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Abstract

This paper corrects the historical record on why and how school social work began in Hartford and who was instrumental in establishing the new service. The findings, based on a study of primary sources, revealed that a school principal, and not a psychologist as previously claimed, initiated the process that led the Hartford Charity Organization Society to appoint its Visitor, Winifred Singleton Bivin, a social caseworker, to also become the first social worker in the schools in January 1907. The social work profession, which owes its origin to the Charity Organization Movement, is also obligated to the Hartford Charity Organization Society for its cooperative work with the schools, which led to the inception and subsequent development of school social work by the schools and, in 1909, the appointment of Miss Sara Holbrook who subsequently became a national leader in the development of the fledgling profession.

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