"The CAST program at Oklahoma City University has given me the opportunity to take a closer look at child maltreatment issues, interdisciplinary work in the social sciences, and ways to effectively be a child advocate as a future school counselor. The small class sizes and lectures from working professionals in the area of child maltreatment have all increased my passion and knowledge in being a child advocate. I highly recommend this program to all OCU students, specifically individuals interested in promoting social change for the betterment of all children."
~ Lena Khader, current psychology student and CAST student
"The Child Advocacy Training Studies (CAST) program at OCU definitely provides me with a multifaceted perspective on child maltreatment and advocacy. Not only does CAST educate me about what maltreatment constitutes, it also informs me about systems involved, and provides me with a complete view on how the issue of child maltreatment can be tackled through advocacy.
"Beyond just classroom instruction, CAST also involves out of classroom projects, allowing me to apply the skills learned in "real-world" situations. Speakers are also invited to present on various topics regarding child maltreatment, further widening my scope of knowledge on the topic. This program certainly emphasizes the fact that everyone plays a vital role in ensuring the safety of children, and will be beneficial for all, no matter what background or future profession."
~ Mairin Ng, current psychology major and CAST student
"The CAST program has been a real eye-opener for me! Before I became involved in the program i was aware that child abuse happened to some extent, but i had no idea that it occurs to the extent that it does. Initially, I became involved with CAST at the suggestion of a professor, and since i am a Psychology major it just seemed to fit. However, you do not need to be a social sciences major for the program to apply to you. Child advocacy is something that everybody should have some background in!
"In the CAST program you learn about what child abuse is, how to advocate for children that have been abused or neglected, methods of investigating child abuse (i.e., child forensic interviewing), methods of treating resulting trauma abused and neglected children experience, and the program gives you a more global perspective on child abuse (i.e., sex trafficking, child labor, child soldiers, etc.) as well.
"You learn all of this in a class setting, but you get to do it in a sort of hands-on way. For instance, there will be a lot of role play, and in one of the classes you will actually get to search a house for evidence of child abuse. I think this is one of the program's biggest strengths. Students will get to hear from professionals currently working in the field as well.
"After going through the program, I feel the CAST program has been especially applicable to me since I am going into the medical field to be a physician. Many doctors today do not have much background when it comes to child maltreatment and advocacy, and many that apply to medical school do not have this kind of background either. Therefore, I feel like I will be ahead of many that apply to medical school for this reason.
"In addition, because of the CAST Program, I feel like I will know what to do if I am ever faced with a case of child maltreatment, and more importantly, I will be more likely to pick up on the signs that indicate possible child abuse and act accordingly. I strongly suggest that new students and current students get into the CAST Program! You will not regret it, and the experiences you have will be invaluable!"
~ Thomas York, current psychology major and CAST student