The literature of public welfare administration is voluminous, but with the exception of a very small number of books this literature consists of monographs and public documents. There is a need for a general text which covers all of the major kinds of public welfare services but which also gives attention to the varieties of organization and administrative process. Such a book could not pretend to give intensive treatment to any particular welfare service, but it can treat the subject extensively and undertake to give an over-all view of the field and to assist the new public welfare worker, the college student, and the beginning student in a school of social work, to acquire perspective. It is also believed that this kind of a book may be found useful by public welfare workers generally.
One important assumption has been made about public welfare organization throughout the book, namely, that all public welfare services are interrelated and should be co-ordinated both horizontally and vertically. By horizontal co-ordination is meant the drawing together of all welfare services into a single administrative unit at each level of government; the author believes that the federal services should be administered or supervised through a federal department of public welfare, that those at the state level should be administered or supervised by a single state department, and that local public welfare services should be administered through a single county department. Vertical co-ordination refers to the relations existing between levels of government, such as the county and the state and often the federal government; several kinds of public welfare service are now financed partly by each of the three levels of government, and there is abundant evidence to support the opinion that better standards of service can be maintained if the federal and state governments supervise the local administration of public welfare services. If the federal government supervises a program or the state government supervises a service, that implies