We’d like to congratulate our CAST colleagues Dr. Jennifer Parker and Stacey Olson on being featured in the University of South Carolina Upstate’s 50th Anniversary news segment. Coverage includes interviews with Dr. Parker and Zero Abuse Project’s Founder and Senior Director Victor Vieth, both of whom participate in the From Crime Scene to Trial training which utilizes the center’s mock house and mock courtroom.
The CAST program and the Child Protection Training Center at Upstate were highlighted as innovative programs at the University. In addition, CAST at USC Upstate is also the first program to be approved by Zero Abuse Project and Dr. Parker is the first ever CAST award recipient.
Dr. Parker and Stacey have also been instrumental in the development of a new program at USC Upstate that trains teachers to incorporate trauma-sensitive practices, recognizing that a significant number of students in their classrooms have experienced traumatic events in their young lives. According to Stacy the program has “a flexible framework that can be customized for each school district, school and child within a grade.”
Penn State University and the University of Illinois Springfield (UIS) CAST programs have also recently been notified of their approval by Zero Abuse Project. Victor Vieth’s January site visit to UIS included meeting with CAST students, CAST Advisory Board members, touring the mock house and mock courtroom and participating in a dedication ceremony for the new Child Protection Training Academy.
Penn State University’s CAST minor has grown dramatically over the last year with the addition of nine new faculty. They have an impressive research agenda that will provide considerable information to the child maltreatment field. Their innovations include the development of a 200 level introductory course open to freshman and sophomores, who then can apply for acceptance to the minor.