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Sunday, July 1

From the Pen of the Executive Director: July 2018

Joel L. Rubin, MSW, ACSW, CAE
NASW-Illinois Chapter Executive Director

Immigrant children being separated from their families at the U.S. southern border is yet another example of the attacks on social work ethics and values pronounced by the Trump administration. In an interview with the Associated Press, National NASW CEO Angelo McClain noted, “There are no principles of good child welfare that are being used in this process.” That same article notes that child welfare experts across the country have been citing research which demonstrates that family separation can produce long-term trauma for children including depression, anxiety, feelings of insecurity, and post-traumatic stress disorder. I would venture to say this is Child Welfare 101.

The NASW-Illinois Chapter was a participating organization in the Families Belong Together – Chicago March, which took place Saturday, June 30, 2018, at the Daley Center in Chicago. The National NASW also took part. For more information on how to volunteer to help immigrant children separated from family, see the NASW Social Work blog: http://www.socialworkblog.org/advocacy/2018/06/how-to-volunteer-to-help-immigrant-children-separated-from-family/.

Some 2018 Summer Reading

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the chaos and uncertainty of our times and are looking for a way to understand this period in American politics, I want to recommend reading presidential historian Jon Meacham’s latest book, The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels. http://www.jonmeacham.com/. Meacham describes the moments of our country’s history when fear and division seemed rampant, and he makes some recommendations about how to reject the apparent tribalism we are currently witnessing in the country. Noting these, Meacham returns to other moments in our history when fear and division seemed rampant.

On a different note, but also recommended for summer reading, is Alisa Roth’s, Insane: America’s Criminal Treatment of Mental Illness http://alisaroth.com/. Roth covers a great deal of familiar ground in this book but states at the outset that when she “first started reporting on mental illness in the criminal justice system, that the crisis was due to the closure of state psychiatric hospital beginning in the 1960’s in which the nation took people out of asylums, and “because there was no place else for them to go, they moved, more or less directly, into jails and prisons.” However, Roth notes that the issue is way more complicated than this. She adds, “[W]e have recreated much of the same dysfunction that pervaded the asylums of the 19th and 20th centuries and the very abuses we sought to end by shutting them down.” She discusses in various parts of the book, the work of Tom Dart, the sheriff of Cook County, and the situation at Cook County Jail, one of the largest in the country.

2018 Social Work Awards

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2018 Social Work Awards! This year, we are looking for outstanding individuals whose work has supported and promoted the social work profession and the people it serves. Nominations will be accepted through Tuesday, July 31, 2018. Nominate someonere here!

Welcome to the 2018–2019 NASW-Illinois Chapter Board of Directors

I would like welcome the 2018-2019 NASW-Illinois Chapter Board of Directors, effective July 1, 2018:

Mary Gollings, MSW, LCSW, President

Grisel Rodriguez-Morales, MSW, LCSW, President-Elect

Cheri Sinnott, MSW, LCSW, Vice President

Hilary Edgerly, LCSW, Secretary

Rosanelly Garcia, MSW, LSW, Chicago District Chair

Krista Woods, LCSW, Calumet District Chair

Kenna Dunlap Johnson, MBA, MSW, LCSW, East Central District Chair

Patricia Schofield, LCSW, CADC, Jane Addams District Chair

Lynn Zakeri, LCSW, Northeastern District Chair

Jami Harland, LCSW, Southern District Chair

Mary Abbott, MSW, LCSW, Three Rivers District Chair

Alison Leipsiger, MSW, LSW, Member At-Large

Sarah M. Gutierrez, LCSW, Member At-Large

Tasheika Nash, Graduate Student Representative

Julia Swanson, Undergraduate Student Representative

You can read more about our new board members on the chapter website. I would also like to thank and acknowledge the following outgoing board members and thank them for their leadership.

Lindsey Adams, Secretary 

Carol Fisher, Jane Addams District 

Ruth Lipschutz, Member at Large 

Christine Escobar-Sawicki, Calumet District Chair 

Kim Peek, Southern District 

Nancy Egger, West Central District Chair 

Jordan Dombroski, Graduate Student Representative 

Leyda Garcia, Undergraduate Student Representative

Contact Governor Rauner re: House Bill 5122

Even though the legislative session ended (more or less) on time, with a state budget in hand, we still need your action on a major NASW initiative. Let Governor Rauner know that you want him to sign House Bill 5122, a bill that creates a college tuition and fee waiver program for the most at-risk foster youth in care. In the early stages of this bill, many thought it would never pass. Thanks to the action taken by social workers, social work students, and other advocates from across the state, our legislators recognized the importance of this bill, and HB 5122 successfully passed out of both chambers. We need your help once again to ensure that HB 5122 becomes law. Please fill out this action alert so Governor Rauner knows how important it is to sign this bill and invest in the future of our foster youth! Take Action! 

National NASW Conference, June 20–23, 2018

I had the opportunity to attend the National NASW Conference in Washington, DC. Over thirty Illinois social workers were in attendance. National President Kathy Wehrmann and I met many of them at an Illinois meet and greet.

NASW Policy Statement Public Comment Forum – Please submit your comments

I invite all Illinois members to review and comment on the proposed revisions to the following policies by visiting the Comment Forum between June 25 and July 25, 2018.

Thank you in advance for your feedback.

Welcome Billy Dwyer, NASW-Illinois Chapter Summer Intern

I would like to welcome Billy Dwyer, our summer 2018 summer intern. He will be completing his field placement with the NASW-Illinois Chapter prior to obtaining his MSW degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During his time with the NASW-Illinois Chapter, Billy will be assisting the staff with member relations, research, chapter communications, and event planning. Interested in macro social work, Billy is excited get a glimpse into the different components of the social work profession throughout Illinois. As an emerging social worker, Billy is eager to learn from NASW members, and hopes to build lasting relationships with others in the field as he begins his professional career.

Update on Workforce Summit

Following the April Social Work Workforce Development Summit, the NASW-Illinois Chapter Board of Directors endorsed the idea at their June board meeting of establishing a forum/collaborative, comprised of employers (social work–hiring officials) and schools of social work (deans and directors, field instructors) that would meet quarterly or annually to discuss these vital issues under the auspices of the NASW-Illinois Chapter. The chapter’s role is to provide a medium and a structure that allows for this dialogue, collaboration, and growth with our profession, while ensuring adherence to the mission of the NASW. Chapter President Mary Gollings has appointed East Central District Chair and board member, Kenna Johnson, MBA, MSW, LCSW, and Director of Behavioral Health at Gibson Area Hospital and Health Services to chair this initiative. This forum will help move forward defining the core competencies needed for a twenty-first century social work workforce, and ultimately lead to strengthening the preparation of social workers entering the work force and ensuring the important role that social work will continue to play in the human service market place in the state of Illinois.

Help Us Launch the New NASW Member Community: Update Your NASW Profile by June 30th!

In June, the national NASW will launch its first-ever online community for NASW members—MyNASW. Before we launch, review your NASW member profile to make sure your professional practice information is accurate. The MyNASW member community will be your go-to interactive network and a key way to connect and collaborate with colleagues, so be sure your profile is up-to-date. With MyNASW, you'll be able to

  • Post questions and participate in discussions specific to your practice.
  • Find colleagues via the member directory.
  • Browse documents and digital resources shared by other members.
  • Access resources from the NASW Research Library.

Have an enjoyable summer!


Joel L. Rubin, MSW, ACSW, CAE, has served as executive director of the 7,000 member Illinois Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) since October 1999. He has over twenty-five years of nonprofit management and fundraising experience including extensive work with boards of directors, committees and volunteers, and advocacy around a wide variety of social work, human service, and international political issues. Joel is a graduate of the Wexner Heritage Fellowship Leadership Program and a current adjunct professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago Jane Addams College of Social Work as well as Loyola University Chicago School of Social Work.

Posted on 07/01/18 at 07:59 AM

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