Legislative Education and Advocacy Day Essay

Submitted By Ashryy
Words: 621
Pages: 3

On Monday, March 25th I had the wonderful opportunity to attend Legislative Education and Advocacy Day (LEAD) at the state house. The experience as whole was very enlightening. I was able to learn, first hand, about the importance of legislation and lobbying and how it has a direct effect on social work practice. Through out my time studying social work thus far I have had this notion that I would not go down the policy path and I would stick with on direct practice. Until I went to LEAD day, I was very unclear about how intwined the two aspects were. While at LEAD day, I was able to participate in two different educational sessions. The first one that I attend was about the juvenile justice system and the flaws that come with the age restrictions within the system. The second one that I was able to participate in was about homelessness. This second educational session was the one that really had me interested and engaged. I have known for a long time that the homeless are a population that I would like to work with. As previously stated I did not want anything to do with the policy side of homelessness, I just wanted to do strictly direct practice. I now realize how exceedingly important it is to at least be well rounded in my understanding of policy and government to be of best assistance to my future clients. In this educational session I was able to learn about how the sequester cuts have effected those who need to utilize emergency shelters. Language in recent legislation has been changed to say that a person can only receive emergency shelter if they can prove that they have spent the night in place that was not meant to be inhabited by humans. When I heard this language I was in shock. The part that really did not sit right with me was the fact that legislation would expect a person who is clearly in crisis to appropriately prove such a things. When the question was brought up to the lobbying representatives their response was the same as my own. They agreed that it was ludicrous for the government to think that proof of this was going to be logical. One of the representatives told me that law makers had actually suggested that the homeless snap a picture, with their phones, of where they are staying to show that they had been living in these