Amos Griswold Warner
1861 – 1900
Who was Amos Griswold Warner?
Amos Griswold Warner, was an influential American social worker. While a graduate student of economics at Johns Hopkins University, he became a general agent of the Charity Society of Baltimore in 1887.
Among his many influential acts during this time, Warner developed a system for the statistical analysis of social cases. Going against the majority view of his day, Amos Griswald Warner suggested that the misfortune of a man could not be traced to a singular origin; moreover, the causes of misfortune were often a result of factors entirely outside the control of the individual. Suggesting that poverty could be overcome only by targeting the source of misfortune, he created a system of prioritization in which a weighted score is assigned to objective and/or subjective categories made up of various sources of personal hardship. In his opinion, poverty could not be fought solely through the distribution of charitable funds- rather learning to target the sources of poverty offers the only viable permanent solution. In his book he states, “Nearly all the experiences in this country indicate” that welfare “is a source of corruption to politics, of expense to the community, and of degradation and increased pauperization to the poor,” “The more generous public relief, the more likely the poor will prefer it to working.”
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