was a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania School of
Social Work for many years, an advocate of therapeutic
approaches to child placement, and an adoptive parent. She raised
two children with her partner, Jessie
Like any profession which is founded on scientific method, social
casework must move through three stages: (1) observation and assembling
of its facts, (2) hypothetical interpretation of these facts, and
(3) control of the facts for new ends. . . .
To differentiate social case treatment in the technical sense from
the more or less haphazard, unscientific, but kindly and often very
helpful “influencing,” “guiding,” “helping
out” process which goes on wherever human beings associate
is a task in which case workers must make some headway if case work
is to take rank with the professions which are firmly founded in
scientific method. . . .
In the field of medicine, with a longer tradition and a wider experience
than social work, there are certain commonly taught and accepted
treatment processes for certain disease conditions. . . .
Case workers have as yet no common basis of knowledge or technique
so that they can merely indicate a line of treatment in symbolic
terms and expect all case workers will understand what the worker
was doing. . . .
The worker’s point of view, her philosophy of life, her own
adjustment to life, are an essential part of her equipment and constitute
part of her method in every piece of case work. But we are still
in the stage of regarding these as personal factors in equipment
and of wishing to exclude any recognition of them from our case
records. A hang over of self-consciousness restrains us from mentioning
ourselves in the case record. Is not our refusal to recognize and
analyze these personal factors an indication of the subjectivity
and not the objectivity of our present level of case work and of
record writing? We will never succeed in objectifying these personal
factors by ignoring them but rather by trying to record and analyze
them as impartially as we do all the other factors that enter into
treatment. Only when we have objectified and analyzed them to the
same extent that we have the methods by which we manipulate the
environment and when by so doing some of these processes have become
standardized, can we afford to eliminate them from our records.