Trauma-informed Prosecutor Project (TiPP)
training & technical assistance
Funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), the Trauma-informed Prosecutor Project (TiPP) grant aims to improve the quality of the investigation and prosecution of child abuse cases by providing free training and technical assistance to child abuse prosecutors and multidisciplinary team members. Zero Abuse Project expands TiPP by providing customized training nationwide, including live trainings, regional institutes, experiential courses, and a new one-day forensic interview training course for child abuse prosecutors. Zero Abuse also offers free case consultation to child protection professionals and continuously releases publications, microlearning videos, and self-paced on-demand courses.
Through this project, Zero Abuse will provide accessible training to child abuse prosecutors, improve the quality of criminal prosecution for child abuse cases, and make significant progress in addressing the challenges faced by child protection professionals.
Upcoming Conference Appearances
Zero Abuse Project has a selection of 90-minute topics suited for prosecutors and other MDT members.
Two-day training institutes for child abuse prosecutors on opening statements, closing arguments, preparing children for court, cross-examination of defendants and defense witnesses, and advanced topics selected by the host sites.
Zero Abuse Project will work with regional Children’s Advocacy Centers to offer a Prosecutor Institute in each of the four census regions.
The ChildFirst® Forensic Interview Protocol brings the field into the classroom, enhancing the education of front-line child abuse professionals. This course is designed for investigative teams of law enforcement officers, social workers, prosecutors, child protection attorneys and forensic interviewers.
Students receive training on the ChildFirst® Forensic Interview Protocol which includes child development, memory and suggestibility, testifying in court, legal issues and preparing children for court. This training incorporates lecture and discussion, review of electronically recorded interviews, skill-building exercises and an interview practicum.
- Forensic Interviewer at Trial
This 3-day course offers hands-on training for teams of prosecutors and forensic interviewers. Participants engage in mock trials and workshops that cover the latest research on forensic interviewing, expert testimony, and cross-examination techniques.
- Crime Scene to Trial
This 3-day course trains MDTs to effectively respond to child maltreatment cases involving different types of abuse. Through a combination of workshops and practical exercises, participants learn how to process a crime scene, conduct interviews, apply for search warrants, and make decisions on charges.
- Experiential Trial Advocacy Course
In this training course, prosecutors will practice presenting a trial from jury selection to closing arguments, with subject matter experts providing lectures and support. Participants will learn how to use multi-media and technology to create engaging and compelling trials, with emphasis on the use of exhibits, evidence, and demonstrative aids in the experiential portions.
- DNA on Trial: From Collection to Conviction
This new two-day course focuses on the use of DNA evidence in complex cases and provides prosecutors with the tools they need to understand the science behind the crime lab. With workshops taught by experienced trial attorneys and forensic science experts, the course also includes an experiential component simulating common issues in evidence collection and training on how to present DNA evidence in court.
- A Reasonable Degree of Prosecution Certainty: Expert Witness at Trial
This two-day course explores how to effectively use expert witnesses in child abuse cases to help juries understand the behaviors and trauma experienced by child victims. Attendees will learn about the different types of experts and strategies for presenting their testimony, and will have the opportunity to practice crafting and delivering direct examinations with feedback from subject matter experts.
- On-Demand Education
Zero Abuse Project is about to launch an on-demand learning platform for prosecutors that includes a wide range of courses and microlearning content designed to enhance their skills and effectiveness in the courtroom. This platform offers valuable resources from leading experts in the field, covering everything from best practices for interacting with victims to cross-examination techniques and more. Whether you’re a seasoned prosecutor or just starting out, our on-demand training provides an exceptional opportunity to stay up-to-date on the latest developments and advance your career on your own time. Stay tuned for updates on this exciting new platform and get ready to take your skills to the next level with Zero Abuse Project!
- Simulation Training
Zero Abuse Project will be launching an interactive training simulation platform for prosecutors, offering a comprehensive opportunity to learn and practice the entire timeline of a child abuse prosecution. The platform enables prosecutors to make crucial decisions at different stages, receive real-time feedback on their choices, and enhance their trial skills in realistic scenarios. Additionally, the platform provides best practices for interactions with abuse investigations, and offers full courses and microlearning videos for optimal skill development. This cutting-edge resource is an exciting advancement for the field and a powerful tool for supporting prosecutors in their crucial work of seeking justice for victims of child abuse.
Subject matter experts from across the child protection field will convene June 11-13, 2024 for the Abusive Head Trauma and Child Death Symposium for Prosecutors, to cover crucial topics such as medical research, investigation techniques, and a multidisciplinary approach. Attendees will also learn about preparation and direct examination of state and defense experts, pre-trial litigation strategies, and professional well-being. The conference will offer both lecture-based training and scenario-based exercises to facilitate an engaging learning experience. This conference is a must-attend for anyone committed to advancing their knowledge in the critical areas of abusive head trauma and child death.
Prosecutors and investigators may request free technical assistance with their child abuse cases including, customized cross-examinations of the defendant or defense expert, personalized tips for preparing children for court, building direct examinations, and more.
Frontline child abuse professionals can access a wealth of resources through our Publications Directory, featuring both practical and scholarly articles on topics such as child development, trauma-informed care, and effective communication. Legal professionals can also benefit from resources covering courtroom testimony and cross-examination techniques. Our regularly updated directory is a valuable tool for social workers, investigators, prosecutors, and other MDT members in the field, providing access to current and relevant information.
Zero Abuse Project is launching a fellowship program to support prosecutors from historically marginalized communities. The program will include virtual roundtable sessions with experts to identify 10 mentors and 10 mentees for a one-year pilot program. Monthly meetings will provide training and individualized mentorship to improve child abuse prosecution in their communities and remove barriers to access and opportunity for historically marginalized populations.
This portal, hosted on the Zero Abuse website, will provide prosecutors with print, digital, video, and audio resources and templates. These resources will include draft pre-trial motions, jury selection questions, and templates for ICAC warrants from social media platforms and search engines, among others.
Voices of Support
"I cannot say enough excellent things about my experience with the instructors and groups in the Crime Scene all day session! These people had excellent presentations, personalities, the whole package!! The interactive hands on crime scene investigation with our groups was so well prepared and it was quite obvious that everyone in the room was satisfied with what these leaders brought to us to experience. Their dynamics together were great and the presentation is most definitely something they should continue to take on the road!! Job WELL DONE!!"
"I took away a lot of great ideas from not only the instructors, but also from my fellow participants. This was one of the most beneficial parts of the training to get ideas from others currently practicing…You don't always get to surround yourself in a training of this type with prosecutors who have as much experience specifically in child abuse cases as those that did at this training and to also have the time to listen to feedback and converse about ideas.”
"I have been a prosecutor for 8 years and gone to many trial techniques classes and workshops. This was the best opening and closing statement workshop I have ever attended!"
"Excellent balance of topics for new and experienced attorneys. The role exercise was helpful. Although folks may be hesitant to volunteer it is great for feedback and learning. Presenters were entertaining and knowledgeable. Lastly, continued topics on technology are helpful for prosecutors in rural counties."
"I feel much more prepared to address attacks by defense experts and future cases. I also feel more confident about what I need to be addressing in front of the jury and how to help my investigators do a better job."
"Thank you so much. The time, information, and experience you have shared with me - for free - is invaluable. Also, I do not in any way think it is hyperbole to state that the affect your organization has is literally changing the world and making it better for the most innocent and vulnerable demographic."
"We have received positive anecdotal feedback from many participants in the training saying they found it extremely valuable. For example, an elected DA is using information and techniques he learned about investigation of child abuse cases to train his local detectives. This DA was so impressed with the investigative lessons he learned that he is using it to train all the detectives, not just those involved with child abuse investigations. Specifically, he was impressed with the instruction concerning follow up and seeking corroborating information. Overall, our feedback from the attendees was extremely positive."
"I learned more in three days than I did in three years."
"Every bit of the material this week was so helpful, and I can legitimately see myself using so much of the material in my every day job. I loved how much everything was backed with research. A lot of this I already knew, but it was refreshing and encouraging to see so much research back it all up. The ChildFirst binder is such an exciting resource to use in the future for motions, arguments, and questions for witnesses. THANK YOU, THANK YOU for this training. It was invaluable."
the support you need
Prosecutors, law enforcement, forensic interviewers and MDT members may request free technical assistance with their child abuse cases including:
- customized cross-examinations of the defendant or defense expert
- developing themes for closing arguments
- tips for preparing children for court
- building direct examinations
- collaborative investigative approaches
- forensic interview consultations
- testifying in court
Zero Abuse Project will soon be launching an on-demand training platform, where attendees will be able to receive training at their own pace, on their own time. We will offer an array of topics, spanning from trauma-informed approaches to victims of technology-facilitated crimes, to intricate cross-examination techniques and trial strategies.
Our team is committed to supporting child protection professionals in their pursuit of justice for victims of abuse. Our dedication to achieving the best possible outcomes for children impacted by these crimes means that we are here to support you every step of the way. Don’t hesitate to contact us today.