The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), California
Chapter records provide early background information, dating from the 1930s to 1950s, for
various professional associations and also includes materials of NASW Golden Gate Chapter,
NASW Los Angeles Chapter, and California Council of NASW Chapters. These chapters preceded
the founding of the NASW California Chapter in 1976. The records include correspondence;
bylaws; organization structure; policy statements; procedures; Board of Directors,
Executive, and other committee meetings; conference and Chapter activity materials; reports;
proposals; financial information; and publications. Also contained in the collection is an
extensive subject file, including such broad topics as adoption, federal issues, health,
legislative activities, mental health, social services, and welfare.
When the NASW was founded in 1955 by the merger of five existing professional social work
organizations, it was set up so the basic unit of participation was the local chapter.
Chapters were organized wherever there were a significant number of interested social
workers in California. Over the years, sixteen chapters developed, each operating on its
own. This lack of cohesiveness limited effectiveness with state legislators and
uncoordinated input from many chapters prevented social workers' professional views from
being considered seriously. As a step toward correcting this situation, the sixteen chapters
formed a State Council, composed of one delegate from each chapter. This provided a vehicle
for developing positions on key issues, but proved to be an inadequate instrument for
dealing with the rapidly changing circumstances in Sacramento and lack of permanent funding.
From 1968 to 1974 several attempts at reorganization were developed by the Council and
rejected by the chapters. Finally, in 1974, the Council took the approved new plan for
national reorganization from the 1973 Delegate's Assembly with the State as a basic unit,
and applied it on the statewide basis. Thirteen of the sixteen chapters voted to merge and
form the Greater California Chapter with more effective organizational structure, policies,
and procedures. By 1976, all regions had joined to form the California Chapter.
Number of containers: 44 cartons
Linear feet: 55
All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from or otherwise use collection materials must
be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University
of California, Berkeley, 94720-6000. Consent is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as
the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from
the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner. See:
Collection is open for research.