The California Board of Social Work Examiners and California Conference of Social Work Education Committeee records consist
primarily of correspondence and board meeting minutes, 1937-1961, that documents the activities of these two related entities.
The records describe Board meetings, California legislation regarding the licensing of social workers, statistics on and evaluations
of the social work licensing examination and state licensing codes. The latter part of the records contains information on
the founding and activities of the California Conference of Social Work State Committee on Education, founded in 1951 with
the goal of developing appropriate programs of education for future social workers.
In 1950 California was the only state with voluntary registration of social workers. The collection reflects the work of the
small, unpaid, and geographically scattered Board of Examiners as it set, tested and graded twice yearly examinations, struggled
to hold frequent meetings despite skimpy travel allowances, and to run an effective advocacy and promotional program from
its San Francisco office staffed by one executive secretary with, initially, only part-time clerical assistance. The executive
secretary, when not personally packing examination booklets into wooden boxes for delivery by Railway Express to sites around
the state, managed to get access to "the new IBM machines" at the Department of Health, where he undertook statistical analyses.
Beyond such detail, the correspondence of the Board in the early 1950s reflects constant attempts to secure backing from leaders
in the social work profession. Records for 1952-53 reflect not only the anxieties and objections raised by the attempt to
restrict the use of the term "social worker", but also problems faced by the Board of Examiners and leaders in the profession
when they attempted to write the restrictive bill, which would clearly require definitions of the terms "social work" and
"social worker". With these papers, which reflect a significant phase in the development of social work as a profession, are
also collected records of the Committee on Social Work Education of the California Conference of Social Work for the same
period. The correspondence, work and described activities of the members of the same small group of social work leaders, educators,
and legislators, are to be found in both collections. Maurice Ostomel, the donor of these papers, had an extraordinary dual
role in the proceedings as chairman of both the Board of Social Work Examiners, from 1949-53, and of the Committee on Social
Work Education, from its inception in 1951 until 1954.
The use of archival materials for on-site research does not constitute permission from the California Social Welfare Archives
to publish them. Copyright has not been assigned to the California Social Welfare Archives, and the researcher is instructed
to obtain permission from the copyright holder to quote from or publish manuscripts in the CSWA's collections.