University of South Florida

   CAST program established: 04/04/2022
   USF, East Fowler Avenue, Tampa, FL, USA

Frequently Asked Questions

In what department(s) or field(s) of study is your CAST program housed?

Social Work

What is the nature of your CAST program? Is it a Major, Minor, Certificate program, or something else?


What CAST course delivery options exist at your institution (e.g. online, face-to-face, hybrid)?


What are the enrollment requirements for your CAST program?

Graduate student at USF with permission to use courses to meet program requirements, particularly in the MSW, MPH or MACJ programs, or non-degree student.

What courses do you offer under your CAST programming?

CCJ 6665 – Victimology
SOW 6249 — Child Maltreatment
PHC 6413 — Family and Community Violence

When are your CAST courses being offered?

Victimology in the fall, Child Maltreatment in the spring, Family and Community Violence in the summer

What is enrollment like for your CAST program?

This is a new program and will not be open for enrollment until fall 2022.

Why do students need CAST?

The turnover rate among child welfare workers in FL is extremely high, especially in child protective services, where the state average is 82%, and in some counties it is over 100%, with many leaving before they even complete the required pre-service training. In consultation with staff from the Dept. of Children and Families and the Coalition of Child Advocacy Centers, this certificate has been developed to increase the knowledge and skills needed for successful employment in the child welfare field. The goals are to increase employment readiness, decrease turnover, and improve the quality of care for families and children.

What makes your CAST program stand out?

This is a new program, so no accomplishments to date, but a unique feature of the program is the integration of simulations of actual cases into the courses to engage students in an interactive learning process and help them develop needed skills for effective job performance.

What are some career opportunities for your CAST graduates?

CAST graduates will be prepared for a variety of positions in criminal justice, social services and public health, but the program is especially targeted for individuals wishing to pursue a career in child welfare, more specifically child protective services.

Where can students find more information about your CAST program?

The CAST program will be listed with the other graduate level certificate programs when the 2022-23 catalog is published, and will be available at The CAST Director is Dr. Michiel (Riaan) Van Zyl, Director of the School of Social Work, USF, [email protected]. The program contact is Dr. Sandra S. Stone, Professor of Criminology and Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies, USF Sarasota-Manatee Campus, [email protected]. Other faculty who are on the CAST team include: Dr. Shelly Wagers, Assistant Professor of Criminology, USF St. Petersburg Campus, [email protected]; Chris Groeber, MSW, Instructor, School of Social Work, USF, [email protected]; and Dr. Abraham Salinas, Assistant Professor of Public Health and Director of the Harrell Center for the Study of Family Violence, USF Health, [email protected].