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Self-Help in Social Welfare

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In 1954, the Seventh International Conference of Social Work convened in Toronto, Canada, with the theme of “Self-Help in Social Welfare.” While self-help is an important component of effective social work, it can also be seen as a challenge to the formal social work profession. The multi-day event in Toronto presented many speakers and panels in an effort to examine self-help organizations from many different perspectives, and resulted in a 342-page book known as the Proceedings of the event. In this historical Voices, we select key points made by authorities from various countries at this conference, key points that have stood the test of time.