security through
social insurances lies the great question of
steady work at a decent wage and an equable
sharing by the people as a whole in the
material goods and the spiritual values out
of the abundance available.

KATHARINE F. LENROOT, 1935, Montreal

THE great task of the twentieth century is
the reconciliation of individual freedom and
social security. Involved in this issue are
definitions of freedom and its practical lim-
itations in organized society, of security and
the extent to which it may be realized.

MSGR. ROBERT F. KEEGAN, 1936, Atlantic

GOVERNMENTAL programs protecting large
social groups are imperative. They shall not
restrict our inherited personal liberty, but
they shall surround it with a self-respecting

EDITH ABBOTT, 1937, Indianapolis
SOCIAL workers today -are not willing to set-
tle down and accept any permanent hand-to-
mouth life of dependency for large numbers
of people. . . . We are concerned about
relief, but we are concerned still more about
abolishing the need for relief.




Maybe When We Get Our Growth . .


( )\V here's what I mean."

The man peered around the edge of his news-
paper as Miss Bailey slid into the vacant chair
that the dining car conductor pulled out for her. She caught
the glances with which the two women at the table ap-
praised and dismissed her, and settled herself to the serious
business of deciding to have a salad.

The man went on, "Just listen to this headline. 'Social
workers ask for a permanent WPA.' Social workers, get
that ? And who are they ? A professor, a doctor, a minister,
an editor, and a composer. That's what I mean. Who is
a social worker nowadays, anyway?"

By a mighty exercise of will power Miss Bailey kept her
eyes on the menu card.

The woman in blue opposite took up what was obviously
an old family discussion. "If you're asking me, I've told
you before that I haven't the least idea. Sometimes it's
anybody; sometimes it's somebody. Depends on who's talk-
ing about it."

"You'd think," put in the woman in brown, "that actu-
ally doing social work would have something to do with it.
But it doesn't seem to. That little cousin of mine who's
worked for the widows' pension business the last couple of
years you know, Mary Martin, who had to leave college
in her freshman year is scandalized if I call her a social
worker says I'll get her in bad with her office. Yet that
kid runs around and visits families and trots children to
clinics and sits up half the night making budgets and writ-
ing records. When I ask her if that isn't social work what
is it, she says maybe it's social work but she isn't a social
worker. She's an aide. To be a social worker you must have
gone to a special school or worked for years and years in
some special kind of organization they call 'accredited'."

"But what does a social worker do that's so different?

Online LibrarySurvey AssociatesSurvey midmonthly : journal of social work (Volume 74) → online text (page 46 of 109)