The University of Illinois System has requested that it’s Institute for Public and Government Affairs (IGPA) assemble more than four dozen interdisciplinary faculty experts from all three System universities to assess COVID-19’s effects on the state. Each group is collaborating on a series of economic modeling activities, data analyses and syntheses of impact.
Dr. Betsy Goulet, Clinical Assistant Professor of Public Administration and Child Advocacy Studies Director, and Dr. Kent Redfield, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, have been collaborating with their UIC and UIUC colleagues in the Community and Family Resilience Impact Group. They have produced a report, “Mobilizing Community and Family Resilience Across Illinois” that lays out key findings and next steps.
The 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 UIS CAST program adheres to the standards developed for universities, and the CAST faculty have years of experience in the child welfare field as practitioners and as trainers. UIS carries the distinction of being the second CAST program in the United States to achieve approval from the Zero Abuse Project. The CAST team runs the Child Protection Training Academy, which provides a child protection training laboratory for frontline professionals and students.
Dr. Goulet was recently interviewed by Mike Smith, NPR Illinois, on the effects of COVID-19 and the shelter-in-place order on child welfare, as well as her team’s work with DCFS to retool the system during the pandemic.
“Right now, we are meeting almost every day as an academy team with our DCFS colleagues to figure out how to improve training, how to translate what is usually on-ground simulation training to an online environment. And so we've been teaching problem based learning, we've been coming up with some other types of in-services that we can give to the field. But I am quite impressed with how the department has adapted to what is normally not an easy task. This is reimagining child welfare in a pretty vast way.”
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