WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Al Franken (D-MN) today introduced the National Child Protection Training Act, a bipartisan bill that seeks to improve child abuse training programs and enhance child protection nationwide. The bill would build on the success of the National Child Protection Training Center’s (NCPTC) facilities at Winona State University in Winona, Minnesota, and at Northwest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville, Arkansas. These centers have developed cutting-edge curricula, certification and degree programs, and classes for law students, medical students, and professionals to help improve child abuse training.
“Our children deserve the best opportunities we can provide to keep them safe and help them overcome issues resulting from abuse. This bill expands on the success of the Southern Regional Training Center at the Northwest Arkansas Community College and provides our child advocates with the tools and resources they need to support victims of child abuse,” Boozman said.
“As a former prosecutor and major advocate on this issue, I’ve seen firsthand what a difference the right resources can make to children and families trying to escape the horrors of child abuse,” Klobuchar said. “I have visited Winona State many times, and have seen the good work their National Child Protection Training program is doing to put a stop to child abuse and give victims the support they deserve. This bill will help build on the success of the Winona State program at centers across the country and help make sure our childcare advocates have the tools and training they need to identify and prevent child abuse.”
"Making sure that people who work closely with children have the appropriate training to detect signs of child abuse is one of the best ways to protect our children," Franken said. "Our bipartisan bill would take a successful Minnesota-based program and expand it nationwide by giving professionals who work with kids the tools they need to help detect and prevent abuse."
The bill would also direct the Attorney General to coordinate with the NCPTC to operate at least four regional training centers nationwide. It would require these centers to develop undergraduate and graduate curricula on child maltreatment, distribute the curricula to institutions of higher education, and to develop “laboratory” training facilities for students and professionals. The centers would also be required to help communities develop child abuse prevention programs and forensic interview training programs.