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An American Social Worker in Italy

An American Social Worker in Italy

Copyright Date: 1961
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 336
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  • Book Info
    An American Social Worker in Italy
    Book Description:

    Mrs. Charnley, an American social worker, spent six months in Italy on a Fulbright grant as a consultant to Italian child welfare agencies and schools of social work. Here, in diary form, she tells of her experiences during those months when she struggled to teach American social work principles to her Italian colleagues. The task was complicated not only by the need to communicate in a newly learned tongue but also by the necessity to tailor American casework philosophies to a vastly different culture. The story abounds in humor and pathos and, at the same time, offers rich information about Italy, its people, and its child-care methods and institutions. Mrs. Charnley points out that one Italian child in ten spends his first seventeen years in an institution. The nation’s laws for the protection of children date back to the Caesars; even the most progressive of the social workers she met hoped for reforms only in terms of decades or centuries. Against this background, the situations in which she found herself were sometimes frustrating, often comic, always challenging. Her determination to help Italy’s half-million institutionalized children took her behind the doors of many orphanages and convents, into close contact with the children and the nuns and priests who cared for them. She studied the records of social agencies, analyzed problems with their staffs, and lectured at social work schools.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-6179-4
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-2)
  2. The Beginning
    (pp. 3-20)

    Now it is all over and past. I have been back at work at my agency for three months. The trunks have arrived and all the beautiful things we purchased in Italy are given away as gifts, hung on our walls or in our closets, or lovingly placed in jewelry boxes and desk drawers. The Italian adventure is over, but a hundred things keep it alive for me: the plunging ceramic horses over our fireplace . . . my co-worker of Italian descent who sometimes greets me in Italian in the morning so that that beautiful language comes to me...

    (pp. 21-318)

    I had received a call from the Fulbright Commission office asking whether I could keep an appointment with Signorina Scalzo, assistant to the executive director of the commission.

    It was a golden day — one of those shining days of February’s false spring that fortifies one for what Italians call “crazy March.” The sun was streaming down and the city was alive with people going about with their coats wide open. I walked from the bus stop down Via 20 Settembre, past the flower stands. I passed the fountain with languid lions whose supercilious, simpering lips spew sedate little streams...

  4. Index
    (pp. 321-323)