The Quality of Life Council is pleased to announce a new funding category to be added to the 2011 grant competition! The category of “Sustainability” will be added for community-based research projects which focus on environmental conservation and sustainable solutions to community and global challenges. Research in the area of sustainable natural resource management to protect and preserve the environment, and environmental education will be considered under this category. Proposals will be given consideration with regard to the degree to which the proposal advances scholarship and the practice of sustainability as understood through the multidisciplinary and multicultural lenses of environment, equity, economy and student learning. In addition, proposals should emphasize anticipated broader impacts and synergies beyond the NSU community, including regional or global reach.
Americans live in the most linguistically, racially and socially diverse country on earth. Given this, it is not surprising that differences in cultural norms and practices often create a dilemma for social workers, educators, health care providers, and mental health professionals regarding the identification and reporting of abuse of children from diverse families. When one is working with children in the community, the issue of corporal punishment often arises and must be quickly and competently addressed. While we may think the laws are clear regarding abuse, many times it is unclear what constitutes abuse of a child and what may be considered corporal punishment which does not result in “harm” to the child. Many times, parents are not aware that extreme corporal punishment could be considered physical abuse. Therefore, simply educating the parents regarding the laws of the host culture and teaching them alternate parenting skills can be effective in resolving the issue. Please take a moment to review the documents below for clarification regarding the definition of “harm” to a child, as well as mandatory reporting laws.
According to NSU’s Drs. Pann, Walker, Van Hasselt, and Shapiro, a recent Department of Justice report indicated that over 50% of people in jails and prisons across the nation have been treated for a mental illness and/or substance abuse problem prior to their being detained. Given the incarceration of people with serious mental health needs accused of committing a crime in Broward County, Florida is not very different from those around the country although some studies suggest that Florida may even be higher than the national average. A recent study by the Broward Sheriff’s Office indicates that 18% of the 5,500 inmates currently held in their five facilities are known to have a serious mental illness. Further, police officers are often “first responders” to calls involving mental disturbance, which they may not be fully equipped to handle (see Dr. Van Hasselt’s article).