NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Louise Pittman's pioneering work is most evident in her position as director of the Bureau of Family and Children Services in Alabama from 1964 to 1988. In this position, she developed innovative approaches to adoption services and to staff development.
Pittman began her work in the social work field as a truant officer and school attendant officer in 1935. During the Great Depression, she had to help families and children obtain adequate clothes and food so that children could go to school. She worked with church groups to set up food kitchens, and in her summers worked with the Works Progress Administration taking job applications.
A graduate with a degree in sociology from Montevallo University in Alabama, Pittman later attended graduate school at the University of Chicago, where she received her master's degree in social service administration. She was hired in 1938 as a special child welfare worker. In 1940, she began working with the State Department of Public Welfare in foster care and adoption. She has been active in Child Welfare League of America, American Public Welfare Association, and NASW. She retired and currently lives in Montgomery, Alabama.