Social Workers that Became Famous in History

Practicing Social Work is not something new, it was just performed under other names.  The mid-19th century saw the finding of “Charity Organization Society” in London and “Hull House” in Chicago.  This might be seen as the formal start of the Social Work profession.

This development of institutions that will deal with social issues and problems had its most rapid growth period during the 19th century.  It laid the basis and foundation forSocial Work, both in practice and in theory.

Famous Women in Social Work

Jane Addams (1860 to 1935) is a decorated, perhaps most famous, female social worker.  Founder of the “Hull House”, one of the first settlement houses in the world, she lived among those she wanted to help.  Learning firsthand what the biggest problems were, she added the services accordingly.

Jane Adams is seen as a pioneer in Social Work and one of the first women that received a Nobel Peace Prize.  She was a dedicated activist for peace and organizing communities to become better equipped for solving their problems.

Frances Perkins (1880 to 1965) was the first woman to become a member of the Presidential Cabinet.  She served as Secretary of Labor and was a champion for labor reform throughout her life.  She helped to pass the minimum wage law and was one of the drafters of more labor-related acts.

Mary Ellen Richmond (1861 to 1928) is seen as a pioneer in Social Work, a cornerstone for building this service into a profession.  She was known for her ability to teach and speak on many subjects.  She is also known for the development of casework practice and to organize communities.

Famous Men in Social Work

Alfred Neumann (1910 to 2002) did pioneer work in reorganizing the entire social services program of the “Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Colorado”.  He organized developments in programs for child adoptions and placement, as well as immigration services.

Throughout his service years, he tried to always find better ways to help displaced persons deal with problems and resettlement.  In 1982, he received a “Federation Service Cross 1st Class” from the Federal Republic of Germany, and on June 30, 1982, was proclaimed “Dr. Alfred M. Neumann Day.”

These are only a few of the people that helped the practicing of social work to become a profession of serving humanity.