To all social work students, I suggest that you continue to sharpen your skills wherever you find your employment, continue to grow and develop into a social worker that allows you to have the passion to do your best in helping your clients reach their potentials.
Why did you want to study social work?
Initially, I planned to attend UW-Madison to major in home economics, however after my dad had a heart attack in 1954, my plans changed and I attended UWM with a major in English and minors in political science and history. While working as a hospital admissions worker at the old County General Hospital, I was inspired to enter the School of Social Welfare at UWM, graduating in 1964.
I worked for Lutheran Social Services, then with Milwaukee County as a foster care supervisor and then as the first woman supervisor of Child Protection and Parent Services. In addition to managing my department, I was also involved in many print and broadcast programs highlighting child abuse and prevention, providing legislative input and writing a child abuse and prevention grant. I also worked for the City of Milwaukee as associate director for community development overseeing grants that went to nonprofit agencies benefiting low-income residents.
What has been the best social work job you had and why?
It was a toss up between Child Protection and Parent Services with Milwaukee County and Children’s, though social work as a profession is one that I love and still have passion for.
How did HBSSW help you?
UWM undergraduate and graduate programs were extremely helpful from the instructors to the discussions of social issues covered in classes and the urban community I still reside in. All these experiences at UWM and in the positions I held helped me do the best job I could wherever I was.
Where is Edith Brown now?
Edith Brown retired from Children’s Wisconsin in 2005 and continues to do volunteer work. In October 2019, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Wisconsin Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.