Meanwhile, county officials recently acknowledged that at least 32 children in L.A. County died from abuse or neglect in 2008. That set off another round of questions about what was needed to make kids safer.Details
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?Details
he report points out that in 2010, California’s per-student spending was $3,500 below the national average. And between 1995 and 2014, per-student spending increased 19 percent, from $6,971 to $8,304, while spending per prisoner ballooned 82 percent, from $32,933 to $60,032.Details
KARA gathers news about abused abused children in America and around the world to provide a snapshot of Child Protection and how states and nations value their children.
Kids At Risk Action needs an aspiring writer/research to help gather and report on these stories.
If you are an aspiring writer/researcher with an urge to speak for your communities abused and neglected children,
Contact email@example.com with REPORTING in the subject line.
All Adults Are the Protectors of All ChildrenDetails
One out of 28 American children has a parent in jail or prison – 60 percent of inmates are people of color (only 30% of America’s population are people of color). There are twelve time more drug offenders in state prisons than there were in 1980.
25% of American youth are charged in adult courts & many ten or twelve years old children are tried as adults. About ten thousand juveniles are housed in adult prisons and jails every day. 2/3 of those youth suffer from mental health issues and half that number have multiple and serious diagnosis.
Seven of ten of these youth have seen someone killed or severely injured and three of ten have attempted suicide. My first visit to a CASA guardian ad-Litem four year old was at the suicide ward of Fairview hospital in Minneapolis. The thoughts of killing yourself start young in at risk youth. Jeff Weise had been talking and writing about it before he killed his grandfather and fourteen others before killing himself.
And we wonder where the violence on our streets and in our schools comes from.
Black men born in 2001 have a 33% chance of incarceration and black youth are five times more likely to be arrested than white youth.
2/3 of America’s prisoners recycle within 3 years of being released Our recidivism rates are soon to exceed 70%.Details
Thank you Florida legislators for recognizing the needs and value of abused and abandoned children.
Please keep up the good work. You are a shining example to the nation.Details
Brandon Stahl Sets A Precedent For Excellence In Reporting (share this with your local newspaper – it could be repeatable & help children)
The issues of child abuse and child protection services are complicated and not well understood by the general public, state legislators, or even the people delivering the services. In the almost twenty years I’ve spent as a volunteer in the system (CASA guardian ad-Litem), I’ve not witnessed a reporter going as deep into the heart of a child protection story until reading Brandon Stahl’s series in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
When a baby is found in a dumpster or some other horrific suffering of a four year old makes the paper, an article of outrage leaves the reader hating and blaming a person or institutional failure. Because it takes a sustained and painful effort to take a deeper look into the depth and scope of the nightmarish conditions that preceded the great sadness of a child’s suffering and death at the hands of a caregiver, the reporting almost always stops right here.
Thirty years ago in White Bear Lake MN (near my home), Lois Jergens went on to adopt five more children after murdering 4 year old Dennis Jergens. None of the approximately fifty children I lobbied to be removed from their homes because of torture, sex abuse, or neglect were ever known to anyone outside the child protection system. The absence of information about abused and neglected children is directly related to our high crime rates, full prisons, troubled schools, and unsafe neighborhoods. We would all benefit by knowing the trauma of ground truth – then we could face it and deal with it. It would be better for us and better for children.
Today, Brandon Stahl is peeling back the layers of this complicated institution of child protection. So few people know anything substantive about it and even the people running it can be so wrong so often (as in passing laws about not using past history of abuse in current investigations or family assessments instead of child protection in high risk cases).
In our interview with Brandon Stahl, he was clear about just how hard it is to pry information out of institutions that either have done a very bad job of gathering and keeping it, or simply don’t want it known. He spoke of the substantial financial investment his newspaper had to make in order to get the basic information about the murder of four year old Eric Dean by his step-mother after fifteen reports of child abuse by mandated reporters.Details
ois Jurgens tortured and killed her three year old adopted son Dennis Jergens over time and in a most brutal fashion. She was the adoptive mother of six children and she tortured them all over long periods of time. She was eventually convicted and sentenced for murder – but not before adopting five other children (after Dennis’s was tortured to death).
Prior to the adoption of Dennis, Lois had been hospitalized three times for mental illness and there were Mayo Clinic psychiatrist records strongly recommending against Lois becoming an adoptive parent because she was a potential paranoid schizophrenic.
She had been turned down by a number of Catholic adoption agencies, but Ramsey County (like many counties) was having trouble finding adoptive homes for abandoned and abused children. Within a year of the adoption, Dennis was admitted to the Ramsey County hospital with burns on his penis and bruises all over his two year old body.
Five years after Dennis’ death, Lois and her husband moved to Kentucky and adopted five more children (states still don’t share information in many cases).
Brandon Stahl has written clearly and accurately about four year old Eric Dean’s short tortured life and the institutional failures that lead to his death. How fifteen reports were made to the under–trained/understaffed/under-resourced county workers ignored all of them.Details
ill Murray knows the best questions to ask to create a lively and informative discussion on the issues that impact abused and neglected children.
This 90 minute talk is a powerful and comprehensive talk I had with Bill and his panel about our institutions and what needs to change to make our children and communities happier and safer: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bill-murray/2013/05/16/stop-child-abuse-now-scan.mp3 (move the arrow a little bit to skip the music if you wish to start at the conversation).Details
Just yesterday a tea party fellow I know (RW) was telling me about the wisdom in former MN Governor Tim Pawlenty’s words, “children that are victims of failed personal responsibility are not my problem, nor are they the problem of the state of Minnesota”. Solid Christians both of them, so they must be right. Although I’m still having trouble finding the religion that abandons children.Details
Child Protective Services oversight committee shows Arizona’s child welfare system experienced a greater caseload increase than all but one state in the 10 years ending in 2012, while most states saw decreases.
University of Chicago researcher and former federal child welfare commissioner Bryan Samuels’ review of state and federal data also found the response time in Arizona for child abuse and neglect complaints soared from 63 hours to nearly 250 hours between 2009 and 2012.
Samuels said the data he reviewed at the request of state officials working to overhaul the broken system showed Arizona’s child welfare system became overwhelmed as caseloads soared. That led to a large increase in the amount of time children were in the system before being reunified with their families or placed in permanent homes.Details
Our series on child welfare has called attention to a report by the state’s Office of the Legislative Auditor, which found that standards for child maltreatment vary widely across the state and that counties do not keep data about reports consistently.
We also explored issues with Family Assessment, the child protection option in which families are required to participate in an assessment of risk to their children but do not have to accept services. The limited data available indicates that 70% of families are now diverted to this track and very few of these actually receive any services.
It’s obvious to almost anyone that reads this article that the best interests of the child weren’t even considered when Sierra Goodman was ripped from the Campbell’s adoptive home by ICWA. It was a home she loved and flourished in.
But the best interests of ICWA were not being served, as is again the case with baby Veronica Rose in the same disturbingly anti child court case being held in South Carolina.
Living in 20 foster homes, passing through 13 schools, and leading a tortured life, Sierra Goodman, now 28 is allowing her story to be told in the hopes of bettering the lives of the many children passing through child protection systems that are not allowed to consider the “best interests of the child” when ICWA is involved.
What have we become to use children as a football to advance out political and institutional objectives above and beyond their own precious souls?Details
Register for the 2016 Conference on Adverse Childhood Experiences [ACEsConnection.com]
Join Center for Youth Wellness October 19-21 for the 2016 Conference on Adverse Childhood Experiences in San Francisco. The conference is a unique opportunity for every expert and practitioner committed to advancing the ACEs movement to come together to build a better future for children exposed to early adversity and trauma.
Why Many People Don’t Talk About Traumatic Events Until Long After They Occur [TheConversation.com]
After traumatic events, such as physical or sexual assault, domestic violence or combat, that threaten to rob us of our dignity and spirit, people typically don’t tell others. In fact, many trauma survivors either never speak to anyone about what happened to them or wait a very long time to do so. The reasons for this are multi-fold and likely include shame, perceived stigma of being a “victim,” past negative disclosure experiences and fears of being blamed or told that the event was somehow their fault. And when it comes to reporting sexual harassment, women fear for their jobs, promotions or placements.
Where does your state rank in protecting children & what can you do to make improvements. These stories tell the best and worst of what’s happening around the nation (and in Japan)
Worst states;Mississippi, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, South Carolina
Best states; Vermont, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Connecticut
Arizona is one of the most dangerous states in the nation to be an abused or neglected child. For years they have not paid attention to beaten, starved, or sexually abused children.
Let’s hope that this new trend sticks; AZ: CPS Crisis: Latest report shows 3298 cases assigned
KPHO Phoenix – December 26, 2013- The head of a newly-appointed team tasked with investigating more than 6,500 ignored child abuse and neglect cases says they’ve now assigned nearly 3,298 of those cases to investigators.
Despite findings of abuse, New Jersey Child protection returned four year old Jadiel Velesques to his violent family where he was beaten so badly he cannot walk or talk, is blind, and will need the care of nurses & doctors around the clock. DYFS said that reducing casework workload and strengthening training and supervision of caseworkers has happened already. This is the largest verdict against a child protective services agency in U.S. history. It hurts me to think that the caseloads could have been reduced and the training and supervision could have been strengthened before Jadiel was beaten. Just like we could have built the mental health facility the year before Jeff Weise murdered his grandfather, 14 others, and then killed himself.Details
Beat Up, Dead & Prostituted – Kids In CA’s, Florida’s Privatized Foster Care & Juvenile Systems (videos)
These videos are disturbing but accurate. Not knowing cannot help the state ward children of Florida (the password is “foster”). What we know, we can change. What we don’t know, gets worse until we do know.
Florida To Completely Privatize Juvenile Correctional Facilities. In an effort to reduce costs, Florida’s state-run residential programs for juveniles will soon be completely privatized. … About 95 percent of Florida’s youth residential facilities for underaged offenders are now privately run.Details
Annual teacher turnover is highest in Arizona (24%) and New Mexico (23%) Minnesota is 14th highest in teacher turnover.
After my workshop in New York at the United Nations Annual Youth Assembly, a line of ex social workers formed to tell me their stories of why they quit. Annual social worker turnover has been 20 to 40% for many years with individual agency rates as high as 65%.
Police officer turnover rates fall in the middle of teacher/social turnover rates (about 14%) but their suicide, divorce & substance abuse rates are significantly higher.Details
Z: Senate president rejects request for more CPS funding
Your West Valley – December 02, 2013
The president of the state Senate is blasting a request for more money for Child Protective Services, saying the agency may have wasted the funds restored to it in the last two years.
New York Times article has identified that over 100,000 prescriptions for antipsychotic medicines were written in 2014 – children 2 and younger (many still in cribs). A shortage of child psychiatrists is partially blamed.
These drugs are powerful mind altering chemicals just one generation removed from Thorazine. To use them like candy for babies and 3 year old children is dangerous.
This Mercury News video series on foster care children provides a stunning insight into the growing use of unproven and dangerous medicines given to state ward children.
MN DHS in June of 2014 ended physchiatric consultations for high-dose ADHD and SGA drugs for children over 3 years old.
Big pharma has been fined billions of dollars for criminally promoting these drugs for use by children. Johnson & Johnson paid 3 billion for the “illicit promotion of Rispererdal” and is still defending thousands of cases in court today. This is just one example of the depth and scope of big pharma’s continued willingness to make money at the expense of vulnerable children. This CASA guardian ad-Litem has too many stories of very young state ward children forced to take these drugs and the side effects they cause. 92% of foster children using psychotropic medicines get them for unaccepted reasons)
No one questioned whether foster child Kendrea Johnson was on psychotropics when she hung herself and left a note. Her social worker did not know that she was suicidal and seeing a therapist at the time.
There was no question why 7 year old foster child Gabriel Myers hung himself – his suicide note clearly articulated that he killed himself because he hated being forced to take Prozac.
All Adults Are The Protectors of All ChildrenDetails
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.Details