American Association of Public Welfare Officials: Its Founding – June 12, 1930Leroy Allen Halbert, President AAPWO [View Image]
Leroy Allen Halbert, President AAPWO
Photo: NASW Foundation
Ed. Note 1: This document was transcribed from the original located in the files of the Social Welfare History Archives at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. It is included here because it presents the minutes of the 1930 business meeting of Division IX of NCSW at which a group of public welfare officials voted to create a new association of public welfare officials and elected by acclimation Leroy Allen Halbert as the first president. (This newly created American Association of Public Welfare Officials changed its name in 1932 to the American Public Welfare Association (APWA); and in 1998 it was changed again to: American Public Human Services Association)
Ed. Note 2: Also included in this entry are the minutes of a meeting L.A. Halbert and Richard K. Conant held a few weeks later to plan for the first annual meeting of the AAPWO to be held in Minneapolis in 1931.
Minutes Of a Special Meeting of Division IX Of the National Conference of Social Work at Boston, Mass
Hotel Statler on Thursday, June 12, 1930 at 1:00 p.m.
At the meeting of the National Conference of Social Workers in San Francisco in 1929, Division IX, which deals with public officials and administration, voted to undertake the organizing of a new association of public welfare officials at the meeting of the Conference in Boston in 1930.
In accordance with this plan, Richard Conant, Chairman of the Division, called a luncheon meeting to be held in Boston at the Hotel Statler on Thursday, June 12, at 1:00 p. m. About forty people attended this meeting. Those present were:
Alyce Alexander, South Dakota
Mrs. R. J. Booth, California
Mrs. W. T. Bost, North Carolina
Mrs. A. C. Brigham, Massachusetts
J. A. Brown, Indiana
Richard K. Conant, Massachusetts
Grube B. Cornish, Maine
Frank W. Goodhue, Massachusetts
Raymond F. Gates, Connecticut
E. S. Gilfilan, Michigan (Mrs.)
F. L. Glick, Illinois
L. A. Halbert, Rhode Island
Agnes K. Hanna, Washington D. C.
F. Hackbush, Pennsylvania
Mrs. A. R. Haight, Missouri
Mary S. Larabee, Pennsylvania
Mrs. J. P. Lehman, West Virginia
Katharine F. Lenroot, Washington D. C.
Mrs. K. H. Leonard, Massachusetts
Mrs. E. S. McCauley, Pennsylvania
Mrs. J. F. Madden, Massachusetts
Margaret Steel Moss, Pennsylvania
J. L. Moss, Illinois
Helen C. Mawer, Florida
Henry R. Murphy, Massachusetts
Dr. Ellen C. Potter, New Jersey
E. T. Shipley, Pennsylvania
H. H. Shirer, Ohio
Clayton S. Squires, Connecticut
F. G. Typping, Manitoba, Canada
Mrs. Louise Warnken, Texas
George S. Wilson, Washington, D. C.
Mary L. Yager, West Virginia
Seven not registered
Mr. Conant opened the meeting by stating its purpose and the scope and name of the proposed association.
After discussion, it was moved and seconded that those present proceed to form a new association to be known as the American Association of Public Welfare Officials and that a president be elected. The motion passed. Mr. Conant was nominated as president, but he declined to serve, saying he thought Mr. Halbert should be elected president because Mr. Halbert had been made Chairman of the Division of Public Officials and Administration at the National Conference of Social Workers for 1931. Mr. Halbert was then nominated for president and elected by acclamation. It was moved and seconded that the president appoint an executive committee of six which should prepare by-laws and plans and promote the organization and carry on the work of the Association for the coming year. The committee is to report at the Association meeting in 1931, which is to be held in connection with the National Conference of Social Workers in Minneapolis. The motion carried.
The chairman appointed as members to serve on the executive committee the following:
Richard K. Conant, Commissioner, State Department of Public Welfare, Boston, Massachusetts
George S. Wilson, Director, Department of Public Welfare, District of Columbia
H. H. Griswold, Director, State Department of Public Welfare, Columbus, Ohio
Charles H. Johnson, Director State Department of Social Welfare, Albany, N. Y.
Mrs. A. M. Tunstall, Director, State Child Welfare Department, Montgomery, Alabama
Mrs. Anna L. Saylor, Director State Department for Social Welfare, Sacramento, California
The committee met in the Hotel Statler following the organization meeting. It was agreed that during the coming year the Association should gather data concerning the public welfare activities of the various states and the different forms in which they were carried out and send out occasional bulletins. Mr. Wilson reported that the Federal Children’s Bureau had promised him some assistance in the way of secretarial work.
Mr. Conant said that he felt that in the beginning the Association membership should be largely confined to state public welfare officials and that the object of the Association should be to make these officials acquainted and bring about a good exchange of information. There was some discussion of the public welfare activities of cities and counties and similar subdivisions, and it was felt that ultimately these activities should receive attention from the Association as well.
Various members of the committee felt that one of the duties of the Association would be to deal with interstate problems and to promote reciprocity in the transfer of cases to their proper places of residence and to bring about as large a degree of universal legislation as possible in regard to settlement laws.
It was agreed that the membership should be on a personal basis and should include any persons engaged in government social work who might wish to join and that every member should pay a fee of one dollar a year.
Another function of the Association should be to promote the highest possible standards in the selection and training of people who might be engaged in government social work and that the Association should educate people upon a high professional standard for social work in governmental positions.
(Signed) Leroy A. Halbert
Minutes Of Conference: L. A. Halbert and Richard K. Conant — July 3, 1930
Mr. L. A. Halbert and Mr. Richard K. Conant met in Boston at the offices of the Massachusetts Department of Public Welfare at 11:00 a. m. They constructed a tentative draft of a set of by-laws for the Association and agreed tentatively on certain plans of work as follows:
I A committee should be appointed to work toward an agreement between states in regard to the interchange of dependents and the rules governing the same, the committee to consist of the following persons:
Frank W. Goodhue, Director, Division of Aid and Relief in theDepartment of Public Welfare, Massachusetts.
A. L. Bowen, Department of Public Welfare, Illinois
Professor Phillip A. Parsons, Portland, Oregon
Fred S. Hall, Russell Sage Foundation
One person from the Federal Children’s Bureau
II A committee should be appointed to devise and promote social work standards in Departments of Public Welfare, this committee to consist of the following persons:
Grace Abbott, Chief, U. S. Children’s Bureau, Chairman
Dr. Ellen C. Potter, New Jersey Department of Institutions and Agencies
Charles H. Johnson, Commissioner, State Department of Social Welfare, New York
Frank Bane, Commissioner, State Department of Public Welfare, Virginia
Mrs. Anna L. Saylor, Director, California Department of Social Welfare
III There should be three meetings of the Association held in Minneapolis at the time of the meeting of the National Conference of Social Work in 1931. One should be devoted to the report of the committee on agreement as to interchange of dependents; one, to the report of the Committee on Social Work Standards in Departments of Public Welfare: one, to the interests of the Association at which there should be a discussion of the scope and function of the Association and the group should pass upon the proposed by-laws and elect officers. This meeting should be in connection with the luncheon.
IV Three round table meetings should be held jointly and simultaneously with Division IX of the National Conference of Social Work. One round table is to be devoted to the problems of State Public Welfare Departments and include the members of Section a of the Association; one, to the problems of Municipal Departments of Public Welfare and include the members of Section B of the Association; the third one to discuss the problems pertaining to County Departments of Public Welfare and the public welfare work of smaller units, this meeting to include the members of Section C of the Association.
V The Association should occasionally publish bulletins. The first should contain the proposed by-laws and should carry a list of the public welfare officials of the different states as far as these can be procured. Before this bulletin is mailed, a copy of the tentative draft of the by-laws should be sent to all the members of the Executive Committee, and their suggestion should be incorporated in the bulletin.
If possible, a bulletin should be issued at the time of the National Conference of Social Work giving the program of the meetings of the Association and of those of Division IX of the National Conference of Social Work, also a selected list of public welfare subjects and discussions throughout the Conference.
If the data can be procured, a bulletin should be sent out showing the form of organization