MONTICELLO, AR — Marie Jenkins, an associate professor and field education director for the Department of Social Work at the University of Arkansas at Monticello, recently presented original research at the Arkansas Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect held in Little Rock August 30 through September 1.
The conference brings together professionals from many different disciplines to share current information in the areas of prevention, investigation, casework, intervention, and support related to working with children and families affected by abuse and neglect.
Jenkins’ presentation was titled Community Collaboration: Building Allies with Community Partners to protect Foster Children's right to self-determination through Cultural Tolerance. According to Jenkins, many children are placed in foster care with little consideration of their gender identity, sexual orientation or cultural or ethnic preferences. “This can lead to out-of-home placements with individuals or families that are unwilling or unable to respect the child’s self-identity, where children are unable to practice their own belief system, and/or where children are being forced to participate in religious practices or other cultural activities not of their choosing,” Jenkins explained.
Jenkins, who teaches a variety of social work courses addressing cultural, spiritual, and environmental aspects of human behavior and interaction, also has a background in child welfare. Prior to joining the UAM faculty, she was employed by the Mississippi Department of Human Services and has experience in several divisions of child welfare, including abuse and neglect investigations, foster care and adoptions.
For more information, contact the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences at (870) 460-1047.
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