PREPARED BY GIFTY ARKORFUL
OCTOBER 20TH, 2008.
Wills, Gale (1995). “The Roots of Social work in English Canada” A Marriage of Convenience: Business and Social Work in Toronto: 1918-1957, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, pp.12-32 (Course Pack)
Summary of Article
The article in its entirety sets out to trace the beginnings of social work and the various organisations, groups and movements that shaped and influenced the profession.
Social work as a profession started after World War I, as a consolidation of various approaches to charitable work and social reform that existed before the war. The article describes Social Work as a reflection of both mainstream and radical ideals and has moved through various phases. It identifies the basic commitment to social change as the essence of social work. Social change here is defined as an attempt to re-organise or transform the structures that moulds people lives.
Charity Organisations Societies (COS)
Social work in North America especially Canada and the United States were greatly impacted by the transfer of the idea of Charity Organisation Societies (COS) and Settlement Housing Movement from Great Britain.
COS originated from London, England in the 1860s by upper class women and men who sort a systematic means of controlling and regulating the poor and charities which were increasing in numbers but were in no way effective in stopping the growth of poverty. Their underlying belief was that giving material relief caused pauperism; they therefore sort to control the provision of it.
They to put this believe into practice by sending “friendly visitors” into the homes of the poor, hoping that the poor will see these “visitors” as benefactors and teachers and learn from them the habits of thrift and hard work.
The COS therefore had three major goals; restoring in individuals a life of self-sufficiency and moral decency, restoring communal relations and renewing bonds... [continues]
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