The University of Illinois Springfield Child Advocacy Studies Program (CAST) has partnered with Virginia-based Creative Information Technology Inc. (CITI) to build state-of-the-art smart phone and tablet-based apps that can be used by the child protection workforce and students across the country.
UIS students in the Child Advocacy Studies Program will serve as the first beta testers for the new apps that will help investigators and students make better decisions when it comes to protecting at-risk children.
“UIS students will have the opportunity to help shape these new tools by using real-world scenarios to test and improve the apps abilities,” said Betsy Goulet, UIS clinical assistant professor and Child Advocacy Studies Program coordinator. “UIS students will have access to these new tools before anyone else in the country.”
CITI will provide the UIS Child Advocacy Studies students with tablets that are pre-loaded with the new app software.
The new apps will include a modern mash-up of child welfare best practices, experiential and simulated learning, evidence-based tools, cross-sector collaboration and technology innovation. The partnership focuses on modernizing essential practices and advancing child welfare through innovation and a multi-disciplinary approach to technology development.
UIS’ Child Advocacy Studies Program is a three-course curriculum created as a collaborative approach to training and educating frontline professionals and the next generation of child welfare practitioners. The program adheres to the standards developed for universities, and the faculty have years of experience in the child welfare field as practitioners and as trainers. UIS carries the distinction of being the second program in the United States to achieve approval from the Zero Abuse Project.
CITI is committed to human services and social welfare. CITI’s child welfare solution, Unify, will support the UIS CAST program and coursework to enhance child welfare education and skill development. Additionally, CITI will support the expansion of simulated learning programs to create a life-of-case lens for child welfare simulation models and expand simulation training with virtual reality technology.