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

Health

Help

Share this with widely…

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 Pennsylvania 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

Kids At Risk Action (KARA)

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 →

March Sad Stories (2016 KARA reporting)

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

sunset costaricaThese stories about risk children have been gathered for the month of March 2016

Feel free to share this page, comment and send KARA stories & articles from your community, (info@invisiblechildren.org)

Read the rest of this entry →

Pennsylvania Child Protection News For January & February 2016

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

 

Koala

 

The following stories and articles about child abuse and child protection in Pennsylvania have been gathered from April and March 2016

KARA volunteer Krista Neuner helped prepare these articles. Read the rest of this entry →

Progress & Next Steps in County Child Protection (thank you SafePassageForChildren)

February 12, 2016 in Foster Care, Health and Mental Health, Invisible Children, Links To Helpful Orgs, Politics and Funding, Public Policy by Mike Tikkanen

 

Today’s EBrief:

Progress and Next Steps in Hennepin County

 

This week the Hennepin County Oversight Committee reviewed efforts by child protection managers to implement recommendations in the Casey Report, which was critical of the program.

Progress was reported for example in rolling out a 24/7 child protection response, and adding screening and investigation staff.

In another part of this hearing, Casey staff presented a draft child protection ‘Practice Model’. While it identified child safety as the paramount responsibility of the program, much of the language – as Commissioner Mike Opat and others pointed out – echoed the old Family Assessment philosophy, which is weighted towards the needs and preferences of parents.

The final version of this practice model should reflect more clearly the priority that recent changes in state law and recommended practices gave to child safety and well-being.

 

Click to Comment

New York Child Protection News December 2015- January 2016

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

2016-05-12 12.29.31Reporting compiled and submitted by KARA volunteer Corey Wasser

NY: New York State’s Safe Harbour Project is working to combat human trafficking (Opinion)
Buffalo News – January 24, 2016
The New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) works to combat human trafficking through efforts that include the Safe Harbour Project, which assists local social services and volunteer agencies in developing and providing services such as safe housing or emergency housing, mental health counseling, medical care, substance abuse counseling and education and employment skills for survivors of commercial sexual exploitation.
http://www.buffalonews.com/opinion/viewpoints/new-york-states-safe-harbour-project-is-working-to-combat-human-trafficking-20160124

Read the rest of this entry →

Pennsylvania Child Protection News December 2015

February 11, 2016 in Adoption, Child Death, education, Health and Mental Health, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources, The States by Mike Tikkanen

default-headerTwo Bills Aim To Improve Lives Of PA’s Foster Children
90.5 WESA – December 28, 2015
Act 75 of 2015 and House Bill 1603 came about a result of the 2014 federal Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act, which mandated that every state had until Jan. 1, 2016 to pass laws that would help foster youth.
http://wesa.fm/post/two-bills-aim-improve-lives-pas-foster-children  This page contributed by Krista Neuner Read the rest of this entry →

Think Again MN Feb 16 (includes KARA presentation)

February 10, 2016 in education, Events, Guardian ad-Litem, Health and Mental Health, Invisible Children, Kids At Risk Action (KARA), Links To Helpful Orgs, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources by Mike Tikkanen

THE IMPACT OF DOMESTIC ABUSE ON CHILDREN
Tuesday, February 16
6 p.m. Light Supper and Social 6:30 P.M. Program
Cafeteria, Hennepin Technical College, 9000 Brooklyn Blvd, Brooklyn Park, Map
RSVP on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1kWpPiG or to CarolWoehrer@usfamily.net Read the rest of this entry →

Pennsylvania Child Protection News November 2015

February 6, 2016 in Child Death, education, Health and Mental Health, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources, The States by Mike Tikkanen

child abuseOversight of psychiatric meds for youth offenders lacking
Citizens Voice – October 28, 2015
While other states have reformed the way they control and track such medications so that it is done systemwide, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services follows only the total amount paid for the drugs prescribed in its six facilities on a systemic basis.
http://citizensvoice.com/news/oversight-of-psychiatric-meds-for-pa-youth-offenders-lacking-1.1963601  This page contributed by volunteer Krista Neuner Read the rest of this entry →

January Sad Stories (2016 KARA reporting)

January 30, 2016 in Child Death, Crime and Courts, Health and Mental Health, International Child Abuse, Invisible Children, Kids At Risk Action (KARA), Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources, The States by Mike Tikkanen

children down hill having funEvery month Kids At Risk Action draws attention to the plight of abused and neglected children by gathering the stories of at risk children from around the nation.  You will find your community on this page.  Please share this page with your friends and networks to make this conversation come alive with the hope that we will do more if we know more.  Join KARA’s Facebook Page

Read the rest of this entry →

Violence Against Children & Policing

January 29, 2016 in CASA, Crime and Courts, Guardian ad-Litem, Health and Mental Health, Public Policy by Mike Tikkanen

best sharkThis morning’s Safe Passage For Children post about how police have put battered children back in the home because they like to keep families together reminds me of a CASA guardian ad Litem case where the mother’s boyfriend kicked a 7 year old girl so hard she went into convulsions & was sent to the hospital Emergency Room.  The police in that case sought safety for her and her siblings and involved Child Protection right away.

That girl had been sexually abused for four years (from 4 to 7) by this older violent man, my first visit to her younger year sister was at the suicide ward of the hospital & the 2 other children had problems so severe that they could not be together in foster care because of the things that happened when they were together.

The man who did these things to the children remained in the home for many years, and was never charged or made to answer for any of his crimes.  More than ten years later he was still sexually abusing children in the same home and he had never been mentioned in the justice system.

Children have no rights in the homes they live in, no access to safety other than our community efforts to keep children safe and no way to influence policy makers to improve the existing system.

The important & well written Safe Passage Article linked above includes a snapshot of how the rest of the industrialized world keeps children safe.

How about providing Social Worker, Educators, Police & Justice Workers sabbaticals or subsidized vacations in industrialized nations to experience other policies and practices for keeping children safe?  Do you have a better idea for more effective child protection in your community?

All Adults Are The Protectors of All Children  Join KARA’s Facebook Page

The Administration That Poisoned the Children of Flint Michigan

January 20, 2016 in Crime and Courts, Events, Health and Mental Health, Kids At Risk Action (KARA), Politics and Funding, Public Policy, The States by Mike Tikkanen

20130107-can-mozart-boost-brainpowerIt’s hard to believe that a political administration could go so far in negating the value of a city’s children as just happened in Flint Michigan.

Since April of 2014 Flint children have been poisoned with diarrhea like water infused with lead and other toxins (Flint water has twice the toxicity the EPA classifies as toxic waste) in the face of scientific evidence, political backlash and community outrage with nothing but misfeasance, malfeasance and non-feasance from the Governor’s office (all 8000 of Flints children).

Flint needs disaster relief from the EPA, CDC and Army Corps of Engineers to stop the State sponsored child abuse that poisoned the children of Flint Michigan.

Elected officials need to be made aware  that what happened in Flint was wrong and the people in charge made public, made to resign and be punished.  Sign Michael Moore’s petition on Facebook to let Michigan’s Governor know that what he has done to Flint’s children is a crime.

If Michigan State found that you knowingly poisoned your children over an extended period of time you would be guilty of second degree felony child abuse)*

Michigan Penal Code, section 750.136b:

“A person is guilty of child abuse in the second degree if…the person knowingly or intentionally commits an act likely to cause serious physical or mental harm to a child,” Michigan Penal Code, section 750.136b states. “[This] is a felony punishable by imprisonment for a first offense of not more than 10 years…[and] for a second or subsequent offense not more than 20 years.”

ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN

share this with your friends and networks

Updates on Flint Michigan’s Poisoned Children below  Read the rest of this entry →

Child Death & Drugs (send KARA your stories)

January 18, 2016 in Child Death, education, Health and Mental Health, Politics and Funding, Public Policy by Mike Tikkanen

babies best everAs a County guardian ad-Litem, I’ve become familiar with children as young as four, five & six trying to kill themselves.  Many of these children have been proscribed powerful psychotropic medications with way too little of the necessary mental health care required to keep them safe.

Today it’s time we learn about the growing problem of newborns dying after being sent home with mothers struggling with drug addiction.  This Reuters investigation starkly demonstrates that doctors are not alerting social services to thousands of infants living in toxic homes with addicts.  Every 19 minutes an American baby is born dependent on opioids.

KARA needs your help finding information on the topic (forward related local news & your stories); info@invisiblechildren.org

All Adults Are The Protectors Of All Children

Minneminds Policy Principles For Early Learning & Child Protection Strategy Work Group Recommendations

January 15, 2016 in education, Health and Mental Health, Links To Helpful Orgs by Mike Tikkanen

default-header2016 Policy Agenda Principles (MinneMinds) & child welfare improvements (from SafePassage for children).

We should all want this for Minnesota children;

Fully support Parent Aware to continue expansion of high quality early learning throughout Minnesota.  PRIORITY SUMMARY: The shortage of early childhood staff, particularly in Greater Minnesota, is a growing crisis not just for the early childhood sector but for employers broadly across the state.  The waiting list for subsidized day care used to be under fifty families – today it is over 7000 families (why is that?).  Center based young child & infant daycare in MN is over fourteen thousand dollars a year and way out of reach for low wage families.
Read the rest of this entry →

Children, Trauma & School (what’s it like to teach tortured children?)

January 15, 2016 in Adoption, Child Death, education, Foster Care, Guardian ad-Litem, Health and Mental Health, Kids At Risk Action (KARA), Politics and Funding, Public Policy by Mike Tikkanen

iceberg picToday’s Star Tribune article nails it.  Thank you Annie Mogush Mason for your clear explanation of how child abuse impacts schools.  Coping skills (learning skills) are not brought by the stork.  Add to that, the terrible things done to at risk children in the home, children bring fear & high anxiety into the classroom instead of the ability to sit still, play well with others or learn.

Teaching *traumatized children is different than teaching other students.  Way different. Read the rest of this entry →

Florida Child Protection News October 2015

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

babies best everReporting compiled and submitted by KARA volunteer Corey Wasser – All Adults Are the Protectors of All Children

FL: New project aims to help protect kids from domestic violence
Palm Beach Post – October 29, 2015
These in-depth investigations are aimed at helping to keep the child in the home of the non-offending parent while removing the parent accused of domestic violence.
http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/local/new-project-aims-to-help-protect-kids-from-domesti/nn8Rz/

Read the rest of this entry →

Pennsylvania Child Protection News Sept – Oct 2015

January 6, 2016 in Child Death, education, Foster Care, Health and Mental Health, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources, The States by Mike Tikkanen

babies best everOversight of psychiatric meds for youth offenders lacking
Citizens Voice – October 28, 2015
While other states have reformed the way they control and track such medications so that it is done systemwide, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services follows only the total amount paid for the drugs prescribed in its six facilities on a systemic basis.
http://citizensvoice.com/news/oversight-of-psychiatric-meds-for-pa-youth-offenders-lacking-1.1963601

Read the rest of this entry →

The Ghost Of Christmas Future

December 29, 2015 in Health and Mental Health, International Child Abuse, Invisible Children, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, The States, Wonderful People by Mike Tikkanen

birdwatching in MazatlanI’m very pleased to know that the head of Hennepin County Commissioners Jan Callison showed genuine anger and concern when she found out* that Social workers weren’t available on weekends for abused and neglected children and that she directed the department to “fix it”.  Note that it is departmental management making bad policy and not problematic workers at the core of this issue.

The child protection system should be structured in the best interest of the children who need it and not just to accommodate workers or institutions.  It is a problem.

Too many policy makers and politicians are putting the interests of America’s youngest (voiceless and nonvoting) citizens on the back burner to the detriment of children, young families and our communities.

By many indicators (child poverty, teen pregnancy & STDs, crime & education) U.S. youth will be less healthy, educated  or well off as their parents. Comparing these same indicators in other developed nations the results are very different and not in our favor.

For people my age, the U.S. was always a leader among the developed nations in health, quality of life, education, child well-being. Not so any more. America’s public policies have become less compassionate & much more punitive to where we now have 5% of the world’s population & 25% of its prison population.  There were a stunning 13 million prison and jail releases last year alone. Read the rest of this entry →

San Francisco Chronicle Article Rob Waters (it’s been 10 years and not much has changed)

December 17, 2015 in Health and Mental Health, Kids At Risk Action (KARA), Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources, Wonderful People by Mike Tikkanen

hallwaykid
reprinted from Sunday, February 12, 2006 (SF Chronicle)

One Child, One Therapist/An innovative program partners foster children with therapists for as long as they’re needed, providing a stability otherwise missing
Rob Waters

When child psychologist Norman Zukowsky first met him, 6 1/2-year-old “William” had already lived through more hardship and trauma than many people experience in a lifetime.

He was born exposed to drugs and alcohol,one of three children of a drug-addicted mother who lived in an unheated garage with no cooking or bathroom facilities.

Child welfare reports suggest that the children were physically abused, exposed to sexual behavior and often went without food or clothing. Eventually, William was
removed from his mother’s care only to be placed with a relative who scarred his chest beating him with a belt. Read the rest of this entry →

New York Child Protection News October – November 2015

December 12, 2015 in Adoption, Child Death, Health and Mental Health, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources, The States by Mike Tikkanen

mississippi double exposure red wingThis page compiled by KARA volunteer Corey Wasser

NY: One More Problem Faced by Transgender New Yorkers: Food Insecurity
Slate – November 21, 2015
As health care access is clearly still a problem, the report requests that policymakers “Assure that all transgender people, including those in the foster care system, juvenile detention or criminal justice system, have access to the health care they need.”
http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2015/11/21/transgender_new_yorkers_poorer_more_food_insecure_than_non_trans_residents.html Read the rest of this entry →

Babies, 2 year old’s & Antipsychotic Medicines

December 11, 2015 in Child Death, Crime and Courts, Foster Care, Health and Mental Health, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, The States by Mike Tikkanen

babies best everA New York Times article has identified that almost 20,000 prescriptions for antipsychotic medicines were written in 2014 – to children 2 and younger (many still in cribs).  A shortage of child psychiatrists is partially blamed.

These powerful mind altering chemicals are just one generation removed from Thorazine.  To use them like candy for babies and 3 year old children is dangerous.

 This Mercury News video series on foster care children provides a stunning insight into the growing use of unproven and dangerous medicines given to state ward children.

MN DHS in June of 2014 ended physchiatric consultations for high-dose ADHD and SGA drugs for children over 3 years old.

Big pharma has been fined billions of dollars for criminally promoting these drugs for use by children.  Johnson & Johnson paid 3 billion for the “illicit promotion of Rispererdal” and is still defending thousands of cases in court today.  This is just one example of the depth and scope of big pharma’s continued willingness to make money at the expense of vulnerable children.  This CASA guardian ad-Litem has too many stories of very young state ward children forced to take these drugs and the side effects they cause.  92% of foster children using psychotropic medicines get them for unaccepted reasons.

No one questioned whether foster child Kendrea Johnson was on psychotropics when she hung herself and left a note.  Her social worker did not know that she was suicidal and seeing a therapist at the time she killed herself.

There was no question why 7 year old foster child Gabriel Myers hung himself – his suicide note clearly articulated that he killed himself because he hated being forced to take Prozac.

All Adults Are The Protectors of All Children – this includes voting for child friendly public polices like mental health access, crisis nurseries and quality daycare (tell your friends).

 

 

 

 

Newborns, Death and Drug Addiction (preventable deaths of drug-dependent babies)

December 7, 2015 in Child Death, Health and Mental Health, Invisible Children, Public Policy, Resources, The States by Mike Tikkanen

20130107-can-mozart-boost-brainpowerNarcotic addicted babies are born every 19 minutes in America.  27,000 in 2013.

A federal law requiring hospitals to report drug addicted moms to child protection services is largely ignored.  This heartbreaking series by Reuters about the preventable deaths of drug-addicted babies ends includes ideas that can solve the problem.   Reuters filed more than 200 Freedom of Information Act requests and reviewed almost 6000 child fatality reports to identify these cases.

Only 7 states specifically tracked referrals of newborns in drug withdrawal and only half the number of cases that were diagnosed were tracked in those states.  Most states require reporting only babies exposed to illegal drugs – but prescription drug addiction is growing to become an even larger problem.

In 2005, 598,000 emergency drug related admissions included legal pharmaceutical overdoses.  According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, teens who abuse prescription drugs are twelve to twenty times more likely to use illegal street drugs than those that don’t abuse prescription drugs.

In 2010 2.4 million Americans used prescription drugs non medically for the first time.  

 

 

 

 

Worthy Reader Questions

November 28, 2015 in Health and Mental Health, Invisible Children, Kids At Risk Action (KARA), Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources by Mike Tikkanen

ocean wedding at sunsetKARA appreciates reader insights and we reprint the best ones.  Here today from A.R mcFarland and my response (below)

Your anguish at the pain and suffering of children is laudable and this site great.  And these hearings only show the safety net is torn and clearly failing children, isn’t time to broach the subject of parenting while asserting the “rights of the Child?”

 

A.R.,

Thank you for the kind words and very good question – it gets to the heart of what KARA is. Read the rest of this entry →

What Do You Wish For Today?

November 26, 2015 in education, Guardian ad-Litem, Health and Mental Health, Invisible Children, Politics and Funding, Public Policy by Mike Tikkanen

A Family Dinner Guatemala sytleFor Thanksgiving this year, let’s all wish really hard to make life better for at risk children.

As a long-time Volunteer CASA guardian ad-Litem, I wish for; The implementation  of the recommendations by the Governor’s Task Force on Child Protection and the additional attention and resources necessary to make children safe in my community (and yours too).

Fewer ten and twelve year old children charged as adults in our judicial system, Read the rest of this entry →

A New Disease of the Wealthy & Powerful

November 22, 2015 in education, Health and Mental Health, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources by Mike Tikkanen

Pensive ParakeetWisconsin Representative Paul Ryan and new Speaker of the House voted NO to federal childcare subsidies, eliminated 16 billion dollars in Social Services block grants, including all child care funding for low income families,

No to parental leave for federal employees (no to even 4 weeks for a new mother), No to food stamps, Medicaid and Pell Grants, Yes to de-funding Planned Parenthood and removing contraception from employer based insurance requirements, and yes to deporting (children) and undocumented immigrants that grew up in the United States.

 

But he cannot and “will not” give up his family time.

Pro family yes (but just his family).

 

 

ALERT For MN Child Protection – Rolling Back Child Protection Reforms (from Safe Passage for Children MN)

November 13, 2015 in Child Death, Foster Care, Health and Mental Health, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, The States, Wonderful People by Mike Tikkanen

Counties Propose Rolling Back Child Protection Reforms

Safe Passage LogoThis week county social services directors and the Department of Human Services (DHS) presented a plan to legislators that would significantly weaken reforms approved by the Governor’s Child Protection Task Force. Items they recommended dropping include:http://safepassagemn.com/counties-propose-rolling-back-child-protection-reforms/

 

Sad Stories October 2015

October 31, 2015 in Child Death, Crime and Courts, Foster Care, Grandparents & Kinship, Health and Mental Health, International Child Abuse, Invisible Children, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources, The States by Mike Tikkanen

mississippi double exposure red wingFind information about child protection, child endangerment & child well-being in your state here.

For past months, click here

AR: Arkansas’s child welfare system discriminates against relatives of neglectful or abusive parents
Arkansas Times – October 29, 2015
When parents fail their children, relatives often want to step up. But Kimberlee Herring and Karisa Hardy say the system shut them out, and instead placed three kids into a home where they were abused.
http://www.arktimes.com/arkansas/arkansass-child-welfare-system-discriminates-against-relatives-of-of-neglectful-or-abusive-parents/Content?oid=4144320 Read the rest of this entry →