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Join KARA & Add Your Voice For At Risk Youth

Minnesota Child Abuse Laws & Actions: Related Resources

 

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KARA is a passionate and unapologetic voice for the weakest and most vulnerable citizens among us.

At risk children have no voice in the homes they are raised in, no voice in the courts that manage their lives, the media only rarely gives attention to them, and they can’t represent themselves at the legislature and for far too long they have been badly treated because of it.

Support funding an Ombudsman for Children in the 2016 state budget.  Support

Support Minnesota and the U.S. adopt the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.  Summary of Rights

Support publicly funded education for Minnesota residents of all ages, from birth to late life, from quality early childhood education to college for seniors.  Support

Support increasing state funding to provide quality early childhood education taught by licensed professionals for low-income and low-middle income families across the state.  Support page 13

Support requiring life skills curriculum for middle and high school students including 1) how to interact with children from birth through early childhood to enhance their development, 2) children’s developmental stages, and 3) interpersonal communication in setting family goals and resolving conflicts.  Support

Tell your friends about the importance of CASA guardians ad-Litem as a voice for abused and neglected children in the Child Protection System (and how rewarding this volunteer experience is for those who participate)

Kids At Risk Action (KARA) is partnering with CASA and the Guardian ad-Litem program to help you volunteer with CASA or start a a CASA program in your community.  CASAMN CASANational

Work with KARA to build awareness of the great need for;

parenting classes,

trauma informed mental health services,

crisis nurseries,

quality day care

attention to child protection systems,

public and political support for breaking the cycle of child abuse and improving the lives of at risk children.

 

Support KARA efforts for improved child protection/child abuse record keeping, more accountability & transparency, better policies, and always having the interests of children at the forefront of the decision makers ruling their young lives.

Awareness is growing, but the climb is steep and better answers may never come without watchdog and research organizations like KARA investigating and reporting.

Contact your Elected Officials

Abused and neglected children cannot contact their senators for their help.  Without our help, critical change may never come.

This sample letter reflects on Minnesota at the time of its composition. When you write your elected officials or others, make your advocacy letter reflect your voice and your story about the needs of neglected children. If you have a connection (as a teacher, a social worker, an adoptive/foster parent or another connection) to an abandoned or abused child, include that connection, or a story about that connection in your letter. Make your letter personal. Those are the letters that are remembered and are effective.

Sample Letter

Dear Representative,

I’m writing you because abused and neglected children cannot afford high powered lobbyists to plead their case.

It is up to policy makers to provide leadership in supporting the people, policies and programs that make life better for at risk children.  For me, You are that person.

It is a tragic fact that Minnesota (include your state and data or recent stories to personalize your letter) has a significant population of abused and neglected children and the system in place to protect them is already stressed and failing in 19 of 23 federal measurements. There are many indicators that point to how failure to thrive as a child leads to failure and dysfunctional adulthood.  Former MN Supreme Court Chief Justice has stated that 90% of the youth in juvenile justice have come through child protection.

In these difficult economic times, it is understood that many areas of state and local government services need to be evaluated and reduced where possible. Unlike services provided for public entertainment or convenience, underfunding child protection can have long lasting negative financial and social repercussions.

It is likely that the stressful times to come will only increase the number of children in need of our protection. Knowing this, how can cuts be justified?

Children who experience abuse or neglect are 59 percent more likely to be arrested as a juvenile, 28 percent more likely to be arrested as an adult, and 30 percent more likely to commit violent crime.

One-third of abused and neglected children will eventually victimize their own children.

The statistics quoted above are only part of the unfortunate future of the abused child. The incidence of mental illness, chemical dependency and teenage pregnancy are much higher in abused children. The costs to handle these problems are far greater than the cost to help families and children before the problems become severe. The extended cost to schools and other people who become victimized by these troubled children as they become adults is immeasurable. As a volunteer Hennepin County guardian ad-Litem, I have seen these things come true with many of the children that I have worked with in troubled families (where just a little bit of help would have allowed a child to lead a normal life).

Isn’t it worth looking at cutting more expendable budget items a little deeper than decreasing an already compromised system that could have life threatening consequences? Can’t we remember that an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure? Our schools would benefit, our streets would be safer, and not so many people would fill our jails and prisons.

Please support early childhood programs like daycare, healthcare, crisis nurseries, and early learning.

Sincerely,

 

 

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Please donate now and support these pages &

KARA’s next book;

INVISIBLE CHILDREN AMERICA is being outlined and researched beginning spring of 2017.  A compilation of stories, studies, perspectives and conditions of child abuse and child protection in America today.  It will be written, published and distributed at no cost to thousands of policy makers, people in child protection, law enforcement, education and administration positions.  $5/month (KARA needs your help to make this work) 

KARA’s documentary;

Modeled on Miss Mari’s foster film from Florida (the most important film about foster care ever)

https://vimeo.com/139417634
The password is foster

KARA continues its video investigation of Minnesota’s foster care and child protection systems.  A partnership started with TPT TV began studio interviews of foster and adoptive families, medical and child protection professionals and the journalist who uncovered the details of four year old Eric Dean’s murder after 15 largely ignored reports of abuse by mandated reporters.

KARA needs your help to complete these project