Ashley Heidebrecht, MSW has worked in the field of social services for over a decade and has engaged in a variety of service work, allowing her to experience every aspect of social work practice. She has worked with children and families providing individual and group community-based services for those diagnosed with a severe emotional disturbance, created and facilitated multiple workshops and parenting classes, and provided therapeutic services for children who were victims of severe physical and sexual abuse.
Serving as a program coordinator for children’s services with 80 staff and over 200 clients, she instituted structural changes in the children’s psychosocial group program, focusing on Mindfulness practices and expressive activities, resulting in a drastic decrease in violent behavior and police contact within the group setting. She has also served families recovering from homelessness, LGBTQ youth and adults in group and individual settings, advocated against discriminatory legislation and engaged with local, state, and federal elected officials to advocate for LGBTQ residents and LGBTQ migrant detainees.
A focus of her current practice is advocacy, including LGBTQ advocacy and anti-racism work, local and national organizing efforts to shut down the Tornillo child detention center, organizing actions against migrant child detention and family separation, and starting the Coalition to End Child Detention- El Paso. Ashley believes that education is the key to creating lasting social change, and is dedicated to engaging with colleagues and communities across the state of Texas, and the Nation.