This chapter examines district visiting – the forerunner of social casework – and the changes in society that undermined it. Visiting was the most significant contribution made by organized religion to relieving the ills of society in Victorian Britain. The transition to state social work was decisive and its causes included war, church policy and social science. Particular attention is given to the bomb damage to religious institutions during the Second World War, which undermined the parochial system of relief and the traditional pattern of women's work in local charities.
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