UNA First University in the South to Participate in SWLE Project
Apr. 27, 2023
FLORENCE, AL – The Department of Social Work at the University of North Alabama will be the first university in the South to participate in the Social Work Law Enforcement (SWLE) Project Capstone presentation. The project aims to provide a forum to enable social workers, law enforcement personnel, and others interested in police social work an opportunity to connect and share ideas related to the subject.
Isabella Phillips, a Social Work major, will present her experience in this project through her internship with the Florence Police Department.
“I think I can speak for everyone involved when I say that this has been the most incredible opportunity to be part of,” Phillips said. “We have all enjoyed building rapport with our officers and learning more about their roles. We have also had the honor of working with the SWLE team in Connecticut and partnering with them to learn more about what Police Social Work looks like. I, personally, could not have asked for better people to build this program with, and I will never forget it.”
The SWLE Project is committed to advancing the ethical and effective integration of social work services into law enforcement agencies by preparing social workers and social work students to show their talents within the up-and-coming field of police social work. Social Work faculty member Kimberly Wright was instrumental in bringing the project to UNA. Another faculty member, Doug Brown, provided student supervision and support.
“Police Social Work is all about meeting people where they are,” Phillips said. “We want to build a program that will reach out to help people when they don’t know who or where to go. We want to reach the communities that our officers encounter and complement their already competent work by connecting the people of this with the many people who are here to serve them.”
The presentation will take place at 9 a.m. on Friday, April 28, in the Loft of the Guillot University Center. Police Social Work interns from the Connecticut team will also be participating via live stream.
“I could never say enough ‘thank yous’ to the officers and administration at the Florence Police Department,” Phillips said. “They have opened the door and allowed social workers to come in
and serve our community with a different perspective. We have also received support from social workers all over Florence at many different agencies. They can see the potential of this position and have never hesitated to voice their support. The members of this community have been so welcoming of partnering with a Police Social Worker to receive ongoing services. It has been such a joy to see so many people gather around this idea and work to build it from the ground up.”
About The University of North Alabama
The University of North Alabama is an accredited, comprehensive regional state university offering credential, certificate, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs in the colleges of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering; Business and Technology; Education and Human Sciences; and the Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions. The first-choice University for more than 10,000 on-campus and online students, UNA is on a bucolic campus in Florence, Alabama, part of the historic and vibrant Shoals region. Lions Athletics, a renowned collegiate athletics program with seven (7) Division II National Championships, is now a proud member of the NCAA Division I’s ASUN Conference. The University of North Alabama is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate in the admission policy on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, age, or national origin. For more: www.una.edu and www.una.edu/unaworks/