The Northwestern University Settlement Case Files fill seventy-nine boxes and span the period 1908-1975, with the bulk of the material dating from 1928 to 1939. Individual case files typically feature a pre-printed case form on which is recorded case number, client name and the names of immediate family members, their ages, address, occupation, and a summary of the problem or problems which resulted in Settlement intervention. The result of the intervention or a brief notation concerning case disposition may also be found on the form or in ancillary documentation. Many cases include other forms such as delinquency reports, insanity decrees, chronic alcoholism evaluations, arrest slips, court summaries, clothing vouchers, referrals for employment and promissory notes.
Narrative reports of field visits by Settlement caseworkers often complete the case forms or may be on separate Visitor's Report slips. Various relief-related materials including coal receipts, eviction notices, medical and household budget forms and utility bills are scattered throughout the records. Supplemental correspondence may be found occasionally in the collection.
The files document caseworker intervention on a variety of personal, family, or social problems encountered by the Settlement's client population. The bulk of the files document problems associated with poverty, as well as marital and family disputes, domestic abuse, truancy, prostitution, petty, and in some instances major criminal activity.
The majority of the early case records concern first or second generation Polish immigrant families residing in the neighborhoods surrounding the Settlement. Given the demographics of neighborhood succession in this area, the Settlement's client population became, by the early 1960s, increasingly Puerto Rican and African-American. Case files dating from more recent years tend to contain less information than the early records.
Description of the Addition
The first addition to the Northwestern University Settlement Case Files fills one folder and spans the date 1974-1976. The records are arranged sequentially by case number which follows a rough chronology. Individual case files typically feature a pre-printed case form on which is recorded case number, client name and the names of immediate family members, their ages, address, occupation, and a summary of the problem or problems which resulted in Settlement intervention. Many cases also include a letter of introduction of the client and their immediate needs sent to the Northwestern University Settlement from other social service agencies in the Chicago area.
Description of the Addition
This addition to the Northwestern University Settlement Association Case Files spans the years 1922-1940 and fills twelve boxes. Boxes 80-86 contain case file cards organized alphabetically by street name, and thereafter sequentially by street address number. Case file cards typically contain the names of client members and their family, address, and case number.
Boxes 87-91 contain case file cards arranged alphabetically by surname. Cards typically include the client's name, family members and address. They may also include information on the cause of contact with the Settlement Association, the case file number, and a date.