NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Ruth Fizdale (1908 - 1994)
Fizdale received her MSW from Smith College School of Social Work. She did advanced study at the University of Pennsylvania.
She brought a pioneer spirit to all of the services she touched during her long career. Fizdale is probably best known for her 19 years as executive director of the Arthur Lehman Counseling Service where she helped pioneer and develop a fee-for-service system in a for-profit agency. She chronicled ALCS' first decade and a half in the book, Social Agency Structures and Accountability.
Early in her career as chief of the social services staff development of the Veterans Administration, she led in the development of a structure for staff and student training in the newly renovated Medical Services following World War II. This encompassed consultation with schools of social work and all VA hospitals throughout the country.
Fizdale made a significant contribution through the New York Association for New Americans where she used her counseling and job training to help immigrants become self sustaining within one year after entering this country.
She was well known for her activity in professional organizations. She was a founding member of the NASW Competence Certification Board which oversees the Academy of Certified Social Workers. She was a 9 year member of the executive board of NASW's New York City chapter. She was an active member of CSWE, National Conference on Social Welfare, and the New York State Conference on Social Welfare.
The Ruth Fizdale Program was established in her honor.