THE WELFARE OF EACH INDIVIDUAL in the United States has long been of deep concern to a large number of our citizens.Yet controversy has often accompanied the efforts of volunteers and social workers to organize and finance humanitarian services for children, women, and men. This is not surprising, for social welfare is an emotional area of activity. Involved in it are money, time, religious belief, the integrity of intentions, and other things which are known to divide ordinarily pleasant people, on occasion, into combatants. How far government should go in caring for the individual is an unsettled issue. Methods of supplying social service agencies with funds are heatedly debated.
Welfare in America is designed to bring into focus issues that have divided our people.It suggests others to which attention should be given without delay. Three years spent on an earlier social welfare book aroused my interest in further investigation of broad issues, with the result that fifteen months of full-time interviewing, research, observing, reading, reflecting, and writing went into the present volume.
There are fundamental points of view in these pages on which well-informed people who have read drafts of the manuscript disagree. Their differences seem quite irreconcilable. They do agree, however, that an entirely independent evaluation of this character needed to be written in order to present little known facts, sharpen issues, and invite open discussion.
I hope that the portrait of social welfare painted in these pages will attract the interest of leaders in our communities who share my concern over the present and future welfare of all the people who comprise our society.
VAUGHN DAVIS BORNET
Santa Monica, California
June 8, 1960