Alumni News

Social Work Students Speak With Legislators

by Office of Marketing | May 28, 2015
Social Work
The students in the Social Work program at the University of Valley Forge (UVF) eagerly embrace opportunities to learn, grow and serve in a variety of outlets. Over 800 students in Pennsylvania came together for the annual Legislative Advocacy Day, an event hosted by the National Association of Social Workers. The event’s purpose is to give students enrolled in social work programs the opportunity to advocate for Pennsylvania legislation that is specific to the profession of social work. This year, the focus of the event centered on the passing of a bill for social workers to practice under licensure.
Pennsylvania is one of two states that have yet to pass a law that requires social workers to practice their profession with a license. A license would protect social workers that have rightfully earned an education in the profession. In turn, it would also serve to protect clients seeking service. Three UVF students played significant roles in Legislative Advocacy Day by discussing this issue with two legislators.
During the 2015 spring semester, Pennsylvania State Senator Andy Dinniman and State Representative Warren Kampf were special honorees at UVF’s Leadership Award Day. Faculty member Karin McCadam seized the chance to reach out to the legislators’ Chiefs of Staff in order to create an opportunity for UVF social work students to meet with them in the future. Joni Mitchell and Diane Studdlebine, the executive assistants of Kampf and Dinniman’s offices respectively, arranged for the students to meet with the legislators on Legislative Advocacy Day. 
Juniors Brooke Sheesley, Rachel Stormes and Sorina Corkey were thrilled to meet with the legislators privately. “Being a part of the Social Work Legislative Advocacy Day was made memorable because of professor McCadam’s determination to arrange private meetings with both State Senator Dinniman and State Rep. Kampf,” says Corkey, “We were able to inform them of the necessity for safety for clinical social workers in Pennsylvania. They responded very positively in favor of the proposed bill; we walked away hopeful and encouraged.”
Stormes expressed great enthusiasm about the experience saying, “We were privileged to meet with the legislators in such a small group, which allowed us to speak a lot about the proposed legislation.” Stormes also described the experience as being positive and beneficial to her studies because she was able to see the macro side of social work.
McCadam spoke highly of all three social work students regarding their eloquence while discussing proposed legislation during the meetings. They talked about issues that will directly impact social workers and clients in Pennsylvania. “They each represented the University of Valley Forge very well,” McCadam said. UVF is grateful for McCadam's work to make this unique opportunity possible for students in the social work program.