As part of a plan to strengthen the Department of Social Work at the University of Arkansas at Monticello, social work faculty are reaching out to the community and region to help provide support for local social work agencies.

Donna Taylor, who joined the faculty in August, is a member of the Coordinated Community Response Team for Drew County. The team assists victims of domestic violence with support from various community entities. Taylor is also assisting in the development and implementation of a crisis support team which will provide counseling, support and guidance to mental health first responders who deal with individuals and families who have faced injury and death from accidents, murder and aggravated assault. Additionally, Taylor is creating a community advisor committee that is designed to offer community input for consideration by the Department of Social Work.

“What Mrs. Taylor is doing is part of what we hope will be a growing role in the community and region for our department,” said Dr. Joel Carr, director of the Department of Social Work. “Social work isn’t just a classroom discipline. We want to play an active role in providing help to those in need and have a positive impact on Monticello and southeast Arkansas.”

Taylor, who holds a master’s of social work degree from Rutgers University, is a licensed certified social worker for the state of Arkansas. Since joining the UAM faculty she has assisted with the development of the program as it moves toward reaffirmation by the Counsel of Social Work Education. UAM is scheduled for a reaffirmation visit in 2013.

Taylor’s core courses at UAM include Social Work and Health Care, Social Work and Aging, Social Welfare Policy 1 and 2, and Social Work Practice 1. Her professional interests include clinical social work (health and mental health), culture and diversity, geriatric social work practice, social welfare policy and practice (analysis/evaluation), and student advising in social work education.