- Associated Press - Thursday, April 21, 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A formerly vacant building in Springfield will be used to train students and professionals in child welfare services.

The University of Illinois Springfield plans to use the house on the north side of its campus as a Residential Simulation Lab. Training there will be done in a partnership with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

A mock courtroom on campus also will be used to train people who work directly with abused or neglected children.

The house will be used to train investigators, police officers and other first responders to identify and respond in cases of child maltreatment.

A dedication ceremony is planned for Monday morning. Participants will plant a tree in memory of a young boy who is the subject of the investigation used in the training program.

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