First District Congressman Tim Walz and Representative Steve Womack of Arkansas have introduced the National Child Protection Training Act, a bipartisan bill to help train child protection professionals to detect and prevent child abuse.
The bill would establish regional training centers - including the National Child Protection Training Center in Winona, and the Melba Shewmaker Southern Region National Child Protection Training Center at NorthWest Arkansas Community College - that would create new undergraduate and graduate curricula for professions likely to be involved in identifying and reporting cases of abuse.
Additionally, the legislation increases coordination between federal, state and local officials to institute best practices for the training of child protection professionals. Representatives McCollum and Nolan are also co-sponsors of the legislation.
Walz said the legislation will create more badly needed training centers across the country, based off the model of the National Child Protection Training Center at Winona State University, and is an important step forward in the fight against child abuse.