NASW 60th Anniversary

Celebrating 60 Years

NASW is proud of its impact over six decades on public policy reform, social service delivery, and social work professional development. On October 15, 2015, the Association celebrated its 60th anniversary with a leadership forum and a special NASW Social Work Pioneers induction event on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The anniversary campaign theme was "Social Workers Pave the Way for Change."

Interactive Timeline of NASW History

This interactive timeline features important events in NASW’s history. Use it to learn more about the impact NASW and its members have had on society and the profession since 1955. For example, NASW has worked to provide health care to the elderly through Medicare, secure voting rights for all Americans, and ensure equal rights for African Americans, women, the LGBT community and people from other marginalized groups. 

The Association also helped improve the social work profession by developing the NASW Code of Ethics, providing leadership and skills development for thousands of human service professionals, and organizing public education and other advocacy effort.

Forum Panels

In the morning, approximately 150 invited 60th Anniversary forum participants joined expert panels in three live webcast discussions about equality in America, the changing dimensions of family support, and the evolution of social work ethics.

Leadership Roundtables

In the afternoon, 60th Anniversary forum participants discussed the goals, strategies and stakeholders required to advance five top NASW priorities:

  • Code of Ethics
  • Cultural Competence
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Social Work Grand Challenges
  • Public Policy

NASW Social Work Pioneers®

NASW Pioneers are social workers who have explored new territories and built outposts for human services on many frontiers. Each has made an important contribution to the social work profession and to social policies. 

Learn more about the Pioneers


In 2015, NASW held a series of thoughtful deliberations between chapter and national leaders and staff about the future of the Association.

In June, the NASW National Board of Directors voted to begin integrating national and chapter operations to position the Association for long-term viability and greater member relevance.

Learn more about Modernization