The goal of the Zero Abuse Project can be realized by providing students with real-world experience in a classroom setting. Children’s Advocacy Studies (CAST) places emphasis on developing a students’ understanding of the elements that drive child maltreatment. The hope is for students to learn about the various professional responses to child maltreatment and for them to develop a multidisciplinary perspective on pursuing good outcomes. The intention of CAST is to better equip students 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.
In the state of Mississippi, the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) is finding valuable data to support the CAST initiative in the state. With partners like the University of Illinois’s research team, the preliminary data has reinforced the significance of CAST courses at participating Mississippi colleges and universities.