First Cohort Graduates from Center for Child Advocacy Studies Program

November 1, 2016 at 8:46 am

child-advocacy-studies-first-cohortThe Center for Child Advocacy Studies (CAST) at the University of South Carolina Upstate has awarded graduate certificates to its first cohort of child protection professionals working in the child protection field.

The five area professionals graduating from the CAST Graduate Certificate Program are Jed Dews, associate executive director of Pendleton Place; Michelle Greco, child abuse prevention program manager at Greenville Health System; Susan Ledford, community engagement manager at Hope Center for Children; Penni Kucaba, Guardian ad Litem; and Dana Dillard, investigator with the Criminal Investigation Division of Spartanburg Public Safety.

The CAST Graduate Certificate Program is a 15-hour post baccalaureate certificate program in Child Advocacy Studies designed for professionals already working in the child protection field or those preparing for a career in this field who want to develop greater knowledge and enhance their skills to better serve the constituency.

“These are outstanding professionals and the work they did in the graduate program was amazing,” said Dr. Jennifer Parker, director for Child Advocacy Studies. “Their work will have important impact on the community and the agencies where they work.”

The USC Upstate Center for Child Advocacy Studies was founded in 2010 to spearhead an initiative with a focus on tackling child abuse in our community. The initiative is directed to student and community education.

In addition, the CAST provides community education and training through the USC Upstate Child Protection Training Center (CPTC). The CPTC includes a mock training house and courtroom for experiential training opportunities. Awareness events and continuing education opportunities are held throughout the year for a variety of child protection professionals serving the needs of children.

For more information about the Center for Child Advocacy Studies, this program or the Child Protection Training Center, contact Dr. Jennifer Parker, director for the Center of Child Advocacy Studies, at 864-503-5761 or