The circle of social reform: the relationship social work-social policy in Addams and Richmond

Francisco J. N. Branco*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This article presents some results of a broader purpose of research on the thought and work of Addams and Richmond, particularly about the relationship between social work and social policy. First, we aim to contribute to deeper knowledge on the thought of these two pioneers on this relevant subject for social work nowadays and, particularly, to remove a relative veil of ignorance Richmond's involvement in social reform activities and elaboration on social reform in the context of the public and social policies process. Second, our proposal is to support a revision of the orthodox account on the antagonistic or irreconcilable nature of the two major traditions—social casework (or psychosocial approach) and social reform (or socio-political approach)—founded by two of the most influential figures of social work. Based on secondary and primary sources, the article focuses on the inseparable relationship between social policy and social work, clearly present in the thought and intervention of these seminal authors, and sheds new light on on-going debates and the disputed role of social policy perspectives within professionalised social work and the articulation between direct intervention with individuals, groups and communities and policy practice.
Translated title of the contributionO círculo da reforma social: a relação serviço social-política social em Addams e Richmond
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-419
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Work
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2016


  • Social work
  • Social policy
  • Social reform
  • Addams
  • Richmond


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