Children Paying For Daycare

When I began as a volunteer CASA guardian ad Litem, there were 34 Minnesota families on a waiting list for subsidized daycare. Today there are over 7000. Our prior Governor shifted those dollars into the general fund claiming that subsidized daycare had no value. Why even apply? Your child will be in high school by the time a space opens up.

Today’s Star Tribune hits on two of the most common realities in communities without adequate childcare;

Infants murdered by babysitting drunk boyfriends because working mom could not find affordable daycare (institutional daycare in MN is $14,000 a year). People earning minimum wages don’t take home that much annually. The number of children beaten, raped and murdered by drunk uncles hard to believe (read it here).
The commonality of women forced to leave the workforce because they cannot afford decent daycare hurts poor families, the economy and is a terrific injustice to women everywhere.

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Children Of The Incarcerated; Collateral Damage

About 3 out of 100 Americans are incarcerated, on the way to being incarcerated, or have been released from incarceration. When broken out by race, these numbers are dramatically worse for people of color.

Minneapolis, MN for instance, arrested 44% of its adult Black men in 2001. There were no duplicate arrests and 58% of those men went on to be rearrested for a second crime within 2 years. America now leads the world in incarceration; 5% of the earth’s population and 25% of its prison population.

The children of incarcerated parents have higher rates of pregnancy, dropout and expulsion rates from school, STDs, mental health issues & criminal behavior. In fact, the children of incarcerated parents have more involvement with the criminal justice system than their offending parent did.

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Children Murdered In Kentucky, Governor Beshear Hides The Evidence

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear is hiding the records of dozens of dead children (from child abuse) because life for abused children is so awful in his state he wants it hidden from the rest of the nation.

The core issue in this nightmare of crazy people killing and abusing their children is the hiding or destruction of court records.

If you think your state doesn’t live by the same standards as Kentucky, look again.

Many states delete records of horrible abuse after three or four years.

My own state, Minnesota has the problem, Indiana, has the problem (the state known for cancelling funding promised to parents that adopt special needs children).

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Children Locked Up in America (Radio Interview)

Mass Incarceration: Where it Starts, With Our Youth

Following up from last weeks show on Mass Incarceration, which focused on adults, this week the focus is on mass incarceration of our youth. In contrast to adult incarceration, where there has been bipartisan attention from U.S. Politicians, the youth problem is all but ignored during the campaigns. The issue is a big one so it is hard to understand why it is avoided like the plague by our politicians. In fact, I could not find a single quote on the internet about youth incarceration from politicians.

Perhaps people just do not want to hear about something so depressing. Newspaper and magazine publishers claim that they will lose their readership if they cover these issues. Television believes people will turn the channel or tune out. Maybe people will not read this blog either, but it’s an important subject, so I made the decision to do the right thing and cover the issue. If awareness can increase, the likelihood of positive change can increase too.

Here are some facts:

The U.S. has the worlds highest youth incarceration rate at 225 per 100,000 (as of 2015). The next highest rate amongst developed nations is South Africa at 69 per 100,000. The U.S. is 6 to 10 times that of the other developed nations.

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Children Living Under Bridges

Because of the media’s coverage of dog food eating seniors living under bridges, Bud and Margaret were able to live a clean, modest lifestyle and not die in the pain and disgrace of poverty, living in tents or under bridges.

Today, America has children living under bridges (lots of them).

The number of homeless students attending Duluth public schools jumped 21% this year (a statewide trend and worse in many parts of the nation).

Among the *industrialized nations, (the 24 nations with long established infrastructures and democracies) the U.S. ranks number 1 in child poverty with 23% of our children living in poverty.

Homeless children are 3 times more likely to be sexually assaulted than those living at home. Homeless children find it much harder to succeed in school or in life and their delinquency & crimes rates are far higher than the general population.

There is not a religion on the planet that abandons children & those people claiming there is do not have real religion (point that out to them).

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Children Living & Dying As Martyrs to a Parents Religion

Many American newborns remain untested and untreated for very treatable metabolic disorders, hearing, sight & blood lead level s. 48 States allow religious exemptions from vaccination.

Some states allow religion to keep children from TB testing in school. 43 states give some kind of criminal or civil immunity to parents injuring their children by withholding medical care on religious grounds.

Six states let parents keep teachers from teaching their children about disease in school.

Over the years KARA has reported on children dying because their parents withheld medical treatment because the church told them to do so.

Some religions allow child neglect and abuse & some states allow a religious defense against charges of murdering their child – and “some can’t be charged with murder at all” (Slate).

2 years ago, Kansas State Rep Gail Finney vowed to pass a bill that allowed caregivers to leave bruises and cause bleeding. Arkansas State Rep Charles Fuqua promoted the death penalty for rebellious children (based on religious grounds).

As a volunteer County guardian ad-Litem, it has been awful to observe sexually abused two and four year old children and children suffering from violent physical abuse and neglect live through that abuse & try to overcome the terror and traumas inflicted upon them to make for themselves a normal life. Not many do.

KARA believes the U.S. should ratify the International Rights of the Child Treaty (we are the only nation not to have done so).

There are many cults in America that need to be exposed for the terrible way they treat children. Here’s one reported on by the Daily Beast this morning (send KARA your examples & forward this to your state rep).

Here’s a breakdown from Children’s Healthcare that shows a breakdown of states and their religious exemptions.

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Children In The News (update),

MI: Littlest victims: Here’s one easy way you can (and should) fight child abuse (Includes Video)
mLive – May 01, 2014
This video, titled Make the Call, is a community effort to encourage people to make that call.
http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2014/05/littlest_victims_heres_one_eas.html

MI: DHS Launches new Child Welfare Software
MI News 26 – April 30, 2014
The DHS used a “soft launch” to debut the new (Michigan Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System) on Wednesday morning.
http://www.minews26.com/content/?p=31172

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Children In The News – read about your state here (thank you child welfare.gov)

ID: Bill to protect children of faith healers in Idaho will not get a hearing
Associated Press – February 26, 2014
House leaders ruled out a hearing on a bill meant to curb the number of children who die because their parents choose faith healing and not medical assistance for religious reasons.
http://www.katu.com/news/local/Bill-to-protect-children-of-faith-healers-in-Idaho-will-not-get-a-hearing-247401091.html

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Children Feeling Betrayed (thank you Safe Passage for Children & PBS)

Children who are badly abused sometimes seek help from teachers, extended family, or social workers. When they get none they feel profoundly betrayed by adults. This can have lifelong consequences for the children and society, as this PBS story illustrates.

Today’s dominant political view is that children are nearly always better off with their families. This creates systemic pressures to leave children where they are even when abuse is extreme.

Decisions should be based on each child’s best interests. Children shouldn’t be vehicles for the politics of ideology, culture or race. They don’t care about these things. They just want the pain to end.

Children don’t participate in policy-making. Their interests can only be factored into child protection practices by adults who comprehend their anguish and speak out for them.

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Children at the Border “Torture; “extended exposure to violence and deprivation” (World Health Organization’s definition of torture)

The psychotropic medicating (Prozac, Ritalin and Zoloft type drugs) of very young children was deemed worthy of billions in civil fines for big pharmaceutical companies not long ago. Today, America is illegally drugging migrant children with psychotropics without parental consent. It is a crime.

Torture is what happens to a child separated from her mother at a U.S. boarder crossing. Torture results in trauma. Children in cages – toddlers in pens? Traumatizing children has a very real effect on a child’s developing brain, impacts mental health and can last forever. To think this government has a policy of drugging and torturing children should be a wake up call that this administration will stop at nothing to achieve a small political gain.

It’s wrong and we should all be ashamed.

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Children As Political Chips – how bad can this get?

CHIP provides health care coverage to nearly 9 million children. Approximately 1.9 million children are at risk of having their CHIP coverage terminated during the month of January if Congress takes no action.

Call your Senator & let them know that playing politics with the life of a child is awful. Be bold and tell them that you could not support someone who would allow the life of a child to be less important than a political party chit.

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Childhood Trauma & Psychosis (another study; University of Liverpool)

REVIEW FINDS THAT CHILDHOOD TRAUMA CAN LEAD TO PSYCHOSIS

An international team of researchers, led by a University of Liverpool psychologist, has published a review of recent research and concluded that there is strong support for the hypothesis that early trauma in childhood (including abuse and neglect) can effect brain development in ways that increase the probability of developing psychosis later in life.

Anomalies in the brains of people diagnosed with mental health problems such as ‘schizophrenia’ have traditionally been used to support the notion that such problems are biologically based brain disorders that have little to do with life events.

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Childhood Trauma – Making Children Crazy

This powerful ACEs Too High article contains tons of statistics and information related to the prevalence of child abuse in America. What has struck me most is the impact abuse has on school engagement and the number of states where being an at risk child can be dangerous. The list of states with a lack of prenatal care and poor services for young mothers, lack of insurance, affordable day care and other early childhood programs has grown to about 1/3 of America.

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Childhood Disrupted (the book)

Donna Jackson Nakazawa book CHILDHOOD DISRUPTED explains how a child’s biography becomes her biology and how to heal. It may be the first self help book about ACEs and speaks to why chronic disease, mental illness, violence, suicide, and addiction are so common to abused and neglected children.

Donna is a science journalist that writes about toxic stress and childhood development in a way we can all understand. She presents 13 stories of trauma about people she followed for a year and how childhood stress can lead to a life of illness and sadness.

The happy part of the book is the research that shows how self-care, exercise, adequate sleep, meditation, safe environment/relationships and smart therapies can heal.

You will finish the book understanding how toxic stress changes a person for life, how genes impacted in childhood develop various illnesses and mental health disorders (and what epigenetics is).

This book repeated the experience of my 65 year old attorney friend who bought me lunch when I wrote the book INVISIBLE CHILDREN in 2005. At Lunch he told me in confidence that he had never spoken to anyone about his abuse by a priest as child. When he was 45 years old, smoking, drinking, overweight and on his 3rd marriage and 4th business partnership he finally sought out a therapist who he sees to this this day (about 30 years).

As a long time volunteer CASA child protection guardian ad-Litem, I am convinced that Donna’s truths are profoundly accurate and they explain the sadness and behavioral problems impacting millions of children, our schools, public safety, crime, and community well being.

At some point, we must recognize the crisis our society faces by the terrifically high number of child abuse reports (6 million children annually) and support Donna’s plea for a new medical paradigm with a system in which physicians offer, “not just a drug, but a recovery plan” would make a huge difference in the lives of at risk youth. Send this article to your doctor.

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Child Well Being Statistics, Stories & Trauma March 2018 (V)

Woman Arrested In Death Of 11-Month-Old Girl
CBS Boston / WBZ
QUINCY (CBS) – A 27-year-old Quincy woman is facing charges in the death of a baby. Prosecutors say Shu Feng Hsu assaulted 11-month-old Chloe Chen in February. Police say that she either shook her niece or struck her in the head. The baby died two days later at Boston Medical Center.
DA: Quincy woman to be charged in death of baby girl – Boston Herald
Woman accused of assaulting baby who later died – WCVB Boston
Quincy: Arrest & Arraignment in February Baby Death Investigation – 95.9 WATD-FM (blog)
Full Coverage

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Child Well Being State by State March 2018 (X)

HI: Girl who was severely beaten after state returned her to mom gets $450K payout (Includes video)
Hawaii News Now – March 02, 2018
Twelve years ago, Shari Rodrigues suffered permanent brain and internal injuries after she was beaten by her biological mother’s boyfriend. The state initially took the girl, who was 2 at the time, away from her mother. The girl was then returned.
http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/37636849/girl-who-was-severely-beaten-after-state-returned-her-to-mom-gets-450k-payout

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Child Well Being State By State March 2018 (II)

AZ: Fixing Our Foster Care Crisis
Arizona Daily Star – March 27, 2018
After peaking with nearly 19,000 children in foster care in 2016, Arizona set out to keep more families together and pull fewer kids from their homes. Some changes are taking hold, and the number of kids in out-of-home care is trending downward.
http://tucson.com/fixing-arizona-s-foster-care-crisis/article_10fe027e-31f5-11e8-b4b8-ef0126c7b046.html

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Child Well Being Minnesota

Last week KARA board members Sam Ashkar, Bob Olson, & I attended the Child Well-Being meeting to learn current information on the status of abused and neglected children in MN. The data came from the Citizens review panel, Office of the Legislative Auditor, and a powerful report from Safe Passage For Children.

Information is important in how one frames and speaks of a problem. Being grounded in facts is always superior to what one hears from the talking heads (and blogs).

Statistics are evidence of the success or failure of important process and programs.

Last Year there were 58,163 reports of child abuse 2/3’s of them were screened out (were not investigated).

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Child Well Being & Trauma March 2018 (part I)

Perris Couple Accused of Torturing Children Return to Court
NBC Southern California
David Allen Turpin, 56, and Louise Ann Turpin, 49, are charged with 12 counts each of torture and false imprisonment, as well as nine counts of child abuse and seven counts of cruelty to a dependent adult. David Turpin is additionally charged with one count of lewd acts on a child under 14 years old, …
Flag as irrelevant

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Child Well Being & Child Abuse State by State (March 2018) IV

CA: LA County Board looks to shut down pipeline from foster care to juvenile hall
City News Service – March 20, 2018
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to reevaluate the treatment of youngsters in the county’s care, aiming to keep foster children out of juvenile halls and camps.
http://theavtimes.com/2018/03/20/la-county-board-looks-to-shut-down-pipeline-from-foster-care-to-juvenile-hall/

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Child Well Being & Abandonment March 2018 (III)

Opinion | Home visits a key to trauma-informed care for kids
The Commercial Appeal
As evidence of the impact of childhood trauma continues to permeate child-serving institutions, teachers, social workers, pediatricians and caregivers are changing the way they interact with children who have been subjected to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Of the many techniques and …

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