KARA reports on the issues of child abuse & child well-being

This article submitted by CASA volunteer Mike Tikkanen

KARA Public Service Announcement (30 seconds)

KARA Signature Video (4 minute)

Our communities are only as safe and healthy as the institutions that create the environment we live in.

A brief search of front line workers in education, health care, law enforcement or social work shows a growing exodus by retirement, medical leave or just walking away as COVID is making the work they do an even more extreme sacrifice than it was pre pandemic.

For those of us that live with, know or love a person engaged in keeping our children educated or the rest of us safe and healthy,we know the stresses facing these people and the fear and danger of bringing a trauma or risk of COVID home at the end of the shift.

Turnover in social work & education were high prior to the pandemic and now predicted to grow significantly due to COVID.  Law enforcement is being overtaxed by serious social pressure for change, an explosion of social unrest and the increase in crime due to a population behaving badly due to the anxiety, fear and poverty brought by the pandemic.

Health workers are exhausted and in need of relief from both the physical and mental health demands being made of them every day.

We the people (the voting public) have done a poor job of understanding what these people do for us and the critical role they play in making our community safe from crime, disease and accident and teaching the teaching our children critical thinking skills to vote in their own self-interest – Yes, this is what teachers do – teach thinking skills).

Instead, these have become the people we blame when a bad thing happens on their watch.

In political races, it’s common for teachers to be blamed for failing schools and social workers are blamed when a child dies while in the child protection system.

All officers are being blamed for a few very real bad cops and for not taking care of the communities social and mental health problems. Suicide and substance abuse have always been high in this profession.

Our insult to health care workers is not “blame”.

It’s much more offensive and dangerous. Our mask denying public is demanding the right to ignore the science and spread the pandemic to endanger the lives of people everywhere.  This behavior carries a serious risk of delivering more people to the door of a hospital that is already overwhelmed with sick and dying people due to our lack of concern for service provider or public health.

Burnout is happening in law enforcement, social work, education and public health.  Our institutions are at risk and our communities will suffer accordingly.

It’s up to you and me to appreciate the work being done and the health and safety of the people doing the work or we will be living in a world much less safe and healthy for a very long time.

Let your State Representative and other government officials know that you care enough about these people to give them the resources, training and support to do their jobs well and stay healthy and safe as they perform their work.

Share this with those you believe might do something (write letter, make a call or get involved).