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The development of a family agency : a historical review of the Calgary Family Bureau Hoole, Arthur Herbert

Abstract

The purpose of this review is to demonstrate the growth of a family agency, The Calgary Family Bureau. This growth is related in a general manner to that of the Family Welfare Movement which had its roots within the Charity Organization Societies. In portraying this development, only the salient points are discussed, relating them as closely as possible to the functions of a family service agency. These functions which are two in number, are the accepted purposes of a modern family agency. They are, first, to provide a skilled case work service on problems of family living and individual social adjustment; and second, to provide and stimulate those resources that contribute to healthy social living in the community. It is desired that the specific study of the development of the Calgary Family Bureau will: first, portray a parallel to the growth of other family service agencies as outlined in the first chapter; and second, to demonstrate those processes by which the past has influenced the agency at present; and third, to provide a basis upon which an assessment can be made of the present and the future of the agency. In respect of the latter, an attempt is made to evaluate and assess the agency, not only in terms of the past, but particularly in terms of the present. The assessment being geared to the functions of an accepted family service agency. The reconstruction of the growth and development of family agencies in general terms was formulated through research of available authoritative sources relating to the general movement and the accepted standard of purposes for a modern family agency. The specific analysis of the antecedents of the Canary Family Bureau and the events leading to it becoming an independent family agency was undertaken after a study of historical data in the form of documents such as Minutes, Annual Reports, letters and an independent Survey. These were supplemented by personal sources of authentic observers. The same method was applied in a study of the present status of the agency but in this case also supplemented the personal observations of the writer. The findings attempt to show that the needs of the Calgary community not only dictated the development of a social agency but lent themselves to its character and the service it provided. These needs were recognized and the forces of social action to meet them were implemented because of the concern and character of responsible personalities in the community. Personal attributes played a considerable role in the formation of and development of the Calgary Family Bureau. The Calgary Family Bureau was also a product of pressures within the community and its standard of service was influenced by changing concepts. These concepts being the acceptance of the purposes of a recognized family agency. It has not been concluded, however, that the Bureau has reached the standards set for such agencies. It has acquired a foundation as a family agency. It must now acquire the techniques and policies inherent of the case work and community functions of a modern family agency.

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