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Nova Southeastern University Sponsors Oct. 26 Family Court Conference To Address Systemic Problems

Events and discussion will focus on trauma-informed strategies for courts to protect families against domestic violence

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., Oct. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- To commemorate Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Nova Southeastern University's Center for Psychological Studies is holding a conference at the Signature Grand Conference Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on October 26th from 2 pm to 6 pm to address the national family court crisis. The conference will bring together mental health professionals, judges, attorneys, doctors and academics to discuss how the family courts are failing to protect children and victims of abuse when domestic violence or abuse is alleged, and to serve as a call to action for pushing for policy solutions that will better protect them.  The conference will feature a presentation about how an effective domestic violence court could operate, along with an advanced screening of the acclaimed documentary  No Way Out But One, from renowned filmmaker and Boston University professor Garland Waller. No Way Out But One tells the incredible story of Holly Collins, an American mother who fled to the Netherlands with her three children. Holly received asylum after showing Dutch officials that an American family court ignored substantial medical evidence and placed her children into the sole custody of their identified abuser.The Cummings Foundation for Behavioral Health is promoting the Nova Southeastern University conference as the premiere of its national initiative to address systemic problems in family courts across the country. The goal of the Cummings Foundation's initiative is to develop policy solutions at the federal level that will address the crisis in a meaningful way. To ensure that our nation's top elected officials are made aware of the deep, systemic flaws that are harming more than 58,000 children per year in America's family courts, the Foundation recently mailed a comprehensive book about the crisis to every member of Congress, every state's Governor and Chief Justice, and thousands of law schools and forensic psychologists around the country. Every attendee of the Oct. 26th conference will receive a copy of this new book, which highlights analyses of the family courts' systemic flaws as presented by several esteemed lawyers, judges, psychologists and experts who participated at the Foundation's "Our Broken Family Court System" conference in Phoenix, Arizona last March. The book describes a family court system that routinely places children into the sole physical and legal custody of unfit parents – even in cases involving serious allegations of sexual or physical abuse. Meanwhile, the courts are severely restricting or outright eliminating children's contact with their protective parents, jeopardizing these children's safety. "In the wake of Sandusky, we are seeing more emphasis put on bureaucracies' failure to protect children from sexual and physical abuse," says Nova Southeastern University professor Lenore Walker. "The Cummings Foundation's work to convene leaders from various disciplines to explore solutions to family court failures is long overdue."   *This event is eligible for CE credits through Nova Southeastern University. All mental health professionals will receive four (4) continuing education credits for the workshop. Full attendance is required. No partial credit will be awarded.  Regular registration for the Oct.26th conference costs $60; adjunct/supervisor registration costs $30, and is free for NSU faculty/staff/students. You can register for the conference online or in-person at the event. To register online, visit: Below is a list of speakers who will participate in the Oct.26th conference as well as links to some recent press coverage about the crisis from around the country:

Lenore E. Walker, Ed.D., ABPP CL & Fam. Professor & Coordinator of the Forensic Psychology Programs at Nova Southeastern University's Center for Psychological Studies

Tara Jungersen, Ph.D., LMHC NCC ACS, Assistant Professor in the Mental Health Counseling Psychology program at Nova Southeastern University's Center for Psychological Studies.

David Shapiro, Ph.D., ABPP-For, Professor of Clinical and Forensic Psychology at Nova Southeastern University's Center for Psychological Studies.

The Honorable Ginger Lerner-Wren, Judge of the first Mental Health Court in the nation in Broward County, served on the U.S. President's New Freedom Mental Health Commission and Adjunct Professor in Nova Southeastern University's Center for Psychological Studies.

Garland Waller , Professor, Boston University College of Communications in Film and TV, filmaker and producer of No Where Out  But One, which will make its national television debut at 8pm on October 29 on the Documentary Channel

Toby Kleinman, Esq. , a New Jersey attorney and partner in the firm of Adler & Kleinman who has consulted in legal cases dealing with domestic violence and child abuse in over 45 states

Nicholas Cummings, Ph.D., ABPP, a psychologist and founder of the Nicholas and Dorothy Cummings Foundation

About Nova Southeastern University : Located in Davie, Florida, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is a dynamic fully accredited Florida University dedicated to providing high-quality educational programs of distinction from preschool through the professional and doctoral levels. NSU has more than 28,000 students and is the eighth largest not-for-profit independent institution nationally. The University awards associate's, bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, specialist, and first-professional degrees in a wide range of fields, including business, counseling, computer and information sciences, education, medicine, optometry, pharmacy, dentistry, various health professions, law, marine sciences, early childhood, psychology and other social sciences.  Classified as a research university with "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, NSU was also awarded Carnegie's Community Engagement Classification in 2010 for the University's significant commitment to and demonstration of community engagement. For more information about NSU visit

SOURCE Nova Southeastern University

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