social service


Definition of social service 

: an activity designed to promote social well-being specifically : organized philanthropic assistance (such as counseling, job training, or financial support) It operates like a mall with specialty shops, treating students like customers, or the adult clients of a social service, rather than as young people in need of an education for a worthy life. —Joseph Featherstone Most states are struggling with skimpy resources and a system of uncoordinated social services that is totally inadequate to serve a population of individuals whose needs are bottomless. —Constance Holden often used before another noun social service agencies a social service project

Examples of social service in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

On Friday, the American Civil Liberties Union and U.S. government attorneys disclosed an agreement that leaves it up to immigrant parents to decide whether their children will stay with them in detention or be placed with social service workers. Kartikay Mehrotra,, "Reunited immigrant families face difficult choice: try to stay legally or leave children in the US," 14 July 2018 Calling state social services workers to put the children in foster care wasn't an option. Cortlynn Stark, kansascity, "Mom almost called social services on herself. KCPD and its social workers stepped up," 10 July 2018 Those abilities have value for effectively navigating the thorny complexities of families and our byzantine health care and social service systems. Barry J. Jacobs,, "What to do when caregiving finally ends," 6 July 2018 Estimated cost: Calley estimates no significant startup cost because existing social service funds would be repurposed. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, "Does anyone running for governor have a new idea? We asked the candidates," 6 July 2018 Bethany Christian Services, a social services group that provides foster care to migrant children, has long been backed by the family foundation of Betsy DeVos, Mr. Trump’s education secretary. New York Times, "Some Contractors Housing Migrant Children Are Familiar to Trump’s Inner Circle," 4 July 2018 Nobel economist James Heckman states that the best return on investment can come from early intervention, saving money on future remediation, social services and incarceration. charlotteobserver, "Ashley Christensen," 3 July 2018 Chabad at Midtown, which is tucked in between the Miami Design District and the Wynwood Art District, offers Jewish education, outreach and social service programming for families and individuals of all ages, backgrounds and affiliations. Sergio Carmona, Jewish Journal, "Pop artist, Chabad partner for kippahs project," 29 June 2018 This phenomenon, known as vicarious trauma, is well known to therapists, first responders, social service workers, journalists, and other professionals whose jobs require empathically interacting with trauma survivors or handling uncensored media. Alexander Tsai, STAT, "When police officers kill unarmed blacks, it affects blacks’ mental health across the country," 27 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'social service.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of social service

1761, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

16 Sep 2018

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The first known use of social service was in 1761

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