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Monday, January 1

From the Pen of the Executive Director: January 2018

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

Happy Birthday Illinois!

As we concluded 2017, Illinois began it bicentennial celebrations. A bit ironic as there has not been a great to celebrate in our state’s recent history vis a vis its understanding and treatment of its vulnerable citizens. Despite this fact, the Chicago Sun-Times published last month its '200 for 200': The most prominent Illinoisans in 200 years of history." Some notable social workers and friends of the professional who made the list include:

  • Grace Abbott, the early 1900s social worker who promoted immigrant rights;
  • Jane Addams, influential feminist and social worker, founder of Hull House;
  • Ellen Gates Starr, social reformer who partnered with Jane Addams in the founding of Hull House, also makes the list.

The full list can be found here https://chicago.suntimes.com/illinois-200/200-for-200-the-most-prominent-illinoisans-in-200-years-of-history/. I am sure there are other social workers who are worthy of being on this list. Let me know your suggestions!

Although the past year of 2017 has been a tumultuous one both here in Illinois and the country, let’s review some of the positive Chapter highlights and outcomes.

Licensure Renewal

On Friday, August 25, 2017, Governor Bruce Rauner signed our social work licensure renewal bill authorizing another ten years of professional licensure for our profession. Congratulations to all Illinois social workers! Many thanks to the work of NASW-Illinois Chapter Director of Legislative Affairs Kyle Hillman in keeping the legislation on track to its conclusion and signage into law by the governor.

Revised Code of Ethics

On Friday, August 4, 2017, the Delegate Assembly of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) approved the most substantive revision to the NASW Code of Ethics since 1996. After careful and charged deliberation, the Delegate Assembly voted to accept proposed revisions to the Code that focused largely on the use of technology and the implications for ethical practice.

The NASW Code of Ethics continues to be the most accepted standard for social work ethical practice worldwide. With emergent technological advances over the last two decades, the profession could not ignore the necessity for more clarity around the complex implications of new forms of communication and relationship building through technology.

The new version of the NASW Code of Ethics went into effect January 1, 2018. https://www.socialworkers.org/About/Ethics/Code-of-Ethics

Second Supervisory Leaders in Aging (SLA) Cohort – Spring 2017

Our second NASW Supervisory Leaders in Aging (SLA) cohort took place this past spring. The specialized intensive trainings (30 CEUs), funded by the John A. Hartford Foundation during 2016 and 2017 was designed to improve the delivery of health care and social services to older adults by strengthening the supervision of staff providing direct social services to older adults and their families. 29 social workers completed this training. An excellent all Illinois faculty contributed significantly to the success of the program.

Chasity Wells-Armstrong Elected Mayor of Kankakee, IL

The NASW-IL PAC (Political Action Committee) supported and helped NASW-Illinois Chapter member and former chapter board member Chasity Wells-Armstrong to become elected as mayor of Kankakee, IL, becoming that city’s first African-American mayor. She defeated two-term Republican mayor Nina Epstein in a close race of 1,918 to 1,703 votes. 

2017 Women’s Marches

The NASW-IL was an active participant in the Women’s March in Chicago in January 2017. We also participated and supported the Illinois Womens March on Springfield, chartering a bus to Springfield on Tuesday, April 25, 2017.

2017 Professional Development

During 2017, the Illinois Chapter continued to provide quality trainings throughout the state, which included our October 23-25, 2017 statewide conference with over 800 persons in attendance, as well as an additional 76 CEU events around the state (14 cultural competence and 8 ethics trainings) as well as 10 licensure review courses.

The year to come….

We approach 2018 renewed and eager to continue to serve the members of the NASW-Illinois Chapter and the state’s social work community. The following are just some of the activities to look forward to during the year:

Social Work Advocacy Day 4/11/17

Join us for the one for the largest annual social workers and social work students in the state. Registration information can found at http://naswil.org/news/chapter-news/featured/sign-up-for-advocacy-day-2016-1-1/.


Inaugural NASW Illinois Chapter School Social Work Event: Tuesday, May 22, 2017

SAVE THE DATE! The NASW-Illinois Chapter will be hosting our first one-day school social work conference on Tuesday, May 22, 2017, at the Chicago Teachers Union Foundation in Chicago’s West Loop.


The Business of Social Work, Thursday, October 25, 2018

Our third biannual The Business of Social Work one-day conference will take place on Thursday, October 25, 2018, at the Hilton Lisle in Lisle, IL.


2018 Political Action

The NASW-IL Political Action Committee (PAC) plans to be a very active participant in the vital 2018 Illinois elections. Member support is crucial to our efforts.


2018 Workforce Initiative/Summit

NASW among other organizations has been involved in an ongoing workforce initiative study. The first product of this initiative entitled, Profile of the Social Work Workforce which can found at: https://www.cswe.org/Centers-Initiatives/Initiatives/National-Workforce-Initiative. During 2018, the Chapter will convening a workforce summit to examine the future of social work workforce. The summit will involve all the schools of social work in the state as well as social work employers. If you are interested in become involved in this, please contact me directly at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

On behalf of the NASW-Illinois Chapter, I want to wish the entire social work community a happy and healthy 2018! And while you are making your New Year’s resolution, please add involvement in your professional association! 

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 01/01/18 at 08:00 AM


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