The Cambridge Association for the Care of Girls: Social Work with Girls and Young Women in Cambridge 1883-1954
'About the year 1882... Lady Humphry came forward to arouse our interest in questions which affect the home life of all English men and women. At that time the law relating to the protection of young girls was prominently before Parliament...' This was the beginning of the Cambridge Association for the Care of Girls, which for the next seventy years was to enjoy a reputation for 'quiet unostentatious work among young girls, upon whom its influence for good is absolutely immeasurable'. For some of the 'younger women, lately married,' the 'Care of Girls' served as a launch pad into national organizations, local government and the magistracy - they were a talented and ambitious generation. Time, two world wars and the gradual growth of state help eventually put paid to Victorian formulas for 'rescue and prevention'. Clubs for girls and training in domestic service, preferably in a Home far away from bad influences in Cambridge, were no longer popular options: 'War had brought new conditions into [the girls'] lives. They had work and wages and young men galore...In all classes of society the aspect of social relations had changed. "The safeguarding of the family" became priority No.1; child adoption and the care of the unmarried mother took the place of club-work in our aims'. This book charts this transition and, alongside it, the growth of professional social work, from the energetic but amateur Victorian lady philanthropists, to the highly qualified 'moral welfare' workers of the mid twentieth century.
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