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Abstract

The professional history of social work in the United States of America is entering its second century. From this vantage point, it is possible to draw on. the past to develop ideas that will work for the future. Contemporary social workers often view the profession as dichotomized between those who deal with individual issues through counseling and private practice and those who are concerned with social change through policy reform. Mary Richmond, pioneer in the professionalization of social casework, offers a tightly integrated model which demonstrates how social casework and social reform can serve to reinforce and support one another for the betterment of society. This model, generally utilized by the COS, was developed in the late nineteenth century and honed in the early twentieth century. It is relevant for today, and has implications for unifying the profession.

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