International Visitor Leadership Program & Guardian ad Litems

On Wednesday I was part of a team invited to address judges, lawyers, professors and other officials from developing nations about child abuse, child trauma and specifically, the CASA guardian ad litem program that was of most of interest to them on their visit to Minneapolis. I have great hope that these smart, committed professionals succeeded on their extensive U.S. journey learning about the many moving parts of justice, child rights, courts, domestic violence, child protection systems, child advocacy, foster care/adoption and children’s mental health.

It was an honor to speak with these people and uplifting to know that the CASA guardian ad Litem program is identified all over the world as a powerful voice for children and that any nation can create this program to save vulnerable children.

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Child Protection & Volunteer Guardians ad Litems

It hurt me to see no mention of Minnesota’s hundreds of volunteer CASA guardians ad litem in Susan Miles’ Child Protection article in Friday’s Star Tribune.

I’m all for paying people for hard work and especially those working with troubled children and families.

Volunteer guardians come from the heart of the community, they do their work solely of concern for abused children & take fewer cases than paid guardians.

Fewer cases means they can be more involved with the child and family. Paid guardians need to handle 25 sometime 30 cases – most volunteer CASA guardians only take a few.

State Ward children have commented many times to me that I was different because I was the only person from the County not being paid to be with them. This meant something to them.

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Tolerating Child Death in Minnesota (thank you Safe Passage for Children of MN)

This short powerful article from Safe Passage for Children of MN identifies the how and why two girls could be beaten with bats, starved, raped and chained over 12-15 years in the same house and over 50 police calls to the home never resulted in an investigation. The neighbors knew, the police knew, the county knew – but nothing was done.

It’s how Eric Dean the 4 year old was tortured to death while 14 reports of abuse by mandated reporters were ignored. The single visit to the home by child protection workers did not interview the child. If they had, they would have seen the bite marks on his face and head, broken arm and other scars.

We need state wide guidelines to maltreatment reports, statewide coordination of child protection activities and standards for child protection with a focus on keeping children safe.

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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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ACE Study, Crime & Ramsey County (reprinted from 2006)

ACE research shows a strong historical pattern of criminality in families of child delinquents. Using Cohen’s estimates, we calculate the multi-generational “multiplier effect” to be between $3.4 and $11.5 million. In these families, criminality is likely to grow exponentially.

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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 & 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 Protection & Unassigned CASA Guardian ad Litem Cases

Success Stories & Failure (unassigned child abuse cases)

We all like a happy ending. Especially when kids are involved. Read the Guardian ad Litem Sucess Stories below. You’ll love’em

It’s harder to read about children are starved, raped or beaten and the child protection system is just too overwhelmed to assign a Guardian ad Litem to speak for the child – but read them too. These children should be heard, especially since they did not have a guardian ad Litem voice in the system.

Governor Dayton is recommending an increase in funding for the Guardian ad Litem program to provide Guardian ad Litems for the over 500 children that don’t have one, but it’s questionable if legislators know enough about the facts you are about to read to make the right decision.

Share these stories with your legislators – it could make all the difference to the children in these stories

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Sad Stories Part VIII Feb 1-13 (child protection – find your state here)

KARA (Kids At Risk Action) tracks current news about at risk children bringing transparency and attention to our youngest and most vulnerable citizens. KARA’s reporting is only sampling of what should be reported – the great majority of child trauma & abuse is never known.

American states are struggling to find answers for ending adverse childhood experiences and saving at risk children by 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

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Sad Stories Part VII Feb 13-28 (child protection – find your state here)

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

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You’re Six and On Your Own in the Court System (not having an advocate leaves abused children even more vulnerable)

The fear and aloneness in the eyes of the child sitting next to me in court as the judge decides where she will live after being taken away from the only home she has ever known is palpable.

Here, in a roomful of adults she has never seen before about to determine what will become of her family, where she will live and what school she will go to are too monstrous for words.

How would you as a six year old respond? Remember, coping skills for these events don’t exist is six year olds.

It’s always been terror and trauma for these kids. Torture, trauma and abuse in the home. Terror and trauma of the unknown as the institution takes over every aspect of her life.

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Sad Stories Feb 2018 Part VI (foster care stories and statistics)

KARA (Kids At Risk Action) tracks current news about at risk children bringing transparency and attention to our youngest and most vulnerable citizens. KARA’s reporting is only sampling of what should be reported – the great majority of child trauma & abuse is never known.

American states are struggling to find answers for ending adverse childhood experiences and saving at risk children by 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

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Sad Stories Feb 2018 Part V (child abuse and mental health)

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

Compilation of information and writing on this page is the hard work of KARA volunteers David Vang, Mike Toronto, Jamar Weston, Adolf Nchanj, Josh Jedlicka and Blaz Zlate, Callie Benscoter, (student volunteers at Century College) Katie Frake, Boston College, Julie O,

KARA’s INVISIBLE CHILDREN Campus Exhibit

All Adults Are The Protectors of All Children

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House of Horrors (not investigating child abuse = not caring for abused kids)

Twin girls beaten with bats, starved, raped, chained & abused over 12-15 years on the 4200 block of 17th Av South in Minneapolis. Over 50 police calls to the home, developmentally disabled and pregnant in high school.

“The neighbors knew. The police knew. The county knew. We all knew…But nothing was done.”

“How many times the county received reports of abuse and neglect remains unclear” (from the star tribune article).

This is not uncommon. It’s how 4 year old Eric Dean was tortured to death after 15 ignored reports of abuse by mandated reporters and how 6 year old foster child Kendrea Johnson died by suicide and how my 7 year old CASA guardian ad litem case child was prostituted over 2 years and 49 police calls to her home where gun fire and prostitution were the reason for the police calls.

I’m just one of hundreds of volunteer MN CASA guardians and I know dozens of these stories. It’s awful.

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Good Governance, Betsy DeVos & Education For the Rest of Us

Institutions define us (they keep us safe, educated and healthy)Why anyone with a stake in a safe, functioning community would withhold support or throw rocks at people doing this work is incomprehensible.

Turning our schools, highways, corrections and care of the young, sick and elderly into the hands of greed driven Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli and Trump University folks is not helping build healthy communities. It’s to be expected that institutional outcomes (public health, public safety, public education – don’t forget bridges) are suffering. Performance of any complex institution or endeavor demands support & critical thinking.

A safe, livable community requires support for the worker bees laboring in schools and other social institutions for those institutions to perform well. It’s for your own good.

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Child Abuse &Trauma – Oprah & Sixty Minutes

Share this with your friends and networks – it will make a big difference in the lives of children and the people that live with, work with and love abused children
Oprah calls Trauma Informed Care “game changing,” addresses long …
www.acesconnection.com/…/oprah-calls-trauma-informed-care-game-changing-prom…

2 days ago – Oprah calls Trauma Informed Care “game changing,” addresses long-term effects of trauma on 60 Minutes this Sunday, March 11 … Take a look at the interview Oprah did on CBS This Morning (the link is below) but be prepared – as people dedicated to ACEs awareness and trauma informed care, it will …

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Child Safety Legislation in MN (a small effort can make a big difference for abused children)

Safe Passage for Children of MN helps at risk kids get a voice at the State House. A phone call – an hour of your time at the Capital could make a huge difference this year.to make children safe. A very small investment of your time could change laws and do wonders for abused & neglected children.
All Adults Are the Protectors of All Children

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Sad Stories Feb 2018 Part IV (child abuse & trauma articles and statistics)

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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The Language of Child Abuse (& why it is critical)

It hurts me to hear discussions of child abuse and neglect in the language of business that fails to convey the horror of the thing that was done.

Tiny defenseless human beings in terrifying circumstances written and talked about as if highways or funding issues are the issue.

Language is critical to a clear picture of what happened.

When we don’t talk openly about a terrible thing it just does not exist (or it’s not terrible or not a problem).

Too much of the time we use words that mask painful things because we are uncomfortable speaking about them. hout food or water.

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Prosecuting Legislators (can this work?)

A single Minneapolis hospital, HCMC sees 800 to 1000 emergency psychiatric visits a month (one of many metro hospitals).

There have never been enough beds and there will never be enough Prozac to humanely treat the people suffering from terrifying mental health problems.

When 6 year old foster child Kendrea Johnson suicided by hanging, her grandmother sued the County. After Jeff Weis shot dead his grandfather, himself and 8 others at Red Lake MN the community built a modern mental health facility so that it wouldn’t happen again.

The only stories that come to our attention are the most horrific.

There are thousands of stories left unknown except to the DHS staff, social workers and law enforcement, foster and adoptive parents, teachers & health workers dealing with severe, chronic and often dangerous people that would benefit with the help we are talking about.

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Sad Stories Feb 2018 Part III (child abuse articles, stories & statistics)

KARA (Kids At Risk Action) tracks current news about at risk children bringing transparency and attention to our youngest and most vulnerable citizens. KARA’s reporting is only sampling of what should be reported – the great majority of child trauma & abuse is never known.

American states are struggling to find answers for ending adverse childhood experiences and saving at risk children by 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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Sad Stories Feb 2018 Part II (child abuse articles & statistics)

American states are struggling to find answers for ending adverse childhood experiences and saving at risk children by 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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Sad Stories Feb 2018 Part I (child abuse – child death stories & statistics)

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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Faith Healing Child Death (more common than you think)

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).

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A #ProtectChildrenToo Movement? (Thank You Safe Passage For Children of MN)

This morning’s ebrief from Safe Passage for Children of MN is spot on. Their legislative efforts to stop the practice of advance notice of child protection visits to perpetrators is crucial in ending child abuse. Putting perpetrators in the room with a child during the interview is traumatizing for the child and has a profound impact on what the child will say. Giving perpetrators prior notice of investigations allows them time to threaten and cohearse a child. As a long time CASA guardian ad Litem, this is all too familiar.

Most children are not aware of how wrong their abuse is – what happens at home is by definition normal. My youngest sexual abuse case was 2 years old.

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