Family Preservation is examined as a manifestation of collective professional activity intent on reforming various aspects of the social welfare system. George Smelser's theoretical framework is used to analyze and interpret the emergence and development of the Family Preservation Movement. The article identifies societal problems which spawned the movement, the formation of a shared belief system, and the confirmation and sanctioning of those beliefs. Factors which mobilized increasing numbers of professionals to the cause, efforts which reflect collective action, and the conventionalization and standardization of the movement are discussed.

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