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Public Statements

Missing Children's and Exploited Children Programs

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. WALZ. Mr. Speaker, child abuse is an unacceptable behavior in our society that must be condemned and prevented. Our children deserve to grow up in safe and loving environments. As a parent and teacher, I am always in search of ways to eliminate this problem in homes, schools and child care centers. I would like to commend the committee for its support of the Missing Children's and Exploited Children programs. This funding is essential to combating child abuse, which is a national problem.

In order to end child abuse, it is essential we support programs that train child protection professionals to better recognize, react and respond to abuse. Each and every day, child protection professionals work directly with maltreated children across the country. They fight tirelessly to reduce cases of child abuse and to respond effectively to child maltreatment. Unfortunately, the vast majority of these professionals leave college inadequately trained to handle cases of child maltreatment. And, once in the workforce, it is often far too difficult for them to access the quality training they need to do their jobs more effectively.

In my district, I am proud to have the National Child Protection Center located in my district at Winona State University. The National Child Protection Center works to end child abuse, neglect and other forms of child maltreatment through education, training, awareness, prevention, advocacy and the pursuit of justice. The Center trains future and front-line child protection professionals around the nation so that they will be prepared to recognize and report the abuse of a child. This work should be applauded and supported.

I.would like to commend the Senate Commerce Justice and Science committee for including language in their Committee report that would support efforts to train current child protection professionals, continue prevention programs and to develop undergraduate and graduate curricula on the maltreatment and exploitation of children. As we continue through the appropriations process, I would like to encourage my colleagues in the House to support this language and to include it in the final report.

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