KARA’s Top Stories The Week of 5.17.19

AZ: Child-welfare cases are private. Does that protect the kids, or the state officials? (Commentary)
Arizona Republic – May 03, 2019
When news broke that a Maricopa woman had been accused of starving, pepper-spraying, and otherwise abusing seven adopted children, questions immediately turned to what the Department of Child Safety knew and when the agency knew it.

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KARA’s Brandon Stahl Reader (compiled and annotated Star Tribune articles by Brandon Stahl on child abuse & child protection for the record)

For many months now, the Star Tribune’s intrepid reporter Brandon Stahl has been researching and writing about the depth and scope of problems facing MN’s abused and neglected children.

This page is dedicated to Brandon’s work and the thousands of children that pass through child protection services each year in MN (and the thousands of abused/traumatized children that need help but are ignored).

Most of the disturbing information Brandon uncovered in his reporting is hidden and would never have been known without his persistence and hard work. Our child protection systems are practiced in not making information easy to find.

I have spent many years as a volunteer in the field of child protection looking for this kind of information and been unable to discover even a fraction of what Brandon Stahl has made public by his reporting.

This CASA guardian ad-Litem is cautiously optimistic that Governor Dayton (and other public figures) are speaking out* about the lack of public awareness, poor public policy, and resulting institutional failures that are ruining so many lives and so directly contributing to trouble in our schools and on our streets (and the racial disparity this state is so well known for).

For the first time in my memory, the important issues of child abuse and child protection have become serious front page news and there is a possibility that Governor Dayton’s task force will ultimately bring about critical changes needed to improve the lives of children born into toxic homes.

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KARA’s Minnesota Friends of Children Please Support Bill Number SF 704/HF 1106

KARA board members Sam Ashkar and Mike Tikkanen accompanied Rich Gehrman and his Safe Passage For Children colleagues to support a bill at the state capital on thursday supporting child protection screening practices protecting children throughout MN. This bill SF 704 / HF 1106 gives simple guidelines, clarifies standards, and improves accountability for reporting and screening practices for abused children in terrible circumstances. It is the least we can do.

Please forward this to your friends and make a call to your state representative (and to State Senate Republican leader David Hann who is influential on this committee; 651-296-1749 )

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Justice For Children In Atlanta Is Suffering Under Judge John Goger

Why would a guardian ad litem make $150,000 suppressing evidence, Why would a custody evaluator make $65,000 on a case where the evidence was overwhelming?

Apparently, to prevent a child from being protected against the man who had twice been arrested for molesting her (five independent assessments supported the girls story of repeated abuse.

Atlanta judge John Goger ordered the girl to live with her pedophile father. When asked by CBS Atlanta News, the judges assistant stated that the judge had “no comment”.

This kind of abuse lasts forever. Someone should comment.

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June Sad Stories 2017 Part I

KARA tracks current news about at risk children bringing transparency and attention to our youngest and most vulnerable citizens. Please note that what you see here is only a sampling of what should be reported – the great majority of child trauma & abuse never gets reported.

American states are struggling to find answers for saving at risk children and reversing the explosive growth of child abuse and neglect. Today, many state ward children are the 4th and 5th generation of abused children raising their own families without parenting skills and with serious drug, alcohol and mental health issues

37% of children overall and 57% of Black children are reported to child protection services in America by the time they turn 18. (American Journal of Public Health 1.17)

12 million children a year are reported to child protection services each year and in many states, 1/3 of foster children are required to take psychotropic medicines

ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN

Compilation of information and writing on this page is the hard work of David Vang, Mike Toronto, Jamar Weston, Adolf Nchanj and Blaz Zlate, Callie Benscoter, (student volunteers at Century College) Katie Frake, Boston College, Julie O, and KARA.

Please donate now and support these pages &

1) KARA’s FREE Traveling College/University/Museum Exhibits

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June Sad Stories (I) 2019 (find your state here)

American states are struggling to find answers for ending adverse childhood experiences and saving at risk children by reversing the explosive growth of child abuse and neglect.

Today, many state ward children are 4th and 5th generation abused children raising their own families without parenting skills and with serious drug, alcohol and mental health issues.

37% of children overall and 57% of Black children are reported to child protection services in America by the time they turn 18. (American Journal of Public Health 1.17)

6 to 12 million children a year are reported to child protection services and in most states, 1/3 of foster children still forced onto psychotropic medicines

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June 2016 Sad Stories (part 2)

This page is a compilation of child protection news from around the nation (with some international reporting) for the month of June (through June 25)   If you would like to help KARA gather and report news from your community for this page please send an email to info@invisiblechildren.org with NEWs in the subject line.…

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June 2016 Sad Stories (part 1)

MN: Washington County: Child protection changes increase caseload
South Washington County Bulletin – May 27, 2016
State funding will allow Washington County to hire three more child protection workers, but officials say there is no additional funding to process those cases through the legal system.
http://www.swcbulletin.com/news/government/4039730-washington-county-child-protection-changes-increase-caseload

NV: A different approach to foster care
Nevada Daily Mail – June 01, 2016
Keech provided an overview of the process, including the strengths and weaknesses of the child welfare system. “In general, child welfare case managers are amazing and wonderful people,” said Keech, “but within the first weeks of starting their work, they see more evil and suffering than any should see in a lifetime.”
http://www.nevadadailymail.com/story/2309720.html

OK: Sen. James Lankford says Oklahoma needs more foster families (Includes video)
KTUL – May 31, 2016
“When foster children go back home with their parent, forever family or wherever that may lead, that growth and that change continues on and they have a little bit of us to carry with them as well,” Lyndsey said.
http://ktul.com/news/local/sen-james-lankford-says-oklahoma-needs-more-foster-families

PA: Advocates say PA’s child abuse hotline has had major problems since 2010, so why did the state wait so long to investigate? (Opinion)
New Pittsburgh Courier – May 31, 2016
The report released May 24 states that the agency identified “an alarming rate of calls to ChildLine [were] not answered by [Department of Human Services] caseworkers in 2015, along with inadequate staffing for the hotline and a severe lack of monitoring of hotline calls.” Report: http://www.paauditor.gov/Media/Default/Reports/ChildLine%20Interim%20Report-%20Final%205-23-16.pdf
http://newpittsburghcourieronline.com/2016/05/31/advocates-say-pas-child-abuse-hotline-has-had-major-problems-since-2010-so-why-did-the-state-wait-so-long-to-investigate/

US: Many Children Not Getting Enough Food During Summer Months (Incudes audio)

Rapid City man charged with child abuse for beating 1-year-old child
Rapid City Journal
A Rapid City man accused of beating a 1-year-old girl pleaded not guilty Monday to aggravated child abuse. Robert R. Arguello, 39, faces up to 15 …

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Couple accused of beating their children returning to lower court for upgraded charges
MLive.com
Jackson County Assistant Prosecutor Katie Branigan asked the court to change both of Tina Harbert’s two counts of second-degree child abuse to …

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Man charged for allegedly beating child with stick
Sioux City Journal
STORM LAKE | A Storm Lake man is charged with child endangerment causing bodily harm after he beat a 12-year-old girl with a stick, police said.

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Trial dates set for women charged after boy’s fatal beating
WXIX
Trial dates were set Monday for three women charged after police say a 5-year-old boy was beaten to death earlier this year. The women all pleaded …

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Judge allows man’s statement in Hancock child-abuse case
Herald-Mail Media
Aaron Jacob Vanmeter, 22, of Hancock is charged with first-degree child abuse resulting in serious physical injury, second-degree child abuse and …

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Prosecutors to File Additional Charges in Child Abuse Case
Tristatehomepage.com
The Vanderburgh County Prosecutor’s Office plans to formally file additional charges against three people accused of having a role on what police …

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Breaking the cycle of child abuse
Seacoastonline.com
PORTSMOUTH – When Deb Cram started writing about her own childhood abuse four years ago, she didn’t know where her words would lead.

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Gwinnett couple accused of stripping, tying up, beating child
Atlanta Journal Constitution
Arrest warrants allege the abuse took place June 1 at their home on Buford’s … The warrant issued for Moss also accuses her of tying the child up and …

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NEW: Jury now deliberating in Larkins child abuse trial
Wyoming Tribune
They are accused of beating their children with belts, a wooden backscratcher and their hands, intentionally causing them mental injury and abusing a …

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Man charged in connection with sexual assault, beating of Mineral City boy
Canton Repository
MINERAL CITY Along state Route 800 is a playground where most children in this small village go to play. There’s a basketball court, some picnic …

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July 2016 Sad Stories Through July 15-29 (part 2)

IN: Christensen/Laurin: Should lawyers report child abuse learned in representation? (Opinion)
Indiana Lawyer – July 27, 2016
A lawyer’s reporting obligation depends on whether confidentiality and/or privilege are implicated. In short, lawyers may not report privileged communications regarding child abuse. However, lawyers may report information that is only confidential, though not privileged, and are obligated to do so under the Reporting Statute.
http://www.theindianalawyer.com/christensenlaurin-should-lawyers-report-child-abuse-learned-in-representation/PARAMS/article/40994

MN: Lawmaker Plans to Push for More Distance Between Officers and Families in Child Protection Removal Process (Includes video)
KSTP TV – July 26, 2016
Representative Ron Kresha wants to look into putting child protection workers in charge of removing kids from abusive and neglectful homes instead of law enforcement officers.
http://kstp.com/news/new-child-protection-removal-process/4211361/

NC: Nonprofit acquires home in county for homeless teen girls
BlueRidgeNow.com – July 27, 2016
Lambert estimates that Homes for Youth facility will be ready to accept teen girls in about a year. The nonprofit will identify potential residents through referrals from the Department of Social Services and Henderson County Public Schools prior to opening.
http://www.blueridgenow.com/article/20160727/NEWS/160729871?Title=Nonprofit-acquires-home-in-county-for-homeless-teen-girls

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July 2016 Sad Stories (part 1)

This page is a compilation of child protection news from around the nation (with some international reporting) for the month of June (through June 25)   If you would like to help KARA gather and report news from your community for this page please send an email to info@invisiblechildren.org with NEWs in the subject line.…

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Judges Jailing Children For Money In America (yes it happens)

A second Pennsylvania judge (Michael Conahan) has plead guilty for receiving commissions for each child sent to privately held detention facilities (PA Childcare and Western PA Childcare) .

2.6 million dollars in fees were paid for between one and two thousand children sentenced for things they did not do. Judge Mark Ciavarella was identified some months ago as the primary offender in this case.

This adds a sorrowful twist to Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz statements that “90% of the youth in juvenile justice have passed through child protection” & “”The difference between that poor child and a felon, is about 8 years”.

In Pennsylvania 90% just isn’t filling privately held facilities with enough human prison fodder. I know how hard life is for at risk children and find this kind of crime to be a hanging offense for both the owners of the privately held facilities as well as the corrupters of our legal system.

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January Sad Stories Part I (thru 1.13.17)

Sign Up Here For KARA’s Free Friday Morning Real Story KARA tracks current news about at risk children bringing transparency and  attention to our youngest and most vulnerable  citizens.  Please note that what you see here is only a sampling of what should be reported –  the great majority of child trauma & abuse never…

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January Sad Stories 2018 Part III

KARA (Kids At Risk Action) tracks current news about at risk children bringing transparency and attention to our youngest and most vulnerable citizens. KARA’s reporting is only sampling of what should be reported – the great majority of child trauma & abuse is never known.

American states are struggling to find answers for ending adverse childhood experiences and saving at risk children by reversing the explosive growth of child abuse and neglect. Today, many state ward children are the 4th and 5th generation of abused children raising their own families without parenting skills and with serious drug, alcohol and mental health issues

Details

January Sad Stories 2018 Part II

37% of children overall and 57% of Black children are reported to child protection services in America by the time they turn 18. (American Journal of Public Health 1.17)

12 million children a year are reported to child protection services each year and in many states, 1/3 of foster children are required to take psychotropic medicines

Details

January Sad Stories 2018 Part I (find your state here)

American states are struggling to find answers for ending adverse childhood experiences and saving at risk children by reversing the explosive growth of child abuse and neglect. Today, many state ward children are the 4th and 5th generation of abused children raising their own families without parenting skills and with serious drug, alcohol and mental health issues

37% of children overall and 57% of Black children are reported to child protection services in America by the time they turn 18. (American Journal of Public Health 1.17)

12 million children a year are reported to child protection services each year and in many states, 1/3 of foster children are required to take psychotropic medicines

Details

January Sad Stories (2016 KARA reporting)

Every month Kids At Risk Action draws attention to the plight of abused and neglected children by gathering the stories of at risk children from around the nation.  You will find your community on this page.  Please share this page with your friends and networks to make this conversation come alive with the hope that…

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January 2017 Sad Stories Part II

KARA tracks current news about at risk children bringing transparency and attention to our youngest and most vulnerable citizens. Please note that what you see here is only a sampling of what should be reported – the great majority of child trauma & abuse never gets reported.

American states are struggling to find answers for saving at risk children and reversing the explosive growth of child abuse and neglect. Today, many state ward children are the 4th and 5th generation of abused children raising their own families without parenting skills and serious drug, alcohol and mental health issues

37% of children overall and 57% of Black children are reported to child protection services in America by the time they turn 18. (American Journal of Public Health 1.17)

12 million children a year are reported to child protection services each year and in many states, 1/3 of foster children are required to take psychotropic medicines

ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN

Compilation of information and writing on this page is the hard work of David Vang, Mike Toronto, Jamar Weston, Adolf Nchanj and Blaz Zlate, Callie Benscoter, (student volunteers at Century College) Katie Frake, Boston College, Julie O, and KARA.

Details

It’s Worse In Texas

Minnesota is reacting to a very rare and thorough investigation of abused children (thank you Brandon Stahl).

This is the first time in 30 years (since three year old Dennis Jergens tortured murder) that well written and multiple child abuse stories from our cities major media are forcing our community to consider how shallow our commitment to at risk children is.

As a volunteer CASA guardian ad-Litem, I worked with dozens of children with toxic and painful home lives very much like Eric Dean’s home. None of my caseload children ever made the paper – not the girl who had the bottom half of her body scalded off, not the boy sexually abused, tied to a bed & left alone for days, starved and beaten for four years, not the suicidal four year old, the prostituted seven year old, or the small boy who walked back home from Cambridge on a ten degree night in a T shirt because he was thrown out of a group home as punishment for his mental health problems. Their stories, and a million others every year, are never in the newspaper, never told on TV or radio, and rarely spoken of by the people that know them.

These are awful and uncomfortable stories that we would rather not speak of and the children themselves rarely know just how wrong what has happened to them is. Nor do they know the life long damage that has been done to them.

But I know.

I also know, that until the rest of the community cares enough about the horrific damage done to thousands of abused children every week (and not just the tortured dead children that make the newspaper) to have in place a child protection system that identifies and deals with children needing services, reporting, and policies to keep them safe, our prisons will remain full, our schools to fail, our communities unsafe, and children will be traumatized in their homes on a daily basis.
Without Brandon Stahl’s Star Tribune reports, Governor Dayton would not have ordered a joint county-state investigation of Minnesota’s child protection services and Adrian Peterson’s son being beaten with a stick and forced to eat leaves would not have been a news item any more than the guardian ad-Litem cases I have written about in this article and Adrian would still be playing football as a star for the Vikings.

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