Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $2,700,000)
Prosecutors pursuing child abuse and neglect cases encounter significant obstacles, including enormous caseloads and a formidable burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Unfortunately, due to a lack of adequate training and the resulting lack of confidence, most sexual assaults, including child sexual abuse, do not end in arrest and even fewer go to trial. Zero Abuse Project will improve the quality of the investigation and prosecution of child abuse cases through expanding the Trauma-informed Prosecutor Project (TiPP), a national training and technical assistance program for child abuse prosecutors and their MDTs.
Zero Abuse will develop and provide a wide variety of customized training to child abuse prosecutors nationwide. Training will include providing 75 live trainings on both basic and advanced prosecution topics to state, local, tribal, and national audiences; presenting four regional Prosecutor Institutes; delivering experiential training courses 10 times; hosting the National Abusive Head Trauma and Child Death Conference; developing, launching, and maintaining an interactive training simulation platform; piloting a fellowship program for prosecutors from marginalized communities; providing child interview training to child abuse prosecutors and their MDT members in 12 states; and developing a new one-day forensic interview training course for child abuse prosecutors and delivering it 10 times. Additionally, Zero Abuse will respond to 1,260 technical assistance requests from child protection professionals and provide technical assistance to at least 10 statewide training providers offering experiential training courses. Finally, Zero Abuse will publish and promote 10 publications; create and offer 10 new microlearning videos; create and release six new self-paced, on-demand courses; and populate a secure portal with resources and templates for prosecutors. Through this project’s training, technical assistance, publications, and resource development Zero Abuse will make significant progress addressing the need for accessible child abuse prosecutor training and improving the quality of the criminal prosecution of such cases.