America’s first social worker?

Jane Addams has been called the “Mother of Social Work,” She was one of the first to focus on the many concerns of mothers and their children, and improving the lives of many unfortunate people.

She and a friend are probably best known for creating Chicago’s Hull House in 1889. It helped many immigrants get settled in this country, and provided residents lots of information and social services. It also hosted art and education programs.

Their innovative programs prompted tremendous growth, and by 1911 there were 13 buildings. There were almost 500 settlement houses in this country by 1920.

Ms. Addams addressed many timely issues, including public health, sanitation, and the special needs of mothers and the care and education of children. In addition, she encouraged middle class women to work as volunteers to improve their own communities.

She also pursued such other worthy causes as tenement house regulations, eight-hour women’s workdays, workers’ compensation, and factory inspections. In addition, she became a charter member of the NAACP.

IDEA: Do what you can, where you are, to help those less fortunate. Jane Addams, through her charities, helped thousands climb out of poverty and into a better life.

Published by

Rix Quinn

Rix Quinn is a former magazine editor and now a syndicated columnist for over 100 weekly newspapers. He holds degrees from Texas Christian University and California State University.

Leave a Reply