IT IS APPROPRIATE and timely that this significant chronological and historical record of social welfare be brought up to date. The 83d Annual Forum, held in St. Louis in May, 1956, marked the end of the National Conference of Social Work--after forty years we changed our name to the National Conference on Social Welfare.
The basic reason for the change was that "social welfare" is now considered to be a broader term than "social work" and as such constitutes a more accurate description of the subjects which are included in the Annual Forum programs and the many individuals who attend annual forums and who are not career social workers. The Conference membership in a sense reaffirmed our real and historic purpose to provide a free and open critical discussion and examination of basic issues and problems in social work and related fields. The magic words "National Conference" which have become so much a part of the social work vocabulary are unchanged. The initials and the symbol will remain the same.
And so, the year 1956 may be considered a bench mark in our history. An understanding of the past and an awareness of social work's position in the march of events are essential as a basis for charting our future. Karl de Schweinitz made an eloquent plea for the contribution of history to a stronger profession at the 1956 Annual Meeting of the Council on Social Work Education. "Speaking for the contribution of history," he said, "in this movement toward synthesis, I hope