1. Read the following passage about the structure of social work in the USA and answer the questions bellow.
Social work is a term used to describe a variety of organized methods of helping people in some need which they cannot meet unaided. The organization of social work has always tended to be related to specific needs or problems, such as poverty, delinquency, and mental or physical disablement.
Social work methods fall into three main categories: social casework which is concerned with individuals and their families; social group work in which association with others is the primary therapeutic agent and community resources. The boundaries between these three methods are not distinct and in all social work great emphasis is placed on enabling people to use their own resources, and those resources which already exist within the community, in order to help themselves.
The uniqueness of social work is in the blend of some particular values, knowledge and skills, including the use of relationships as the basis for all interventions and respect for each person’s choice and development.
2. What are the three main categories of social work methods?
3. What are about the distinctions among the methods?
4. Match the words with their definitions.
a. Making use or finding use for something
b. The practice of performing charitable actions
c. Capacity to endure something
d. A manner, a process or the regular way of doing something
e. The condition or state of needing money
5. What do you know about the history of social work? Read the text about Jane Addams, “the mother of social work”. Have you known this name before?
Jane Addams – Mother of Social Work
Growing up as the eighth of nine children in rural 1860’s Cedarville, IL, Jane Addams described herself as an “ugly, pigeon-toed little girl” with a crooked back. Surgery eventually corrected her congenial spinal defect, but not before Jane identified herself with the misfits and victims of society. The “horrid little houses” in the slums nearby Freeport shocked her and got her wondering about what could be done to improve them. She was six years old at that time.
Jane was blessed with a father whom she adored and who impressed her with his virtues of tolerance, philanthropy and his strong work ethic. He was a man of influence himself, an owner of grain mills, officer in the Civil War, State Senator for 16 years and personal friend of President Abraham Lincoln, also from Illinois. John Addams encouraged his daughter to pursue an education. Her schooling emphasized social responsibility and passion for culture and good works. For a while, she set her sights on becoming a doctor and stayed at the school for another six years.
After school Jane and a friend from college, Ellen Starr were touring Europe and Britain when she visited London’s East End and Toynbee Hall. Toynbee Hall was a “settlement house”, ministering to the needs of London’s poor. They decided to bring the concept to America, and found a decayed mansion on Chicago’s Halstead Street originally built by a merchant named Charles Hull. Hull house opened its doors for all those who cared to enter on September 18, 1889. So great was the need for basic social service that 2,000 people a day asked and received help. The old mansion grew to include many firsts for Chicago, including a playground, gymnasium, citizenship preparation classes, public baths and a swimming pool. It led to the enactment of the first factory in Illinois, the first tenement code and was the birthplace of four labour unions. Hull house became a national historic landmark in June of 1967.
Jane Addams made her childhood dream of improving living conditions for the poor come true. She didn’t make it to Oslo for the Nobel Prize, though, as her health had begun to fail by 1931. When she passed away on May 21, 1935, a train carried her from the funeral services at Hull House to rest in Cedarville, the place where she grew up and began her life’s passion of service. So great has been the lasting effect of her works that Jane Addams has been described as one of social work’s “founding mothers”.
(Adapted from Shepler, J. (1999)).Vocabulary Practice
6. Look at the words in bold in the text above and try to explain them.
7. Fill in the sentences with the correct word (s) from the text.
a. Jane Addams has been described as one of social work’s “ ..1.. mothers”.
b. She made her childhood dream of ..2.. come true.
c. Jane and a friend from college, Ellen Starr were touring ..3.. when she visited London’s East End and Toynbee Hall.
d. So great was the need for ..4.. that 2,000 people a day asked and received help.
e. John Addams encouraged his daughter to ..5.. education
f. Jane Addams described herself as an “ugly, ..6.. little girl” with a crooked back.
Language Learning Strategies
Creating a timeline when reading helps you to understand the order of events in the text. Some texts present a series of events in chronological order. If you record these events on a timeline, it will help you to understand and remember the order of these events.
8. A timeline with key dates from “Jane Addams – Mother of Social Work” is shown below. Record the events that happened on those dates in the spaces provided. Use the timeline to help you to review the story.
Where and/ or when? Events in the life of Jane Addams
1860’s Cedarville, IL
Europe and Britain
September 18, 1889
June of 1967
May 21, 1935