Delegate Assembly Handbook

2023 Delegate Assembly



Congratulations on being elected to the NASW Delegate Assembly! Delegate Assembly activities take place over the course of about two years, with many tasks being conducted in specially designed online platforms. The culminating meeting of the Delegate Assembly will be held virtually November 15-16, 2023.

The purpose of this handbook is to assist you with your responsibilities as a delegate. It is important to remember that not everything can be included in a handbook to prepare you for the 2023 Assembly. However, Chapter Operations staff and those who have participated in previous assemblies are available and willing to assist you throughout your experience as a delegate.

The primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty. A historic and defining feature of social work is the profession’s dual focus on individual well-being in a social context and the well-being of society. Fundamental to social work is attention to the environmental forces that create, contribute to, and address problems in living.

Social workers promote social justice and social change with and on behalf of clients. “Clients” is used inclusively to refer to individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Social workers are sensitive to cultural and ethnic diversity and strive to end discrimination, oppression, poverty, and other forms of social injustice. These activities may be in the form of direct practice, community organizing, supervision, consultation, administration, advocacy, social and political action, policy development and implementation, education, and research and evaluation. Social workers seek to enhance the capacity of people to address their own needs. Social workers also seek to promote the responsiveness of organizations, communities, and other social institutions to individuals’ needs and social problems.

The mission of the social work profession is rooted in a set of core values. These core values, embraced by social workers throughout the profession’s history, are the foundation of social work’s unique purpose and perspective:

  • Service
  • Social justice
  • Dignity and worth of the person
  • Importance of human relationships
  • Integrity
  • Competence.

This constellation of core values reflects what is unique to the social work profession. Core values, and the principles that flow from them, must be balanced within the context and complexity of the human experience.


The Delegate Assembly is NASW’s representative, decision-making body through which NASW members set some organizational policy, establish Program Priority Goals, and develop a collective stance on public and professional issues.

Delegate Assembly is addressed in Article V of the NASW National bylaws. This Article:

  • Defines the purpose of the Delegate Assembly
  • Describes the powers of the membership
  • Enumerates the composition of participants
  • Identifies the voting and election process
  • Explains accountability and responsibility of delegates

Matters brought before the Delegate Assembly for action are divided into the following categories:

Program Priority Goals

Since 1979, the Delegate Assembly has established the Association’s major program priorities. With such a wide-ranging portfolio of policies and programming, the Association must make strategic decisions regarding the allocation of its resources. The three-year NASW Program Priority Goals ensures that the association focuses its resources where it can have the greatest impact.

Public and Professional Policy Statements

Public and professional policy statements set the parameters for the positions and actions of the Association on a broad range of issues. Statements are directly or indirectly related to the primary functions, goals, and objectives of the association. Public policy statements set forth NASW's position on issues that affect society in general and recipients of social work services. Professional policy statements relate to the conduct of professional social workers in matters such as standards or relationships with other professionals. These statements are published in Social Work Speaks.

These policies serve five major purposes:

  • Guidance both to the NASW National Office and chapters in legislative activities by being standards against which to judge proposed legislation.
  • Guidance to the NASW Office of General Counsel to determine whether to join amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs.
  • Vehicles for instruction in social work education as an articulation of the profession's ideal policies.
  • Guidance to social workers in all practice settings regarding the profession's position on issues of significance to society and the profession.
  • The Association’s position on these significant issues to those outside the profession, e.g., the media, legislators, other associations, etc.

Organizational Policy Statements

Organizational policy statements relate to the governance and conduct of the Association in such matters as the composition, structure, and financing of the Association. The Delegate Assembly exercises the authority of the membership in making a final decision on Bylaws amendments that pertain to the Delegate Assembly or to the distribution of membership dues between the National Office and chapters. The Code of Ethics is also considered organizational policy and the Delegate Assembly is charged with consideration of proposed revisions to the Code. Last, the Delegate Assembly considers realignment of the NASW Board’s national electoral regions every 6 years, which will include the 2023 DA.

Emerging Issues Forum

Each Delegate Assembly triennial cycle includes an opportunity for delegates to participate in Emerging Issues Forums. These informal forums are not a required element of DA, but the discussion groups provide a space for NASW leaders to explore matters facing NASW and the social work profession.

Acknowledgments

The culminating meeting of the Delegate Assembly also includes time for the following:

Statements of Appreciation and Recognition

expressions of appreciation and recognition will be given time at the end of the culminating meeting. There will be a total of up to 15 minutes allotted for this agenda item and each speaker will have up to 45 seconds to make their statements. These expressions will be recorded in the minutes of the Assembly.

Remembrances

A presentation of remembrances will be shown during the culminating meeting to recognize and honor NASW leaders who have passed away since the previous Assembly (November 2020). Delegates are encouraged to provide a short bio and picture for those who are to be remembered in this presentation.


Delegate Assembly Planning Task Force

The Delegate Assembly Planning Task Force (DAPTF) is a task force of the NASW Board of Directors, charged with oversight responsibility for the assembly. The DAPTF includes a chapter executive director, a chapter president, a member from the Program Committee, two NASW Board members and two other NASW members. The Task Force establishes the procedures and timeline for the DA process, develops the agenda, and coordinates the process and flow of the Assembly. The DAPTF evaluates the Assembly and makes recommendations that are forwarded to the next DAPTF. DAPTF members who are not delegates may observe the culminating meeting but cannot vote or have speaking privileges. See Appendix for the task force charge and 2021-2024 DAPTF roster.

Delegates

The Delegate Assembly consists of about 277 delegates. There are 221 delegates with voting privileges. These delegates are elected by the members in each chapter or serve on the NASW Board of Directors. Delegates serve a three-year term (July 1, 2021-June 30, 2024).

Delegates without voting privileges are the NASW Chief Executive Officer and each chapter executive director. Delegates without voting privileges still have full speaking privileges and roles within their coalitions. There may be up to 56 non-voting delegates; however, in practice there are fewer because there are chapter executive directors with responsibility for more than one chapter.

All delegates are responsible for:

  • Reviewing materials sent before, during and after the Assembly.
  • Reviewing materials on the DA website, including items* posted for member review and comment.
  • Timely online voting in all matters before the DA, both before and during the culminating meeting, when announced.
  • Attending scheduled delegation and/or coalition meetings prior to, during and after the Assembly.
  • Discussing positions on issues with chapter leaders and members.
  • Ensuring the chapter membership receives a report on the actions of the DA.

* Items for delegates to review, comment and vote on may include bylaws amendments, Code of Ethics revisions, public and professional policy statements, and the three-year Program Priority Goals for the Association.

Delegations

A delegation is composed of elected delegates and the executive director from a particular chapter. The number of delegates in a delegation for the 2021-2023 DA is based on chapter membership as of June 30, 2020 (see Appendix). Delegations may meet before, during, and after the culminating meeting of the DA, and may assign delegates responsibility for careful review of a specific policy statement or organizational issue. Delegations may develop positions/strategies for advocacy on their own or at coalition meetings, and often discuss DA agenda items with the chapter Board of Directors.

NASW Board of Directors

NASW Board members are responsible for the ongoing governance of the Association. The DA Planning Task Force reports regularly to the NASW Board, making recommendations for the DA timetable, items to be placed on the DA agenda, and delegate engagement. NASW Board members are also full voting delegates of the Assembly, representing the NASW Board during all DA deliberations. The NASW board is responsible for the implementation of Delegate Assembly goals and policies following the Assembly.

Voluntary Coalitions

Coalitions are regional divisions of chapters that have evolved over past Delegate Assemblies as a mechanism to help delegates educate and train themselves, perhaps organize a planned response to the work of the Delegate Assembly, and to provide networking opportunities. Coalitions are self-managed and self-financed.The list of coalitions is available on the Delegate Assembly website. Each coalition is provided a listserv by which most Delegate Assembly communications are provided. More information about coalitions can be found below.

NASW Staff

The NASW Chief Executive Officer and chapter executive directors are delegates with speaking privileges but without voting privileges. They build linkages between the activities and decisions of the Delegate Assembly and the activities and goals of the chapters and national office. Such connections are necessary to successfully implement the Program Priority Goals and other decisions of theAssembly. Chapter executive directors provide direct support to coordinate delegation and coalition activities.

A number of other NASW staff members are responsible for planning and handling the logistics of the entire Assembly process, in particular Chapter Operations, Policy, Executive Office and the Office of the General Council. They are a resource to delegates but have no voting privileges and most have no speaking privileges during the culminating meeting.

Guests

Authorized guests may view the proceedings of the culminating Assembly meeting but have no speaking or voting privileges.


Program Priority Goals

The elected delegates will have responsibility to establish the Association's 2024-2027 Program Priority Goals. This is one of the most important jobs of a delegate at the Delegate Assembly. The program goals are initially drafted by the Program Committee and placed before the NASW membership for review and comment via the Delegate Assembly website. At the culminating meeting of the Assembly, time will be allotted for a Q&A period about the goals, as well as the final floor debate and vote. The program priority goals are to be adopted under a single motion encompassing the entire set.

The NASW Board of Directors and its programming units, including the chapters, are bound by the priorities established through this process. These program priority goals provide direction, focus, and a context for utilization of the Association's resources of people, time, and money for the above identified period.

Policy Statements

There are three types of policy statements addressed by the Delegate Assembly: Public Policy Statements, Professional Policy Statements, and Organizational Policy Statements. Members may suggest new public or professional policy statements or revisions at any time on the Delegate Assembly website.

Public and Professional Policies

The NASW Board of Directors has approved the following policy statements for revision during this Delegate Assembly:

  • Affirmative Action
  • Capital Punishment and the Death Penalty
  • Child Abuse and Neglect
  • Cultural and Linguistic Competence in the Social Work Profession
  • Disasters
  • Early Childhood Care and Services
  • Education of Children and Youths
  • Electoral Policy
  • Employee Assistance
  • End-of-Life Decision Making and Care
  • Health Care
  • Homelessness
  • Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Issues
  • Long-Term Services and Supports
  • Peace and Social Justice
  • Racism
  • Social Services
  • Substance Use Disorder Treatment
  • Women in the Social Work Profession
  • Women's Issues
  • Workplace Discrimination
  • Youth Suicide

Policy Panels

Public and professional policy statements will be formally reviewed and revised through established policy panels (also called writing panels). All policies approved for inclusion on the DA agenda and their subsequent revisions will be posted for member comment on the Delegate Assembly website. The panels are comprised of NASW members who have subject matter expertise on the policy topic. The initial proposed revised or new statements are the responsibility of the policy panel members and assigned staff. After the policy panels make their first set of revisions or draft a new policy, the proposals are posted on the Delegate Assembly website for member comment. Each policy panel will convene again to consider all comments posted by members and create a final version of the policy statement. The policy development occurs in phases. After each phase, a set of final versions are posted online for delegate voting. There will be no discussion or debate on these statements at the DA culminating meeting. Delegates will hear a report of the results of voting on the total set of policy statements.

Social Work Speaks

First published in 1958, Social Work Speaks is a comprehensive and unabridged collection of over 60 NASW policies on a broad range of issues including such issues as voter participation, mental health, juvenile justice and delinquency prevention, homelessness, family violence, environmental policy, and economic justice. The publication is a crucial resource in shaping public policy and practice. Each edition of this valuable resource represents the collective, expert thinking of scores of social workers across all fields of practice. In addition to social workers, key audiences for this publication include the media, students, educators, and policymakers.

Organizational Policy

NASW Bylaws Amendments

The Delegate Assembly has purview over two elements of the NASW Bylaws:

  • The Delegate Assembly
  • The membership dues allocation between the National Office and the chapters.

Proposed bylaws amendments that fall under the jurisdiction of the DA are reviewed by the DA Planning Task Force, the Bylaws Committee and considered by the Board for placement on the DA agenda. If approved for the DA agenda, proposed bylaws amendments will be posted on the DA website for member review and comment. Proposed amendments can be submitted by any member or groups of members of the Association.

NASW Code of Ethics Revisions

Members may propose revisions to the NASW Code of Ethics. These proposed revisions are reviewed by the DA Planning Task Force, the National Ethics Committee, and the national equity committees and considered by the NASW Board for placement on the DA agenda. Proposed revisions to the Code of Ethics approved for the DA consideration are posted on the Delegate Assembly website for comment.

Delegations and coalitions are encouraged to discuss the proposed organizational policy revisions. The DA culminating meeting includes a question-and-answer session on any proposed amendments, followed by floor consideration by the Assembly where they are debated, deliberated, and voted on by delegates.

NASW Board Regional Alignment

Every six years, the Delegate Assembly considers realignment of the NASW Board’s national electoral regions. The 2023 DA will consider a proposal for realignment, if needed.


Voluntary coalitions are regional divisions of chapters that have evolved over past Delegate Assemblies as a mechanism to help delegates educate and train themselves, organize a planned response to the work of the Delegate Assembly, and provide networking within coalitions. The coalitions are not formal elements of the Assembly and are therefore self-managed and self-financed. The National Office works closely with the coalitions to support training needs and communicate directly with delegates.

Chapters usually choose the coalition that they belong to based on regional alignment, but since the coalitions are voluntary a chapter can choose to belong to any coalition, regardless of geographic location. The current chapter coalition alignment is available in the Appendix.

Coalitions have various organizational structures. Coalitions may have elected chairs or co-chairs. Some coalitions also have other officers to meet their various needs. Coalition chairs act as liaisons between the National Office and their coalitions or with other coalition chairs.

Coalitions often recruit delegates to take lead responsibilities on particular Delegate Assembly agenda items. Coalition delegates assigned to these roles may have the responsibility to speak to the issue online or during the culminating Assembly meeting.

Coalitions have different methods of funding for their activities, when necessary. Check with your chapter staff to receive clarification on expenses and how they are covered for coalition activities.

Communications

Each coalition has its own listserv comprised of its the chapter delegations. Only members of a particular coalition have access to that coalition’s listserv.


The agenda for the culminating meeting is developed by the Delegate Assembly Planning Task Force and approved by the NASW Board of Directors. Members who properly submitted proposals for public, professional, or organizational policy statements (on time, complete, in proper format), but were not approved by the NASW Board for inclusion on the Assembly agenda may conduct a petition effort to place their proposals on the agenda.

Chapter delegations or Coalitions may arrange for an in-person gathering space for its delegates participating in the culminating live virtual meeting of the 2023 Delegate Assembly. Delegates also have the option to participate in the virtual meeting from a location of their choice.

If delegates are gathering at a meeting site in person, please be aware that chapters have different policies regarding the reimbursement of expenses for travel, hotel and meals for delegates. Check with your chapter’s executive director for the chapter expense reimbursement policy for Delegate Assembly.

Delegates’ experiences at the culminating Assembly meeting are enhanced when they attend chapter delegation or coalition meetings prior to the live Assembly meeting; follow through on assignments; understand the basics of parliamentary procedure; act as consensus builders; and learn the technology and access resources on the Delegate Assembly website.


Delegate Assembly can be confusing and difficult to understand, even for seasoned veterans. Never fear, there are resources to help you navigate this experience. In addition to this handbook,the Delegate Assembly website will have the most 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.

Appendix



NASW Bylaws: Authority of the Delegate Assembly
ARTICLE IV — DELEGATE ASSEMBLY

A. Purpose
The Delegate Assembly is the means through which the members of the association shall exercise their ultimate responsibility for the broad professional and social policy and priority determination of the association. The membership shall act through the Delegate Assembly in all matters except as otherwise provided in these bylaws.

B. Powers
The Delegate Assembly shall have the full authority of the membership, except as otherwise provided in these bylaws.

  1. It shall take final action on amendments to these bylaws pertaining to Delegate Assembly and the NASW national/chapter dues allocation, as authorized by Article XV.
  2. It shall also take final action on the following:
    1. determination of the association’s position on broad social and professional issues
    2. Determination of major program priorities of the association.
    3. Review and consideration within one year of the Delegate Assembly of an implementation plan from the Board of Directors relating to the program priority goals developed at that Delegate Assembly which includes identified outcomes: review and consideration in the subsequent three years of annual reports from the Board of Directors summarizing the implementation of the plan.
    4. Determination of the guiding policies of the association.
    5. Establishment of professional standards for the field of social work in areas such as licensing and the Code of Ethics.
    6. Approval of the Code of Ethics, which must be adhered to by members or applicants for membership.
  3. Matters shall be brought to the attention of the Delegate Assembly
    1. By recommendation of the Board of Directors.
    2. By petition filed with the Board of Directors by 500 members of the association in good standing from at least five chapters.
    3. Chapters shall provide forums for chapter members to discuss policy issues and to encourage membership participation in the formulation of policy statements for submission to the national Board of Directors for placement on the Delegate Assembly agenda.
    4. Policy matters not coming before the body through the foregoing procedures may be introduced while the Assembly is in session. The Delegate Assembly may direct the Board of Directors to formulate such matters and submit them to the membership for discussion and action at a subsequent Delegate Assembly.
  4. Final action may be taken by the Delegate Assembly only on proposals that have been submitted by the Board of Directors in writing to each of the chapters and the delegates for membership study at least 90 days prior to the meeting of the Delegate Assembly.

C. Composition

  1. There shall be 200 elected delegates. There shall be at least one delegate for each chapter. One of the chapter delegates shall be the elected president of the chapter; in the event the president is unable to participate as a delegate, the chapter board of directors shall select one of its members as the chapter’s first delegate. Consistent with the above, the number of delegates for each chapter, rounded off to the nearest whole number, shall be determined and allocated by the Board of Directors, based on the ratio of the number of the full voting members of each chapter to the number of the full voting members of all chapters as shown by the records of the national office for the quarter ending June 30 prior to the election of delegates as provided for in section E.
  2. A chapter may elect an alternate delegate for each delegate position. Chapters entitled to a single delegate only shall be entitled to financial support for the expenses of an alternate, based on the formula for delegates.
  3. At least every six years, the Delegate Assembly shall review the ratio of the number of delegates to the number of members and make any amendment that it considers appropriate to paragraph 1 above.
  4. National Board members shall be delegates of Delegate Assembly, with voting privileges.
  5. The NASW Executive Director and Executive Directors from each chapter are delegates without voting privileges.
  6. Except as provided in Paragraph 5, any person who is compensated for his or her services as an employee of the association shall not be eligible to serve as a delegate or an alternate delegate.

D. Voting

The NASW Executive Director and Executive Directors from each chapter are nonvoting delegates but shall be entitled to floor and microphone privileges. All other delegates are entitled to vote and have one vote on each matter.

E. Election of Delegates and Alternates

  1. Each chapter will determine its election procedures, which shall be in keeping with the policies of the national Board of Directors.
  2. Delegates and alternates shall be nominated to ensure a balanced representation of all geographic areas and population concentrations covered by the division and to provide a balanced delegation reflecting the ethnic minority distribution, sex distribution, sexual orientation distribution, and special interests of members of the chapter. Students shall also be considered.
  3. Each chapter shall elect delegates and alternates for three-year terms starting two years before the Assembly and in keeping with the policies of the national Board of Directors. Candidates shall be, at a minimum, double slated. In specific circumstances where double slating is not feasible due to the unavailability of candidates, consideration will be given to the granting of chapter waivers by the Board of Directors.

F. Accountability and Responsibilities of Delegates

In the exercise of their duties, members of the Delegate Assembly shall be fully informed about all the issues to be considered by the Assembly and shall exercise responsible financial judgment in their policy deliberations and voting. The responsibilities of the delegate shall include but not be limited to the following:

  1. Participating in sessions of the Delegate Assembly, except that delegates from any chapter that fails to meet affirmative action goals as established by the Board of Directors shall be subject to loss of participation in the Delegate Assembly
  2. Disseminating information on the Delegate Assembly process and the solicitation of membership opinions on issues and the development of position statements prior to the deadline for the submission of policy statements for the Delegate Assembly agenda
  3. Reporting to the chapter membership units and the chapter board of directors on the decisions and actions of the Delegate Assembly
  4. Being available to monitor and advise the chapter and national units on the implementation of the Delegate Assembly actions.
  5. Reviewing and revising the structure and governance of the Delegate Assembly to increase its efficiency, effectiveness, and efficacy.

G. Meeting

A meeting of the Delegate Assembly shall be held every three years at such time and place as shall be determined by the Board of Directors, provided that notice of such meeting shall be given not less than 180 days prior to the date of the meeting. The transportation expense of delegates, National Board Members, the National Executive Director and Chapter Executive Directors attending the Delegate Assembly shall be reimbursed by the association.


Authorization and Accountability

The Delegate Assembly Planning Task Force is an ad hoc unit of the Board of Directors.The task force reports to the Board, which approves recommendations regarding the Delegate Assembly.

Purpose

The Delegate Assembly Planning Task Force is responsible for facilitating the Delegate Assembly, developing guidelines for conducting business and assuring appropriate attention to issues.

Time Frame

The task force shall begin its work at least 24 months prior to Delegate Assembly.It shall function through adjournment and subsequent evaluation of Delegate Assembly, but no longer than three months beyond the Assembly adjournment.

Members, Terms, and Criteria

The Delegate Assembly Planning Task Force shall be composed of five members, appointed by the NASW President.Membership shall include, but not be limited to, a member of the Board of Directors, a member of the Program Coordinating Committee, a chapter president and a chapter executive director.

Specific Responsibilities

  1. Develops a process for agenda building (including priority setting, and policy statements).This work shall be undertaken in consultation with all Association units, national staff, leadership and unit chairs, chapter leadership and staff, and regional coalitions.
  2. Coordinates with the Program Coordinating Committee for the development of program goals and priorities, including intra-organizational issues.
  3. Issues the Assembly Call and reviews recommendations for public policy statements.
  4. Oversees preparation of materials for Delegate Assembly including, but not limited to, the draft agenda, abstracts of public policy statements for review, and goals for ranking by the membership.
  5. Recommends, encourages, and monitors the education, training, and preparation of delegates.
  6. Monitors pre-Delegate Assembly meetings.
  7. Provides regular progress reports and recommendations to the Board.
  8. Evaluates the Delegate Assembly and submit its final report to the Board.

Rev. 10/03 Board of Directors


Roster: Delegate Assembly Planning Task Force Members (2021-2023)

Staff liaisons:



The NASW CEO and all chapter executive directors are nonvoting delegates with speaking privileges

Delegation # Delegation #
Alabama 2 Nebraska 1
Alaska 1 Nevada 1
Arizona 2 New Hampshire 1
Arkansas 1 New Jersey 12
California 16 New Mexico 1
Colorado 3 New York City 9
Connecticut 4 New York State 12
DC Metro 2 North Carolina 9
Delaware 1 North Dakota 1
Florida 7 Ohio 8
Georgia 4 Oklahoma 1
Guam 1 Oregon 2
Hawaii 1 Pennsylvania 8
Idaho 1 Puerto Rico 1
Illinois 9 Rhode Island 1
Indiana 3 South Carolina 2
Iowa 2 South Dakota 1
Kansas 2 Tennessee 3
Kentucky 2 Texas 9
Louisiana 3 Utah 2
Maine 1 Vermont 1
Maryland 5 Virgin Islands 1
Massachusetts 11 Virginia 4
Michigan 9 Washington 4
Minnesota 3 West Virginia 1
Mississippi 1 Wisconsin 3
Missouri 2 Wyoming 1
Montana 1 NASW Board 21



Eastern Delaware 1 New York State 12
New Jersey 12 Pennsylvania 8
New York City 9 Puerto Rico 1
Midwest Illinois 9 Minnesota 3
Indiana 3 Missouri 2
Iowa 2 Ohio 8
Michigan 9 Wisconsin 3
New England Connecticut 4 New Hampshire 1
Maine 1 Rhode Island 1
Massachusetts 11 Vermont 1
West Central Kansas 2 Oklahoma 1
Nebraska 1 South Dakota 1
New Mexico 1 Texas 9
North Dakota 1
Southeast Alabama 2 Mississippi 1
Arkansas 1 North Carolina 9
DC Metro 2 South Carolina 2
Florida 7 Tennessee 3
Georgia 4 Virgin Islands 1
Kentucky 2 Virginia 4
Louisiana 3 West Virginia 1
Maryland 5
Western Alaska 1 Montana 1
Arizona 2 Nevada 1
California 16 Oregon 2
Colorado 3 Utah 2
Guam 1 Washington 4
Hawai'i 1 Wyoming 1
Idaho 1
NASW Board 12



(Tentative Pending DAPTF Approval)
Date Key Actions
December 1, 2020 Delegate entitlements shared with chapters
Fall 2021 Delegate Assembly Planning Task Force (DAPTF) Appointed
Public & Professional Policy review and revision process begins. There will be 2 cycles: policy panelists recruited; panels convene, drafts of policies are posted on the DA Website for member review and comments; panels make revisions; delegates vote online (fall 2022, summer 2023)
January 2022 DAPTF Meeting Call-to-Meeting to the 2023 Delegate Assembly is distributed/posted on the NASW DA Web page.
September-December 2022 Delegates review first group of policy statements and vote online (quorum needed)
June 2022 Proposed Code of Ethics or DA-purview Bylaws amendments due to the DAPTF
July 2022 Ensure Delegate Assembly Roster is accurate (ongoing; update for 2022 election cycle)
August 2022 DAPTF Meeting
2023 Coalition Meetings, as needed
January 2023 NASW Board of Directors considers for placement on the DA agenda the initial set of Proposed Program Priority Goals, initial set of proposed Bylaws amendments regarding the DA or membership dues split, and proposed changes to the Code of Ethics, if any
May 2023 DAPTF Meeting
July 2023 Set training dates and communicate schedule
September 2023 Solicit suggestions from delegates for emerging issues forum and conduct poll
May-July 2023 Delegates review second group of policy statements and vote online (quorum needed) Proposed Code of Ethics changes, DA specific Bylaws amendments and proposed Program Priority Goals are placed on NASW DA Web site for members and delegates to review and post comments
October 2023 Host Emerging Issues Forums Collect images and bios to build Remembrances slideshow Collect images to build slideshow of delegations
October 2023 Training Sessions: Parliamentary Procedure and Online Platform (one month before culminating meeting)
November 15-16, 2023 The culminating meeting of the 2023 Delegate Assembly convenes in a virtual meeting platform
January 2024 New edition of Social Work Speaks is published
July 1, 2024 Effective Date: Program Priority Goals


Note: Rules of Order and the Rules for Addressing the Assembly for the 2023 Culminating Meeting will be adopted prior to the meeting and are likely to be similar to the 2020 rules.

Introduction

The 2020 Delegate Assembly will conduct its business using online platforms for activities before and during the culminating meeting in November 2020 (“Meeting”). The following Rules of Order address procedures for the online culminating meeting activities.

  • Delegates will be credentialed through the National Office processes, including confirmation that the delegate is a current, paid NASW member and a formal member of their delegation. Credentialed delegates, except the Chief Executive Officer and Chapter Executive Directors, shall be permitted to vote. All delegates have the right to debate and make motions. In the event a credentialed delegate is unavailable to participate in any session, a credentialed alternate shall be permitted to vote in the delegate's place, after the alternate is authorized to become a delegate through the National Office’s prescribed processes. A delegate must be present and voting for the vote to be recorded.
  • The quorum for the conduct of business is 111 credentialed delegates with voting privileges. This represents over 50% of the possible total of 221 delegates with voting privileges. Thereafter, a majority for voting purposes shall constitute more than half of those present and voting. For the purpose of the vote count, only yes’s and no’s will be reported.
  • The first order of business is the adoption of the Rules of Order, the Rules and Procedures for Addressing the Assembly, and the Delegate Assembly Agenda for the November 6 meeting.The approval of these requires a majority vote.
  • Once adopted, an amendment to the Agenda, Rules of Order and the Rules and Procedures for Addressing the Assembly requires a two-thirds vote.
  • Only credentialed delegates have speaking privileges. For guests of the Assembly (non-delegates that might be observing), the privilege of speaking to the Assembly may be extended only by an official invitation by the presider to make presentations to the Delegate Assembly.
  • As provided by the NASW Bylaws, delegates shall review materials made available for deliberation of an issue and shall consider the fiscal implications of their positions and votes; and final action may be taken at the November Delegate Assembly meeting only on proposals that have been posted for review at least ninety (90) days before the meeting.
  • The President, or such person as the President may designate, shall serve as the presiding officer of the Delegate Assembly (the Presiding Officer or presider).
  • The Presiding Officer shall call for a vote on motions presented to the Assembly, and the vote will be tallied with the results reported to the Assembly.
  • Under the Bylaws, each voting delegate shall have one vote at the Delegate Assembly. The following regulations shall apply:
    1. Delegates with voting privileges shall cast their votes in a manner that can be recorded, in accordance with the Rules and Procedures for Addressing the Assembly.
    2. Amendments to the Bylaws shall be adopted by a majority roll call vote.
    3. Voting by proxy will not be allowed.
  • A minority opinion may be registered in the official record of the Delegate Assembly, using a procedure to be described by the Presiding Officer upon request, provided that one-third of the credentialed delegates with voting privileges who have voted against the motion sign on to the minority opinion.
  • Policy Statements: According to the procedures adopted by the NASW Board for the policy revisions and development process, all policy review and action will be completed online prior to the November 2020 Assembly meeting. The Presiding Officer will provide a report of the results of the votes.
  • Program Priority Goals
    • The program priority goals, approved by the Delegate Assembly at the culminating meeting in November 2020, will be in effect for a three-year period, from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2024.
    • The program priority goals are to be adopted under a single motion encompassing the entire set of goals.
    • During the debate of the program priority goals, delegates may not offer any motion, amendment, or substitute motion which includes “objectives” or implementation recommendations.
  • Statements of Acknowledgement and Remembrances There will be a maximum of 15 minutes allotted for statements of acknowledgment. Each speaker will have up to 45 seconds to make a statement. These expressions will be recorded in the records of the Assembly. Remembrances will occur at a scheduled time during the Assembly.
  • Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition)shall govern the Assembly, except insofar as any rule adopted by the Assembly may differ from, and therefore supersede Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised (12th Edition).
The Secretary of the Delegate Assembly, immediately after the formal opening of the Assembly, shall announce the number of delegates with and without voting privileges, present with proper credentials. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Association or his designee will serve as the Secretary of the Delegate Assembly.
  • Delegates with voting privileges shall cast their votes in a manner that can be recorded, in accordance with the Rules and Procedures for Addressing the Assembly.
  • Amendments to the Bylaws shall be adopted by a majority roll call vote.
    • Voting by proxy will not be allowed.
    According to the procedures adopted by the NASW Board for the policy revisions and development process, all policy review and action will be completed online prior to the November 2020 Assembly meeting. The Presiding Officer will provide a report of the results of the votes.
    • The program priority goals, approved by the Delegate Assembly at the culminating meeting in November 2020, will be in effect for a three-year period, from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2024.
    • The program priority goals are to be adopted under a single motion encompassing the entire set of goals.
    • During the debate of the program priority goals, delegates may not offer any motion, amendment, or substitute motion which includes “objectives” or implementation recommendations.
    There will be a maximum of 15 minutes allotted for statements of acknowledgment. Each speaker will have up to 45 seconds to make a statement. These expressions will be recorded in the records of the Assembly. Remembrances will occur at a scheduled time during the Assembly.
ATTACHMENT A

DEFINITION OF TERMS IN RULES OF ORDER

Privilege to Speak: Delegates will be permitted to speak on issues entertained by the Assembly, when recognized by the Presider.

Voting Privilege: Only NASW Board members, chapter presidents, and elected delegates or authorized alternates voting on behalf of absent delegates, will have the right to vote on issues before the Assembly.
All voting will be conducted by electronic means.
Voting by proxy will not be allowed.

Majority/Two-thirds:With regard to voting, the terms “majority” or “two-thirds” shall refer to a majority or two-thirds of the delegates present and voting for or against the action in question.

Germane:To be germane, an amendment must be closely related to or have bearing on the subject of the proposal and must involve the same question raised by the motion to which it is applied.

Quorum:One hundred eleven (111) delegates with voting privileges (i.e., more than half of the total positions for delegates with voting privileges).

Policy Statement: Represents the official position of the Association on a specific organizational, professional or public policy issue. Its purpose is to guide or direct the actions of all persons when they represent the Association.

Bylaws Amendments: Amendments to the governance document that guide and direct the actions of the Association in such areas as organizational purpose, structure, authority and responsibility, and membership eligibility, dues, and privileges.

Credentialed:Certified as an authorized delegate from a particular chapter or the NASW Board whose NASW membership has been confirmed by national office staff to be in good standing.

Robert's Rules Parliamentary Basic Motions Chart

RONR § YOU WANT TO YOU SAY INTERRUPT? 2nd? DEBATE? AMEND? VOTE?
10 Bring business before the assembly (a main motion) I move that/to… No Yes Yes Yes Majority
12 Modify the motion I move to amend the motion by … No Yes Yes Yes Majority
11 Kill the main motion I move that the motion be postponed indefinitely No Yes Yes No Majority
15 Limit or extend debate I move that debate be limited/extended to… No Yes No Yes 2/3
16 Close debate I move the previous question No Yes No No 2/3
8, 10, 21 Close meeting (dissolving the assembly) I move to adjourn No Yes Yes Yes Majority

Privileged and Incidental Motions

RONR § YOU WANT TO YOU SAY INTERRUPT? 2nd? DEBATE? AMEND? VOTE?
19* Register an urgent complaint I rise to a question of privilege Yes No No No None
18* Follow the agenda I call for the orders of the day Yes No No No None
33 Ask a question about pending business Point of information Yes No No No None
23 Enforce the rules of order Point of order Yes No No No None
24 Challenge a ruling of the chair I appeal the decision of the chair Yes Yes Varies No Majority
25 Suspend the rules I move to suspend the rules No Yes No No 2/3
27 Divide the motion I move to divide the question No Yes No Yes Majority
33 Make a parliamentary inquiry Parliamentary inquiry Yes No No No None
Based on work of Jim Slaughter, Certified Professional Parliamentarian/Professional Registered Parliamentarian, www.jimslaughter.com, which is based on Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised. 11th Edition (RONR)



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