Lecture Notes - Oct. 2 - A History of Social Work and Social Welfare in Canada

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FND 1000
Oct 18, 2023
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Lecture Session 4 - October 2, 2023 SOWK 1011 A History of Social Work and Social Welfare in Canada and Quebec Hick and Stokes, Chapter 2 (pp. 32-53, 64-73) 1
Last week we looked at social welfare in Canada and critical social work. We noted that Hick and Stokes define social welfare in a broad sense: " Social welfare includes ... not only the social services proper... but also the range of income security provisions that provide monetary or other material benefits to supplement income or maintain minimum income levels". (p. 6) We also noted that government approaches to social welfare have varied over time: The residual view is that social welfare should be a government response limited to situations of great need, only when the supports available through the family and the economy fail. The institutional view is one of ensuring a minimum standard of living and healthcare for everyone. Today we go further in examining the historical context of today's social work. The 1800's In the 1800s, English-speaking Canada followed England's example in terms of addressing social problems. In England, this was a time of rapid industrialization. The Industrial Revolution (18 th - 19 th Century (3: 38 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLhNP0qp38Q 2
England's Poor Law of 1601 was reformed in 1832 to distinguish between two types of relief: one for the elderly and sick who could receive relief in almshouses or poorhouses, and one for the able-bodied poor who were made to work in workhouses in exchange for relief. Foundational Concepts Related to this, two key concepts emerged that have haunted social policy ever since: Deserving poor - poor people deemed to be of good moral character and only temporarily out of luck through no fault of their own. Undeserving poor - those who were considered to be lazy or morally degenerate. In the UK, 'relief' to the poor was provided by volunteers of numerous charities and church parishes, whereas in Canada, with the exception of Québec, this work was done primarily by private philanthropic societies, some of which are still around today. Dichotomous Foundations: Casework and Community Work In 1869, the Charity Organisation Society (COS) was formed in the UK to coordinate the work of the various charities. - The COS worried that too much material assistance would only increase pauperism. - In an effort to determine who was deserving and who was undeserving of their help, the COS's 'friendly visitors' were trained in new 'scientific methods' that became the basis of casework. 3
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