Gateway Staff #CareThroughCOVID: Deborah Turner, M.A.,LPC

June 26, 2020

Deborah Turner, LPC

Clinical Manager/ Lead Therapist 

As we know from our work, child mental health and permanency go hand in hand.  For this reason and more, Deborah Turner’s service as Gateway’s Clinical Manager and Lead Therapist for children in foster care is life-giving. 

The ability to build rapport with younger foster youth and foster parents alike comes naturally to Ms. Turner. Whether she is assisting with mental health supports for a child, leading trauma informed training or advocating in the school systems to ensure educators, foster parents and children are all on the same page for providing a path to permanency with a gold standard of service. 

Not only is she team permanency, Deborah embodies the term team player. When asked about working on a team together, her fellow TFC workers stated, “She has a big heart for our kids and is so wise. No matter what is going on with our children, I feel I contact Ms. Deborah the most for advice. Every time we talk about a child who is in need, you can tell she is right there in the thick of it with the child. We all strive to be as understanding and compassionate as Ms. Deborah.”

Deborah is an invaluable member of Gateway’s Therapeutic Foster Care team. The game changing services she provides is a secret ingredient in the recipe for success of those in her care.

Read more through the interview with Ms. Turner below!

How long have you worked in foster care or child and family services?

I have worked in Foster care and /or Family services for a combined 4 years.

How long have you worked at Gateway?

I was introduced to Gateway in 2009 as the first intern counselor at Rushton School. It was my first introduction to Gateway and a rewarding experience with 10 males in the school. I knew when I completed the assignment that I would want to return. I received the opportunity 4 years ago to return and fulfill a mission and a calling to help children and families. I was not aware of the impact that Gateway contributes to the children and their families. Since the age of 13 year oldI have always contributed to the community in some area and I feel that my positions on the residential campus and TFC therapeutic supervisor helps me to fulfill my calling. 

Why do you work at Gateway?

My work at Gateway is my calling. What amazing combination to have a job as your calling. I am able to fulfil my calling and mission in life to facilitate changes in teens and families. I always reflect on a young teenage male at Rushton School during my internship saying to me upon his impending discharge, “Ms. Turner I will never forget you and how you have helped me.”

What is your job?

I am the TFC Clinical Manager and Lead Therapist. I counsel children in their new lives and facilitate them in making a successful transition into their new homes helping them to adjust, comprehend, and to be supportive of them. I always communicate how strong they are enabling them to go into a home and make it their own families. 

What is one thing you have learned in your service at Gateway?

Gateway sincerely cares about the children and families and how they are affected by their situation and the trauma occurring today. Gateway strives to serve and show the way to a better life while helping them get to that life.

What has it been like serving children and families at Gateway through COVID-19?

While working with the children and families at Gateway through Covid-19 has been another level of displaying care and concern for them. It was an honor to assist in the delivery of our first food packages to the families before I heard about other organizations making the jester. I was elated to be a part of an organization which has the same philosophy as I hold personally, to give back and do all that you can for another … to serve in whatever my hand findeth to do.

What is a piece of advice you would share with someone thinking about working in this field?

I would say to the individual to think about the demographics you are called to in life. Each person is called to some group, know which one you are called to it is the one you be most effective. It is not a job but a calling to a certain population that is where you will make the difference if you are set where you are supposed to be in your field you will make a tremendous change if you are in the right place serving the right people you are called.

Join us in celebrating Deborah and her service to Alabama children and families!

Ms. Turner is a shining example of what it means to be a game-changer. Her service has helped Alabama’s foster youth meet surmounting needs in an unprecedented time.

Please join us in honoring Deborah for her service and providing #CareThroughCOVID.