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The Emergence of the Statutory Juvenile Court in Illinois and Professionalization of Social Work
  • John Halloran
John Halloran

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The transition of social work from a volunteer pursuit to a professional one happened rapidly in the early 1900s. This article examines the motivating forces responsible for the genesis of social work education within the context of Chicago’s Juvenile Court, and the work of Lucy Flower, Julia Lathrop, and Graham Taylor. In Chicago, social work grew and evolved within the professional space created for probation officers within that Court, institutionalizing practice and education. The enduring significance of the Court emerges from its direct interrelationship with and special positioning of social service workers—the juvenile probation officers. Those probation officers were among the first groups of state sanctioned, publically funded, and specially educated social workers.