Distinctive Dates in Social Welfare History

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17th Century

1601. The Elizabethan Poor Law is enacted by the English parliament, establishing three categories of people eligible for relief: (a) able-bodied poor people; (b) “impotent poor” people (that is, “unemployables”—aged, blind, and disabled people); and (c) dependent children. This law, on which colonial poor laws were based, became a fundamental concept in U.S. public welfare.


From Encyclopedia of Social Work in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Social Work.

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