A Note to Brandon Stahl & the Tribune (abused children still need you)

It is only because you found the death of 4 year-old Eric Dean suspicious and dedicated yourself to reporting on the awful circumstances that killed him after 15 ignored reports of child abuse, that this volunteer CASA guardian ad Litem has any hope for the thousands of other terrified and tortured children in need of child protection services today.

Working for decades with traumatized children, I’ve experienced the awful truth about the lasting impact of abuse on children and the lasting impact of abused children on our community.

Brandon, your efforts and insights into the inadequacies and failures of a system in need of transparency, accountability and media attention is why Governor Dayton called out the colossal failure of the system & created the task force that has brought significant change to an institution not given to criticism or outside influence.

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A Governor’s Discussion About The Politics Of Children – Oct 19 & Nov 15 (be there)

Join us for a series of discussions on the future of early childhood with Minnesota’s next governor!

October 19, 4:30-5:30pm, DFL Candidate Conversation Click here to RSVP!
November 15, 4:30-5:30pm, GOP Candidate Conversation (registration to open soon)

Both events to be hosted at People Serving People – Center of Excellence
2400 Park Ave. South, Minneapolis 55404

Minnesota has made significant progress in investing in our state’s earliest learners, but much work remains. Looking ahead, a new Governor in 2018 will play a pivotal role in deciding the direction and importance of early childhood care and education in Minnesota.

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September Sad Stories 2017 Part II

OH: Greene County in need of additional foster families

Xenia Daily Gazette – August 31, 2017

Greene County Children’s Services has seen a 22 percent increase in new children services cases from 2015 through 2016 in addition to a 65 percent increase in children being placed – but only 51 licensed foster homes.

http://www.xeniagazette.com/news/20868/greene-county-in-need-of-additional-foster-families

OR: Volunteers sought for foster care Citizen Review Board

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September Sad Stories 2017 Part I

37% of children overall and 57% of Black children are reported to child protection services in America by the time they turn 18. (American Journal of Public Health 1.17)

12 million children a year are reported to child protection services each year and in many states, 1/3 of foster children are required to take psychotropic medicines

ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN

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Foster Care – the American Tragedy

There is no endeavor more difficult, painful and underappreciated than inviting a traumatized state ward child into your home as a foster child.

Let no one report that this article demeans or discredits the brave people that have made their home a foster home.

What has been a voluntary and informal act of kindness and concern for vulnerable children is now a regulated and complex industry that deals with the compound needs of abused children within the state industry of child protective services.

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Traumatized Children – Nurturing vs. Punishment (Hooray Wisconsin)

Wisconsin is lowering teen pregnancy rates, reducing violence in juvenile detention centers and decreasing emergency room visits by employing ACEs trauma informed practices.

They are also saving lots of taxpayer dollars.

These are the children that become the state wards for decades if their lives don’t improve.

80% of kids aging out of foster care lead dysfunctional lives. No one wins.

Any objective comparison between the science of children’s mental health (ACES) and America’s deeply imbedded punishment model demonstrates how unworkable, painful and counter-productive it is to punish traumatized children one more time.

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The Beatings Will Continue Until the Morale Improves (it’s all your fault)

Historically, we blame educators for failing schools and social workers for murdered children within the child protection system.

This behavior is wrong and counterproductive. It’s like blaming a police officer for the person in the squad car.

If you know police officers, social workers and teachers you know how hard their work is and how dedicated they are to what they do.

The blame for the poor results we have been getting in our schools, child protection and criminal justice system lies with us as voters and policy makers.

Until we understand the depth and scope of the problem and give the people working with the children and youth in our communities the support they need, our problems will continue to grow.

On the bright side, Minnesota has the Washburn Center for Children which is almost 100% successful in treating abused and neglected children. We know how to break the cycle of generational child abuse.

All that is left to do is scale the trauma informed practices to a level that meets the need. The economic reasons for doing this are compelling and it is the right thing to do.

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Gun Violence & Children In Your State (8369) kids were killed or injured by gunfire in 2015)

This website tracks gun violence daily in the U.S.

It demonstrates a rising number of people shot each year with almost four thousand children and youth shot last year. As far as I know it is the first nonprofit / non political reporting venue on gun violence.

These past KARA articles cover children & guns in our neighborhoods

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Bringing Transparency to Child Trauma & Abuse to End Child Abuse Where You Live

Unseen and unknown, America’s abused & traumatized children lead painful lives that without help do not improve much as they age.

Do at risk children in your community need more support to lead normal lives? Would more information and community involvement make their lives better?

Check out Kids At Risk Action traveling exhibit provided free to colleges where you live and build support for the better answers these children need.

All Adults Are The Protectors of All Children

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August Sad Stories Part II

Kids At Risk Action; American states are struggling to find answers for saving at risk children and reversing the explosive growth of child 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 drug, alcohol and mental health issues

37% of children overall and 57% of Black children are reported to child protection services in America by the time they turn 18. (American Journal of Public Health 1.17)

12 million children a year are reported to child protection services each year and in many states, 1/3 of foster children are required to take psychotropic medicines

ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN

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August Sad Stories Part I

American states are struggling to find answers for saving at risk children and reversing the explosive growth of child 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 drug, alcohol and mental health issues

37% of children overall and 57% of Black children are reported to child protection services in America by the time they turn 18. (American Journal of Public Health 1.17)

12 million children a year are reported to child protection services each year and in many states, 1/3 of foster children are required to take psychotropic medicines

ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN

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A Star Tribune Mistake (impacting millions of children each year)

“Did you all see the article in the Science and Health section of the Sunday Star Tribune? – ”Study will look at the role of childhood stress in adult disease”. There is a line in there that says, to the effect, that very little is known about the connection between childhood stress and adult disease. Give me a break. What about the ACE Study? Very discouraging.”

Thank you Carol.

Here are my thoughts on your note;

Beyond the sadness of reporters and the general public lacking awareness about the plethora of * ACEs studies demonstrating the direct connection between abuse and lack of coping skills, chronic illness, dangerous lifestyles and early death, is that the most recent reprinting of the DSM* shows almost no mention of ACEs.

Professionals in the mental health field and learning institutions that train new mental health workers need to know ACEs trauma informed best practices for working with trauma victims if we are ever to increase graduation rates, reduce crime and incarceration rates and rebuild safe and livable inner cities.

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Snapshot of Child Abuse News Headlines August 2017 (thank you Eileen King & Child Justice)

Woody Allen has never been charged with a sex crime.
In the court of public opinion, however, a large segment long ago began viewing the famed director a deviant for two reasons. First, in 1992, his former partner Mia Farrow accused him of molesting his then 7-year-old adoptive daughter Dylan Farrow. Then in 1997, he

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Don’t Blame The Mandated Reporter (why child abuse reporting is sporadic)

This review about the dangers mandated reporters are facing is taken from a series of excellent articles on child abuse by the Daily Kos

As a longtime volunteer CASA guardian ad-Litem, I have too much experience with failure to identify/failure to report terrible things done to children. Reporters genuinely fear for their safety and reputation and fail to report (0r, “see”) horrific abuse to avoid potential damage to themselves.

Support KARA’s Public Television Documentary project to bring attention, awareness, and change to children’s issues.

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Risky Child Protection Practices In MN Persist (thank you Safe Passage For Children MN)

Safe Passage For Children of MN has pointed out today that obvious child protection steps in our state are not being followed and might need legislation to be accomplished. Yes to protecting children and making these changes. Far too many children spend far too many months/years being repeatedly traumatized because our system allows risky practices.

Making the first child protection visit unannounced instead of scheduling it in advance
No longer conducting initial interviews of children in the presence of their alleged abusers
Training workers to do fact-finding

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Minnesota’s At Risk Children’s News (first 6 months of 2017)

What’s it like to be an abused child in Minnesota? The stories and articles below shine a light on the sadness and traumas faced by five year-olds, infants and other helpless children in our state. These stories are only a tiny percentage of the pain suffered by at risk children in our state. The vast majority of violence against children is unknown outside the family. Share this widely and consider supporting a child friendly legislator or service providing organization with your time or dollars. Be a voice for abused and neglected children (they can’t call their state representative to ask for help – they need us to do it for them).

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The Problem With Accommodating Hate (& hateful people)

Wanting to get along is a blessing and a curse.

Most of us lean towards accommodation and away from conflict.

We avoid conflict and accept behaviors & beliefs in others that stretch us to our limits. Caring friends may argue or give guidance to hateful people but once the poison of hatred and bigotry has been ingested, tepid arguments and kind suggestions just don’t work.

The failure of a “reasoning” strategy becomes evident when hundreds or thousands of hateful mean spirited racist people gather to spread their vile and pernicious message in the public square. Poisoning the people that talk to and the people they hate, great fear is spread and great harm is done.

Can you imagine what it was like for the five year-olds on the buses carrying only women and children from Central America when they were attacked by hate groups in Arizona and California screaming obscenities and “send them back”?

What will the six year-olds of Charlottesville learn in their first year of schooling about the screaming haters that filled their streets and televisions with maniacal hate mongering?

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Mental Health Service Calls Police & Health Care (thank you Minnetonka Officer Scott Marks & HCMC)

All service providers are struggling to meet the increased volume and severity of mental health related cases they are forced to deal with every day.

In Minnetonka the crisis and mental health calls are on track to reach 377 this year (from 120 in 2005).

Community Engagement Police Officer Scott Marks of Minnetonka MN has just received a national “Why We Serve” contest for his proposed “Aftercare Program” training of officers to visit patients that have been sent to the hospital and help them find resources after they are released.

Programs like Officer Mark’s will make our communities safer and more livable. As a long time volunteer CASA guardian ad Litem, I have watched far too many traumatized teen and preteen children behaving badly and treated like criminals when what they need is the aftercare this police officer is working to make happen.

Share this with your networks and send it to your local police department with a donation you can afford and a request that the money is used for a program like Officer Scott Marks is building.

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The Best Article On Child Protective Services Ever (this is worth the read)

the impossible dilemma faced by child protection workers, judges and parents when a child abuse claim is made. What shouldn’t happen and what should happen for the safety of a child and the integrity of the institution of child protection.

Repercussions of a child abuse report last forever (what’s it like for the child to hear the specific abuse charges brought against you), parents sometimes not allowed to say goodbye, what is imminent danger and how long before you get a hearing (in some communities a year is common).

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KARA Radio Interview National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse (Bill Murray/Mike Tikkanen)

This compelling interview covers the landscape of how abuse and trauma impact children and communities throughout America and shines a spotlight on what has to change to save children and build healthy communities. Bill Murray conducts a powerful in depth review of child protection, Prozac and very young children, foster homes and much more. Click below for the whole show;

Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) – 1678

Tonight’s special guest is Mike Tikkanen from Minnesota, a returning NAASCA family member who founded KARA (“Kids at Risk Action”). He’s also the author of the free book “Invisible Children; the American cycle of abuse and its… more

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Your Tax Dollars At Work (why profit driven schools fail our children)

If you look hard and long at who is hurt the most by the Globes and Trumps of the world, it is almost always poor people that don’t have the education, the background or the ability to know when they are being scammed.

Ten years later, the Federal or State government steps in and after a long and drawn out legal battle forcing the scammer out of business. In the mean time, our society struggles to bear up under the ever increasing numbers of troubled, uneducated people that just can’t get a break.

All Adults Are the Protectors of All Children

Here are a few articles about vouchers and the private schools that will become an ever increasing part of our worries as public schools struggle for lack of resources and public support (send us your stories and captured articles on the topic;

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July 2017 Sad Stories Part II

Kids At Risk Action tracks current news about child abuse & neglect bringing transparency and attention to our youngest and most vulnerable citizens.

This is only a sampling of what should be reported – the majority of child trauma & abuse never gets reported.

American states are struggling to find answers for saving at risk children and reversing the explosive growth of the traumatic impact of child 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 drug, alcohol and mental health issues

37% of children overall and 57% of Black children are reported to child protection services in America by the time they turn 18. (American Journal of Public Health 1.17)

12 million children a year are reported to child protection services each year and in many states, 1/3 of foster children are required to take psychotropic medicines

ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN

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