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Inspirational impact

Families share love of social work

“… Social workers now accept as their first task the preservation of family ties…”   — Grace Abbott

Edith and Grace Abbott, born in 1876 and 1878 respectively, were sisters and pioneer social workers who shared an interest in public service as they worked closely together to tackle social problems and issues in public welfare. 

John Sorenson — director of the Grace Abbot Project at the University of Nebraska — said the two Grand Island, Neb., natives were known for their teamwork and collaboration as they jointly pursued careers as social workers.

“They enjoyed working together,” Sorenson said. “As Edith Abbott described their relationship, they were sisters and comrades who were a powerful, effective team.” 

The Abbott sisters are just one example of how people find themselves pursuing social work by following a sister, brother, parent or other relative into the field.

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