AbstractThis paper will explorethree important aspects that Harry Hopkins achieved in this social workcareer. Fist the path he took in workingwithin the social work field, second the contributions he made and lastly how hiswork could inform individuals working in the practice of a social worker. Utilizing eight different articles, thispaper will explore the life of Harry Hopkins and how he had an account of theimpact on public policies here in the United States, and how no other socialworker has had the influence in changing the direction of American socialpolicy. Keywords: paths, contributions, informthe social work now Social Work and Social ChangeInthe year 1926, Harry Hopkins, who was the Director of the New York TuberculosisSociety, who would go on to be one of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s closest advisors andbecame a designer of the New Deal. HarryHopkins wrote, “The field of social work and public health are inseparable, andnot artificial boundaries can separate them.
Social work is interwoven in the whole fabric of the public healthmovement, and has directly influenced it at every point” (Hopkins, 1926). A review of social work’s past and currentefforts can highlight its contemporary value. Hopkins believed that there was a creative understanding in face-to-facerelationships. The immediate problems ofthis Association of social workers explain Kurzman (1977) is to bring togethersocial work and public administration. When Harry Hopkins passed in 1946, his most important legacy to theAmerican people was the idea that human welfare is the first and final task ofgovernment. Hopkins was the man explainsCupaiuolo (2002), whose personal values, particularly service to others,coupled with first-hand experience as a social worker and intelligent inpolitical skills, managed to launch a social welfare revolution when thecountry needed it most.
HarryHopkins was born on August 17 in Sioux City, Iowa in the year of 1890. He grew up in a customary Midwesternfamily. Harry was the fourth born toDavid and Anna Hopkins. Harry Hopkinsmoved from Iowa to Nebraska, then to Chicago and back to Iowa to study atGrinnell College explains Brinkley (n.d.). Hopkins had a professor named Jesse Macy whom he took political science,reviews Schnell (2000), in which he learned to apply the scientific method tosocial work. He also studied AmericanPolitics and the British Parliamentary system, which will help him later in hispath.
Shortly after he finished withcollege affirms Mcilvaine (2000), he went to New York and began his career atthe age of 22 in the ghettos of New York. He was working for charitable organizations conveys Cupaiuolo, (2002)such as the American Red Cross, New York City’s Association for improving theCondition of the Poor, and the New York Tuberculosis Association. Fromthe beginning of his career his own sins testifies Schnell (2000) of smoking,drinking, and gambling to overindulgence became a little too much and he becamedysfunctional, which lead him to be the first political figure to receive psychoanalysis. In 1915 New York Mayor John P. Mitchellappointed Hopkins to the position of secretary in the bureau of childrenwelfare voices Mcilvaine (2000), just around the time of America’s entry intoWWI.
Hopkins moved to New Orleans, wherehe worked as a director of civilian Relief, American Red Cross GulfDivision. He was appointed generalmanager in 1921. Hopkins then returnedto New York in 1922 continues Mcilvaine (2000) assuming the position of generaldirector of the New York Tuberculosis Association, which grew a great deal. Hopkins enabled the draft for the AmericanAssociation of Social Workers, and was elected its president in 1923. Hopkinswas noticed by then New York governor Franklin Roosevelt. Hopkins was asked to run the first staterelief organization in the nation, the Temporary Emergency ReliefAdministration replies Kurzman (1977).
In1928 Hopkins supported Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt for the governorship ofNew York, and Roosevelt rewarded him three years later by naming Hopkins thehead of the state’s new Temporary Emergency Relief Administration continuedKurzman (1977). Hopkins later supportedRoosevelt’s campaign for the presidency and his promise of a ‘New Deal’ forAmericans in 1933, President Roosevelt appointed Hopkins to be his federalemergency relief administrator, and from 1935 to 1938 explains Mcilvaine(2000), Hopkins headed the Works Progress Administration. Hopkins was enlisted into Franklin D. Roosevelt’sBrain Trust, which included several of Hopkins’s Grinnell College Alumnicontinued Mcilvaine (2000). Hopkins andthe Brain Trust were critiqued for unnecessary spending by old-fashionedmembers of congress, who claimed that the economy would sort itself out in thelong run. To which Hopkins repliedstates Mcilvaine (2000) “people don’t eat in the long run, they eat everyday.”Ratherthan giving needy people handouts, Hopkins liberally granted money to thestates for work programs explains Schottland, 1975).
His detractors mockingly referred to him asthe leader of a bunch of ‘leaf-rakers.’ Hopkins worked closely with the First Lady remarks Mcilvaine (2000), topromote and defend other relief agencies that include the Civil WorksAdministration (CWA), the Federal Surplus Relief Administration, (FSRA), theWorks Progress Administration (WPA) and the Tennessee Valley Authority(TVA). Most of these programs existed tothe end of their usefulness explains Mcilvaine (2000) some were challenged incourt and eventually cancelled, but the TVA remains a powerful and acceptedagency to this day. The National LaborRelations Act Which instituted collective bargaining in the workplace, and thecreation of the Social Security Administration, were two of the most powerfuland durable programs of the New Deal expressed Brinkley (n.d) Withinone hour of being sworn in by President Roosevelt as administrator of theFederal Emergency Relief Administration, Hopkins was preparing to distributemore than $5 million in federal funds to states express Kurzman (1977). The funds, intended to help support thosehardest hit by the Great Depression, Paid for work performance, cash grants,groceries and clothing. Hopkins iscredited as being only to Eleanor Roosevelt explains Mcilvaine (2000), inkeeping the president’s attention focused on the needy of the nation.
Hopkins believed in relief efforts thatcentered on work.Hopkinsplayed a major role in the development of the Social Security Act. As a member of the Committee on EconomicSecurity, states Schottland (1975), which was comprised of four cabinetsecretaries and Hopkins, he was a major factor in shaping the committee’srecommendations that resulted in the Social Security Act. Hopkins brought social work into a prominentplace in the public arena. He insistedon high professional standards continue Schottland (1975), and defended socialwork and social workers. Without hisleadership it is likely that social work and social workers would have hadlittle relationship to the massive public welfare programs of 1975. Harry Hopkins was responsible for this”revolutionary evolution” continues Schottland (1975) from poor law to publicwelfare and his contribution has make an indelible imprint on our current wayof life. Harry Hopkins has given apriceless gift to the American people explains Schottland, (1975).
Thebulk of social workers serve in direct care roles, such as counseling, health education,and a crisis intervention. However,social workers also practice at intermediary levels as navigators and caremanagers, and at the macro level, in health administration, research, advocacy,and policy (Browne, 2012). Harry Hopkinsprovided key leadership in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s economic stabilization effortsand helped establish the New Deal and Social Security Act of 1935. The prominence of social workers in federalleadership positions enabled the profession to shape the myriad social welfareprograms. As Hopkins knew a hundredyears ago, the profession of social work, with its deep roots and ongoingpragmatic presence in public health, is a sister profession of consequence,involved in addressing what matters now.
It is time to recognize its historic significance, value its currentcapabilities and contributions, and provide leadership for expanding its placein the broader public health enterprise. Hopkins,thus, made two great contributions to public administration. First, he ushered in a new era of diplomaticrelations. It would be one morerealistic, more modern, and in many ways, more flexible than that knownbefore. It would mark the early stagesof a continuing quest for a cooperative federalism with federal, state, andlocal governments as working partners expressed Kurzman (1977). Second, in both style and performance,Hopkins symbolized a break with the traditions of public administration, whichhad held sway during the first two decades of the century.
In this sense he was ahead of his time,rejecting the fixed principles of administration carefully set them down, andpracticing a theory or organizational cooperation several years before ChesterBarnard made the notion popularly acceptable (Kurzman, 1977). Atthe young age of 56 Harry Hopkins left this world nine months after Franklin D.Roosevelt. Mcilvaine (2000), talks aboutthose nine months Hopkins worked with President Harry Truman’s administrationand was a major supporter of the formation of the United Nations. Truman awarded Hopkins the DistinguishedService Medal. References Brinkley,A. (n.d).
Roosevelt’s Lost Alliances: How Personal Politics Helped Start theCold War The Hopkins Touch: Harry Hopkins and the Forging of the Alliance toDefeat Hitler. Journal Of American History, 100(2),577-578.Browne,T. (2012). Social Work Roles andHealth-Care settings. Health Social Work. (2nd ed.
).NJ: Wiley.Cupaiuolo,A. A. (2002). HARRY HOPKINS (Book). Administration In Social Work, 26(3),92.
Hopkins,H.L. (1926). The Place of Social Work InPublic Health.
National Conference of Social Work. Cleveland: OH. Kurzman,P. A. (1977). THE IMPACT OF HARRY HOPKINS ON PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION. SouthernReview Of Public Administration, 1(3), 350-363.
Mcilvaine,B. (2000, April). Harry Hopkins:President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Deputy President. AmericanHistory.
Schnell,J. C. (2000). Harry Hopkins: Sudden Hero, Brash Reformer. Journal OfAmerican History, (2), 721.
Schottland,C. I. (1975). Harry Hopkins and the New Deal (Book). Social Work, 20(6),491-492.