Kids At Risk Action (KARA) Board

Note – KARA does not have resources to work on individual cases

Please use our Resource / Links (under the About KARA button) to find connections

KARA was created to initiate community conversations and to engage Minnesota citizens in discussions about the incredible problem of at risk, neglected and abused children in Minnesota.  Since our inception, nearly two decades ago, KARA has engaged principals, teachers, social workers, lawyers, judges, police officers, parents, students, health professionals, and the larger community in discussions about child abuse and trauma.

CAROL KOEPP – Retired Special Education Teacher (Wayzata High); Retired Social Justice Coordinator, First Unitarian Society, Mpls; Co-developer of Public Policy Committee, NAMI-Eastside, Redmond, WA.

DAMON KOCINA, Father, coach, marketing guru dedicated to improved child protection and support for young families.

PATTI HETRICK, Proud mom of 4 adopted children through the Minnesota Waiting Children Program.  Financial experience in public, private, and small business.  Currently, the Budget Director for Anoka County.

MIKE TIKKANEN, Author:  Invisible Children, volunteer CASA Guardian ad Litem in Hennepin County since 1996, current and founding board member of CASAMN and Founder & President of KARA.  Mike has bought, sold, owned and operated a number of Minnesota businesses and managed dozens of employees in his corporate life.  He is unapologetically and passionately committed to improving the lives of at risk children.

JOE MCCARTHY  Corporate managements positions at The Pillsbury Company, Eli Lilly & Company and Dayton Hudson Corporation- founder of  international public relations firm, Pinnacle Worldwide, Inc.- military officer and spokesperson for the Department of the Army – Pentagon- high school teacher and long-time supporter of children’s issues.

DAVID STRAND Volunteer CASA guardian ad-Litem,  made public policy in Europe on children’s issues for ten years, wrote the book, Nation Out Of Step about the difference in public policy towards children between the U.S. and the rest of the industrialized world.

TIFFINI FLYNN FORSLUND  Volunteer CASA guardian ad-Litem (past), Individual of Color, African American who overcame many struggles and could have easily become one of the statistics KARA is trying to help.  It is so rewarding to be able to create change to stop or reverse the devastation caused from over 500 years of oppression.

You can help at-risk children! Join us by supporting our organization goals.  Tweet & post KARA blog articles on you social networking sites.   Talk to your friends, family, & coworkers about what you read here.  Help us make this conversation come alive and make a difference in your community. Currently running for City Council in Minneapolis.

KARA Advisors;

Don Shelby

DR David McCollum

American states and counties, including those in Minnesota, are struggling to find better answers for saving at-risk children and breaking the cycle of abuse and neglect.  Today, many state ward children are the 4th and 5th generation of abused children raising their own families without parenting skills and with serious mental health issues. In the U.S. 12 million children a year are reported to child protection services.  Those services are overwhelmed and the results are troubling.

Abused children have no voice in the homes they are raised in, the courts that rule their lives, the media and the legislature. Founded in 2001, Kids At Risk Action (KARA)  works for increased access to improved child protection services, quality day care, increased access to crisis nurseries and trauma-informed mental health services as well as better understanding of the impact of psychotropic medications on children.

KARA’s current initiatives include the following:

  • Research, speaking and writing about child abuse and child protection issues.
  • PRIMARY; Advancing the reach of KARA’s traveling college/university/museum exhibit
  • Civic involvement and lobbying
  • Developing a video documentary
  • Developing an Invisible Children book as a follow on the first book published in 2005

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