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Department of Social Work
Fort Hays State University
600 Park Street
Albertson Hall 103
Phone: 785-628-4755
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Sky Westerlund, LMSW

Assistant Professor

Sky Westerlund

Contact Information:
Office: Albertson Hall 103D
Phone: 785-628-5917

Sky has been a Social Worker for nearly thirty years. She earned her MSW from the University of Kansas.  She is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW).


Her practice has included work in community programs, child welfare, mental health and legislative advocacy.  She designed and implemented a support program for at-risk, low-income teens of whom the majority were African American.  She worked in collaboration with Kansas Social and Rehabilitation Services (now referred to as Department of Children and Families) providing intensive in-home therapy for families at risk of children being removed from the home.  She spent time working in the adoptions private contractor just after Kansas privatized child welfare services. 


Sky served for twenty years as the Executive Director of the Kansas Chapter, National Association of Social Workers. In that capacity, she lobbied in the Kansas State legislature as well as some federal level lobbying.  The primary focus of the advocacy work was on protecting the legal foundations of Social Work licensure and regulation.  A majority of the work was in preventing changes to the law that would have harmed the practice and profession of Social Work.  Some of those accomplishments included preserving confidentiality as stated in the Social Work licensing law, preventing the loss of legal authority to use the Diagnosis and Statistical Manual (DSM) in mental health care, and creating a higher standard for the regulatory board in deciding licensure for persons with a felony conviction.   She was instrumental in the passage of Social Worker Safety Awareness requirement. 


Her areas of interest include licensure and regulation, child welfare and privatization, grief and loss related to hoarding behaviors, and strengthening the profession’s position as a primary workforce for human needs. Her volunteer work includes more than seven years working with incarcerated women through the program, Reaching Out From Within. 


She enjoys visiting historic places, looking at art, finding quirky and unusual roadside attractions, viewing inventive architecture, and reading memoirs, non-fiction, and page turner murder mysteries.   

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