Chapter Update

Monday, March 1

From the Pen of the President

Irecently had the privilege of being the commencement speaker for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign School of Social Work’s December Commencement. Since the future of our profession lays in today’s social

work graduates, I felt compelled to present them with a journey that they can take with great pride, perseverance, and also fun. Understanding that self-care is a vital part of our journey (And one that we don’t always do very well), it also allowed me to reflect on how we as an association must also practice self-care.

Each of us has a different path in our social work journey which emphasizes the uniqueness of our association and its representation of such a diverse group of individuals. Seeing how well our association survived the past year has given me great consolation in knowing that we truly do have the best interests of the profession at heart. The NASW IL Board of Directors has continued to work together in a fantastic manner that has allowed for progress to continue. Our membership has remained active in engaging in improving the profession and representing it well to the general public. However, we still have huge obstacles in front of us in 2010.

The state budget debacle hangs like a dark cloud over social service provisions in our communities. The inability of politicians to truly understand what can occur if funding is drastically reduced and the ripple effect that will have on our communities is beyond my comprehension. While I understand that politics is politics, when can common sense and reality take over? We have had the opportunity to talk with many state legislators this fall in an attempt to get our message across, so hopefully some of that will have had a positive impact and will result in a brighter future for the clients we serve throughout our state.

Yet even with the dark cloud’s presence, I believe we can continue to hope. President Obama’s book, The Audacity ofHope, demonstrates the need to embody a desire to succeed. It holds a standard for us that must be upheld if we are going to see a brighter tomorrow. It does not mean we may not face future setbacks, but it does mean we must practice self-care if we are going to survive. We must learn to celebrate life when that is called for. We must learn to take firm stands when our standards are at stake. We must learn, both as individuals and as an association, that success is not always measured immediately, but that it is measured regardless of how long it takes to achieve it.

I look forward with great anticipation to 2010. I am buoyed by the quality of our future social workers and am truly gratified by the leadership in our association today. In February we will be honoring some of those social work leaders of the future, and in March we will be recognizing many of those current leaders throughout the state during Social Work Month (see page 20 for a list of Social Work Month events in your district). This issue also celebrates African American History Month in February. NASW member Earnest Webb discusses how his involvement with the National Association of Black Social Workers has helped him with starting his own private practice (see page 20 for the article). I look forward to attending the Social Work Congress in Washington, DC, in April where I can further represent our great chapter and also network with other leaders of our profession. We need to celebrate!

Posted on 03/01/10 at 10:23 AM (0) Comments




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