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Anne L. Minahan (1925 - 2005)


Pioneering Contributions:  Anne Minahan's 1973 text book entitled Social Work Practice: Model and Method, co-authored with Allen Pincus, revolutionized the way in which students and practitioners came to view social work practice. The “Pincus and Minahan” book, which was based primarily on teaching notes, utilized the ideas of systems theory to specify a generalist model of practice as a system of change agents, client system, target system and action system. Every social worker graduating from schools of social work in the 1970s and 1980s learned how to form an action system and exercise influence based on this text. For many years it was the leading social work methods textbook in the country. It was translated into dozens of languages and was used worldwide by social work programs. In addition to numerous scholarly articles in social work journals, Anne was the editor-in-chief of Social Work, the journal of the National Association of Social Workers, from 1979-82, writing a number of editorials, now considered "classics," and was editor-in-chief of the 18th edition of the Encyclopedia of Social Work. 

 Career Highlights


Minahan was social work director of Memorial Union Hospital at the University of Wisconsin Madison from 1949-1958. In 1963, she joined the faculty at UW Milwaukee’s School of Social Welfare and served as chair of the Social Work Extension until 1967. In 1968, she was hired as an assistant professor at the School of Social Work at UW Madison where she remained until her retirement as a full professor in 1986. She served as the school’s director from 1977-1980.


Minahan was a consultant to several universities, including Grambling University, McGill University, the University of Minnesota, the University of Alabama, the University of South Carolina, and the University of British Columbia.


She was an outstanding contributor to her professional organizations.  A member of NASW beginning in 1958 until her retirement, she was a member of the executive committees of both the Southeastern Wisconsin and the South Central Wisconsin NASW chapters. She also served as a delegate to the National NASW Delegate Assemblies in 1966 and 1968. On the national level, Professor Minahan served on a wide variety of NASW committees including membership, publications, annual symposium planning, futures and the committee on conceptual

frameworks. She was elected to the National Board of Directors and served from 1970-1973. From 1972 - 1977 she was a Trustee of the NASW Legal Defense Fund. Minahan played an equally significant role in the Council on Social Work Education. She was a delegate to the House of Delegates in 1973, 1980, 1984 and 1986. She also was a member of the program committee for the annual meeting in 1974 and again in 1975.


Biographic Data


Anne Minahan was born in Madison, Wisconsin on September 27, 1925. She earned her BA in labor economics and MA in guidance and personnel at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1960, and received a master’s in social work from the School of Social Administration at Ohio State University. Minahan was as respected for her teaching as for her writing and research.


Professor Emerita Anne Minahan died on July 29, 2005.   


Significant Achievements and Awards


In 2003, Minahan was named an NASW Social Work Pioneer in recognition of her profound contributions to the social work profession and social work education.


In 1972, recognizing her years of service to the National Association of Social Workers Wisconsin Chapter, Anne was named Wisconsin Social Worker of the Year.


Significant Publications


Pincus and Minahan, Social Work Practice: Model and Method, F.E. Peacock: Itasca, IL, 1973





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