NASW Purpose Statement: 

According to the NASW Bylaws, "The purposes of NASW are—

• to promote the quality and effectiveness of social work practice in the United States through services to individuals, groups, and communities

• to further the broad objective of improving conditions of life in our democratic society through utilization of the professional knowledge and skills of social work and to expand through research the knowledge necessary to define and attain these goals

• to provide opportunity for the social work profession to work in unity toward maintaining and promoting high standards of practice and of preparation for practice and toward alleviating or preventing sources of deprivation, distress, and strain susceptible to being influenced by social work methods and by social action."

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NASW Missouri Chapter remains 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.

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PAST & FUTURE:  The National Association of Social Workers was founded in 1955 as a result of the consolidation of seven social work organizations.

The National Association of Social Workers Missouri Chapter was founded on July 27, 1975. Ann Jacobson, ACSW, served as the first president of the Missouri Chapter.  Beginning in 1975, she and a handful of members dedicated themselves to strengthening and unifying the profession. She molded the small chapter into a powerful force in the state of Missouri for advancing sound policies, promoting the high standards of practice, and protecting consumers. 

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. 

David Dempsey, MSW, ACSW, served as the first Executive Director of the NASW Missouri Chapter.  He assumed the role of director on March 10, 1980 and the office moved to St. Louis, Missouri.  Prior to his work with the Missouri Chapter, he served as the executive director of the Washington Chapter.  In 1985, he transitioned to the national office in Washington, D.C. to serve as the political affairs associate of PACE.

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

The Missouri Chapter won a monumental battle for social workers on July 1, 1990, with the passage of House Bills 738 and 720.  Consequently, licensure was made 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.

The profession reached another milestone on August 28, 1996, with the passage of Senate bill 703, as a result of the advocacy efforts of the Missouri Chapter.  LCSWs achieved vendorship status, acknowledging them as a reimbursable entity by insurance companies, health services corporations, and HMOs.