Michelle Hébert Boyd\
Enriched by Catastrophe
Social Work and Social Conflict after the Halifax Explosion
When social workers arrived on the scene after the Halifax explosion it marked the beginning of the transition from a charity model of social welfare to a profession of trained and paid social workers. The newly arrived social workers had to practise their skills in the context of Halifax’s prevailing class structures, where, traditionally, well-off volunteers passed judgment on their poorer neighbours and great care was taken not to improve the conditions of people beyond their station in society. This work reflects on the lessons the profession of social work took from its work in rebuilding the lives of Haligonians and the lessons still to be learned from this experience.