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Finding aid for the California Association of School Social Workers records

Finding aid prepared by Sue Luftschein, 2011 May

Summary Information

Repository
USC Libraries Special Collections
Creator
California Association of School Social Workers.
Creator
National Association of School Social Workers. Southern California Chapter.
Creator
National Association of Social Workers. School Social Work Section. Los Angeles Chapter.
Title
California Association of School Social Workers records
Collection no.
0467
Date [inclusive]
1927-1995
Extent
2.3 Linear feet, 6 boxes
Language
English
Abstract
The California Association of School Social Workers records consist primarily of correspondence, 1927-1995, that documents the development of this organization from its roots in the California Association of Visiting Teachers. In addition to the correspondence, the records also contain meeting minutes, agendas, newsletters, programs, and reports. Among the subjects discussed are: the founding and role of the California State Association of Visiting Teachers and activities of its members; activities of the American Association of Visiting Teachers and its activities in California; membership requirements for the AAVT; training for visiting teachers in California; the establishment of training programs in California, specifically in cooperation with the USC School of Social Work; discussions of curricula for training programs; establishment of the National Association of School Social Workers California chapters, the School Social Work section of the National Association of Social Workers, and finally the California Association of School Social Workers.

Preferred Citation

[Box/folder# or item name], California Association of School Social Workers records, Collection no. 0467, California Social Welfare Archives, Special Collections, USC Libraries, University of Southern California

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Historical note

Visiting teachers, who neither taught nor did much visiting but were essentially school-based social workers, appeared in American schools in the first decade of the century with the beginning of compulsory school attendance. The first school-financed visiting teacher was employed by the Hartford, Connecticut, school system in 1908. In 1919, eighty such workers, employed in ten eastern cities, established the National Association Visiting Teachers and Home Visitors. In 1923 the Commonwealth Fund of New York supported, as part of a delinquency prevention program, a three-year demonstration of visiting teacher work in cooperation with 30 school districts across the country, including the district for the then relatively small and remote city of San Diego, California. The San Diego school district, which already employed a psychologist in 1920 and would be a pioneer in the use of psychiatrists, retained its visiting teacher and hired another when the Commonwealth Fund's demonstration project came to an end. By 1935 it had a well equipped Bureau of Child Reference and Counsel with a staff of 15, including visiting teachers, guidance and attendance workers, home tutors and speech therapists.

The collection, initially, presents itself as an interstate letter record of the early development of school social work, consisting of the professional correspondence of some half dozen San Diego visiting teachers as they wrote continuously to their counterparts across the nation in an effort to maintain a network of ties with the National Association of Visiting Teachers and its scattered but strongly committed membership. References are frequent in this early correspondence to "the cause" and to the "the great development of public social work." These early school social workers were highly educated women, many with both teaching and social work credentials. Their misleading job title was apparently adopted because they identified with teachers as professionals, and in the 1920's saw this association as more advantageous than any emphasis on the less developed field of social work. They usually practiced alone as caseworkers, without supervision, and often in crisis situations. Their letters convey their conviction as to the value of their specialty, and the energy they brought to the task of its development.

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Administrative History

The California Association of School Social Workers was founded in 1966, when school social workers in California acted upon the recognized need for a state-wide professional organization that could represent their interests with the State's Department of Education. It was the natural outgrowth of a number of organizations that had flourished both in California and across the country for some decades, all of which are represented in these records. Beginning with the National and American Association of Visiting Teachers (the term used to describe professionals engaged in social work with school children in their homes), the importance of the school-based social worker became increasingly apparent to social workers across the country. The California State Association of Visiting Teachers was founded in 1930, and affiliated with the AAVT. The AAVT changed its name to the American Association of School Social Workers in the early 1940s, and again to the National Association of School Social Workers in the early 1950s. In 1955, the NASSW merged with the National Association of Social Workers, creating the School Social Work Section of that organization.

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Scope and Content

The California Association of School Social Workers records consist primarily of correspondence, 1927-1995, that documents the development of this organization from its roots in the California Association of Visiting Teachers. In addition to the correspondence, the records also contain meeting minutes, agendas, newsletters, programs, and reports. Among the subjects discussed are: the founding and role of the California State Association of Visiting Teachers and activities of its members; the American Association of Visiting Teachers and its activities both in California and nationally; membership requirements for the AAVT; training for visiting teachers in California; the establishment of training programs in California, specifically in cooperation with the USC School of Social Work; discussions of curricula for training programs; establishment of the National Association of School Social Workers California chapters, the School Social Work section of the National Association of Social Workers, and finally the California Association of School Social Workers. Much of the correspondence occurs between Gladys Keyes of the San Diego Board of Education and colleagues (1930s); Gladys Hall of the American Association of Visiting Teachers, Bertha Trowbridge of the San Diego Board of Education, Helen G. Knox of the Long Beach Public Schools, and Miriam Spreng as California Regional Representative of the AAVT (1940s-1960s). Also involved in the correspondence are Emery Bogardus and Arlien Johnson of USC, and Mildred Sikkema, of the National Association of School Social Workers.

The collection covers, in correspondence form, the struggle of the visiting teachers to gain recognition from both educators and social workers, to survive the Depression years, and to find a university anywhere in California willing and able to provide school social work education comparable to that available in the eastern and mid western states. After World War II, when problems arising from disruption in lives of school children led to a sharp increase in the hiring of school social workers, the collection begins to reflect the changing concerns of the San Diego visiting teachers, and their National Association in New York, as they focus on certification, and on appropriate credentials in their specialization.

From 1956, when school social workers in Southern California joined the National Association of Social Workers, the papers reflect continuing preoccupation with the problem of credentials, and relationships with associations representing the interests of other pupil personnel workers. School social workers' long legislative battle to get an acceptable credential requirement is well documented in the collection, as is also the effort of the California Association of School Social Workers, established in 1966, to adjust to the new atmosphere and requirements of the schools in that era. Apart from its extensive and idiosyncratic correspondence, the early part of the collection includes membership lists, conference records, reports, incorporation papers, curricula, course schedules, and newsletters. For the mid 1950's formal memoranda and minutes begin to appear, together with committee rosters, policy statements, legislative materials, chronologies and newspaper clippings.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

USC Libraries Special Collections
2011 May
Doheny Memorial Library 206
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles, California, 90089-0189
213-740-5900
specol@usc.edu

Conditions Governing Access

Advance notice required for access.

Conditions Governing Use

The use of archival materials for on-site research does not constitute permission from the California Social Welfare Archives to publish them. Copyright has not been assigned to the California Social Welfare Archives, and the researcher is instructed to obtain permission from the copyright holder to quote from or publish manuscripts in the CSWA's collections.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • American Association of School Social Workers. -- Archives
  • American Association of Visiting Teachers. -- Archives
  • California Association of School Social Workers. -- Archives
  • National Association of School Social Workers. Southern California Chapter. -- Archives
  • National Association of School Social Workers. -- Archives
  • National Association of Social Workers. School Social Work Section. Los Angeles Chapter. -- Archives
  • National Association of Visiting Teachers. -- Archives
  • University of Southern California. School of Social Work. -- Archives

Genre(s)

  • Correspondence
  • Minutes
  • Newsletters
  • Reports

Personal Name(s)

  • Bogardus, Emory Stephen, 1882- -- Correspondence
  • Johnson, Arlien -- Correspondence
  • Sikkema, Mildred -- Correspondence

Subject(s)

  • School social work--California--Archival resources

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

 National Association of Visiting Teachers, American Association of Visiting Teachers 1927-1935 

Scope and Content

Correspondence, primarily between Gladys Keyes, San Diego Board of Education, and colleagues, discussing founding and role of California State Association of Visiting Teachers and activities of its members. Correspondence with American Association of Visiting Teachers on its activities and relationship to activities in California; membership requirements for the AAVT.

1 1

 Visiting Teachers Association 1935-1939 

Scope and Content

Correspondence to and from Gladys Hall, American Association of Visiting Teachers, Bertha Trowbirdge, San Diego Board of Education, and colleagues, regarding training for visiting teachers in California; interest on the part of the Child Guidance Clinic in Los Angeles as a training center; interest on the part of USC School of Social Work in establishing a graduate program for training visiting teachers and corresponendence with Emery Bogardus and Arlien Johnson; interest by AAVT of affiliation with UCLA.

1 2

 American Association of Visiting Teachers 1936-1939 

Scope and Content

Suggested curricula for psychiatric social work. Membership standards for AAVT. Correspondence between Bertha Trowbridge, Helen G. Knox (Long Beach Public Schools), Gladys Hall, regarding professional standards, membership requirements, training. Continued discussions of curriculum at USC. Correspondence and communication with the American Association of Psychiatric Social Workers regarding classroom work. General correspondence regarding certification, meetings, conferences. AAVT recognition of changes within field; appointment of Miriam Spreng as California Regional Representative of the AAVT.

1 3

 American Association of Visiting Teachers, American Association of School Social Workers 1940-1942 

Scope and Content

Routine correspondence of Miriam Spreng as Regional Representative of AAVT regarding training, regionalization, alignment with other groups, and publicity. AAVT meeting reports.

1 4

 National Association of School Social Workers 1943-1947 

Scope and Content

Routine correspondence of Miriam Spreng; correspondence between Miriam Spreng and Mildred Sikkema, Executive Secretary, National Association of School Social Workers; activities of Professional Advisory Committee of USC School of Social Work; activities of National Association of School Social Workers; conference and meeting information; continued discussions of training.

1 5

 National Association of School Social Workers 1948-1949 

Scope and Content

Routine correspondence of Miriam Spreng; correspondence between Miriam Spreng and Mildred Sikkema; conference and meeting information; certification of school social workers in California; board and meeting minutes, NASSW.

1 6

 National Association of School Social Workers 1950-1951 

Scope and Content

Routine correspondence of Miriam Spreng and Mildred Sikkema; discussions of certification and training.

1 7

 National Association of School Social Workers 1952 

Scope and Content

Correspondence; discussions of organizational affiliations; organization of Northern California chapter of NASSW.

2 1

 National Association of School Social Workers 1953 

Scope and Content

Routine correspondence; financies; organization of Southern California Chapter of NASSW.

2 2

 "School Social Work in Twelve Communities" by Mildred Sikkema 1953 

2 3

 National Association of School Social Workers, Southern California Chapter 1954 January-May 

Scope and Content

Planning; summer courses at USC.

2 4

 National Association of School Social Workers, Southern California Chapter 1954 June-September 

Scope and Content

Correspondence; organization; reports.

2 5

 National Association of School Social Workers, Southern California Chapter 1954 September-December 

Scope and Content

Southern California chapters of Southern Section, NASSW; program planning; membership lists.

2 6

 National Association of School Social Workers, Southern California Chapter 1954 

Scope and Content

Reports, articles, minutes.

2 7

 National Association of School Social Workers, Southern California Chapter 1955 January-March 

Scope and Content

Routine correspondence; program planning.

2 8

 National Association of School Social Workers 1955 April-July 

Scope and Content

Program information; USC summer school information; formation of National Association of Social Workers, with School Social Work Section.

2 9

 National Association of School Social Workers/National Association of Social Workers 1955 August-December 

Scope and Content

Correspondence and other material relating to merger of NASSW and NASW.

3 1

 National Association of Social Workers, School Social Work Section, Los Angeles Chapter 1956 January-May 

Scope and Content

Routine correspondence.

3 2

 National Association of Social Workers, School Social Work Section, Los Angeles Chapter 1956 June-July 

Scope and Content

Meeting minutes; correspondence with Los Angeles chapter, NASW; articles of operation.

3 3

 National Association of Social Workers, School Social Work Section, Los Angeles Chapter 1956 August-December 

Scope and Content

Routine correspondence; newsletters.

3 4

 National Association of Social Workers, School Social Work Section, Los Angeles Chapter 1957 January-June 

Scope and Content

Correspondence; reports; meeting minutes and agendas.

3 5

 National Association of Social Workers, School Social Work Section, Los Angeles Chapter 1957 July-December 

Scope and Content

Correspondence, reports, program information.

3 6

 National Association of Social Workers, School Social Work Section, Los Angeles Chapter 1958 January-June 

Scope and Content

Memorandums, correspondence, reports, meeting information.

3 7

 NASW School Social Work Section, Los Angeles Chapter 1958 

Scope and Content

Newsletters, reports, minutes, correspondence.

3 8

 National Association of Social Workers, School Social Work Section, Los Angeles Chapter 1959 

Scope and Content

Newsletters, reports, minutes, correspondence.

3 9

 National Association of Social Workers, School Social Work Section, Los Angeles Chapter 1960 

Scope and Content

Agendas, correspondence, reports, minutes.

4 1

 National Association of Social Workers, School Social Work Section, Los Angeles Chapter 1961 

Scope and Content

Minutes, newsletters, correspondence.

4 2

 National Association of Social Workers, School Social Work Section, Los Angeles Chapter 1961-1962 

Scope and Content

Newsletters, agendas, correspondence, minutes, reports.

4 3

 National Association of Social Workers, School Social Work Section, Los Angeles Chapter 1963-1965 

Scope and Content

Minutes, correspondence, agendas.

4 4

 California Association of School Social Workers 1966-1969 

Scope and Content

Formation of California Association of School Social Workers; minutes from organizational meeting, constitution, board meeting minutes, newsletters; correspondence regarding credential authorizations; conference information.

4 5

 California Association of School Social Workers 1970 

Scope and Content

Minutes, flyers, membership lists.

4 6

 California Association of School Social Workers 1971 

Scope and Content

Minutes, clippings, membership lists.

5 1

 California Association of School Social Workers 1972 

Scope and Content

Membership lists, correspondence, reports, questionnaires, notes.

5 2-3

 California Association of School Social Workers 1973 

Scope and Content

Financial records, correspondence, notes, reports, newsletters, minutes.

5 4-7

 California Association of School Social Workers 1974 

Scope and Content

Programs, clippings, flyers, newsletters.

5 8

 California Association of School Social Workers 1981-1984 

Scope and Content

Newsletters.

5 9

 "The Communicator," newsletter of the California Association of School Social Workers 1980, 1983-1985, 1987, 1991-1995 

6 1

 Miscellaneous clippings, biographical material, California Association of School Social Workers 1942-1977 

6 2
Box

 Article offprints 1938, 1952 

6

 San Diego City Schools, Guidance Department, "Guide for Visiting Teachers" 1954 July 

6

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