In November 1965, the NC Director's Association, the NC Caseworker's Association, and the NC Office Personnel Association merged to become the NC Public Welfare Association with a vision to "employ a secretary to work toward the interests of public welfare, particularly in the General Assembly". Two years later, on Sunday, April 9, 1967, the NC Public Welfare Association held its first official meeting.
In January 1969, the first advocate, or lobbyist, was hired to represent the Association. Later, in October of that year, the name of the Association was changed to the North Carolina Social Services Association (NCSSA). NCSSA's rich history of promoting the professional development of its members, to serve as an advocate for all those served by the social services systems in North Carolina, and the promoting of a positive image of social services, has spanned nearly 50 years, and NCSSA remains the only statewide professional organization that represents the interests and concerns of all department of social services employees in North Carolina.