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Thoma, Harry C. (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 38, Number I (Oct. 1936)

Clarke, Helen L.
Training for social service,   pp. 6-7


Page 6


              I[rainin                 for So"Cial Service
                                                      A   Study    of the
   Professional Social
I pRIVATE and public social work agencies in              Work Students at
the University
      Wisconsin are having difficulty in finding ade-
      quately trained personnel to fill their positions.
      There are several reasons for this condition:          Helen     L.
ClarLe, Gral. '31
         (1) In the last four years the relief organ-
izations of the state have absorbed hundreds of per-
sons, most of them untrained, into their administra-
tive staffs. During this period the University of Wis-
consin School of Social Work with its limited facili-  and the information
given by those who do reply is
ties has been able to supply only a small proportion   incomplete, it is
impossible to give exact figures.
of persons for such positions.                           The Wisconsin School
of Social Work is one of
   (2) With the assumption by government of the        thirty-one members
of the American Association of
costs of relief and unemployment, private agencies,    Schools of Professional
Social Work. On November
which in the past have spent large sums for relief,    1, 1935, there were
5,296 students majoring in
have modified their programs and curtailed their      social work in these
schools, of which 2,561 were
staffs. They now need highly trained mature work-      full time and 2,735
were part time students. Wis-
ers for intensive service to persons with involved and  consin had twenty-five
full time students, twenty-
often deep seated troubles.                            three of whom    were
undergraduates majoring in
   (3) With the development and expansion of that     social work and thirty-eight
students who were maj-
part of the federal security program  which is con-   oring in social work
but who, because of limited staff
cerned with dependent and neglected children, crip-    and resources were
unable to take distinctly profes-
ples, the aged and blind, many qualified social work-  sional courses.
ers will be needed.
   (4) In February of 1936 the governor set up a         W   ISCONSIN   
is one of the smallest schools
Citizen's Committee to study public welfare func-      whether for full time
or part time enrollment. In
tions and administration in Wisconsin. The findings    fourteen of the thirty-one
schools over one-half of
of this study will undoubtedly show the need for       the enrollment is
comprised of graduate students and
personnel more adequately equipped than is at pres-   in ten of the schools
the entire enrollment is of grad-
ent available for institutional and community serv-    uate students. Less
than one-half the enrollment is
ices, both public and private.                        of graduate rank in
seven schools, Wisconsin having
                                                       the smallest graduate
enrollment of any school. The
   DURING the most critical period of the depres-      percentage of graduate
students at Wisconsin through-
sion when relief administration was vastly expanded    out the seventeen
year period being studied has been
many requests for workers came to the Wisconsin        a little over six
per cent.
School of Social Work and in the last few months         From  1920 through
1935 there have been 388
numerous requests have been made for mature, ex-       separate students
who have had the advantage of pro-
perienced and trained workers for responsible state    fessional field work
courses at Wisconsin. Two hun-
positions. Relatively few of these requests could be   dred eighty-five have
taken a professional case work
filled because of the small size and undergraduate na-  course and 111, a
professional group work course,
ture of the school.  In the last six months several    eight of these students
having had both courses.
dozens of letters, many from graduate students, ask-   About five per cent
have been men.
ing about training for social work at Wisconsin have     Many of the three
hundred eighty-eight students
been answered with the reply that limited facilities   have held responsible
positions and have influenced
make it impossible to increase the enrollment and that  the current of social
work thought.  Mrs. Marie
other schools had best be sought for further training.  Dresden Lane for
several months directed the Texas
   The Wisconsin School of Social Work is seven-       Emergency Relief Administration
and is now em-
teen years old. It seems wise to inventory and per-    ployed in Washington
by the Works Progress Ad-
haps evaluate the contributions of that school to      ministration. Miss
Purcelle Peck, who for a while
social work in Wisconsin and elsewhere and to               did social work
in New York, is Editor of the
attempt a statement of what its future de-                    Public Health
Nursing magazine. Mrs. Jean-
velopment might well be. A study has,                            ette Halverson
Melton and Miss Miriam
therefore, been made of the professional                           McCaffrey
are teaching at the New York
social work students who have been at                              School
of Social Work. Miss Eleanor
the University since social work courses           &               Flynn
is developing a Department of
were introduced into the Sociology De-                             Social
Work in a New York teachers
partment in  1919-20. The material                                 college.
Mrs. Ellen Commons has or-
for the study has been secured through                             ganized
a research library for the FERA
correspondence by Ruth Block, a senior                             in Washington
and at present is doing
student. Every few   years letters are                             the same
thing for the Federal Security
sent out in order to learn the whereabouts                       Board. Miss
Hannah Greeley is working
and interests of all the professional social                   for the National
Child Labor Committee.
work students. Since not every person replies                Several students
have gone into state organ-
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