Ashley Heidebrecht, The Radical Social Worker, has worked in the field of social services for over a decade. She earned her Undergraduate degree in 2008 from Wichita State University. From 2007 to 2015 she worked as a direct care provider, program coordinator, and community education facilitator at the Mental Health Association of South-Central Kansas (MHASCK). Utilizing creative arts and trauma informed interventions, Ashley provided individual and group community-based services to children, adults, and families diagnosed with a severe emotional disturbance, and created and facilitated multiple workshops and parenting classes.
In her role of program coordinator at MHASCK, Ashley supervised up to 80 staff with a client base of over 200 children and families, created and provided training for staff and department directors regarding creative therapeutic interventions and mindfulness, and served as the agency safety officer, re-writing safety policy and facilitating drills. Since leaving that agency in 2015, Ashley has provided case management and trauma support for families recovering from homelessness, and has become active in community organizing and advocacy, particularly surrounding migrant child detention, LGBTQ rights, and reproductive rights, and has completed her Master of Social Work degree.
In 2018 when the policy of migrant family separation and child detention was instituted, Ashley worked in collaboration with many individuals and organizations to fight for an end to that policy and to shut down the migrant child prison in Tornillo, Texas. Ashley founded the Coalition to End Child Detention, continuing to fight migrant abuse and child detention.
In her current practice, Ashley serves LGBTQ youth and adults in group and individual settings, engages in casework with the Deaf community, and focuses on immigrant rights and fighting against family separation and child detention.
Through her work as The Radical Social Worker, Ashley focuses heavily on advocacy and education, providing educational opportunities to improve community awareness and allyship, and engaging in regional and national initiatives to fight discrimination. Ashley is also working to mobilize social workers across the Nation to become more engaged in social justice initiatives.