Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar today held a hearing on efforts to improve child protection training and praised the strong training programs at the National Child Protection Training Center in Winona, MN. Klobuchar invited Victor Vieth, Executive Director of the National Child Protection Training Center at Winona State University, to testify at the hearing on the importance of providing effective training for social workers, teachers, and other professionals who can detect and prevent child abuse. Klobuchar also discussed legislation she plans to introduce that would help improve child protection training across the country.

“As a former prosecutor, I know that child abuse is quite literally a life and death issue,” Klobuchar said. “I have visited Winona State University many times and seen first-hand how the National Child Protection Training Center is leading the effort to train those on the front lines in the fight to stop child abuse. We need to ensure that all of our child protection professionals have the tools they need to help protect children from abuse, neglect, and exploitation.”

The National Child Protection Training Center develops curriculums on child protection for colleges, law schools, and medical schools, and provides training to child protection professionals across the United States.  Each year, the Center’s trainers travel to every region of the country and train prosecutors, law enforcement officers, social workers, and other child protection professionals and organizations. Klobuchar has helped secure over $2 million for the Center in recent years.

Klobuchar served for eight years as the chief prosecutor for Hennepin County, serving more than one million residents in Minneapolis and 45 suburban communities.  Her responsibilities included prosecuting child abuse cases, and she also sponsored an initiative to improve the response to child abuse by strengthening the working relationships among police, prosecutors, child protection workers, educators and health care providers.

Klobuchar is the Chair of the Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight of the Courts, which oversees the Department of Justice’s programs.