Dr. Rebecca O.
Turner Publishes Textbook Chapter
State University's Dr. Rebecca O. Turner, vice president for academic
and student affairs, has published a chapter in a college textbook,
"Child Welfare Social Work: An Introduction" (January 2006, Pearson
Education), edited by Philip Popple of the University of North Carolina,
Charlotte, and Francine Vecchiolla, Springfield College, Mass.
university faculty members engage in research and scholarly writing
to remain current and advance the body of knowledge in their fields,
such activity is rare among busy college administrators, particularly
those who no longer teach regular college courses.
A social worker,
Turner left the college classroom in 1998 to serve as JSU's associate
vice president for academic and student affairs.
is about services to families and children with the children in substitute
care. According to the book's editors, the chapter addresses "services
for children and families with problems severe enough to warrant removal
of the children from the home, including temporary foster care, termination
of parental rights, concurrent planning, and therapeutic foster care."
Turner's work includes
the results of a quality assurance study of therapeutic foster care.
Opening her work
with an overview of out-of-home child placements, Turner
drew upon her mother's own experience with a form of foster care: "My
mother's father died when she was 2, and when she was 11 years old,
her mother died. Thus began for my mother and her two siblings a series
of informal living arrangements with a number of relatives that lasted
until she was 17, when she and her siblings emancipated themselves and
lived independently, working, going to school, and taking care of one
another. My mother was born in 1928, so not only was she orphaned at
a young age, but she was also orphaned at an economically depressed
time and long before the child welfare system had fully institutionalized
substitute care for children.
"The practices of
'placing out' and 'boarding out' children -- terms of the late nineteenth
and early twentieth centuries to indicate ways of 'caring for destitute
children ... in that the children are, as a rule, boarded in private
families until permanent free homes in families are found for them'
-- were new concepts in her day. For my mother and her siblings, the
informal family system of caring for its dependent children was engaged.
It was a system that was faulty and unstable. This was an early form
of kinship care that grew out of a family's sense of responsibility
for its own."
The chapter includes
a brief history of foster care in the U.S. and sections about the termination
of parental rights, concurrent planning, and therapeutic foster care.
Turner, who became
vice president for academic and student affairs on January 1, 2002,
taught social work beginning in August 1981. Turner holds a doctorate
and master's degree in social work from the University of Alabama and
an undergraduate degree in social work from the University of Montevallo.
Prior to becoming a social work educator, Dr. Turner was a child welfare
social worker for the State of Alabama during 1973 - 1981.
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