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During much of the early practice of social work, the profession was almost exclusively concerned with problems arising from poverty. For many, social work is still erroneously synonymous with the dispensing of public assistance. We have developed methods of maintaining relative economic stability and have available such a wide variety of public and private resources, however, that poverty is no longer the major problem today that it was at the turn of the century. Mass poverty has been displaced by other major problems that have developed out of increased industrialization and population changes.
Management of the chronically ill patient now constitutes one of these major problems. Estimates of the U. S. Public Health Service currently indicate that there is a handicapped population of 9 million persons in need of, or who can benefit from rehabilitation services, with 250,000 persons being added each year. Statistics often lose their impact when presented
Shover J, Kurren O. SOCIAL WORK IN REHABILITATION. JAMA. 1959;171(12):1694–1696. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.73010300015017
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