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Social Welfare Policy and Services: Social Welfare: Origins & Development

Resources that you can use when seeking information on current and historical social welfare policies, issues, and services in the U.S.

Chronology

Platt, Anthony M. and Cooreman, Jenifer L. " A Multicultural Chronology of Welfare Policy and Social Work in the United States," Social Justice 28(1), Spring 2001, 91-137.
"This chronology is designed to introduce future social workers to significant events, policies, people, and publications in the history of welfare policy and social work in the United States...Issues of race and racism, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality are central to the chronology's perspective." Includes a extensive bibliography.
Off-Campus Link Restricted Access

Origins and Development

The Poor Laws
Origins and evolution of the Poor Laws, with links to the full texts of the Acts. Part of Peter Higginbotham's site on The Workhouse.

Quigley, William P. Five Hundred Years of English Poor Laws, 1349-1834: Regulating the Working and Nonworking Poor," Akron Law Review 30(1), Fall 1996, 73-128.
"English poor laws have been a major influence on subsequent social legislation and regulation of the working poor in the United States...This article will review how the working and the nonworking poor were regulated by 500 years of English poor laws. It will conclude with ideas about the principles which have since evolved to regulate the working and nonworking poor." Includes a discussion of the role of the Church--and Biblical precepts--in the development of the poor laws.

The Historical Development of the Social Security Act
By Dr. Abe Bortz, the first historian of the Social Security Administration. Overview of social policy developments from the Elizabethan Poor Laws to the passage of the Social Security Act of 1935.

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