Board Statement: APM

At its meeting in Atlanta, Georgia on October 25, 2011, the CSWE Board of Directors considered several communications from constituents regarding immigration policies being legislated in Georgia and in other jurisdictions throughout the United States. The board agreed that its policy and advocacy actions must be congruent and supportive of the CSWE mission focusing on education of students for social work practice, social work research and faculty, and leadership development. In addition, the Board reaffirmed its position to ensure attention to the many advocacy issues being raised through its partnering with other national level higher education and advocacy organizations, federal legislative mechanisms, federal governmental agencies, legislative entities and the executive offices of the U.S. government.

Through its Annual Program Meeting (APM), CSWE will continue to promote and schedule sessions that are responsive to long standing and newly emerging issues of social justice and human rights. Examples of such sessions include the Annual Carl A. Scott Memorial Lecture with a focus on diversity and social justice, content tracks (e.g., African Americans and the African Diaspora, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Cultural Competence, Disability Issues, First Nations and Native Americans, Immigrants, Refugees and Displaced Persons, Islam and Muslims, Latina/Latino Issues, Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender Issues, Social and Economic Justice, Spanish Language Paper Presentation, Spirituality, Violence Against Women and Their Children), plenary presentations (e.g., Fair Society, Healthy Society: Creating Health Equity Through Social Justice and a Focus on the Social Determinants of Health, Poverty and Resilience Among Our Nation’s Elders and Veterans, Social Work Education and the Movement to Eradicate Racial Disparities), and hot topic sessions (e.g., Shattered Dreams, Living Nightmares, and the Quest for Social Justice). The Board is directing that the Council on Conferences and Faculty Development (CCFD) consider the addition of other special sessions responsive especially to newly emerging topical issues.

In addition, CSWE staff will continue its long established, rigorous and successful vetting process of APM venues that includes review and consultation with the CCFD and may include consultation with other CSWE Councils and Commissions. APM conference venue decisions are made 3-5 years in advance of meeting dates. The decision process includes consideration of variables such as attendance history and projections; membership demographics; physical space availability for educational programming needs including an exhibit hall; cost of sleeping rooms; food and beverage services; and transportation accessibility. In the final analysis, signature to legally binding financial agreements on the part of both parties to the contract is required.

As the sole recognized accreditation body for social work education in the United States, our purpose is to ensure the quality of education of those social workers practicing in the various sectors of our society and communities. Governed by strict guidelines from the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), the entity that recognizes CSWE as the sole accreditor for social work education, our accreditation standards emphasize inclusiveness of educational program constituents and the development of critical thinking, analytic and problem solving skills as opposed to an ideological or political position. Our role is unique and our actions must acknowledge our responsibility to ensure the integrity of our accreditation process. CSWE is not a silent voice on the issues that involve education as the primary component of the CSWE mission.