Black Families Matter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September Sad Stories (part 1 through September 15)

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

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

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

We are at work resolving formatting problems on these pages.

ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN

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

 

Read the rest of this entry →

CASA guardian ad Litem News & Stories for August 2016

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

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

All Adults Are the Protectors Of All Children

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

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Minnesota Child Protection News August 2016

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

the mine lakes

 

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

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

All Adults Are the Protectors of All Children

 

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

Child Death & the Definition of Child Abuse (thank you Safe Passage for Children and DR Mark Hudson)

September 9, 2016 in Child Death, Links To Helpful Orgs, Politics and Funding, Public Policy by Mike Tikkanen

children down hill having funThis morning’s update from Safe Passage for Children includes DR Mark Hudson’s informed understanding of why children die of abuse in our state and how to fix it.  He points out that way more children die of abuse every year than they do from cancer.  Statistically, it’s a big problem.  Ethically, it’s hard to argue against DR Hudson’s prior injury observations and that “Approximately 40% of fatal/near fatal injuries occur in children who have a history with Child Protective Services”.   As a volunteer guardian ad litem, it has been hard to watch and read about terribly abused children suffering and dying because our definitions of abuse did not include them the first, second or third time they were reported to child protection services.

4 year old Eric Dean died after years of torture and 15 reports of abuse. 

The letter is worth reading in it’s entirety – please share this with your state rep and your contacts.  Creating awareness for the problems of our most vulnerable citizens is the only way to help them.

All Adults Are the Protectors of All Children

Pennsylvania Child Protection News July & August 2016

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

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

ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN

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

International Child Protection News August 2016

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

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

ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN

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

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

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

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

August 2016 Sad Stories (Part 3 through August 31)

September 3, 2016 in Adoption, CASA, Child Death, Crime and Courts, International Child Abuse, Invisible Children, Kids At Risk Action (KARA), Politics and Funding, Public Policy, The States by Mike Tikkanen

children down hill having funSign Up Here For KARA’s Free Friday Morning Real Story

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

We are at work resolving formatting problems on these pages.

ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN

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

Using Bibles In Defense of Child Abuse (not the Jesus I knew)

September 2, 2016 in Adoption, Child Death, Crime and Courts, Invisible Children, Kids At Risk Action (KARA), Politics and Funding, Public Policy, The States by Mike Tikkanen

KoalaIndiana Governor and Vice Presidential Candidate Mike Pence’s Religious Freedom  signature law RFRA allows beating 7 year old’s with a coat hanger leaving bruises and bleeding severe enough to cause the child’s doctor to have mom arrested.

It will be a very sad thing an Indiana Court uses Pence’s law to rule that bibles can be used to torture and traumatize children.

A few years ago I spoke to adoptive parents in Indiana where the prior Governor, Mitch Daniels redirected the funding promised to families adopting special needs children (after the adoptions were completed) to his appointees in social services who could cut the most from social services programs.

Mitch was also running for Vice President at the time.  My conversations with those families were really sad (really, really sad).

For the second time in just 3 election cycles, Indiana Governor’s have shown children just how little they matter to the State.

Tiny stepping stones to higher political office; kids can’t vote and only make the media under the most tragic of circumstances.   A clear win for Indiana Governor’s (and a few other states too).

If there is a silver lining in Indiana Governor’s political abuse of children, it is that Indiana’s helpless kids are the only youth voice in America’s most important political battle (there is no other meaningful child friendly discourse in our presidential election).

Know anyone in Indiana?  Share this with them and suggest that using children as political stepping stones should be a crime.

All Adults are the Protectors of All Children

Can you guess which MN Governor/s said “Children that are the victims of failed personal responsibility are not my problem nor are they the problem of the State of Minnesota”?

 

 

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

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

T49i39_SafePassage_Logo_v2.4

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

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

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

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

 

 Join the Discussion on Facebook

Children Locked Up in America (Radio Interview)

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

Read the rest of this entry →

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.

 

Join the Discussion on Facebook

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 →

Best ACEs Articles for July 2016

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

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

 

All Adults Are the Protectors of All Children

Read the rest of this entry →

Why Schools Fail (another year of bad results)

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

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

Don’t blame the teachers (it’s us).

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

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

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

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

T49i39_SafePassage_Logo_v2.4

T49i39_SafePassage_Logo_v2.4

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

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

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

This short TED talk hits the nail on the head

All Adults are the Protectors of All Children

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

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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.

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