America’s Families (From Grief Speaks)

75% of children/adolescents in chemical dependency hospitals are from single-parent families. (Center for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA)
1 out of 5 children have a learning, emotional, or behavioral problem due to the family system changing. (National Center for Health Statistics)
More than one half of all youths incarcerated for criminal acts lived in one-parent families when they were children. (Children’s Defense Fund)
Nine million American children face risk factors that may hinder their ability to become healthy and productive adults. One in seven children deal with at least four of the risk factors, which include growing up in a single-parent household…The survey also indicated that children confronting several risk factors are more likely to experience problems with concentration, communication, and health. (1999 Kids Count Survey – Annie E. Casey Foundation)

Another State Abandons Children & A Most Effective Program

Abandoning programs that work well will not save states money. This example of bad politics will lead to higher costs and mores suffering as Arkansas creates more people unable to cope, more crisis, and a larger future dysfunctional populace;

Arkansas 211 Shut Down

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Arkansas 211 telephone program that linked callers to social service programs throughout the state is being shut down due to lack of funding this week. The services offered by the program would steer callers to local organizations and services for every day needs in time of crisis including:
* Basic Human Needs Resource: food banks, clothing closets, shelters, rent assistance, utility assistance.

Unmaking At Risk Children

Absent coordinated positive (1*) public policy for the care of children, America is now at the confluence of misaligned and mistaken public policies that are overwhelming its schools, mental health services, child protection services, juvenile justice services, and criminal justice systems. Failing schools, unsafe communities, and absurdly high rates of incarceration are just the tip of the iceberg.

Summer Is No Vacation For Abused Kids

Thousands of names ahead of them on a list for subsidized day care that won’t provide help for years to come, means that any available family member, friend, or neighbor is considered a better option than leaving a three, five, or seven year old unattended (or is it?)

Leaving your child with that drunken or meth using uncle or aunt, the friend with the mental health issues, the dangerous or abusive teenager. Children need and deserve better choices.

Make No Small Plans for Minnesota Children

We can look for inspiration to successes around the country and the world. One model of success is the Harlem Children’s Zone in New York. The Minneapolis Foundation recently sponsored a visit here by Geoffrey Canada, the Zone’s leader. Their goal is to have all the children who grow up in the 100-block zone graduate from college. Harlem Children’s Zone offers a Baby College for new parents, universal education for 4-year-olds, good public schools, chemical dependency and health counseling, and housing stability programs. All children there are wrapped in a variety of support systems designed to help them and their families succeed.

AARP and CASA

MN day care

It is a bigger step to convince people that healthy children become healthy citizens, but it is true.

Support at risk children! Become a CASA volunteer or start a KARA group in your community.
Have something to add? Attach a comment to this blog post or Contact Us to tell us your point of view or story.

Join the public debate for children (they have no senator, lobby, or voice)

FEATURED GUARDIAN AD LITEM PROGRAM WASHTENAW COUNTY

Local CASA Volunteer’s Success Story
Contributed by: Fran G.

I was given my first case in February of this year a family of three children: A 13-year-old boy with mild autism, a 9-year-old girl, and a 4-year-old, all living with a Great Grandmother (74 years old).

The children have lived with their great grandmother for 4 years. There were so many questions that needed to be answered and I found that I had the time to find those answers. The lawyers, and social workers all cared for the family but lacked the time to get to know the family as well as I could.

I found, for example, that the 13-year-old boy had missed 54 days of school and had been late for his first hour class 34 times. There were several reasons, and all were easy to fix.

He needed an alarm clock, needed to stop spending the night at his favorite Aunt’s house, and needed to take responsibility. I told him he was not allowed to be late or miss school anymore. I was able to check daily via a computer how his grades were and his attendance, and so was he.

14 police calls to foster home led up to near-death

On the 49th call to the home, police removed the children into protective custody (only because the 7 year old was observed trying to kill the 5 year old). As I became involved in the case, the sex abuse of the older girl became apparent. The police were aware of the prostitution taking place on the premises, and it was very likely that the older child had been prostituted.

Tennessee’s High Infant Death Rate

Of the 23 richest countries, the United States has the highest rate of infant mortality, according to the CIA World Fact Book. And in Shelby County, Tenn., which encompasses Memphis, the state health department says a baby dies every 43 hours — a rate higher than that of any other major city. The babies most at risk come from impoverished parts of town with largely black populations.

Amy Sherman’s Blog for Florida’s At Risk Children

Postscript… I too have had 4 year old and 7 year old suicides as a Hennepin County guardian ad-Litem and a judge that has shared with me the pages of documented Prozac, Ritalin, and other Psychotropics given to very young children. This conversation needs to take place at a higher level (where something can be done about it).

FORGOTTEN CHILDREN RALLY STATE CAPITAL

On May 4, 2009 a small crowd of about 100 citizens – social workers, politicians, child advocates, and children – gathered on the lawn of the Minnesota State Capitol to bring attention to Minnesota’s “Forgotten Children.” The 187 children placed in foster care each week in Minnesota all have unique circumstances but they all share one thing in common: They need advocacy in the legislature to address not only their current needs but the future issues they will face as they transition into adulthood.

http://www.childrensrights.org/

Wisconsin officials have agreed to an aggressive new plan aimed at fixing persistent problems in the state-run system responsible for providing care and protection to abused and neglected children in Milwaukee. The new Corrective Action Plan is being implemented to meet key requirements of a longstanding court order secured by Children’s Rights, mandating the Milwaukee child welfare system’s reform.

Kids At Risk Action’s YouTube Video Channel

Kids At Risk Action (KARA) has posted videos on our YouTube Channel of the 2008 KARA Forum held at Century College. To view more videos of our events, visit our page at YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/kidsatriskaction.

Here is a sample of the 2008 Kids At Risk Action (KARA) Forum:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jCTBZmy40Y

Ruben Rosario: Immigration Raids Traumatize Children

“I want to remind people that family values do not stop at the Rio Grande River. People are coming to our country to do jobs that Americans won’t do, to be able to feed their families.” — Former President George W. Bush
I wonder what “W” would say about the 11-year-old Worthington, Minn., boy who returned home from school one day, oblivious to events that would alter his life forever, to find no one there except his 2-year-old brother, left to fend for himself.

A Grim Truth About Big Pharma

Preventive Psychiatry E-Newsletter # 237   Michigan Lawsuit Uncovers Psychiatry’s Dark Secret: Psychiatric Drug-Induced Movement Disorders in Young Children by Ben Hansen – From the Spring 2007 newsletter of the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology ( www.icspp.org). Last month the New York Times exposed yet another example of unethical marketing practices…

KARA Action Group Manifesto For Early Childhood Education

Education is the engine of progress and prosperity. No nation can achieve its potential for greatness without investing in its human capital. The extent to which children successfully negotiate the treacherous passage to adulthood depends on the earliest years of brain and emotional development. That explains why early childhood education is crucial to society.

America’s public policy regarding at-risk children is an economic and moral failure:

MN Early Childhood Summit Speech David Lawrence

My mission in life and in this cause is moral, but my arguments begin with the practical. Public education is the real world for 90 percent of your children, and America’s. The wisest path to public education reform in our country is to deliver the children in far better shape to formal school. That is what early investment is all about. It is neither socialism…nor the creation of a “nanny state,” but rather simple decency and wisdom and what our country is about when we are at our best.