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Tuesday, May 1

From the Pen of the Executive Director: May 2018

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

It has been an active spring social work calendar.

On Wednesday, April 11, 2018, more than a thousand social workers and social work students traveled to Springfield for our annual Social Work Advocacy Day. This was my twentieth Advocacy Day, and it never fails to amaze me how transformative this event can be for participants. A big thanks to the entire social work community in Illinois for supporting one of the NASW-Illinois Chapter’s signature legislative initiatives this session, HB5122/SB2846, the college tuition waiver program for at-risk youth in foster care. Both bills have passed their respective chambers at the end of April and, if passed, will help make college possible for more former wards of the state, giving them the tools they need to be successful. Great thanks to Illinois State Representative Chris Welch and State Senator Cristina Castro for their efforts, and also to the chapter’s director of legislative affairs, Kyle Hillman, for his determination and focus in moving this issue forward.

On Friday, April 20, 2018, over 50 Illinois leaders from the social work employment/practice arena and schools of social work came together to discuss ways in which the two sectors can work together to strengthen 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.

The summit grew out of the Council on Social Work Educations (CSWE) National Workforce Initiative’s initial product, "Profile of the Social Work Workforce," which was released last fall. The second product of the workforce study is now available entitled, “New Social Workers: Results of the Nationwide Survey of 2017 Social Work Graduates.”

The following is a link to the opening roundtable video which addresses core competencies required for the social work workplace:https://youtu.be/U2fzmMH6nkQ. Significant planning is underway following the summit to help move this vital issue forward.

There is still time to register for the NASW-Illinois Chapter’s inaugural one-day School Social Workers Conference that will take place on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, at the Chicago Teachers Union Foundation in Chicago, IL. You can earn 6.0 CPDUs/CEUs for attending. http://naswil.org/news/chapter-news/featured/2018-nasw-illinois-chapter-school-social-worker-conference-chicago/

Kathleen Miller, our 2017–2018 graduate student intern from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will complete her field placement with the chapter in early May. As many of you know, the association has a very small staff and interns in our office have the ability and opportunity to play a significant role in the operations of the chapter. Kathleen did just that. We thank her for all of her efforts in the many events of the past year, including the 2017 statewide conference, 2018 Social Work Advocacy Day, the Social Work Workforce Development Summit, and much more. As noted earlier, Kathleen conducted much of the research on HB5122/SB2846, without which the bill would not have progressed as far as it has to date.

Speaking of students, best of luck all Illinois social work graduates! Make sure you take advantage of the discounted student membership rate before you graduate: https://www.socialworkers.org/join

Some other news of note:

The NASW-Illinois Chapter will be providing the day-to-day operational and leadership support to the NASW-Nevada Chapter. The responsibilities for managing the NASW-Nevada Chapter have been delegated to Kyle Hillman. Kyle will serve as chapter director for the Nevada chapter, as well as continue his important responsibilities as director of legislative affairs and meetings management for the Illinois chapter. As many of you know, Kyle has been with NASW-IL for fifteen years and has held several positions in the chapter during his tenure. I truly feel this is a great opportunity for the NASW-Illinois Chapter as a leading chapter in the association to provide its expertise and knowledge to other chapters.

Shortly, we will be publicizing our incoming board leadership for the 2018–2019 year. I hope you will all support their efforts and get more involved in the wide range of activities in the chapter.


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 05/01/18 at 08:00 AM

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