Dr. Tara Boer
Associate Professor of Social Work
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. I am passionate about protecting children from abuse and violence and think it's important to inform students and the broader 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, violence, and other forms of trauma. I have experience working with the various systems that impact children and families (juvenile justice, child welfare, clinical therapy) 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 current and desired careers. I pray that students will identify their God-given passions and feel empowered to transform lives at the micro and macro levels.
I received my BSW from Dordt University (formerly Dordt College), a MSW from the University of South Florida, and a Doctor of Social Work degree from Tulane University. My research interests include understanding how the various systems that interact with children after sexual abuse disclosure (child welfare, forensic team, therapy, CJ) impact their ability to heal. I have a special interest in neurobiology and its use and applications in social work and clinical practice with trauma survivors. I am a licensed independent social worker (LISW). I am trained in Motivational Interviewing (MI), Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). I currently teach Diversity and Inequality (BSW), Vulnerable Populations (BSW), Clinical Practice with Adolescents (MSW), Neurobiology and Social Work (MSW) and Motivational Interviewing & Solution Focused Therapy (MSW).
I am married and have four beautiful children. I enjoy reading, running, traveling, serving, and sunshine.