- Helle StraussHelle StraussUniversity College Copenhagen
Manon Lüttichau (1900–1995), who was born a privileged noblewoman, untraditionally sought education and personal independence. She served as a charity worker for 10 years, then became the first paid social helper in Denmark. She was a pioneer for social workers as important professionals in hospital departments. She became inspired by many tours in Europe and the United States for studies of social work and social work education. ML was initiator of the establishment of the first social school. This happened at a time when economic crises and several social reforms increased the need for a professional social work profession. A group of enthusiastic academics and social workers established a volunteer working committee for foundation of a social school . Here it was discussed whether the school should be independence of religion. The result was an independent curriculum, a schedule, a small faculty, creation of teaching material and organisation of administration and practice placement. Development of social work ethics, holistic perspective, and casework were among the subjects in the professional education. ML became later the initiator of the Association for Educated Social Workers in Denmark and she was also serving in Burma for the UN as a social welfare advisor.
Similarities and differences between the first education, ML’s viewpoints and modern social work education are identified. ML was living independent of class traditions and other people’s presumptions, but not a declared feminist.