Citations and Speeches

Citations

81st Congregation (1972)

Dame Eileen Louise YOUNGHUSBAND
D.B.E., LL.D., D.Litt., J.P.

The Public Orator Professor Leonard Kenneth Young, B.A., M.A., D.PHIL., wrote and delivered the following citation:

Mr. Chancellor, the life's work of Dame Eileen Louise Younghusband exemplifies the truth that the great mind creates its own dimensions of activity. Hers has been a crucial and a pioneering role in the development of the social work profession. Every age is faced with its problems crying for solution and, in our time, the problem of the individual lost in society is perhaps the most crucial in human terms. The need, not only to help, but to know how to help each other has been forced on us. This essentially is Dame Eileen's achievement: she has mapped out the dimensions of a whole field of human activity, so that others are able to move in it more surely and effectively. Her achievement has been as adventurous and courageous as her father's, but where Sir Francis looked for his peace of mind to the Himalayan heights and open expanses of Tibet, his daughter has given peace of mind by exploring the depths and wastes of the urban condition.

The organization and development of social work has had a profoundly significant impact in the many countries where the profession is established. It is largely due to Dame Eileen that it has been established on the view that the theory and practice of the profession need to be pursued both inside and outside the universities as integral parts of the total educational process. To this end she stormed the Fabian stronghold at LSE, where she began the first generic casework course in Britain in 1953. At the same time she has been a London Juvenile Court Chairman for some 25 years and a member of various Government committees of enquiry. She played a major part in the formation of the National Institute for the Training of Social Welfare Workers; and as Chairman of the Committee on Social Work in the Local Authority Health and Welfare Services she brought about that dramatic breakthrough in the training of social workers outside the universities, a breakthrough that gained the more importance in view of the rapidly increasing demands on the social work profession in the United Kingdom.

These are the years when Dame Eileen was from time to time a United Nations Social Affairs consultant, the years, as well, when she made those pioneering journeys, which she modestly dismisses as excursions, when she served as consultant to or director of various seminars on social work and social welfare in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. She was also President, and still is an Honorary President of the International Association of Schools of Social Work.

By no means the least of her many achieve-ments is her role in the training of social workers in Hong Kong. In 1960 when the Hong Kong Government initiated plans for the establishment of social work training it was to be expected that Dame Eileen should be the consultant to be invited to survey the existing situation, and suggest plans for future advance. The resultant Younghusband Report, with its comprehensive programme for the training of social workers at all levels and on the finance and staff needed to carry out such a programme, has been of inestimable value in the development of social work training and social welfare services in Hong Kong.

Mr. Chancellor, it is clear that here is a woman of good report, or rather, of numerous good reports, the reverberations of which have spread around the world. Her worth has been right royally recognized, and she has been created a Dame of the British Empire, the first social worker to be so honoured. Honorary degrees have been conferred on her by the universities of British Columbia, Bradford, Nottingham, and York. She is an honorary fellow of the London School of Economics. I would now ask you to offer our tribute to a woman, who is both exempler and guide in the service of others, by conferring on her the degree of Doctor of Social Sciences.