Preventing Child Torture (thank you Safe Passage for Children)

Government overreach or a child’s right to not be tortured? If you have been a foster or adoptive parent or someone who has worked with children abused to the point a judge removes them from their home, you know what awful things have happened to the child and how it ruins a life.

Today, Safe Passage for Children of MN has powerful thoughts about how to prevent child torture*.

*The World Health Organization defines torture as “extended exposure to violence and deprivation”.

All the children in my caseload as a volunteer CASA guardian ad litem were tortured.

All Adults Are the Protectors of All Children

Child Suicides – what’s left unsaid

After all these years of Prozac and drugging of children with mental health issues and so little access to mental health services, it’s refreshing to see students and their petition for improving these services in the schools.

Thank you students at Mounds View and Hopkins high schools for speaking out and your effort to create a more compassionate and safe atmosphere for troubled youth.

When child suicides make the news (today’s Star Tribune article), there is a gaping hole where failed suicide attempts and other self harming behaviors of children should be accounted for and reckoned with.

State Ward children so often have dangerous lifestyles – self harming and even life threatening behaviors that we don’t speak of and no one knows but a few people involved in these tragedies.

When foster child Kendrea Johnson hung herself the County Corornor stated that six year old children just did not have the mental capacity to execute a suicide successfully (he called her death an accident – she left a note).

The Star Tribune’s chart showing 5-14 year old children as a tiny part of child suicides would be dwarfed by including their attempted suicides, cutting and other self harming behaviors.

All Adults Are The Protectors of All Children

Child Well Being & Abandonment March 2018 (III)

Opinion | Home visits a key to trauma-informed care for kids
The Commercial Appeal
As evidence of the impact of childhood trauma continues to permeate child-serving institutions, teachers, social workers, pediatricians and caregivers are changing the way they interact with children who have been subjected to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Of the many techniques and …

Sad Stories Part VII Feb 13-28 (child protection – find your state here)

37% of children overall and 57% of Black children are reported to child protection services in America by the time they turn 18.

(American Journal of Public Health 1.17)

12 million children a year are reported to child protection services each year and in many states, 1/3 of foster children are required to take psychotropic medicines

Sad Stories Feb 2018 Part VI (foster care stories and statistics)

KARA (Kids At Risk Action) tracks current news about at risk children bringing transparency and attention to our youngest and most vulnerable citizens. KARA’s reporting is only sampling of what should be reported – the great majority of child trauma & abuse is never known.

American states are struggling to find answers for ending adverse childhood experiences and saving at risk children by reversing the explosive growth of child abuse and neglect. Today, many state ward children are the 4th and 5th generation of abused children raising their own families without parenting skills and with serious drug, alcohol and mental health issues.

37% of children overall and 57% of Black children are reported to child protection services in America by the time they turn 18.

(American Journal of Public Health 1.17)

12 million children a year are reported to child protection services each year and in many states, 1/3 of foster children are required to take psychotropic medicines

Sad Stories Feb 2018 Part V (child abuse and mental health)

37% of children overall and 57% of Black children are reported to child protection services in America by the time they turn 18.

(American Journal of Public Health 1.17)

12 million children a year are reported to child protection services each year and in many states, 1/3 of foster children are required to take psychotropic medicines

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

KARA’s INVISIBLE CHILDREN Campus Exhibit

All Adults Are The Protectors of All Children

Child Abuse &Trauma – Oprah & Sixty Minutes

Share this with your friends and networks – it will make a big difference in the lives of children and the people that live with, work with and love abused children
Oprah calls Trauma Informed Care “game changing,” addresses long …
www.acesconnection.com/…/oprah-calls-trauma-informed-care-game-changing-prom…

2 days ago – Oprah calls Trauma Informed Care “game changing,” addresses long-term effects of trauma on 60 Minutes this Sunday, March 11 … Take a look at the interview Oprah did on CBS This Morning (the link is below) but be prepared – as people dedicated to ACEs awareness and trauma informed care, it will …

Sad Stories Feb 2018 Part IV (child abuse & trauma articles and statistics)

37% of children overall and 57% of Black children are reported to child protection services in America by the time they turn 18.

(American Journal of Public Health 1.17)

12 million children a year are reported to child protection services each year and in many states, 1/3 of foster children are required to take psychotropic medicines All Adults Are The Protectors of All Children

Prosecuting Legislators (can this work?)

A single Minneapolis hospital, HCMC sees 800 to 1000 emergency psychiatric visits a month (one of many metro hospitals).

There have never been enough beds and there will never be enough Prozac to humanely treat the people suffering from terrifying mental health problems.

When 6 year old foster child Kendrea Johnson suicided by hanging, her grandmother sued the County. After Jeff Weis shot dead his grandfather, himself and 8 others at Red Lake MN the community built a modern mental health facility so that it wouldn’t happen again.

The only stories that come to our attention are the most horrific.

There are thousands of stories left unknown except to the DHS staff, social workers and law enforcement, foster and adoptive parents, teachers & health workers dealing with severe, chronic and often dangerous people that would benefit with the help we are talking about.

Sad Stories Feb 2018 Part III (child abuse articles, stories & statistics)

KARA (Kids At Risk Action) tracks current news about at risk children bringing transparency and attention to our youngest and most vulnerable citizens. KARA’s reporting is only sampling of what should be reported – the great majority of child trauma & abuse is never known.

American states are struggling to find answers for ending adverse childhood experiences and saving at risk children by reversing the explosive growth of child abuse and neglect. Today, many state ward children are the 4th and 5th generation of abused children raising their own families without parenting skills and with serious drug, alcohol and mental health issues.

37% of children overall and 57% of Black children are reported to child protection services in America by the time they turn 18.

(American Journal of Public Health 1.17)

12 million children a year are reported to child protection services each year and in many states, 1/3 of foster children are required to take psychotropic medicines

ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN

Sad Stories Feb 2018 Part II (child abuse articles & statistics)

American states are struggling to find answers for ending adverse childhood experiences and saving at risk children by reversing the explosive growth of child abuse and neglect. Today, many state ward children are the 4th and 5th generation of abused children raising their own families without parenting skills and with serious drug, alcohol and mental health issues.

37% of children overall and 57% of Black children are reported to child protection services in America by the time they turn 18.

(American Journal of Public Health 1.17)

12 million children a year are reported to child protection services each year and in many states, 1/3 of foster children are required to take psychotropic medicines

ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN

Sad Stories Feb 2018 Part I (child abuse – child death stories & statistics)

37% of children overall and 57% of Black children are reported to child protection services in America by the time they turn 18.

(American Journal of Public Health 1.17)

12 million children a year are reported to child protection services each year and in many states, 1/3 of foster children are required to take psychotropic medicines

ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN

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

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

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

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

January Sad Stories 2018 Part III

KARA (Kids At Risk Action) tracks current news about at risk children bringing transparency and attention to our youngest and most vulnerable citizens. KARA’s reporting is only sampling of what should be reported – the great majority of child trauma & abuse is never known.

American states are struggling to find answers for ending adverse childhood experiences and saving at risk children by reversing the explosive growth of child abuse and neglect. Today, many state ward children are the 4th and 5th generation of abused children raising their own families without parenting skills and with serious drug, alcohol and mental health issues

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

This months JAMA article indicates that we continue to underestimate the prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders by a factor as high as 10. If this is true, 5% of American children are born with a wide range of permanent and lifelong physical & mental health deficits that will result in school & life failure and premature death.

Most people in the fields of education, law enforcement or social work know the explosive growth of mental health issues of children in their in schools, homes and squad cars. We are all becoming mental health workers.

The greater and sadder truth reflected in these studies is the continued minimizing, euphemizing and obfuscation of how America treats its children and troubled young families.

The ground truth is that children can’t speak for themselves, the media sees this as a negative story and the institutions involved benefit through non-transparency and under-reporting.

These sad truths insure generation after generation of child abuse and children born of drug and fetal alcohol abuse. The cost to society and taxpayers is horrendous. We would all benefit by understanding these grim truths.

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

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

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

Expression (the suffering is immense – anonymous)

Every day, Every thought, Every act

Tainted by prior trauma

That part of the mind effortlessly calculating numbers, finding words and laughing at funny things

Is absent in a tortured child*

Instead

The darkness from before

Spits out bad words, regrettable behaviors and violent reactions to unexplainable triggers

And small brain space left for math, trust or coping

For other children

Sitting in the chair at the desk in the classroom

Is a peaceable journey of learning and friend-making

Not so for me

PTSD is a foul meaningless nonword

Raped and traumatized by a monster many times my size deserves a more meaningful definition

And maybe

A bit more understanding from the rest of you

*The World Health Organizations definition of torture is “extended exposure to violence & deprivation”

January Sad Stories 2018 Part II

37% of children overall and 57% of Black children are reported to child protection services in America by the time they turn 18. (American Journal of Public Health 1.17)

12 million children a year are reported to child protection services each year and in many states, 1/3 of foster children are required to take psychotropic medicines

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

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

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

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

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

People in crisis…

January Sad Stories 2018 Part I (find your state here)

American states are struggling to find answers for ending adverse childhood experiences and saving at risk children by reversing the explosive growth of child abuse and neglect. Today, many state ward children are the 4th and 5th generation of abused children raising their own families without parenting skills and with serious drug, alcohol and mental health issues

37% of children overall and 57% of Black children are reported to child protection services in America by the time they turn 18. (American Journal of Public Health 1.17)

12 million children a year are reported to child protection services each year and in many states, 1/3 of foster children are required to take psychotropic medicines

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

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

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

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

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

MN At Risk Children’s News July – September 2017 (IV)

Brandon Stahl Reporting

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

Only a fraction of serious child abuse stories, statistics and facts we should be aware of.

All Adults Are the Protectors of All Children

Follow;

Safe Passage For Children MN (Join their legislative volunteer efforts and make child friendly legislation a reality)

MN At Risk Children’s News July – September 2017 (III)

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

Only a fraction of serious child abuse stories, statistics and facts we should be aware of.

All Adults Are the Protectors of All Children

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

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

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

Interrupting Child Abuse (1 Year Ago – thank you Commissioner Jan Callison & Star Tribune)

It should be big news* that Hennepin County Commissioner Jan Callison** stood up for abused and neglected children when she found out County Child Protection service providers did not respond to abused & neglected children on weekends, late nights or holidays.

You could tell Commissioner Callison was upset when a service provider at a Task Force Oversight Committee meeting described the County’s procedure of leaving children in violent and abusive homes for days because public policy favored social workers not working holidays, late nights and weekends over the safety of children in dangerous circumstances.
The good news is that Governor Mark Dayton created a task force to investigate Child Protective Services and that many of the worst failures are being addressed instead of ignored.

The bad news is that four, five and six year old children had to die tortured deaths to attract the media and outrage a public before terrible public policy could be exposed and corrected.

None of the 50 children I worked with in Child Protection ever made the newspaper.

Moving Children In Foster Care & Healing Traumatized Children (thank you Chronicle of Social Change)

Foster parents are taught in training sessions about trauma and how it impacts foster children, but I’m not really seeing the same type of care being demonstrated by DCYF. One foster mother named Alex told me, “My husband and I have been foster parents for about a year, and we don’t think we’ll do it again. We didn’t even get a chance to say ‘goodbye,’ they just never came home from school.”

The concept of resilience in young children is also misunderstood by those entrusted to make decisions about children in foster care. According to research on developmental trauma, experts believe that it’s likely that children are at a greater risk for further trauma and psychological maladjustment than people in our local community realize.

A Week After Redlake (from 2005 – what’s changed?)

Jeff let many people know his homicidal/suicidal thoughts. There was simply no help available for a very troubled young man. The suffering of the living will go on for many years. If you know anyone that has lost a loved one to violence you will understand this.

How a little care might have prevented this awful tragedy could be a lesson. I am always hopeful.

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

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

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

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

International Child Protection News October thru December 2017

KARA tracks current international news about at risk children bringing transparency and attention to our youngest and most vulnerable citizens.

Most child trauma & abuse never gets reported

KARA needs news gatherers

Help KARA report on at risk children in your community.

Contact mike@invisiblechildren.org with Research/Writing in the subject line.

ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN

Sad Stories December 2017 Part III (child abuse stories & articles from your state)

Today, many state ward children are the 4th and 5th generation of abused children raising their own families without parenting skills and with serious drug, alcohol and mental health issues

37% of children overall and 57% of Black children are reported to child protection services in America by the time they turn 18. (American Journal of Public Health 1.17)

12 million children a year are reported to child protection services each year and in many states, 1/3 of foster children are required to take psychotropic medicines

ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN

December 2017 Sad Stories Part I (child abuse stories & articles from your state)

Today, many state ward children are the 4th and 5th generation of abused children raising their own families without parenting skills and with serious drug, alcohol and mental health issues

37% of children overall and 57% of Black children are reported to child protection services in America by the time they turn 18. (American Journal of Public Health 1.17)

12 million children a year are reported to child protection services each year and in many states, 1/3 of foster children are required to take psychotropic medicines

ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN

December 2017 Sad Stories Part II (child abuse stories & articles from your state)

KARA (Kids At Risk Action) tracks current news about at risk children bringing transparency and attention to our youngest and most vulnerable citizens. This is only a sampling of what should be reported. Most child trauma & abuse never gets reported. American states are struggling to find answers for ending adverse childhood experiences and saving at risk children by reversing the explosive growth of child abuse and neglect. Today, many state ward children are the 4th and 5th generation of abused children raising their own families without parenting skills and with serious drug, alcohol and mental health issues

37% of children overall and 57% of Black children are reported to child protection services in America by the time they turn 18. (American Journal of Public Health 1.17)

12 million children a year are reported to child protection services each year and in many states, 1/3 of foster children are required to take psychotropic medicines

Child Abuse Statistics (& the best resources)

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

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

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

Child Abuse Statistics and Facts December 2017

This study from Washington University St Louis provides a snapshot of the depth and scope of America’s child abuse problem. By many measures, our communities suffer from the exponential growth of traumatized children impacting our schools, public health, and public safety. The economic impact of generational child abuse

Children As Political Chips – how bad can this get?

CHIP provides health care coverage to nearly 9 million children. Approximately 1.9 million children are at risk of having their CHIP coverage terminated during the month of January if Congress takes no action.

Call your Senator & let them know that playing politics with the life of a child is awful. Be bold and tell them that you could not support someone who would allow the life of a child to be less important than a political party chit.

The Ghost of Christmas Past

In 2003, MN Federal Reserve Board Director Art Rolnick & Economist Rob Grunewald completed a study demonstrating the highest return on investment government could make – 18%.

They proved that by investing in early childhood programs children became much more likely to succeed in school and lead a productive life. This research was the most practical approach to the economics of childhood development this nation has ever seen.

KARA believes that this federal reserve study has not had the impact it should have had because;

We don’t respond to how much money is saved as powerfully as we do to how much things cost,
Almost no one knows the short or long term costs abused children carry with them through a lifetime or,
The cost of multiple generations of abused children

November Sad Stories Part II (1000 stories)

37% of children overall and 57% of Black children are reported to child protection services in America by the time they turn 18. (American Journal of Public Health 1.17)

12 million children a year are reported to child protection services each year and in many states, 1/3 of foster children are required to take psychotropic medicines

ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN

November Sad Stories Part I (find child abuse stories in your state here)

American states are struggling to find answers for saving at risk children and reversing the explosive growth of child abuse and neglect. Today, many state ward children are the 4th and 5th generation of abused children raising their own families without parenting skills and with serious drug, alcohol and mental health issues

37% of children overall and 57% of Black children are reported to child protection services in America by the time they turn 18. (American Journal of Public Health 1.17)

12 million children a year are reported to child protection services each year and in many states, 1/3 of foster children are required to take psychotropic medicines

ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN

A Governor’s Discussion About The Politics Of Children – December 6th 4:30 (be there)

Join us for discussions on the future of early childhood with Minnesota’s next governor!

Hosted at People Serving People – Center of Excellence
2400 Park Ave. South, Minneapolis 55404

Minnesota has made significant progress in investing in our state’s earliest learners, but much work remains. Looking ahead, a new Governor in 2018 will play a pivotal role in deciding the direction and importance of early childhood care and education in Minnesota.

MinneMinds is excited to announce the GOP candidates for governor, to discuss their plans for addressing early childhood issues in our state. These conversations are a great way for advocates, parents, providers, and any Minnesotan interested in the future of early childhood to hear about the priorities of leading candidates for governor.

Statistics & Data About America’s Abused Children

This page is for those of you who know the value of data and the importance of tracking information about the issues of child abuse.  KARA will work to update it regularly and we encourage you the reader to send compelling statistical information in this area.  KARA will publish it if it fits – especially welcome are those of you with new information from your masters or PHD programs in this field.

Please submit your findings to us at; info@invisiblechildren.org with Statistics & Data in the subject line.

A Note to Brandon Stahl & the Tribune (abused children still need you)

It is only because you found the death of 4 year-old Eric Dean suspicious and dedicated yourself to reporting on the awful circumstances that killed him after 15 ignored reports of child abuse, that this volunteer CASA guardian ad Litem has any hope for the thousands of other terrified and tortured children in need of child protection services today.

Working for decades with traumatized children, I’ve experienced the awful truth about the lasting impact of abuse on children and the lasting impact of abused children on our community.

Brandon, your efforts and insights into the inadequacies and failures of a system in need of transparency, accountability and media attention is why Governor Dayton called out the colossal failure of the system & created the task force that has brought significant change to an institution not given to criticism or outside influence.

September Sad Stories 2017 Part II

OH: Greene County in need of additional foster families

Xenia Daily Gazette – August 31, 2017

Greene County Children’s Services has seen a 22 percent increase in new children services cases from 2015 through 2016 in addition to a 65 percent increase in children being placed – but only 51 licensed foster homes.

http://www.xeniagazette.com/news/20868/greene-county-in-need-of-additional-foster-families

OR: Volunteers sought for foster care Citizen Review Board

Foster Care – the American Tragedy

There is no endeavor more difficult, painful and underappreciated than inviting a traumatized state ward child into your home as a foster child.

Let no one report that this article demeans or discredits the brave people that have made their home a foster home.

What has been a voluntary and informal act of kindness and concern for vulnerable children is now a regulated and complex industry that deals with the compound needs of abused children within the state industry of child protective services.

Traumatized Children – Nurturing vs. Punishment (Hooray Wisconsin)

Wisconsin is lowering teen pregnancy rates, reducing violence in juvenile detention centers and decreasing emergency room visits by employing ACEs trauma informed practices.

They are also saving lots of taxpayer dollars.

These are the children that become the state wards for decades if their lives don’t improve.

80% of kids aging out of foster care lead dysfunctional lives. No one wins.

Any objective comparison between the science of children’s mental health (ACES) and America’s deeply imbedded punishment model demonstrates how unworkable, painful and counter-productive it is to punish traumatized children one more time.

The Beatings Will Continue Until the Morale Improves (it’s all your fault)

Historically, we blame educators for failing schools and social workers for murdered children within the child protection system.

This behavior is wrong and counterproductive. It’s like blaming a police officer for the person in the squad car.

If you know police officers, social workers and teachers you know how hard their work is and how dedicated they are to what they do.

The blame for the poor results we have been getting in our schools, child protection and criminal justice system lies with us as voters and policy makers.

Until we understand the depth and scope of the problem and give the people working with the children and youth in our communities the support they need, our problems will continue to grow.

On the bright side, Minnesota has the Washburn Center for Children which is almost 100% successful in treating abused and neglected children. We know how to break the cycle of generational child abuse.

All that is left to do is scale the trauma informed practices to a level that meets the need. The economic reasons for doing this are compelling and it is the right thing to do.

Bringing Transparency to Child Trauma & Abuse Ending Child Abuse Where You Live

Unseen and unknown, America’s abused & traumatized children lead painful lives that without help do not improve much as they age.

Do at risk children in your community need more support to lead normal lives? Would more information and community involvement make their lives better?

Check out Kids At Risk Action traveling exhibit provided free to colleges where you live and build support for the better answers these children need.

All Adults Are The Protectors of All Children

August Sad Stories Part II

Kids At Risk Action; American states are struggling to find answers for saving at risk children and reversing the explosive growth of child abuse and neglect. Today, many state ward children are the 4th and 5th generation of abused children raising their own families without parenting skills and with serious drug, alcohol and mental health issues

37% of children overall and 57% of Black children are reported to child protection services in America by the time they turn 18. (American Journal of Public Health 1.17)

12 million children a year are reported to child protection services each year and in many states, 1/3 of foster children are required to take psychotropic medicines

ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN