Our Creeping Mental Health Crisis (& statistics)

As a new CASA guardian ad Litem volunteer I was stunned by the Prozac, Ritalin and other psychotropic medications prescribed to my seven, eight and nine year old State Ward children. About 1/3 of all state ward children (nationally) are forced onto psychotropic medications. Suicide is now the 2nd leading cause of death among 10 to 24 year olds.

Over 1 million children under 6 are prescribed psychiatric drugs in America today. In 2014, 20,000 one and two year old’s were on Prozac like drugs & *Johnson & Johnson was fined billions of dollars for illegally selling those drugs to pediatricians for use on very young children…

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Christmas for Adult Survivors of Child Abuse

All Adults Are the Protectors of All Children

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Christmas can be a painful time for adult survivors of child abuse.  NAASCA is an established organization that speaks candidly about the issues and this article hits the nail on the head at Christmastime.

NAASCA’s weekly radio show is informative and well worth the time.

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Teachers Are People Too

This KARA post from 2005 suggests a significant improvement in graduation rates in Minneapolis schools. No Child Left Behind really did leave behind a great many children.

From our 2005 piece;

Roosevelt High school graduated 28% of its students last year—Minneapolis and other big city schools averaged graduation rates between 50% and 60% nationwide. 25% of graduating U.S. high school seniors are functionally illiterate.

Teachers and school administrators are accused of bad stewardship. That is like blaming the police for who sits in the back seat of a squad car. It’s not their fault.We are all in this together, or as Pliny the elder said 2500 years ago, “what we do to our children, they will do to our society”

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Teachers As First Responders

What’s it like to be a first grade teacher frightened by an out of control little boy who kicks, punches or stabs classmates with pencils? Is the principal trauma informed? Are their teams of trauma informed teachers or sufficient mental health resources that can lessen the chances of expelling a seven or nine year old from the school?

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Recent Child Abuse and Child Protection Stories; Arizona/Arkansas

Recent Child Abuse and Child Protection Stories; Arizona/Arkansas
Kids At Risk Action tracks the stories of abused and neglected children and the people, policies and programs that impact them. This is a snapshot of how Arizona and Arkansas value their children.
This is only a small fraction of the stories about the lives of the state’s most vulnerable citizens over the past twelve months.
The vast majority of child abuse and child protection issues are never reported or talked about.
Kids At Risk Action needs an aspiring writer/research to help gather and report on these stories in your state. Contact mike@invisiblechildren.org with REPORTING in the subject line.

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California Child Protection Updates thru May 2017

KARA gathers news about abused abused children in America and around the world to provide a snapshot of Child Protection and how states and nations value their children.

Kids At Risk Action needs an aspiring writer/research to help gather and report on these stories.

If you are an aspiring writer/researcher with an urge to speak for your communities abused and neglected children,

Contact mike@invisiblechildren.org with REPORTING in the subject line.

All Adults Are the Protectors of All Children

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National Adoption Month (statistics, books, videos & articles of, by & about foster and adoptive children)

One out of 25 U.S. families have an adopted child. Half of the 135,000 adoptions are from the foster care system. There are over 100,000 eligible children waiting to be adopted. The average age of a foster child in the system is 7.7 years old and 29% of those children will be in foster care for at least three years. There are 438,000 children in foster care in America today & in 2016, 687,000 children spent time in foster care. 37% of American children are reported to child protection services by their 18th birthday.

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Going Backwards on Child Safety? (thank you Safe Passages for Children of MN)

Minnesota’s abused and neglected children need our voices. Share this with your networks;

Recently some legislators and child protection agencies began theorizing that an underlying cause of caseload increases is screening families into the system not because of maltreatment, but as a way to get them scarce social services.

Statistically, this seems unlikely.

According to the Department of Human Services, last year counties screened in 45% of 84,000 maltreatment reports. Since the screen-in rate for states nationally is 60%, this suggests that nearly 12,000 Minnesota children are still being inappropriately denied child protection help.

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Response to Our Friend Hector

I believe that the challenge addressed in this document has to do with ACES and other escalating problems in our society. Please let me know your thoughts.

Hector,

Sadly, the combination of American “bootstrap” culture, harsh individual freedom driven capitalism and defining success as “more money/winning at any cost” are denigrating social sciences/human services and anything else that gets in the way (including “science”).

Our institutions are paying a terrible price demonstrated by the cost of and underperformance in quality of life indices across the board (public health, public education, public safety).

This nation no longer leads the world in the things that make for a safe and livable society. We lead in teen STDs & pregnancies, prison populations, recidivism & incarcerated juveniles, poverty and in most financially rewarding areas of endeavor.

Add to that, the concurrent explosion of trauma related mental health problems (ACES) facing institutions service providers; educators, social and health workers, law enforcement, court and detention personnel are finding their level of training severely inadequate, jobs much more stressful and dangerous with a lack of success across most institutional venues.

The level of violence in hospitals, care & detention centers, foster homes and schools is high and growing and our reliance on Prozac like drugs in managing these problems bodes ill for any long term solutions (without treatment these problems grow exponentially)

Generational child abuse and trauma is the most misunderstood and powerful social disease present in this nation today and there are few signs of its abatement.

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September 2018 Child Sex Abuse & Trafficking (I)

KARA (Kids At Risk Action) tracks current news about at risk children bringing transparency and attention to our youngest and most vulnerable citizens.
Human trafficking is rapidly growing crime across Tennessee
In Tennessee alone, according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, 110 cases were reported in 2017. Those are the ones we know about.

Man accused of trafficking teens for sex in North Texas arrested by feds

A Texas man known as “Iceberg” was arrested for allegedly engaging in child sex trafficking, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court in …

Ex-senator may get life in prison for child sex trafficking
ABC News

A former Republican state senator in Oklahoma was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison Monday on a child sex trafficking charge. U.S. District …
Former Oklahoma senator convicted of child sex trafficking sentenced to 15 years in prison – kfor.com
Former Oklahoma senator sentenced to prison for child sex trafficking – NewsOK.com

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Child Rape & Sex Trafficking – Church vs. Family (stories & statistics)

It is good to know that someone is advocating for raped and trafficked children.

If not for the research, reporting and press about priests molesting children, there would not be much attention or understanding of the trauma suffered by sexually abused children or their numbers.

It’s not clear how many children have been abused by priests in the U.S. these past 20 years, but a reasonable guess might be 50,000 to 100,000.

Using the higher total of 100,000 children abused over 20 years by priests means that about 5000 children a year have been molested annually.

Statistically, this number is a tiny fraction of the sexual violence & trafficking done to American children in their own homes by family members and caregivers each year.

Between 63,000 & 400,000 of the 7.4 million children reported abused in America each year have suffered sexual violence. Of the 50 children I helped remove from toxic homes as a volunteer CASA guardian ad Litem, about half of them had suffered sexual violence. One as young as two, several that were four and the rest under ten when their abuse started.

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Valuing Other People’s Children

The U.S. rates badly among industrialized nations in how we treat and value children. America is the only nation in the world to not sign the International Rights of the Child Treaty.
Today’s post by Safe Passage for Children of MN shows how badly our state compares to the rest of the nation in protecting at risk children.
“What we do to our children they will do to society”.
This statement is as true today as it was 2000 years ago when Pliny the Elder made it.
All Adults Are the Protector of All Children

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Judge Kavanaugh, The Catholic Church, Statistics & Child Sex Abuse

The miserable politics of rape at the highest level in our government are playing out today. Once more, sexual violence is in the spotlight as America’s second recent Supreme Court nominee (Kavanaugh) is being questioned about horrid behaviors of a sexual nature.

This topic has few friends. It remains under the surface until someone makes a painful accusation and the community accepts or rejects the accuser.

Our attention lately has been on the tens of million and hundreds of million dollar verdicts awarded to victims of church sanctioned child abuse (3 billion to date).

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The Economics of Mental Illness (from KARA 2005)

Treating mental health issues in children is far more effective than letting the problems grow into adulthood, where the evidence clearly indicates a continued social failure and institutional dependence (whether prison, hospital, or state sponsored programs) for people denied help in their youth.

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Drugging Children (August Sad Stories 2018)

37% of children overall and 54% of Black children are reported to child protection services in America by the time they turn 18.

(American Journal of Public Health 1.17)

6 to 12 million children a year are reported to child protection services and in many states,

About 1/3 of foster children are required to take psychotropic medicines

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