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Development of the Social Service Department at the Woodlands School : a review and assessment of developments in the Woodlands School, New Westminster, B.C., 1931-1953 Sampson, Leonard Stanley

Abstract

This study makes an examination of a training programme in an institution for the mentally handicapped. It outlines the history of this institution and traces the development of the training programme through its various stages, with special reference to the contribution which social work has made to the rehabilitative programme. The study makes an appraisal of this institution's existing programme in light of accepted principles and standards of practice, derived from an examination of relevant professional medical and social material in the field. Material studied included reports of the medical director of The Woodlands School, reports of the Provincial Supervisor of Psychiatric Social Work, and articles written in professional periodicals and books on the subject. Other material was obtained by personal observation of The Woodlands School's programme and by personal interviews with various staff members. The case material was obtained from the case records of the Social Service Department of The Woodlands School. These records cover a two-year period, 1951 through 1953. The conclusions of this study indicate that the services for the training and education of the mentally handicapped are seriously lacking in British Columbia with particular reference to social services. It is recommended that both lay and professional groups in British Columbia reassess their current programmes for the mentally handicapped in light of existing standards so that a more adequate understanding of needs in this area may be at their disposal. The need for greater expansion of rehabilitation services for the mentally handicapped is stressed.

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