College Students: Mission Critical
Students finishing both their Bachelors and Master’s degrees have been critical to the launch of Key Assets Kentucky. Key Assets has been fortunate enough to have three students in practicum this semester. Both Navonna Jude and Jackie Kirby are completing their Bachelors in Social Work from Morehead State University, while Tiffany Ratcliff will be graduating with her Masters in Social Work this May.
“Students have brought great energy to building a new fostering business here in Kentucky,” says Chris Groeber, CEO of Key Assets Kentucky. “Without the students we would not be as far along, as we are in the process of creating both policy and training materials for foster carers. They have given me the energy to get up each day and look forward to our next learning experience.”
The experience of a Key Assets student
Tiffany Ratcliff, upcoming MSW graduate and Key Assets Foster Care Manager relates her experience:
“My practicum experience at Key Assets Kentucky gave me the once in a lifetime opportunity to be involved with an organization from start up to implementation of best practices in fostering. The professionals at Key Assets involve me in all aspects of their venture into Kentucky and as a result they provide me with invaluable real world experiences in the field of social services.
“With the mentoring of the Key Assets team, I have learned the importance of being culturally competent, building relationships within communities, and collaborating with other professionals. I feel that my experience as a student at Key Assets Kentucky has given me a real advantage in my Masters level social work classes and a jump start on my career!”
“Being at Key Assets, as a student has been informative, exciting and rewarding,” says Jackie Kirby, social work student. “I have learned more at Key Assets than I would have at any other practicum. I am thankful I had the opportunity to learn the essentials of what it takes to start a business and all the elements that make a foster care agency successful, and to work with individuals who truly care about their mission.”
Invaluable opportunities in social work
Building a business in social work is, as Tiffany says, a once in a lifetime experience. Every student has the opportunity to participate in creating and implementing each part of a new start up, which is an invaluable learning experience. Identifying potential carers teaches students about assessment and articulating practice ideals, all while providing them with the critical responsibility of finding the right people who can provide extraordinary service to children in need.
Summing up the experience on behalf of the agency, Groeber says, “Students have been the gasoline that has kept this engine going. Their enthusiasm has made me want to push harder, accomplish more and make Key Assets become a reality; not just for the good it will do in our community, but for the students to learn and know that social workers can make a difference by implementing new ideas.”
For more information about Key Assets Kentucky, give us a call on 859 497 3800 or come and visit us on Main Street in Mt. Sterling.