Over twenty-five years and through five editions, Walter I. Trattner's From Poor Law to Welfare State has served as the standard text on the history of welfare policy in the United States. The only comprehensive account of American social welfare history from the colonial era to the present, the new sixth edition has been updated to include the latest developments in our society as well as trends in social welfare. Trattner provides in-depth examination of developments in child welfare, public health, and the evolution of social work as a profession, showing how all these changes affected the treatment of the poor and needy in America. He explores the impact of public policies on social workers and other helping professions -- all against the backdrop of social and intellectual trends in American history. From Poor Law to Welfare State directly addresses racism and sexism and pays special attention to the worsening problems of child abuse, neglect, and homelessness. Topics new to this sixth edition include: A review of President Clinton's health-care reform and its failure, and his efforts to ""end welfare as we know it"" Recent developments in child welfare including an expanded section on the voluntary use of children's institutions by parents in the nineteenth century, and the continued discrimination against black youth in the juvenile justice system An in-depth discussion of Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein's controversial book, The Bell Curve, which provided social conservatives new weapons in their war on the black poor and social welfare in general The latest information on AIDS and the reappearance of tuberculosis -- and their impact on public health policy A new Preface and Conclusion, and substantially updated Bibliographies Written for students in social work and other human service professions, From Poor Law to Welfare State: A History of Social Welfare in America is also an essential resource for historians, political scientists, sociologists, and policymakers.