Loyola University Chicago

School of Social Work

Annual Joan Greenstone Lecture

The School of Social Work Presents

The 22nd Annual Joan Greenstone Lecture

April 6, 2018


Loyola University Chicago, Water Tower Campus

Lewis Towers, Regents Hall



Social Work Licensing: A Foundation for Client Advocacy and Social Justice

Keynote Speaker

Mary Jo Monahan, MSW, LCSW

CEO, Association of Social Work Boards


Social workers bring an ethical perspective that is magnified and enhanced through licensure, and licensure in turn strengthens the core values of the profession through public protection. If social work's growth as a licensed profession is to continue, then social workers in training need to be educated about licensure as an integral component of their professional development, their duty to advocate for their clients' protection, and their responsibility to uphold the social work value of social justice.

In this lecture, we will examine the positive impact of social work licensing on the profession and the benefits and opportunities for individual social workers. When state governments realize the importance of the social work profession through regulating its practice, by extension they realize the fundamental role that social justice plays in safe and competent practice. Licensed social workers are held accountable for safe, ethical, and competent practice and clients are provided legal recourse if harmed. That social work has earned its place as one of the most important licensed helping professions is a statement to the power and value of the profession, and furthermore, about the values of social workers themselves. We will also consider the challenges that technology, practice, and politics are posing to competent and ethical practice and the creative solutions being crafted by social work regulators, such as mobility and continuing competency strategies.

By attending this lecture, the participants will be able to:

  • Articulate the differences between the NASW Code of Ethics as voluntary self-regulation and state regulation as a legal obligation with enforceable accountability
  • Understand the purpose of social work regulation as protection of the public through standard setting for social work practice and legal recourse for clients if harmed
  • Recognize both the Regulatory Standards for Technology (ASWB) and Social Work Practice and Technology Standards for Practice (NASW)
  • Understand current policy and political threats to occupational licensing and creative solutions from social work regulators


 Mary Jo Monahan is Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), the nonprofit association of social work regulatory bodies in the United States, including the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands, and the 10 provinces in Canada. Before joining ASWB, Monahan held various executive offices, including vice president of operations at Matthews Benefit Group, Inc. (2010-2013); president and CEO of ICON Institute of Florida, LLC, a professional training center and consultation business (2009-2013); and president and CEO of Family Service Centers, Inc., a $5.4 million social service agency (2003-2009). From 1991 to 1996 she served on the Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling and was board chair in 1995 and 1996. She served on the national board of directors of NASW- National Association of Social Workers (1998-2001) and was president of its Florida chapter from 1988 to 1990. In 2012 she was president of the board of directors at the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence. Monahan was an adjunct professor in the University of South Florida’s school of social work for more than 22 years. She earned her MSW at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. 

About the Joan Greenstone Lecture

Each year Loyola University and the Institute from Clinical Social Work collaborate to introduce a keynote discussant from the    National Clinical Community. Each school requests input from respondents to bring perspective to the topic that was presented.  


Joan F. Greenstone, Ph.D., for whom this annual lecture series is named, was a highly valued colleague on the faculty at both     Loyola University School of Social Work and the Institute for Clinical Social Work prior to her untimely death in 1996.


She and her commitment to excellence in teaching, ethics, and clinical practice have been greatly missed. These lectures are funded through the   generosity of Joan’s family.