Grace Abbott was an American social worker who specifically worked in advancing child welfare. Her elder sister was a social worker Edith Abbott.
Abbott was born in Grand Island, Nebraska. Abbott graduated from Grand Island College in 1898. Before embarking on her future career in social work, she worked as a high school teacher in her hometown through 1906. In 1902, she started graduate studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
In 1907, she moved to Chicago, where she began her career in social work. She took up residency in the Hull House, an urban center for women engaged in early proto-feminism and social reform, as well as a safe haven for the poor. In 1909, Abbott received a Ph.M. in political science from the University of Chicago.
Abbott served on several committees and organizations for advancing the societal cause of the child welfare, including the Immigrants' Protective League, Child Labor Division of the U.S. Children's Bureau, and was also a member of the Women's Trade Union League.
Abbott was an author of several sociological texts, including The Immigrant and the Community and The Child and the State. She was also responsible for incorporating social statistics and research into legislative policy-making as well as investigating child labor violations in shipbuilding plants and other factories across the United States.
Child labor and poverty are inevitably bound together and if you continue to use the labor of children as the treatment for the social disease of poverty, you will have both poverty and child labor to the end of time.