Methods of Training Social Workers (Classic Reprint)by Emory Stephen Bogardus
1. Social work as a profession. Social work is tending toward the rank of law, medicine, and the other established professions, all of which passed through a preliminary stage similar to that which social work is now experiencing. Several years ago (1916) social workers themselves were surprised when the report on
Excerpt from Methods of Training Social Workers
1. Social work as a profession. Social work is tending toward the rank of law, medicine, and the other established professions, all of which passed through a preliminary stage similar to that which social work is now experiencing. Several years ago (1916) social workers themselves were surprised when the report on positions in social work by Edward T. Devine and Mary Van Kleeck was published, showing that there were at least 4,000 paid social workers at that time in New York City alone, 1,200 of whom being men; that there were in New York City twenty-one organizations paying salaries of $5,000 or more a year for social workers; and that salaries ranged up to $10,000 a year.
Social work has suffered from the fact that almost anyone with a little zeal and leisure could qualify. Consequently social welfare activities have often been directed by persons who were ill-trained or not trained at all; who had a single idea or plan which they were sure would transform the world; who primarily sought flattery and adulation; or who gave their time without remuneration and hence could claim exemption from observing the standard rules of professional social work procedure. Social welfare agencies are still directed oftentimes by persons who are chiefly self-trained, who scorn "book learning," and who are certain that their own experiences during a term of years are sufficient guides.
Social work as a profession is emerging from its period of youth - a period similar to that of the legal profession when ambitious young men "read law" in offices and shunned the newly organized law schools. Schools for training social workers have developed in recent years until now training facilities may be found in nearly all the larger colleges and universities, as well as in independent institutions, such as the New York School of Social Work.
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