It Costs Way Less To Hire & Train Social Workers;$68 Million Settlement Proposed for 10 Children Fraudulently Adopted and Abused

It would be far less expensive (see the studies & long term costs) and the right thing to do to see that foster & adoptive parents were well funded, well regulated, and early childhood programs set up to insure that every child had a chance to have a meaningful life in America.

Until then, let’s sue the pants off of states and counties that refuse to care for children.

Fewer Families Adopting In Denver (Agency Closing After 22 Years)

I expect that the same is true all across America; families are finding it harder to support at risk children on lower incomes; http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_19628951

It just seems to me that America’s children should all have a chance to have a childhood.

I find it hard to accept that on top of being abused, having special needs, or neglected, these children are punished again by a society too cheap to make a place for them at the table.

Stop Child Abuse Now Radio Show Interview;

I will be talking about my experiences as a CASA child protection volunteer on an upcoming interview with Bill Murry & his Stop Child Abuse Now / Community Matters Radio Show http://naasca.org/index.html on December 12th Monday Night 730pm Call in phone: 323-552-6150

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bill-murray/2009/10/13/community-matters–9pm-et-6pm-pt

Penn State, Child Rape, & Suicide— Child Sex Abuse Is Not Just Another Crime

As a long time guardian ad-Litem I’ve encountered too many suicides and suicide attempts that are a direct result of child rape.

I have not read the suicide note written by the seven year old foster child that hung himself in Florida, but I have read the most powerful suicide note ever written by a person raped as a child and it is printed below.

Penn State, Child Abuse, You and Me.

Molesters like Sandusky destroy the lives of hundreds of children over their lifetime. The child remains severely damaged year after year until help comes from somewhere (usually nowhere). I’ve said about several of the sex abuse children in my caseload that this child has never had a nice day in her life.

Anxiety, terror, Prozac & Ritalin are predictable parts of the life of an abused child. They feel dirty and often blame themselves for the crime. Not being able to function normally in school makes life miserable and too often criminal or sexually active & a preteen mother or father. Just how does one un-teach sexual behavior to a nine year old without professional help?

Support The Guardian Ad-Litem Program For Abused & Neglected Children

The mission of CASA Minnesota is to broadly support volunteer advocacy on behalf of abused and neglected children in our state. We believe that every abused and neglected child in Minnesota court proceedings should have a volunteer advocate working for their best interests. In pursuit of this goal, we do the following:

Assist in the recruitment and retention of Minnesota volunteer guardians ad litem
Provide initial and continuing education and support to Minnesota volunteer guardians ad litem
Increase public awareness about child welfare and guardians ad litem
Provide a network for communication among Minnesota volunteer guardians ad litem
Advocate for legislative change, public policies and best practices that enhance the quality of advocacy and care for abused and neglected children

California Police Hate Kids T Shirt Campaign; You Raise Em, We Cage Em

I’ve written on the police tasering ten and twelve year olds, the growing movement to try very young children as adults, and the chronic over representation of African Americans in jails & prisons everywhere.

In my experience as a guardian ad-Litem, all children want to be “normal” and lead nice lives, but too many of them are born into toxic homes and their communities are quick to punish and incarcerate instead of nurture & enhance their lives.

How can America’s youth ever hope to lead normal lives when so many of them have serious criminal records & drug problems (legal and illegal) by the time they are eighteen?

Fix Texas For Children; Remove Judge William Adams

U.S. states where children are worse off than if they lived in emerging nations. http://boingboing.net/2011/11/02/video-judge-beats-disabled-daughter-for-using-the-internet.html Pass this on & support public advocacy for at risk children (they need your help).     Support KARA’s effort to stop punishing children; sponsor a conversation in your community (invite me to speak at your conference) / Buy our book…

A Call To Action; The System Will Succeed When The Public & Private Sectors Work Together

It was clear after talking with adoptive and foster families at their annual conference that Indiana’s failure to protect it’s children is due to the politicizing of children’s issues and not the hard work being done by foster & adoptive parents, educators, & social workers that are trying to provide homes, education, and services.

We all know that healthy children become healthy adults & contributing members of our community & that unhealthy children become preteen mothers & juvenile felons that cost our cities and states a fortune over a lifetime.

Wake up Indiana politicians. Your citizens depend on you to understand basic humanity and economics.

Citizens, wake up your politicians (the children can’t do it without your help).

Occupy Wall Street For America’s Children

Children have no lobby, no voice, & can’t fight back when a MN Governor* states that “children that are victims of failed personal responsibility are not my problem, nor are they the problem of the State Of Minnesota”.

There’s nothing a five year old can say to the governor of Indiana about the elimination of the state’s newborn screening fund (paid for by birth fees collected from parents), or the retroactive termination of adoption subsidies to the five hundred families that adopted special need children based on the promise that they would have assistance for their special needs children.

I doubt that a nine year old could clearly explain the problem facing California foster children because 1,000 state-licensed facilities match sex offenders’ addresses;

Thank You Indiana

I was impressed with the tenacity and commitment of Indiana’s foster and adoptive parents in the face of this state’s mean spirited children’s politics.

The evening before my talk I listened to story after story of the “fluid” nature of Department of Child Services policy, families not being allowed to question decisions or policy for fear of being blackballed, and what it’s like to watch long established, workable policies disappear to be replaced by whimsy and bullying.

1/3 of Georgia Foster Children On Psychotropic Medication

A national foundation focused on child welfare is footing at least $75,000 of the bill to figure out the best way to conduct an independent clinic exam of children taking mind-altering drugs.

Better oversight of antidepressants, mood stabilizers and other psychotropic medications given to foster children is expected to reduce their usage — and their hefty price tag.

“You are going to save money, and you’re going to provide good medical care,” said Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, D-Decatur.

I Never Know

Except for suicide, decisions are reversible.

You, like me, can try to do many things in life. We both hope to find things that we love and can be passionate about.

You, like me, will meet many people in our lives with the hope of finding a few good people that can become genuine friends.

Life is not easy, but it can be wonderful at times.

Reading & Math Proficiency Or Else…

The U.S. has been sliding for years from a leadership role in education & other quality of life indices to falling off the charts behind almost all other industrialized nations. Today we compare ourselves to the “emerging” nations so that we can be 32nd out of 64 instead of 32nd out of 24 industrialized nations.

Failing to educate generations of American children will have long ranging economic consequences and further reduce the quality of life we have come to take for granted.

The Federal Reserve board studies of a few years ago should be studied closely when bickering over where to spend precious tax dollars. There is no question that investing in children pays great dividends by building a bright and capable citizenry and avoiding the preteen pregnancies and juvenile felonies America’s children are getting so well known for.

Instead of pouring money into prisons and the judicial system & preparing children for dysfunctional adult lives, early childhood education prepares children for a successful future in school and in life.

It’s a great investment.

As Pliny the elder stated 2500 years ago, “what we do to our children, they will do to society”.

Support KARA’s effort to stop punishing children; sponsor a conversation in your community (invite me to speak at your conference) / Buy our book or donate

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From Pillar To Post, The Life Of A Foster Child

“Children who are the victims of failed personal responsibility are not my problem, nor are they the problem of the State of Minnesota” said by former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty to State Rep Andy Dawkins and current state commissioner David Strand and demonstrates one political party’s approach to day care and early childhood services.

These children, through no fault of their own, are living within a court system that is being torn apart by mean spirited politics.

Sometimes People Get Shot

Blaming severely disturbed people for their crimes is nonsense and solves nothing (it’s counter productive-no steps are taken to solve the problem if that’s all we do).

It would be much more useful to get to know a family that has tried to find help for a very troubled child. As a volunteer County guardian ad-Litem, I came to know many very troubled youth and their parents and other caregivers.

Abused & Neglected Children Impacting Schools, Courts & Communities; What Works — What doesn’t

The cost to my community of each child failing to procure the tools to learn & become a productive citizen is far greater than just the drain on schools, crime & institutionalization. Consider the generational impact of their children having families just like the one that brought them into the world. The average number of children born to mothers incarcerated in Cook County Illinois jails has grown from 2 to 4 over the last ten years.

Autism, Child Protection, & Insurance; Texas could save 2Billion$ by treating autistic children

This well written article on the success of early aggressive treatment for autistic children AAUTISM CURE CITY PAGES 1.26.11 makes the overarching logical, ethical, and financial argument about the wisdom of treating children early on with proven methods and saving 18 years of special ed, additional health care, and the very real costs of home, social, and school disruption and personal pain.

America’s Children, Mental Health, Addiction, Medication

Children traumatized by violence and neglect have serious developmental disabilities that don’t go away with age. 80% of youth aging out of foster care are leading dysfunctional lives.

Adding to the 3 million children reported to child protection in America each year, are the 3.5 million children on stimulant and anti-psychotic medications. Recent studies indicate that almost half of U.S. youth have mental health issues. About 2/3s of the youth in juvenile justice are diagnosed with mental health problems; half of them have multiple, serious diagnosis.