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organizations, English and foreign language press, churches, labor organizations, patriotic societies, lodges and clubs, the medical and legal professions, the banks, city officials, the boys and girls in our schools, etc.

Note that I throw the obligation of solving the immigrant problem upon the community as a whole, not on any one or two agencies in the community. For years the burden of this work fell mainly on the schools and on private agencies who regarded the teaching of the immigrant as a very important task. But the immigrant problem is really a community problem, a matter of the prevention of exploitation, of neighborliness, of good housing and sanitation, of satisfactory industrial conditions, of the elimination of insulting names and racial prejudice, of the broadest dissemination of educational opportunities of the intelligent use of racial organizations, and so on. Everything that touches the immigrant's life is an instrumentality for his Americanization, or the reverse.

A community about to interest itself in Americanization should, first of all, take stock of its resources. The next step is to bring these resources together under a single purpose. Team work must prevail.




Ralph G. Hurlin, Director, Department of Statistics,

Russell Sage Foundation, New York

In this paper a variety of information has been brought together bearing on the problem of measuring the demand for trained—or, if we may use the term, professional-social workers. The first part of the paper relates to the measurement of the demand in terms of actual numbers. The second part concerns a relative aspect of the problem, that is, the effectiveness of the demand or the remuneration which it offers.

It is regretted that the principal data of the first part are estimated rather than actual. They are presented as an approximation which, until better information is available, will be of some help in dealing with this demand. They point to an urgent need for more authoritative information.


It is assumed that in attempting to measure the demand for social workers we desire to know how many social workers are, or will be, required for placement within a given period. To determine this we need to know, first, how many jobs there are which require, or should require, trained social work personnel. We need to know also how rapidly the number of social work jobs is growing, and something about the rate of replacement of these workers. On each of these points some evidence is presented here, but we do not attempt to arrive at any conclusion as to the precise number of new social workers for which there will be jobs within a year or other period.

The number of social workers.-There is no body of information already available which indicates how many persons are engaged in professional social work, and there are several difficulties in the way of arriving at a convincing estimate of the number. There are, first, difficulties of definition. While some fields of social work are clearly defined and definitely belong in the category, bordering these are other fields which may or may not be classified as social work. Even within the fields which may safely be defined as social work we are confronted with some difficulty in deciding what is, and what is not, a social work job.

For the purpose of an estimate, questions of definition may be decided ar


bitrarily, but there is further difficulty in the lack of a statistical basis on which to build an estimate. The statistics of the separate fields of social work are quite inadequate for the purpose. The membership of the American Association of Social Workers, which includes all types of social workers, is restricted to workers who have had considerable training and experience, so that the number of its members, which at the present time is a little more than 3,500, does not afford us much help.

In the occupation statistics of the United States Census Bureau two titles of occupations which embrace social workers are included. These titles, "religious, charity, and welfare workers" and "keepers of charitable and penal institutions" are placed under the group title, "semiprofessional pursuits," along

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with "fortune-tellers," "healers," and "keepers of pleasure resorts," etc. This manner of classification is due obviously to the fact that social work has not been a well-defined or clearly recognized occupation. The census figures for these two groups are not satisfactory for our purpose because they include a large and indeterminable number of persons who are not engaged in social work. It is of interest, however, to cite them. The figures for the last two census years are given in Table I. Because of the vagueness of these titles it seems probable that the figures for the two years are not particularly comparable.

Our estimate comes to a much smaller number and applies to a restricted field. As Professor Tufts has pointed out, the central field of social work is well defined. This central field includes "care for children who are not properly looked after in their own homes, care for families who are in various ways unfortunate or abnormal, and, at the other extreme, such a consideration of the social interests in a neighborhood or community as is given by the social settlement." Outside this center are the border fields which, for the most part, are not as large in point of personnel. For the purpose of our estimate we have in

I James H. Tufts, Education and Training for Social Work (Russell Sage Foundation, 1923), p. 32.

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cluded in social work the following fields: first, the case work fields, including family and child welfare of various sorts, medical and psychiatric social service, travelers' and immigrants' aid; second, group work, including settlements, boys' and girls' clubs, and religious associations such as the "Y's"; third, public health education and propaganda, not including nursing; fourth, institutions for children; fifth, other fields, including organization of social work, social research, and the teaching of social work. We have omitted entirely the large number of public health or visiting nurses who are giving a kind of service extremely similar to social work, but who for the most part conceive their service more from the medical than from the social point of view. In the group work field we have aimed to omit purely teaching and athletic personnel.

The main basis of our estimate was data collected a few months ago with the help of the National Information Service from federations of social agencies. For about twenty-five cities, varying widely in size, we obtained counts or estimates of the number of professional (as distinguished from clerical) positions in social work agencies, divided by fields of work. For three cities, Detroit, Cleveland, and Philadelphia, more detailed information concerning social work positions in private agencies is available; for Detroit the Detroit Community Union gave us a list of the actual titles of all positions in the federated social work agencies.

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From these data an estimate of the number of paid professional social work positions in each city was prepared. The figures showed considerable agreement in respect to the number of social work positions in relation to population. On the basis of this evidence we have made the broad assumption that on the average in cities of more than 100,000 population there are at least four social workers per 10,000 population. Applying this conservative figure to the 1926 population estimates for the cities of the United States, with allowance for personnel of national social work organizations in New York City and making an independent estimate for the rural sections and for cities of less than 100,000 population, we reach a figure of nearly 21,000, as shown in the summary tabulation (Table II). This total figure, however, appears to be highly conservative, and we prefer to estimate, in very round numbers, that there are twenty-five thousand paid professional social workers in the United States. If our figures have any merit, the percentages in the table should be of some significance. They indicate that more than half of the social workers are in the thirty-three largest cities, and close to four-fifths are in cities of over 25,000 population. Although we reduced the ratio of social workers to population progressively in estimating for the smaller places, we feel that the figures indicate too small a proportion of the total in the large cities.

Concerning the distribution of social workers by field of work, our rough figures may also be of interest. We estimate that the case work fields claim 60 per cent of the total; group work, including only the more definitely social work positions, 20 per cent; health work, as defined above, 5 per cent; institutions for

children, again including only positions which presume social work training, 5 per cent; and other fields, 10 per cent.

We hope, we should note in passing, to be able to substantiate or correct these rough figures by means of further study. We need for the several fields of social work the sort of count of personnel which has recently been made of public health nurses by the National Association for Organizing Public Health Nursing.'

Increase of social work personnel.-We know that social work is undergoing steady growth. The census figures already cited suggest this. Two of our own recent studies show this unquestionably and throw light on the rate of growth.` Data on size of staff were obtained in connection with a study of salaries in TABLE II

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social work organizations over the period 1913-25, made in the fall of 1925. The study covered 132 organizations in 78 cities, representing more than two thousand social workers in 1925. These data indicate an increase in the number of paid social work positions in the last ten years of about 65 per cent.

In a study now in process of the trend of relief expenditures during the last ten years, data on size of staff have been obtained from a large number of family welfare agencies. These data reflect the same tendency. Of the 194 organizations represented in the two studies, 144 gave information on size of staff in 1920 and 1925. These figures show an increase in paid professional positions between the two years of 31 per cent. The increase appears to be continuing rather steadily.

This important growth factor must of course be taken into account in meeting the demand for social workers. Our figures, it may be objected, relate to existing organizations, and some social work organizations have retired from the field within the last ten years. There are also organizations which have reduced their staffs within this period, notably the Red Cross. However, only 13 out of the 144 organizations just cited showed reduction of personnel since 1920, and Louise M. Tattershall, "Census of Public Health Nursing in the United States," The Public Health Nurse, May, 1926.

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