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The John E. Fogarty Papers

Title:
[Remarks by John E. Fogarty to the National Association of Social Workers] pdf (1,082,111 Bytes) transcript of pdf
[Remarks by John E. Fogarty to the National Association of Social Workers]
Number of Image Pages:
4 (1,082,111 Bytes)
Date:
1958-10-28 (October 28, 1958)
Creator:
Fogarty, John E.
Source:
Original Repository: Phillips Memorial Library, Special and Archival Collections at Providence College
URL: http://www.providence.edu/LIBRARY/spcol/Exit
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Rights:
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Exhibit Category:
Redefining the Federal Role in Public Health, Medical Research, and Education, 1949-1960
Relation:
Metadata Record Social Workers [28 October 1958] pdf (1,781,395 Bytes) transcript of pdf
/ps/access/HRBBGX.pdf
Box Number: 7a
Folder Number: 8
Unique Identifier:
HRBBGW
Document Type:
Speeches
Language:
English
Format:
application/pdf
image/tif
Physical Condition:
Good
Transcript:
REMARKS OF HONORABLE JOHN E. FOGARTY, M.C. 2nd CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, R.I. AS HONORED GUEST OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SOCIAL WORKERS ON TUESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 1958 AT THE LEDGEMONT COUNTRY CLUB, SEEKONK, MASS.
There is a story, I don't know how true it is, that about 175 years ago the President of Harvard University suggested to the Dean of Harvard Medical School that written examinations be required for all medical students. The Dean replied that it was a good idea but unfortunately it was not practical because some of the students could not write.
There have been many advances in the medical profession since then. There is general agreement regarding the education, training qualifications and licensing of medical doctors. To some extent the same is true of lawyers.
However, we still have some professions that are in a relatively early stage of development. One of these is social work. Who is a social worker? As far as the public is concerned, a social worker is anyone who is doing some sort of welfare work. This presents some real problems and I will mention on of them. The legislators of this nation are drawn from all walks of life. They can be looked upon as members of the general public who have been selected by their fellow citizens to represent them at state capitols and in Washington. They have pretty much the same attitudes and ideas as the public at large. Briefly this means that the laws of this country are written by men and women who have only a shadowy definition of what a social worker is.
This is worth thinking about because the appropriations for welfare purposes are large. The administration of these funds is largely in the hands of social workers. Frankly there is a great gap between the legislators and the administrators in this instance because there is a lack of understanding.
Some of us are aware of the work of the National Association of Social Work and the schools of social work. It is very pleasing to know about these things because they mean that there are well-qualified people of professional caliber in the welfare field. It means that we can have confidence that the money appropriated for social welfare will be spent effectively. But there are still problems because it is not easy to identify a well-trained social worker as one would, for example, in the case of lawyers or other professional people. I have wondered if the social workers with good professional training should not adopt a more dignified and meaningful name. A pediatrician is a doctor who is interest in children - the term identifies him immediately. In contrast to this, the person who collects old clothes for her church guild may state that she is a social work - and she has some claim to the term because of its usage for many years.
One of my friends says that he would like to see the social workers call themselves "Socionomists" because they draw much of their basic knowledge from the fields of sociology, social-psychology and economics. Shakespeare asked "What's in a name?" "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." His question was interesting, but if he had asked it at one of our Madison Avenue public relations firms, the answer would have been different. A suitable name is important.
Now I am interested in all of this because I believe that social workers are important. As our society because more complicated we have to have adequate means of aiding people in distress. A great deal of this work must be done by social workers. They must be trained capable people. People in whom the legislators and the public will have confidence.
Social workers have been developing a great fund of knowledge regarding how people can be helped--how many of them can be made independent, self-supporting economic units again. Their efforts to preserve human dignity in the face of adversities have been a truly great contribution to our civilization.
For my part, it has been a pleasure to be associated with them--to get to know them is to develop respect and admiration for their work. I would like to express my very sincere interest in their humitarian efforts and in their future.
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2016-04-13
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