Ilse Arlt was born on May 1, 1876 in Vienna. She was certified as an English teacher in her early 20s, but because of illness she was not able to use her certification and turned to self-education in economics. Between 1901 and 1905 she studied economics officially at the University of Vienna. In 1912 she established the first school that bore the name “United technical courses for people care.” The school was closed in 1938 by the Nazis due to Ilse’s Jewish ancestry and her books were destroyed. The school reopened briefly in 1946 with the help of some students, but was forced to close it permanently four years later because of financial difficulties. In 1954, Ilse was awarded the Karl Renner Prize. She published “Wege zu einer Fürsorgewissenschaft” in 1958, which helped to form the foundation of social work as a science in the early 1990s. She died on January 25, 1960.