WWU Social Work Students Participate in Advocacy Day
|3/28/2012||Mary Ann Beahon|
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||(573) 592-1127|
Ten senior social work students from William Woods University recently participated in the Missouri Association of Social Welfare's annual Student Advocacy Day.
Traveling to the State Capitol in Jefferson City, Mo., in March were Olivia Nicholson of St. Louis, Mo.; Cassie Houf of Mexico, Mo.; Madeline Ortego of Fayetteville, Ark.; Janine Burns of Hermann, Mo.; Megan Julius of Columbia, Mo.; Erica Halpin of Niles, Ill.; Amber Thompson of Wellsville, Mo.; Kali MacLean of Higginsville, Mo.; Bethany Osborn of Columbia, Mo.; and Devin Bain of St. Peters, Mo. They were accompanied by with Dr. Elizabeth Wilson, director of the WWU social work program.
The students observed debates on the Missouri House floor and made visits to legislators. They also sat in on a committee hearing. Some students spoke to their representatives about how certain bills would affect their clients.
They prepared for their visit by researching four proposed bills, two of which are supported by MASW and two of which are opposed. MASW supports a bill that modifies the eligibility requirements for food stamp assistance related to drug-related felonies and another that requires the director of the Department of Revenue to enter into the multistate Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement and the department to implement the compliance provisions.
MASW opposes a bill that changes the laws regarding elections by requiring a voter to provide photo identification and another that proposes a constitutional amendment prohibiting state appropriations in any fiscal year from exceeding certain limits.
The students have been working in field agencies for the past two semesters to complete 500 hours of work with clients focusing on mental health, immigration, child abuse and neglect, schools and teen issues, domestic violence, gerontology and adolescent residential care.
The social work students participated in advocacy day as a requirement for a social work community development and organizing course in which students learn to advocate for policy changes and practice creating policies and programs for their clients in need.
William Woods University senior social work students and their professor who participated in the Missouri Association of Social Welfare's annual Student Advocacy Day are (left to right) Olivia Nicholson, Cassie Houf, Madeline Ortego, Dr. Elizabeth Wilson, Janine Burns, Megan Julius, Erica Halpin, Amber Thompson, Kali MacLean, Bethany Osborn and Devin Bain.