Article

Social Services

Philip R. Popple

in Encyclopedia of Social Work

Published by NASW Press and Oxford University Press


Published online June 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199975839 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780199975839.013.371

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Formal or institutional social services began in the United States in the late 19th century as a response to problems that were rapidly increasing as a result of modernization. These services were almost entirely private until the Great Depression in the 1930s when the government became involved via provisions of the Social Security Act. Services expanded greatly, beginning in the 1960s when the federal government developed a system wherein services were supported by public funds but provided through contracts with private agencies. This trend has continued and expanded, resulting in a uniquely American system wherein private agencies serve as vehicles for government social service policy.

Keywords: Charity Organization Society; contracting; Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act; Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act; Social Security Act; social service funding; Title XX

Article.  3113 words. 

Subjects: Public Management and Administration ; Social Work Macro Practice ; Social Policy and Advocacy ; Poverty ; Occupations, Professions, and Work

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