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Article

Nelson, Kristine E.  

Katharine Cahn and Nocona Pewewardy

Dr. Kristine E. Nelson (1943–2012) was a nationally recognized child welfare historian and scholar, as well as a social work educator and administrator. Her early work in child welfare and a deep commitment to social justice informed her scholarship, research, and leadership. Her research focused on family preservation and community-based child welfare practice, with a focus on families entering the child welfare system due to neglect or poverty-related challenges. She was a significant contributor to advancing new frameworks of child welfare practice and had a successful career as a social work educator and administrator, retiring as Dean of the Portland State University School of Social Work in 2011.

Article

Carlton, Thomas Owen  

Hans S. Falck

Thomas Owen Carlton (1937–1992) was an expert in curriculum development in social work education as well as an author, an editor, and a scholar in health social work and social policy. He believed history influences social welfare planning.

Article

Radlińska, Helena  

Andrea Schmelz

Helena Radlińska’s (1879–1954) pioneering roles in social work education, political and social activism, and her visionary contribution to theory, practice, and research of social work in Poland and beyond its borders are reviewed. Radlińska’s conceptualization of social work aimed at community development and social change, and addressed the social conditions of individuals as well as their potential. According to Radlińska, social workers assisted in overcoming difficulties by empowering individuals and communities. Hence, education and research in social work needed to build on an interdisciplinary approach and the personal development of students as educators, group facilitators, and community mobilizers. Based on the principle of critical reflection with the self and the world, Radlinka’s social work ouvre outlasted the socialist period and underwent an international renaissance in the postsocialist era. Radlińska has inspired social workers to fight for an inclusive and antipopulist future in Poland’s communities.

Article

Davis, John Eldon  

Catheleen Jordan

John Eldon Davis, MSW, was a National Association of Social Work pioneer. His career spanned four decades and saw a number of “firsts” for social work. His pioneering efforts were in introducing interdisciplinary teams to social work services, training staff and students in various settings, and introducing social work services to in-patient mental health settings, HIV treatment, and international adoptions.

Article

Moser, Mentona  

Andrea Schmelz

Mentona Moser (1874–1971) was a pioneer of social work in Switzerland. Following the ideas of the settlement movement, Moser initiated and contributed to fundamental social welfare activities in Zurich until the end of World War I. As a communist, from the early 1920s on, she worked on several projects of radical social work in the context of the Red Aid.

Article

Sayles, Odessa  

David Cory and Catheleen Jordan

Odessa Sayles, MSW, was a leading advocate for adoption of Black children by Black families in Houston, Texas, during the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. She was well known for dedicating her life to children and to uplifting the Black community. Serving as lead program director for foster care and adoptions for Harris County Protective Services for Children, she was steadfast in seeking culturally appropriate homes for children facing adoption.