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  • Writer's pictureReuben Berger

The Mother of social work ~ Jane Addams

Updated: Mar 14

People have referred to Jane Addams as the 'Mother of Social Work'.

This is an excellent documentary about her life and and work.

"Jane Addams was an American settlement activist, reformer, social worker, sociologist, public administrator, philosopher, and author. She was an important leader in the history of social work and women's suffrage in the United States." Wikipedia

"Jane Addam's memoir of her experience running a settlement house in Chicago's West Side includes portraits of people in need and is a model for community service. Addam's firmly believed that education and social activity were essential aspects of any program to turn lives around."

~ Description of book on audible

Jane Addams cofounded and led Hull House, one of the first settlement houses in North America. Hull House provided child care, practical and cultural training and education, and other services to the largely immigrant population of its Chicago neighbourhood.

In 1931 she became the first American woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

One woman who would go there almost every night described Hull House as, 'an oasis in the desert of boredom and monotony.' It was the University, the opera house, the theater, the gymnasium, the library, the club house of the neighborhood. It was a place where one could become rejuvenated after a day of hard work.

During it's more than 120 years of operation, Hull House served millions of people and launched countless social reforms; among them:

  • an eight hour work day.

  • juvenile court.

  • the right for every child to go to school.

  • Workers compensation laws.

  • Championing women's right to vote.

and more.

You can listen to the book on audible...

Here is an example of some of what was taught at Hull House...

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