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 factors that lead to child maltreatment and the currently existing responses to incidents of child abuse and neglect, so they work more effectively within multiple systems and institutions that respond to these situations. Students learn about the various professional responses to child maltreatment and develop a multidisciplinary understanding of the most effective responses. Learners completing the courses in this program will be better equipped to carry out the work of different 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
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.
REPORTS TO: Training Director
GENERAL RESPONSIBILITIES: The Employee oversees specific programs of the agency under the supervision of the Training Director and subject to the duties specified by the bylaws or policies and procedures, or to the direction of the Board of Directors. The employee must understand the purpose and function of the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Mississippi and be knowledgeable of existing policies and procedures.
The CAST Coordinator has the primary responsibility of developing and providing support services through the Training Program for CACM. He/she is a highly trained individual skilled and will be responsible for recruiting new institutions of higher education to participate in the on-going statewide Child Advocacy Studies Program as well as program improvement in existing institutions. The CAST Coordinator will be in regular contact with Administrators, Academic Officers and faculty in the Mississippi CAST program to determine needs and develop training both face-to-face and on-line to meet information and skill needs.
Visits will be required to the institutions across the state to review curriculum and talk with students, faculty and administrators concerning program needs, fidelity to the model and improvement possibilities. The coordinator will facilitate a peer network among CAST institutions. Responsibilities include promotion of experiential learning and use of simulations in Mock homes and courtrooms by those involved in CAST. Outreach to professionals is also expected, including CPS, law enforcement, medical, dental, mental health, CAC’s, early childhood, education and other members of multidisciplinary teams.
The CAST Coordinator will be expected to oversee any CACM research projects related CAST; build relationships with CAST Coordinators on a national basis, and in some cases, work with potential funders. The CAST Coordinator will occasionally present at conferences and symposiums on a national and state level.
Typical work hours include Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Must be available to be available to work occasional nights and weekends for special projects.
Other duties may be assigned as needed.
Education: Graduate Degree or PhD with proven research background
Experience: Preferred 5 or more years teaching in Higher Education setting with knowledge of higher education course and curriculum development, advising, higher education systems, webinar design, on-line teaching and proven publication experience.
5 or more years working with children and families in a human services setting that required knowledge of child abuse and neglect and skills in child advocacy.
Preference given to trauma-informed professional work and persons with training/experience in experiential teaching and use of simulations.
Preference given to persons with experience working with Multidisciplinary teams, child welfare, and child advocacy.
• Understanding of the mission of children’s advocacy centers and multidisciplinary teams. Direct experience preferred.
• Demonstrates excellence in written, verbal and oral presentations. • Is proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point and Webinar Design.
• Ability to work independently with flexible hours.
• Valid driver’s license, satisfactory background checks and ability to travel required.
• An ability and willingness to travel extensively (up to 50%).
Salary range is commensurate with experience. Office is located in Jackson, Mississippi. The selected candidate must successfully complete a comprehensive background screening process.
All letters of interest and resumes can be sent to [email protected]
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.