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Public Welfare: Model Constitution

Model Constitution for Prospective Members of the National Public Welfare League

At the Forty-Fifth Annual Session of the National Conference of Social Work in 1918, Leroy A. Halbert, General Superintendent, Board of Public Welfare, Kansas City, Missouri, presented his views on: Boards Of Public Welfare: A System Of Government Social Work.  In the course of his presentation he described an initiative he facilitated.  Below is a paragraph from his presentation describing the work of the National Public Welfare League and a copy of the Model Constitution offered to prospective members.

“….In connection with the extension of this Board of Public Welfare plan and name, I should mention the work of the National Public Welfare League.  In 1910, Rev. Theodore Hanson, who was greatly interested in the problem of the social evil, gave considerable volunteer service to the Kansas City Board of Public Welfare in making its survey of the social evil. He came in contact with the general plan of the board’s work and began telling of it as he went from place to place, lecturing in the interests of social purity, and found such an interest in it that he gathered about himself a group of men who decided to organize a league to extend the idea. His field of work lay at first in Kansas and a board was formed in 1911 and J. K. Codding, warden of the Kansas Penitentiary, was chosen president of the board. Soon the policy of going to a town or city and definitely proposing an ordinance to establish a board of public welfare and making a thorough campaign to get it passed, was adopted. This league was incorporated in Missouri in 1916 and headquarters established in Kansas City and the first president and the general superintendent of the Kansas City board were elected to its board of directors. About fifty boards have been promoted by the National Public Welfare League in Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado and Nebraska….”


Local Public Welfare Association and Federation Constitution of the ______________ Public Welfare association Federation


This organization shall be called the _____________ Public Welfare Association and Federation, and it shall be axillary to the National Public Welfare League.


Recognizing the Community’s responsibility of supervision in all matters pertaining to the general public welfare, it shall be the purpose of this organization to secure the mutual co-operation of all interested, both individuals and organized bodies, in furnishing better social, moral, physical, and political conditions in the community, and the prevention of those things that tend to lower the right standard of life; for the proper education of the young people in right living.

It shall be the purpose of this organization to support our city Government and all public officers in the enforcement of all laws and particularly to co-operate with, and support in every practical way, our city Board of Public Welfare and its officers;  Furthermore, it shall be the duty of this organization to take an active interest in all state welfare legislation and co-operate with the National Public Welfare League in securing uniform welfare legislation.


The officers of this Association and Federation shall to President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer.  The Secretary shall report to the office of the National Public Welfare League from time to time such progress and items in the local work as may be of general interest.


There shall be the Educational, Benevolent, Entertainment and Recreation, Delinquent, Investigation, Legislative, Employment, Medical and Membership Departments. The objects of the various departments is to co-operate with the City Board of Public Welfare in the varied activities and thus, by voluntary service, enlarge this efficiency of said Board.


The Executive Council shall consist of the officers and Heads of the several departments and one representative from each organization in the Federation.  The regular Monthly meeting shall be held in _________ on __________.  Five shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.


Any person willing to co-operate for the social and moral betterment of the community, and its general welfare, may become a member of signing membership card and paying membership fee of one ($1.00) dollar, ___________ per cent of which shall go to the National Public Welfare League.  All organizations, in any way interested in the community’s social, benevolent and civic welfare, shall be entitled to ________ Members in the Federation.


The annual meeting shall be held on ___________ at which time the officers and Head of departments shall be elected.

There shall also be three quarterly meetings held on _____________ when committees shall report and general business shall be transacted.

The executive Council shall provide programs and may call special-meetings.


This constitution may be amended at any regular meeting by a two thirds vote.

Adopted _____________________                                       ___________________________


Source:  Transcribed from the original provided by Mrs. Mary Mall, granddaughter of Leroy Allen Halbert.


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