NMSU’s Outreach Projects Support New Mexico Families
Shelly A. Bucher, Licensed Master Social Worker and the Director of the Southwest Institute for Family and Child Advocacy, has been actively working to prevent child abuse and neglect in the U.S. Southwest. One of the dire situations that causes trauma to children is witnessing parents undergo an arrest by the law enforcement. As part of her efforts, Bucher, in collaboration with NMSU’s Creative Media Institute and law enforcement, created an award-winning educational video depicting a realistic situation that led to the arrest of adults in presence of minors. The video, funded by the Criminal Justice Act Advisory Group, won the Telly Awards’ Bronze Medal, the Accolade Award of Merit, and the Communicator Award of Distinction. Bucher continues her work providing public oversight of judicial cases alleging child abuse and is supported by a recent $792,702 award from the New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration.
Brooke Stanley Tou, Assistant Director of NMSU’s Southwest Region National Child Protection Training Center, recently received an $881,000 award from the New Mexico Children, Youth, and Families Department’s Children’s Behavioral Health Division to continue to expand the Communities of Care (COC) Initiative throughout the state. The COC Initiative works to expand community capacity to serve children and adolescents with Severe Emotional Disturbance (SED) and their families. Youth, children, and families directly impacted by the behavioral health system are engaged in their community and work together with state agencies, service providers, and community advocates to improve the behavioral health system locally and statewide.
Esther L. Devall, Professor of Family and Consumer Sciences and a certified Family Life Educator, leads the New Mexico Border Communities Healthy Marriage and Relationship Project. Funded by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) within the Department of Health and Human Services, the project is administered through NMSU’s Department of Family and Consumer Sciences and provides marriage and relationship classes, as well as workforce readiness services to low-income adults, including single and cohabiting parents and married couples, in Doña Ana County. Since its inception in 2005, the program has reached over 2,000 individuals. In 2014, Esther L. Devall and her Co-PIs Marcel Montanez and Lisa Shields received $800,000 from ACF to continue the project.