Genevieve Carter

1907 – 1999

Inspirational work with elders and the aging process

Dr. Genevieve Carter was a distinguished social welfare researcher, social work administrator and educator. She earned a doctorate degree in social research from the University of California, Berkeley, and enjoyed a dedicated and inspirational career. Her key work was in the areas of research methods and in the defining era of case management for older adults.

Her social work career began in WWII when she lived for three years in Manzanar, serving as director of education and social welfare. She worked with the Japanese children and their families both in the internment camp and assisted in their relocation after the war.

She then came to Los Angeles and took a position as executive director of the Welfare Planning Council. Dr. Carter conducted important research that affected policy throughout California, specifically in the area of youth services. Her findings became the basis of community planning and program development for this population and the methodology became part of future research.

Her extensive research work then led her to a position in Washington, D.C. as head of intra-mural research in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW). There she conducted social research that led to policy formulation that was implemented by California as well as other states.

Returning to Los Angeles, Dr. Carter directed the newly created Regional Research Institute in Social Welfare, a federally funded facility within the University of Southern California School of Social Work. At USC, she not only provided research consultation to faculty and others in and outside of the University, but was also involved in a wide range of research activities within the field of social work. She taught community organization and research and was an inspiration to numerous students. She was a unique role model whose interest and focus was not in the clinical arena, but in research, administration, and education.

She was also involved with the founding of the National Association for Community Organization Social Workers’an organization that was the predecessor of NASW. When Dr. Carter retired from this activity in 1976, she continued with several research activities that she been initiated earlier with the Andrus Gerontology Center at USC including studies of the aging process, of nursing home practices and others.

Dr. Carter’s interest in the matters of aging and services for older adults continued for the rest of her life. She even wrote a book on aging and humor.

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