Trends in Social Work, 1874-1956: A History Based on the Proceedings of the National Conference of Social Work

By Frank J. Bruno | Go to book overview

37
A NOTE ON THE CONFERENCE ITSELF

THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF SOCIAL WORK (NCSW) is too manifold and many-sided to be briefly or easily described. It even changes its own name from time to time, not because it does not know its own mind but to recognize a change in the concept of the broad field whose spokesman it is. The NCSW is not what is called an "action" group, though it is made up of some of the most active community servants.

As one of the hundreds who every year attend the Annual Forum for the first time recently said, "Nothing seems to happen, nothing goes on, except the most exciting, rarest thing of all: ideas take shape, are presented, strike fire, and get turned into resolve to help bring the ideas alive." "Annual Forum" is a fitting name for the Annual Meeting (as it was called before 1954) that gathers in cities carefully selected according to a pattern devised to bring the sessions periodically to different parts of the country. The Conference is essentially the continuing machinery that makes possible this yearly discussion of questions of public or professional interest in the field of social welfare. It is both a marshaling-yard and a take-off point for ideas presented in a full week's program of three hundred or more papers, of which only a few can be included in the yearly Proceedings.

The choice of topics and of the speakers to present or discuss them is a function of the Program Committee, a widely repre-

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