From the Pen of the Executive Director: March 2023
Joel L. Rubin, MSW, LSW, ACSW, CAE
NASW-Illinois Chapter Executive Director
Happy Social Work Month! This year’s theme is Social Work Breaks Barriers. We strive to do that in the NASW-Illinois Chapter and, as many of you are aware, have been at the forefront of breaking barriers around access to licensure for all social workers over the recent past.
This past month saw several major national NASW announcements in which the NASW-Illinois Chapter has had significant input and influence, including a national statement opposing ASWB testing and the an update on the revised interstate social work licensure compact language. I am a member of the national NASW Licensure Task Force and have had the opportunity to share the Illinois perspective with the task on these two barrier–breaking issues in our profession. Related to these discussions, I had the opportunity to appear on The Social Work Podcast regarding the elimination of the LSW test in Illinois. You can listen to the podcast here: https://socialworkpodcast.blogspot.com/2023/02/NASWIL.html
Early this February the NASW-Illinois Chapter met again with Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation (IDFPR) officials who informed us that rules had been drafted by lawyers for a proposal that would entirely remove the in-person continuing education requirement from licensure renewal: https://www.naswil.org/post/2021-2023-licensure-renewal-update-rules-filed-to-remove-in-person-ce-requirement. The state’s The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) has posted the proposed language here (pg. 3, subsection titled "Social Workers"). To make comments on the rulemakings through 03/20/23, contact Craig Cellini, DFPR, 320 W. Washington, 2nd Floor, Springfield IL 62786, 217/785-0810, Fax: 217/557-4451. The chapter will continue to update the social work community on these proposed CEU rule changes.
Additionally, this past month Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced recommendations from the Children’s Behavioral Health Transformation Initiative. The Blueprint for Transformation: A Vision for Improved Behavioral Healthcare can be found at https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/gov/Documents/childrens-health-web-021523.pdf. The primary author, Dana A. Weiner, PhD, Director, Children’s Behavioral Health Transformation Initiative Senior Policy Fellow, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, addressed the NASW-Illinois Chapter Board of Directors at its February quarterly meeting in advance of the release of the report.
March will be a very active Social Work Month. The Events page on our website includes all the month’s activities. I hope many of you will find time to attend some of these events either virtually or in-person. The following are some highlights of those and other activities:
Please join us on March 13th when Kyle Hillman, the chapter’s director of legislative affairs, will provide an update on a summary of bills introduced in the 2023 Illinois Legislative Session related to social work practice and populations served: https://naswil.wufoo.com/forms/z17nh7900c1qmmm. Kyle’s work in Springfield strengthens the presence and voice of social work in our state capital.
On March 23rd the chapter will host an in-person forum of schools of social workers and community colleges at UIUC School of Social Work to discuss the chapter’s ongoing work in strengthening the pipelines to diversify the social work workforce. These efforts have been funded by the Telligen Community Initiative (TCI). More on this later in the spring.
Once again, another reminder to join us for our annual 2023 Virtual Advocacy Day scheduled for Monday, March 27th: https://www.naswil.org/post/announcing-2023-virtual-advocacy-day.
Looking to make a change in your career? The chapter is hosting a Virtual Job Fair on April 3rd from 2:00 to 5:00pm. The event is FREE to job seekers and will feature organizations from all over the state. Read more here: https://www.naswil.org/post/seeking-job-seekers-2023-nasw-illinois-chapter-virtual-job-fair. Alternatively, if your organization is hiring, learn more on how to exhibit here: https://www.naswil.org/post/seeking-job-exhibitors-2023-nasw-illinois-chapter-virtual-job-fair
Chapter President Kenna Dunlap Johnson welcomed our new CEO Dr. Anthony Estreet last month in her “From the Pen…” article. As we begin Social Work Month, I would like to add my welcome to Dr. Estreet. We look forward to your leadership!
Celebrate our month!