Changes in Welfare Programs (1937)

The Georgia Department of Public Welfare was organized in 1937. If found almost intolerable conditions in the state caused by patch-work federal and state legislation since 1929.


Counties were limited in the amount of money they could spend for relief and welfare programs. The state constitution fixed county taxes which could be levied for welfare pur­poses at one-fourth of the state taxes on real estate, with the state tax constitutionally limited to five mills. The most Liberty County could levy for welfare purposes, therefore, was one and one-quarter mills. Practically all of that amount went to persons ineligible for WPA work or other benefits.


The Georgia Department of Public Welfare was responsible for the administration of all federal and state welfare agencies. It developed a branch of its office in each county, financially supported by state and county funds. It established Social Security in each county.


Mary Rogers was the first director of the Liberty County Department of Public Welfare. Some of her work was with activities already in existence, such as the National Youth Administration (NYA), the Dorchester Academy Residential Project, the Liberty County Training School, and the Student Aid Program.