Black Families Matter

September 23, 2016 in education, Guardian ad-Litem, Health and Mental Health, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources, The States by Mike Tikkanen

hallwaykidUnder assault from child protection services is the word on the street.

Racial disparity data supports the charge and people in the system on both sides see it every day.

My city, Minneapolis most likely leads the nation in overall racial disparity;

These painful truths evolved out of decades of leaving poor families to struggle with basic needs and sometimes less than no help with issues of trauma and violence (jail is not help).

Drug use, violence and years of child abuse repeat the terrible behaviors from traumatic scars generation after generation.

Preteen moms are now raising their own families without parenting skills just like their mother did with them and the violent boyfriend with a dangerous drug habit.

Developing coping skills and achieving an education under these circumstances becomes a challenge for everyone involved.

There’s a delicate balance that must be found that protects children and poor troubled families.

Child Protection must work to strike that delicate balance of protecting vulnerable children with mentoring programs for young moms, trauma based mental health services, crisis nurseries and quality daycare.

As a volunteer CASA guardian ad litem I know that once the cycle of abuse and poor parenting are broken, children go on to develop the coping skills they need to make it in school and in life and the terrible cycle of abuse and lifelong state ward status is broken.

Breaking this cycle of abuse delivers the rest of us successful schools, safe streets and taxpaying citizens leading happy lives.  We should all want this.

What we do to our children they will do to our society (Pliny the Elder, 2000 years ago)

September Sad Stories (part 1 through September 15)

September 21, 2016 in Adoption, Child Death, Crime and Courts, Health and Mental Health, International Child Abuse, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, The States by Mike Tikkanen

Sign Up Here For KARA’s Free Friday Morning Real Story

KARA tracks current news about at risk children bringing transparency and  attention to our youngest and most vulnerable  citizens.  Please note that what you see here is only a sampling of what should be reported –  the great majority of child trauma & abuse never gets reported.

We are at work resolving formatting problems on these pages.

ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN

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

 

Read the rest of this entry →

CASA guardian ad Litem News & Stories for August 2016

September 17, 2016 in Adoption, CASA, Guardian ad-Litem, Health and Mental Health, Invisible Children, Links To Helpful Orgs, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, The States by Mike Tikkanen

casa_v_redblue_R_alt_rgb_normalFIND YOUR CASA here – This page tells the stories of  CASA’s around the U.S.  If you are not listed, send me your info and we will include it.  Thank you KARA volunteers for your research and writing on this page.

All Adults Are the Protectors Of All Children

Join the Conversation at Linked In & receive weekly updates from around the nation

Read the rest of this entry →

Minnesota Child Protection News August 2016

September 10, 2016 in Adoption, CASA, Child Death, Foster Care, Health and Mental Health, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources, The States by Mike Tikkanen

the mine lakes

 

KARA gathers news about abused Minnesota’s abused children every month and works to provide a snapshot of Child Protection and how our state values its children.

If you are an aspiring writer/reporter, KARA needs you to help gather and report on these stories.  Contact mike@invisiblechildren.org with REPORTING in the subject line.

All Adults Are the Protectors of All Children

 

KARA Star Tribune Articles; Child Protection Who Will Speak For Children?   Read the rest of this entry →

Burn Injuries Make Up 10 % of All Child Abuse Cases

September 6, 2016 in Child Death, Health and Mental Health, Invisible Children by Mike Tikkanen

infernoGovernment studies show the frequency of children, most under two, almost all under ten, that are deliberately burned by their caregivers. It is striking in that it gives clear definition & how to interpret a child’s burns.

This is perhaps a more technical/professional piece than is usually found here, but I think it is important and might serve as reference to people you know in the social service or medical fields.

It explains how to distinguish between accidental burns and deliberate burns. I found it to be a complete and important investigation of this serious and not often discussed type of abuse.

One of my first cases was a baby in a very dysfunctional home that had been terribly scalded in a bathtub. The skin on the bottom half of her body had suffered third degree burns in a bathtub of 161 degree water. A very painful experience for the baby that would be with her for her life (her legs and bottom would be scarred forever).

The only positive was in this sad case was a firm that specialized in burns that recovered substantial damages for the child against the landlord that had ignored frozen cold water pipes and turned the hot water heater to a scalding temperature.  One boy’s story

Link to studies;
http://www.ncjrs.gov/txtfiles/91190.txt

NIH Injury and Violence
Read the rest of this entry →

Pennsylvania Child Protection News July & August 2016

September 5, 2016 in Child Death, Crime and Courts, Health and Mental Health, Invisible Children, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, The States by Mike Tikkanen

fair slingshot rideKARA tracks current news about at risk children bringing transparency and  attention to our youngest and most vulnerable  citizens.  Please note that what you see here 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

Compilation of information and writing on this page is the hard work of  Krista Neuner Read the rest of this entry →

International Child Protection News August 2016

September 5, 2016 in Child Death, Crime and Courts, education, Health and Mental Health, International Child Abuse, Invisible Children, Kids At Risk Action (KARA), Politics and Funding by Mike Tikkanen

KARA tracks current news about at risk children bringing transparency and  attention to our youngest and most vulnerable  citizens.  Please note that what you see here 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

If you would like to be a KARA reporter for at risk children where you live contact info@invisiblechildren.org with VOLUNTEER in the subject line

Compilation of information and writing on this page is the hard work of  KARA volunteer Eshanee Singh

Sign Up Here For KARA’s Free Friday Morning Real Story   Support KARA $1 / Week

Nepal – Hundred of children in Nepal are at risk for trafficking after earthquake.  Read the rest of this entry →

Children Feeling Betrayed (thank you Safe Passage for Children & PBS)

September 2, 2016 in Health and Mental Health, Invisible Children, Links To Helpful Orgs, Politics and Funding, Public Policy by Mike Tikkanen

T49i39_SafePassage_Logo_v2.4

Children who are badly abused sometimes seek help from teachers, extended family, or social workers. When they get none they feel profoundly betrayed by adults. This can have lifelong consequences for the children and society, as this PBS story illustrates.

Today’s dominant political view is that children are nearly always better off with their families. This creates systemic pressures to leave children where they are even when abuse is extreme.

Decisions should be based on each child’s best interests. Children shouldn’t be vehicles for the politics of ideology, culture or race. They don’t care about these things. They just want the pain to end.

Children don’t participate in policy-making. Their interests can only be factored into child protection practices by adults who comprehend their anguish and speak out for them.

 

 Join the Discussion on Facebook

Children Locked Up in America (Radio Interview)

August 30, 2016 in Crime and Courts, Health and Mental Health, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Radio Shows by Mike Tikkanen

Read the rest of this entry →

Drugging Our Kids (a report I would like to have for MN)

August 22, 2016 in CASA, Child Death, Guardian ad-Litem, Health and Mental Health, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources, The States by Mike Tikkanen

invisible children picture web 11.09In 1996 there were 1100 students per counselor in MN high schools and one child psychiatrist for all the children in the Hennepin County child protection system.  At that time and now, very few children make it into Child Protection Services unless he or she has had suffered repeated traumas and really needs consistent professional mental health help.

As a County Volunteer CASA guardian ad litem, I watched as tons of MN foster children were forced to take Prozac, Ritalin and other psychotropic medications.  These children suffered all the side effects common to those drugs including the suicidal ideation that is printed on every package of the drug.

In 2014, 20,000 one and two year old children were forced to take these drugs and Johnson and Johnson was fined 4 billion dollars for illegally selling them to pediatricians for use on children and there are four thousand cases awaiting trial (and that represents the criminal misbehavior of just one drug company).

This article  by Mercury News (and the series within) presents a raw view into the terrible mishandling of children’s mental health.

All Adults Are the Protectors of All Children

 

August Sad Stories 2016 (part II)

August 22, 2016 in Adoption, Child Death, Crime and Courts, Foster Care, Health and Mental Health, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources, The States by Mike Tikkanen

hallwaykidKARA tracks current news about at risk children bringing transparency and  attention to our youngest and most vulnerable  citizens.  Please note that what you see here 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  

donate to support the reporting on this site

Read the rest of this entry →

Let Me Show You The Money

August 20, 2016 in CASA, Foster Care, Guardian ad-Litem, Health and Mental Health, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources by Mike Tikkanen

children down hill having funI once owned a junkyard that recycled cars so I’m pretty good with managing maintenance, money, expenses and greasy auto parts.

Later I became a volunteer Hennepin County guardian ad Litem – which I recommend highly for anyone interested in a more complete perspective of one’s own self and community and a better understanding of people and economics.  In my CASA guardian ad Litem tenure, I helped to remove about 50 children from their birth homes.

I now see how taking care of broken children is economically allot like taking care of trucks and crushing equipment at the junkyard.

When I tended to the damaged parts of my equipment, everything ran better, there were fewer injuries and no major catastrophes.  Read the rest of this entry →

Police Shootings & You and Me

August 20, 2016 in Adoption, CASA, Child Death, education, Foster Care, Guardian ad-Litem, Guns, Health and Mental Health, Politics and Funding, Public Policy by Mike Tikkanen

KoalaPeople smarter than me have clearly explained the underlying institutional dysfunctions that ensure the next police shootings.

 

Dallas Police Chief David Brown accurately stated that law enforcement has become the safety system in schools, a primary community mental health service provider, and of course the armed responder to a growing number of society’s violent problems.

 

Recently, Minnesota sheriffs from Hennepin, Ramsey and Washington Counties wrote a half page Star Tribunearticle threatening to sue the State for failing to provide timely mental health services to people locked up in their jail cells. This failure has turned law enforcement into a provider of mental health services to a large and growing population of often dangerous people.

 

MN Law enforcement officers killed 12 people in 2015 and each year are dealing with more unstable people and potentially dangerous encounters with the wrong training needed to slow this racially unbalanced social dysfunction. Read the rest of this entry →

We Are All Nuts (the costs and dangers of undertreating and ignoring mental health – thank you Star Tribune)

August 11, 2016 in Child Death, Crime and Courts, Foster Care, Health and Mental Health, Invisible Children, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources, The States by Mike Tikkanen

shipwreck

If you have children, grandchildren or just like other people’s children, you should read this to the end.  You could help keep them safe from terrible things by understanding the connection between this mental health discussion and those terrible things.

These Star Tribune articles by Chris Serres, Brandon Stahl and Paul Walsh should wake us up as to the cost and danger we all face by ignoring, undertreating and maltreating mentally at risk people.

Last week Chris wrote about the broken bones and violence done to children in the justice system because of their mental health struggles.  Read the rest of this entry →

MN Child Protection News July 2016

August 10, 2016 in Child Death, Crime and Courts, Foster Care, Guns, Health and Mental Health, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, The States by Mike Tikkanen

 

20130107-can-mozart-boost-brainpowerIt hurts me to know how many foster children are forcibly drugged with Prozac and other psychotropic medications and often incarcerated because of mental health problems.

A better understanding of the underlying issues would serve our children and communities and improve our schools, public health and public safety.

These stories about child protection and child abuse in MN for the month of July are very compelling.

 

All Adults Are Protectors of All Children (share these articles with your friends and networks)                         Sign up for KARA’s Friday updates Read the rest of this entry →

Minnesota’s Back Story; Treating Children’s Mental Health

August 7, 2016 in CASA, Child Death, Crime and Courts, Guardian ad-Litem, Health and Mental Health, Public Policy, Resources, The States by Mike Tikkanen

mararishi guatemala thanksgivingToday’s Star Tribune article (thank you Chris Serres) exposing the violence done (broken bones) to Minnesota’s youngest citizens while in state care reminded me of my own experiences growing up and my more recent encounters as a volunteer CASA guardian ad litem.

In my middle class 1977 neighborhood, the family next door’s 15 year old grandson became psychotic and behaved dangerously.

Mom and dad tried to find him mental health help to no avail.

The only option that provided treatment for their son was the Juvenile Justice system.  The boy’s entrance into the system required he be charged with a crime.  The treatments offered were incomplete and ineffective and he killed himself a few years later. Read the rest of this entry →

Best ACEs Articles for July 2016

August 1, 2016 in Adoption, Child Death, Crime and Courts, education, Health and Mental Health, mass incarceration, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources, The States by Mike Tikkanen

KoalaThese are the top seventy ACEs articles gathered from the month of July

 

All Adults Are the Protectors of All Children

Read the rest of this entry →

Why Schools Fail (another year of bad results)

July 31, 2016 in education, Health and Mental Health, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources by Mike Tikkanen

parasailingAnother year of disappointing educators, children and parents (Star Tribune 7.28.16)

Don’t blame the teachers (it’s us).

The once a straightforward concept of public schools has morphed into a complex institution unable to respond to the double whammy of a massively changed student body and the unprecedented un-building of support for public education (especially science).

Our student body has changed; Read the rest of this entry →

Let’s Make Child Protection Great Again (thank you Safe Passage for Children)

July 30, 2016 in education, Health and Mental Health, Invisible Children, Links To Helpful Orgs, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources by Mike Tikkanen

T49i39_SafePassage_Logo_v2.4

T49i39_SafePassage_Logo_v2.4

This article by Safe Passage for Children about the need to re-engineer child protection reporting so that social workers can concentrate on the child and not data entry could be an important first step in modernizing a very troubled institution.

As a longtime volunteer CASA guardian ad litem, it hurts me that social workers with extraordinary caseloads  are expected to work miracles with traumatized children and abusive families without the right resources or training in a system that can’t (or won’t) track results and make them public.

If the public knew how well or poorly children and families were responding to the institutional efforts of child protection workers, they could tell their legislators who then could support the people, programs and policies necessary for improving the lives of millions of American children.

This short TED talk hits the nail on the head

All Adults are the Protectors of All Children

Children Living & Dying As Martyrs to a Parents Religion

July 17, 2016 in Child Death, Health and Mental Health, International Child Abuse, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, The States by Mike Tikkanen

Koala

Sign Up Here For KARA’s Free Friday Morning Real Story   –  Support KARA’s Reporting

Many American newborns remain untested and untreated for very treatable metabolic disorders, hearing and sight diseases & blood lead level s.

48 States allow religious exemptions from vaccination.

Some states allow religion to keep children from TB testing in school.  43 states give some kind of criminal or civil immunity to parents injuring their children by withholding medical care on religious grounds.

Six states let parents keep teachers from teaching their children about disease in school. Read the rest of this entry →

July 2016 Sad Stories (part 1)

July 16, 2016 in Adoption, CASA, Child Death, Crime and Courts, education, Foster Care, Health and Mental Health, International Child Abuse, Kids At Risk Action (KARA), Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources, The States by Mike Tikkanen

default-headerThis page is a compilation of child protection news from around the nation (with some international reporting) for the month of June (through June 25)   If you would like to help KARA gather and report news from your community for this page please send an email to info@invisiblechildren.org with NEWs in the subject line.  All Adults Are the Protectors of All Children

Sign Up Here For KARA’s Free Friday Morning Real Story   Read the rest of this entry →

June 2016 Sad Stories (part 2)

July 1, 2016 in Adoption, education, Foster Care, Health and Mental Health, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources, The States by Mike Tikkanen

default-headerThis page is a compilation of child protection news from around the nation (with some international reporting) for the month of June (through June 25)   If you would like to help KARA gather and report news from your community for this page please send an email to info@invisiblechildren.org with NEWs in the subject line.

Sign Up Here For KARA’s Free Friday Morning Real Story

Read the rest of this entry →

International Child Protection News June 2016

June 29, 2016 in Child Death, Health and Mental Health, International Child Abuse, Kids At Risk Action (KARA), Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources by Mike Tikkanen

invisible children picture web 11.09T

KARA tracks current news about at risk children bringing transparency and  attention to our youngest and most vulnerable  citizens.  Please note that what you see here 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

If you would like to be a KARA reporter for at risk children where you live contact info@invisiblechildren.org with VOLUNTEER in the subject line

Compilation of information and writing on this page is the hard work of  KARA volunteer Eshanee Singh

Sign Up Here For KARA’s Free Friday Morning Real Story   Support KARA $1 / Week

Read the rest of this entry →

Minnesota At Risk Children’s News June 2016

June 25, 2016 in Child Death, Health and Mental Health, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources, The States by Mike Tikkanen

mn panorama leaves turned 2KARA gathers news about abused Minnesota’s abused children every month.

We appreciate related articles submitted to us by our readers.

Please send them to info@invisiblechildren.org with NEWS in the subject line and always include a link to the source. Read the rest of this entry →

It’s Inevitable (foster care)

June 23, 2016 in Adoption, education, Foster Care, Guardian ad-Litem, Health and Mental Health, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources, The States by Mike Tikkanen

image001In America, the average cost of foster care for dogs is between $30 & $35/day.

Foster care for children in this nation run from $8.07 / day (Nebraska) to $30 / day (DC) with an average of about $18 / day.

Dogs (owners) must bring dog food and don’t need to supply diapers.

Foster parents must buy food and sometimes diapers for these children (and pay for transportation costs to doctors, schools and the broken and worn out things that will be broken and worn out by this foster child).

Dogs require 30 to 60 minutes / day of a caregiver time – traumatized children* require 12 to 24 hours of caregiver time daily.

Any foster mom or dad that’s stayed awake all night to monitor a violent or sexualized state ward on psychotropic medications to insure that the rest of the family stay safe from unpredictable behaviors of a dangerous  traumatized child can tell this story with greater impact (I know, I’ve heard it many times). Read the rest of this entry →

Pennsylvania Child Protection News May & June 2016

June 22, 2016 in Adoption, Child Death, education, Foster Care, Health and Mental Health, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources, The States by Mike Tikkanen

ChrysanthemumBalloons lift up awareness of children’s mental health month

New Castle News – May 7, 2016

“This is all about getting our voice out there and giving people the skills to help them advocate for themselves,” said Lauren Gallaher of Value Behavioral Health of Pennsylvania, one of the service providers attending the event. “We want to help to get rid of the stigma related to mental health.”

http://www.ncnewsonline.com/news/balloons-lift-up-awareness-of-children-s-mental-health-month/article_75d44c84-13d0-11e6-901b-6bfecf778fdf.html Read the rest of this entry →

A Wish List For At Risk Children

June 22, 2016 in Adoption, Child Death, Crime and Courts, Health and Mental Health, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources by Mike Tikkanen

Subsidized day care (tens not thousands of families on state’s waiting list); more mental health services (consistent and better control and use of psychotropic medications)

BA degree, mental health training & higher wages for day care workers; more training, smaller caseloads, & greater resources for social workers and school counsellors

removing law enforcement from the front lines of dealing with mentally unhealthy people & eliminating jails and prisons as housing for mentally unstable people

fail safe programs ending child death by caregiver; more and better training and resources for handling child abuse in rural MN; End child suicide

interrupt generational child abuse; expand programs for children aging out of foster care; stop courts from trying children as adults

create support, training, and alternatives for adoption and foster families; expand kinship searches & support;

encourage media to report on the state of mental health and child protection in your community

make ACEs & trauma informed policies the rule not the exception; stop child trafficking;

reduce psychotropic medication use by young children and children in child protection;

  involve the community in the safety and well-being of all children;

through adequate access to mental health services);

End child abuse and mental health stigmatizing

Help KARA find and engage the brightest minds

and improved perspectives in

the search for more effective

Child Protection &

children’s

Mental

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How Bad Can It Get (to be a foster child in MN)?

June 16, 2016 in CASA, Child Death, Crime and Courts, Guardian ad-Litem, Health and Mental Health, Kids At Risk Action (KARA), Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources, The States by Mike Tikkanen

KoalaBrandon Stahl has done it again – showing us how little our community cares about other people’s children.

Poor Kira Friedman, 2 years old, abused and neglected to where her life was endangered  so badly that she was removed from her sad and toxic birth home to be sent to another (sad and toxic) home.  A home where her new father was a man that had been convicted of assault, and who is now accused of killing her.

This article is not about social workers, guardians ad-Litems, foster families or any of the other service providers to abused and neglected children.  It is about us, you and me, just not caring enough to make life safe or livable for children.

All Adults Are The Protectors of All Children Read the rest of this entry →

I’m Not The Crazy One (20,000 one & two year old’s on Prozac – now that’s crazy)

June 10, 2016 in Adoption, Child Death, Crime and Courts, education, Guardian ad-Litem, Health and Mental Health, Kids At Risk Action (KARA), Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources by Mike Tikkanen

babies best ever90% of mental health hospital beds that were available in the 1960’s are gone today while our overall population grew over 75% in that time.

When America eliminated mental health  hospitals in the 60’s, teachers, juvenile and criminal justice workers and social workers became defacto mental health service providers.  This is no small feat.  Humans are complex beings and understanding a mind takes extensive effort & training (especially a traumatized or troubled mind).  Few service providers get that training. Read the rest of this entry →

Texas Child Protection News For April

June 3, 2016 in Adoption, CASA, Child Death, Health and Mental Health, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources, The States by Mike Tikkanen

 

children down hill having fun

 

The following stories and articles about child abuse and child protection in Texas have been gathered from April 2016  Read the rest of this entry →

New York Child Protection News April – May 2016

June 1, 2016 in Adoption, education, Foster Care, Health and Mental Health, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources, The States by Mike Tikkanen

20130107-can-mozart-boost-brainpowerReporting compiled and submitted by KARA volunteer Corey Wasser – All Adults Are the Protectors of All Children

NY: Editorial: Answering foster care, adoption need brings rewards
Amherst Bee – April 27, 2016
Becoming a foster parent or adoptive parent means an person can change the course of a child’s life, and while it can be difficult, the rewards are great, and there is no shortage of children in the United States who are in need of a temporary or permanent home.
http://www.amherstbee.com/news/2016-04-27/Editorial/Answering_foster_care_adoption_need_brings_rewards.html Read the rest of this entry →

Interviewing Abused Children in Front of Their Alleged Perpetrators Is Wrong (thank you Rich Gehrman & Safe Passage for Children)

May 17, 2016 in Health and Mental Health, Invisible Children, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Wonderful People by Mike Tikkanen

20130107-can-mozart-boost-brainpowerMonday, Rich Gehrman told the Hennepin County Child Protection Oversight Committee that most of its time has been talking about change but not making change happen.

He also understands the impossible situation an abused child is in when asked questions about acts committed upon them by the person in the chair next to them.  For anyone not as strong as the person who committed the act, it is almost impossible to tell the truth or even any part of the truth.  In my experience after many years as a volunteer CASA guardian ad litem, abused children do not get discovered by child protection until the abuse has gone on for a very long time and their confusion and fear are horrendous.

Children often don’t even know that what is happening to them is wrong – but their body knows and their mind will soon know.

Rich is right, interviewing children in front of the people that caused the abuse is another kind of torture and it does not bode well for the child.

The good news from this Committee today is that finally, after all these years, abused children will receive services on weekends.  God knows,  abuse never takes a break on weekends.

All Adults Are The Protectors of All Children

New Jersey Child Protection News October 2015 through April 2016

May 12, 2016 in Adoption, CASA, Child Death, Health and Mental Health, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources, The States by Mike Tikkanen

sunset costaricaReporting by KARA volunteer Corey Wasser – All Adults Are The Protectors of All Children

NJ: The Smallest Victims of New Jersey’s Growing Drug Crisis (Includes video)
NJ Spotlight – April 28, 2016
Substance abuse can destroy both addicts and their families, and with the addiction crisis that’s sweeping every county in the state, a growing number of children are at risk.
http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/16/04/28/the-smallest-victims-of-new-jersey-s-growing-drug-crisis/ Read the rest of this entry →

MN Mesabi Academy 64 Abuse Allegations Not Responded To (instead, staff transferred & a code of silence solved nothing)

May 11, 2016 in CASA, Crime and Courts, Foster Care, Guardian ad-Litem, Health and Mental Health, Invisible Children, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources, The States by Mike Tikkanen

KoalaMy experience as a CASA guardian ad-Litem with privately held correctional facilities for MN boys leads me to believe this APM report (this link and below) on Kids Peace Mesabi Academy in Buhl MN.

On two occasions, my case child was sent to facilities that drove him to dangerous if not life threatening experiences.  The first time he (lets call him Al) was punished by a low level staffer and forced to stand outside on a ten degree night wearing only his T shirt and shorts.  The boy chose to leave and walked thirty five miles to a friends house and almost froze to death.

Read the Mesabi Academy story below;

All Adults Are The Protectors of All Children

Read the rest of this entry →

April 2016 Sad Stories

May 10, 2016 in Adoption, Child Death, Foster Care, Guardian ad-Litem, Health and Mental Health, International Child Abuse, Invisible Children, Kids At Risk Action (KARA), Politics and Funding, Public Policy, The States by Mike Tikkanen

All Adults Are the Protectors of All Children

Sign Up Here For KARA’s Free Friday Morning Real Story

Read April Sad Stories here; Read the rest of this entry →

KARA Readers Reminder

May 7, 2016 in Child Death, Foster Care, Grandparents & Kinship, Health and Mental Health, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, The States by Mike Tikkanen

hallwaykidFriends of KARA, we are not staffed to provide individual answers to the questions we receive from you.  My request of every reader is that you call your state representatives a few times a year to let them know just how difficult our child protection systems are and how much suffering there is because these institutions are not well understood, trained or resourced.  My apologies Troy New York –

All Adults Are the Protectors of All Children Read the rest of this entry →

Sad Stories California – March & April 2016

May 7, 2016 in Adoption, Child Death, education, Health and Mental Health, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, The States by Mike Tikkanen

cheetah cub pulling tailKARA needs a volunteer/s to compile articles/stories about child abuse & child protection around the nation – KARA can provide the content.  5 hours per month per state – Know someone that might be interested?

 

CA: Board of Supervisors Looks to Potentially Alter Bypass of Family Reunification Services Policy Read the rest of this entry →

Monday May 9th, at 2 pm Central; Powerful KARA Radio Interview (Sarah Westall Show – Share This Widely)

May 7, 2016 in Foster Care, Health and Mental Health, Invisible Children, KARA Events, Links To Audio, mike tikkanen speaking, Politics and Funding, Public Policy by Mike Tikkanen

cardinal best everSarah Westall’s serious research gives her chops to ask the hardest and most in depth questions diving deep into the heart of the matter she is investigating.

This interview is the best I have had in the almost two decades of speaking and writing for Kids At Risk Action.  Don’t miss it.

Share this interview with your connections – it will open their eyes to the depth and scope of child abuse and child protection in our communities (& make life better for at risk children).

Sarah Westall Interview

All Adults are the protectors of All Children

 

The Importance of Performance Measures (from Safe Passage for Children)

May 6, 2016 in Health and Mental Health, Links To Helpful Orgs, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources by Mike Tikkanen

 

beautiful MN lake sceneFrom Safe Passage for Children today;

We often emphasize the importance of measuring outcomes for children. But performance measures are important too. They tell us current information about program operations.

The metrics currently on the Department of Human Services’ Dashboard Report
don’t cover enough parts of the system to give a well-rounded picture.

However a state committee is considering additional measures to show, by county,
the number and percentage of:

– Maltreatment reports screened out (not responded to)

– Reports screened in but assigned to the less rigorous Family Assessment
program instead of being investigated

We hope they also add the number of times:

– Individual children were reported

– Families were diverted to Family Assessment without an investigation

These measures will improve the public’s ability to understand how well the system
is functioning and to hold it more accountable.

Join the Discussion

 

 

Havoc In Texas Child Protection Services (Dallas News)

May 5, 2016 in Child Death, Health and Mental Health, Invisible Children, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources, The States by Mike Tikkanen

ChrysanthemumAccording to Dallas News, on March third 2016,  almost 6000 Texas children needing immediate contact and tens of thousands of children throughout the year, were not visited by CPS within the mandatory deadline for priority extreme cases (sexual abuse, infants neglected by drug-addled parents and other life threatening circumstances).

The federal government has warned Texas for more than a decade that it isn’t meeting standards for timely visits in abuse investigations and the under-reporting of child abuse deaths goes back many years.  Texas education statistics are still dismal (years after rejecting federal help for their schools).  A few years ago Texas ranked 50th in births to teen moms and uninsured children, 45th in child abuse deaths and 42nd in child welfare expenditures.

Caseworker turnover (57% per year) is on the rise because increased caseloads leave workers feeling overwhelmed and ineffective and  foster children are sleeping in CPS offices because there are no homes.  Texas is only one of many states facing the hese kinds of problems.  This lack of attention and concern for a communities infants and children is appalling and certainly more costly in the long run than the funding it would take to make these children safe and healthy.  Texas is only one of many states to turn children’s health, child protection and education into a political football.

Please don’t let our state ever look like Texas.

ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN (know anyone in Texas? Please share this – it might do some good)

Read the rest of this entry →

ACES Connection (articles from April)

May 2, 2016 in Health and Mental Health, Links To Helpful Orgs, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources, The States by Mike Tikkanen

babies best ever

These articles are from the ACES Connection from April 2016 (Adverse Childhood Experiences Daily Digest) Read the rest of this entry →

Pennsylvania Child Protection News For March & April 2016

May 1, 2016 in Adoption, Child Death, education, Health and Mental Health, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources, The States by Mike Tikkanen

cardinal best ever

 

The following stories and articles about child abuse and child protection in Pennsylvania have been gathered from April and March 2016 by Krista Neuner Read the rest of this entry →

Child Abuse & Child Protection Around the World (January 2015)

April 30, 2016 in Adoption, Child Death, Health and Mental Health, International Child Abuse, Invisible Children, Politics and Funding, Public Policy by Mike Tikkanen

my monkey

Help KARA grow awareness and resources for at risk children around the world; Donate, buy KARA’s INVISIBLE CHILDREN book and share these articles with your friends and networks.

 

Saint Helena: Child abuse on St Helena ‘covered up by Foreign Office’ admits government
International Business Times – January 04, 2014
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has been forced to admit it made an “erroneous” report to the United Nations in which it denied the South Atlantic island of St Helena had problems with child abuse.
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/child-abuse-st-helena-covered-by-foreign-office-admits-government-1481796 Read the rest of this entry →

by admin

Child Abuse & Child Protection Around the World (April 2016)

April 30, 2016 in Adoption, CASA, Child Death, education, Foster Care, Health and Mental Health, International Child Abuse, Kids At Risk Action (KARA), Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources, The States by admin

flaga

Help KARA grow awareness and resources for at risk children around the world; Donate a small monthly amountbuy KARA’s INVISIBLE CHILDREN book and share these articles with your friends and networks.   If you like to write and research, submit your nation’s child abuse and child protection stories/articles – please use the format you see here and include a link to verifying data or the news source of record.  You may listen to or read the book on this site for FREE (but make a donation if you can). Read the rest of this entry →

Another Guardian ad-Litem Speaks (thank you David Strand)

April 22, 2016 in CASA, Child Death, David Strand, Health and Mental Health, International Child Abuse, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Wonderful People by Mike Tikkanen

cardinal best everDavid is a KARA board member, former CASA guardian ad Litem and was a public policy maker on children’s issues in Europe for ten years.  He is now living and writing in Aitkin MN.  I found his recent response to a reader in the Aitkin newspaper very enlightening.  I hope you do too;

If we just had the average infant mortality in Western Europe, about a 1000 infants a month would avoid death. Read the rest of this entry →

Mental Health, Prozac, Holding Pens, Children & Sheriffs – (why nurses, teachers, social workers & foster / adoptive parents need to speak out)

April 19, 2016 in CASA, Child Death, Guardian ad-Litem, Health and Mental Health, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources, Wonderful People by Mike Tikkanen

mn fall panorama leaves turnedToday’s Star Tribune article about hospitals without the capacity to deal with the surge in emergency psych visits relates directly to the sheriff’s (Washington, Ramsey and Hennepin Counties) threat to sue because their departments had become mental health service providers as a result of the state’s failing to honor the 48 hour rule.

It would be useful if more educators, social workers, police officers & public health nurses would speak up on this topic also.  The levels of suffering, violence and disruption caused by not addressing mental health in our community has lead to unmanageable public institutions and prisons larger (almost ten times larger per capita) than in other industrialized nations). Read the rest of this entry →

Colorado Child Protection New March 2016

April 12, 2016 in Adoption, education, Health and Mental Health, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources, The States by Mike Tikkanen

atitlan water mountain wowThis news gathered by KARA volunteer Carla Lopez – All Adults are the Protectors of All Children

CO: Denver County Human Services to close center for foster teens

Denver Post – March 01, 2016

A Denver County home for troubled teenagers in foster care will close in July, and 64 workers with the Human Services Department will lose their jobs.

http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_29578534/denver-county-human-services-close-center-foster-teens Read the rest of this entry →

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