Ed. Note: 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 discussion of plans and programs leaders of this new organization deemed important in an executive committee meeting, held in connection with the Annual Meeting of the National Conference on Social Welfare in Minneapolis, MN.
American Association of Public Welfare Officials
Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting
June 15, 1931, 3’o’clock, Hotel Radisson, Minneapolis
Present: L. A. Halbert, Chairman
Guests for part of the meeting:
Fred C. Croxton, President’s Emergency Committee for Employment, Washington, D. C.
Louis Brownlow, Public Administration Clearing House, Chicago
Guy S. Moffett of the Rockefeller Foundation
Katharine F. Lenroot acted as secretary in the absence of Marietta Stevenson.
Cooperation with President’s Emergency Committee for Employment
Mr. Croxton stated that with reference to the resolution which had been adopted at the luncheon meeting authorizing a committee to cooperate with the President’s Committee for employment and other organizations, he wished to point out that there were four aspects of the problem which required attention, as follows:
(2) Organization of local resources
(3) Maintaining or developing standards
(4) Developing resources
Mr. Croxton stated that the President’s Committee would draft a letter asking cooperation along these lines. The Chairman suggested that Mr. Bane work with Mr. Croxton in getting up the letter. He emphasized that the policy of the Association should be to work through State Departments wherever possible. In States with no adequate State welfare organization the Association could pick out some one through whom it should work, or ask the Governor to designate some one. Mr. Croxton pointed out that the present State Employment Committees would be helpful in this connection.
Plan of Organization.
Mr. Bane submitted the attached plan for organization of the Association of Public Welfare Officials. It was approved with two minor changes on page 2, as indicated in the copy attached. It was emphasized that the matter of office and staff was the main point in question. The present status of the organization was discussed. It was stated that officers had been elected in Boston but that the organization was provisional and that there is no constitution at present.
The first section of the plan dealing with membership was discussed. It was felt that Item I-b was not clear and that the phraseology should be clarified. One reason for providing for group membership was felt to be that it would promote greater interest in public welfare on the part of the Schools of Social Work. It was suggested that there could be a separate section for State officials.
With reference to the Board of Directors, it was decided that there should be 15 members in addition to the President and Vice-President who would be ex-officio members. The terms of five members of the Board should expire each year. The terms of officers should be one-year terms. The President should be chairman of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee should consist of the President, Vice-President, and three other members. These principles were agreed to, and Mr. Bane was directed to cooperate with Mr. Halbert in revising a draft of By-laws which had been prepared in accordance with these principles.
Mr. Bane stated that all members of a special committee appointed to prepare a plan of organization had been in favor of provision for an office and staff, but that Miss Abbott thought provision should be made for financing the organization over a period of at least ten years. There was some discussion of the possibility of securing Foundation financing on a ten-year basis. It was thought, however, that the expiration of five years it would be possible to secure a re-financing of the organization if it made good. It was agreed that it would probably be impossible in the near future to make the agency self supporting.
A budget of $20,000 to $25,000 for the office and staff was proposed by Mr. Bane, including the following: Director, $10,000; Research Assistant, $4,000; Secretary, $2,500; office equipment, $3,000; travel and incidentals, $3,000; total $22,500. Mr. Bane estimated that the Association would do well in the next four or five years if it raised about $5,000 a year from its members.
Miss Lenroot raised a question as to the details of the budget and it was decided not to make definite recommendations at this time but to ask the organization to approve an attempt to raise funds for the purposes of the organization. Mr. Brownlow thought there would be great demand for service by the organization. He said that welfare was being discussed very widely at the present time by city managers, accountants, librarians, etc. – in fact he found that at meetings of these officials more attention was paid to the question of public welfare than at meetings of social workers.
The possibility of developing State interest so that State appropriations could be made for the Association was suggested that it was also suggested that the Federal Government might in time absorb some of the activity of the organization. For example, Pennsylvania has just appropriated $2,000 for the Biennium for the American Legislators Association. The discussion of the budget was closed with the agreement that the Executive Committee should be granted the power to act with reference to the budget and that the organization itself should be asked to approve the plan in principle.
The President appointed the following as members of the nominating committee:
George A. Wilson, Chairman
Katharine F. Lenroot
The President called the attention of the Association to a communication which he had received from the National Committee of Mental Hygiene with reference to support of attempts to obtain adequate appropriations for the Bureau of the Census to carry on the annual census of criminal and defective classes as authorized by a recent law. The letter was referred to the Committee on Reports and Statistics with power to act.
The question of dues was discussed. It was decided that they should be left at one dollar for the present and that institutional membership fees should be fixed by the Executive Committee.
It was decided that five members of the Board of Directors should constitute a quorum.
The meeting adjourned at 5 p.m.
(Signed) Katharine F. Lenroot, Acting Secretary