SSWAA History--It All Began in 1994!
On July 22, 23 & 24, 1994 in Edwardsville, Illinois 64 participants from 20 states came together to form an organization exclusively representing School Social Workers. Four task forces were established to assist with the organizational structure and Constitution and Bylaws. The fall of 1994, the first SSWAA Luncheon was held at the Midwest School Social Work Conference Milwaukee, Wisconsin and named in honor of I. Lorraine Davis for her long commitment to furthering the cause of School Social Workers. In July, 1995 SSWAA's first Annual Meeting was held in Minneapolis and was attended by 60 School Social Workers from 26 states as we continued strategic planning. In October, 1995 SSWAA held its first elections and Randy Fisher is elected as our first President! December, 1995 SSWAA hired our first Governmental Relations person to advocate for School Social Workers in Washington, DC. Our 2nd Annual meeting was then held in Washington DC. After several meetings, February 23, 1996 SSWAA leadership and the NASW School Social Work Section signed a Memorandum of Understanding between our 2 organizations acknowledging the role we each play in promoting the profession of School Social Workers and outlining parameters of collaboration between the associations.
In 1996, SSWAA held its first annual meeting in Washington DC and has continued to hold Summer Leadership/Legislative meetings to assist with leadership development as well as provide advocacy training and opportunities to "Go to the Hill" and lobby members of Congress and their staff. September, 1996 SSWAA joined with the Kentucky Association of School Social Workers and the Midwest School Social Work Council for the first national School Social Work Conference which was held in Louisville, Kentucky which was attended by 593 School Social Workers from 34 states. In April, 1998 SSWAA hosted its own 1st National School Social Work Conference in Austin, TX . Later that year, Randy Fisher was one of 120 invited guests to the White House for the "White House Conference on School Safety: Causes and Prevention of Youth Violence." In 2000, Myrna Mandlawitz became our new Governmental Relations Director who continues to work tirelessly in DC on our behalf . For additional highlights of our first 10 year's of development, download our 10th Anniversary SSWAA Power Point