About Child Advocacy Studies
The Child Advocacy Studies (CAST) Minor started at Winona State University in Winona, Minn. The curriculum brings the vision of Zero Abuse Project to reality by providing students with real-world experience in a classroom setting.
CAST focuses on developing students’ understanding of the various factors that lead to child maltreatment and of various existing responses to incidents of child maltreatment, so they work more effectively within various systems and institutions that respond to these incidents. Students learn about the various disciplinary responses to child maltreatment and develop a multidisciplinary understanding of the most effective responses. Students completing the courses in this program will be better equipped to carry out the work of various agencies and systems (healthcare, criminal justice, social services) as they advocate on behalf of the needs of children as victims and survivors of child abuse.
Universities seldom prepare students for the reality of child protection. Successful professional training will produce child maltreatment professionals who will be knowledgeable enough to competently manage child maltreatment cases. Beginning in college, we must produce an army of front line workers well equipped to organize all the players in their local communities for the benefit of children.
Each member of the CAST front line has experience interviewing, on a witness stand testimony, conducting a home visit and planning case management. While these experiences increase professional competency, the most compelling reason to provide this training is that it may prevent a child maltreatment case from being mishandled or overlooked.
Child Advocacy Studies Videos
Learn more about the Child Advocacy Studies program of the Zero Abuse Project through these informative videos.
Watch Victor Vieth discuss the importance of child advocacy studies training and education with the Judiciary Subcommittee in May 2012.
Learn how the CAST Program addresses critical defficiencies in the how training is provided to social workers and child protection workers who need it the most.
The Children’s Advocacy Centers of Mississippi have produced an excellent video on the importance of CAST and detailing the growth of the program in Mississippi.
Learn how the residential simulation lab closely models real-world scenario and provides training on how to handle difficult situations in the field.
Implemented Child Advocacy Studies
- Alcorn State University
- Alvernia University
- Arkansas State University
- Athens State University
- Auburn University at Montgomery
- Belhaven University
- Buffalo State College
- Copiah-Lincoln Community College
- Culver-Stockton College
- Delta State University
- East Carolina University
- East Central MS Community College
- East MS Community College
- Florida Institute of Technology
- Hinds County Community College
- Holmes County Community College
- Houston Community College
- Indiana University of Pennsylvania
- Indiana Wesleyan
- Jackson State University
- Jones County Community College
- Judson University
- Kennesaw State University
- Liberty University
- Meridian Community College
- Miami of Ohio
- Mississippi College
- Missouri State University
- Montclair State University
- MS Delta Community College
- MS Gulf Coast Community College
- MS State University
- MS University for Women
- MS Valley State
- New Mexico State University
- Northeastern Illinois University
- Northeast MS Community College
- Northwest Community College
- Oklahoma City University
- Rust College
- Shoreline Community College
- Southeast Missouri State
- Southwest Community College
- St. Bonaventure University
- State University of New York at Fredonia
- Tougaloo College
- Tulane University
- University at Buffalo
- University of Arkansas
- University of the District of Columbia
- University of Houston-Downtown
- University of Mississippi (Judicial College)
- University of Pittsburgh
- University of Southern Mississippi
- University of Toledo
- University of Wisconsin Eau Claire
- University of Wisconsin-Platteville Online
- William Carey University
- Wilmington University
- Winona State University
International CAST Programs
- Academy of Postgraduate Studies
- Belarus State Medical University
- Institute of State Committee of Forensic Expertize
* Some of the institutions listed are currently in development for CAST launch
Child Advocacy Studies (CAST) Coordinators
Tyler Counsil, Ed.D.
Director, Center for Child Advocacy Studies
Director of Education & Research, Zero Abuse Project
Dr. Betsy Goulet
Clinical Assistant Professor/CAST Coordinator
CAST Approval Process
Desiring to maintain the best practice model, informed by research and practical experience, Zero Abuse Project has engaged its current educational partners in the development of a program approval process for the CAST curricula. The goal of the program approval is to establish a baseline of knowledge in the core competencies for students completing a course of study in the CAST curricula. At its most basic level, CAST students will be substantially better prepared for a front-line career than at any time in the past.
CAST Job Opportunities
Occasionally, we have job opportunities related to our Child Advocacy Studies program through our approved higher education partners. This page provides a listing of all of these types of opportunities and encourage candidates to reach out and connect with our team.
Simulation Program Supervisor
This position is located in Mechanicsburg, PA The University of Pittsburgh’s Mechanicsburg Child Welfare Training Programs (Resource Center) is seeking a Simulation Program Supervisor. This position will be responsible for the oversight of the development of products and services designed to improve outcomes for agencies, children, youth, and families in the child welfare system.
The incumbent is responsible for managing and leading the Simulation Program and supervising and supporting multiple staff in the development and for the maintenance of standardized clients and standardized attorneys for the Resource Center. The incumbent participates as a member of the Leadership Team, actively engaging in quality improvement efforts through “Defining, Assessment, Planning, Implementation, and Monitoring”, designed to support the Mission, Vision, and Values of the Resource Center.
Travel is required for this position. A valid driver’s license is required. PA Child Abuse History Clearance, PA State Police Criminal Record Check, and FBI Criminal Record Check will be required as a condition of employment. For full consideration, apply online, attach a cover letter, resume, and a writing sample limited to five pages and relevant to the position. For more information about the Resource Center, visit us at www.pacwrc.pitt.edu. This position is located in Mechanicsburg, PA
Degree preferred in the following fields: training and development, adult education, human services, or other closely related academic discipline plus 10 years’ professional experience of which a minimum of five years’ experience in supervision or in project management required.
The ideal candidate will possess knowledge, experience, and skills in the following areas:
- Supervision of staff and assessment and evaluation of training; and trainer, consultant, and standardized client recruitment, selection, supervision, and development.
- Knowledge and skill in simulation programs, instructional design and adult learning principles, including the ADDIE model.
- A broad range of curriculum types and delivery methods, including in-person, online and blended learning solutions is preferred.
The ideal candidate will also demonstrate a proven ability to facilitate and participate positively and collaboratively in teams at all levels of an internal organizational structure and with external stakeholders:
- Provide and receive supervision and feedback in a strength-based and constructive manner.
- Coach and motivate staff and colleagues at all levels of an organizational structure. - Recognize, respect, support, and demonstrate Resource Center’s mission, vision, and values.
- Evaluate organizational structure, processes, and policies and provide constructive and strength-based recommendations for improvement.
- Evaluate and provide constructive and strength-based recommendations for improving an organization’s structure, processes, and policies.
- Engage in and support the professional development of self, staff, and colleagues.
- Effectively facilitate and present information in large and small groups.
- Knowledge of Pennsylvania Child Welfare Practice in a public or private setting is preferred.
A valid driver’s license
The University of Pittsburgh is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and values equality of opportunity, human dignity, and diversity. EEO/AA/M/F/Vets/Disabled.
Ready to Get Involved?
We are always looking for new partnerships and leaders in the academic world to help make a difference in the lives of children through our Child Advocacy Studies programs. Contact us today to see how we can work together towards a safer future for everyone.