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Tough times are again here for Illinois’ child welfare agency. But an operation at the University of Illinois Springfield is trying to help. Students can go through a simulation lab that’s part of a child advocacy studies program run by Betsy Goulet, who enlists role players.

“We work with the standardized patients at SIU School of Medicine. We don’t use scripts, but they respond in character to what is said.

“This is a high-stress interaction. Not every parent is comfortable when DCFS is at the door,” Goulet added, pausing between the words is and comfortable.

Goulet says the program is also a good way to give students realistic expectations of what’s ahead if they pursue these careers.

This story appeared on WTAX on Jan. 31, 2022.

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