CIF4540EN - Criminal & Forensic Investigation of Child Abuse and Neglect

Course description

This course will offer instruction to help students understand the methods used in identifying physical, emotional and sexual abuse and neglect. The course will emphasize developing skills for working with children and families. This course will provide methods for referring families to public and private agencies that deal with child abuse/neglect investigations and treatment. This course will also examine the repercussions for failure to report suspected abuse and neglect.

How this course benefits students

Any minister, lay leader, or mission minded believer is responsible for preventing child abuse and neglect. This includes law enforcement, social workers, ministers, friends, neighbors and family. Those within the criminal justice profession seeking to live out a missional calling through their work would benefit from a structured and guided engagement about child abuse and neglect. The topic regarding how to recognize and address child abuse and neglect is a topic that affects all in society. Members of the community would benefit in a better understanding of and knowledge of child abuse and neglect.

Why this course is important

Child abuse and neglect has far-reaching application. Child abuse and neglect can result in physical and psychological developmental delays. Child abuse and neglect can continue into a cycle of abuse through generations. Understanding, recognizing and offering services to families and victims can help prevent abuse and neglect for current and future families. This application of protecting those that cannot protect themselves has long been explored in the Christian faith. It would benefit the larger mission of God for mission-minded individuals with training in criminal justice as well as community members to become active regarding the recognition and protection of our most vulnerable citizens.

Credit hours
3 hours
Subject area
Criminal Investigation & Forensics
Educational level
Learning type
Upcoming terms
* Schedule subject to change. Please contact the Registrar's office with schedule questions.
Dr. Miron Gilbert, Professor of Criminal Investigation

How this course relates to missional core values

Biblically based

Child abuse and neglect involves all members of society. This course could help develop biblically-educated criminal justice providers and community members.

Missionally driven

If criminal justice practitioners desire to live out their missional calling in the criminal justice field, they will desire to understand how to recognize and prevent child abuse and neglect. Approximately five children die every day as a result of child abuse. One out of three girls and one out of five boys will be sexually abused before they reach eighteen years old. Child abuse and neglect prevention and services are a part of the mission's field for everyone.

Contextually informed

Child abuse and neglect is a unique ministry context, and a course on child abuse and neglect to include faith-based services would help practitioners and community members as a whole apply broader biblical principles to the communities they work and live in.

Interculturally focused

A large part of child abuse and neglect tends to the issues of culture and equity. Child abuse and neglect is reportedly higher in substance abuse homes, low poverty homes, and homes in which the parents were previously abused. Criminal justice values can change among differing cultures. Child abuse and neglect investigations is applicable in this area.

Practically minded

Child abuse and neglect effects everyone. In 2014, approximately 702,000 children were victims of abuse or neglect. Child abuse and neglect can cause a range of long-term health impacts. Everyone needs the knowledge to recognize and understand the implications of child abuse/neglect.

Experientially transformed

Child abuse/neglect investigations is best learned through theories and application. Cases will be brought to the table for discussion and learning and learners will return to their practice with the benefit of that learning.