Contact: Harold Waters
Posted March 2012
ATLANTA – Advanced policy students from the UGA School of Social Work recently attended Student Lobby Day at the Georgia State Capitol. They were accompanied by Dr. June Gary Hopps, who serves as the school's liaison with state and federal government offices and legislators regarding emerging public policy issues in the field.
“Lobby day provides a good opportunity for students to see and learn a little about how the State Legislature works while having an opportunity to meet members of the legislature, and to hear presentations by Georgia NASW staff on the status of pressing bills,” Hopps said.
In addition to hearing from, and having an opportunity to question lobbyists on their roles in policy, including how they relate to social work practice, students also spoke with attorney William Ligon, Fulton County Legislative Officer, and heard from NASW leadership who touched on various issues related to the field, including Senate Bill 445, which was designed to change licensure boards.
Advanced standing student Deborah Harnishfeger discussed how public and social policy continues to have a direct effect on social workers.
“In order to be “Advocates for Positive Social Change,” we must go out to the Capitol and Advocate,” Harnishfeger said. “I am very glad to have had the opportunity to advocate for change and to have learned more about the inner workings of the political machines that shape policy here in Georgia.”
MSW student Brent Temple echoed those sentiments. “Lobby day represented a great opportunity to network with, and learn from students of other schools of social work,” MSW student Brent Temple said. “It was also a great opportunity to hear from the leadership of one of our major professional associations.”