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Robert Johnson to discuss guardianship at 6th annual Bobby Boyd Leadership Lecture

“Kinship Guardianship: Perspectives on Preserving Family Connections” will be the focus of the 6th annual Bobby Boyd Leadership Lecture at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work.

Robert Johnson will present the Boyd Lecture on Tuesday, March 19, 2019, at the School. The event begins at 6 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.

Spears-Turner Distinguished Professor Mark Testa, Ph.D., will moderate the lecture as a story-driven discussion. This format will enhance attendees’ awareness of the benefits of kinship care for youth in foster care and of the importance of subsidized guardianship in maintaining family connections for these youth.

Johnson was one of the first children to qualify for subsidized guardianship, which enabled him to be raised by his birth mother while growing up in the care of his aunt. His family’s experience helped inform research that led to the 2008 Fostering Connections Act, a federal law creating guardianship assistance for kinship caregivers in North Carolina and across the nation.

He is a professional consortium member of the Quality Improvement Center for Adoption and Guardianship Support and Presentation (an initiative of the Children’s Bureau), a co-founder of the B.E.S.T. Man mentorship program for young men and an associate minister at Corinthian Baptist Church in Des Moines, Iowa. Johnson is also a graduate of Drake University, where he studied political science and government.

The Bobby Boyd Leadership Lecture honors the work of Bobby Boyd, an alumnus of the UNC School of Social Work (Master of Social Work, 1969) who served as director of Catawba County Department of Social Services for 30 years. This program is supported by generous gifts from Catawba County commissioners, DSS staff members and social services board members.