The Delegate Assembly is the representative, decision-making body through which NASW members set broad organizational policy, establish program priorities, and develop a collective stance on public and professional issues. The Delegate Assembly is comprised of 220 elected delegates, including the NASW Board of Directors. In addition, the NASW CEO and chapter executive directors are nonvoting delegates, making a total of 277 delegates. Article V of the National Bylaws addresses Delegate Assembly.
Delegate Assembly can be confusing and difficult to understand, even for seasoned veterans. Never fear, there are resources to help you navigate this experience.
This website has up-to-date information on policies and procedures, deadlines, and other helpful information.
There are many good resources available to you, starting with your chapter delegation, chapter executive director, and NASW Chapter Operations staff.
Call to Assembly
March 21, 2022
Dear Delegates and Colleagues,
On behalf of the 2023 Delegate Assembly Planning Task Force (DAPTF), I have the privilege of welcoming you to the Delegate Assembly process. As delegates and leaders in the profession, you have a vital role in setting the strategic vision and policies of the Association.The Delegate Assembly Planning Task Force is responsible for developing guidelines for conducting the work of the Assembly. In addition, the DAPTF offers support and training to enhance the participation of delegates.
During this Delegate Assembly cycle, you will have the opportunity to participate in setting the Association’s program priority goals for the three-year period FY 2025–2027. You will also play an important role in the development and review of changes to the NASW Code of Ethics and the Association’s public and professional policy statements on substantive issues of concern to social work, social workers, and the populations whom we serve. Save these important dates:
- Proposed changes to the Code of Ethics and the NASW Bylaws are due July 31, 2022.
- The final, culminating meeting of the Delegate Assembly will be held virtually on November 15-16, 2023.
Throughout the Delegate Assembly, the NASW website maintains up-to-date information for new and revised policy statements, program priority goals, and potential Code of Ethics or Bylaws revisions. Delegate participation is critical every step of the way.To that end, becoming familiar with the Delegate Assembly website and other virtual environments will be key to your participation.Training will be provided to delegates to enable full participation in the virtual tools for the culminating meeting.
We encourage chapter leaders to offer information to its general membership through its many communication platforms and events. All NASW members have the opportunity to participate in parts of the policy-making process.Greater member input, along with the work of the policy panels, contributes to the honing and development of impactful and effective policy statements. It is our hope that this Delegate Assembly has the most participation ever!
To facilitate a successful Delegate Assembly, the DAPTF recommends that: (1) delegates participate in orientation and training opportunities regardless of whether this is your first or 21st Delegate Assembly; (2) chapters and coalitions consider training and providing mentors for new delegates early in the process; (3) delegates should be familiar with NASW’s Social Work Speaks, 12th Ed. (2021); and (4) delegates become familiar with the Delegate Assembly handbook and timeline and use the NASW Delegate Assembly website throughout this process.
We look forward to our work together over the next few years. We are here to support you and the Delegate Assembly process, and we welcome your thoughts, questions, and ideas as we move through this vital process together.
Heather Bradley-Geary, MSW
Chair, 2023 Delegate Assembly Planning Task Force