Ch. 4 Pg. 2
PUBLIC SOCIAL WORK
much stronger public welfare system buttressed the notion that further reforms were superfluous. Before the war, several states had moved the administration of their public services from volunteer boards to executive departments. By the end of the 1920s, most of the states and larger cities used an executive based system of administration for supervising public charities. This shift reflected the growing role state and local governments were playing in the field of relief.
While this re-organization was largely the child of the public administration movement, it also reflected an increasing dissatisfaction with the old spoils system of public management. Some social work leaders feared an emphasis on public management would result in an overemphasis on accounting principles to the detriment of children's welfare. However, there was much in public relief programs that needed reorganizing and it did lead to a greater degree of professionalism in the new welfare departments. Many public administrators used the expertise of social workers from both academe and private charities. Publicly employed social workers were often encouraged to follow the social work practice models which had been developed and were flourishing in the private charity organizations.
Too old to work- too young to die. The aged were often forced to rely on public relief.
There were some reform successes. Most notable were the efforts of the Children's Bureau and the campaign for widow's pensions. However, those dedicated to the spirit of reform, for the most part, found the period disheartening and frustrating. Many of the settlement-based reformers moved out of the neighborhoods and into public service. Some examples: Julia Lathrop went to the Children's Bureau; Grace Abbot joined the Immigrant Protection League before succeeding Ms. Lathrop at the Children's Bureau; Florence Kelly ran the Consumers' League and led the national campaign against child labor; Harry Hopkins, a prominent resident at Henry Street Settlement, moved into a leadership position with the T.B. Association and later joinedNew York's Governor Franklin Roosevelt's administration as a public welfare administrator; and Francis Perkins became labor commissioner under Governor Al Smith .
New York's Al Smith with Mrs. Delano Roosevelt (FDR's mother) on the left and Lillian Wald on the right.