Just the thought of it sends chills through the spine. An innocent child abused, neglected, or ill-treated. A once-content schoolboy ridiculed and mocked, mercilessly teased in his middle school classes. There has to be a better way to protect these victims. Fortunately, the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences is taking a stand against child maltreatment and bullying. The solution starts through education.
This fall, the College of Social and Behavioral Science began offering a Child Advocacy Studies certificate (CAST) aimed at anyone seeking to work with children, including caseworkers, teachers, nurses, medical personnel and law enforcement. The certificate puts Wilmington University into an elite group of academic pioneers offering courses in child abuse recognition, investigation, and intervention. Courses within the 15-credit certificate program include hands-on simulations and real-life case studies. Taught by real-world faculty like detective Jacob Andrews, a 12-year veteran of the New Castle County Police Department, or Mariann Kenville-Moore, Director of the Delaware Attorney General’s Victim/Witness Program, these courses will better prepare students to identify, intervene in, or prevent child maltreatment.
One of the first graduates of the certificate program, Camara Poindexter (“11) related, “Initially I took the second [CAST] course, Responding and Investigation: Child Maltreatment, as an elective, and once it was over I knew that I had to take the other two, because it was very intriguing.” Poindexter says she would recommend the certificate to anyone interested. “They teach you how to be aware of the signs of child maltreatment and the proper steps required to report it.”
Wilmington University is only the 17th university in the country to offer a certificate in Child Advocacy Studies. Students, regardless of major, can register for the 15-credit certificate that consists of three core courses and two electives. To learn more, visit http://www.wilmu.edu/behavioralscience/childadvoc_cert.aspx.
Stop the Bullying
This past September, the College of Social Behavioral Science highlighted another form of violence against children: bullying and its aftermath. The School Violence and Active Shooter seminar, held at the Joint Base – McGuire, Dix, Lakehurst Education and Training Center, focused on case studies to highlight the best protocols for resolving active shooter situations. Sponsored by the New Jersey Criminal Justice Program, the seminar hosted distinguished speakers from the Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware State Police. Participants were drawn from the law enforcement and military fields and gained invaluable information on how bullying relates to these incidents and the importance of collaboration, proper investigation, documentation, and reporting under New Jersey’s recently amended Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Law.