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The Family Welfare Bureau of Greater Vancouver : its origins and development, 1927 to 1952 Mitchell, Robert James Gordon

Abstract

The Family Welfare Bureau of Greater Vancouver has now been in existence for twenty-five years, and it is the purpose of this study to trace its development from its origins in the recommendations of the British Columbia Child Welfare Survey of 1927, to the present day. Material for this purpose was collected from the minutes of the Executive Board of the Bureau, 1927 to 1952; the annual reports of the Director for the same years; personal interviews with the Director and other staff members; other related records and literature of the agency; and numerous pamphlets and publications of the Family Service Association of America. This latter body is a standard-setting association of family agencies to which the Bureau has belonged from its inception. In the course of its life, the agency has been faced with many unforeseen difficulties, the more drastic of these being the depression years of the 1930's and the war years of 1939 to 1945. These two periods of economic and social stress are reflected clearly in the workload of the agency, and it would have been understandable had this new organization strayed from its original objective, which was to do family casework. An appraisal of the work of the Bureau shows clearly, however, that: (1) it has filled a definite need within the overall framework of agencies in the community, and (2) it has steadfastly maintained its original purpose of providing family casework, services. In addition, (3) it has constantly striven to improve its standards of professional competence, and (4) it has followed the traditional role of private agencies in experimenting in the provision of new services. The record also indicates that, even though the community is showing increasing acceptance of casework services, continued and careful studies will have to be made to determine the most effective way of interpreting to the public, on which the Bureau depends for its financing, the meaning and value of these non-material services.

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