A great online forum for adoptees to share experiences and perspectives run by truly committed people and worth investigating;
While the child abuse/child neglect crisis is one of major national concern, it also is of particular significance in the top 12 states that are above the national average for child abuse/neglect deaths (2.33 per 100,000 children): Florida 4.62; Nebraska 3.80; New Mexico 3.78; Tennessee 3.72; Oklahoma 3.42; Texas 3.32; Arkansas 2.99; Missouri 2.95; Louisiana and Ohio (both at 2.71); Georgia 2.67; and Colorado 2.65.
The equation works like this; if fewer cases are investigated, that must mean there are fewer cases of child abuse, which leads to less funding and fewer resources for terrified and traumatized children.
As a volunteer guardian ad-Litem, I have spoken with too many frustrated social workers, CASA workers, educators, birth, foster, and adoptive parents that have experienced gaping holes in our child protection systems.
I’m pleased that Sarah Palin chose a title that would stress heartfulness & compassion.
I’m looking forward to reading her constructive ideas for helping America’s weakest and most vulnerable citizens.
85 percent of all juveniles who come into contact with the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate. So are 60 percent of all prison inmates.
Inmates have a 16 percent chance of returning to prison if they receive literacy help, as opposed to 70 percent for those who receive no help
I’ve come to know many children in child protection taking psychotropic medications. The data on children in child protection on these drugs is also overwhelming (and a well kept secret). Four and seven year olds behaving in extremely dangerous ways and trying to kill themselves should be extremely rare in any civil society.
I did not find it rare among the children in my caseload in child protection.
America is way behind other advanced societies in dealing with mental health issues and it is killing poor vulnerable children and way too many veterans.
Goodbye Tom, you were a great friend and I will miss you.
Most of us would agree that caring for vulnerable children is a worthwhile endeavor.
What can we do to make suicide less of an option for abused and neglected children?
As budgets shrink, more states and counties have fewer resources to save abused and neglected children from the immediate dangers they face in their homes and the future problems that come along with the abuse (preteen pregnancy, adolescent felons, dropouts, chronic illness & mental illness).
My experience in the CASA guardian ad-Litem program was impacted by the harsh realities that become part of an abused child’s life after experiencing the trauma of extended exposure to violence and deprivation. Their lives are damaged in a manner that makes it hard to make friends, learn in school, or lead a productive life.
* Foster children are twice as likely as war veterans to develop PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder);
* 25% of U.S. youth in the Juvenile Justice System are tried as adults;
* 50-75% of U.S. youth in the Juvenile Justice System have a diagnosable mental illness;
* 25% of high school graduates in the United States are illiterate;
* Most states are growing prison spending much faster than higher education spending;
* firearms deaths of children in the U.S. are more than 10 times higher than all the other industrialized nations combined.
* a mentoring program; pairing an adult over 55 years of age with each youth between ages 9 and 13. The mentor spends at least two hours per week with the child doing recreational activities, providing tutoring, counseling, and assistance with community service (Across Ages, 2010).
* each youth spends one to two hours every week performing community service.
* social competence training; 26 weekly lessons that teach cognitive and behavioral approaches to dealing with problems and decisions. In particular, these skills are applied to the prevention of substance abuse and high-risk sexual behavior.
* involvement in family activities; Across Ages hosts monthly events that engage the youth, their families, and their mentors to strengthen the relationships between the children and the adults in their lives (Across Ages, 2010).
Bishop Gene Robinson draws attention to youth suicide & particularly that seven students in one Minnesota school district have taken their own lives, including three teens.
GLBT issues underly most of the suicide the Bishop writes about. The idea that life can be made so unbearable for children so young is incomprehensible unless you have been near someone living the nightmare.
“I’m sorry, Javaris,” I said after sentencing. “I can’t excuse your crimes, but somehow I think that we failed you too. Your family failed you, the system failed you.”
Drug use and sale in American schools has been the highlight of much research. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University conducts a survey each year aimed at discovering trends in teenage drug use. The survey this year has identified a drastic increase in the percentage of children attending middle schools considered “drug-infested,” meaning that drugs are kept, used, or sold on school property. This year’s survey showed that 32 percent of middle school students were attending drug infested schools, compared to 23 percent in 2009.
MN governor Tim Pawlenty said to Andy Dawkins and David Strand several years ago that “Children that are the victims of failed personal responsibility are not my problem or the problem of the state of MN”.
That a major political party would make this a keystone of its platform indicates a gross misunderstanding of the most basic issues facing abused and neglected children. This shows a lack of compassion as well as a misunderstanding of the economics of failing to help children while they are young enough to make a difference in their behaviors and development.
WHAT: 10-10-10 March and Rally for Children and Youth
WHEN: October 10, 2010, 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.
WHERE: Minnesota State Capitol
WHO: The Young Advocate Leadership Training (YALT) participants of CDF–Minnesota, Every Child Matters, Minnesota Children’s Platform and other partnering organizations as listed below
The need for strong education programs should be a primary concern for state and local governments. In addition to improving students’ chances for success in college and their subsequent careers, effective education programs can help keep juveniles from engaging in delinquent activities. This, in turn reduces costs to taxpayers for funding court proceedings and, if necessary, housing juvenile offenders.
Few politicians speak to the children’s issues. Fewer still understand or advocate for programs that would help the 3 million children reported to child protection services each year.
Since then, I have witnessed very young children (under 7) try to kill themselves and seen others exhibit terrifying behaviors (starting fires, stabbing, etc) that I know to be a direct result of the abuse they have suffered.
A few of these children I have been in contact with for over ten years and I know that not a day goes by without them reliving the unspeakable acts that have made them who they are.
Not all states give voice to our weakest and most vulnerable citizens. This rally is a big step for children and it deserves to be copies and repeated.
Yes to constructive solutions; more resources for troubled families and help for abused and neglected children.
No to destructive and inflammatory criticisms of people trying hard to make life livable for terribly abused and neglected children within an overwhelmed social services system and not enough resources to do the job. It’s almost impossible work and there is little support for the worker or the child these days.
There is little that comes easier for a sixty or seventy year old person when it comes to raising children.
The physical and mental demands made on grandparents by their younger charges are tremendous.
From the bottom of my heart, Thank You.
From the rest of us, let’s see to it that they and the children they care for, get adequate help from our communities to make their tasks a little easier and more successful.
Happy Grandparents Day in advance.
This child’s traumatic and fearful entry into an unprepared and under-resourced public school system is the tip of the iceberg.
The Prozac, Ritalin, and other psychotropic medications being prescribed to very young children is terrifically overused in many child protection systems. Judge Heidi Schellhas shared with me the pages and pages of very five, seven, and nine year old children that passed through her courtroom that were heavily medicated on antipsychotic drugs.
AZ: Child abuse isn’t a priority in Arizona
Arizona Daily Star August 31, 2010
Michael is the sixth Pima County child to die in recent years while under the watch of state Child Protective Services. Each killing spurred outrage and demands that things be done better, that children be saved from the relatives who do them harm. “Reforms” were put in place in 2008. Little, it appears, has changed.
The good news is we have created workable models to heal terribly abused children. The bad news is our communities are shutting down services that would heal terribly abused children. This will cost us for generations to come.
We will only recover our place in the world as a productive first place nation, if we recapture our sense of humanity and concentrate on making children healthy enough to become productive citizens.
It is economically sound policy and caring about children is the right thing to do.
The University of Notre Dame’s Department of Psychology and Center for Children and Families invites you to a multidisciplinary symposium entitled “Human Nature and Early Experience: Addressing the ‘Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness’” October 10-12, 2010. This symposium brings together an international audience interested in innovative approaches to human development, children, families, parenting, and human evolution. Speakers will present their research on the relationship between caregiving practices and outcomes.
Amy’s SUPPORTING ADOPTIVE FAMILIES ACT introduced as federal legislation this week is a big step in supporting families that adopt children is critical to the health of our communities.
Practical Strategies for Helping Troubled Adopted Children with Complex Histories: Focus On Anger Issues with Dr. Richard J. Delaney
Minnesota Adoption Resource Network Announces August Webinar Wednesday, August 25, 2010 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM Many adopted children are “multiply impacted” by prenatal exposure to drugs, and/or alcohol, by neglect and deprivation, complex trauma such as chronic child physical and sexual abuse, exposure to domestic violence, separation from or loss of significant other, and/or…
Few problems facing children of all ages have been discussed as often as that of substandard education. More specifically, the American education system has been under attack from a number of sources.
However, the situation has yet to improve, possibly because the programs that work are not highlighted, instead only those that have failed are.
Let’s make it our business to point out to our politicians that investing in children is nothing more than investing in our community. And it is the right thing to do. Take action, make a phone call to a legislator in support of a child friendly issue, forward this piece to your friends, and make it a piece of your conversation today.
As a result of ASFA, when the federal government gave money to states for the purpose of increasing adoptions, large numbers of kids did get good homes. Thirteen years later, hoards of those kids are re-entering the system because they came to parents with severe mental and emotional scars as a result of infant and child trauma, neglect, and abuse.
States refuse to help in any way with the astronomical mental health fees, such as $150,000 per year for residential care. Health insurance, Medicaid, and adopt subsidies pay nothing towards this care, not $1. Adoptive families are being forced to relinquish them back to the states to access astronomically expensive mental health care.
CASA is most often the only voice a child has once in our overburdened court system. The program is perfect for discovering people that want to help children. Do you support the CASA program in your community?
CASA volunteers are making a huge difference in the lives of abused children. Tell your friends.
Getting more people involved in gathering and disseminating information about the issues of child abuse and what can and should be done to protect and serve vulnerable children has to be a good thing.
The original plaintiffs were nine children who are alleged to have suffered in DHS placements. The case has since become a class-action lawsuit with thousands of children in DHS custody as plaintiff
How many states have caseloads that are just too high to provide a realistic safety net for the children they support? How many states need more training and education for the agency employees, foster parents, and adoptive parents?
I would add that without educating judges, court workers, and criminal justice people, this nation is still on the path to maintaining excessive prison populations and disastrous school performance among the population of abused and neglected children.
Lori Sturdevant points out in her July 4th Star Tribune column how our state has done very well by investing in children and how Art Rolnick’s extensive studies as director of research at the Federal Reserve Board have made those investments measurable.
Just like investing in the stock market or tax increment financing, putting money into early childhood programs brings solid financial and social returns back into a community.
“The social worker staff simply cannot keep up with everything we are asking them to do,” she said, adding that she planned to make the case to county supervisors that hundreds of additional social workers were needed. “All of the things that equate with quality do take time.”
In the end, Ploehn never submitted a budget request for additional social workers, citing the county’s tight finances.
A British Medical Journal Journal article (below) points out the confusion in doctors duties regarding child protection. In Britain the welfare of the child is place highly only when a decision is governed by the Children Act statute, which has created an atmosphere of increased complaints against paediatricians. Doctors may be avoiding work related to abuse because of this.
As a guardian ad Litem in the U.S., I often found the medical professionals unresponsive to the violence and dysfunction responsible for the condition of the child before them.
In the U.S. there is an organization trying to change that; The Academy on Violence and Abuse, www.avahealth.org is working diligently to better educate the medical profession about the signs of abuse and how to respond effectively.
Swedes take preschool seriously. Though education is not compulsory
until seven, more than 80% of two-year-olds are enrolled in preschool,
and many begin earlier. Among European countries only Denmark has
higher enrolment rates at that age.
This severely disabled child was turned away from the Lake City Medical Center after being alerted by social workers of his urgent need of medical care;he was sent home with a note (where he had just come from).
How can those of us who care about at risk children, be more effective in bringing positive change to the politics, attitudes, people, and institutions that rule the lives of these children?
What has worked in your community?
What did not work?
Where do you go for help?
Portia died shortly after being brought into the operating room. Leroy called me early in the morning and told me that the surgery had been delayed too long. There was no way the doctors could save her at that point.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (CDT)
The Minnesota History Center
What you do to your children, they will do to your society (Pliny – 2500 years ago)
Let’s all agree to support child friendly programs and legislation (even if it costs money and takes effort).
Why does the United States lead the world’s richest democracies in child abuse fatalities, with death rates three times higher than Canada’s and 11 times higher than Italy’s?
NO, it is we the people that have voted to underfund our schools and social programs (and 35W bridge maintenance) that have created the painful failure we are living with today. The bridge fell in the river for the same reason our schools, jails, and child protection systems are struggling so mightily-we failed to maintain it.
http://aha.mn is an exciting new program to promote connections among adopted individuals of all ages, ethnicities and adoption types while maximizing their lifelong welfare and self-fulfillment
…being adopted has lifelong consequences for those who were adopted at any age
…adoptees benefit from connecting with other adoptees in a variety of ways
…adoptees are the experts on adoption
…non-adoptees benefit from the knowledge and life wisdom of adopted individuals.
Congratulations on making a great idea come to life.
Between 40 to 85 percent of kids in foster care have mental health problems.
Minnesota became the first state to host an official gathering of its orphan train riders and their families with an event that took place on July 1, 1961 with nine attendees. This event was organized by two women who discovered later in life that they had ridden the same orphan train to Minnesota as young children.
Invisible Children (The American Cycle Of Abuse & Its Cost) ebook & audiobook
An informative & compelling look at the shameful treatment of vulnerable children, how it impacts our communities, and what we can do about it.
Listen, Read. Pass it on (a great gift).