From a Rochester Post Bulletin story about a program which will bring badly needed training to a new level:
An $11.4 million renovation of Maxwell Hall [at Winona State University in SE MN] began last June so it can house the new headquarters for the National Child Protection Training Center, as well as two other programs. The university also raised $500,000 for furnishings and other items. The center's operating budget is mostly federally funded.
The child protection training center is expected to open this summer and will be used both for the university's program to train nurses, teachers, social workers and others in child protection, as well as to upgrade training for prosecutors and other officials from throughout the country.
This center includes a house interior which can used to train professionals who are required to go into real houses so that they can practice different scenarios with the maximum amount of realism.
The goal of the training center is to have mistakes happen in training and not on the job where a mistake can leave a child in a dangerous situation and/or be labeled as a false accuser. I'm thrilled to see this center open but it is long overdue. For too long the fight against child abuse has been a scattered one where dedicated individuals and groups did everything they could. Much of that work has been and is wonderful, but we need systematic and grassroots efforts so that good results aren't scattershot.
From a related article:
The tears and terror of battered and broken children haunt Victor Vieth. Even after many years, the national leader in combating abuse can remember the children he has tried to help as an attorney. He wakes up at night, suddenly thinking of a story or face from years past. They won't let go. [...]
That passion has pushed him into the national forefront on efforts to better train hundreds of thousands of people -- such as attorneys, doctors, social workers and nurses -- on how to interview children and become leaders in what he hopes is the final battle against child abuse. Vieth doesn't want to slow abuse; he wants to end it in three generations -- about 120 years.
With this systematic approach Vieth might get close to to what he wants because the center he directs will reduce the number of child abusers who slip through the cracks because the people who responded didn't have the training they needed to be completely effective.
If we can combine this with effective systematic prevention strategies and effective systematic recovery strategies then we can get to the place where the time when people did little more than shrug over the children victimized is only a distant and bad memory.
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