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.

Nothing has been said about the actual violence done to these children that has occurred to place them in a county system.

Twelve years watching abused and neglected children traumatized by abuse and neglect has changed my view on this topic.
Please keep the goal of saving children the priority.

My one dispute with this article would be the statistic that 223 children in the child protection system suffered from sexual abuse. In 2005 when I wrote the book INVISIBLE CHILDREN there were 897 cases of child sex abuse in MN. At that time I was an active guardian ad-Litem and knew of fifty cases of child sex abuse. It was terrifically under-reported then, it is even more so now. The children that suffer these abuses need more help than they are receiving.

Our schools would function better and our communities would be safer and happier if we put more resources into struggling families and abused and neglected children.

These articles might make my points more clearly;

Minnesota’s vulnerable kids stuck in revolving door

State rate for foster care reentry is among highest in the nation.

By JEREMY OLSON, Star Tribune
Last update: September 11, 2010 – 9:59 PM

The state’s 24 percent reentry rate was among the worst in the nation — far above the federal goal of 9.9 percent or less. The outcome is a puzzle, considering that Minnesota has met other federal goals and sharply reduced the number of children in protection because of parental abuse or neglect.

The high reentry rate reflects, in part, an unusually high percentage of children with behavioral problems of their own and Minnesota’s preference to reunite children with their parents, rather than turn to adoption or other alternatives that might prove more permanent.

It nonetheless represents a significant problem for the state and its county-managed child welfare system. Beyond risking millions of dollars in federal fines for missing the goal, the state puts children at risk of suffering anxiety and trauma with each move to and from their parents’ homes. Some children lose the bond with parents through repeat moves, studies have found, developing attachment disorders that have been linked to higher rates of crime, drug use and other problems.

“The impact of placement is not without trauma,” even when removing children is in their best interests, said Erin Sullivan Sutton, an assistant commissioner for the Minnesota Department of Human Services. “You are removed from everything you know.”
EACHER, leave those kids alone.” So it hardly makes your point.

posted by lachowsj on Sep 12, 10 at 2:45 pm |
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When anecdotes collide, it’s time to look at the data
While I’m sure bellamn16, means well, few things are more dangerous to children than the self-delusion reflected in the comment that while children may find removal traumatic, they’ll get over it if they happen to find a stable home away from their own parents (which, by the way, many of them won’t). A major study of foster care “alumni” found they had twice the rate of post-traumatic stress disorder of Gulf War veterans and only 20 percent could be said to be “doing well.” Details, and a link to the study are on our website here: Two more studies, of 15,000 cases, are even more devastating. Those studies found that, in typical cases, even maltreated children left in their own homes with little or no help fared better, on average, than comparably-maltreated children placed in foster care. So before you gloss over the trauma of removal, please consider the 15,000 children who would gladly tell you otherwise if they could. (Details and a link to these studies are on our website here: And, by the way, a smaller study by University of Minnesota researchers came up with very similar results. You can see that study here: And that’s before we even get to all the studies showing the high rate of abuse in foster care itself, with an even higher rate in institutions. You can review them here: No bellamn16, often the parents are “failing” because their poverty is confused with neglect. Other cases fall between the extremes. But if you really believe the child’s need for stability should come first, then you need to put that need ahead of everything – including your personal view of the parents. Because for the overwhelming majority of children in foster care, their own parents is exactly where their best chance at stability, and love, will be found. Richard Wexler Executive Director National Coalition for Child Protection Reform

posted by nccpr2 on Sep 12, 10 at 3:01 pm |
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Easier reading, hopefully: Figures aren’t what they seem
My first posting was not done with HTML, so it all ran together, making the links difficult to copy and paste into your browser window. So I’ll try again and hope HTML works here: There are several pieces of information in this article that I’d like to address. First, though the state’s ‘return’ figure of 24% is “far above the federal goal of 9.9 percent or less,” to me it represents a half-empty view. The half-full view is that 76% of removed children were, in fact, successfully reunited with their original families. That says something. Second, the 9.9% federal goal represents an ideal that is vulnerable to skewing and outright abuse by states. For example, it is possible to count a placement twice in the same report. States have counted children on the plus column at placement, but when an adoption fails and the children get placed again in the same year, they get counted again as “successes.” Third, states are not “fined” for “missing their goal.” Rather, they are paid incentives to move children out of foster care, but if the numbers don’t exceed the previous year’s placements, they simply don’t get this dole from the federal government. I say “dole” because this money provides tempting incentives to take easier-to-place children into care and fast-tracking them for adoption (because they are easier to place) to increase the ‘dole’ numbers, leaving the difficult-to-place kids right where they were. You can get figures to say anything you want. But it would take more research to reveal some of the horrendous effects of the carrot-on-the-stick federal government incentive to move kids from their own families into adoptive families. Here are a few resources to get you started: Cached copy of ‘Bureaucrats running down the clock against arenas’ ( This is real eye-opener. It exposes the ugly underbelly of the federal program in a number of states. And another (cached) Examiner article exposing several more states: Massachusetts Georgia Kentucky (Follow-up) The federal program either needs drastic changes or far better oversight.

posted by Yooperjo on Sep 12, 10 at 3:14 pm |
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Speaking from the Gates of the dark side
Our family, and our Autistic Children, have been, and still are, being abused, and exploited by the same who claim to protect. While other Agencies, claiming to have a life preserver to throw us, with both ends of the 1 foot rope attached? It’s great to show ignorance, until you sink a mile in our shoes. Jessie Ventura was never more credible, in his statement of: Just follow the money” and you will find the “Conspiracy”!!!

This is Buisness as usual, and job security, to the Professionals, (self proclaimed) put in a position to protect? following, is a chart that anyone can read and predict;

HOME = Chickenhouse
Chickens = Our kids
FOX = Government

And nobody likes chickens, like “them”!

posted by mnpi007 on Sep 12, 10 at 5:39 pm |