BACKGROUND ON THE CENTRE FOR YOUTH A RISK:
In the fall of 1998 an interdisciplinary group of faculty at St. Thomas University gathered to discuss how their common interests in research on youth-at-risk might be brought together to create a Centre for Research. As a small and exclusively undergraduate institution, St. Thomas makes undergraduate teaching its highest priority. However, the Mission Statement of St. Thomas commits the institution to the performance of scholarly research. St. Thomas University recognized that its role as a research institution would depend on its capacity to develop multidisciplinary research centres which would bring together scholars from different disciplines to focus on a particular theme or problem. The issues connected with youth are high on the national agenda: youth crime, drop out rates, safe school environments, literacy, and homelessness to name only a few. Despite the interest in social policy for youth at risk, there is currently no recognized research centre for youth-at-risk. Scholars from the departments of psychology, education, social work and criminology have joined forces with some experts from neighboring universities to create a scholarly synergy focusing on the risks and needs of youth as they move from adolescence to young adulthood. The research associates were recently awarded an SSHRC grant in support of 11 projects being conducted through the Centre for Research on Youth at Risk. These projects span a variety of areas and topics with the titles of the projects listed below: Breaking Down Barriers Between Youth and Older Adults: Intergenerational Programming Access to Services for Youth on the Streets of Fredericton The Learning and Sociodemographic Profile of Drop-Out and Absentee Aboriginal Students: An Exploratory Study Student Retention Factors through Middle Adolescence and Early Adulthood In Their Own Words: Development of Anorexic and Bulimic Teenage Girls' Identities AIDS Knowledge and Related Attitudes and Behaviors Among Youth in New Brunswick: Ten Years after the Canada Youth and AIDS Study Listening for a Change Staying Involved: What Sustains Volunteer Teacher Leaders Impact of a Therapeutic Community on Substance Abusing Adolescents Literacy and Youth at Risk Comparing Treatment Modalities for the Secure Treatment of Young Offenders.
MANDATE & ACTIVITIES OF THE CENTRE:
The primary mandate of the Centre is to engage in applied research on youth-at-risk. Research projects carried out at the Centre will either advance basic knowledge about youth-at-risk or disseminate knowledge both across Canada and from the research community to the broader public. The Centre is overseen by a Board of Directors accountable to the President of St. Thomas and administered by a Director. Further, the centre has established some links with external partners including community organizations and other scholars at neighboring universities to extend the scope of its activities and to improve the quality of its work. In addition to the development and implementation of applied research, the Centre for Research on Youth at Risk will develop research workshops and training sessions for community partners, host national and international conferences or summer institutes on subjects related to youth-at-risk and prepare and disseminate fact sheets and research reports to community partners and to the broader public on key issues related to youth-at-risk.
In the summer's of 1998 and 1999, St. Thomas University in partnership with the John Howard Society of New Brunswick and the New Brunswick Crime Prevention Association hosted summer institutes and international conferences on Crime Prevention and Restorative Justice. These institutes brought international scholars and participants to the Fredericton campus to explore issues related to criminal justice vision for the future. As an international conference, scholars from the fields of criminology, criminal justice, psychology, social work, anthropology, law, and education will be brought together with the delegates to explore issues related to youth-at-risk. As part of the summer institute, delegates engage in small group discussion and dialogue with a research associate facilitator from the Centre for Research on Youth at Risk to work out ways in which new solutions to break boundaries for youth in their communities might be realized.
in the summer institutes include: Youth Crime and the new Youth Criminal
Justice Act: Experts on youth justice issues and treatment modalities which
have shown promise for the prevention and treatment of youth crime will
be on hand to share their research. Further, testimonials from individuals
who have been through the youth justice system will provide an overview