THE BROAD FUNCTION AND
SOME OF ITS CONCERNS
THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE met a yearly test as a steward of its old legacy. This legacy is not unlike the legacy of an impoverished family of long lineage; it consists mostly of duties, obligations, responsibilities, a tradition of pulling its weight. These obligations, or at least the performance of them, must be the reality that gives substance to a philosophy and permits the social worker to be one professional person who is comfortable and unself-conscious in using the word "philosophy" with personal knowledge of how it translates into action.
Almost any social worker--and some non-social workers-- who presents papers at an Annual Forum articulates this philosophy. A succinct statement, an approach to illustrate the need to put the matter into "simple words for the public" ("for the social worker," would have been equally justified), was incorporated into his presidential address by Leonard W. Mayo at the 75th Anniversary Meeting in 1948:
Prominent in any expression of our philosophy and purpose must be a simple declaration of our articles of faith set forth in language of unmistakable clarity: our concern for people; our respect for the dignity, integrity, and rights of individuals; our abhorrence of injustice as one of the greatest foes of freedom; our responsibility to speak and act with respect to the causes as well as the results