Welcome to the SaveCAMFT wiki-site.

We, a group of concerned members of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT), are asking our fellow members to sign a petition calling for a special meeting of the membership pursuant to Article II, Section 14c of the CAMFT Bylaws.
CAMFT is a California Nonprofit Mutual Benefit Corporation, and under Section 7222 of the Corporations Code, any or all directors may be removed without cause if the removal is “approved by the members” (Section 5034 of the Corporations Code).

   Donate to our cause here


Update: On 9/21/2013 the CAMFT Board voted 8 to 4 to pass a motion to repeal the 7/11/13 Bylaws and reinstate the 2009 Bylaws, pending a vote by the membership. The four board members who voted against the repeal of the bylaws were Leah Flagg-Wilson, Larry Langford, Jondra Pennington and Sharon Duffy.

Please click here for Get-out-the-vote flyers which we ask that you distribute widely. If you do not have your ballot by Nov. 5th, please call CAMFT immediately and request one.

Please mail your ballot right away, and check the box that says, "YES, I s
upport the repeal of the 2013 Bylaws and the reinstatement of the June 2009 Bylaws." Make sure you get your ballot mailed back in November, as they must be in CAMFT's door by Dec. 4th. We will know the results at the end of the day on Dec. 6th.

SaveCAMFT will continue to solicit signatures for the online petition. For right now, you do not have to complete a pen/ink Petition Signature Form in addition to an electronic signature because we have the minimum required amount (~1K). We are looking for candidates to run for the CAMFT Board. Please email Laura Strom if you are interested: LCStrom@gmail.com



The general nature of the business proposed to be transacted at this special meeting of the membership is to remove the members of the Board of Directors, without cause, responsible for the following actions:

1. Removing all references to marriage and family therapists and marriage and family therapy in the “purposes” (of the organization) section of the Bylaws and not revealing this removal in the Executive Summary of Proposed Changes in the BYLAWS vote 2013 booklet.

2. Removing the Bylaws provision that states that CAMFTs objective and purpose is to advance marriage and family therapy as an art, a science, and a mental health profession, and not revealing this removal in the Executive Summary of Proposed Changes in the BYLAWS vote 2013 booklet. 

3. Removing the Bylaws provision that states that CAMFTs objective and purpose is to serve and represent the common professional and business interests of marriage and family therapists, and not revealing this removal in the Executive Summary of Proposed Changes in the BYLAWS vote 2013 booklet. Instead, advocacy will be for psychologists, LCSWs, professional counselors, psychiatrists, and for LMFTs. All will be treated equally under the newly adopted Bylaws.

4Removing the Bylaws provision that requires the organizations Board of Directors to be controlled by licensed marriage and family therapists, failing to disclose this removal in the Executive Summary of Proposed Changes in the BYLAWS vote 2013 booklet, and failing to provide any requirement that any LMFTs be on the Board of Directors of CAMFT.

5. Failing to disclose any information to the membership about the Boards intent to fundamentally and radically change CAMFTs focus prior to the publication and mailing of the BYLAWS vote 2013 booklet, and providing the membership with a deceptive BYLAWS vote 2013 booklet  never revealing their intent to leave LMFTs and the profession without its own trade group of over 40 years!

Further background for the Special Meeting

Under the direction of the Board of Directors and Jill Epstein, Executive Director, CAMFT has taken the following actions: 

     On April 25, 2013 Jill Epstein notified CAMFT Chapter Leadership members via email that the new bylaws were being mailed out to the membership and characterized the new bylaws as a "modernization" of the bylaws which were created in 1964.

     In early May 2013 members received the BYLAWS vote 2013 booklet.  The Executive Summary of Proposed Changes of the booklet stated or gave the clear impression (multiple times) that the Bylaws needed to be brought into compliance with “modern” California law, that the proposed Bylaws were an update or a modernization, or that some changes must be made in order to be compliant with the law.  In fact, and it was not disclosed, the Bylaws have been amended throughout the years, with much thought and as recently as June 2009, and the law does not require the changes proposed.  Additionally, there were no strike-outs provided   in context so voters could determine what was being changed.

     Prior to the Bylaws vote, there was NO prior disclosure to the membership that this change in organizational focus was occurring. No town hall or chapter meetings to solicit input from the membership were held. There were no articles in the Therapist magazine, or email alerts. There was no mention of this in the Board meeting minutes. Board members, when running for office, made no mention in their candidate statements of their intentions to remove the focus on LMFTs and the marriage and family professionThere were no communications whatsoever. Therefore most voters were unaware of the actual consequences of enacting the proposed bylaws.  

     Most people base their voting decision on the descriptions in the Executive Summary. If one were to take those characterizations (update, modernization, compliance with modern law) at face value, one could easily conclude that this change was inconsequential and simply an update or modernization of the former Bylaws.

     Due to the lack of prior disclosure and the misleading Executive Summary in the booklet, some members voted in favor of the new bylaws not fully understanding the significance of the changes being proposed.  Once the membership started discussing these issues, members realized what a serious change was being proposed. However, for some, it was too late.  When members (including at least two former Presidents of CAMFTrealized what they voted for and that they were duped, they called CAMFT requesting to change their "Yes" vote to a "No" vote. They were told that if they cast a "No" vote, both would be cast, nullifying each other. Some members who requested new ballots received them after the end of the election period.

     When members and CAMFT regional chapters demanded that the election be halted so that the membership could participate in a thoughtful dialogue about this change, the Board and executive staff refused to do so.

     On May 22, 2013, in the middle of the election CAMFTs Executive Director sent an email to the membership explaining why the CAMFT Board was proposing to remove the references to marriage and family therapists and replace it with references to other mental health professionals. This was the FIRST time the membership was told of this change in organizational focus - in the middle of an election process after hundreds of ballots were already cast. Additionally, there was no explanation of why CAMFT would include psychologists, clinical social workers, and psychiatrists on the Board of Directors, and no explanation why CAMFT would not provide in the Bylaws that any LMFTs be on the Board of Directors. 

     The election results on June 7, 2013 were 1002 Yes votes and 392 No votes.  Had approximately 35 Yes votes been changed to No votes, the measure would have been defeated. 

     Finally, although Executive Staff had previously indicated that all members would be voting on the new bylaws, approximately 11,000 pre-licensed members did not receive a ballot. As stated below, the ballot itself asked for the vote of CAMFTvoting members. Pre-licensed members were and are voting members. Additionally, because the pre-licensed category of membership was being expanded to include pre-licensed persons from all of the other professions, California law requires that that the pre-licensed members are allowed to vote on such proposed Bylaw changes.

We need approximately 1000 signatures of clinical (licensed) members to call a special meeting of the members pursuant to Article II, Section 14c of the Bylaws of CAMFT. 

Under the newly adopted Bylaws, pre-licensed members have been disenfranchised. We want the pre-licensed members to know that we support them in their cause to have their voices heard. They were denied a vote on the newly adopted Bylaws even though the ballot itself stated that “the voting members” of CAMFT are requested to cast their votes. Pre-licensed members were and are “voting members.” Therefore, we need approximately 550 signatures of pre-licensed members. 

To convey the power of our dissatisfaction and the power of the members of this mutual benefit corporationwe hope and expect that many more members than the minimum will sign this petition. 

CAMFT does not exist for the mutual benefit of the Board of Directors. It exists for the mutual benefit of the membership. The membership has been disrespected in this entire process.



To sign this petition please click the below link to our online petition and follow the instructions. You will need your CAMFT Membership # to sign the petition. Your number is located above your name/address on the back of The Therapist magazine.  


To see who has signed the petition, click "Signatures" at the top of the petition.
Once you have signed the online petition you will need to create a Petition Signature Form. Click here for instructions. 


If you would like to make a comment about what has happened, or forward a letter you sent to Ms. Epstein and the CAMFT Board of Directors and have it posted to your geographical area page, please email your comments to SaveCAMFT@gmail.com.

In the subject line, please write "COMMENT" followed by your geographical area. We will be posting your comments to your area's page frequently. 

Click here to read a letter from the former Board President of CAMFT, H. Dan Smith. 

To stay up-to-date on all of this, please join the Save_CAMFT Yahoo Group. You can find the group here: http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/Save_CAMFT/

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