Students Learn About Social Work Policy at the State Level – Asbury University
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March 30, 2022

Students in the Kentucky Senate
Pictured from left to right: Susan Thimons (staff assistant), Amber McIntosh, Josie Wooldridge, Sen. Douglas, Dr. Asbill, Hannah Bellew, and Hope McGlothlin on the Senate floor.

On February 15, Dr. Michelle Asbill led four seniors from the Social Work Department to Frankfort, Ky. to discuss public policies at the state level.

The students met Jessamine County Senator Donald Douglas and discussed his new position in the Senate, along with how to serve the community in a way that is fair, equitable and wise.

The group also observed a Licensing & Occupation Committee meeting, of which Sen. Douglas is a member. There, students watched how small changes in legislation make a large difference in the lives of Kentucky residents.

The group then met with Brenda Rosen, Executive Director of The Kentucky National Association of Social Workers (NASW-KY). With Rosen, the Asbury seniors discussed the importance of lobbying, the interaction between animal abuse and child abuse, and how changing the Ky. Kentucky prison system is necessary and valuable.

During a tour of the capitol, the social work students were able to spend time in the hall of the Kentucky Supreme Court and hear about the cases that were brought to the court. The trip concluded with the group watching the Senate pass various bills.

A week after the trip, the same group of students virtually participated in NASW-KY Lobby Day. The opening session explained how legislation is made with the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy.

The students involved in both the Frankfort trip and Social Work Practicum this semester were able to connect how policy impacts each of their agencies and populations they are learning to serve in the future.

“It was a very informative trip and impacted our students greatly,” said Susan Thimons from the Asbury Department of Social Work. “These experiences highlight how social work at the ‘macro’ level touches every life in the state and every interaction they will have in the future as social workers working with clients one-on-one.”