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Penn History

Adapted from the 1984 School of Social Work Bulletin

The University of Pennsylvania School of Social Work began in 1909 as a private school which opened its doors to five students in the field of child placement. From this small beginning developed the Pennsylvania School of Social Work, which affiliated with the University in 1935 and became a constituent school in 1948.

In 1966, the School moved to its present location on the main campus in a new quadrangle at 37th and Walnut Streets. Over the decades, the School has made major contributions to the philosophy, psychology, and methods of social work and continues to develop concepts of social work process directed toward a theory of social work practice. Educationally, the School has developed a philosophy stressing personal learning through experience and through extensive interaction between faculty and students and among students. In 2005 the School changed its name to the School of Social Policy and Practice.

School of Social Work faculty after presentation of special citation to Dr. Jessie Taft, 1959