CAST Faculty Corner

March 6, 2020

Child Protector App: Protecting against child abuse

Child Protector assists Children’s Protective Services, law enforcement, attorneys and medical personnel when evaluating children who may have been physically abused. The free app was developed by Children’s Mercy and the University of Texas Health Science Center (San Antonio) through Children’s Justice Act Funding from Texas and Missouri.
January 31, 2020

The American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children and the Vincent J. Fontana Center for Child Protection Educational Webinar Series

These webinars are excellent resources for learning from experts in the field on best-practices and current topics in child maltreatment
January 21, 2020

Textbook edited by CAST professor Dr. Michele Knox now available

This textbook provides research-based advice about common childhood and adolescent problems that are addressed at a clinician/doctor visit, such as: media use and screen time, educational issues and finding the right school, tantrums and behavior problems, sleep problems, potty training, overweight/obesity, discipline and punishment, typical and atypical sexual behaviors, bullying, and working with parents. It has a great chapter on sexual behaviors that helps professionals and parents understand why and when to be concerned about abuse, as well as chapters on physical punishment, identifying and reporting abuse and neglect (based on her CAST curriculum), and positive parenting, among many other topics.
December 6, 2019

New Research Concludes CAST Students Perform Significantly Better Than Current DSS Workers Already in the Field

A recently published peer reviewed study on Zero Abuse Project’s CAST initiative found that CAST students were performing as well as current DSS workers in the field and, in more complex cases, the CAST students were performing better. We are grateful for Dr. Jennifer Parker and her team at USC Upstate for their leadership in conducting and publishing this study.
October 17, 2019

CAST students get hands-on experience

On Wednesday, Clinton-Saunders, a senior family studies major at the Mississippi University for Women, could be cast as an investigator. The role-playing Clinton-Saunders does in the Child Advocacy Studies Training (CAST) program is one of things she likes best about the studies preparing her for her first job as a professional.
August 28, 2019

New lab trains welfare workers who probe child abuse claims

The University of Illinois CAST program features a simulation lab exemplifying the critical importance of simulation training for child protection professionals. Zero Abuse Project has been instrumental in implementing 74 CAST programs across the country, many of which have similar simulation laboratories.
August 12, 2019

University offers training for frontline workers

The Child Protection Training Academy at the University of Illinois Springfield held a Project FORECAST training event designed to demonstrate best practices for frontline professionals when responding to a maltreatment scenario in a hospital setting. This sort of educational experience helps CAST students and frontline child protection professionals better realize the dynamics of child maltreatment casework in a simulated environment so that they can be better prepared for responding to similar cases in the real world.
June 12, 2019

Dr. Melissa Stephens receives distinguished award for CAST implementation in medical education

This year’s recipient of The Marguerite Elliott Innovation in Clinical Medical Education Award is Melissa Renee Stephens, MD, FAAFP, Associate Professor of Clinical Sciences & Director of Graduate Medical Education and Population Health at William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine (WCUCOM), for her innovation titled: ‘Implementation of Child Advocacy Studies Training (CAST) in Medical Education.’
May 21, 2019

DCFS simulation gives inside look at challenges investigators face

One of the jobs that the Department of Children and Family Services is tasked with is making sure children are safe. In order to do this job, DCFS investigators have to enter the homes of people accused of horrible crimes.
May 11, 2018

Treating Childhood Trauma

In 1850, a Catholic orphanage called St. Aemilian was founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to take in children whose parents had died in a cholera epidemic. 168 Years later, that same organization -- now known as "SaintA" -- is still finding shelter for thousands of children who need it, often kids who have deep trauma in their young lives, and helps those kids with a revolutionary approach that's spreading across the country.