Social Worker from Hungary Now Active in Boston Welfare

The Christian Science Monitor, September 26, 1950

Updated: May 15, 2013

Ilona Rostas, the Hungarian-born caseworker at the center of this article, was part of a larger group of female European émigrés who found careers in social work in the United States. Having experienced social work in Budapest as the chief of the Public Welfare Administration, Rostas came to the U.S. as a student in the late 1940s and decided to stay after the political changes in Hungary made it impossible for her to return home. In this interview she comments on her personal experience as an immigrant and on the differences between social work in Hungary and in the U.S.

“Miss Rostas is no longer welcome in her own country now that it is under totalitarian influence, she says, but she is content to remain in America where there is full freedom to carry out the best ideas in social work and to experiment with anything that promises improvement. . . . 'The social worker was a minor dictator [in Hungary]. He told his clients what to do, and he expected to be obeyed. Here in America the social worker knows that he can't order anyone to do anything. If he does, he will fail.'”

Article available through ProQuest (subscription required)

Haddock, Laura. "Social Worker from Hungary Now Active in Boston Welfare." The Christian Science Monitor, Sep. 26, 1950, p. 13.


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