SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Evangel University professor Dr. Donna Washburn was recently appointed by Missouri Governor Mike Parson to the Southwest Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Review Board. (July 17, 2018)
“I am humbled and honored to be able to serve the state of Missouri in this role, and believe it is important that those who have knowledge and experience be willing to volunteer for public service, with opportunities such as this,” said Washburn, professor of social work and counseling and a licensed clinical social worker.
She was among 16 individuals appointed by Gov. Parson to statewide child protection boards.
“Our children’s welfare is a top priority for this administration,” said Governor Parson. “By making sure these boards are appropriately staffed, we can be sure that our kids’ safety and best interests remain intact.”
Checks and Balances
The Child Abuse and Neglect Review Board works to provide a review of child abuse and neglect decisions from the Children’s Division, in cases where the defendant is upset with the outcome, according to the Governor’s office.
“The board allows individuals the ability to appeal the decision before a group of objective professionals,” said Dr. Washburn. “This allows for due process and creates a set of checks and balances that assists with fair and impartial adjudication of abuse and neglect allegations.”
“With 20 years of experience and education in the field of social work and counseling, I believe I can contribute to the process and provide insight into challenging cases,” she said.
The Board is made up of individuals from many different professions, including law enforcement or juvenile officers; attorneys, physicians, nurses or other medical professionals; psychologists, counselors or social workers; and members of the public.
Washburn is one of nine members in the Southwest Missouri board. Over the course of a three-year term, the board will conduct 12 meetings where each member will discuss up to 10 cases for review.
Other boards receiving appointments by Governor Parson at the same time were the Children’s Trust Fund Board, and the Missouri State Foster Care and Adoption Board.
A life of service
Donna Washburn is a third-generation “missionary kid” who developed a heart for service at an early age.
She graduated from Evangel in 1998 with a degree in social work; earned her master’s in social work from Missouri State University; and she completed her Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision from Regent University.
The Governor’s board appointment comes on the heels of her recent promotion at Evangel to serve as academic chair of the new Center for Compassion — an Evangel University and Convoy of Hope partnership.
The Center for Compassion will serve to expand the learning and service opportunities available to Evangel students. It will also develop training and for-credit learning opportunities for people involved in compassion ministries through churches and various global initiatives.
Washburn has taught undergraduate and graduate social work and counseling classes at Evangel since 2000, and served as the chair of the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences since 2009.
She was named one of the 2017 “Most Influential Women” by the Springfield Business Journal last October.
Evangel University, which includes the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary (AGTS), is a comprehensive Christian university committed to excellence in educating and equipping students to serve the church and society globally. Evangel serves more than 2,100 students from all 50 states and numerous foreign countries, offering 65 undergraduate majors and 19 master’s and doctoral degrees.