KIMT News 3 – Kim Nelson and her staff at the Children’s Center in Albert Lea watch over little ones every day. That’s not their only job though. They’re the voice for those who can’t speak up, especially if something bad is happening.
“It is because it always goes down to that feeling you get. I tell my staff all the time if you think that you should ask me if you should call, then you should call,” said Nelson.
Nelson says they go to training once a year to learn about signs of child abuse, and she says, they’ve actually had to report cases of possible abuse. So while a renewed focus on training is good, she also wants to see more follow through from agencies after a report is made.
“I think really, the issue is about that once we do that mandate, what’s happening with that situation. It could be that we’re referring someone, making that contact to state or local authorities, then we receive a notice that there was nothing that they could do,” said Nelson.
“Its definitely a concern we always have to take that into consideration when making a report, but we feel if our staff could be as educated as possible and help spread the awareness, to advocate for our families, we can make sure to solve that problems,” said Crippen.
Sydney Crippen works with local families on a daily basis and is happy to know that her staff is trained to recognize signs of trouble. The idea that Minnesota Congressman Tim Walz is pushing for, would make even more training options available. This National Child Protection Training Act would also develop undergraduate and graduate curriculum on child maltreatment. Crippen says it will keep people accountable when it comes to reporting abuse.
“Learning more about the resources in the community, learn about the new things happening with child abuse prevention laws and regulations, and make sure they’re up to date on all of the material,” said Crippen.
Crippen also tells us at Mercy Medical Center North Iowa – they have a report of child abuse at least once a month. Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota pushed for this same bill last year.