NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Mose Firestone (1915 - 2011)
From the time of his MA from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration in 1943 (and prior from 1938 to 1940 as a group worker and group work director) and from his doctoral degree in clinical psychology in 1948 from Lincoln University, San Francisco, CA, Dr. Mose Firestone was a practicing clinician, a supervisor, educator and an administrator of casework services. He practiced in children/family social service agencies and in hospital psychiatric social services and maintained a private practice for more than fifty years.
Throughout his career, he was an avid student in advancing his psychiatric casework knowledge in regard to children and adults with such luminaries as Professors VanderVeer, Rede, Ross, Bertha Reynolds, et al. Dr. Firestone felt a personal analysis by Erickson and others gave him the personal-professional self-awareness and theoretical knowledge to bring to a concurrent teaching role – not only in agency supervision but as guest lecturer in a number of schools of social work in California and as a faculty member of the University of Indiana's Division of Social Service in a special one-year appointment.
Dr. Firestone’s exceptional group work skills were evidenced early in his career. He began as a group worker in 1939 and was quickly promoted to the position of group work director, responsible for planning, administering and directing most of the group work activities for children and adults at the San Francisco Jewish Community Center. In this position he also functioned as group work consultant to various public schools, casework agencies, and psychiatric clinics.
In 1951, Dr. Firestone was recalled to the Army as a “critical specialist” assigned to assist in the establishment of casework services in Army hospitals. During this period of additional military service, he was the chief of clinical social work for Western Europe.
Later, as assistant professor of social casework at the University of Indiana, Dr. Firestone not only taught beginning and advanced courses in casework, he also reorganized the curricula in order to qualify the sequence for approval by the American Association of Psychiatric Social Workers and by the Council on Social Work Education.
Dr. Firestone held various leadership roles in a number of organizations including the Psychiatric Social Workers of Northern California and the Joint Committee of Medical Social Workers, Psychiatric Social Workers and American Association of Social Workers.
After retiring from full-time practice, Dr. Firestone was a consultant to several of the local public schools in California. From 1993 to 2011, he was a board member of the Venice Family Clinic, which has received presidential commendations. He was also President of the Board of the Los Angeles Retarded Children’s Foundation.