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National Council of Negro Women
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Dr. Dorothy I. Height

Social Work History

Social work has a rich history providing lessons and a foundation for the current efforts. From the programs to address the difficult consequences of the Depression in the 1930's to the Civil Rights Movement and the War on Poverty in the 1960's, significant investments were made in the social work profession. The profession was recognized as necessary to solve the seemingly intractable social and economic issues of the times and federal agencies historically made substantial commitments to educate and train social workers. Over the years, federal support for the profession has come in the form of grants, stipends and other incentives. In recent decades such support has been limited, and now across many fields of practice there is a workforce crisis.

2/07 NEWS article Nov. Pioneer Listening Conference "Retrospective Informs Reinvestment"

The NASW Social Work Pioneers® hosted a listening conference on Nov. 30 that brought together social workers to offer recommendations from their years of experience with national policies affecting social work practice. The event was held to help inform NASW's Social Work Reinvestment Initiative.

4/07 NEWS article "Experts Review Past to Shape Future"

The NASW Social Work Pioneers® hosted a second listening conference in February, featuring presentations from experts on aging, employee assistance programs, school social work, community organizing, child welfare, and health.

Healthy Families and Communities Subcommittee Hearing
Caring for the Vulnerable: The State of Social Work in America
Tuesday July 29, 2008

HR 5447 Hill Press Event

Dr. Dorothy I. Height, one of this nation's greatest champions of social justice, joined U.S. Congressman Edolphus Towns (D-NY) February 27, 2008 in announcing their support for the Dorothy I. Height and Whitney M. Young, Jr. Social Work Reinvestment Act. H.R. 5447 will address recruitment, retention, research and reinvestment in the social work profession, and is designed to help the nation's 600,000 social workers better serve families and communities in need.