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Timeline :: LSE - Applied Social Studies course begins

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A representative group had been formed in 1952 to consider setting up a professional social work course which could provide a single qualification which all the occupational groups could recognise.  An aim of this course was also to demonstrate that teaching social casework could contribute to the development of a unified social work profession.  In 1954, the first generic social work course began in LSE, led by Eileen Younghusband, seeking to unify all the different branches of social work around the concept of casework. This was sometimes called 'The Carnegie Course' in light of the report on which the idea of generic training was based (see below). Younghusband brought Charlotte Towle from the University of Chicago to assist in setting up course, linking her with the British tradition of Octavia Hill and the development of understanding of personal social work (Lewis, 1996).

Eileen Younghusband had earlier written the Report on the Employment and Training of Social Workers (1947), published by the Carnegie Trust, in which she concluded that: “The profession has now reached the point of development when neither general social science courses nor purely professional training fully meets its needs”. She argued here for more training and salaried social workers; more research into casework and group work in order to establish a credible basis for the profession; Schools of Social Work to be established as graduate professional schools in universities to raise national standards of training; that attention should be paid to American social work education and training as a good model to aspire to.

She published a supplementary report called Social Work in Britain in 1951, in which she argued against the dangers of specialisation without a basic foundation in social work. In 1953, the Standing Conference on Casework published a document entitled The need for a common training for all caseworkers and following this, a number of generic courses in Applied Social Studies were set up - LSE was the first of these.

Souces: Lewis, J. (1996) The Voluntary Sector, the State and Social Work in Britain: Charity Organisation Society/Family Welfare Association Since 1869, Eward Elgar; Hartshorn, A. E. (1982) Milestones in Education for Social Work, The Carnegie Experiment 1954-1958; University of Chester, Riverside Museum.