NASW Foundation Blog

NASW-Illinois Chapter Releases Workforce Report
Kim Simpson

NASW-Illinois Chapter Releases Workforce Report

In 2019-2020, NASW-Illinois Chapter Executive Director, Joel L. Rubin, MSW, ACSW, CAE, worked with the NASW Foundation (Chapter Fiscal Sponsor) and Loyola University School of Social Work on a workforce study: “An Evaluation of the Illinois Social Work Workforce: Challenges and Opportunities.” The initiative was funded by a generous $50,000 grant from the Telligen Community Initiative.

“The Telligen Workforce grant has enabled the Illinois Chapter to research workforce issues that confirm many perceptions of the social work workforce challenges in the state,” according to Rubin. He said the main purposes of the study were to: 

  • understand Illinois social work workforce challenges and barriers;

  • identify specific geographic and areas where shortages of social workers existed; and,

  • identify a strategy for improving the current and future social work workforce in the state of Illinois.

“The report,” he said, “calls on the state to help Illinois support its most vulnerable citizens in need of services by making the following recommendations:”

  • Promote the social work profession as a key component of the state’s mental health workforce. 

  • Expand the pipeline of qualified and diverse individuals to enter the social work profession through higher education tuition support. 

  • Work with employers and state agencies to promote a diverse human service, health, and mental health workforce by hiring social workers as organizational leaders who reflect the consumers of human services. 

  • Support employers to provide incentives to reflect the important role that social work can play in strengthening services in rural Illinois. 

“The report’s specific recommendations for the state of Illinois, as well as the significant research achieved, will lay the groundwork for even more efforts towards strengthening our profession’s workforce throughout the state and the country,” according to Rubin. 

To read the full report and executive summary, please follow these links:

The project was funded by the Telligen Community Initiative to initiate and support, through research and programs, innovative and farsighted health-related projects aimed at improving the health, social well-being and educational attainment of society, where such needs are expressed. 

To learn more about Joel Rubin and the NASW-IL Chapter, please follow this link to a special NASW Foundation profile >>

You might also be interested in a Telligen Workforce Study published by the NASW-Iowa Chapter in collaboration with the University of Iowa School of Social Work and the NASW Foundation in 2018-2019. Please follow this link to read more >>

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