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Alumna Spotlight: Lakeisha Hicks, Social Work Practice and Training Abroad

Lakeisha Hicks
Lakeisha Hicks

Graduates from the School of Social Work move forward to accomplish great things and make a positive difference in the lives of others in social work and research nationally and abroad.

Lakeisha Hicks, MSSW 2008, is no exception and is becoming a trailblazer in her own right as she positions newly appointed social workers for a successful and promising career in helping people solve and cope with problems in their everyday lives.

 

Hicks currently is an independent consultant and practice educator supervising social workers in their first year of employment with local authorities in London. She assesses their readiness for practice under the Knowledge and Skills Statements and Professional Capabilities Framework that will be implemented sometime this year.  This new framework is a licensed scaffold developed by the Social Work Reform Board to educate social workers, provide them with a framework to plan their careers and professional development.

 

In Hick’s role as a practice assessor, she is affiliated with the Assessed and Support Year in Employment Program in London. The goal of the program is to ensure that newly qualified social workers begin their professional lives in structured and supported environments that foster learning and support continuous professional development opportunities.

 

In 2013, Hicks enrolled as a part-time student at Royal Holloway, University of London in England to obtain a graduate diploma in social work, specializing in children and families. Her social work studies further enhanced her desire to teach and mentor individuals pursuing a career in social work and human service.

 

“Teaching and mentoring is something I kind of fell into and later really enjoyed doing, which contributed to my interest in working as an Advanced Practitioner for Southwark Borough Council,” Hicks said.

Since January 2015, Hicks has been self-employed and contracts with different councils as an Advanced Practitioner to fill social work vacancies in Children and Family Services Departments in London, which is the equivalent to Child Protective Services in the United States. Her duties include, but are not limited to, direct work with children and families, and managing practice groups to ensure consistent and a high standard of social work practice. Hicks delivers systemic interventions and mentors group members consisting of social workers, clinical practitioners, and practice coordinators to establish a transparent, collaborative, and systemic culture in social work.

 

She credits the School of Social Work at UTA and the school’s faculty for her career accomplishments and milestones.

 

“I am thankful to UTA School of Social Work for affording me the opportunity to tailor my social work training, which allowed me to realize my goal of working in an international setting for nearly seven years now,” said Hicks.

 

When asked who was Hick’s most memorable instructors in the School of Social Work at UTA, she stated Dr. Rebecca Hegar and former professor Dr. Doreen Elliott. These two social work educators had a profound impact on Hick’s decision to pursue a career in international social work.

 

“I loved learning about social work, but worried how I could turn my love of international travel into a rewarding and successful career. I had no clue what options were available to me to practice internationally and felt stuck. Dr. Elliot provided me with a frame work to tailor my future career, and Dr. Hegar challenged me in my course studies thus expected high standards from me and her other students,” said Hicks.

Hicks said her experience studying in the School of Social Work provided a high and exemplary standard for teaching, training, research, and mentoring.

 

“I have been fortunate to travel the world and maintain a successful social work career. For this, I am incredibly grateful,” said Hicks.

 

Hicks graduated from the School of Social Work at UTA in May 2008 with a Masters of Science in social work. Her area of research was macro practice: international social work/innovative approaches to social development.

News Topics: Alumni