Michael Mallory, MSW, LCSW, Chicago District Chair
Happy New Year, everyone,
I hope all of you were able to enjoy the holiday season and got the opportunity to see loved ones and to do something restorative. This year is going to be full of exciting opportunities like our upcoming board election, the formal reinstatement of our chapter’s Legislative Committee, and our state’s new licensing practices for LCSWs.
To start, our more important business involves the need to start recruiting candidates to apply for my seat as Chicago District Chair as these roles are only allowed to serve for two terms. While I am sad to be ending my term, I have been incredibly privileged to serve as your representative for our chapter. This role allows for the opportunity to network with so many different colleagues in the field, to be kept informed about different practices and changes in our field, and to develop opportunities for your colleagues. If any of you would like to hear more about this on a personal level, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly. Please check out our recruitment packet for more information [click me].
While my term may be coming to an end, I will continue my work with the NASW-Illinois Chapter by serving as chair of the Legislative Committee. This committee was reinstated to help assist the NASW-Illinois Chapter Legislative Director with advocacy and policy work at the state level.
In terms of licensing practices, this is an exciting year where our allies have worked diligently in the spirit of equity to modify the state’s regulatory practices with the clinical licensure requirements. This new rule allows our colleagues to access two routes toward obtaining their LCSW—through the traditional examination route or through working and obtaining an additional 3,000 hours of direct supervised professional experience. This is an exciting change as it directly addressed the racial disparities of testing outcomes with the ASWB. As of this message, this process has gone into effect but our office is still waiting for the updated application package from the state. Once the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) releases these documents, we will provide a more in-depth article on how to complete this application process.
In other news, I have been monitoring recent threads in various forums about the concerns of insurance audits and clinicians being at risk of having to pay back claims due to clinical documentation issues. In response to seeing these concerns, I did some research about potential experts in the field that provide training about composing clinical documentation that would meet the expectations of insurance providers. All to say, the Chicago District will be hosting a premier ethics training opportunity on February 13th. I will be sending out a separate email later this week. If you are intrigued, please check out the event page HERE.
Wishing you all a lovely holiday season ahead.
Ask NASW-IL: What’s the status on the alternative to the ASWB exam for the LCSW?
This spring, the NASW-Illinois Chapter, with a coalition of advocates, was able to support passage of a bill which provides an alternative to the ASWB exam requirement for LCSW licensure. As of the time of this writing, new applications are expected to be accepted shortly after the bill takes effect on January 1, 2024. The NASW-Illinois Chapter is still waiting for official forms and procedures to be posted by the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation (IDFPR), hopefully in early 2024. Once the department releases this information, we will be able to provide a more in-depth article on the steps to complete the application. Until then, we encourage you to keep checking our News page for new information or sign up for our news and events e-mail list here. You can also read more about the new law here.
LICENSURE RENEWAL UPDATES
2025 NASW-IL Guide to Licensure Renewal
This renewal period already has some confirmed changes and like other cycles there will be more to come. I highly encourage all of you to check out the changes. There are some new CE requirements including implicit bias awareness and mandated reporting with implicit bias. Also, with the removal of the in-person CE requirement, the state is now requiring any virtual training program to include an examination. Please check out the more detailed article about these changes HERE.
How to get involved
Want to make a difference for social workers in Illinois and beyond? Have expertise in a particular method or field of social work practice? Hold a unique perspective that you believe is under-represented? Joining the NASW-Illinois Chapter Board of Directors is a great way to implement change, share your knowledge, and voice your opinions! Getting involved in your professional association or consider nominating a colleague for a leadership position. Read more about the board responsibilities here.