a Leadership Committee
This is the critical first step as you prayerfully
begin organizing. It is important
that you not attempt to do it on your own.
So begin by contacting those two or three faithful meeting attenders or
mailing respondents and ask them to consider spending their meeting time with
NACSW to help develop and organize. Pick
a central location and meet at a restaurant or use a conference call to meet. Consider
having a variety of fields of practice, years of experience, educational levels,
and ethnic/gender diversity represented if you have the luxury of choosing
between a number of people.
If you have nobody known to you to ask perhaps
send a survey out to the membership (the NACSW office can give you a list of
current members and their contact information) seeing if anyone has interest in
leadership and if they would be willing to meet once every month or two to get
things started. It will be
necessary to agree on a focus and then set a vision statement and a one year
plan. Setting goals and a schedule
for activity will help keep you from feeling overwhelmed.
Do not attempt anything too ambitious the first year, perhaps just the
required meetings and then monthly or bi-monthly leadership planning meetings.
Some groups even take breaks in the summer.
a Mailing List
of the most essential things is having an accurate mailing list so that you can
contact members and prospective members regarding events.
Regularly update your addresses provided to you by the NACSW
headquarters. Then consider doing a
whereby you ask all the members and Christian social workers you know to provide
contact information about all the other Christian social workers and agencies
they know. In this way you can
begin to build a prospective members list.
separate mailing list to be developed is a list of people to invite to workshops
available for CEUs. One possibility
is to contact your state board of social workers and counselors.
They typically have mailing lists for sale at a reasonable cost.
They can usually be ordered by desired license and geographical areas and
even by zip code. They are
available on disk or printed labels. Also,
the United Way has their mailing list for sale.
addition, calling your state NASW office and asking for the names of other
professional social work organizations can be helpful.
You may get a list like the following: Society of Hospital Social
Workers, Oncology Social Workers, American Hospital Association of Social Work
Administrators, Geriatric Social Workers, Society of Clinical Social Workers,
Association of Black Social Workers, Community Development Association,
Association of Group Social Workers, Nazarene Association of Social Workers,
Catholic Association, Lutheran Association, Coalition of Adult Protective
Services, and Salvation Army.
your target area so that it is large enough to support the desired activity, but
small enough that participation is possible.
is then advisable to survey the membership to determine what their interest is
in NACSW. Groups vary a lot from
location to location. Some members
want support, prayer, and fellowship; others want professional development from
a Christian perspective. It is
critical to successful planning not to put forth a lot of energy organizing
events that the membership is not interested in.
On your survey when you ask about their interest in attending workshops
you may want to ask about topics of interest, day and time that is best, and
their willingness to present.
Workshop or a Regional Conference
would greatly benefit your group to consider getting CEU providership status
through your state board of social workers.
Regulations vary from location to location.
Call the American Association of State Social Worker Boards at
from 8:30-5:00 EST or e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org
to get information pertaining to your specific state. It usually requires planning several workshops for the
upcoming year and submitting a draft of the program, evaluation, and resume of
of the many benefits of being able to offer your meetings for CEUs includes
being able to charge for the workshops and therefore build your chapter's
least initially, workshop presenters can be recruited from the membership. Other potential speakers could include social work faculty
and well known social workers in your community.
Offer a small honorarium and get a press release out to your local paper.
This will help motivate people to consider this professional development
way of putting together a training event would be to work with the NACSW office
in organizing a one-day regional conference. This can be an exciting way to get
Christians in social work together from local Christian colleges, faith-based
organizations, as well as area practitioners. It can provide a great deal of
help in building your base of potential chapter members. NACSW has already
assembled a speaker's bureau of regional conference speakers, and designs and
sends out promotional brochures, etc. to support the conference. For more
information about regional conferences, you can go to: http://www.nacsw.org/RC/rcindex.html.
Social Work Programs
local schools that have social work programs.
Check out faculty and student interest.
Also inquire about the CEU process and facilities as many of them
regularly host meetings and workshops.
Chat room and Listservs
on line and talk to other members and organizers about your ideas and questions
You can even have chapter meetings on-line and/or set up an electronic mailing
list connecting members in your state/province who have access to the Internet.
can assist you with materials, mailings, labels, etc. They will gladly
brainstorm with you and attempt to answer any questions that might come up along
Members and Fellow Organizers
the Catalyst to get the names of others actively involved in pursuing
the development of the organization. Contact
them and share ideas.
Church and Christian Social Service Agencies
if your church would consider supporting your organization with either financial
assistance, support staff help, use of copier and phone,
Also many Christian agencies have regular meetings that you could attend
and promote NACSW or you could do a mailing, or post announcements, you could
also get the director to agree to pay to send people to NACSW sponsored
this display at workshops, state conferences or in your agency to advertise
the organization. It can be
requested by contacting the main NACSW office.