The Charity Organisation Society (COS) in the United States
The Charity Organisation Society (COS) was a social welfare organization that was founded in Buffalo, New York, in 1877. It was inspired by the Charity Organisation Society in London, which had been founded in 1869. The COS in the United States was dedicated to coordinating and organizing charity along scientific lines to prevent recipients from becoming "sadly pauperized in spirit" as a result of "injudicious and indiscriminate giving."
The COS had a number of goals, including:
Coordinate the work of different charitable organizations in order to avoid duplication and waste.
To investigate the needs of families in poverty in order to provide them with the most appropriate assistance.
To teach families in poverty the values of hard work and thrift in order to help them become self-sufficient.
To promote social reform in order to address the root causes of poverty.
The COS used a number of methods to achieve its goals, including:
Friendly visiting: COS volunteers would visit families in poverty to assess their needs and provide them with guidance and support.
Casework: COS workers would use a systematic approach to investigate the needs of families in poverty and develop a plan to help them.
Social reform: COS leaders would advocate for policies and programs that would address the root causes of poverty.
The COS was a major force in the development of social work in the United States. Its methods of friendly visiting and casework were adopted by other social welfare organizations, and its emphasis on social reform helped to shape the public debate about poverty.
The COS declined in popularity in the early 20th century, as it was criticized for being too paternalistic and for not doing enough to address the structural causes of poverty. However, its legacy can still be seen in the work of social workers today.
Here are some of the key contributions of the COS to social welfare in the United States:
The COS helped to coordinate and organize charity along scientific lines.
The COS developed the methods of friendly visiting and casework, which are still used by social workers today.
The COS advocated for social reform, which helped to shape the public debate about poverty.
The COS helped to professionalize social work.
The COS was a significant force in the development of social welfare in the United States. Its legacy can still be seen in the work of social workers today.The Charity Organisation Society (COS) in the USA has been an influential force in addressing social challenges and promoting social change for well over a century. Through its principles of investigation, prevention, self-help, and collaboration, the COS has made a significant impact on the lives of countless individuals and communities.