NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Patricia Morisey fought segregation in schools of social work and in social service agencies. She was instrumental in funding projects to improve the delivery of services to families and children, regardless of race. Morisey was the first Black professional caseworker at the United Service for new Americans and the first Black employee and supervisor hired by the Louise Wise Agency. It was at the latter agency that she spearheaded the nation’s first placement program for bi-racial children.
In 1959, Morisey joined the Bureau of child Welfare of the Department of Welfare in New York as supervisor of a project designed to place homeless children in foster homes. While working on this project, she became a catalyst for foster parent reform. Her vision enabled mothers receiving Aid to Families with Dependent Children to serve as foster parents for the first time.
She was on the staff of Fordham University during the 1960s and 1970s serving in a variety of roles, including lecturer, professor, and as Assistant Dean for Special Programs and Projects. Morisey also oversaw projects funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the Children’s Bureau and the Office of Refugee Resettlement of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Morisey earned her DSW and MSW at Columbia University School of Social Work in 1970 and 1944, respectively. She received her BA from Hunter College in 1941.
Significant Achievements and Awards
1982: Who’s Who in Black America
Morisey served on the NASW New York City chapter Board from 1978-1980.
1977: Fisk University Directory of Significant 20th Century American Minority Women
1975: Woman of the Year, Negro Women’s Business and Professional Clubs, Inc.
1975: Elected to Hunter College Hall of Fame
1974: New York State Association of Deans
Morisey served on a number of boards in New York City, including:
Citizens Committee for Children
Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, Board Member Emeritus
Leake and Watts Children’s Services
Morisey, P. G. (1990). Black children in foster care. Social Work Practice with Black Families. New York: Longman, 133-147.
Morisey, P.G. (1986). Services to children. New York Department of Social Services.
Morisey, P.G. (1986). Child abuse and Neglect: Services to children New York Department of Social Services.
Morisey, P. G. (1968). From Scandinavia to the Urban Ghetto—Implications of Scandinavian Welfare Programs for Services to Unwed Mothers. Effective services for unmarried parents and their children: Innovative community approaches, 27-43.