In the late 1960's and early 1970's the energy for change generated by the civil rights, black power and women's movements strongly affected many professionals working in social welfare agencies. Individually or with others in agencies, caucuses and unions, these radical professionals began to question the services provided by their agencies, the social and political functions of those agencies, and the part they played in their agencies. They began to critique the social welfare system in the United States and to develop some perspectives on what social services could be like if the country were truly committed to improving human welfare. The values and goals espoused by these radicals set then apart from traditional professionals. Because of economic necessity and the unavailability of options, many radical professionals remained in traditional agencies, seeking out others like themselves and pushing for change where feasible. Others found the frustrations of working in traditional settings detrimental to their policial and mental health and joined with like-minded colleagues to develop alternative programs in their respective fields. In the past six to eight years alternative programs have been created in such service areas as health care, therapy, youth services, child care, legal services, housing and job counseling.

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