Hoping to get a better handle on Fayette County’s need for social services, Lexington leaders are turning to student-researchers with the University of Kentucky. Some 21 agencies in Lexington were surveyed by three social work students from U-K. The first phase of their research was turned over this week to city leaders. They talked to representatives of the organizations supported by the city. Research supervisor Diane Loeffler says their aim is not to measure the number of people served by specific agencies. Loeffler predicts the data gathered will help the council reach out to more people in need.
“What we’re trying to do is just illuminate those major barriers to self sufficiency and the largest needs in Fayette County. To provide that to council so they can use that inform their decision making process related to how they work with partner agencies,” said Loeffler.
Student Veronica Whitlock, who’s worked with the Hispanic community, says social services provide low-income residents with some stability...
“The Hispanic community is just that. It’s a very strong community. As newer members are integrating into Lexington, the people that are already here are supporting them more so, where as first they were coming alone,” said Whitlock.
Eight U-K social work students will join the project next semester. Loeffler says three to four students from the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration will also be involved. A final report to council is expected next fall.