NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Jean M. Maxwell (1914 - 1996)
Jean M. Maxwell
(1914 – 1996)
Jean Maxwell helped establish the field of gerontology within social work, working first in New York City. As a professor at the San Diego State University School of Social Work, she worked with Ernest Witte and was responsible for helping develop the curriculum for the school.
She also developed and sponsored a number of institutes featuring different approaches to group work and involving national agencies. These were held at Tulane University, Boston University, the University of Southern California and University of California at Berkeley.
Maxwell spent a large part of her career at the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers in Chicago and as Group Work Secretary and Assistant Executive at the Council of Social Agencies in Syracuse, New York.
Prior to these assignments, Maxwell worked for the Girl Scouts in Minneapolis and employed her camping experience at the Minneapolis YWCA. She also worked with the Queensboro (New York) Girl Scout Camp and the Fulton County, New York, Child Welfare Department’s summer camp.
Jean Maxwell earned her Master of Social Science Administration from Western Reserve University in 1941. She received her BA from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis in 1939.