Child Advocacy Studies Undergraduate Certificate

The undergraduate Certificate Program in Child Advocacy Studies (CAST) is an interdisciplinary program requiring 19 credits of training in Child Advocacy Studies. The CAST certificate encompasses a group of courses focused on children, youth, and traumatic stress capped by a field experience. The CAST certificate is appropriate for students who want to specialize in working in a variety of professional settings with children and adolescents, many of whom may have experienced trauma. 

Most courses required by the Certificate Program in Child Advocacy Studies have prerequisites. Some students may satisfy prerequisites by virtue of their prior curriculum. When this is not the case, students are responsible for satisfying the prerequisites. All students must take at least one course outside their home department. All required courses must be taken in residence at UM-St. Louis.

Required courses
PSYCH/SOC WK/CAST 4398Child Maltreatment: A Multidisciplinary Approach3
CAST 4498Forensic Investigation of Child Abuse3
CAST 4598Child Abuse Assessment and Intervention3
Please choose two of the following:
Interpersonal Skills in Helping Relationships
Youth Gangs
Crime Prevention
Juvenile Justice and Delinquency
Violence Against Women
Family and Professional Partnerships within School/Community
Child and Adolescent Development
Psychology of Learning, Instruction, and Assessment
Introduction to Gender Studies
Intimate Partner Violence
Drugs and Behavior
Developmental Psychology: Infancy, Childhood and Adolescence
Psychology of Trauma
Traumatic Stress in Childhood and Adolescence 1
Clinical Problems of Childhood
Developmental Psychology: Cognitive Development of Children
Sociology of Wealth and Poverty
Sociology of Education
Social Work Practice with Individuals, Families, and Groups
Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders
Field Experience Options 13
A field experience in a child-related field, approved and supervised by the student’s home department, is the final part of the certificate. All required CAST courses should be completed, though concurrent enrollment in one CAST course is permitted. Additionally, students must receive prior approval from the CAST program director.
Internship in Child Advocacy Studies
Internship in Criminology and Criminal Justice
Internship I
Internship in Gender Studies
Internship in Sociology
Supervised Field Experience in Social Work I
Field Education Seminar in Child Advocacy Studies
Total Hours19


Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, certificate earners should be able to:

  • Demonstrate the ethical behavior and values of their discipline in the context of traumatic stress.
  • Integrate the current fund of knowledge about traumatic stress into their professional role.
  •  Generate effective responses to traumatic stress and child maltreatment using trauma-informed decision-making processes.
  • Create trauma-sensitive relationships with diverse consumers.
  • Use knowledge to increase consumer access to trauma-informed services.
  • Formulate service strategies that reduce the impact of trauma and promote well-being.
  • Interact effectively with professionals across multiple disciplines.
  • Produce trauma-sensitive written and verbal communication consistent with discipline standards.
  • Recommend trauma-informed policy changes within their work setting.