UIS dedicates new facilities to train DCFS investigators and first responders
The University of Illinois Springfield, in partnership with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), dedicated the new Residential Simulation Lab (a simulated training house) and a mock courtroom on campus on Monday, April 25, 2016.
The two training labs are designed to train students, investigators, law enforcement, and other first responders to identify and respond in cases of child maltreatment.
“The goal of the partnership is to make it possible for child protection first responders and the next generation of child welfare workers to enter the field with the necessary skills to protect the most vulnerable of victims,” said UIS faculty member Dr. Betsy Goulet, coordinator of the Child Protection Training Academy.
UIS Chancellor Susan Koch was joined by DCFS Director George Sheldon, Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder, Springfield Chief of Police Kenny Winslow and National Child Protection Training Center Senior Director/Founder Victor Vieth at the dedication ceremony.
Participants also planted a tree in memory of “Caleb”, the young boy who is the subject of the investigation used in the training curriculum.
The two labs are part of a DCFS Child Protection Training Academy pilot program and were designed by the UIS Center for State Policy and Leadership. They are supported by a state grant awarded to the University.
The Residential Simulation Lab is located in a building that formally housed the Sangamon Schools Credit Union. The house has been vacant since the branch closed in July 2010.