- NASW is the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world, with 132,000 members.
- NASW works to enhance the professional growth and development of its members, to create and maintain standards for the profession, and to advance sound social policies. NASW also contributes to the well-being of individuals, families and communities through its work and advocacy.
- NASW was founded in 1955 through a merger of seven social work
- American Association of Social Workers
- American Association of Medical Social Workers
- American Association of Psychiatric Social Workers
- National Association of School Social Workers
- American Association of Group Workers
- Association for the Study of Community Organization
- Social Work Research Group
- NASW has 55 chapters in every state in the U.S., plus Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and an International Chapter. Washington DC and New York City also host NASW chapters. http://chapters.socialworkers.org
- An elected Delegate Assembly sets organizational policy for NASW, and an elected Board of Directors establishes strategic priorities for the association. Each NASW chapter also has a staff, a board of directors, volunteer committees, and task forces that help to advance the mission of the association. http://www.socialworkers.org/da
- The NASW National Office employs approximately 100 people, and is divided into five divisions: Executive Office, Customer Services, Publications, Professional Development and Advocacy, and Management and Administration. The national organization manages an $18 million budget.
- NASW has four subsidiaries. (1) The NASW Foundation supports scientific, philanthropic, and educational activities that advance the social work profession. www.naswfoundation.org (2) Assurance Services provides competitive insurance services to members. www.naswassurance.org (3) The Legal Defense Fund provides technical advice and financial assistance to members involved in legal proceedings as a result of upholding the NASW Code of Ethics. www.socialworkers.org/ldf (4) Political Action for Candidate Election (PACE) raises funds to contribute to the political campaigns of candidates who support the goals and objectives of social work. www.socialworkers.org/pace
- Ninety percent of NASW members hold master’s degrees in social work. The average NASW member has practiced social work for 16 years and earns over $45,000 per year.
- Nearly 40% of NASW members say that mental health is their primary practice area. The health sector employs 8% of NASW’s members, and 8% practice in child welfare or family organizations. Six percent of NASW members say school social work is their primary practice area, and another 3% work primarily with adolescents.
- Ninety-three percent of all NASW members maintain some type of license, certification, or registration in their state; 70,000 also hold advanced credentials from NASW.
- NASW works to shape legislation and public policy that protects and strengthens the social work profession; promotes health, welfare and education; or in some way strengthens opportunities and social supports for individuals and families.
- To protect the public and ensure high quality social work services in communities, NASW enforces a Code of Ethics and works to improve regulation of social work in every state. Thanks to these efforts, all states in the U.S. now license or otherwise regulate social work practice.
- NASW provides extensive continuing education programs, including professional development conferences, through its chapters. The association also offers membership in eight specialty practice sections. These include Aging; ATOD (Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs); Child Welfare; Health; Mental Health; Poverty and Social Justice; Private Practice; and School Social Work. www.socialworkers.org/sections
- NASW annually publishes numerous scholarly reference materials, four quarterly professional journals, comprehensive research abstracts, and a monthly newspaper. It also develops practice updates, newsletters, a Web site, position papers, public education materials and other tools to improve social work practice and publicly promote the profession. www.naswpress.org
Web: Visit www.socialworkers.org for more information about NASW members and association activities.