About Me

Tara Boer

Tara Boer
Associate Professor of Social Work

Phone: (712) 722-6371
Email: Tara.Boer@dordt.edu

I feel privileged that God has called me to a profession in which I am entrusted to walk alongside people during some of the most difficult times in their lives. Seeing the brokenness first hand creates a natural dependence on the Lord--this is one of the many things I love about Social Work and Criminal Justice. I am passionate about protecting children from abuse and violence and spend time informing the students and the community about our responsibility in these matters as well  I have a special interest and training in mental health treatment and find it especially meaningful to work with individuals that have been affected by sexual assault, abuse or violence, and other forms of trauma.  I have experience working with the various systems that impact children and families and feel it is important that students leave Dordt University with an adequate understanding of how to successfully navigate through these systems and articulate ways to implement a trauma informed lens in their work with people. I enjoy helping students make connections between what is learned in the classroom and how to practically apply the material to their future career. I pray that students will identify their God-given passions and feel empowered to transform lives at the micro and macro levels.

I have worked as an in-home worker where I provided skill building and parent training for at-risk children and families. For four years I worked at Eckerd Youth Challenge Program, a residential treatment program for delinquent teenage boys. I coordinated the individualized mental health and substance abuse treatment and provided individual, group, and family therapy to youth and their families. After receiving my MSW, I contracted with a home health care agency doing medical Social Work for the elderly. I was also a therapist at Pasco Kids First, a sexual assault treatment program, where I provided mental health treatment to sexually abused children and non-offending caregivers. I have worked in the child welfare system serving as a supervisor for Family Safety, Risk, and Permanency Services (FSRP) in Northwest Iowa. This service ensures safety, stability, and safe reunification for the children residing in, or at risk of being in foster care.  Most recently, I served as a mental health therapist for children and families in NW Iowa. 

I received my BSW from Dordt University (formerly Dordt College) and my MSW from the University of South Florida. I am currently working on my doctorate in Social Work from Tulane University. I am a licensed independent social worker (LISW). I am trained in Motivational Interviewing (MI), Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). I currently teach Fundamentals of Social Work, Sociology, Diversity and Inequality, Vulnerable Populations, Juvenile Justice, and Victimology.  

I am married and have four beautiful children. I enjoy reading, running, serving, and sunshine.