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USF Social Work Students Practice their Skills in Tallahassee

Over 50 University of South Florida BSW and MSW students were part of the over 800 social work students statewide who participated in the National Association of Social Workers - Florida 2015 Legislative Education and Advocacy Days in Tallahassee. While a majority of students rode together on a school-sponsored bus to the State Capitol and stayed overnight in a Tallahassee motel, others carpooled and met the group for the various educational sessions and activities. The bus provided an opportunity for students to talk about the issues with each other and be briefed by faculty advisor Lori Rogovin about legislative advocacy strategies. Most of the students had already attended one of three basic legislative training sessions held on campus by a NASW-FL staff member and Social Work Society student leaders. Staff member Carrie Brown followed students around to capture a wide range of photos of students taking advantage of this experiential learning activity.

The State Capitol educational activity provides a unique opportunity for social work students to apply macro practice skills learned in the classroom to the real life macro environment of the state legislature and executive branch of government. By learning from policy experts about state legislative and budget issues that affect social workers and the clients they serve, and having an opportunity to educate elected officials about these issues, students gain confidence and competence in using these vital social work skills. In addition to participating in the training sessions in Tallahassee and attending a rally organized by NASW-FL, USF students met with a variety of senators, representatives, legislative assistants, staff to the Governor, and the Secretary of State, and also attended committee meetings and a session of the full Senate. Some students also had the opportunity to tour the State Supreme Court and Old Capitol building.

 

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