image001175 helpless children have been beaten, starved, suffocated and burned to death in Colorado these past 5 years.  Colorado and Minnesota are almost the exact same population size and have very similar child death records.

Minnesota’s record compared to Colorado is about the same with 202 deaths and near-deaths

The big difference is the Denver Post’s reporting in Colorado has been so much more extensive and effective in bringing change to an overwhelmed child protection system.  An audit of Colorado’s child protection system has been called for and it just may happen.  As a long time volunteer guardian ad-Litem for my county, I can testify that the resources just are not there for the social workers, educators, and health workers to address the depth and scope of child abuse in our state.  We blame the social worker when a baby is found in a dumpster, and teachers for failing to teach really troubled children, often on psychotropic medications.  As of yet we haven’t blamed the police for the crimes committed by offenders in their squad cars.

This conversation is overdue.  Join me in asking our media to do more (Like the Denver Post)

Listen to the INVISIBLE CHILDREN audiobook (free)   Support Kids At Risk Action (KARA) Contact Mike For Speaking

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since 2007, 175 children in Colorado have died of abuse and neglect beaten, starved, suffocated and burned. Deepening the tragedy is that the families or caregivers of 72 of them were known to caseworkers whose job was to protect them.
Caseworkers broke at least one rule while investigating alleged abuse or neglect in half the cases reviewed. Their jobs are tough, overwhelming and, at times, a matter of life and death.
State law dictates when child welfare departments are supposed to probe allegations of abuse and neglect, but counties have wide discretion in determining whether a call has enough information to proceed further.
A memorandum of understanding is one way counties can get police officials and child protection workers on the same page when helping the abused and neglected. But a distrust between the two groups simmers.
Child protection services in some Colorado counties have been victims of an antiquated funding process that gives money without considering need. The state is seeking to fix the inequity.
When children die of abuse and neglect, prosecuting their killers is difficult. Convictions can be elusive, sentences tend to be short and often charges are never filed at all.
Children who are beaten, starved or abandoned are likely to suffer emotional trauma so severe that it can impair the way their bodies and brains grow up — and, if never addressed, cause lifelong health problems.
Methods to help protect children from abuse and neglect exist, but Colorado has lacked the funding or political will to implement many of them.
03/09/2013 11:35 PM MSTLegislators will press their case for the state auditor to conduct a performance audit of child-protection issues, including a review of caseworker workloads, when Colorado’s Legislative Audit Committee meets Tuesday.
online extras

FAILED CHILDREN VIDEO VIGNETTES

  • JOSLYN ASBERRY

     

    Joslyn Asberry was wearing five barrettes the night she died two pink, one white, one brown and one orange.

  • TORREY BROWN JR.

     

    Torrey Brown Jr. s grandmother got to keep him for one night after she told an Adams County caseworker she feared for his life. Then she was ordered to give the baby back to his mother, who police say suffocated him and threw him in the trash.

  • JAZZMIN ESCOBAR

     

    Three months before Jazzmin Escobar died because of what her uncle described as a tumble down the stairs to a cement floor, her older brother told a caseworker that the same uncle scratched behind his ears and whipped him.

  • NEVEAH GALLEGOS

     

    Miriam Gallegos promised her mother she wouldn t leave Neveah alone with her boyfriend. She knew. She promised. She left her daughter with him anyway.

  • ZOE GARCIA

     

    Zoe’s mother, Dana Trujillo, often left her care to her oldest daughter, then-16-year-old Heather, and her daughter s live-in boyfriend, Lamar Roberts, then 17, who beat Zoe to death.

  • JULIAN ADAMS LACAS

     

    Julian Adams Lacas was born with bright blue eyes. Other than that, he didn t have many gifts during his 6-month life.

  • IYANA PEREZ

     

    The grandmother made a fatal mistake when she sent Iyana to her 19-year-old son s trailer one night in July 2009. Kevin Buehler killed Iyana that night and dumped her bruised body in a trash bin behind a Safeway store.

  • JOZIAH ROMERO

     

    Joziah Romero was cold and stiff when his mother found him. The crib the 7-month-old was sleeping in had been broken for weeks.

  • JEREMIAH SAUNDERS

     

    Jeremiah was alone in the basement at Dammi Seneviratne s Denver day care when he died Nov. 4, 2010. The 17-month-old was playing with a toy, sliding wooden beads along a colorful mesh of wires when his head became wedged between the wires.

Read more:Failed to Death – The Denver Posthttp://www.denverpost.com/failedtodeath#ixzz2NQVQGYCk
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Male caregivers linked to two-thirds of child deaths, injuries

  • Article by: JEREMY OLSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 2, 2011 – 9:12 PM

Statewide study of more than 200 deaths or near-deaths of children examined the years between 2005 and 2009.

  • A troubling new report on child mortality in Minnesota has found that male caregivers were responsible for two-thirds of child deaths and near-fatal injuries from 2005 to 2009.

While advocates suggested this might be an economic indicator — that parents who can’t afford child care are leaving kids with unfit caregivers — a state human services official said the problem is not new.

“Even before the economy went in a downward spiral, we saw deaths of children at the hands of male caregivers who were not equipped to care for infants,” said Erin Sullivan Sutton, an assistant commissioner with the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

Released last week, the report by the Minnesota Child Mortality Review Panel examined 202 deaths or near-deaths from 2005 through 2009. Incidents included drownings and other preventable accidents in the home, suicides, unexplained infant injuries and homicides.

Two-thirds of the 71 inflicted injuries or homicides involved male perpetrators, some with histories of drug abuse or violence.

Most of the cases involved children under age 3 who were shaken or who suffered blows to their heads.

“The strategies [for reducing these deaths] are making sure that moms have information about child-care options,” Sullivan Sutton said, “and also thinking about what questions they should ask themselves before leaving their babies in the care of anybody.” Caring for infants, she said, “is hard work.”

Still, the male-female disparity in child homicides and injuries is a “striking finding,” said Marcie Jefferys of the Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota. Expanding child-care options and referrals is only part of the equation, she said.

“I had been noticing that in the paper for the last few years,” Jefferys said. “There are so many babies being killed by boyfriends or husbands while the mother is off to work.”

While abusive deaths and injuries were commonly committed by men, the review found more female caretakers at fault in cases of neglect.

Sullivan Sutton said both trends mirror data from the child welfare system on abuse and neglect complaints.

Jeremy Olson • 612-673-7744

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