It should be big news* that Hennepin County Commissioner Jan Callison** stood up for abused and neglected children when she found out County Child Protection service providers did not respond to abused & neglected children on weekends, late nights or holidays.
You could tell Commissioner Callison was upset when a service provider at a Task Force Oversight Committee meeting described the County’s procedure of leaving children in violent and abusive homes for days because public policy favored social workers not working holidays, late nights and weekends over the safety of children in dangerous circumstances.
The good news is that Governor Mark Dayton created a task force to investigate Child Protective Services and that many of the worst failures are being addressed instead of ignored. Now abused and neglected children will be seen even on weekends, holidays and late nights.
None of the 50 children I worked with in Child Protection ever made the newspaper.
No one knows about the traumas my caseload kids suffered and how that trauma will inhibit their growth and achievement for the rest of their life.
It’s not that we don’t know about how trauma impacts a child’s mental health, school performance, preteen pregnancy and involvement with criminal justice – it’s that we haven’t cared enough about other people’s children to make these kids well enough to lead a normal life.
Abused children don’t have a vote, they don’t have a voice and nothing will change unless we follow Jan Callison’s lead and be outraged when we learn about terrible abuse and bad public policy towards the youngest and most vulnerable among us.
All Adults Are The Protectors of All Children
1) Our documentary on the needs of at-risk children and breaking the cycle of abuse
2) Our second book, a collection of micro-bios following at-risk children through their journey
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*It is almost always big news when State and County workers make a mistake or are perceived to have made a mistake. Teachers, social workers and law enforcement are burdened with achieving excellent results with a growing barrage of criticism from a non-supportive public.
**If you know Commissioner Callison, please let her know that you (and KARA) really appreciate her efforts for at risk children.