Mississippi’s experience implementing a statewide Child Advocacy Studies Training (CAST) initiative

Theodore P. Cross, Yu Ling Chiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In response to a national deficit in education about child maltreatment, colleges and universities throughout the United States provide Child Advocacy Studies Training (CAST) courses and CAST certificate or minor programs to educate undergraduate and graduate students in child maltreatment. This article reports results from an implementation evaluation of Mississippi’s CAST Initiative, the first effort to implement CAST courses and programs in colleges and universities throughout a state. Through interviews with administrators and faculty implementing CAST in Mississippi, we provide a brief history of the initiative, review the initial development of CAST courses and programs, discuss considerations related to the program’s implementation, and report faculty’s plans for the future of CAST. Our evaluation provides evidence that the implementation of Mississippi’s CAST initiative has had considerable success and has good prospects for enduring. Our findings also expand knowledge about the contextual issues involved in implementation, point to the value of strong partnerships between CAST colleges and universities and community organizations, and identify some considerations connected to expanding enrollment in CAST.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-318
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Family Trauma, Child Custody and Child Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021


  • CAST
  • Child Advocacy Studies Training
  • child abuse and neglect
  • child protection
  • undergraduate education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Law
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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