OLASW was born through the tireless efforts of many dedicated Latino social workers who saw the need to organize and promote a vision for the profession that was uniquely “Latino." For the last 40 years, Latino workers have been at the forefront of this movement by lending their leadership and expertise to create solid and viable structures within the Latino community. The majority of community–based organizations, health clinics, community mental health centers as well as national advocacy organizations were founded by our Latino social workers.
For many years, Latino social workers worked with traditional professional organizations in order to highlight the needs of their Latino communities and to promote their unique agenda. This collaboration was seen as a crucial element beneficial to both the Latino community and to the profession itself. Because of the pressing needs and new challenges facing Latino communities, Latino social workers were called to organize their own institution. This led to the founding of the Organization of Latino Social Workers and its chapters throughout the United States.
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