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  • NASW-IL Staff

July 2023 - East Central District Update

Melissa Box, LCSW, LSOE, LSOTP East Central District Chair

Drought and Rain

If you haven’t been paying attention, much of Illinois has been in a severe drought that has only just this week been broken by a slate of severe storms. Like many across the state, our local farmers are worried about the health of the crop due to the lack of rain. Social workers who serve families in rural areas might be particularly aware of the risks and how it can impact accessibility to fresh fruits and vegetables in “food deserts.” But farmers, like social workers, often find ways to thrive under difficulty. As one strawberry farmer (Tom Jones of Providence Farm) put it, “The drought makes us think. It makes us better farmers." Similarly, when social workers are faced with challenges, we often find creative and collaborative solutions to improving well-being. So if we find ourselves in a metaphorical drought this summer, in addition to an environmental one, I hope it makes us think, and I hope it makes us better.

To find out more about what our state government is doing to combat food insecurity and how you as a social worker could be an advocate in this area, check out these resources:

District Event Follow-Up: Self-Care in Nature

This month, our district held a networking event at Moraine View State Park! It was a beautiful setting, perfect weather, and a great opportunity for self-care in nature. We missed those who couldn’t attend, but our next event is in the works and will be virtual to allow for greater accessibility for those across the district!

Share Your Knowledge!

Do you have a unique perspective on the practice of social work? Do you enjoy speaking about a particular topic relevant to the field? Would you like to expand other professionals’ understanding of a specific area of knowledge? If you answered Yes (or even Maybe!) to any of those questions, please reach out to me, Melissa, via email at . We are looking for social workers or counselors to present at an upcoming East Central District educational event. If you have questions or would just like to know more about the opportunity, send me an email, I would love to talk about it with you!

NASW-IL East Central District Chair Melissa Box, LCSW, LSOE, LSOTP


Save the Date! 2023 NASW Chapters Conference

This year's annual conference has been announced! This year's 2023 NASW Chapters Conference: A Meeting of the Profession will be a two-day conference hosted with our sister chapters, NASW-Nevada and NASW-North Dakota. Find out more at:


2023 NASW Chapters Conference: A Meeting of the Profession

Dates: Thursday, November 2 & Friday, November 3, 2023

Time: 11:00am–5:30pm Central Time

Registration: Conference registration will be available in August 2023

Schedule and Classes: Complete conference schedule and classes will be announced in August 2023

Other Chapter News

· June 2023: Illinois Spring Legislative Session Update:

· Learn More About Social Work Exam Alternative Bill HB2365 SA1:

· Ask NASW-IL: Has there been any update on removal of the in-person requirement for licensure?

· Ask NASW-IL: Can a CEU course fulfill 2 CEU specialties at once?

· Social Work Profession One Step Closer to Interstate Licensure Compact:

· Ask NASW-IL: Will this course count for CEUs in Illinois?

· February 14, 2023 Update on the Social Work Interstate Compact:

For more news, go to the NASW-Illinois Chapter News page:



East Central District Chair

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