xt7qrf5kdc6q https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7qrf5kdc6q/data/mets.xml Maryland United States. Works Progress Administration. 1936 28 leaves; 27 cm.: UK holds archival copy for ASERL Collaborative Federal Depository Program libraries. Call Number Y 3.W 89/2:13 books English Washington : Works Progress Administration This digital resource may be freely searched and displayed in accordance with U. S. copyright laws. Maryland Works Progress Administration Publications Public welfare -- Law and legislation -- Maryland Charity laws and legislation -- Maryland Public welfare -- Law and legislation -- Minnesota Charity laws and legislation -- Minnesota Public welfare -- Law and legislation -- Alabama Charity laws and legislation -- Alabama Survey of Social Sork in Three Rural Counties text Survey of Social Sork in Three Rural Counties 1936 1936 2019 true xt7qrf5kdc6q section xt7qrf5kdc6q UNNERSMOFKENWW ; V
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wpgééggzgjs P R o a R 13 s s A!) M :1: I s. T a A T I o N
,1 ' Harry L. Hopkins, Administrator '
’ “ Corrington Gill Howard B. Myers, Director '
‘ Assi; 5% Administrator Social Research Divigidn
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. An exploratory survey of rursigSOoisl work was .
made in the fall of 1955g The study of Escsmbis v
County, Alabama was made by Wilma Van Dusseldorp;
~of Redwood County, Minnesota by Elizabeth ‘ ,
McCord; and of Wicomioo County, Maryland by ' ~ ~
Sybil Passe. ," V . _ _‘ *.‘ V
‘ The survey was carried out.in.coofierationiwith.ah7ri
advisory committee, consisting of the folldwing
members: ' ‘ .;_' . " '
Josephine Brown, Administratiye-AsSistsnt, 3 I ,
Works Progress Administration“; ' ‘
Edmund des. Brunner, Teachers College,~' -:
> Columbia University - * 59"I7i’. _ ' g
' Antoinette Cannon, New Yerk Schodl of Social Work
Louisa deB. FitzSimons,'State Director of Employe
' ' ment, Works'Progress-Administration, Georgia . _
~ J. H; Kolb, University of'Wisconaip _5 ,y ‘
Gertrude Vaile, University of Minflesota . _ ‘_ .
' Both the survey andfthsrpreparetion~bf¥this‘re~ I y »3
port were under the;direotion‘of E. J, woorter, Jr., - ‘
Coordinator of Rural Research; '”*'- ‘ 5“

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. All three agricultural countica included in this survey has
oxpcrlcnco with professional social work dating back from boforo
the depression. A welfare agency had been established in Redwood
County, Minnesota in 1919, Wicomico County, Maryland in 1925,
and in Eocambia County, Alabama in 1928. Those in Redwood and
Escambla wore act up by the county govornmonta under tho atlmulua

' of the state child welfare dopartmonto. The agcncg 1n chomlco
was privately lnitiatod, for the moot part private y nonportod,
J and boa no official connection with the county govornmont.

Prior to the depression, all three agencies were primarily
concerned with child welfare. Those in Rcdwood and Wicomico
also gavo assistance to tho mentally and physically handicapped
and to persons needing medical old. When tho depression came
the three agenciea assumed the initial burden of mocting
emergency nnomnloyment noods.

With the coming of Federal and state relief funds and the
establishment of local Emergency Relief Administration in 1935,
tho old welfare agencies lost personnel to the new organizations.
Although nominally they continued to function in the field of
service to ohildran and tho handicappod, this work was practically
discontinued in Redwood and Eacambia and was curtailed in

. The enactment of the Foderal Social Security Act in 1935
marked a third distinct pcrlod in the history of rural social work
in tho three counties. Tho possibility of obtaining Social

- Security Funds was undoubtedli too dotormining factor in the
establishment of integrated s-ato welfaro programs in Maryland

_ - and Alabama. Wicomlco and Escambia counties oat up local county
wolfaro boards, in accordance with state legislation, to cover
various types of relief and welfare cervical, including general
relief, old age pensions, aid to tho blind. mothoro' allowances,
and core of dopondcnt, dolinquont, or neglected children. With
the establishment of this new comprohonaivo integrated program
in Eocambia, the old Child Welfare Dopartmont was officially
liquidated. Tho privato Wicomlco Wolfaro Dopartmont was officially
liquiéatod. The private wlcomloo Welfaro Association continued
to exist but apparently it was to loco its childmplacing functions
and juvenile delinquency work to tho new Public Welfare Board:

The third stop was not completed in Redwood County. Minnoaota

. had mado no plans to take advantage of Social security Funds
and had not set up an integrated state wolfaro program. The social
work program in Redwood County continued under the domination of

- tho county commiaaionorc. Although thoy agrood to tho ostabliahmont
of a County Board of Public Wolfaro under supervision of the State
EBA they apparently were to delegate to it only tho administration
of relief to unomploydbloa and certification of workora for WPA.

. They themselves at the time of the survey directly aflministcrod
old age pensions, poor roller, and medical care, and shared with

 I I l -2“
the probate judge the administration of mothers' allowances. A
. local county relief agency under their control administered
4 generelrelief independent of the State ERA, pending the setting
up of the proposed Board of Public Welfare. The Child Welfare
Board continued to give services to children, feebleeminded,
and miscellaneous cases, under supervision of the State Children's
Bureau but also under the control of the county commissioners.
The state directly administered aid to the blind, with the
' assistance of the Child Welfare Board.
The state social work supervisors in recommending these
‘ counties for study said that the general attitudes toward adequate
standards of relief, professional service, state administration,
and the entire social work problem.in these three counties were
more favorable than in neighboring rural counties. They attributed
this fact in part to the longer history of aid to persons in need.
Since the states themselves were chosen because they had relatively
advanced programs of rural social work, findings of this study
represent a higher quality of rural social work than exists in
the country as a whole.
In none of the three counties, at the time of the survey
was a.com§lcte social work program in force, when measured by the
accepted area of social work. The fundamental human needs which
an adequate social work program meets may be listed as follows:

(a) The economic need of individuals and families who, either

. temporarily or permanently, cannot obtain the basic
necessities of life.

(b) The need of children left without guardianship or with y ‘
inadequate guardianship. -

(o) The need of individuals for help with specific problems:
children in conflict with the law or with parents, persons

. troubled about social relationships, etc.
(d) The need of the physically ill for information in regard
to medical resources and care, and help in using them.

(6) The need of the mentally defective or mentally ill for
understanding snyervieion or for help in obtaining
custodial care.

The county welfare boards established in Escembia and Wicomico

. offered possibilities of expansion to meet the first four of these
needs. No action had been taken in the field of mental hygiene
by the social work agencies in any of the counties or states,

_ although Alabama had stipulated in its Department of Public
Welfare Act of 1955 that such a program should be set up. The
additional need for companionship, varied interests, and personal


A mental hygiene clinic conducted in Wioomico had no direct
connection with the social work agencies.

 . . , -3-
expression had not been recognized by any of the social work
~ ~ agencies in the three counties as their province.
< At the time of the survey none of the social work agencies
"’ was actually meeting in full even those types of need which it
accepted as its responsibilities. Relief of economic need, on
which primary emphasis was based, was inadequate according to the
agencies‘ can standards, both in the amount of assistance given
to individual cases and in the extent to which assistance reached
all individuals in the community who were in need. None of the
‘ counties had ascertained the extent of this or any other needs
or had accepted full responsibility for meeting them. Limitations
in financial resources, in personnel, in guidance from the state,
4 and in sympathetic attitudes on the part of the community restricted
the practice of the agencies. ’
Nature of the Rural Case Load
The general relief agencies in all three counties and the child
welfare agencies in Wicomico and Redwood had largely undifferentiated
functions. Analysis of their case loads reveals the wide variety
of problems which they were attempting to meet. Inall three
counties, the general relief agency carried cases of unemployment,
employment with insufficient income, medical care, old age,_and
maintenance of children. In addition, unemployablec and feeble-
minded were on the rolls in Wicomico and anamhia. The older
service agencies in Redwood and Wicomico carried similarly .
diversified loads, except that none of their cases had applied for
. assistance because of unemployment or employment with insufficient
. income, the dominant reasons for applying to the relief agencies.
_ These same problems would be met by social work agencies in
a city, but in no city would any single agency assume responsibility
for such a wide range of problems. Except for the private agency
in Wicomico, these rural agencies placed no definite limitations
upon their field of service, other than the amount of funds, the
personnel available, and the capacity of the workers.
Personnel of Staff and Governing Boards
, The professional workers in the county were limited in training
and social work experience. Only one out of a total of 18 had
had so much as one consecutive year of formal social work training
and this one was aciaee work supervisor paid by the state rather
than by the county. Only one of the five workers in administrative
positions had any recognized social work training.
. The education of the 17 locally employed workers ranged
from high school to college graduation. Only two of the workers '
had had experience in social work previous to their employment
. in the county. Twelve of the group had been teachers and others
had a background of nursing experience.
All had the advantage of rural backgrounds, and most ofthem
" had been residents of the county before their present appointments.
. Residents of the county seemed to have an advantage in being more
immediately acceptable to the community and in satisfying the
demand that jobs be given to local pereona. The Minnesota ERA

‘ ‘ had had a polity of employing out-of-oounty rooidonta for its ataff
but the visitors so omployed in Redwood during the ERA regime had
"’ been severoly criticized by local officials for their immaturity
and their liberal relief policies.

Tho size of staff in relation to the case loads appeared to to
in acoorfianoo with state atandards-in Wicomio and Eooombia in
October 1935_whon activo oases ovorogod 75-100 per social workor
and 100~150 per clerical worker. The active ease loads, however,

‘ would soon be augmented by old age pension applications which promised
to double the nnmbor of cases per social worker in Wicomioo and
triple the number in Escombio, if additional staff members wars .

‘ not engaged. A raviow of practice showed that delays betweenv
application and investigation, between investigation and notification
of rejection, and infrequent visits to oliants wore duo primarily
to lack of sufficient staff. -

The governing boards of the various agenoioa represented
the taxpayers and employers of tho county, including prosperous
farmers, business man, lamyoro, county officials, and civic
leaders. The money spent on social work was their money and it
was being opent on thoir_own neighbors eonaequontly thoy showea
a vital interest in all dotoilo of tho work»

Tho county commisoionora also were closely in touch with the
work of the publio agonciea, and took an active interest in cases
and plans, when tho expenditure of county funds was involved or

. whoa new policies wars being established. ‘

Tho social workers had to spond much tins conferring with
governing boardo and the oommiooionoro, The seemed to accept
this part of their work as necessary and desirable and to have
smooth working relationships with tho boards. In fact, tho
axooutivea tended to allow Ehfi responsibility for tho development
of the agency to rest with the boards taking little or no
leadership themselves. It was clear from the study that while
this situation continued no real progress could he made; yet
it also appeared quoationdblo how mneh responsibility load
board: would be willing to dolagato and how long they would
permit an executive to remain in her position if she inniatod
upon having claarout responsibility or if she was impatient to sea
progress. ' ‘ '


In Wicomioo and Eaeambia Counties thorn had been recent
expansion in office space, since tho disoontinuanoo of the ERA.

' In turn the ERA in each of‘tho counties had had better Inrking
conditions than the previoua local agency. PriVncy or semi-privacy
. was provided for interviewing clients.

0n tho other hand, in Redwood County thorn relief wan in

local hands and welfare services still unintagrated, office spoon
. was extremely limited at the time of the survey.

 a g ' f I
. \ «:35- '
. Transportaticn pro-«1:110:15 made for wox‘kera in all three
counties appeared to be relativaly adequate. '
Resauraea for institutional care were limited in all three
counties. ?roviaimn3 for.the faoblanmindad wars cayeciaAly
inadequate. Eons of the counting had adequate provisions to
meat the medical naeda of families. E33aflbia offerea the least
' nflaquate cars, from thu stanfipoint of both institutional and
individual treatment. Escambia and Wicomica Counties both had
4 some regular public health service, while Hedwcod had practically
’ 200130.
Practiqg_and Procedures . ,
- In all three counties practice w&s ahanging rapiély at the
time er the survey. Much of the data obtained was based on
past yarformance under the E.E.A« sinus current practice
under the haw organization, in each county was nut always
reafiily chaervable. By practice 15 meant the tetal contact
with the client, including matarial assistance and other conn
crate services, and with the conwunity in behalf of tha client.
An attempt was made to learn ta what fifitfifit the problem
of'dintaaca in rural areas affactad practice ané to determine
whehhsr or Wat farm familias racaivad equal canaidaration with
non-farm. Tfi.a11 threa countias it was funnd that open cowntry
. . came tendad to be underureprmzented on relieaf while town and
village casas were avarureprasanteé. Whether this reflects
a tendency in practice to giva less attantien to farm families
and those at remote cistancea or whether it indicates a greater
need for aid among the village and tawn gayulatious was not
clear from this survey. In Escamhia County tha fact that many
farm families were under care of the Rural nahabilitatlan
Corwoyation oartiallv axnlains their under-representation on relief.
In general, Negroes were nroportionately Bapresented on
thn relief rails in Wicomico County on tha basia of tbair number
y in the gmneral populatian'but war: markedly undor-repreaanted -
on the rails of the private welfare aganmy. In Esaahbia ' .
county fihere was no oonsiatent relationship between tbs preportion
of ficgroaa 1n the general population and the prapartion of
Hegpnes in the varinua ralief samplea taken. There was evidence
that Negroas raceived fewer home visits fram the aoeial workers
than did tbs whiten, and that amounta of relief to Negroes were
- less, gince tha budgeta were based an usual living standards.
The principal type of halp givan by tbs relief agencies
~ was material assistance. some medical care, health guidance,
financial advige, and help in finding employmant were also extended.
Th9 private welfare agancies in Wicomico and Redwood, on thn
othnr hand, gave chiefly service, such as medical examinations,
. placement in institutions, advioo and friencily contacts. The
private agency in Wicomico also gave sows direct financial aid.

 ’ ‘ -6-

~n ‘ Work relief was cammonly given by the relief agencies in 2
Redwood and anambla Counties but usually in combination with direct
relief, from 80~95 per cent of the cases receiving both types. In -

‘I’ wioomleo County only about half of the cases received work relief

and this was in oombination with direct-relief. In Redwood County
when the survey was made the tendency was to give work relief in
cash and direct relief in kind or orders; in anambla also the three
types of grant; were employed; in Wioomico all relief was in kind
or orders, but cash was about to be introduced.

The average monthly relief grant per family changed very slightly
in Eacembia and WioOmico Counties when the new integrated programs

‘ took the place of the E.R.A. In Redwood County, on the other hand,
there was a sharp drop, probably éue to the high average of $24
a month.under tho E.R.A. The average grant in fioptembor when the
county assumed responsibility for its relief load was about $11.
The amount rose, however, in October to nearly #19 a month‘

In all three counties relief oontinuod to be given on a
budgetary deficiency basis. In anambia and Wioomlco Counties the
budget war related to tho fowilioo‘ usual standard of living, and
woo based on food needs only; All other neeés were ignored in
Eeoaflbia; in Wicomico medical care was proviéed rather liberally
and some clothing and bedding were furnishefi in kind, but no rent
was paid. In Reéwood unfier the E.R.A. a greater effort had be n
made to baae relief grants on an accepted mlnimwm budget. After
the county withdraw from the E.R.l. local relief fins coloulated_to
meet emergencies only, and the usualuatandord of living normal so

. prevailed here. '
In the relief agencies of all three oeunties investigation for

? relief and service had been accepted procedures under E.R.A. ,
Ellblllty in Wioomloo was ootabliohod acoordiug to atendarda a“ -
developed by the state and locality togother. Those had hecome‘y
inereasingly liberal in recent montho; In Esoambla County thorea
were no set standarde for eligibility and the intake worker decided
eligibility on a casowto~case heels. -

The number of contacts with clients in Esoambia and Redwood
Counties appeared in general to be related to the case load per
worker. Visits of clients to the relief office were more numoroue
then visit: of the workers to tho oliente' homes in these counties.
In wioomioo, on the other hand, home contacts exceeded office
contacts, the number of homo contacts bearing a close relationship
to the number of months under care. There were for contacts between
the cliente and the social worker in the child welfare agency in

. Roauood County and such oontaote as were made weremoatly 1n the
home. Home contacts were also more numerous with the Wioomieo
Welfare Association clients.

In spite of the greater distances to be covered in visiting

clients in rural areas the social workers made approximately as many
_ visite to open country cases as to the more aocesoiblo village
. and tom canes.

 -7; ,
‘ ‘ Closing of cases appeared to be rolated more to funds
, available and to adminiotrative policies than to tho need of
. the clients... In Redwood County clients were removed from
relief when it vac discovered that they worr new resiaenta and
cases were closed when employmont was thought available. In
Escambia relief to the farmers was out to aooomodato land owners
or to encourage families to become Rural Rehabilitation clients.
Tho Child Welfare agancy in Heéwood rarely closed cases, keeping
them open on the books when they were not actually receiving ‘
‘ aid,
4 Records of tho roller agencies in each county were in
‘ better condition thnni;hoao of the agoncioa which had exiated
prior to the E.R.A. They'werc fairly complete and adequate
. except for data on rejectiona, and, in some coco, interview
material and closing data‘” The child welfare agency records
» in Redwood and Eccambia none much less satisfactory. The
difference appeared to'bs largely dog to lack of clerical
personnel. Tho state child welfare flopartmcnt, like the E.R.A.,
hafl set no clerical pPchdans which the limited staffs had
not been able to follow.

Practice in.regard tozznild welfare was undeveloped in
all three conniics¢ Factor home care was inoufflciofit’to*mbeb
tho-need in any county, and no county baa a worker with special
training to hclp with problcmc of child care. Standards for

”boarding; chfluu were not used and adquafzo invoctigationa 01’ homes
. were nob manic. ‘

In their rolations with.clienta the workora showed a variety
of attitufics. some attemntod to inject themaelvea into tho
personal lives of their clients-or cvan of porcons not on relief
and to impose upon than their ideas of correct conduct. On the
othor hand, one worker was so friendly with clients thni she spent

' an unwarrantod amount of time with them in social conversation.
Another worker took a punitive attituoe toward alloliento. In
all counties, howovor, thpro were Workera who were ovldoctly
making a consciofifiious effort to be objective, considerate, and
businesslike. ‘ ,

Communltz Influegcos ..

Intorviewa with loading citizons of tho three countics
broughfl out varying opinions concerning relief and social work.
Some persona axpreoced approval of tho more lflboral standards of
rolls: introduced under fiho E;R.Am Othero contendad that grants

. had been too high under the E.H‘M. and that aoclal work: should
be limited to a service progfiam, cépcclally for children. In one
county come of the layman interviewed expressed opposition to
. professional social work in goneral, both.becauso of its coat '
‘ and because social workerfi interferoo "where they tore not wanted.”

On the whclo,laymen intorviewad'chcucd little understanding

. of the meaning and purpocowofprofoaaioml social work. It is

»- aafo to say that in none ofytheae ccuntloa-had formal social
work training been felt to be necessary.5 social workers were

K n

‘ ‘ aeeegted or rejectee net on the basin of training er superier
M, ekil. in handling the details of the work but on the basin of
. general executive ability and at personal qualities.

Ccnsidereble oppOeition to state interference in local
matters was expressed. State supervision was accepted, however,
while genereua state and Federal funds were flowing into the counties.
When Federal aid ended in Minneeeta, Redwood County immediately
withdrew frem state supervision, evidently preferring to do without

' a email financial centributicn tram the state, than to accept further
state control of relief. Persona interviewed in Redwood and Escembie
. indicated that they believed werk relief wee the best type of public
aid. Apparently this attitude wee not so strong in Wicomicc where
much less werk relief was given to rural workere ené where much
. er the lay leadership was located in a town of 10,000.

In Reduced and Wicomicc Counties influential opinion was in
favor of eterilieatien of certain typee of public dependents.
Sterilization of unmarried mothers permitted under mnryland law,
and of feeble-minded women under Minnesota law, with the ccnsent of
the patient, were encouraged and there wee some sentiment expreaeed
in favor cf e wider and more stringent application of the lave.

State Sugervision
. In the new public welfare programs which were functioning in
Alabama and Merylanfl at the time of the study, the single state public
‘ . welfare agency in each state assumed leadership in the development
‘ ‘ cf local social work programs and practice. They set up personnel
qualifications for lecal staffs, established record preceflures, and
recommended standards regarding case leads of‘werkere, amounts of
relief, eligibility requirements for clients, etc. The counties
were not required to accept etate recommendations, but in many states
they were doing an at the time of the survey. - ,

In Alabama representatives of the state office were sent out to
supervise administrative detail and case work methods, but their
number was limited in view of the area to be covered. The
representative in Eacumbie gave very little time to case work
supervision. In Wicomieo, case work supervision was conducted
ccntinneuely through a werker employed by the statev as had been done
under E.R.A. Since she was subordinate to the locai executive her
.eutherity res limited, but she was able to effect improwementa in
yrectice through auggeetion and example.

In Minnesota the Children'e Bureau of the State Beard of Control

- eupervised the work of lecal child welfare beards. With c.11m1ted
field staff and no funds with which to eupplement lceal work, it
was seriously handicapped.

All three state agencies seemed to take a conciliatory nttitudelp/'
teenrd the counties, striving to introduce their methcde without /

. antagonizing local gevermnente. '
-v~ The influence of the fbrmer E.R.A. aupervieion was still apparent
in the countiaeu Under the E.R.A. supervision of county work by

' ‘ the otate agency had bean legally authorized in each state and
counties had been expected to meet certain requirements in order
. to r oceive funds.

Even whoa state polioiea wore not strictly followed thoy had
tended to r3139 standards in the counties. Undoubtedly morn
efficient personnel was employod because of E.R.A. standards as
to training and experience. Office records 1myrovod greatly under'
E.B.A. Caah relief was introduced in Eocambia. Case loads

‘ per worker wore kopt about at the levels recommended by tho
state E.B.A.'s. Suoh polioios as giving relief on the basis or
aligibilitg, making regular invoatigations of clients, and treating
' clients vi h consideration Was introduced in all three counties
and were accepted at least in principlo.

The supervisory work conducted prior to the E.R.A. by the
Alabama Child Welfare Department and the Minneaota Children's
Bureau, while handioapped by the lock of funds and of legal
authority, had holpod to bring to public attention tho noodn
of individuals, particularly children, and had encouraged tho
continuance of social work for meeting those needs. Without those
state dopartmonts it is doubtful whether there would have been
any organized social work in those two counties.

‘Ho_stato auporviaion or atimtlus had ovor boon available for
tho private child welfare agency in Wicomioo County, a lack which
may aocount in part for the atatic quality of the work of this

. agency.

The quality and content of what a state aspartmont can
contribute to local units in the way of a permanent program is
still to be dofinitoly formulated. Moreover, tho readiness of
local workers to accept supervision and to use it to advantage
will vary. Nevertholoas it appears that the possibility that good
york will be done in those throo countioo depends on the leadership
of tho otate staffs. What the reopoctivo state departments do

4 will determine to a large oxtont whothor or not these some counties
will be do?ng superior work according to current standards 10
yoaro honoo.

. Since social agencies were first established in rural
areas the limitations of social work practice in the country,
as compared with the city, have becnaipparant. How to improve
the quality.of tho work has been the concern of all those interested
in the douclogmont of social agencies.
~ Progrccsivo citizens in rural communities want tho cams
variety of social work service from their single small agencies
as may be obtained from several spoolalizcd agoncioo in the cities.
« Social workcrs going into rural work want the same opportunities
for professional developmont that are available to staff members
of well organized city agenciec. Organizers of rural social
work programs are looking for information on how to deal with
local governments and how to oolect personnel that will most
effectively moot rural situations. Supervisors or rual programs ,
are searching for methods of improving rural practioo.v Schoolc
of social work arc coking for help in planning curricula for
students-preparing for the rural field. .

With the extension of emergency relief agonoiea into prac-
tically all rural counties in the last for years and with tho
prospect of widespread dcvolopmont of permoncnt public welfare‘
programs in rural areas in the near future, tho problem of
raising the quality of rural social work practice has recently
become more pressing. As an agency directly concerned with tho

. establishment of emergency social work programs in rural areas,
the Federal Emorgoncy Relief Administration undertook to study
the problem. In July of 1935, tho Coordinator of tho Rural
Research Unit of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration called
together a number of persons identified with rural social work,
traixing schoola for social work and social research to serve
as an Advisory Committee in working out the details of the present
study. It was hoped that through observation of ourront rural
social work practice information would_bc gained that would be
helpful in shaping future policies. ‘

It was decided to make a preliminary study of currcnt practice
in s overal widely separated rural arena of the country to determine

, tho specific problems social work meets in those areas.

A plan to make an intensive, observational study of social
work practice in a single county in each of three atatoc was adopted.
The three counting, Redwood County, Minnesota, chomico County-
Maryland, and Eoccmbia County, Alabama, were chosen on tho bacls

' of the following critlria.

 . l -11.
_ ‘ 1. Location
(a) The counties aeleeted should represent contracts in
. geographical characterietioa and typos of.‘ farming.

(b) Tho countioo should be in states where the state
department of welfare and other state agencies usvvell
as tho administrative offices oft;he F.E.R.A. or S.E.R.A,
were interested in having the study mode andw illing

‘ _to give aesiotance.
2. General Characteristics
‘ (a) All of the counties should be predominantly rural in

(b) of the rural population, from 45 to.70 per cent should
be engaged in forming.

(c) All counties should have usual rather than unique problems.

3; Social work

(a) In each county there should be at least one agency public
or private dealing with individuals, which had existed ‘
continuously since 1927 or earlier, and which was

, actively functioning at the time of the study.
(b) In each county there should be a public agency for relief
. other than the overseer-c of the poor or the county
, commiseionora.
no fibers of the state staffs indicated the counties in their
respective states which answered these descriptioua and which
they considered to be doing comparatively effectiVe work, They
. took into account such factors as the professional preparation
oft;he local personnel for eocial work, the present workers'
familiarity with the community over a period of time, the absence
of unusual political involvemente, and the capacity of the local
workers to participate in 3 study of the practice of their
The study of the three counties began with the collection of
background data on the local geographic and economic situations. ~
Review was made of currently effective social legislation in the
states and provisions for other state-wide or local social work
programs serving these counties. The field study was made in each
. of the three counties as of October 1935; a social worker was
aoaigned to take each county where one spent from three to four
weeks. Observation of social work practice was limited to the
- work or the county public relief administration and of one other
major social work agency dealing with individuals, if such existed
in the county. Sources of informction were local oaoe1“ecorda,
interviews with social workers, and influential citizens of the
. county, and direct observations of the staff at work.
‘iTfifir'ouEIines and scfieauzag used; see Kppefidii. ' " ‘” ’“"'