Applying a Global Perspective to the Social Work Field

By Brittany Woods, MSW ’17

Before beginning my final quarter in the Master of Social Welfare program at UCLA, I had the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. and meet with various NGOs and Government agencies alongside six of my peers from the Luskin School of Public Affairs. From meeting with various divisions of the World Bank, to learning about international and domestic research policy at organizations like Mathematica; we had the opportunity to learn about the international work that is taking place in Washington D.C., in addition to meeting Luskin Alumni who have dedicated their career paths to serving as change agents at the national and international level.

I began developing an international perspective on social welfare work when I interned at the Advisory Council for Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is an advocacy firm in Washington D.C. Through this internship experience, I helped cultivate awareness regarding the Srebrenica genocide in addition to providing domestic support and relief to the Balkan region during the time of the Balkan floods. Since then, my advocacy work has transitioned to the field of education as a current social work intern for the Pupil Services Division at the Los Angeles Unified School District Headquarters. Under the current presidential administration, I have been participating in extensive work and research regarding immigration policy in order to best support undocumented students who are enrolled in the school district.

I was interested in going on this trip because I wanted to learn more about the educational and child welfare work that was taking place at the international level. In addition to meeting various individuals that focus on international programming for youth, I was able to networking professionals who are doing international work as well as UCLA alumni. As someone who aspires to one day work in D.C. in the field of international education or child welfare, I hope to utilize some of the connections that I made from this trip.  I highly recommend Spring Break in D.C. for anyone who aspires to work internationally or influence policy at the national level in Washington D.C.