Click Selection

Search News Releases:

News Resources
on the Web

12 January 2006

Dr. Rebecca O. Turner Publishes Textbook Chapter

Jacksonville 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.

Although full-time 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.

Turner's chapter 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.

Submit items for news releases by using the request form at