NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Adams was the training supervisor in the Alabama Department of Social Welfare and spent 30 years in that agency. After her retirement in 1960 she worked temporarily on welfare defense training with the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. Opal Adams went into social work following several years of teaching school. She became St. Clair County's welfare superintendent in 1929. Later she was director of relief and entered the state office in 1935. She was first a field representative and supervisor of case work services before her appointment as training supervisor. She was active in civil defense planning and attended several special defense training courses at the Office of Civil Defense in Battlecreek, Michigan. She was on leave from the department for about 18 months to work on welfare services for the Survival Planning Project.
Adams earned a master's of social work degree from Tulane University and also had extensive training from the National Training Laboratory in Group Development in Bethel, Maine. As the first training supervisor in the Bureau of Administrative Services in the Welfare Department she established high standards of training in that organization. She had an outstanding ability to stimulate people to think and to learn. She was in demand by other states and conferences to lead workshops and participate in programs.