NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Carol Meyer (1924-1996)
Meyer's pioneering efforts have covered both in-service training staff development and teaching at the School of Social Work, Columbia University. She developed a conceptual framework within which professionals can fit their techniques of practice and explain the special value for clinical workers of the eco-systems approach when related to the context of a field of practice. She is especially attentive to the predecessor theorists who influenced the evolvement and formulation of the eco-system orientation in direct practice.
In the 1960's, Meyer spent considerable effort on the nature of staff development in public welfare agencies. She provided a rationale for the utilization of agency-trained staff as complement to professional social workers; the differential criteria for the tasks assigned and the measures essential to ensure quality in the delivery of services; and the location of staff development in the agency with access to top administration.
Meyer received her bachelor of art degree in 1946 from the University of Pittsburgh; her master of science degree from the New York School of Social Work at Columbia University in 1949; and in 1957 a DSW from Columbia University School of Social Work.
From 1944 to 1945, she worked as a group worker at Greenwich House in New York City. She worked with the Soho Community House in Pittsburgh as a group worker and then moved to Bridgeport Family Society as a caseworker. From 1949 to 1954, she was with the Community Services Society as a caseworker/student supervisor.
In 1956 she began her teaching career at the Graduate School of Social Work, New York University. She remained at NYU until 1959 when she became Assistant to the Commissioner, Director of Training, New York City Department of Welfare. Meyer continued with her staff development training there until 1962, when she returned to Columbia University.
Meyer has been Professor of Social Work since 1966. She teaches in the clinical practice sequence, advanced practice in the DSW program, and in continuing education. Meyer has provided institute leadership, lectures, and consultations to over one hundred organizations and schools of social work. She is the author of five books: Staff Development in Public Welfare Agencies; Social Work Practice: A Response to the Urban Crisis; Social Work Practice: The Changing Landscape; Clinical Social Work in the Eco-Systems Perspective; and Assessment in Social Work Practice. She is author of numerous articles, chapters in books, and book reviews.
Meyer is a member of Alpha Kappa Delta, honorary sociology fraternity, and a Distinguished Academic Associate of the National Academies of Practice. Her professional memberships and activities include: Affilia: Journal of Women in Social Work (Editorial Board and Editor-in-Chief); British Journal of Social Work (Editorial Board); CSWE (former Board Member, former chair, National Commission on Educational Planning, former member National Commission on Specialization); NASW (former chair, Editorial Board and Editor-in-Chief, Social Work and former Book Review Editor, Social Work); and the New York City Chapter, NASW (former member, Committee on Services to Families and Children and chair, Carrol Kowal Awards Committee).