NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Joseph E. Paull
Joseph Paull committed his career to the welfare of children, particularly those in mental health and corrections settings. He directed original research on foster care “drift” that culminated in an ACLU lawsuit against the New Mexico state social services program. This lawsuit led to federal control of the program.
Paull’s efforts on behalf of youth led to citizen review boards in New Mexico that addressed problems in the foster care system, helped the courts determine the appropriate termination of parental rights, and prevented children from languishing in foster care beyond what was considered the age of adoptability. He worked at the Department of Human Services in New Mexico and continued his support after his retirement.
Paull taught at several universities including Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., the University of Minnesota and New York University in Manhattan. He also conducted research and published on child welfare issues
Joseph Paull earned his DSW from Columbia University in 1977 and his MSW from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in 1954.
Significant Achievements and Awards
1988: Named Public Citizen of the Year by the NASW New Mexico Chapter
Paull, J. E. (1971). Social action for a different decade. The Social Service Review, 30-36.
Paull, J. E. (1967). Recipients aroused: The new welfare rights movement. Social Work, 12(2), 101-106.
Paull, J. E. (1960). An agency cleans house. Child Welfare, 39(10), 18-21.
Paull, J. E. (1956). The runaway foster child. Child Welfare: Journal of Policy, Practice, and Program.