This is a compilation of recent news that reflects the conditions of youth and youth policy in the U.S. this past few weeks. Thank you Jamie Wilt and Century College for your hard work and good programs.Details
VA: State finds Richmond DSS not at fault in two child deaths
WTVR – April 18, 2014
A review conducted by Virginia’s Department of Social Services determined Richmond’s Department of Social Services (RDSS) did not contribute to the death of two children known to RDSS last year. VDSS is reviewing what happened to five children who died since April of last year and were known to RDSS at some point.
SC: Exclusive – Robert Guinyard’s life and death in SC’s child welfare system
The State – August 17, 2014
Since his death, Robert has become the face of the debate over whether Social Services is doing all it can to protect children like the 4-year-old, one of 67 children who died last year after contact with the state’s child welfare agency.
Take a moment to check out KARA at Indiegogo and share it with your friends. All the tools and perks are there. Get perks, make a contribution, or simply follow updates. If enough of us get behind it, we can make “At Risk Children’s Documentary Project with TPT TV” happen.
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).Details
THE IMPACT OF DOMESTIC ABUSE ON CHILDREN
Tuesday, February 16
6 p.m. Light Supper and Social 6:30 P.M. Program
Cafeteria, Hennepin Technical College, 9000 Brooklyn Blvd, Brooklyn Park, Map
RSVP on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1kWpPiG or to CarolWoehrer@usfamily.net
If you live in a state where children are 8 times more likely to be incarcerated (Wyoming), 13 times more likely to die from abuse & neglect (Oklahoma), twice as likely to die in their first year, 3 times more likely to die between 1 and 14 years old, 3 times more likely to die between the ages of 15-19, (Alaska, South Dakota, Louisiana), 3 times more likely to be born to a teenage mom (Texas), 5 times more likely to have received late or no prenatal care (New Mexico),
Would you forward this email to your state representative, Governor, Mayor, Senators, and your friends, neighbors, and relatives?
Maybe one more influential person would vote for child friendly programs that would result in one more child gaining access to programs/people/policies that would put her on the path to coping skills and a productive life instead of preteen motherhood, adolescent felonies, and dysfunctional lifestyles.Details
3 people shot in one week by toddlers with guns (around the nation)Details
My name is Robert Hamelin and when I was 4 years old I entered the Foster Care System. My stepmother began to physically and mentally abuse me. I was taken out of the home I lived in, with her and my father and moved into the first foster home. When I was 9 years old my father was killed. He was the only good memory I had left. His loss had such a deep impact on me. I knew now that I was completely alone. By the time I reached the 6th grade I began acting out for attention. My behaviors became worse. The abuse had continued worse than ever, as now, I was being sexually abused. By the time I was 18 years old I joined the Marine Corps. I needed stability but even more important, I needed to find out if I could overcome my past and succeed, despite 14 years of violent child abuse.
The system failed me but it did not beat me!
Today I am a successful Regional Vice President for Transamerica. I have raised 5 beautiful daughters, 4 of which have already graduated from college. What is disheartening is 32 years after I got out of the Child Protection System, it continues to fail children and the abuse, still all too common. We need to come together to fix a broken system.
Each year, about six hundred thousand abused and neglected American children are removed from their homes, placed into group homes, foster homes, and adoptive homes with minimal mental health counseling and often not much history or training provided to the new care giver. These children are expected to adjust well into society, succeed in school and with their peers
Children in child protective services are only removed from their homes if their lives are in imminent harm. These children are often returned to their homes by Child Protective Services if changes are made. Many children are returned to abusive homes, with little to no follow-up.Details
Assaults on teachers, starting with first graders hitting teachers with chairs & stabbing with pencils & knives. In some of the bigger inner city schools, teachers are afraid to walk to their cars after the school day ends and guns are now appearing in classrooms with growing frequency. Too many districts are suggesting that teachers be armed.
*The lack of books & basic resources for educators to complete their tasks is unacceptable. Detroit teachers were threatened this spring with working without pay this coming summer. If they had not reacted as they did, that might have actually happened.
To not support the people engaged in the important work of building our next generation of service providers, business people and lawmakers is an atrocious mistake. We will benefit by or suffer from the things that are happening in our schools today. We build and support those schools (or we don’t).Details
With one of the nation’s largest child abuse agencies, 2.5 billion dollar budget, & 8000 employee, Texas struggles to keep up with the increase in child protection cases, not enough quality foster and adoption families, and cases that stay in the system far too long (federal lawsuit).
For a long time now, Texas has ranked last or near last among the states for prenatal care (50th), low birth weight babies, health care expenditure (48th), spending on mental health (49th) graduation rates (45th), SAT scores, child abuse deaths, uninsured children, births to teen moms, WIC benefits per person (50th), 4th highest in women living in poverty, and 6th highest in child poverty (2013 Texas Legislative Study Group/83rd Regular Session of the Texas Legislature).
Texas is also first in executions, 2nd in larceny, theft, and property crime rate, 4th in rate of incarceration, and personal bankruptcy filings, (March 2013).
Nearly half of the 655 under-reported child deaths occurred to children on CPS radar. That’s what happens with extraordinarily high caseloads, too few resources for existing cases, lack of transparency & reporting.
Each year, over 100,000 Texas children between the ages of 7 & 17 go missing, many of them while in child protective services.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates that 60% of children likely to be victims of sex trafficking have fun away from foster care or group homes.
The high turnover in child protection workers and broken foster care and daycare system are just the tip of the iceberg of at risk children in the state.
Child protection workers and children did not make the mess and they can do little to fix it. Lawmakers, voters, and concerned citizens need to look to other states and nations to find solutions.
26% of Texas population (1.7 million Texas children) live below the federal poverty level & Of the 804 Child fatalities reported in 2013, 156 were related to child abuse or neglect according to Child Protective Services.Details
American institutions are producing exactly that which they were designed to stop. Almost all the youth in juvenile justice have come through child protection programs. Virtually all criminal justice candidates have been juvenile offenders. 2/3’s of these people have mental health problems (fully half of this number have multiple, serious, and chronic conditions (these are the dangerous and dysfunctional folks that so often make the news).
Much of what I write and speak makes people angry. Imagine what it’s like to be child protection worker or volunteer CASA guardian ad-Litem and meet a seven year old boy that’s been tied to a bed, left alone for days at a time, starved, sexually abused, and beaten to a pulp with bruised covering his body or come to know very young girl that was prostituted by her mother.Details
Average reading level of America’s Senior High Students; 5th grade proficiency
Math questions for Georgia grade school children;
“Each tree had 56 oranges,” the first question starts. “If 8 slaves pick them equally, then how much would each slave pick?”
The next question went a step further, referencing violence. “If Frederick got two beatings per day, how many beatings did he get in 1 week?”
Hiding the truth about Georgia’s terrible test results (teaching teachers to lie)
Science in Tennessee public schools (soon Indiana, Oklahoma, New Hampshire, & Missouri) GOD Made It All
Not one third of Kansas City’s elementary students read at grade level.Details
This scientific approach to child neglect is a strong argument for early childhood programs like crisis nurseries and subsidized daycare. The costs of not providing these things far outweighs the front end investment is children.
The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University has published a new 6-minute video,InBrief: The Science of Neglect (2013), which explains how significant neglect can harm to a young child’s development, including cognitive delays, impairments in executive functioning, and disruptions of the body’s stress response. It also looks at why effective interventions are likely to pay significant dividends in better long-term outcomes in learning, health, and parenting of the next generation. The video provides an overview of The Science of Neglect: The Persistent Absence of Responsive Care Disrupts the Developing Brain (2012), a working paper by the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child. A two-page summary is also available.Details
U of M bioethics professor Carl Elliott discusses drug company payments to doctors and the enormous amounts of money drug reps make by pushing profitable drugs and running outright scams on doctors to sell their product.Details
These past weeks have been awful for vulnerable children in MN.
Stomped on, kicked, torn liver kidney & pancreas Sophia O’Neill was violently murdered by 17 year old Cary Faran-Baum died because she wouldn’t stop crying. There’s been way too many violent child deaths in MN this past year – many of these children were known to child protection services.
Sophia was known to child protection (they didn’t investigate the case because caseloads are high and resources did not allow it).
In a family video taken before her death, Sophia explains that Faran-Baum had hit her in the face and left bruises noticible in the video. Sophia died not only of Cary Faran-Baum’s violent mindless attack. She died because there are too few crisis nurseries, inadequate daycare facilities and a general lack of concern in my community for other people’s children.
Too many of these children are known to child protection, a poorly understood and undervalued system fraught with serious problems. It’s wrong to blame the people doing the work – the problems begin with us – the people making the rules and designing the system.
As a long time volunteer Hennepin County guardian ad-Litem, it’s clear to me that my community has never cared much for the problems of young families (or their babies & 2 year olds).
If we did, there would be more crisis nurseries and daycare and children would not be left in the care of drunk uncles, violent boyfriends and child molesters.
As it is today, we only read about the dead kids. Thousands of children traumatized by violence and abuse inflicted on them by their care givers don’t make the paper (unless there is a death).Details
There is more to child abuse than bruises, rape and starvation.
27 states allow withholding life saving medical treatment from children if you tell people your religion forbids it . Criminal and civil immunity means it is not murder when the child dies.
A few 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).Details
Why a Prison Birth Project?
Since 1977, the female prison population has increased by 872% (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2008). Over 85% of the women in prison were the primary caregivers to their children before incarceration, and approximately 25% of women in prison have either given birth at some point during the year prior to or are pregnant at the time of their arrest (U.S. Department of Justice).These women have little access to services or rehabilitation related to birth preparation and parenting while in prison.
Labor, delivery, and birth rarely involves family, friends, or support, and most often consists of the woman being searched, shackled, and taken to a hospital under the watch of guards. Their babies are taken away from them soon afterwards. Some mothers will not see their children again then until their release; some may never see them again. These women experience shame, powerlessness, and fear during labor, and are left exposed and likely to suffer to post‐partum depression, life‐long parent‐child attachment issues, and an overwhelming insecurity in their ability to be a successful parent.
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?Details