Our own Minnesota Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken introduced bipartisan legislation on December 4 that would improve child abuse training programs for child welfare professionals, based on the work conducted at the National Child Protection Training Center (NCPTC) here in Winona, MN. The other Senate cosponsors are Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) and Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR).
S. 3653, or National Child Protection Training Act, would establish four university- or college-affiliated regional training centers through the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in coordination with the NCPTC. These training centers will develop model interdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate curricula on recognizing and responding to child maltreatment. This curricula will then be distributed to other institutions of high education, including community colleges, universities, law schools, and medical schools.
In addition to the curricula development, this bill would require the training centers to develop 'laboratory' training facilities to train both students pursuing a child protection-related career and current child welfare professionals.
The training centers would also be charged with helping communities develop evidence-based prevention programs and working with the State in which they are located to develop and maintain forensic interview training programs.
S. 3653 has been referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.
Companion legislation was introduced the same day by Minnesota Representatives Tim Walz and Betty McCollum, as H.R. 6629, National Child Protection Training Act. Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR3) is cosponsor of H.R. 6629. H.R. 6629 has been referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce and the House Committee on the Judiciary.