The recent 3 Billion Dollar fine of GlaxoSmithKline for hiding information, bribing doctors, & promoting unapproved (and dangerous) drugs to children, included criminal as well as civil settlements is a snapshot of what’s wrong with mental health services for abused & neglected children. Just a few months ago Abbott Laboratories paid 1.6 billion dollars for off label marketing its antipsychotic drug Risperdal. Glaxo was sued in 2004 by New York State over Paxil’s criminal marketing of psychotropics.Details
CA: Programs for transitioning San Diego foster youth
San Diego Entertainer Magazine – November 26, 2012
Just in Time for Foster Youth (JIT) envisions a future in which every youth leaving the foster care system has a community of caring adults waiting for them after 18. We believe consistent, long-term help from the heart is the foundation for the success of our youth so that they can thrive and enjoy productive, satisfying lives.
Florida, The Land Of Oranges & Prosecuting 14 Year Olds As Adults (sentenced to 70 years – for robbery)
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — In decisions widely hailed as milestones, the United States Supreme Court in 2010 and 2012 acted to curtail the use of mandatory life sentences for juveniles, accepting the argument that children, even those who are convicted of murder, are less culpable than adults and usually deserve a chance at redemption.
But most states have taken half measures, at best, to carry out the rulings, which could affect more than 2,000 current inmates and countless more in years to come, according to many youth advocates and legal experts.
“States are going through the motions of compliance,” said Cara H. Drinan, an associate professor of law at the Catholic University of America, “but in an anemic or hyper-technical way that flouts the spirit of the decisions.”
Lawsuits now before Florida’s highest court are among many across the country that demand more robust changes in juvenile justice. One of the Florida suits accuses the state of skirting the ban on life without parole in nonhomicide cases by meting out sentences so staggering that they amount to the same thing.Details
FL: DeWitt: Step up to save Hernando’s visitation center (Opinion)
Tampa Bay Times – October 15, 2015
What this state most certainly does not need is one less safe place for vulnerable children. That, however, is what it will get at the end of this month with the closing of the Family Visitation Center of Hernando County. Actually, the center in Citrus County will also shut down, making two fewer safe places.
FL: Special-needs families find wait list up to 10 years long (May require free registration)
Orlando Sentinel – October 17, 2015
Theoretically, the state of Florida helps families like the Creeses. In fact, Avery is on the state’s waiting list to get a Medicaid waiver that would provide help, including at-home care to give Greg some relief, because, in Florida, the average wait time is six years.
This news has been gathered by KARA volunteer Dr. Denise R. Womer, Ph.D., a former law enforcement officer for 17 years and former DCF Investigator for the State of Florida. Dr. Womer has taught in higher education for 14 years and currently is a Professor for Kaplan University teaching in the School of Social and Behavior Sciences.
March 1, 2017
Three charged with abusing autistic child at recreation center
PENSACOLA, Fla. (WEAR) —
Three adults were arrested Thursday afternoon after an investigation determined they were involved in the physical and mental abuse of an autistic childDetails
Florida Child Protection News is gathered for KARA by Dr. Denise R. Womer, Ph.D., a former law enforcement officer for 17 years and former DCF Investigator for the State of Florida. Dr. Womer has taught in higher education for 14 years and currently is a Professor for Kaplan University teaching in the School of Social and…Details
Florida February Child Protection News gathered and presented by Dr. Denise R. Womer, Ph.D., is a former law enforcement officer for 17 years and former DCF Investigator for the State of Florida. Dr. Womer has taught in higher education for 14 years and currently is a Professor for Kaplan University teaching in the School of Social…Details
Decades of policy makers not understanding or ignoring mental health issues and failing to see the explosive growth of veterans returning with life destroying PTSD, the huge increase of children in child protection resulting from less help for young families suffering from generational child abuse & trauma is coming down hard on schools, law enforcement and health providers. All our institutions and communities are paying the price.
Sue Abderholden (Sunday Star Tribune) is far too kind to legislators and administrators who make the policies impacting young families and other people needing help in our communities.
Lawmakers saving small dollars by not supporting basic services (crisis nurseries, daycare or mental health services) are costing taxpayers decades of state ward status, crime and preteen pregnancies for people that could have been helped, could have become self-sufficient tax paying community members.Details
MN State Law making things worse for foster children is just one community failure that hurts abused children making their odds for early pregnancy, school failure and life in the justice system more likely.
HIs article describes Nathanial Hurse, a 69 year-old long-time social worker stepping forward to foster his grandchild and being refused by the State because of a 40 year old burglary conviction.
The other article is about the Supreme Court deciding if cities can influence agencies refusing to serve gay couples adopting state ward children.Details
U.S. states where children are worse off than if they lived in emerging nations. http://boingboing.net/2011/11/02/video-judge-beats-disabled-daughter-for-using-the-internet.html Pass this on & support public advocacy for at risk children (they need your help). Support KARA’s effort to stop punishing children; sponsor a conversation in your community (invite me to speak at your conference) / Buy our book…Details
Over the past few years the states of Washington (144 million dollars) and Indiana have been sued successfully for many millions of dollars for failing to protect abused and neglected children.
In Arizona, the over 6600 child abuse reports ignored by social workers prompted a class action lawsuit, Texas and New York have similar lawsuits in play, MN has been fined almost a million dollars for failing to meet federal standards for abused children re-entering child protection (MN has twice the national average) the child protection system was called a “Colossal Failure” by the Governor in the slow tortured death of 4 year-old Eric Dean and a dozen other states are facing embarrassing examples of cruelty to children and juveniles because of bad public policies.
Children in these states have been tortured, starved, murdered and raped while being cared for in overburdened Child Protection systems. The consequences of child abuse are immense and lasting for children and the fact that a community would fail to help their tortured children is barbaric.
These lawsuits are remarkable in that suing a governmental body is almost impossible because Federal, State and Local agencies are almost immune to being sued.
When lawsuits do succeed, you know that the case was overwhelming and represented just the tip of a very big iceberg of the kinds of violence being done to children in our under-appreciated and poorly understood child protection systems.
I say “Poorly understood” as it is my belief that no community, especially my community, would ignore the cries of raped, tortured and murdered children.
I refuse to believe that any community in America willfully continues to avoid fixing the institutional failures that are so painful for the children affected and the people involved in the system.
Politicians especially should understand and address the lifetimes costs in dollars and quality of life that millions of dysfunctional citizens are having on our schools, public safety and prisons.Details
This in depth report from the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire makes it painfully clear that poverty and mental health issues are often at the heart of child abuse.Details
Most of us would agree that caring for vulnerable children is a worthwhile endeavor.
What can we do to make suicide less of an option for abused and neglected children?Details
I expect that the same is true all across America; families are finding it harder to support at risk children on lower incomes; http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_19628951
It just seems to me that America’s children should all have a chance to have a childhood.
I find it hard to accept that on top of being abused, having special needs, or neglected, these children are punished again by a society too cheap to make a place for them at the table.Details
If you know one of the 600,000 Fetal Alcohol Syndrome children born each year in America, you know how much harder life is for them.
In both my family and friendships, I have come to know the great challenges faced by both the parents and the children due to the lifetime effects of this devastating destruction of early brain development.
Today’s article from Safe Passage For Children takes issue with the Hennepin County Physicians that have exempted themselves from reporting a pregnant woman’s addiction to cannabis or alcohol based on the theory that good relationships are more effective than reporting this serious form of child abuse.
Safe Passage points out that the Ramsey County Mothers First program is operating at 85% drug-free births. and asks the question if Hennepin physicians can match that.
This seems like an important and fair question to ask considering the consequences.Details
This months JAMA article indicates that we continue to underestimate the prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders by a factor as high as 10. If this is true, 5% of American children are born with a wide range of permanent and lifelong physical & mental health deficits that will result in school & life failure and premature death.
Most people in the fields of education, law enforcement or social work know the explosive growth of mental health issues of children in their in schools, homes and squad cars. We are all becoming mental health workers.
The greater and sadder truth reflected in these studies is the continued minimizing, euphemizing and obfuscation of how America treats its children and troubled young families.
The ground truth is that children can’t speak for themselves, the media sees this as a negative story and the institutions involved benefit through non-transparency and under-reporting.
These sad truths insure generation after generation of child abuse and children born of drug and fetal alcohol abuse. The cost to society and taxpayers is horrendous. We would all benefit by understanding these grim truths.Details
Kendrea had suicidal thoughts 5-7 days a week. At the time of her death,the Deputy Police Chief and Medical Examiner determined that it was highly unlikely that Kendrea had died by suicide because six year old’s found it difficult to think about suicide. How misguided. Every box of every psychotropic medication warns of suicidal ideation…Details
Sign Up Here For KARA’s Free Friday Morning Real Story KARA tracks current news about at risk children bringing transparency and attention to our youngest and most vulnerable citizens. Please note that what you see here is only a sampling of what should be reported – the great majority of child trauma & abuse never gets…Details
KY: Westerfield introduces bill to set age of criminal responsibility for youth
Kentucky New Era – February 08, 2017
Criminal complaints filed have been filed against children as young as 4.
Information Gateway resource: Youth Involved With Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/youth/collaboration/dualsystem/
MA: Report: Despite efforts, 35 kids died in state care
Boston Herald – February 10, 2017
AKARA tracks current news about at risk children bringing transparency and attention to our youngest and most vulnerable citizens.
This is only a sampling of what should be reported – the great majority of child trauma, abuse & tragedy are never reported.
American states are struggling to find answers for saving at risk children and reversing the explosive growth of child abuse and neglect.
The U.S. is experiencing 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 January 2017)
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 Florida reports 48% of its foster children are forced to take Prozac like drugs.
ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDRENDetails
Dyers sentenced to 15 years for felony child abuse
Two Fort Collins parents convicted of neglecting their daughter’s seizure condition and allowing her to all but waste away were sentenced Thursday to …
Fort Collins couple Doug and Leah Dyer sentenced to 15 years in child abuse case – Loveland Reporter-Herald
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MILO: ‘I Was A Victim Of Child Abuse’
“I am a gay man, and a child abuse victim.” wrote MILO in a Facebook post shortly after his press conference, “Between the ages of 13 and 16, two …
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Local CASA Volunteer’s Success Story
Contributed by: Fran G.
I was given my first case in February of this year a family of three children: A 13-year-old boy with mild autism, a 9-year-old girl, and a 4-year-old, all living with a Great Grandmother (74 years old).
The children have lived with their great grandmother for 4 years. There were so many questions that needed to be answered and I found that I had the time to find those answers. The lawyers, and social workers all cared for the family but lacked the time to get to know the family as well as I could.
I found, for example, that the 13-year-old boy had missed 54 days of school and had been late for his first hour class 34 times. There were several reasons, and all were easy to fix.
He needed an alarm clock, needed to stop spending the night at his favorite Aunt’s house, and needed to take responsibility. I told him he was not allowed to be late or miss school anymore. I was able to check daily via a computer how his grades were and his attendance, and so was he.Details
This article in yesterday’s NY Times, (from AP) shows how at least 786 children died awful deaths while in full view of child protection authorities. The numbers are most likely much higher (read KARA’S Sad Stories page here).
TAKE ACTION & join KARA in our awareness building campaign to save lives and support abused and neglected children in our communities.Details
Two members of an Oregon Sect that believes in faith healing were charged with murder in the death of their premature infant daughter. What would Jesus do? this is not a difficult spiritual question.
8 month old Brandon Schaible died of treatable pneumonia as did two year old Ella Foster because their parents didn’t believe in medicine, Two of Herbert and Catherine Schaible’s children died years apart from each other for the same reason.
Children in Idaho have been dying by the dozens for years at the hands of their parents. By 2014 144 children lay in the Peaceful Valley Cemetery because their parents denied them available medical care – it is likely that the number is above 200 today.
This U.S.is the only nation on the planet to not sign the International Rights of the Child Treaty, most likely because the treaty bans training children as soldiers which our Southern States do regularly (military schools).Details