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Building the Capacity of Undergraduate and Graduate Programs to Train Child Protection Personnel

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Zero Abuse will survey frontline professionals, child advocacy center (CAC) leadership, and academic faculty to update its current Child Advocacy Studies (CAST) program plan and course content. Zero Abuse also will develop six CAST toolkits tailored for undergraduate and graduate CAST courses to allow schools to provide education that leads to more qualified graduates being hired into child-serving, child protection-centered professions. Zero Abuse also will draft a CAC facilitator guide to assist these agencies with deploying CAST programs in their local colleges and universities. 

Provider Organization

Zero Abuse Project
Award Details


Zero Abuse will secure feedback from active multidisciplinary team (MDT) members, children's advocacy centers (CACs), and undergraduate and graduate academic professionals to better understand the skills and experience that child protection professionals need when entering the field. Zero Abuse also will develop CAST toolkits and a CAC facilitation guide that current and new CAST schools can utilize and will host a one-day virtual seminar for CAST schools to launch the toolkits and engage interested schools in learning about CAST training. Zero Abuse will also craft and deploy best-practice workshops; advanced, modular content; virtual simulation experiences; and technical assistance for practical CAST-based training to empower current and next-generation child protection professionals and mandated reporters.


  • Child Protection and Advocacy Professionals
  • Child Welfare Personnel
  • Faith-Based Organizations
  • Law Enforcement
  • Nonprofit Organizations
  • Prosecutors
  • Social Services
  • Students
  • Tribal Community
  • Youth Advocates
  • Youth Services Professionals
  • Institutions of Higher Education, Law Schools, Seminaries, and Medical Schools


Institutions of higher education, law schools, seminaries, medical schools, frontline MDT members, children’s advocacy centers, and CAC chapters.



Zero Abuse will develop an analysis of findings from frontline professionals, CACs, and academic professionals to determine what competencies and information undergraduate and graduate child protection professionals need from their educational institutions to improve their ability to prevent or investigate and respond to child maltreatment. Zero Abuse also will develop a revised and expanded CAST program plan that will support the current and new CAST schools, and develop and disseminate six CAST toolkits and a CAC facilitation guide to support those schools.

Zero Abuse will also develop 5 CREATE (CAST Responsive Education and Training Engagement) Toolkits and 18 CASTLE (CAST-Learner Enhancement) Modules for postsecondary education, and the CAST Simulation Hub for Experiential Learning (SHEL).

Tyler Counsil, Ed.D.
Center for Child Advocacy Studies
[email protected]
651–714–4673, ext. 708

  • Abuse and Neglect
  • Child Advocacy/Protection
  • Child Welfare System
  • Maltreatment
  • Polyvictimization

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Date Published: January 7, 2022