A sad personal email this morning from a grieving mother has caused me to reflect on friends who ended their own lives and the four, five and six year old children I have known, or known about, who tried or succeeded at suicide.
For many years, we have fed younger and younger people into our Criminal Justice System and gotten the same results over and over again as recidivism rates approach 70% (Juvenile Justice recidivism is not tracked in 11 states and narrowly tracked elsewhere).
Evidence overwhelmingly indicates that abused and neglected children, mostly from families suffering from generation after generation of child abuse, fuel the furnace of the Juvenile Justice System. It has become common to charge 12 and 13 year old children as adults in the Criminal Justice System, some as young as 8 years old. Pennsylvania recently charged a 10 year old as an adult.
3000 children have been sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, some as young as 13 (sentenced to die in prison).
Yesterday’s article on tasing 3rd graders & expelling preschoolers at many times the rate of other industrialized nations is snapshot into the dysfunctional elements of our institutional approach to dealing with the mental health issues of children, primarily abused and neglected children, that enter Juvenile Justice Systems where we under-treat or ignore their mental health problems.
Today, I draw your attention to some of the worst practices within Child Protection Services and the Juvenile Justice System and ask you to reflect on how these practices relate to the frightening violence and dismal news that pervades our media and daily lives. Social death… Read the rest of this entry →
There is no shortage of disturbing stories about violent children & authorities using violent means to control them. Today, the U.S. expels more children from daycare than any other industrialized nation and the levels of violence in our schools is frightening and harmful to all of us.
There is nothing more disturbing than watching a video of an armed 200 pound police officer twisting the arms of a 50 pound special needs child into a painful behind the back steel handcuffed position as the boy cries uncontrollably in his classroom, unless it is reading about the St. Louis Sheriff’s deputy tasering an 11 year old boy and threatening to sodomize him (Sheriff Mulch “nothing out of the ordinary…, followed protocol)
These stories and recent horrific police shootings of juveniles are a signal of overwhelmed institutions unable to deliver the most basic protection and safety services to the communities that employ them. Don’t blame service providers -it is lawmakers and administrators defending archaic policies that just don’t work anymore. Neither police nor teachers are able to nor should they be required (with the training we give them) to handle the deep and troubling behaviors of very disturbed children). Traumatizing five and six year old children because they have behavioral problems is just awful and it makes things so much worse for the child (and our society).
This story out of Texas, demonstrates how the police might better deal with troubled youth with an approach that recognizes the significance of mental health issues impacting police/child interaction. We need to do a 180 on dealing with mental health issues. Now.
The sooner we the people recognize that this is all about mental health and that schools and police departments are not mental health service providers, the safer our schools and city streets will become.
All adults are the protectors of all children.
This recent Star Tribune article by James Eli Shiffer hits on a touchstone to light the fire needed to fix child well-being, racial disparity, schools, juvenile justice and public safety in our community.
“Trying to get information out of the government can feel like standing in a Soviet bread line” gives the reader a sense that the bread will be there, maybe stale or moldy but there will be bread to take home if you wait long enough (which is not true regarding getting information out of the government about child protection issues).
You can wait all day, all week, all year and never find out about how many five and six year old children were on drugs, were sexually molested, tried to commit suicide or were grievously injured by their parents or caregivers last year (the information exists).
Nor will you have access to the necessary paperwork made available to Brandon Stahl at the Star Tribune in his investigation into the death of Eric Dean without a major newspaper filing a freedom of information act and spending thousands of dollars to placate a County that wants no part of your investigation (8 children have died under similar circumstances since Eric Dean’s death). Read the rest of this entry →
The only positive is that the media and public attention absent (for decades) children murdered by their caregivers is now making front page news & driving the Governor to speak out and form a task force to study child protection issues. Read the rest of this entry →
It was the final question and statement from the Legislative Committee after my testimony about generational child abuse and the “real costs” of under-funding Child Protection and Children’s Mental Health at the State House yesterday that caught me off guard and made it difficult for me to fall asleep last night. Read the rest of this entry →
Today’s Star Tribune included 2 powerful articles that if read together provide an alarming insight into how misreported and mishandled the information about suicide, suicidal ideation, and psychotropic medications is (and people are dying every day because of it). Read the rest of this entry →
Invisible Children readers know that psychotropic medications, especially “antipsychotics,” often are used to sedate and restrain problematic people, children especially—and not just any children, but foster children particularly, and most of all, foster children in so-called “group homes.” Read the rest of this entry →
This series of videos report on the dramatic increase in the forced use of psychotropic medications by children in California’s foster care system is worth watching and sharing widely. The use of these drugs on very young children may very well may be an epidemic in every state.
I have personally watched the explosive use of these drugs over the past twenty years in Minnesta’s child protection system and have talked with professionals (including judges, educators, families & service providers) who are very concerned with the dangers of using these powerful anti-psychotic medications in place of mental health treatments for abused and neglected children.
I’m always pleased to find outspoken observers in the mental health discussion. Today’s Star Tribune article begins to articulate the gaping hole in our communities (and the nation’s) approach to mental health. Much like child suicide and child sex abuse, we have avoided the mental health topic leading to the worst case of overbuilt prisons, unsafe streets, and terribly overwhelmed schools of any industrialized nation.
Senator Barb Goodwin told Abby Simons of the Star Tribune what a sad state it is when public advocates for mental health don’t speak as urgently for mental health services as the service providers forced to deal with mentally unhealthy people. Is it because the public doesn’t know how damaged abused and neglected children are that they don’t understand what happens to them and the people living with and among them? I refuse to believe that it is a lack of compassion.
Can you imagine what it’s like to be a juvenile/law enforcement officer, teacher, or other caregiver/service provider choosing between personal safety and protecting a disturbed child? I watched a 6th grade teacher, a man about my size whack a young girls head on a banister (hard) as she was trying to gouge his eyes out and biting his face. What college teaches defense tactics to grade school teachers?
My deepest sympathy lies with the birth / foster / adoptive parents unable to obtain mental health services Read the rest of this entry →
|On April 14th four bills will be heard before the Health and Human Services Committee of the California State Legislature that improve oversight and monitoring of psychotropic medication treatment for children in foster care. We are writing to request your support. Will you or your organization help? Please send your support letters by end of day April 6th for timely submission to the committee members by April 7th, the deadline.Please click here to find sample letters on our blog to create your own letter of support. On the blog you will find directions for sending the support letters to us and we will ensure the letters are delivered to the appropriate legislative offices.
The bill package takes a comprehensive approach that will strengthen the ability of judges, caregivers, child welfare workers, and other professionals to ensure safe and appropriate treatment in the spectrum of wellness and trauma informed health approaches with the aim of reducing the inappropriate uses of psychotropic medications.
Below are the bill numbers linked to the language and a short description of each bill’s purpose:
SB 253) Strengthen the court authorization process to provide clear and convincing evidence for the treatment and require evidence that non-pharmacological treatments have been tried prior to medications
We appreciate all you do for foster children and youth and hope to have your support in ensuring safe care for kids.
Today’s Star Tribune indicates the “colossal failure” (Governor Dayton’s words) of child protection in the death of Eric Dean after fifteen reports of child abuse by mandated reporters is still causing suicide, torture and death to afflict Minnesota children today.
Just a few months ago, six year old Kendrea Johnson’s social worker was unaware of her suicidal and homicidal talk before she died by hanging herself with jump rope.
Today’s Star Tribune has two disturbing articles of worst case abuse and murder suffered by two, three, and four year old Minnesota children;
Four year old Key’Ontay Miller-Peterson’s mother found guilty in the repeated assaults and eventual murder of her son Key’Ontay Miller-Peterson.
The two year old and three year old children of Michael Gunderson of Princeton were starved to the point of eating feces when discovered by the Sheriff’s Department.
I want to believe that we are better than this as a community.
After all, we have money for a billion dollar stadiums and equally expensive transit system. It’s not that we are short the money – it appears to be how we value sports and mobility over children.
“What we do to our children, they will do to society” Pliny the Elder, 2500 years ago.
Reporting Child Abuse in MN Reporting Child Abuse Nationally; 800-422-4453
Watch & Share these 2 minute trailers from KARA’s TV documentary project (help us BUILD KARA & spread the word)
He spoke of how city leaders don’t take his repeated warning about the growing body of experience his community is having with troubled children & families. These leaders debate his stated daily reality for his police officers as if it were a small thing.
Like the growing bloc of dysfunctional families with serious mental health and coping problems and how this population is stressing the police force, courts and public welfare systems and how that added stress flows into the daily lives of the city/county workers themselves leading to serious problems of failure in school and failure of child protection systems and the high rate of worker turnover in education and social work. And then there’s the costs to the County and diminished quality of life to the citizens.
We both see that there is far too much training that goes into the difficult work of teaching and social work to see turnover rates growing as fast as they are. No one likes poor graduation rates or high crime rates. Unsafe neighborhoods are no good for anyone.
His view is that the elasticity of our systems is not limitless – it will break at a point and become a major social ill impacting our entire civil society making life painful for all of us.
It is precisely the functionality of our institutions that have made life in this nation as attractive as it has been.
For a growing number of people conditions are getting worse and this includes working people forced to deal with a more problematic and behaviorally challenged population.
Dr Bruce Perry has thirty years of working with at risk children and speaking to audiences about the impact abused and neglected children are having on our communities. Eight years ago Dr Perry made the statement that 25% of Americans will be special needs people by the end of this generation – I think it may already be true today. After all, without counting the people on psychotropic medications unable to hold down jobs or lead productive lives, we now have 2.5 M citizens in our jails and prisons and over 7 M citizens on or recently on parole (people with criminal pasts have a very hard time finding work that will keep them off of welfare).
Psychotropic medications are impacting between 1/3 and 2/3 of the youth in child protection and juvenile justice. Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz stated that “90% of the youth in juvenile justice have passed through child protection” – and more painfully, “The difference between that poor child and a felon, is about eight years”.
I failed to remind the Chief that Kathleen Long, author of the book ANGELS AND DEMONS (about the child protection system in California) holds that “American institutions are creating exactly what they were designed to stop”.
A thought I refer to frequently.
This conversation went like many prior conversations with other professionals dealing with dysfunctional families, abused and neglected children, and behaviorally troubled juveniles. We all see a desperate need for mental health services, crisis nurseries, therapeutic daycare, and education and resources for young families.
We also see the terrific stress on our workers and systems and the cost to our communities in money and quality of life and we agree that we will not arrest and incarcerate ourselves out of this sad and dangerous epidemic of dysfunctional families having their next generation of dysfunctional children and that breaking this cycle will save money and create happiness all around.
Today, social workers are blamed when children die in their care and teachers are blamed for failed schools. This approach is woefully inadequate and wrong. It redirects the conversation away from the real culprits behind this exponentially expanding catastrophe (I can use this word as Governor Dayton has in this topic).
It is becoming clear to some of us that few people outside the circle of worker bees immersed in the lives of at risk children have any idea of the depth and scope of this issue and that very little will change until they do.
Until one’s own child, grandchild, neighbor or friend is robbed, raped, beaten, shot dead or burgled, this isn’t a current issue. Instead of waiting to ask “why me” let’s all ask ourselves, what can I do to make life better for the at risk children in my community.
help us BUILD KARA & spread the word)
At the end of a recent KARA presentation about child abuse and child protection in our community at a metro Kiwanis, a University Professor argued strongly that child protection was working “just fine” from his perspective.
This after I had just pointed out the lack of support, training, and resources for the courts and social workers and the terrible stories and results MN is currently experiencing. Governor Dayton called child protection in the death of 4 year old Eric Dean (after 15 ignored reports of child abuse) a “colossal failure”, MN ranks 47th in what we spend on child protection, and this professor lived just a few miles where a very young child was raped and murdered (18 month old Maplewood girl).
He did not seem to know that day care workers are paid less than food service workers in America and in the rest of the industrialized world day care workers are are required to have advanced degrees that include mental health training (and are paid better because of their training). He did not agree that more attention needed to be focused on at risk youth.
“Just fine” for him perhaps, not having to meet or deal with the traumatized two year old’s, and the never ending string of abused and neglected children that social workers and court personnel see day after day and year after year with too little resources and too big of a case load.
There is nothing fine about the statistical reality of state wards in child protection becoming state wards in juvenile justice and then state wards in criminal justice. There is nothing just fine about the amount of psychotropic medications being used on children and juveniles in the system, or the problems foster and adoptive parents must face everyday with the behavioral problems these kids bring with them into their homes and school.
The professors thinking goes a long way in explaining the absence of crisis nurseries, therapeutic day care, and other programs that would give kids safety and coping skills necessary for success in school and in life.
It saddens me greatly that an educated segment of our community knows so little about the sadness that exists for so many involved in child-well being and child protection that they are unable to identify and support the programs and policies that could address the problems and make life better for children, our schools, and communities.
help us BUILD KARA & spread the word)
“National Disgrace” is the headline in the Wednesday Star Tribune report on the Federal Government’s failure to enforce child protection laws, and the many children dying of abuse and neglect in plain view of child protection workers.
“Colossal Failure” were the words of MN Governor Mark Dayton when speaking about his state’s failure to provide child protection services to 4 year old Eric Dean after 15 ignored reports (by mandated reporters) of the bite marks and broken bones prior to his murder this year. The photos and the stories presented by journalist Brandon Stahl at the Star Tribune were horrific and caused the Governor to create a task force to stop the awful happenings in Child Protective Services.
We have traded at risk children and young families for failed schools, unsafe streets, full prisons, and a giant pharmaceutical industry (about a third of CP kids are on psychotropic medications for their severe behavioral problems – about the same percentage that exists in juvenile justice and criminal justice).
Mark Dayton’s task force is recommending transparency and changing the broken laws and practices that currently make keeping children safe next to impossible. Read the rest of this entry →
Join the conversation at ACEs Connection above and add your voice
Also, as of June 1, 2014, a child must be at least three years old for all ADHD and SGA prescriptions. Prior authorization (PA) overrides will not be available for children younger than age 3. Some drugs will continue to be subject to higher age requirements. PA requirements for prescription drugs, including age requirements for prescription drugs, are available on the PA Criteria and Regimen Review Sheets.
As a volunteer CASA guardian ad-Litem I watched many children forced to take these drugs. As state wards they could not argue and were forced to take them.
I’ve written about seven year old Gabriel Myers who hung himself in his foster home and left a note about how he hated Prozac and the Hennepin County Judge that shared with me the huge number of state ward children proscribed psychotropic medications while passing through her courtroom.
Mental health services for traumatized children would be more effective, more humane, and less expensive in the long run. Children could learn coping skills and become functioning members of our community. Jails & prisons would empty, schools would be way more successful and positive environments and our streets would be safer.
It would also be the right thing to do.
At least three people have been shot within a 7-day span due to toddlers getting access to guns.
Monday at around 9:30 p.m., two 3-year-olds were playing with a shotgun in a Baltimore home, the Baltimore Sun reported. Police told the Sun that the two kids found the gun in one of their bedrooms, though it’s unclear why it was there.
The gun went off and hit one of the children, a boy, in the lower leg. He was taken to a hospital and was in stable condition as of Monday night.
Just two days prior, a 3-year-old girl in Lorain, Ohio was listed in critical condition after her 4-year-old brother shot her in the head. The siblings were playing at home alone when the boy found a .40 caliber handgun. Police said the boy was crying and holding his sister in his arms when they got to the scene, and that he told them multiple times he was sorry.
On October 27, Patrick Sanders, 20, was sleeping on the couch at a Houston-area apartment when his loaded pistol slipped out of his pants and a 3-year-old boy in the home picked it up. Sanders was shot in the face as he tried to get the gun away from the boy and it accidentally went off.
There are no definite statistics on how many people every year are killed or injured bychildren getting their hands on guns, according to the Washington Post.
“We know how many times children die each year as a result of gun deaths,” Jon S. Vernick, co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, told the Post in September. “We don’t know how many times children pull the trigger and someone dies.”
Much of this article came from this in depth article at Huffington Post
One out of 28 American children has a parent in jail or prison – 60 percent of inmates are people of color (only 30% of America’s population are people of color). There are twelve time more drug offenders in state prisons than there were in 1980.
25% of American youth are charged in adult courts & many ten or twelve years old children are tried as adults. About ten thousand juveniles are housed in adult prisons and jails every day. 2/3 of those youth suffer from mental health issues and half that number have multiple and serious diagnosis.
Seven of ten of these youth have seen someone killed or severely injured and three of ten have attempted suicide. My first visit to a CASA guardian ad-Litem four year old was at the suicide ward of Fairview hospital in Minneapolis. The thoughts of killing yourself start young in at risk youth. Jeff Weise had been talking and writing about it before he killed his grandfather and fourteen others before killing himself.
And we wonder where the violence on our streets and in our schools comes from.
Black men born in 2001 have a 33% chance of incarceration and black youth are five times more likely to be arrested than white youth.
2/3 of America’s prisoners recycle within 3 years of being released Our recidivism rates are soon to exceed 70%.
Nearly 40% of America’s incarcerated youth are sentenced to privatized facilities. Where a growing number of them are being reported for under training and under-staffing, a culture of rape and violence, arbitrary quotas, inadequate health care, and their own criminal acts (2 Pennsylvania judges sentenced to 40 years for incarcerating innocent youth to collect the ten percent commission on each child sent “upriver”, and the “cesspool of unconstitutional and inhuman acts” brought about the shut down of GEO Groups Mississippi operation (words in quotation marks were written by Governor Phil Bryant of Miississippi).
60,000 detainees labored in these facilities last year, many of them for candy bars or one dollar a day.
One of my guardian ad-Litem boys walked 35 miles when he was tossed out into a ten degree Minnesota night when the staff at his privatized facility used freezing in the cold as discipline (he was wearing only a t shirt).
Private prison contracts almost always mandate that 80 to 100 percent of prison beds be kept full with fines for unused beds. This is the opposite of any sane persons approach to sound public policy.
Prisons are a five billion dollar business with powerful lobbying firms working to incarcerate more people for longer sentences. This has disrupted not just America’s at risk youth.
America incarcerates more young people than any other industrialized nation – overall, we have 25% of the world’s prison population, and only 5% of the world’s population.
One third of the world’s entire imprisoned female population is in America’s justice system, mostly for non violent crimes. Since we passed the King Pin and Mandatory Minimums laws, it is often the women serving the longest sentences. King pins have high priced lawyers and get time off of their sentence for ratting on others. Most of these women have committed the crime of being in love with or afraid of the man they live with. It is a rare event that the women ever received money or safety because her significant other treated them well. Most of these women lose their children and many of them were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time (and she gets twenty years). Sexual assault and PTSD are the almost the rule for incarcerated in America’s prisons. GOP governors have been fighting against the “Rape Elimination Act” passed ten years ago.
There are almost seven million Americans in the U.S. adult correctional system with twice that number of arrests made in 2012. The conditions within the prison system are in many states just awful. The people that run Riker’s Island youth prison in New York might be the people more deserving of a prison sentence (nearly twenty inmates slashed last month).
Sample 4 minute video of Kids At Risk Action talk on child protection in America (invite KARA to speak at your conference – Mike@invisiblechildren.org )
Follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/KidsAtRisk Share This Blog
As a long time volunteer guardian ad-Litem watching hundreds of abused and neglected children forced through a broken court system that fails miserably in responding to at risk youth or mending the traumas suffered by tortured children*.
I am appalled at a community that would prefer harsh criminal practices that thrust children into a failed prison system instead of dealing with the obvious deprivations and mental health issues driving insane behaviors. For this kind of crime, ten or older qualifies as an adult in Wisconsin and 28 other states automatically place children in the adult criminal justice system. Nationally, 25% of american youth are charged as adults and over 30% of America’s youth are arrested before their 23rd birthday.
Juvenile crime in America is huge. 9.3 million juvenile arrests between 2007 and 2011. About 2/3 of the youth in the JJ system have mental health issues, half of those youth have multiple, chronic, and often dangerous diagnosis.
Minnesota’s former Supreme Court Chief Justice remarked that “the difference between that poor child and a felon, is about eight years”, and that “90% of the youth in juvenile justice had come through the child protection system”.
A few hundred years ago Jonathon Swift suggested that the Irish sell their children as stew meat because the English were torturing and killing the children anyway and at least by selling them, the parents would get a small stipend, and the food was not bad (remember that this is satire).
Swift’s argument holds as true today for families of generationally abused children as it did in 1729. Read the rest to see how other states treat ten and twelve year old criminals.
*The World Health Organization defines torture as “extended exposure to violence and deprivation”. Every child in my caseload as a volunteer guardian ad-Litem suffered from extended exposure to violence and deprivation.
Friday’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study confirms the sad fact that there is no age too young to drug defenseless children (by the thousands). I’ve written about the seven year old foster child that hung himself and left a note about how he hated Prozac (Gabriel Myers) and the memory I have of my first visit to a four year old CASA guardian ad-Litem case girl at the Suicide ward of Fairview Hospital in Minneapolis.
From an even more personal perspective, I have first hand experience with the sheer terror of suicidal ideation from my use of the psychotropic Topamax, proscribed to me as an off label use of the drug to treat my severe migraine headaches. It did not work and it did result in creating the second worst fearful incident that has ever happened to me. The first was being lost at sea with a shark swimming in my vicinity. Each of these incidents kept me from sleeping for several nights in a row and it is beyond my comprehension how a very young child could deal with the terror of suicidal ideation. I study mental health, and this freaked me out.
Judge Heidi Schellhas shared with me here concern about this and her list of very young children placed on these drugs in her courtroom while she was on the bench in Juvenile Court in Hennepin County. It was unbelievably long.
As a guardian ad-Litem, about a third of the children in my caseload were on these drugs & it was clear to me that these drugs are the first defense the County has against behavior problems of the children in the system. One young boy on Ritalin, tugged on my sleeve asking me, “when will I be normal” as he told me how he hated what Ritalin did to him.
It is the absence of sound therapeutic regimes that compounds all the problems these children live with daily. It may very well be that these drugs compound the mental health problems abused and neglected children live with. Support KARA’s MN Public TV’s Documentary project Donate Read the rest of this entry →
The recent International Labor Organization study proves that the U.S. is one of three nations on the planet that does not provide some kind of monetary payment to new mothers who’ve taken maternity leave from work. America also provides the least amount of maternity leave among the industrialized (and many emerging and third world) nations.
That is what we think of children in America. New Zealand and Norway provide up to 14 weeks of paid leave, and 70 nations provide paid leave for fathers. 179 other nations provide at least some paid leave for new moms and a growing number are giving the same benefit to dads. The rest of the world has realized that healthy families raise healthy children and that healthy children become productive members of their community. We seem to think that building more prisons will work just as well.
In America, we pay our daycare workers what we pay food service workers (the lowest paid people in the nation) and have almost no requirements for education or training for the difficult and important task of raising our youngest citizens. We also expel more children from daycare than any other nation.
The reason 26% of our high school graduates perform proficiently at math, and 38% can read at proficiently is that they were not ready for school when they started school. This also explains why the U.S. spends twice as much per student as smarter nations to get such dismal results on test scores and graduation rates. Read the rest of this entry →
Friends, click here for the last few weeks of children in the news – Read the rest of this entry →
Please share the information discovered by Star Tribune writer Brandon Stahl in this article (and his future writings on the topic) with your social media and friends. The more people understand the core issues, the greater the chance that legislators will respond to an educated populace and make the lives of abused and neglected children a little better.
Minnesota now screens out more child abuse cases than 47 other states (this is a terrible fact if you are an abused child).
As a long time advocate for children’s issues, I see how my community’s lack of awareness of the terrible conditions facing at risk youth drives poor public policy and shorts children of not only their childhoods, but a fair shot at leading a normal life. 80% of youth aging out of foster care lead dysfunctional lives.
Sign KARA’s Petition to make health, education, and well being available to all of America’s children;
6 million children are reported to child protection services in the U.S. each year Only a fraction of these children receive the help they need to lead productive lives. Help KARA change this. KARA TV interview at Catherine’s Crossings.
Sample 4 minute video of Mike’s awesome talk on child protection in America (invite me to speak at your conference – Mike@invisiblechildren.org ) Read Brandon’s article below – Read the rest of this entry →
Most of the 477 child deaths investigated (over the last six years) by the Miami Herald were in the child protection system when the children died, many of them were waiting for services from underfunded programs. Some social workers in the state are caring for 60 children and there are far too few services to go around.
There’s two parts to this story.
The first part has to do with the children that didn’t die and went on lead dysfunctional lives that generally include preteen pregnancy and adolescent felonies that cost the community not just millions of dollars, but quality of life and public safety. for everyone in the state. I’ve had under-treated kids in my caseload that have cost the county millions, not including the stabbings, assaults, or otherwise ruined lives of innocent people. Building children is far less expensive than dealing with the mayhem caused by truly dysfunctional children as they become truly dysfunctional adults. Read the rest of this entry →
Child Welfare in the News is distributed at no charge by Child Welfare Information Gateway (www.childwelfare.gov), a service of the Children’s Bureau/ACF/HHS (www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb). It features news stories on topics of interest to child welfare and related professionals. Inclusion does not imply endorsement of any view expressed in an article, and opinions or views do not reflect those of Child Welfare Information Gateway, the Children’s Bureau, or staff. Other free subscriptions from Child Welfare Information Gateway are available at: www.childwelfare.gov/admin/subscribe
Sign KARA’s Petition to make health, education, and well being available to all of America’s children;
Sample 4 minute video of Mike’s awesome talk on child protection in America (invite me to speak at your conference – Mike@invisiblechildren.org )
Today’s Star Tribune article starkly demonstrates that discrimination starts early and that we really do not value children as a society. By wide margins, children of color are suspended and sometimes forbidden readmission to daycare centers all across the nation. Rather than recognizing that these are the children that most need early childhood programs, help with coping skills and mental health development, they are cast out early to parents who often have behavior issues themselves.
As a long time CASA guardian ad-Litem, it is apparent that childhood behavior issues most often come from the family, and generation after generation of at risk children go on to have their own troubled families. Coping skills and parenting skills are not delivered by the stork. If they don’t come from within the home, they must come from us (that could start with daycare).
Zealous discipline policies guarantee that 3 and 4 year old’s will not do well in school and most likely will not graduate. Many don’t learn to read. Many go on to fill our prisons or become preteen moms.
What the article misses, is that the rest of the industrialized world truly values children and employs policies and people that can deal with troubled children. They understand the cost to society of turning their back on children (we have 10 times more prison space per person than Denmark – and it is filled).
This short (13 min) TEDx video clearly articulates what is wrong with hitting babies & children (and legislators in Kansas lobbying for the right to leave bruises on children). Passed down generation after generation, sticks, paddles, and open hand hitting all leave mental health marks that result in compensating behaviors, poor brain development, and the next generation of parents beating their children. If you know someone that hits their child, or lives in Kansas, send this link to them.
6 million children are reported to child protection services in the U.S. each year Only a fraction of these children receive the help they need to lead productive lives.