Stealing Candy From Babies

If you live with, work with or know at risk children, you know how your community values children. Not much. Since 2004, America had remained 3rd from the bottom on spending for children among the developed nations.

Not long ago, America ranked at the top of quality of life indices and our children had good schools, healthcare and a good chance of becoming productive citizens leading happy lives. American children don’t get healthcare, quality daycare or education and critical prenatal care is very rare.

America’s at risk youth become dysfunctional juveniles, felons and preteen moms living in poverty, jail and prison on their way to becoming the long term problem their parents were to the community.

If you live in Arizona, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, or New Mexico (states treating children the worst) you have known for many years how badly your state treats children and why your schools don’t work, public health and public safety are endangered and communities of poverty outnumber communities of hope and happiness. Share this with your friends and networks (especially your friends in Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas & New Mexico)

CASA Trivia Night & Silent Auction (May 31)

CASA Minnesota is hosting a Trivia Night and Silent Auction on Thursday May 31, 2018 at Lake Calhoun Event Center. Gather a group of friends or co-workers for a team or come and join a team to compete in a fun night of trivia.

Doors open at 5:30PM and trivia will start at 6:30PM. Come early to network and bid on some great silent auction items!

A table of up to eight people is $250 and individual tickets are $35 if purchased in advance and $40 if purchased at the door. Note: There is an additional Eventbrite fee for ticket purchases.

Included in the ticket price is a taco bar and a drink ticket. All proceeds will go to support CASA Minnesota and CASA Cares.

CASA Minnesota hopes to see you there!

Death of 6 Year Old Justis Burland Arnett

Justin’s mother abandoned him years ago to the custody of her own mother. Grandmother could not manage the boy & gave custody to a couple that were grossly unfit to care for children. They killed him.

In grandmother’s defense, there is nothing easy about being 65 years old and trying to care for an out of control child traumatized child. An adopting grandmother once told me tepidly, “when that child is 18, I will be 88 – I sure hope I can make it”.

Bobbie Christine Bishop and Henry Wynhoff beat the six year old repeatedly, duct taped him to a wall & let his infections kill him (from my reading of the article). One visit from a social worker would have discovered the boys awful circumstances and impending death.

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.

Child Protection & 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

Domestic Violence to a Five Year Old (living in a house of terror)

Watching mom beaten or raped is terror. Homeless mothers and children are many times more likely to be assaulted and molested.

Children of addicted and alcoholic moms and dads are beaten and raped more often too.

Trauma is *torture. Watching mom being raped is torture.

Arming Teachers/Shooting Students (advocating for less violence and a more civil society)

How many teachers signed up to pack a weapon when they entered the profession? Turnover in education is already a huge problem. Packing a gun is what police and soldiers do. Shooting someone takes real and extensive training.

Arming teachers, the commonality of school lock downs and active shooter student training and placing the army or police force inside of our schools are extreme measures being taken that instill fear in students and make teaching more like combat than education. Wiki list of school shootings in America.

Federal Funding, Zero Tolerance and Inadequate Alternatives mean that more states are policing schools with armed officers. Before the 1970’s police were almost absent from elementary and junior high schools.
Today in American schools

Fetal Alcohol Babies (FASD) & the Harm in Minimizing Terrible Realities (JAMA February 2018)

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.

1 In 3 Children Investigated For Child Abuse by 18 (Washington University Study)

As a long time volunteer County CASA guardian ad Litem it has been hard to comprehend the explosive growth of child abuse in my lifetime. This study (lead author Hyunil Kim PhD Student at the Brown School at Washington University St Louis) published in the January issue of the American Journal of Public Health is troubling on several levels.

First, to reach numbers this high by only including reports of child abuse that met County standards for a case to be investigated, indicates that this already high number (37% overall & 53% for Black Children) is possibly even higher

Hospitals Turning Away Mental Health Patients In Real Need (nothing to be proud of)

Thank you Chris Serres for reporting on the troubling development at St Joseph’s Hospital in Brainerd.

This is one of our community’s (nation’s) most serious health problems.

St Joe’s failure to admit mental health crisis patients reflects the growing nightmare of how medical institutions are dealing with mental health at a management level.

Refusing help to our most troubled citizens (people in crisis) means more sad & awful things happen to the rest of us.

People in crisis…

Child Abuse Statistics (& why 100 million Americans have a criminal record)

This breathtaking Aspen Ideas interview describes points out the statistical realities of mental health public policies are overwhelming American institutions of law enforcement, public safety and public health.

Chicago Sheriff Thomas Dart points out his jails are the second largest provider of mental health services in the nation.

Jails and prisons now hold ten times more mentally ill patients than hospitals do

25 to 40% of the mentally ill will spend time in prisons and jails

So Many Foster Homes – So Many Schools (in the life of a foster child)

There is a social work program at work in Britain where a team of workers engages the child and the family where possible and stay for the duration. This, and the possibility of a permanent school connection would do more for healing and making an abandoned child feel connected more than all the money, all the programs and all the drugs that we are using today.

For Profit Child Prisons (beatings at the Elmore Academy and the Value of Children)

Friday’s Star Tribune piece by Jesse Van Berkel (thank you Jesse) reminded me of a badly abused 12 year old boy that was forced outside on a ten degree night at a privatized group home in Cambridge MN when I was his guardian ad litem. That night, the boy walked over 30 miles to a friend’s home in a tee shirt. Andy told me he thought he was going to freeze and die.

As a volunteer CASA there I have seen many traumatized and tortured kids shuffled through child protection and juvenile court and then sexually abused or beaten half to death in a state sanctioned child group home or prison (Elmore Academy).

Beat Up, Dead & Prostituted – Kids In Florida’s Privatized Foster Care & Juvenile Systems (videos)

When we don’t know, it just get worse. Thank you to the investigative journalists that bring these sad stories to our attention. Let’s share them widely and give these children a voice.

Florida To Completely Privatize Juvenile Correctional Facilities. In an effort to reduce costs, Florida’s state-run residential programs for juveniles will soon be completely privatized. … About 95 percent of Florida’s youth residential facilities for underaged offenders are now privately run.

Stay Informed on Children’s Issues Where You Live (share these links)

Track Critical Child Protection/Child Abuse Issues & News In Your State Here (free)

Track Critical Child Protection/Child Abuse Internationall Issues & News Here (free)

Get KARA’s Weekly EBrief Updates (free) every Friday Morning

Child Abuse Statistics (& the best resources)

The following information is gathered from Kids Count, Children’s Defense Fund,& American SPCC

Nationally over 7 million U.S. children come to the attention of Child Protective Services each year according to a Children’s Bureau 2015 report.

37% of American children are reported to Child Protective Services by their 18th birthday (African American children are reported at 54%)
1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old.13 3
34% of people who sexually abuse a child are family members. 4

SPEAK FOR A CHILD (be a CASA guardian ad litem & the voice for a child in court – children need a voice)

Learn about the CASA guardian ad-Litem program and how your can make life better for abused and neglected children – Today, there are 500 abused and neglected children in Ramsey & Hennepin County child protective services without a guardian ad-Litem. Being a State Ward child is painful. Being a voice for that child is rewarding and makes a difference in the life of that child.

All Adults Are The Protectors of All Children; learn more here;

CASA MINNESOTA

CASA NATIONAL

Body Memories – Why Child Sex Abuse Never Ends (letters from survivors and non survivors)

Dear Doctor,

As a medical professional you have taken an oath to do no harm, but there are ways in which you can hurt your patients without even recognizing you are doing so. What seems to you as a simple exam may cause injury to those who have been victimized by someone’s touch. This is a subject that we, survivors of sexual violence, have been meaning to discuss with you for some time now, but your authority can be more intimidating than you may know. I am also unsure if you are aware just how much power you, as a physician, hold and to the extent that you affect the lives of all of your patients. Your interactions with us travel much deeper than the physical core.

The relationship between patient and doctor is also mental, built on trust, understanding, and the security of knowing that your doctor has your well-being at heart. We, as your patients, entrust in you the most intimate parts of our bodies and our lives. But this trust has to be earned, and it is much harder for us patients who have been so severely violated. The intent of this letter is not to in any way criticize your work as a

Child Abuse & The Most Powerful Suicide Note Ever

Of the children I’ve worked with as a guardian ad-Litem, a high percentage of them have been sexually abused. I have seen the horror of child sex abuse and how 10 or 25 years later, a troubled being still fighting the darkness every day.

Child sex abuse may be the most under-reported crime in America. It could also be the most under-treated horror in America. As a guardian ad-Litem, my first visit to a hospital suicide ward to visit a four year old girl that had been horribly abused was never made public, or when I worked with the seven year old that had been prostituted, or any of the family members that practiced child sex abuse.