Today’s KARA Radio Interview With Sarah Westall (3pm – and podcasted afterwards)

August 29, 2016 in Crime and Courts, Health and Mental Health, Kids At Risk Action (KARA), mass incarceration, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Radio Shows by Mike Tikkanen

kid-in-prison Upcoming 8/29 @3pmET: Kids Locked Up in America - Youth Incarceration Rates are 5 to 10 Times Higher than Other Developed CountriesMass Youth Incarceration: Where it Starts, With Our Youth 

Following up from last weeks show on Mass Incarceration, which focused on adults, this week the focus is on mass incarceration of our youth. In contrast to adult incarceration, where there has been bipartisan attention from U.S. Politicians, the youth problem is all but ignored during the campaigns. The issue is a big one so it is hard to understand why it is avoided like the plagued by our politicians. In fact, I could not find a single quote on the internet about youth incarceration from politicians.

Perhaps people just do not want to hear about something so depressing. Newspaper and magazine publishers claim that they will lose their readership if they cover these issues. Television believes people will turn the channel or tune out. Maybe people will not read this blog either, but it’s an important subject, so I made the decision to do the right thing and cover the issue. If awareness can increase, the likelihood of positive change can increase too.

Here are some facts:

The U.S. has the worlds highest youth incarceration rate at 225 per 100,000 (as of 2015). The next highest rate amongst developed nations is South Africa at 69 per 100,000. The U.S. is 6 to 10 times that of the other developed nations.


youth-incarceration Upcoming 8/29 @3pmET: Kids Locked Up in America - Youth Incarceration Rates are 5 to 10 Times Higher than Other Developed Countries

The youth incarceration rate varies by race considerably. White males are imprisoned at 162 per 100,000, black males at 804 per 100,000, and Hispanics at 296 per 100,000.

88_fig3 Upcoming 8/29 @3pmET: Kids Locked Up in America - Youth Incarceration Rates are 5 to 10 Times Higher than Other Developed Countries

Black youth males are incarcerated at 5 times the rate of white males. However, white males are still incarcerated at many times more the rate of other developed countries. Perhaps this data is an indicator of the deep racial tensions that exist in our country?

The youth incarceration rate does not include 250,000 youth who are tried, sentenced, or incarcerated as adults every year across the U.S. According to the Campaign for Youth Justice, most of the youth prosecuted in adult court are charged with non violent offenses. Youth in adult prisons rarely receive appropriate age level education, are targets of sexual and physical abuse, and are 36 times more likely to commit suicide than youth in juvenile detention facilities.

The cost to society to lock up people is substantial. A prisoner will cost the tax payer between $40,000 to $60,000 each year depending on the state. Compared to school at an average of $10,000 per year, Big Brother Big Sister mentoring program at $1000 per year, and a mental health professional each week at $5000 per year, it’s obvious that we can do much better with much less.

1143_juv_incarceration_vs_investments Upcoming 8/29 @3pmET: Kids Locked Up in America - Youth Incarceration Rates are 5 to 10 Times Higher than Other Developed Countries

Invisible-Children-cover Upcoming 8/29 @3pmET: Kids Locked Up in America - Youth Incarceration Rates are 5 to 10 Times Higher than Other Developed Countries

There are many faucets to this issue and it can get quite complicated. To educate myself and our listeners, we brought back Mike Tikkanen, founder of Kids At Risk Action board(KARA), to discuss this issue in more detail. Mike has been a passionate advocate for abused and neglected kids for many decades. He is also the author of Invisible Children and a national and international speaker on children issues including the United Nations in New York. He serves as a volunteer CASA Guardian ad Litem for the county of Minneapolis for the past 12 years working with over 50 kids each year in child protection.

To learn more about KARA listen to the audio book or download a free copy of INVISIBLECHILDREN at “Our Book” button on this site.

International Child Protection News August 2016

August 24, 2016 in Child Death, Crime and Courts, education, Health and Mental Health, International Child Abuse, Invisible Children, Kids At Risk Action (KARA), Politics and Funding by Mike Tikkanen

Nepal – Hundred of children in Nepal are at risk for trafficking after earthquake. Here’s who helping.

The Huffington Post.

After two major earthquakes human traffickers are looking to target families, who have lost everything, to exploit their children. Some parents are willingly giving up their children for what they are made to believe will be a better life; the lure of an education and improved quality of life makes parents want to relinquishing their children into the hand of traffickers. Children of these families are either being trafficked or illegally placed in children’s care homes and orphanages so that they can be used to attract adoptive families and fee paying volunteers and donors.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/22/nepal-children-trafficking_n_7637776.html

Nepal – Women and girls, a commodity: human trafficking in Nepal.

The Diplomat.

Thousands of girls each year are trafficked from Nepal across the border to brothels in India and are forced to become prostitutes. Some of the trafficked girls are kidnapped by human traffickers using the lure of marriage or the promise of education and/or employment, while others are sold by their families out of economic desperation. Lack border regulations and security makes it easier for traffickers to smuggle girls into India. Torture and beatings are common if there is any protest or attempt to escape on the part of the trafficked girls.

http://thediplomat.com/2014/02/women-and-girls-a-commodity-human-trafficking-in-nepal/

South Asia – Horrors of human trafficking in South Asia.

The New York Times.

In several South Asian countries ethnic minorities are fused citizenship and other rights, such as the right of women to have children; the Myanmar government signed a law restricting the right of Rohingya women to have children. Systemic ethnic persecution forces families to flee their homes in South Asia leaving them vulnerable as easy prey to human traffickers who sell them into slavery or extorts their families for ransoms. Thousands of migrants have been abandoned by traffickers who promised them a better future.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/29/opinion/horrors-of-human-trafficking-in-south-asia.html?_r=0

Afghanistan: Hazardous work for children widespread.

Human Rights Watch.

In Afghanistan’s carpet industry, child workers face hazardous conditions in the workplace, which is a direct violation of Afghanistan’s labour laws. Hazardous working conditions and poor enforcement of safety and health standards exposes child workers to illness, injury or even death. To help their families sometimes children are compelled to leave school prematurely to instead work in industries dangerous for children.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/07/14/afghanistan-hazardous-work-children-widespread

 

Children on the front lines, with U.S. dollars.

Human Rights Watch.

As conflict as escalated in countries the recruitment of child soldiers has increased by both government forces and armed rebel groups. It is argued that the the United States has a powerful tool to pressure foreign countries to crack down on these abuse and exploitation of child in war but, the government has failed to use it effectively. Despite getting billions of dollars in U.S. military aid each year and explicitly using child soldiers for military operations that are largely paid for in part by U.S. military funding, Afghanistan, for example, is exempt from military sanctions and is absent from the list of offenders.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/06/30/children-front-lines-us-dollars

 

Child marriage in Africa.

About Education – African History.

While  the raw numbers of child marriages are far lower in Africa than in Asia, in terms of percentage of young women in any given country who were married before the age of 18, 9 out of the top ten countries in the world are in Africa. Strong evidence suggests economic necessity plays a greater role than social custom given than that poor girls are much more likely to be married at a young ages then their wealthier counterparts. Their age at marriage puts them at far more risk for maternity related complications or death and illness related to sexual and physical abuse.

http://africanhistory.about.com/od/African-History-and-Politics/fl/Child-Marriage-in-Africa.htm

 

Child marriages: facts, causes and consequences.

Middle East About News.

Inherent in child marriages is the degradation and mistreatment of girls, yet child marriages are prevalent in several cultures and countries, including parts of the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, the Asian Subcontinent and even in some states in America. Girls who marry at a young age, between the ages of 10 and 14, are five times as likely to die during pregnancy or child  birth. The causes of child marriages are not single and a few but can be caused by a mixture of cultural, social, economic and religious reasons. For example, reasons to force a girl into child marriage include poverty, protecting the girl’s sexuality, gender discrimination, inadequate laws and trafficking. When in a marriage, girls are denied rights, such as the right to an education, the right to health, the right to protection from physical and mental violence and more.

http://middleeast.about.com/od/humanrightsdemocracy/a/child-brides.htm

 

Nepal: ‘Since earthquake, 15% spike in human trafficking’.

The Indian Express.

Increasingly after earthquakes and natural disasters women and children are trafficked into India, which serves as a transit location. From India, the trafficked women and children are further trafficked to Sri Lanka, Thailand or Bangladesh, from where they are taken to Middle East, Europe and Africa.

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/world-news/nepal-since-earthquake-15-spike-in-human-trafficking-2771820/

 

Congo: Peacekeepers gone wild: how much more abuse will the UN ignore in Congo?
The Globe and Mail.

Foreign soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo are sexually and violently violating young girls with impunity.  A review concluded that prostitution and sexual abuse follows most UN interventions. Despite zero tolerance, peacekeepers continue the dishonourable act of committing violence and abusive acts against Congolese girls, and doing so with complete impunity.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/second-reading/peacekeepers-gone-wild-how-much-more-abuse-will-the-un-ignore-in-congo/article4462151/

 

Congo – The price of precious.

National Geographic.

With corruption at its core the government and military of Congo provides little to no enforcement and protection of labour standards. In a rebel controlled area, children are used to smuggle minerals from mines that are then used by leading electronic companies in America.

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2013/10/conflict-minerals/gettleman-text

 

India – How India’s ‘ghost’ mines have resulted in the deaths of many child workers.

The News Minute.

In India’s illegal mines the death of several children has prompted an inquest. The investigation has found that child labour is popular because the size of children’s hands are ideal to pick and sort minerals. It had also be founded that rather than reporting the death, families are choosing to accept payment from the operator(s) of the illegal mine. Often times children have to work alongside their parents and adult relatives out of economic necessity. Working in the illegal mines is their only choice because it is the only available work.

http://www.thenewsminute.com/article/how-indias-mica-ghost-mines-have-resulted-deaths-many-child-workers-47569

Syria – Caught in the civil war, Syrian children receive make-do education.

The Wire.

The ongoing civil war has displaced several children and their families. A husband and wife has opened their home to teach some of the children who have been displaced by the war. Although the conditions are not optimal, Syrian children receive education in subjects like Arabic, English, maths and religion. With schools being targets of air strikes and with the growth of insurgent groups children have been displaced and recruited by armed personnels, limiting their access of education. One problem they face is inadequate learning material, i.e. books, and the presence of war planes flying above the makeshift schools scaring the children.

http://thewire.in/46581/caught-in-the-civil-war-syrian-children-receive-make-do-education/

 

Syria – UN says children caught in Syria’s civil war suffer ‘unspeakable’ abuse.

PBS News Hour.

A United Nations report finds that the Syrian government is responsible for thousands of child deaths and the imprisonment of several children where they suffer physical and mental abuse. While thousands of children have been killed or imprisoned, thousands more have been displaced forcing some to flee to other countries or have been recruited by armed groups and the government to fight in the war.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/un-children-syrias-civil-war-suffer-unspeakable-abuse/

 

Indonesia – Unicef report finds female genital cutting to be common in Indonesia.

The New York Times.

The United Nations Children’s Fund finds that millions of girls in Indonesia has fallen victim to female genital cutting, a cultural ritual practice. The official Indonesian government definition of female genital cutting defines the practice as a less harsh and less intensive practice than what is often seen in parts of Africa and Middle East. Although numbers has declined in some countries, the rate of decline is not fast enough to keep up with population growth. If rates of female genital cutting is to continue the number of women and girls subjected to female genital cutting will rise significantly over the next 15 years. While female genital cutting is regarded as a cultural practice in Indonesia, conflict persists between religious and secular attitudes towards the practice.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/05/health/indonesia-female-genital-cutting-circumcision-unicef.html

 

Colombia – Stolen youth: combating commercial sexual exploitation of children in Cartagena, Colombia.

Global Affairs Canada.

A city in Colombia is a destination for sex tourism and sexual exploitation of children. Although illegal, commercial sexual exploitation of children and youth is entrenched in the city because of the well established crime syndicates. Groups have taken action together to clean up the city and promote the idea that the city can not develop on the basis of sexual tourism. Legal action has been taken in some cases but it yields few results.

http://www.international.gc.ca/development-developpement/stories-histoires/columbia-colombie/youth-jeunes.aspx?lang=eng

 

Colombia – Colombia ad Farc rebels agree child soldier deal.

BBC News.

Child soldiers recruited by the Colombian group Farc will be pardoned under Colombian law and treated as victims of war. Efforts will be made to return children to their families. Official numbers do not exist of how many child soldiers are used by Farc.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-36299528

 

Colombia – Colombian children pay high price amid peace talks, U.N. says.

The New York Times.

In the years of peace negotiations in Colombia, children and their families have been displaced leaving them vulnerable to the recruitment by armed groups. If not displaced or recruited children have been injured or killed in attacks and explosions.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/20/world/americas/colombian-children-pay-high-price-amid-peace-talks-un-says.html?action=click&contentCollection=Americas&module=RelatedCoverage&region=EndOfArticle&pgtype=article

 

Brazil – Here’s what we know now about Zika and birth defects.

National Geographic.

New research has illustrated the strong connection between the Zika virus and potential birth defects. The size of the Zika outbreak is unusual which leads prompts investigations attempting to pin down the what exactly is causing potential birth defects and how the virus affects infant’s brains, one of the most commonly affected areas.. Further research needs to be done on whether countries have the finical recourses to prevent and treat affected pregnancies.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/03/160307-zika-virus-microcephaly-brazil-science/

 

India shamed by high child mortality rate.

Hindustan Times.

Even in ‘well-off’ states, there is a high infant morality rate of children under the age of 5, with more than half of the deaths being of girls. The Indian government has made efforts in reducing under five child mortality but, with the high rates of deaths across states the efficacy and inclusiveness of the government’s efforts is questioned. If the child mortality rate continues at this pace, India would be on track to miss its millennium development goal target.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/delhi/india-shamed-by-high-child-mortality-rate/story-gzJLkEgYj2X6VVUGaAMqUJ.html

Italy – Italy has Europe’s highest percentage of children in poverty, says UNICEF.

The Daily Beast.

The economic divide between Italy’s northern and southern regions results in hundreds of thousands of children are living in poverty in Italy. Many of these children do not go to school and if if they do, they are forced to drop out of school to help support their families working in unsafe and unhealthy jobs, such as on farms and in the sex trade. The problem has little to no hope of resolving because the problem of poverty in the south of Italy is not on the agenda of the government; only 1.1% of the total GDP goes to investments in public social programs or towards alleviating crime.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/03/04/italy-has-europe-s-highest-percentage-of-children-in-poverty-says-unicef.html

 

France and the fight against human trafficking.

The Diplomatie.

Trafficking of women and children and forcing them into labour, domestic slavery, and forced begging has become the most widespread form of trafficking and organized crime. France has provided support and technical assistance in stoping and preventing the violation of human rights involved in human trafficking of women and children.

http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/french-foreign-policy/human-rights/fight-against-human-trafficking/

 

6.14 lakh Virudhunagar children to get deworming tablets.

The Hindu.

Living in conditions of poverty make children more susceptible to the condition of worms. Teachers and government workers will administer deworming tablets to children in and out of school. The tablets are hoped to improve the health of children and to avoid malnutrition.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/614-lakh-virudhunagar-children-to-get-deworming-tablets/article8961899.ece

 

India – The Indian girls who survived being raped.

BBC News.

The gang rape and murder of a school age girl in India sparks protest and the creation of new laws against rape and assault. Despite efforts to combat sexual assaults against women and children thousands of rape cases are continued to be reported. The following cases involved girls ranging from 13 to 17 years old.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-35379221

 

Vietnam has 2.2 mn malnourished children.

Tuoitre News.

Nutrition among children in Vietnam is an issue that needs direct attention from the government given that malnutrition and obesity rates have increased. While millions of children suffer from health issues related to malnutrition, thousands of others suffer from health issues related to obesity such as diabetes, blood pressure and cardiovascular problems.

http://tuoitrenews.vn/society/21420/vietnam-has-22mn-stunted-children-but-obesity-rises-in-southern-hub

 

Sri Lanka – Impact of armed conflict on children i Sri Lanka.

Tamil Canadian.

The civil war and armed conflict in Sri Lanka had created thousands of orphans all of whom the Sri Lankan government was not prepared to support and care for. On top of not being able to attend school, due to security forces occupying school buildings, and not receiving nutritious food and health care, these children had to also contemplate the idea of never being able to see their parents again. These fear and uncertainty is also shared by children of missing and fighting soldiers and also by children of minority groups facing persecution. No matter what ethnicity or religion children were apart of during the war and following armed conflict, all children experienced some form of physical and/or psychological trauma no child should have to endure.

http://www.tamilcanadian.com/page.php?cat=354&id=1745&page=0

 

India – Lok Sabha passes Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2016.

Jagran Josh.

The Indian Parliament passed an amendment bill trying to further decrease child labour in some states. Particular provisions in the bill, for example children working in family businesses, faces concern from the United Nations over it not protecting the most vulnerable children.

http://www.jagranjosh.com/current-affairs/lok-sabha-passes-child-labour-prohibition-and-regulation-amendment-bill-2016-1469600351-1

 

Sri Lanka – Child labour: nip it in the bud.

Daily News.

Although children working below the age of 14 is illegal, thousands of children on the island engage in economically valuable child labour. These activities range from selling as street vendors, street services and domestic labour to hazardous mining, construction, manufacturing and transportation. Rather than completely ridding child labour from the island, systems of awareness are being set up in order to detect child labour. With awareness, rehabilitate and protection of children who have fallen victim can be done through interventions. However, the issue of child labour cannot be fully addressed until the root cause is understood and treated through social protection, i.e. district specific child development plans addressing all aspects of child labour.

http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=2016/07/12/features/87144

 

Sri Lanka – Officials lack resources to tackle child labour – ILO.

Nation.

Several gaps in government provisions in preventing and treating child labour and sexual abuse leads to the conclusion that the Sri Lankan government should be taking more proactive preventative measures rather than reacting to complaints that are phoned in. A step towards proactive prevention is the placement of officers in villages whose duties include investigating various aspects of vulnerable children but, there is little to no supervision and action towards change at these levels.

http://nation.lk/online/2016/06/18/officials-lack-resources-tackle-child-labour-ilo.html

Global profits, and peril, from child labour.

Hazardous child labour is in the global supply chain of several industries including agricultural, mining, leather and apparel. Although millions of children are caught up in hazardous child labour, consumers have no way to know if the food they eat, the clothes they wear or the products they use were produced by the exploitation of children. The exploitation of child labour at any stage of the supply chain is not solely characteristic of certain parts of the world, it takes place close to home in the tobacco farms in the United States.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/06/06/global-profits-and-peril-child-labor

Burkina Faso counts cost of child labour.

Bangkok Post.

The children of Burkina Faso, a country in West Africa, makes up a large proportion of the workforce in diverse fields such as cotton picking, mining and street selling. Thousands live below the poverty lines and travel long distances to work for at least eight hours a day six to seven days a week. Doctors warn that in addition to visible injuries children are susceptible to respiratory illnesses while being exploited in the global supply chain. Child labour therefore has dangerous long term effects on the health of children.

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/world/1030917/burkina-faso-counts-cost-of-child-labour

Sri Lanka – Combating child labour through education.

Nation.

Several factors that lead to and enable child labour are often traced back to poverty. Both poverty and child labour hinder a child’s ability to continue with their education or to even to enrol in school. The attitudes of parents towards the benefits of education often perceives the opportunity cost of education as too high. When this is the case, parents are more likely to push their children into family businesses or other industries that are hazardous to the health and development of children.

http://nation.lk/online/2015/06/20/combating-child-labor-through-education.html

 

Go To Jail Go Directly To Jail (and be branded for life)

August 24, 2016 in Crime and Courts, International Child Abuse, Invisible Children, Politics and Funding, Public Policy by Mike Tikkanen

Minnesota’s former Supreme Court Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz has stated that 90% of the youth in the Juvenile Justice system have passed through Child Protective Services and that “The difference between that poor child and a felon is about eight years”.  

Marion Wright Edelman (Children’s Defense Fund) calls this the “pipeline to prison” & from this volunteer CASA guardian ad Litems perspective it is absolutely true.

No other industrialized nation treats its children and juveniles so harshly.  Our juvenile incarceration rates are over ten times higher than other industrialized nations.

America has 2.7 million children with incarcerated parents today.

We have 2.3 million incarcerated adults with another 5 to 6 million people under correctional control on parole on any given day impacting communities disproportionately.

The simple truths below now define our communities and our nation – share them with your legislators (really – if you don’t share this with them they may never know).

9 to 10 million Americans released from prisons and jails each year

Charging juveniles as adults

Privatized Detention Centers (why judges sometimes go to jail)

Rikers Island (the beatings will continue until the morale improves)

Ten Cents An Hour

Never Vote Again (stay away)

King Pin Laws

Women In Prison (shackled while giving birth?)

The Face of 12 Year Olds In Jail

Prozac, Children, Juveniles & the Criminal Justice System

Is This A Racial Issue (Minneapolis arrested 44% of its Adult Black Men in 2001)

 

Juvenile in prison rates internationally

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

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

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

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

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

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

All Adults Are the Protectors of All Children

 

August Sad Stories 2016 (part II)

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

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

ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN  

donate to support the reporting on this site

Read the rest of this entry →

Let Me Show You The Money

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

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

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

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

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

Police Shootings & You and Me

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Important Child Protection News From Safe Passage For Children – Outside Review Needed

August 14, 2016 in Invisible Children, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources by Mike Tikkanen

 

T49i39_SafePassage_Logo_v2.4

T49i39_SafePassage_Logo_v2.4

Representatives of counties and the Department of Human Services recently presented the Minnesota legislature with a revised plan for implementing the Governor’s Child Protection Task Force recommendations. It proposed $500,000 for an already agreed-upon outside review of screening practices (Recommendation #25).

This price tag could discourage legislators from funding the project. But the actual cost would probably be under $100,000 – more like $25K.

The review would address issues that are blocking progress on other recommendations, including whether to continue interviewing children in front of their alleged abusers. It would also provide a framework for developing a fact-finding protocol, which workers would be trained in to determine the most appropriate child protection response.

We encourage the Department to include this review in their 2017 budget using the most accurate number possible.

 

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

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

shipwreck

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

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

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

MN Child Protection News July 2016

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

International Child Protection News July 2016

August 8, 2016 in Adoption, Child Death, Crime and Courts, education, Politics and Funding, Public Policy by Mike Tikkanen

 

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

ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN

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

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

Why Schools Fail (another year of bad results)

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

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

Don’t blame the teachers (it’s us).

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

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

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

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

T49i39_SafePassage_Logo_v2.4

T49i39_SafePassage_Logo_v2.4

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

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

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

This short TED talk hits the nail on the head

All Adults are the Protectors of All Children

July 2016 Sad Stories Through July 15-29 (part 2)

July 29, 2016 in Adoption, CASA, Child Death, Crime and Courts, Kids At Risk Action (KARA), Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources, The States by Mike Tikkanen

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

ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN

 

Read the rest of this entry →

Women’s Rights & Children’s Rights (and where are we today?)

July 29, 2016 in CASA, Child Death, Crime and Courts, education, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources, The States by Mike Tikkanen

children down hill having funOn this almost 100th anniversary of women’s rights we are celebrating America’s long hard slog towards equality by inaugurating Hillary Clinton as a presidential candidate.  Our very first woman!

100 years ago, women were property (legally) and a husband could do just about anything to his wife.  Murder was still murder, but anything else was treated by law enforcement much like animal abuse was in the day (not a big deal for the courts to be concerned with).

20 years ago I became a volunteer *CASA guardian ad Litem (voice for the child) in County child protection and saw first hand what it’s like for an American citizen to have no voice in the home, no voice in the courts and no voice in the media.

Over 25 years ago the rest of the world (194 nations) decided that children have basic human rights and begin signing the International Rights of the Child Treaty.  Under this document, children are to have the rights to education, safety and well being including not to be made soldiers and not to be enslaved).

America is the only nation in the world that has not signed this agreement, largely because we still demand that southern states continue to militarize youth as young as eleven through military schools.  Brief Overview of the Treaty;

All children have the rights guaranteed by the Convention, without discrimination of any kind.

“The child shall enjoy all the rights set forth in this Declaration. Every child, without any exception whatsoever, shall be entitled to these rights, without distinction or discrimination on account of race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status, whether of himself or of his family.”

These rights are:

  • Development with dignity
  • A name and nationality
  • Access to food, housing, and medical care
  • Special care if handicapped
  • Love and understanding
  • A free education
  • Care in dangerous situations
  • Peace, love, and friendship

*Court Appointed Special Advocate

What follows are a sampling of key differences in how children are valued in our nation and the rest of the industrialized world and what we need to do to make life better for America’s children.

Read the rest of this entry →

Children Living & Dying As Martyrs to a Parents Religion

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

Koala

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

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

48 States allow religious exemptions from vaccination.

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

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

July 2016 Sad Stories (part 1)

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

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

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

It’s Inevitable (police shootings)

July 12, 2016 in Crime and Courts, education, Events, Guardian ad-Litem, Guns, Invisible Children, Kids At Risk Action (KARA), Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources, The States by Mike Tikkanen

Guatemalan BoySign Up Here For KARA’s Free Friday Morning Real Story  Support KARA 1$/week Buy the book INVISIBLE CHILDREN $2.99

People much smarter than me have clearly explained the underlying institutional dysfunctions that ensure the next (inevitable) police shootings.

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

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

The public health issue of mental health and the violence and dangers it presents will never be dealt with effectively by Law Enforcement. Read the rest of this entry →

June 2016 Sad Stories (part 2)

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

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

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

Read the rest of this entry →

International Child Protection News June 2016

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

invisible children picture web 11.09T

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

ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN

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

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

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

Read the rest of this entry →

Minnesota At Risk Children’s News June 2016

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

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

We appreciate related articles submitted to us by our readers.

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

June 2016 Sad Stories (part 1)

June 25, 2016 in Adoption, CASA, Child Death, Crime and Courts, Kids At Risk Action (KARA), Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources, The States by Mike Tikkanen

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

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

Read the rest of this entry →

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…

Gender Pay Gap & How it Relates to Child Well – Being (see where Minneapolis ranks)

June 18, 2016 in CASA, Guardian ad-Litem, Politics and Funding, Public Policy by Mike Tikkanen

beautiful MN lake sceneI was raised by a single mom who made a fraction of the salary that men in her office earned.  It was harder in other ways for her also as overt sexism was not just tolerated, it was the rule.

It hurts me to see that today my home town is the second poorest in the nation in this study;

http://www.businessinsider.com/gender-pay-gap-in-us-cities-2016-6  My sister and I were lucky to manage a life at the bottom rung in a healthy middle class.  Almost all the traumatized children I’ve worked with as a volunteer CASA guardian ad-Litem were not that lucky.  Poverty breeds problems the rest of us don’t have to experience.  Gender equity in wages would go a long way in making life better for at risk children.

 

 

 

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 →

Minnesota’s Mental Health Crisis (spot on reporting by our Star Tribune – Many Thanks)

June 5, 2016 in Adoption, Child Death, Crime and Courts, education, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources, The States by Mike Tikkanen

image001Today’s Minneapolis Star Tribune delivers stunning clarity to the state of my community’s mental health.

3 separate articles (Brandon Stahl, Jennifer Bjorhus & Kelly Smith) articulate the current crisis dealing with psychiatric issues in policing, health service providers and child protection workers.

An additional article about how this mental health crisis is impacting teachers and school performance would give a more complete picture of why our institutions are creating almost exactly what they were designed to stop. Read the rest of this entry →

Texas Child Protection News For April

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

 

children down hill having fun

 

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

New York Child Protection News April – May 2016

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

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

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

Unintended Consequences (abused children thank you Brandon Stahl & Star Tribune)

May 29, 2016 in CASA, Child Death, Foster Care, Guardian ad-Litem, Kids At Risk Action (KARA), Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources, The States by Mike Tikkanen

cardinal best everShare This with your social media & especially with a newspaper reporter in your community

This Hennepin County CASA guardian ad Litem is convinced that Brandon Stahl and the Star Tribune are responsible for the great increase in child abuse cases in this state at this time.  And that is a good thing.

In a November 23rd task force oversight committee meeting, I heard a service provider suggesting that Brandon’s reporting was making her work more difficult – instead of celebrating that many more abused children were getting services because Brandon’s articles are bringing publicity to the amount of trauma and horror of child abuse in our community. Read the rest of this entry →

May 2016 Sad Stories

May 28, 2016 in Adoption, CASA, Child Death, Kids At Risk Action (KARA), Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources, The States by Mike Tikkanen

This page is a compilation of child protection/child abuse news from around the nation (with some international reporting) for the month of May.

All Adults Are the Protectors of All Children

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

Read the rest of this entry →

Minnesota Child Protection News April & May 2016

May 24, 2016 in Child Death, Crime and Courts, Invisible Children, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources by Mike Tikkanen

South St. Paul Mother, 31, Charged In Death Of Infant Daughter Read the rest of this entry →

Quality Foster Care (from Safe Passage for Children)

May 20, 2016 in Adoption, Child Death, Foster Care, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources by Mike Tikkanen

Quality Foster Care

Safe Passage LogoLast week print and electronic media covered a lawsuit by the grandmother of six year old Kendrea Johnson, who committed suicide while in foster care. A past finding of child abuse only disqualified the foster mother from becoming a licensed provider for a maximum of 10 years.

People change. Some who committed past crimes may become good foster parents. But we believe certain crimes such as malicious punishment of a child and child endangerment should be added to the list of offenses that permanently disqualify individuals from providing foster care.

However this would affect only a few children. A quality assurance program that ensures uniformly excellent foster care would have more impact.

Minnesota has many skilled foster parents. We need a system that supports them while weeding out problem homes.

This entry was posted in Safe Passage Speaks. Bookmark the permalink.

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 →

Changing Laws (thank you Rich Gehrman and Safe Passage for Children)

May 11, 2016 in Adoption, Child Death, Crime and Courts, Politics and Funding, Public Policy by Mike Tikkanen

This Channel 5 Televised news report by Rich Gehrman director of SafePassage for Children helps us better understand the issues involved in the lives of state ward children;
kstp.com/news/look-back-law-kendrea-johnson…/4133548/
10 hours ago … of an Unborn Child, Safe Passage for Children of Minnesota Executive Director Rich Gehrman said, “If it’s a conviction, it’s a disqualification.

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

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

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

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

Read the Mesabi Academy story below;

All Adults Are The Protectors of All Children

Read the rest of this entry →

April 2016 Sad Stories

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

All Adults Are the Protectors of All Children

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

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

KARA Readers Reminder

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

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

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

Sad Stories California – March & April 2016

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

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

 

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

The Teachers Dilemna (and what is not talked about in education)

May 7, 2016 in education, Politics and Funding, Public Policy, Resources, Wonderful People by Mike Tikkanen

THINK AGAIN BROOKLY PARKThe article by retired teacher Melissa Bowers appearing on Linked In (below) is well written and a good critique of the unhappy atmosphere educators face in public education today.

What is not stated in Melissa’s article also deserves attention and concern; 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 →

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