The California Association of Black Social Workers (CABSW) had its beginning at the National Association of Black Social Workers (NABSW) Annual Conference in April, 1973. During the caucus of NABSW members, it was discovered that there was a need for greater unity and more communication between the California chapters and the Western Region.
CABSW held its first conference in June 1974 in Fresno, California and succeeding conferences have been held in October of each year. There are seven active Chapters in the California organization: Fresno, San Diego, Los Angeles, Bay Area, San Bernardino-Riverside (Inland), Sacramento, and South Bay.
In the early eighties, CABSW decided to expand its focus to include a more proactive stance on legislative matters. The first CABSW Legislative Platform was published in March 1987. The initial platform included sections on the Black Family, Child Care, Placement of Minority Children, Teenage Pregnancy, Homeless, Drug Abuse, Employment, and Funding for Black Community Organizations. Copies of the platform were given to legislators in Sacramento. This document catapulted CABSW into the legislative process. The perspective embrace in this document gave direction to the organization when legislation was introduced. Also, as a result of this document information, support and advice is continuously sought from the organization. CABSW was eventually prompted to promote its own piece of legislation, AB548, which was introduced by Gwen Moore. This bill became a law in 1993 which governs issues of transracial adoption.
The CABSW 1993-94 Legislative Platform continues to include all of the initial platform statements, with updates to address our changing times, since these battles have not yet been won. There have also been additions made to the Platform. Child Abuse, Gang Violence and Crime in the African American Community, Education, Senior Citizen Abuse, Health Care, and AIDS Prevention are new sections which have been added. CABSW endeavors to address every issue that impacts the Black Community.
As we approach the 21st Century, the African American community must keep these issues in the forefront. In order to be a viable force in this world, we must collectively utilize our resources to face today's challenges.