NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Margaret Allen received her bachelor of arts degree in 1930 from Ohio Wesleyan University. In 1932, she completed a course in family casework at the School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University, Ohio. Ms. Allen worked in the Private Family Agency Associate Charities of Cleveland, Ohio.
She is known primarily for pioneering efforts from 1940 to 1970, as a public assistance analyst in the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. She worked in the regional office in Cleveland until it closed in 1953, and then moved to the Chicago office. She worked in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin during this period. Her major responsibility was to conduct reviews of the various state public assistance programs to determine whether or not their practice conformed to the state plan and federal requirements. Information was gathered to assist the individual states to obtain the highest practical standards. In this process, state and county personnel were interviewed and a random study of sample clients was made. She also worked with state staff to plan for new citizens and Cuban refugees.
Ms. Allens prior experience before joining the federal government was a casework supervisor at the Associated Charities in the Cuyahoga County Relief Administration and Federal Emergency Relief Administration. She helped formulate policies and procedures. From 1935 to 1940, she was supervisor of the intake certification division for WPA in Ohio. Since her retirement in 1970, she has continued her work on ways to meet peoples needs, particularly those in New Mexico. Ms. Allen has been a member of the New Mexico Human Services Coalition, where she prepared testimony and testified at public hearings. While on the board of the League of Women Voters, she chaired an Active Basic Human Needs Committee with an advocacy of affordable housing, health care, job availability, and childcare. She was a certified social worker in Illinois and an active member of the American Public Welfare Association.
She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.