Reality Based Training for New Child Protection Workers

The Zero Abuse Project at St. Paul’s Hamline University is the home of CAST, (Child Advocacy Studies), a national training program for child protection workers and other first responders.


A key part of CAST is “sim” (simulation) labs, which take place in mock houses and courtrooms.  There trainees develop skills by interviewing and interacting with professional actors, who portray typical situations they will encounter in the field.

Sim labs have been implemented in states including South Carolina, New Jersey, and Illinois.  This brief video about the Mississippi CAST program describes how the training works.

In its 2019 session the Minnesota legislature approved part of the funds requested for a new Child Welfare Training Academy.  We hope there will be interest and enough resources to consider implementing sim labs in Minnesota.

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Rich Gehrman3 Comments