From the Pen of the Executive Director: January 2021
Joel L. Rubin, MSW, ACSW, CAE
NASW-Illinois Chapter Executive Director
This past month, I ended all of my email correspondence with, “Best wishes for the holidays and the new year. Good riddance to 2020!” Although I am writing this in the new year, let me reiterate: “Good riddance to 2020!” We have much to look forward to in 2021 and much work to do, hopefully putting COVID-19 in the rearview mirror, but still remaining vigilant with our mask-wearing and social distancing until as many people as possible get vaccinated.
But 2020 was not without its chapter achievements, many of them due to efforts of our membership throughout the state.
Social Work Workforce Initiative/Telligen Community Initiative Grant
Illinois successfully completed this grant (with research partner Loyola University Chicago) from the Telligen Community Initiative to conduct a needs assessment of the social work workforce in Illinois that included four in-person focus groups conducted statewide (pre-COVID) and two major online surveys. A full report will be disseminated to stakeholders and the membership early this calendar year.
A Successful Pivot to Professional Development Trainings and Events
This past year successfully and rapidly pivoted to continue providing services to the NASW-Illinois Chapter membership. That included regular news updates to the chapter ‘News’ page and social media as well as utilizing the NASW Illinois MyNASW Community to help share knowledge among Illinois peers on a wide range of topics from telehealth guidance to (most recently) vaccine protocol. Additionally, we have successfully moved all of our continuing education offerings to virtual platforms as well as recording many of these offerings through the Social Work Online CE Institute.
Task Force on Racial Justice
This past August, the chapter established the wide ranging, member-driven Task Force on Racial Justice to provide guidance on how to approach racial justice initiatives across the state and propose effective measures of reform and increase accountability in policing. Final recommendations can be found here: https://www.naswil.org/post/final-recommendations-nasw-illinois-chapter-task-force-on-racial-justice.
Waiver of In-Person CEU Requirements for 2021 Licensure
Advocacy for this on behalf of Illinois social workers allows for utilizations of any mixture of in-person, live virtual, or virtual trainings to reach the 30 hour CEU requirement. https://www.naswil.org/post/breaking-news-nasw-il-efforts-successful-in-getting-in-person-ceu-requirements-waived-by-idfpr
First NASW-Illinois Chapter Virtual Conference: Rethinking Ethics
Over 460 attendees participated in the Rethinking Ethics: 2020 NASW-Illinois Chapter Virtual Conference.
Thank you to all of our members who helped the chapter in 2020 and who helped the association and the profession reflect on key issues of social and racial inequities.
Best wishes for 2021!