Yesterday’s Star Tribune reporting by Chris Serres that child abuse reports in this state have almost doubled since 2009 is not the end of the story. Funding for 108 social workers in response to the outrage over the “colossal failure” of child protection in the death of 4 year old Eric Dean was a good 1st step but much more needs to be done.
No additional funding was allocated for the CASA guardian ad litem program.
Today, over 500 abused and neglected children in child protective services are without federally mandated court advocates in this state because funding for finding and managing volunteers isn’t there.
Abused children have no voice in their homes, courts, media or legislature. They need someone to speak for them at least in court – it may be the most important federal mandate there is.
Funding for subsidized day care isn’t there either. 1000’s of MN children are left in the care of drunk uncles & violent boyfriends because institutional daycare in MN now exceeds $14,000 /yr and people making low average wages can’t pay it.
26 MN children died from abuse last year. No one will ever know how many children were badly beaten, sexually abused or tried to kill themselves (because we don’t talk about it and we don’t want to know).
6 year old foster child Kendrea Johnson successfully hung herself in Brooklyn Park and left a note.
It’s stunning to witness the self-harming behaviors of state ward children as a guardian ad litem. Cutting, violent, sexual and suicidal behaviors are common in my experience.
Sexually abused girls become victims of men that know how to exploit them.
This documentary https://vimeo.com/139417634 demonstrates a real and growing problem in foster care (the password is “foster”)
My CASA caseload had several foster girls under 11 years old victimized by older men (and no justice was ever served in any of those cases).
Most states struggle with this problem and few can claim to have adequate facilities or systems in place to handle the very real problems of foster care in an overwhelmed child protection system.
MN has recently forcibly closed foster group homes in St Cloud and Buhl and housed state ward children in hospital rooms because there was no place else to put them.
How would it make you feel as a traumatized 6 year old to live in a hospital room because our community does not have the money or concern to find you a home?
Not normal, not loved or of any value at all.
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