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Prior to 1600Tofler’s Agricultural Society: special values about caring for individuals evolves. Emergence of unconditional charity toward individuals in times of hardship
1084: Almshouses for the poor and handicapped are established in England.
1300s: Bubonic plague kills nearly 1/3 of European population. Labor shortages force the State to intervene. Laws passed to compel all able-bodied men to accept employment. Alms to able-bodied beggars was forbidden.
1313: Christianity legalized by Roman Emperor, Constantine. Church sanctioned to use donated funds to aid the poor. Charitable attitudes and behaviors expected of the rich; redistribution of wealth not part of charitable principles.
1348: The Statute of Labourers is issued in England, requiring people to remain on their home manors and work for whatever lords want to pay. Begging and Almsgiving is outlawed except for the aged and those unable to work. For the first time, a distinction is made between the "worthy poor" (the aged, handicapped, widows, and dependant children), and the "unworthy poor" (able-bodied but unemployed adults).
1500s: Henry VIII in England broke from the Roman church. State confiscates Church wealth, leaving it without means to carry out charity expectations. Spain introduces first State organized registration of the poor.
1600 - 18001601: The Elizabethan Poor Law is established. Built on the experiments of the earlier Henrician Poor Law (1536) and the Parish Poor Rate (1572), this legislation becomes the major codification of dealing with the poor and disadvantaged for over 200 years. It also becomes the basis for dealing with the poor relief at the colonial level, taxes people in each parish pay for their own poor, establishes apprentice programs for poor children, develops workhouses for dependant people, and deals harshly and punitively with able bodied poor people.
1600s: Poor Law principles introduced to New World by Plymouth colonists. Poor and unfortunate divided into two groups: "deserving" sick, disabled, widows, orphans and thrifty old; and "undeserving" offenders, unmarried mothers, vagrants, unemployed and the old without savings.
1650: The influence of Luther, Calvin, and others has become established and manifested as the Protestant ethic, a philosophy that becomes influential in England, parts of Europe, and American colonies. It emphasises self-discipline, frugality, and hard work and leads many of its adherents to frown on those who are dependant or unemployed.
1662: The Law of Settlement and Removal is established in England as one of the world’s first "residency requirements" in determining eligibility to receive help. Municipal authorities to help only poor local citizens and to expel from their jurisdictions anyone else who might become dependant for assistance. This law causes authorities to evaluate people as to the likelihood of their becoming poor. Thus, though the law is basically harsh and punitive, some efforts too look at the causes of poverty are codified.
1697: The workhouse system is developed in Bristol and soon spreads throughout England and parts of Europe. It is designed to keep down poor taxes by denying aid to anyone who refuses to enter a workhouse. These institutions are usually managed by private entrepreneurs who contract with the legal authorities to care for the residence in exchange for the residence in exchange for using their work. Residence - including very young children, the handicapped and very old people – are often given minimal care and are worked long hours as virtual slaves.
1700s: Humanitarian groups in Quebec establish centers for the relief of the poor; Nova Scotians adopt English Poor Laws.
1782: The Gilbert Act is passed in England, enabling humanitarians, appalled by the exploitation of workhouse residence, to institute reforms in many English jurisdictions. Many workhouses are closed, assistance to the poor in their own home is established, and children under 6 are placed with families. Many private entrepreneurs are replaced by municipal employees as managers of the remaining workhouses.
1795: Speemhamland system establishes earliest "poverty line" based on the price of bread and number of dependents in a workers family; subsidization provided when wages dipped below the poverty line.
1800-19001800s: reforms to Elizabethan Poor Laws. Denigrating principles of "less eligibility" and "perception of need" imbedded in society’s attitudes toward the poor and less able bodied. Reform activists work for the abolition of illiteracy, preventable diseases, sweated labor, slums and overcrowding, unemployment and poverty.
Charity Organization Societies (COS) form in England with an emphasis on detailed investigations. Volunteers recruited to befriend applicants, make individual assessments and correct their problems.
Thomas Malthus, British East India Company economist, documents population numbers multiplying faster than production of goods to meet their needs. Coincides with Darwin’s theory of evolution based on natural selection. Applied to human condition by Herbert Spencer’s declaration that poverty was part of natural selection; helping the poor would only perpetuate unfit laziness and nonindustriousness.
Protestant Ethic emphasizes self-discipline, frugality and hard work; encouraged disapproval of dependence on others.
Feminists in America convene to declare the goal of equal rights for women; suffrage, equal opportunities in education and jobs, and legal rights.
1819: Scottish preacher and mathematician Thomas Chalmers assumes responsibility for Glasgow’s poor. He develops private philanthropies to help meet the economic needs of the poor and organises a system of volunteers to meet individually and regularly with disadvantaged people to give them encouragement and training.
1833: Antoine Ozanam established in the Saint Vincent de Paul Society in Paris, using lay volunteers to provide emergency economic and spiritual assistance to the poor.
1834: The new Poor Law is established in England to reform the Elizabethan Poor Law (1601). The underlying emphasis of the new law is on self-reliance. Public assistance is not considered a right, and government is not seen as responsible for the unemployed. The principle of "less eligibility" (a recipient of aid can never receive as much as does the lowest-paid worked) is enforced.
1844: The first YMCA is established in London, England.
1867: The British North America Act created a political union between New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Canada East, and Canada West -- the Dominion of Canada. Responsibility for social welfare given to the provinces. Welfare was not seen as a major function of governments.
1883: Chancellor Bismarck of a newly united Germany introduces first national health insurance system.
1887: Royal Commission on the Relations of Labor and Capital reported on conditions for workers in the Dominion of Canada.
1889: In Chicago, Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr open Hull House, which becomes one of the most influential social settlement houses in the United States.
1898: The first school for social workers is established. The New York School of Philanthropy (later to become the Columbia University School of Social Work) grows out of a series of summer workshops and training programs for volunteers and friendly visitors and offers a one-year educational program. Faculty member and COS administrator Mary E. Richmond publishes Friendly Visiting Among the Poor.
1897: Herbert Ames' study of the poor in Montreal was published.
1900 - 19501900: Educator Simon N. Patten coins the term "social workers" and applies it to friendly visitors and settlement house residences. He and Mary Richmond dispute whether the major role of social workers should be advocacy or delivering individualised social services.
1908: Government Annuities Act established the first Canadian program designed to help workers prepare for old age.
1910-21: Jane Addams and Mary Richmond trade leadership positions in the National Conference of Charities and Corrections (NCCC). Later renamed National Conference of Social Work.
1910: Flexner Report.; a highly critical evaluation of medical education in the United States and Canada; helped transform medicine from an apprenticeship to a scientific profession.
1911: Great Britain passes the National Insurance Act, which organises a health and compensation program paid for by contributions from workers, employees, and public.
1914: Canada’s first school of social services at the University of Toronto; emphasis of first curriculum on social economics, social psychology and social ethics theories; practice emphasis on social settlements and community work, penology, medical social services, recreation, immigration, labor, and child welfare.
Canada’s first women’s right to vote legislation in Manitoba.
1915: Einstein’s special law of relativity; forerunner of quantum physics and subsequent sciences of complexity in the 20th century.
1915: In an address to the National Conference on Social Welfare, Abraham Flexner declares that social work has not yet qualified as a profession, especially because its members do not have a great deal of individual responsibility and because it still lacks a written body of knowledge and educationally communicable techniques.
1917: Mary Richmond publishes Social Diagnosis. Social workers use her book as a primary text and as an answer to Flexner.
The first organisation for social workers is established. The national Social Workers Exchange exists primarily to process applicants for social work jobs.
1919: The 17 schools of social work that exist in the United States and Canada form the Association of Training Schools for Professional Social Work to develop uniform standards of training and professional education. This group is later renamed the American Association of School of Social Work (AASSW), eventually becoming the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
Social workers employed in schools organise as the National Association of Visiting Teachers.
The Charity Organization Societies (COS) become oriented increasingly toward helping families. Many local societies change their names to Family Welfare Agency. The National Alliance for Organizing Charity is renamed the American Association for Organizing Family Social Work. By 1946 this Organization is known as the Family Service Association of America (FSAA), renamed Family Service America (FSA) in 1983.
1920: Canadian Council on Child and FamilyWelfare is founded, with Charlotte Whitton as the first Executive Director.
1926: Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) founded; national organization with a network of regional chapters; individual membership.
1927: Canada introduces social security; subsidized old-age pension program for for over 70 year old citizens, based on a strict and often humiliating means test -- Old Age Pensions Act.
1928: International Permanent Secretariat of Social Workers founded; Canada is a charter member; spear headed by Dr. Rene Sand, Belgian advocate of social medicine; predecessor to International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW).
1928: The Milford Conference convenes to discuss whether social work is a disparate group of technical specialties or a unified profession with more similarities than differences among its specialties. In 1929 the report of the conference is published as Social Case Work: Generic and Specific.
1929: Famous Five women from Alberta (Murphy, McClung, Parlby, Edwards, McWhinney) win approval from Privy Council in England that women are included as "persons" making them eligible for appointment to Canada’s Senate.
1929: Stock market crashes and Great Depression begins.
1930s: Gordon Hamilton extends Richmond’s "man in his environment" concept to "person-in-situation" within a organistic context; Bertha Reynolds saw social work in a "between client and community" context.
1931: Social worker Jane Addams becomes corecipient of the 1931 Nobel Peace Prize.
1935: Employment and Social Insurance Act is passed by Canada's House of Commons. Canada’s first attempt at welfare state legislation; it is a national unemployment scheme without constitutional authority. Ruled unconstitutional in 1937.
1937: The AASSW declares that beginning in 1939 the requirement for social work accreditation will be a two-year masters degree program. The MSW becomes a requirement to be considered a professional social worker.
1939: American Association of Schools of Social Work, the accrediting body for social workers, declared MSW degree as the minimum requirement to be a professional social worker.
1940: Amendment to BNA Act cleared the way for a national unemployment insurance act. Canadian Unemployment Insurance Act passes.
1940: Mary Parker Follett’s posthumous book Dynamic Administration is published; it becomes an influence in the field of social welfare administration.
1941: Atlantic Charter; historical meeting between Churchill and Roosevelt, formulated as one of its agreements citizen rights to social security.
1942: The Beveridge Report is issued in Great Britain, recommending as integrated social security system that attempts to ensure cradle-to-grave economic protection for its citizens. Many of the report’s recommendations go into effect after World War II.
1943: Marsh Report in Canada establishes long lasting guidelines for Canada’s social welfare system; prepared by Leonard Marsh, a leading social work educator.
1945: World War II ends. On October 24, the United Nations is established.
1946: Great Britain establishes its National Health Service.
1950 - Present1950s: Canada has 8 graduate schools of social work offering two-year professional programs - Maritime School, Laval, University of Montreal, McGill, St. Patrick’s, Toronto, Manitoba and UBC.
1952: The CSWE is formed through a merger of the AASSW and the NASSA –the two competing organisations that had been setting standards for schools of social work. CSWE is soon granted the authority to accredit graduate (MSW) schools of social work.
1954: In social casework, the so-called "diagnostic" and "functional" schools begin to merge and lose their separate identities. The functional school had been oriented toward a highly focused, goal-oriented approach to casework intervention. The diagnostic school had been influenced by Freudian theory, but adherents of this approach develop more of a psychosocial orientation in the 1950s.
1955: On October 1, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is created through the merger of seven organisations – the AASSW, plus the American Association of Medical Social Workers (AAMSW), the American Association of Psychiatric Social Workers (AAPSW), the National Association of School Social Workers (NAASW), The American association of Group Workers (AAGW), the Association for the Study of Community Organization (ASCO), and the Social Work Research Group (SWRG). Membership is limited to members of the seven associations and subsequently to master’s degree-level workers graduating from accredited schools of social work.
1958: Working Definition of Social Work Practice, headed by Harriett Bartlett, defines person-in-environment as social work’s comprehensive domain of practice; published in 1970 by Bartlett in Common Base of Social Work; reaffirmed in two special issues of Social Work on conceptual frameworks in 1977 and 1981.
1959: Social Work Education Curriculum Study, headed by Werner Boehm, claimed a broad-based orientation for social work that recognized five specialization methods: casework, group work, community organization, administration, and research.
1960s: social services technician programs in Canada are established in community colleges; two year diploma programs fully supported by the profession to have formal training for welfare workers.
Social work legislation passed in several provinces; generally provided for voluntary registration, limited protection of title, academic and experiential entry levels, and disciplinary action.
BSW programs begin to establish as the entry-level practice degree in universities across Canada in keeping with practice credential requirements of other professions, including law, medicine and education.
1962: NASW organises the Academy of Certified Social Workers (ACSW), restricted to NASW members with accredited MSW degrees, two years’ agency experience under certified social work supervision, and adherence to the NASW Code of Ethics. ACSW membership requirements are subsequently revised to include testing and professional recommendations.
CSWE recognises community organization as a legitimate specialisation for social work education.
1966: Canada Assistance Plan introduced; a cost-sharing conditional grant from federal government on an open-ended basis: 50% of provincial expenditures for welfare and social services of all kinds.
1972 (?): Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work (CASSW) becomes Canada’s accrediting body for social work education.
1974: Council of Social Work Education, social work’s new accrediting body in the U.S., revises former standard to include the BSW as a professional social worker.
1975: CASW reorganized into a federated structure of 11 organizational members: 10 provincial and 1 territorial associations.
1977: CASW develops comprehensive code of ethics, based on Canadian Bar Association guidelines; revised in 1983; accepted as a national standard in 1984; updated in 1994.
1982: Global definition of social work approved by the 44 nation members of IFSW; Members from Canada and Spain had the special honor of preparing and presenting the final draft to the federation’s General Meeting for approval.
1983: NASW establishes the National Peer Review Advisory Committee and trains social workers to evaluate the work of other social workers to promote accountability and to meet quality control requirements of government and third-party funding organisations. The CSWE issues a Curriculum Policy Statement for baccalaureate as master’s degree programs in social work education. BSW education is recognised as the first level of professional social work education.
1987: The NASW Center for Social Policy and Practice is established to co-ordinate the exchange of information, education, and policy formulation pertaining to social work and social welfare in the United States.
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