From today’s Brandon Stahl article,
“Janine Moore, the area director of the county’s children and family services department, said earlier this month that child protection has a backlog of nearly 300 unreviewed reports, up from 111 in February. Moore said staff examine all cases to determine which ones need immediate response.
Earlier this year, Moore told the committee there were 15 children on a shelter waiting list, meaning they needed to be taken into protective custody but child protection workers had nowhere to put them. At one point, the committee learned, there were 30 such cases, with a wait of up to two weeks before a safe home opened up for a child.
“Quite frankly,” Moore told the committee, “we’ve been struggling with this for over a year now.”
Hennepin County CASA guardian ad litem Calvin McIntyre says that in this overwhelmed child protection system (highest caseload in more than six years), “I’ve had kids get worse”.
“About two dozen children in the past year who had nowhere else to go were admitted to the pediatric ward of Hennepin County Medical Center, said the ward’s director, Dr. Frances Prekker. Some, said Prekker, had to be confined to the ward because they might run away. Some of the children stayed in the ward for a month, Prekker said.”“It’s quite stressful [for the children]. The hospital is a really boring place to live,” Prekker said. “They feel quite isolated.”
“Brooklyn Park Police Chief Craig Enevoldsen said his officers have brought young children they suspected were abused to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale.”
These sad truths would be a little more understandable if this community hadn’t allocated a billion dollars for a stadium, a billion + dollars for transportation & almost a billion dollars to rebuild a bridge that fell in the river because we were too cheap to make the 5 million dollars in repairs repeatedly requested by County and Federal engineers.
The unintended consequences of saving the 5 million dollars in bridge maintenance were 14 deaths, 144 seriously injured people, and pain and disruption for thousands of metro residents
Without community support, children don’t learn to cope and often fail in school and public life (state wards forever).
The unintended consequences of saving the effort and money it will take to build a more effective child protection system include failing schools, high teacher turnover, dangerous city streets and filled prisons along with a growing public concern that our institutions are creating exactly what they were designed to stop.