Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

First Advisor

Glenda Dewberry Rooney

Second Advisor

Vern Bloom

Third Advisor

T Williams


This study is an historical analysis of the profession of social work involvement in immigration policies and social welfare programs. This study sought to explore how the social work profession related to immigration policy from the turn of the century until the present, focusing on the aftermath of World War II. Three themes emerged from the literature: l) the development of the social work profession; 2) the methods in which social work responded to the events after World War II; and 3) the lack of involvement of society and the social work profession on the behalf of immigrants during this time period. The historical literature documents reviewed indicate that social workers were involved in education, child welfare, health care, and adoption. Few of them are related primarily to immigration. The period studied is 1929 to the present with a particular focus on the aftermath of World War II. The social work as a profession became more concerned with the condition and circumstances of the immigrants after World War II. At this point, there was more time for reflection and reporting. During the war, social workers had been consumed with industrial matters and maintaining the status quo in a time of chaos. Historical documents suggest that in the years following World War II, the social work profession demonstrated more awareness of the plight of immigrants, especially these immigrant groups that were targeted as alien enemies.


SC 11.MSW.1999.Racine.A

Included in

Social Work Commons