Professional Certificate in Child Advocacy Studies


Program Overview

The University of Illinois Springfield Child Advocacy Studies (CAST) program is designed to educate the next generation of mandated reporters as well as those professionals already working in the child welfare field.

The CAST curriculum includes core courses aimed at increasing knowledge of key child maltreatment concepts. These courses are offered entirely online, so the certificate may be completed without ever setting foot on campus. Students interested in this certificate have a few choices for completing it.

  1. Current UIS degree-seeking students in public administration, criminal justice, social work, human services, legal studies, or teacher education may select the three required courses as electives in their program.
  2. Non-degree-seeking students must be admitted to the university and then take the three required courses. Standard tuition rates and fees apply.
  3. In early 2018, professionals may fulfill continuing education requirements and earn CAST certification. Details will be available soon.

Program Design

The UIS CAST courses are certified by the National Child Protection Training Center at Winona State University. CAST @ UIS is an interdisciplinary partnership between the Colleges of Public Affairs and Administration and Education and Human Services and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. All courses are 400-level and open to undergraduates and graduates. Perspectives on Child Maltreatment and Advocacy (PAD 481) is a prerequisite for PAD 483, The System’s Response to Child Maltreatment (PAD 483).  PAD 482, Global Child Advocacy can be taken at any point in the certificate sequence.  Students may take the courses according to their time frame and availability (over one year or longer).

The three courses include:

What’s New?

CAST Graduates and current CAST students spoke at the Child and Family Advocacy Career Day about their experiences with the Child Advocacy Studies program and curriculum, as well as what they are doing and plan to do with their CAST certificates.

A Leader in Applied Learning

Under the leadership of CAST faculty member Dr. Betsy Goulet, the University has created a new Residential Simulation Lab. The Lab is associated with the Child Advocacy Studies program in the Public Administration Department at UIS. The facility is being used as a tool for hands-on training in effective intervention techniques in child abuse and neglect scenarios for both professionals and students. The Simulation Lab was dedicated on April 25, 2016. For more information, see the Illinois Times story on the Lab and its dedication. In addition to the Residential Simulation Lab, the program uses a mock courtroom for simulation training as well.

RSL House     RSL Courtroom