NASW-MO History

Proud of our Past; Looking to the Future

NASW-MO is a widely respected professional association that effectively balances our deep commitment to advocacy and empowerment of our members and those they serve while maintaining the highest professional standards. Here are some hallmarks of our history.

1955. The National Association of Social Workers was founded as a result of the consolidation of seven social work organizations.

July 27, 1975. The National Association of Social Workers Missouri Chapter was founded. Ann Jacobson, ACSW, served as the first president of NASW-MO.David Dempsey, MSW, ACSW, served as the first Executive Director. The small chapter was a powerful force in the state of Missouri for advancing sound policies, promoting the high standards of practice, and protecting consumers.

March 3, 1983. Through the advocacy efforts of NASW-MO, Governor Christopher 'Kit' Bond proclaimed March as Social Work Month for Missouri.

July 1, 1990. NASW-MO won a monumental battle for social workers with the passage of House Bills 738 and 720 which made licensure available to social workers in the state.Use of the titles "licensed clinical social worker" and "clinical social worker" and the practice of clinical social work became limited to individuals licensed by the State Committee for Social Work within the Department of Economic Development.

August 28, 1996. With the passage of Senate bill 703, as a result of the advocacy efforts of NASW-MO, LCSWs achieved vendorship status, acknowledging them as a reimbursable entity by insurance companies, health services corporations, and HMOs.

January 20, 2021. Urged by testimony and advocacy from NASW-MO, Missouri became one of the first states to require continuing education for social workers “devoted exclusively to explicit or implicit bias, diversity, inclusion, or cultural awareness/competency/humility.”

A Pioneer

Jane Bierdeman-Fike, ACSW, LCSW, is a NASW Social Work Pioneers® in recognition of her contributions to the social work field in Missouri. Her influences in the field of mental health are unprecedented. She has served on many mental health task forces, developed mental health leadership training programs, and contributed to the Advisory Committee for Mental Health Curriculum. She has demonstrated her leadership in a variety of social work roles, from administration to teaching, and from public policy to clinical work. She served on the NASW Board of Directors from 1968 to 1971.She was elected vice president of the Missouri Chapter in 1975, and elected president in 1977. She received the NASW Missouri Chapter Social Worker of the Year Award in 1995.