Charter for NASW-Rhode Island Chapter
This charter is the governing document whereby the Board of Directors
of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW National Board)
recognizes the Chapter as a programmatic unit of the Association and
grants authority to the chapter to act in the name of the National
Association of Social Workers (NASW) as stated in this charter and in
the NASW Bylaws and policies.
Article I – Name
The name of the chapter is the National Association of Social Workers, Rhode Island Chapter.
Article II – Purpose
The Chapter advances the purposes of the Association as specified in
Article II of the NASW National Bylaws. As a local programmatic unit of
the Association, the Chapter provides programs and member services. The
Chapter shall at all times work to enhance the professional growth and
development of NASW members, and advance professional standards and
ethical practice, and to advocate for sound social policies.
Article III- Chapter Structure
Chapters are designated by the NASW Bylaws and the NASW National
Board to fulfill the Association’s mission at the local level. They are
structured so as to effectively deliver programs and services to the
1. Chapter Membership
All members of the Association in the designated geographic area of a
chapter shall automatically be members of that chapter. A member may
elect to affiliate with the chapter in the area of residence or in the
area of employment. In special circumstances, as determined by the NASW
National Board, a member may elect to affiliate with a chapter within
which the member neither lives nor works.
2. Classes of Membership
Membership categories, including attendant rights and privileges, are specified in Article III of the NASW Bylaws.
Chapter Board Authority
The Chapter Board, through its program plan, shall ensure that the
chapter programs are aligned with Delegate Assembly approved program
priority goals, Association strategic goals, and the professional needs
of the chapter members.
2. Annual Budget
The executive director shall develop, in consultation with the
Chapter Board, an annual budget for submission to the National Office.
The budget will support the Chapter’s programs and be aligned with the
NASW National Board’s budget parameters. The NASW National Board retains
the final approval authority for all Association budgets.
The Chapter executive director and all additional staff are employees
of the Association. Chapter employment standards and practices will be
in accordance with the policies and procedures approved by the NASW
2. Supervisory Roles and Responsibilities
The National Office has the responsibility for all aspects of
employment for the Chapter executive director in accordance with the
policies and procedures approved by the NASW National Board. The Chapter
Board, through the Chapter President and his/her designees from the
Chapter Board, shall participate on the executive director searches and
evaluations. Under the direction of the National Office, the Chapter
executive director has responsibility for all aspects of employment for
the chapter staff in accordance with the employment standards and other
applicable policies and procedures approved by the NASW National Board.
Article IV- Officers
The officers of the Chapter are the President, President-Elect, Vice President, and Secretary.
1. President – the President is the presiding
officer of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee, and an
ex-officio member of all committees without a vote except as provided in
the committee charge; represents the Board of Directors and reports to
the Board of Directors all important interim actions; and, in
consultation with the Board of Directors, makes all appropriate
committee, task force, unit and other appointments. The President shall
work collaboratively with the Executive Director and the National Office
to achieve the goals of the Chapter.
2. President-Elect – the President-Elect serves a
one-year term before assuming the office of President; is available to
work in close collaboration with the President; and, performs duties as
assigned by the President.
3. Vice President – the Vice President fulfills the
duties of the President in the event of absence or disability and
assumes the presidency upon the President’s resignation or inability to
discharge the office. The Vice President oversees the Chapter Diversity
Plan, including the annual progress reporting; serves as the primary
liaison between the Chapter Board and the executive director on the
financial matters of the Chapter, including the review of the Chapter’s
budget and financial reports with the Chapter Board; ensures adherence
to the financial policies and practices required by the National Office
or approved by the NASW National Board; and performs other duties as
assigned by the President.
4. Secretary – the Secretary is responsible for the
Board of Directors’ and Executive Committee’s meeting minutes, as well
as for other non-fiscal records of the Chapter.
The officers are elected by the Chapter membership in accordance with the Standards for NASW Chapter Nominations and Elections.
Chapter officers, except the President-Elect, shall serve terms of
three years. Officers, other than the President, may be candidates for
re-election for one additional consecutive term. Presidents may not
succeed themselves for an additional term.
Article V – Board of Directors
The Chapter Board consists of the following members:
- The officers, including President-Elect, when applicable.
- Two student members, one MSW and one BSW, elected by the Chapter membership.
- Five additional board members serving as at-large members.
The term of office shall commence July 1 for a term of three years,
except student members shall serve one-year terms. No member shall serve
more than a total of six (6) consecutive years of service on the Board.
The term as President-Elect does not count in the consecutive years’
limitation. One-third of the officers and one-third of the at-large
directors shall be elected every year.
- The Vice President assumes the presidency in accordance with
Article IV, B.3 upon the President’s resignation or inability to
discharge the office.
- In the event of the vacancy of the office of President-Elect, the
chapter shall either (a) offer the position to the President-Elect
nominee receiving the next largest number of votes in the Chapter
election or (b) provide for a special election to the office of
- Vacancies in all other officer or board positions occurring before
the expiration of the term of office shall be filled by appointment by
the President, and affirmed by the Chapter Board.
- The new officer or board member filling a vacancy shall serve until the term expires.
Within the policies and priorities established by the Delegate
Assembly and the NASW National Board, the Chapter Board is responsible
- Developing programs aligned with Delegate Assembly program priority
goals, the Association’s strategic goals and chapter membership needs.
- Establishing and dissolving committees and task forces based on Chapter program and administrative needs.
- Ensuring that the chapter adheres to policies as set forth in the
framework of NASW public, professional and organizational policies.
- Representing the Chapter in the community to maintain its relationship with other organizations.
- Ensuring the development and implementation of membership recruitment and retention programs.
The Chapter Board shall meet at least four times annually. Meetings,
including board votes, may be conducted face-to-face or virtually (by
telephone or internet) in whole or in part. Only members of the Chapter
Board may vote in Chapter Board meetings. At least two weeks’ notice of
the time and place of each meeting shall be given to all Chapter Board
Special meetings can be held at the call of the President
or by petition of one quarter of the members of the Chapter Board. At
least two weeks’ notice to all members of the Chapter Board and the
Executive Director of the time, place, and purpose of a special meeting
is required. Meeting notice is required unless waived by all current
Chapter Board members.
A simple majority of the Chapter Board constitutes a quorum for the transaction of business.
G. Proxy Voting
Voting by proxy is not allowed.
Article VI – Executive Committee
A. Powers and Duties
The Executive Committee of the Chapter Board is responsible for board
actions between board meetings. Meetings, including committee votes,
may be conducted face-to-face or virtually (by telephone or internet) in
whole or in part. Only members of the Executive Committee may vote in
Executive Committee meetings. Executive Committee actions (e.g. motions
and resolutions) shall be recorded in the minutes of the next regular
The Executive Committee consists of the officers and President-Elect,
when applicable. The President may appoint one member-at-large from the
current members of the Chapter Board. The Executive Director shall
serve as primary staff for the committee.
Executive Committee meetings will be scheduled by the President or by
request of a majority of the members of the Executive Committee.
Executive Committee members will be given reasonable notice of the
meeting time and place. Each member of the Executive Committee shall
have a vote.
A simple majority of Executive Committee members constitutes a quorum for the transaction of all business.
Article VII – Nominations, Elections, and Removal from Office
Nominations and election processes specified in the Standards for NASW Chapter Nominations and Elections
adopted by the NASW National Board of Directors will be followed. NASW
membership in good standing is a requirement for all elected and
appointed positions. The standards shall allow for double or single
slating of candidates.
Chapter Board members must sign acknowledgement of their receipt and review of the NASW Board Code of Conduct and Conflict of Interest
policies, and the acknowledgements will be kept on file by the Chapter.
A Chapter Board member may be removed for violating the
Code of Conduct or the Conflict of Interest policies under procedures approved by the NASW National Board of Directors.
Article VIII – Committees and Task Forces
A. Mandated Committees
- Executive Committee
Executive Committee as defined in Article VI of this Charter.
- Chapter Committee on Nominations and Leadership Identification
The Committee on Nominations and Leadership Identification as defined in the Standards for NASW Chapter Nominations and Elections.
- Chapter Ethics Committee
The Chapter Ethics Committee (CEC), as defined in the NASW Procedures for Professional Review and the Professional Review Technical Aids.
The Chapter Ethics Committee shall be composed of a minimum of three
members including a CEC Chair appointed by the President with the advice
and consent of the Chapter Board. The committee shall be responsible
for assisting the NASW Office of Ethics and Professional Review (OEPR)
in addressing complaints filed against members in accord with the
Association’s policy on professional review. The CEC shall assist the
OEPR in convening local mediations and panels to conduct hearings. The
CEC shall provide ethics education and training to chapter members and
others in their local community, consistent with the CEC charge and
practices of the OEPR.
B. Optional Committees and Task Forces
The Chapter Board may establish, assess and dissolve optional Chapter
committees and task forces based on the Chapter’s program and
administrative needs. These committees and task forces are accountable
to the Chapter
Board in all matters.
C. Committee and Task Force Membership
In making appointments, the President and the Chapter Board should
give consideration to members’ competence, geography, gender, gender
identity, ethnicity, sexual orientation, experience, and unit
recommendations. NASW membership in good standing is a requirement for
all committee and task force appointments.
D. Shared Interest Groups
Any group of members of a Chapter may petition the Chapter Board to
be recognized as a sub-unit of the Chapter in order to further the
Association’s purpose. Members who intend to petition the Chapter Board
shall contact the Chapter Office for the petition procedures. The
Chapter Board may approve or reject the petition request and will
provide the rationale for a decision to reject. Rejections shall include
a chapter-based appeal process.
Article IX – Local Geographic Units
The Chapter Board of Directors has the responsibility to create,
review and restructure units as necessary in consultation with the
National Office. Any such changes will become effective upon the
approval per the charter amendment process, as specified in Article
Article X – Chapter Finances
A. Chapter Funding Sources
- Funds shall be obtained to promote the programs of the Association through the Chapter in the following manner:
- Member dues in accordance with NASW Bylaws Article XVI- Dues and Other Income.
- Supplemental grants at the discretion of the NASW National Board of Directors.
- Monies generated by the Chapter in accordance with accepted procedures of the Association.
- All tax-deductible donations and charitable contributions with
receipts for tax purposes must be handled through the NASW Foundation.
Chapters may not establish 501(c) (3) entities.
B. Chapter Financial Affairs
The Chapter, through its Executive Director, shall exercise prudent
stewardship of Association financial resources, including the following:
- Utilizing a designated bank account established by the National
Office and in accordance with the requirements specified by the
Association. No unit of the chapter shall have bank accounts except as
may be required for a chapter political action committee.
- Preparing a Chapter budget for the July 1-June 30 fiscal year that
reflects the Chapter Board’s anticipated program plan for the year.
- Submitting the Chapter’s budget to the National Office, based on
the schedules and requirements of the Association, for final approval by
the National Board as part of the consolidated Association budget.
- Reviewing chapter financial reports as needed with the National
Office staff and complying with financial policies and practices as
required by the Association.
- Monitoring the Chapter investments in an account that has
designated chapter-specific funds and managed in accordance with an
approved Association investment policy.
- Chapter financial information shall be reviewed with the Chapter
Vice President who is assigned the duty to keep the Chapter Board
informed of financial and budgeting matters on an ongoing basis.
Article XI – Political Action Committee
The Chapter’s political action committee is called NASW. It will
conform to applicable state and federal laws and regulations. The
Chapter will obtain prior review and approval from the National Office
for its political action committee’s bylaws before they take effect or
are amended. The political action committee will operate in accordance
Chapter PACE Manual approved by the National PACE Board of Trustees and the NASW National Board of Directors.
Article XII – Delegates to Delegate Assembly
A. Election of Delegates
Policy regulating the election of delegates to Delegate Assembly is specified in the NASW Bylaws, Article IV, and in the Standards for NASW Chapter Nomination and Elections. Delegates will be elected in accordance with
B. Composition of Chapter Delegations
- The Chapter President shall serve as the Chapter’s first delegate to Delegate Assembly.
- If the Chapter has a President-Elect as of the July before the
culminating meeting of the Delegate Assembly the President-Elect shall
serve as the second delegate if the Chapter is entitled to more than one
- Delegates from chapters entitled to four or more delegates must
comprise a balanced representation of geographic areas and population
centers of the chapter.
- The Chapter Executive Director shall represent the chapter as a delegate without voting privileges.
C. Delegate Term of Office
With the exception of the President or President-Elect, delegates
shall be elected for three-year terms beginning the July following the
triennial meeting of the Delegate Assembly.
D. Replacement Delegates
1. The Chapter President, if unable to serve, shall be replaced by a member of the Chapter Board of Directors.
The Board of Directors can replace an elected delegate, by appointment,
only if an elected delegate is unable to participate in the activities
and culminating meeting of the Assembly.
Article XIII – Charter Amendments
Amendments to this Charter may be initiated by action of the Chapter
Board; by action of the NASW National Board; or through the NASW
National Board’s designated process. The Chapter Board and the Executive
Director will be provided notice of any proposed amendment. In the
event the proposed amendment is not initiated by the Chapter Board, the
Chapter Board and Executive Director will be provided a 30 day comment
period. Amendments to this Charter shall become effective upon approval
by the NASW National Board or through its designated approval process.