California Association of School Social Workers records Edit

Summary

Identifier
0467
Finding Aid Author
Sue Luftschein
Finding Aid Date
2011 May
Description Rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Dates

  • 1927 – 1995 (Creation)

Extents

  • 2.3 Linear Feet (Whole)
    6 boxes

Agent Links

Subjects

Notes

  • Preferred Citation

    [Box/folder# or item name], California Association of School Social Workers records, Collection no. 0467, California Social Welfare Archives, Special Collections, USC Libraries, University of Southern California

  • Conditions Governing Access

    Advance notice required for access.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    The use of archival materials for on-site research does not constitute permission from the California Social Welfare Archives to publish them. Copyright has not been assigned to the California Social Welfare Archives, and the researcher is instructed to obtain permission from the copyright holder to quote from or publish manuscripts in the CSWA's collections.

  • Scope and Content

    The California Association of School Social Workers records consist primarily of correspondence, 1927-1995, that documents the development of this organization from its roots in the California Association of Visiting Teachers. In addition to the correspondence, the records also contain meeting minutes, agendas, newsletters, programs, and reports. Among the subjects discussed are: the founding and role of the California State Association of Visiting Teachers and activities of its members; the American Association of Visiting Teachers and its activities both in California and nationally; membership requirements for the AAVT; training for visiting teachers in California; the establishment of training programs in California, specifically in cooperation with the USC School of Social Work; discussions of curricula for training programs; establishment of the National Association of School Social Workers California chapters, the School Social Work section of the National Association of Social Workers, and finally the California Association of School Social Workers. Much of the correspondence occurs between Gladys Keyes of the San Diego Board of Education and colleagues (1930s); Gladys Hall of the American Association of Visiting Teachers, Bertha Trowbridge of the San Diego Board of Education, Helen G. Knox of the Long Beach Public Schools, and Miriam Spreng as California Regional Representative of the AAVT (1940s-1960s). Also involved in the correspondence are Emery Bogardus and Arlien Johnson of USC, and Mildred Sikkema, of the National Association of School Social Workers.

    The collection covers, in correspondence form, the struggle of the visiting teachers to gain recognition from both educators and social workers, to survive the Depression years, and to find a university anywhere in California willing and able to provide school social work education comparable to that available in the eastern and mid western states. After World War II, when problems arising from disruption in lives of school children led to a sharp increase in the hiring of school social workers, the collection begins to reflect the changing concerns of the San Diego visiting teachers, and their National Association in New York, as they focus on certification, and on appropriate credentials in their specialization.

    From 1956, when school social workers in Southern California joined the National Association of Social Workers, the papers reflect continuing preoccupation with the problem of credentials, and relationships with associations representing the interests of other pupil personnel workers. School social workers' long legislative battle to get an acceptable credential requirement is well documented in the collection, as is also the effort of the California Association of School Social Workers, established in 1966, to adjust to the new atmosphere and requirements of the schools in that era. Apart from its extensive and idiosyncratic correspondence, the early part of the collection includes membership lists, conference records, reports, incorporation papers, curricula, course schedules, and newsletters. For the mid 1950's formal memoranda and minutes begin to appear, together with committee rosters, policy statements, legislative materials, chronologies and newspaper clippings.

  • Abstract

    The California Association of School Social Workers records consist primarily of correspondence, 1927-1995, that documents the development of this organization from its roots in the California Association of Visiting Teachers. In addition to the correspondence, the records also contain meeting minutes, agendas, newsletters, programs, and reports. Among the subjects discussed are: the founding and role of the California State Association of Visiting Teachers and activities of its members; activities of the American Association of Visiting Teachers and its activities in California; membership requirements for the AAVT; training for visiting teachers in California; the establishment of training programs in California, specifically in cooperation with the USC School of Social Work; discussions of curricula for training programs; establishment of the National Association of School Social Workers California chapters, the School Social Work section of the National Association of Social Workers, and finally the California Association of School Social Workers.

  • Historical note

    Visiting teachers, who neither taught nor did much visiting but were essentially school-based social workers, appeared in American schools in the first decade of the century with the beginning of compulsory school attendance. The first school-financed visiting teacher was employed by the Hartford, Connecticut, school system in 1908. In 1919, eighty such workers, employed in ten eastern cities, established the National Association Visiting Teachers and Home Visitors. In 1923 the Commonwealth Fund of New York supported, as part of a delinquency prevention program, a three-year demonstration of visiting teacher work in cooperation with 30 school districts across the country, including the district for the then relatively small and remote city of San Diego, California. The San Diego school district, which already employed a psychologist in 1920 and would be a pioneer in the use of psychiatrists, retained its visiting teacher and hired another when the Commonwealth Fund's demonstration project came to an end. By 1935 it had a well equipped Bureau of Child Reference and Counsel with a staff of 15, including visiting teachers, guidance and attendance workers, home tutors and speech therapists.

    The collection, initially, presents itself as an interstate letter record of the early development of school social work, consisting of the professional correspondence of some half dozen San Diego visiting teachers as they wrote continuously to their counterparts across the nation in an effort to maintain a network of ties with the National Association of Visiting Teachers and its scattered but strongly committed membership. References are frequent in this early correspondence to "the cause" and to the "the great development of public social work." These early school social workers were highly educated women, many with both teaching and social work credentials. Their misleading job title was apparently adopted because they identified with teachers as professionals, and in the 1920's saw this association as more advantageous than any emphasis on the less developed field of social work. They usually practiced alone as caseworkers, without supervision, and often in crisis situations. Their letters convey their conviction as to the value of their specialty, and the energy they brought to the task of its development.

  • Administrative History

    The California Association of School Social Workers was founded in 1966, when school social workers in California acted upon the recognized need for a state-wide professional organization that could represent their interests with the State's Department of Education. It was the natural outgrowth of a number of organizations that had flourished both in California and across the country for some decades, all of which are represented in these records. Beginning with the National and American Association of Visiting Teachers (the term used to describe professionals engaged in social work with school children in their homes), the importance of the school-based social worker became increasingly apparent to social workers across the country. The California State Association of Visiting Teachers was founded in 1930, and affiliated with the AAVT. The AAVT changed its name to the American Association of School Social Workers in the early 1940s, and again to the National Association of School Social Workers in the early 1950s. In 1955, the NASSW merged with the National Association of Social Workers, creating the School Social Work Section of that organization.

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