This Star Tribune article gave me a hope for the saving of abused and neglected children from extended traumas and ruined lives. The County has now hired about half of the additional staff it intends to to lower caseloads – now at 15/month. The national average is 12, the goal is 10 families per worker. There are currently 500 children in the state without mandated guardian ad litems.
For schools to graduate capable students and communities to experience less crime children need to thrive. Caring for other people’s kids makes economic sense. Better schools, safer communities and a more engaged and productive workforce (the result of better schools) are things we should all want.
Thank you Task Force on Child Protection, Safe Passage For Children, Governor Dayton and all the legislators and supporters standing for the weakest and most vulnerable children in our community.
Additional funding for staff, reduced caseloads, responding to child abuse reports at all hours (including weekends) and focusing on the child’s well-being instead of the crisis mode required after traumatic abuse has been endured (usually for years) will make a huge difference in the lives of these kids.
By making services available to struggling families and insuring that very young children reported as abused receive face-to-face assessments and the help they need, we will be interrupting patterns of behavior that can ruin a child’s life forever and making their lives safer and happier.
All Adults Are the Protectors of All Children
Reports of child abused have increased in Hennepin County since 2008 from 15,400 to 21,000. I believe that the depth and scope of child abuse in our nation exceeds our current reporting of it.
If national statistics currently used in reporting child abuse were corrected for this increase (which should occur in any state aggressively investigating it’s own child protection systems) it would increase the 3.2 million child abuse reports by one third to 4.25 million reports of abuse in this nation annually.
To further improve the accuracy of child protection reports in our nation each year, we should use 3.6 children per family instead of the 2.1 that is currently used in today’s number. This study from Washington University in St Louis demonstrates that 37% American children are reported to child protective services by the time they turn 18
Share this with your friends and networks and let your policy makers know how important healthy children are to you and your community.
Recommend the exhibit to your college/university/museum – start the conversation where you live.