NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Mildred Scoville was an early pioneer in the Child Guidance Movement and one of the organizing members of the American Association of Psychiatric Social Workers. She was President of the A.A.P.S.W. in 1930 at the time that the eternal question of "must Psychiatric Social Work always be practiced in association with a Psychiatrist?" was causing both discussion and disagreement. In her presidential address which became a land mark articulation of the dilemma, she addressed the issue of whether or not psychiatric social work was a specialized or non-specialized field. Though she did not develop answers to the question at the time, certainly history has shown that both have been followed.
After her early work in child guidance clinics in the mid-west, she became a staff member of the Commonwealth Fund. There she was instrumental in funding both scholarships for social workers and new child guidance clinics. She was a member of the First National Mental Health Advisory Council appointed to advise the National Institute of Mental Health when it was established. She was also a key person in the organization of the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry and ensured appropriate psychiatric social work representation in the early years of this organization of "young Turks" psychiatrists.