Constitution of the Namibia Association of Social Workers (2008)
Article 1: Name:
The name of the Association shall be the Namibian Association of Social Workers (NASW), herein called “The Association”.
Article 2: Supremacy of this Constitution:
This constitution shall be the supreme document of the Namibian Association of Social Workers (NASW) and if any resolution, decision or action is inconsistent with this Constitution, this Constitution shall prevail, and the resolution, decision or action shall to the extent of its inconsistency be null and void.
Article 3: Place of operation
The operation of the Association shall be throughout Namibia and its head office shall be situated in Windhoek, the capital city of Namibia.
Article 4: Objectives of the Association:
The objectives of the Association shall be:
· to provide support to social workers in the practice of their profession
· to represent the views of social workers on matters of social policy and practice at local, national and international level
· to develop a sense of pride amongst social workers about the value of their profession
· to be advocates for the interests of social worker clients at national level
· to promote awareness of the contribution of social work to society.
· to ensure that social workers in Namibia engage in ongoing professional development and capacity building
Article 5: Membership
Membership of the Association is divided into four categories, namely:
Full membership: to be composed of those who have been awarded a professional qualification in social work which is recognized by the National Social Work and Psychology Council.
Student membership: to be composed of students who are undergoing courses of training in social work in schools or institutions of social work recognized by the Association, students are not entitled to vote.
Associate membership: shall be open to people who qualify for full membership, they are not in social work practice but opt to become associate members. Associate members do have voting power.
Honorary membership: shall be persons who, in the opinion of the Association, have done distinguished work furthering the objectives of the Association. They may be elected at an Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Association. Honorary members shall have full voting rights.
Application for membership:
Application for membership shall be made by the completion of the respective application form.
The calendar year of the Association shall last from January 1st to December 31st. Each members of the Association is required to pay an annual membership fee. Membership fee shall be due on the 31st of March every year.
The National Executive Committee (NEC) may from time to time amend the fees and dues, subject to the approval of Annual General Meeting (AGM). Membership fees will be the same for different categories of membership, except for student membership.
Termination of membership
Membership of the association shall cease
· on death of a member
· on resignation of member
· if one becomes of unsound mind
· the National Executive Committee (NEC) may be a resolution, dismiss a member for a very serious breach of the social work code of ethics.
· A dismissed member may appeal to a National Executive Committee (NEC) for reinstatement, stating grounds for such action.
Article 6: Organs of NASW and their duties:
The Association shall have the following organs:
The Annual General Meeting (AGM)
· The AGM will be the highest decision-making body of NASW
· The President’s annual report and the plan of action of the next financial year will be discussed at the AGM
· Receive and approve financial reports of NASW
· Elect office bearers if term of office is over or as bye-elections to replace vacant post
· Receive, discuss, and approve/disapprove, modify constitutional amendments
The General Meeting (GM):
The General meeting shall be any meeting of all the members of the Association of all branches and may be called anytime during the year by the National Executive Committee (NEC), stating the purpose, issues to be resolved, venue and time. Pertinent issues of the Association will be discussed at the General Meeting
The National Executive Committee (NEC):
Shall be responsible for the following duties:
· Provide strategic leadership to the Association
· Oversee the day to day National business of the Association
· Planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the National Programme of action
· Promote or authorize, establishment of new branches and projects.
· Coordinate the activities of the branches.
Board of trustees:
The Association will have a board of trustees who shall be the guardians of NASW and protect the legal and property rights of the Association. These shall be five people including the Patron.
Branch General Meetings
The branch general meetings shall be a meeting of the members of the branch, to consider the affairs of the respective branch.
Branch Executive Committees (BEC):
Shall plan and administer the activities of their respective branches according to this constitution and be fully answerable for the success or failure thereof.
Article 7: Officials of the Association
The National Executive Committee (NEC):
The National Executive committee shall comprise of the following:
· The President
· The Vice- President
· General Secretary
· Assistant General Secretary
· Treasurer and
· Additional members, who shall be the chairpersons of the Branch Executive committee.
The Branch Executive Committees (BEC):
There shall be a Branch Executive Committee comprising of the following:
· Assistant Secretary
· Two additional members
Article 8: Duties and powers of the officials of National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
Duties and powers of the National Executive committee:
The President shall perform the following duties
· Provide leadership and direction to the Association
· Preside at the executive committee meetings and general meetings
· Be the head of the NASW executive committee
· Have powers to call for emergency meetings
· Represent the association in all forums both national and international and uphold a positive image of the association
· Shall present an annual report to the general meeting at the end of the year
· Shall be co-signatory to the association bank account
The Vice- President:
· Shall deputize/assist the President carry out the above duties
· May perform any other duties assigned by the President
The Secretary General:
· Be responsible to summon all meetings of the association in consultation with the President.
· Shall facilitate minutes and record keeping at all meetings of the Association.
· Carry out other duties assigned by the President.
The Assistant Secretary General:
· Deputizes the General Secretary in the above duties.
· Carry out any other duties as determined by the General Secretary.
· Is overall responsible for the association’s financial administration.
· Shall collect all monies payable to NASW and bank it into the Association’s bank account.
· Shall be the principle signatory of the NASW bank account.
· Shall prepare and present audited accounts to the annual general meeting
· Shall carry out other duties as determined be the executive committee.
The duties of the Patron shall be:
· Guide and counsel the association
· Be a member of the Board of trustees
· Promote the image and activities of NASW
Duties and powers of the branch committees:
The branch executive committees shall be responsible for planning and administration of their respective branches in accordance with this constitution and shall prepare and submit quarterly reports to the NEC. The branch officials shall be individually responsible for the following duties:
· Preside over all branch meetings
· Provide leadership of the branch
· Represent the branch on the NEC
· Any other duties as prescribed by the constitution at branch level.
Branch vice- chairperson
Deputy/ assistant of the Chairperson
Duties similar to that of the Secretary General, but performed at branch level.
Duties similar to those of national treasurer but performed at branch level.
Article 9: Meetings:
Meetings of the Association shall include;
National Executive committee (NEC) meeting:
The NEC meeting shall be held at least once in 3 months. One third of members present shall form the quorum of the meeting.
Annual General meetings
The annual general meeting shall be a meeting of all members of NASW, held at least once within the last three months of each year. The president’s annual report and the Treasurer’s financial report will be received and discussed at the AGM. The election of new office bearers at the end of their term or bye- elections will also take place at the AGM.
General meetings shall be called when the need arises as when there are important issues to decide. General meetings of the NASW may only proceed if one-third of the total membership is present at such meeting.
An extra-ordinary meeting may be held under the following circumstances
· When called by the Executive Committee
· When called by a written demand by at least a third of total membership stating the reason for the demand.
Article 10: Elections
Term of office:
Term of office for office bearers shall be a period of three years. The President shall not be eligible for re-election to the same office for more than two consecutive terms.
Types of elections:
Elections shall be held during the sitting of the AGM.
There shall be two categories of elections:
General elections: shall be the election of a new executive committee, ending the term of office and affect the dissolution of the incumbent committee.
Bye-elections: shall be held whenever an office falls vacant due to:
· Death of an executive committee member
· Resignation of an executive committee
· Dismissal of an executive member
· If one becomes of unsound mind
· Any other cause decided by the general assembly
Before the bye-elections, the executives shall temporarily appoint among themselves a person to take care of the vacant office.
Eligibility to vote and to be voted into office:
Only fully paid up members are eligible to vote. Non- Namibian citizens who qualify as full members shall be eligible for election into any office, provided they are residents in Namibia, and hold valid working permits for their tenure in office.
Procedures for elections:
The outgoing executive shall be dissolved, a returning officer shall then be elected among the members to conduct the elections. Nominations for President, General Secretary and Treasurer of NEC shall be by filling in forms provided by the secretariat and submitted not less than ten days before the date of the AGM.
The nomination forms shall bear the following:
– Name and signature of candidate
– Names and signatures of two proposers who are full members of NASW
Names of the candidates (for the positions of President, General Secretary and Treasurer of NEC) shall be displayed for members to view and candidates shall be given or allowed 30 minutes to address the meeting so as to canvass support.
The President, General Secretary, Treasurer and Committee shall be elected by the AGM after end of the term of the current Executive Committee.
The President and the General Secretary shall nominate their deputies ( i.e. Vice president and Assistant General Secretary respectively) whose names shall be presented before the AGM for approval on Election day.
Procedures for elections at Branch level shall be the same as for the NEC.
Article 11: Removal from NASW office:
In the event that an executive member fails to perform expected duties, the following procedures shall take place
· The President may discuss the matter with the executive member.
· If there is no improvement the President may, on the advice of the executive committee discuss the matter at a general meeting.
· The office bearer may be suspended by a general meeting if he/she still fails to perform duties.
The General meeting may on petition by any of the members, pass a vote of no confidence on
· any NASW executive member
· The entire NASW executive
The Association, may by resolution at a general meeting appoint another person to replace the removed office bearer.
Article 12: Financial administration
Income will comprise of membership fees, fundraising activities, contributions, donations, sponsorship, gifts and income generating activities.
The bank account of NASW shall be opened and maintained in such a bank account as the committee shall determine all monies of the association must be properly banked. All bank cheques under the jurisdiction of the NEC, shall be singed for on behalf of NASW Treasurer and President, while at the branch level, it shall be the Branch Treasurer and the Chairperson or the Secretary.
The financial year of the association shall be from January 1st to December 31st of every year. The Treasurer shall during this period prepare and have a written audit report to present to the AGM
Appointment of auditors:
An auditor shall be appointed at the AGM and shall serve until the first sitting of the new executive committee in the following term of office but shall be eligible fro re-appointment. The Association will remunerate and regulate the duties of its Auditor
Article13: Code of ethics
The Association must maintain a written Code of Ethics, which after adoption by the General Assembly, shall be binding on all registered members.
The Code of ethics shall establish professional values and standards of conduct expected of social workers in different situations.
The Code of ethics shall also establish principles that should underlie the value and standard of conduct.
The Association will review the Code of ethics every three years. Any amendment of the Code of ethics shall take effect after it has been discussed and adopted by the AGM.
Copies of the Code of ethics are to be made available to all members of the Association.
Article14: Amendments to the Constitution
Any repeal, amendment or addition to the Constitution may be made by a resolution passed by two-thirds of those members present and voting at the AGM or a Special General Meeting. Amendment of the constitution shall be a regular item on the agenda of the AGM.
Article15: Dissolution of the NASW
The NASW or a branch may be dissolved only by a resolution passed by at least two-thirds of the members of the AGM, called for that purpose. All monies standing to the credit of the Association after paying all debts and liabilities shall be donated to similar Associations or used to set up student bursaries.