In 1897, New York Charity Organisation Summer School of Philanthropy begins; Columbia University Social Work traces its origins to this.
The New York School gets a mention in Flexner's famous speech from 1915 where he reports that The Bulletin of the NewYork School of Philanthropy, under the title The Profession of Social Work, gives the following
definition of social work:
'The School of Philanthropy is primarily a professional training school, of graduate rank, for civic and social work. The word philanthropy is to be understood in the broadest and deepest sense as including every kind of social work, whether under public or private auspices. By social work is meant any form of persistent and deliberate effort to improve living or working conditions in the community, or to relieve, diminish, or prevent distress, whether due to weakness of character or to pressure of external circumstances. All such efforts may be conceived as falling under the heads of charity, education, or justice, and the same action may sometimes appear as one or another according to the point of view' (pp 159-160).
Reference: Flexner, A. (1915). Is social work a profession? In National Conference of Charities and Corrections, Proceedings of the National Conference of Charities and Corrections at the Forty-second annual session held in Baltimore, Maryland, May 12-19, 1915. Chicago: Hildmann. Reproduced in Research on Social Work Practice, Vol. 11 No. 2, March 2001, 152-165.