Thursday, September 21, 2017

Training crucial to real-life work

University of Illinois Springfield students, interested in protecting children, are getting a front row seat to a day on the job. 

On Wednesday, a national organization training professionals in the field stopped on campus. They're showing students the best way to respond to a child abuse call.

It's part of an initiative to better prepare future workers.

"Don't let him hurt me." A mother in sheer panic, but don't be alarmed. This is an inside look at a mock crime scene. Professionals are practicing how to respond to a child abuse call.

"It's very intense. It's something you're never prepared for." Marlene Constant is the only student on the team. She's playing a forensic investigator. Together, they're trying to find out what went wrong here.

"It was a little surprising, but you really have to be confident of what's going on around you from the temperature of the room to the smells.

"The place is filthy with trash, spoiled food and blood nearly everywhere you look. But, this is an average day on the job. "This is a very important job, but it's very, very difficult, but with the right training, people can do this and they can feel confident in the work that they do."

Betsy Goulet teaches child advocacy studies at UIS. he will be watching all this play out by video in class.

"Hopefully, their experiences in the house have given them a much better sense when they knock on that door."

She says this will help students prepare for jobs in child welfare and law enforcement.

Constant agrees and she's ready for the real world. "It'll help me to understand and pick up on some warning signs that I can be on the lookout for."

DCFS' new hires and UIS students use the home for hands-on training. They say this type of practice will help attract candidates and keep them in their roles.

This story aired on WCIA on September 20, 2017.

Watch the story online.