MSW Grad and Foster Parent: A Portrait of Dedication

Jamison is a 2023 December graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Social Work Master of Social Work program, with a passion for helping others.

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The balance of foster parenting responsibilities and pursuing academic endeavors is no easy feat, yet Angela Jamison has tackled both exceptionally.

Jamison is a 2023 December graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Social Work (CoSW) Master of Social Work (MSW) program, with a passion for helping others, Angela has committed time, energy, and passion to social work; in multiple aspects of life. Her deep, first-hand understanding of the struggles of children in need ignited both her completion of the MSW degree from UK, and the Trauma-Responsive Practice certificate. “Having first-hand experience of understanding the struggles of children in need hasn’t just impacted my life, but quite literally changed the entire course of my life,” Jamison said.

“I was pulled toward a degree in social work with a desperate desire to better understand the tiny humans coming into my home and a passion to more deeply connect with the birth families of the children coming into care. The longer I worked within the system of foster care and adoption, a fiery passion to advocate for change within a broken system also developed and that is really when I knew I was going to pursue my MSW.”

For Jamison, pursuing a Master of Social Work from UK simply made sense. Having five children at home and the ongoing uncertainty of new foster care children joining her household at any time, the need of a program with a complete online offering was unavoidable. The College of Social Work provided that.

Juggling the demands of academic pursuits and foster parenting requires exceptional time management skills and unwavering dedication. Jamison’s commitment to social work is also recognized by the faculty of the college. Program Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Amanda Brown, said “Angela’s utilization of what she is learning in her work is extraordinary. She has taken every opportunity available to talk through situations from a trauma-responsive approach which includes compassion, empathy, and cultural humility.”

Dr. Brown continued with, “Angela is a humble and collaborative leader. She exemplifies leadership skills of building others up while also ensuring that folks feel welcome to share their own ideas and approaches. She is the example of a social work leader in the field.”

The ambition and commitment of Jamison’s purpose is an inspiration to all who aspire to make a difference in the world. She demonstrates the compassion, resilience and strong work ethic that paves the way for both remarkable achievements, academically and in the lives of others served.

Looking toward the future of the social work discipline, Jamison shared, “Someone once said to me, ‘where there is a heartbeat, there is hope.’ and it has followed me every day since. I encourage everyone – aspiring social workers and good human beings alike – to tuck that in their pockets. Everyone deserves a chance and that’s what we are signing up to do as social workers is give people a better chance at life.”

For over 85 years, the College of Social Work (CoSW) at the University of Kentucky has been a leader in education. Our mission is clear: Through rigorous research, excellence in instruction, and steadfast service, the CoSW works to improve the human condition. Always, in all ways.

As the state’s flagship university, our mission is actualized through our deeds. Our faculty are renowned academicians dedicated to fostering the development of high-quality practitioners and researchers. As a college, we promote community and individual well-being through translational research and scholarship, exemplary teaching, and vital community engagement. We are committed to the people and social institutions throughout Kentucky, the nation, and the world.