Chapter Update

Tuesday, September 14

2010 Virtual Symposium on Ethics

Joel L. Rubin, MSW, CAE

Today social workers throughout Illinois and the country (And even outside North America in Vietnam!) participated online and here at the NASW Illinois Chapter offices in Chicago in the Chapter’s first Virtual Symposium on Ethics. Preparing for a virtual event is a bit different than preparing for a conference or a one-day in–person symposium. We really did not know what to expect. No hotel inspection, no worries on room block attrition or if presenters would show up for their workshops. Our main concerns were making sure that those who attended virtually (over 80% of the participants) were prepared, i.e., making sure their technology met all of the requirements. On three separate occasions this past week, participants had the opportunity to test out the program, akin to a dress rehearsal. I am happy to say that all of this preparation paid dividends. Participants were able to e-mail questions to our three presenters, Joe Monahan, Matt Cohen, and Amy McCarty from the law firm of Monahan and Cohen, and communicate any technology challenges they were experiencing to NASW Illinois staff. There were glitches here and there, but as the following comments from the online participant chat room indicate, the experiences were resoundingly good:

“This was my first webinar and I think it was great. Thanks to all for their hard work in getting this together.”

“Great review of 'ethics' material. Enjoyed participating vitually. NASW - thanks for making it happen.”

“I wasn't sure how I would feel about this format, but I have to say, ‘I LOVE IT!!!!’ I will DEF take more online presentations in the future!!”

“This was terrific—thanks.”

“Thanks to NASW for an informative day! I'm sure it took a lot of effort to pull it off, so please add my appreciation to everyone else's!”

“Thanks for a well done seminar which was sooo easy to attend!

“This is a great way to do the symposium -- good content! I think it was a success (even with a few techo glitches). I'd do it again. Thanks to the Chapter for putting it together.”

 “Great presentations, excellent job responding to technical difficulties.”

“This was very well thought out. It leads me to consider future on-line workshops. I particularly appreciated no final exam. It allowed me to listen and learn without any pressure. Thank you.”

Participants received a first-class training in Risk Management, the ABCs of Confidentiality, and Guardianship and Advance Directives. Our presenters also updated symposium participants on recent changes in laws affecting these three general areas. Some examples of this that presenter Joe Monahan noted included mention of recently enacted Illinois Public Act 096-1399, which amends The Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code, as well as where to search forms on the Department of Human Services Web site, and summaries of confidentiality legislation that the NASW Illinois Chapter was instrumental in passing into law:

If you want to read about the specific laws NASW Illinois worked hard on to get passed regarding the school social worker confidentiality case, check out our October 2009 Legislation/Social Policy: State Legislative Update on SB 1507 and SB 1508 and scroll down.

I would like to acknowledge our premiere sponsors: the law firm of Monahan and Cohen who provided today’s presentation; Dominican University Graduate School of Social Work; and St. Mary’s Services. I would also like to thank the many agencies and organizations hosting tonight’s networking events around the state.

The success of today’s Virtual Symposium on Ethics will serve as a springboard for providing additional presentations to the membership in addition to our already quality online distance learning.

Additional photos of today’s event can be found in the NASW Illinois Chapter Photo Gallery.

Joel L. Rubin, MSW, 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 09/14/10 at 05:33 PM (1) Comments

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