Decades of CASA guardian ad Litem work for the County have made clear the screaming need State Ward children have for loving families and the lack we have of them. Especially older State Wards. This article is about LGBT adoptions and critical issues facing foster children and the families seeking to adopt them.
Arianna was wrapped in sheets, left alone in a closed room and slowly starved to death. Foster parents Sherrie and Bryce Dirk will go to prison for murdering Arianna. This solves nothing.
There is something terribly disturbing about a State sanctioned foster family starving a 3 year old State Ward child to death that needs to see the light of day.
Arianna must not have had a County social worker (today’s Star Tribune article …
WHAT IS A PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS?
Polio, smallpox & measles were public health emergencies – policies & programs were created to end these crisis.
FIRST, A conversation.
A conversation about identifying and understanding the issues is a first step to discovering the policies & tools to interrupt generational child abuse and heal troubled children and families.
Once policy makers recognize the depth and scope of the problem, it becomes possible to divert resources and attention from policies and programs that don’t work to policies and programs that do work.
Until then, cities will suffer levels of violence, school failure, racial inequities and all the sadness and failure trauma survivors bring to the communities they live in.
Kids At Risk Action invites you to start the conversation in your community with KARA’s INVISIBLE CHILDREN Campus program.
As of early 2016, Minnesota had 7,200 children on its waiting list for child care assistance.
There are 1.3 million children In Minnesota & 404,000 of them live below 200% of poverty
KARA gathers news about Minnesota’s at risk children
to provide a snapshot of
how our state
values its children.
Only a fraction of serious child abuse makes the news.
All Adults Are the Protectors of All Children
Safe Passage For Children MN (Join their legislative volunteer efforts and make child friendly legislation a reality)
CASAMN (become a guardian ad Litem and speak for abused children)
Significant institutional change happens when those of us that know the critical issues and have seen better answers start to talk about those problems and solutions loudly and often.
By speaking out, more of our friends and neighbors will know that the punishment model is worsening the public health problem of generational child abuse/trauma is causing all our public institutions.
By speaking out, more people will come to understand that the ACEs model is critical for better results in schools, public health, public safety and happier, more livable communities.
As more of us speak out and advocate for these kids (37% of American children are reported to Child Protection by their 18th birthday) our friends and neighbors will understand the ground truth about why these children don’t do well in school and have so much trouble leading productive lives and spend so much time in the courts and jails.
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.
These short videos capture the realities of child abuse.
Share them widely and more of us will know how to do more for kids in painful places.
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.
This reporting over the last 45 days is a fraction of
Recent Minnesota child abuse / child protection issues
Killing your parents is against the law in every state. No matter what they have done to you or for how long.
Killing your children is legal in 27 states. Religious exemptions make it legal to withhold lifesaving medical care for your child.
American children have no rights. Children are property in America.
at the time, argued that subsidized daycare was unnecessary (like bus service and bridge maintenance—his words) and he diverted all the money allocated to subsidized daycare for poor families and children into a “general fund.”
The waiting list for low-cost daycare climbed from 34 to over 7,000 families. People quit applying.
My state was saving money at the expense of 1- and 2-year-olds. Drunk uncles and boyfriends became daycare providers overnight, and terrible things happen to children when that occurs…
“What we do to our children, they will do to society” (Pliny the Elder 2000 years ago)
Montana is not the only state to shut down a licensed child care facility for abused of abused children. Every state has the problem. The Great Falls Tribune news in Montana today of “egregarious, chronic and persistent child abuse and neglect by this licensed child care facility is just the tip of the iceberg. Anyone from Montana reading this should contact their State Representative and complain that the DHS hearings should NOT be kept confidential and closed to the public. You paid for this facility to do terrible things to these children and you need to know what has been done if you don’t want it repeated. This is a core problem with child protection systems everywhere; no transparency or accountability until someone dies or the violence to children becomes horrific and unhideable. KARA believes that once the community becomes aware of the depth and scope of the problems tortured children are forced to live with, more care and resources will become available. Until then, these stories will be the norm.
Minnesota recently closed two facilities and thereporting here gives a snapshot
News and stories from around the U.S. from June and July 2019. Find your CASA news here;
Where other advanced nations create safety nets for struggling families, we build giant jail and prison systems that have been filled to capacity for decades along with incongruous realities like;
These recent stories, statistics & videos represent the state of foster care in America today and what it is like for a child to be a Ward of the State in your State;
At that time, the institution spent the weeks trying to convert him to their religion instead of helping him. The month long visit was painful and not helpful.
The State of Minnesota forcibly closed the privatized group home at St Cloud for repeated violations including head banging that caused concussions & sex in front of staff. 2 St Paul boys group homes have been closed recently and there has long been a shortage of qualified foster homes in outstate Minnesota (as it is all around the nation).
This video demonstrates how terrible privatized group homes can become (Florida forces 48% of their state wards onto Prozac like drugs and now lives with eleven year old’s prostituting themselves out of their foster group homes).
in many states, single Parents pay over 50% of their income for infant center care and married parents with 2 children pay over 100% of their household income for center based care (or they would if they could make it work). Minnesotans pay over 15 thousand dollars for infant care (when public college tuition is 11 thousand dollars.
For a nation claiming to value children – one could argue it’s for the dollars they bring in and not their future role as citizens. Drunk uncle/boyfriend daycare is an awful thing the media…
Children don’t have a voice in the homes they live in, the media, or in the courts. Speak for an abused child in court and give that child a chance to be heard as a CASA guardian ad litem volunteer. Come learn about what it takes and how it works to stand up for a frightened abused child in the court system.
We all look to the government to provide support in order to protect our children.
Eshanee’s reporting points to a disturbing trend of state inaction in preventing or even intervening in child welfare violations.
To hold our governments accountable and to ensure the well-being of children, more of us need to
contact our local politicians and policy makers and make our concerns known.
Children have no voice in politics, law or the media.
We must be relentless to effect change.
Be the Squeaky Wheel for Children
Zepora Fortenberry will spend 27 months in prison for watching her boyfriend Charles Homich punch 3 year-old Zayden Lawson to death.
Zayden was one of two foster children this mom cared for along with her two biological children.
For weeks (or months) Zayden and his siblings lived in sheer terror of Zepora’s boyfriend.
It must have been torture and traumatizing for the other children to witness the insane and evil violence repeatedly done to Zayden in their home while their mother watched.
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 4th and 5th generation 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)
6 to 12 million children a year are reported to child protection services and in most states, 1/3 of foster children still forced onto psychotropic medicines
KARA needs children’s issue videos for our traveling INVISIBLE CHILDREN Campus Program
Do you know someone with a compelling video story about child abuse, foster care, child protection or other at risk children’s issues?
Forward this to them and help Kids At Risk Action as we build awareness and support for the people, policies and programs that improve the lives of abused and neglected children.
Contact email@example.com with video project in the subject line
Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) – 2155 — Special guest Mike Tikkanen — Friday, 06/07/2019
Tonight’s special guest is Mike Tikkanen from Hopkins, Minnesota, a returning NAASCA family member, founder and President of KARA (Kids at Risk Action), a non-profit action tank supporting people, policies, and programs that improve the lives of at-risk
KARA tracks current news about at risk children bringing transparency and attention to our youngest and most vulnerable citizens. This is only a sampling of what should be reported – the great majority of child trauma & abuse never gets reported. ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN – Join The KARA Team (and…
AZ: Child-welfare cases are private. Does that protect the kids, or the state officials? (Commentary)
Arizona Republic – May 03, 2019
When news broke that a Maricopa woman had been accused of starving, pepper-spraying, and otherwise abusing seven adopted children, questions immediately turned to what the Department of Child Safety knew and when the agency knew it.
Group homes are the State’s stop gap keeping children from living under bridges and prostitution.
The shortage of foster and adoptive homes for state ward kids is a sad reality in every state.
Every child needs a family.
Every child needs a place to call home.
The trauma experienced by a child forcibly removed (unattached) from a birth home because of violence, trauma and abuse needs to reattach to someone – somewhere – somehow.
Please take a moment and connect to your legislator through this Safe Passage Link and let your legislator know you want children to have access to quality early learning. It only takes a few minutes and gets the message to your representative.
This program reduces child abuse and builds healthy children and communities (and we all want that).
Life before foster care was hard. Life in foster care is disconcerting and hard.
CASA Cares grants make life a bit easier for children in foster care.
These grants are made for dance lessons and the many other things the State does not fund. It may seem like a small thing – unless you are a state ward child that knows how different they are from other children.
Then it’s a really big thing.
Please share this with teachers, law enforcement and social workers in your circles
Current literature reporting included below
What to do when a six year old climbs out the window of your kindergarten classroom threatening to jump three stories to the concrete below?
What do you say to a seven year old girl with scarred arms that is obviously cutting herself repeatedly with a knife or razor?
Being involved in child protection, you see people torture their children and it is traumatizing.
It’s gets worse if you witness the impact trauma and terror have on a child in your caseload and you watch school and peer failure and how a child’s life is destined to play out.
Unhealthy children become unhealthy adults.
Are children property of their parents even if those parents are violent, addicted, severely mentally ill or criminal?
This leads to an even harder question.
Do teen and preteen mothers own their fetuses & babies even if they are addicted and out of control with little understanding of how or ability to raise a child safely?…
May had her first child while living as a state ward in a group home when she was 16 and her second child when she was 18 before aging out of foster care.
Her mother was 17 when May was born.
Her grandmother was even younger when May’s mother was born. How old will her daughter be when she has her first baby?
Abused children suffer traumas that last forever and leave a child feeling devoid of love with an emotional void that cannot be filled by social workers, teachers or kind foster parents.
All girls want love in their life. A baby is love. The difference between that poor child and a preteen mom with no parenting skills, a drug problem and a violent boyfriend is about 8 years.
The Red Lake massacre 13 years ago happened when 16 year old Jeff Weise was ignored and unable to find help after repeatedly talking about homicide and suicide and even posting these thoughts on social media. Within a year after the tragedy, a 3.5 million dollar mental health center was opened on the reservation.
A few years later, I interviewed a police chief from a town of 10,000 people. He spoke of the inability of his officers to provide anywhere near appropriate services or the level of service necessary for health and safety of children and young families in his community.
Child abuse and child protection stories, statistics and policies in MN for January/February 2019
Reporting on child abuse and child protection stories, statistics and policies in MN for January/February 2019
Jerry Lee Curry is going to prison after proving that he could torture children in a wealthy progressive city right for ten years right under our noses.
A combination of about 100 police calls and child abuse reports were made to his home where his 3 young girls were beaten, raped, impregnated and tortured (not far from where I live).
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).
You can help vulnerable Minnesota children today by clicking and sending a message of support to your elected Representative and Senator regarding the following child welfare legislation.
Please help. It only takes a few minutes to make a big difference!
This is unlike any other volunteer experience. The impact you can have on a child’s life is tremendous. Currently, there are hundreds of children in Hennepin County alone, waiting for a GAL, their spokesperson, their advocate.
Thank you for your interest in — and for considering advocating for — the abused and neglected children in our community! We look forward to seeing you and please feel free to invite others!
Today’s Star Tribune article, Teachers Turning to Other Careers shines a light on the punishing effects of ACES on education in our state.
The violence & chaos brought to school by increasing numbers of abused children (ACEs) creates classroom chaos, puts students and teachers in danger and makes teaching exponentially harder.
It’s why over half of Minnesota’s licensed teachers were not teaching last year, recruitment is a statewide problem, teacher turnover is high and student performance is low….
Keeping children with their families through early intervention (a very big deal).
These bills at the State Legislature can help make that happen – Tune into this Safe Passage for Children webinar here for the update on the session and the intervention & support services being proposed to make it happen.
Only the worst child abuse is reported
Most child child trauma and torture is not discovered
Find your state & resources here;
KARA’s reporting is only a sampling of what should be reported
the great majority of child sex trafficking, trauma & abuse is never known.
37% of children overall and 57% of Black children are reported
All Adults Are the Protectors of All Children Support KARA (BUY the book INVISIBLE CHILDREN) listen to the audiobook for free Receive Free Friday KARA E Updates 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…
Minnesota is averaging one child abuse murder a month* these past 18 months (thank you Safe Passage for MN Children).
Outside of short media pieces about a caregiver killing the baby, there is no record or institutional score card …
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?
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.