There have been over one hundred social workers, foster parents, and other adults in my life since I left my dad. None of them have stayed for more than a few years. My feelings of abandonment have been reinforced over one hundred times. I have lived with twenty-seven foster families and group homes. My explosive personality and lack of trust make it hard for me to stay in one place too long.Details
You have chosen one of the most challenging jobs on the planet. Saving children from toxic homes & helping them heal and develop the coping skills necessary to live a functioning life. How do you manage to deal effectively with so many families (and children) at one time?
We all live with the troubled institution that is Child Protection and the lack of awareness, concern and resources our community makes available to abused and neglected children.
Burnout in your profession is high, salaries low & as the Casey Foundation pointed out when Dee Wilson delivered his report to the Hennepin County Commissioners, not much trust for your co-workers or management. Dee Wilson painted a pretty negative picture of the working atmosphere for most social workers.
It hurts me that the 90 minute audio session has been removed from the Hennepin County Commissioners website. I listened to it once and it was gone. I did attend the session, but it’s hard to remember all that was said – and some very blunt truths were delivered to our commissioners.Details
Dear Representative Lohmer,
Responding to your note to me below (decrying the cost of early childhood programs being recommended by Governor Mark Dayton), I’ve been a volunteer CASA guardian ad-Litem for almost 20 years and watched what short changing MN children does to our schools, city streets, and state budget.
One of (I have 50 stories)my case load boys cost the county between 2 and 3 million dollars and that does not include the people he has stabbed, teacher he beat up, or hundreds of others he has caused great suffering to in his young life.
He’s in his early 20’s today and recently aged out of foster care (I met him in 1996 when he was 7) today, he has AIDS, is on the most expensive medicines in the nation, has always been a state ward, and I expect will always be a state ward.
To not support programs that could have helped him lead a normal life is fiscally irresponsible and morally reprehensible.
If I were to describe to you the costs some of the other fifty children I have worked with (as a volunteer) in child protection, you would make better decisions concerning early childhood programs.
We launch a new generation of abused and neglected children with or without coping skills every five years (by five a child is able to cope with his or her environment, go on to school and succeed or Not). It hurts me to meet people that don’t understand this. Quit thinking of a generation as 20 years. It is not. It is five years for the children we are talking about.Details
Justin’s mother abandoned him years ago to the custody of her own mother. Grandmother could not manage the boy & gave custody to a couple that were grossly unfit to care for children. They killed him.
In grandmother’s defense, there is nothing easy about being 65 years old and trying to care for an out of control child traumatized child. An adopting grandmother once told me tepidly, “when that child is 18, I will be 88 – I sure hope I can make it”.
Bobbie Christine Bishop and Henry Wynhoff beat the six year old repeatedly, duct taped him to a wall & let his infections kill him (from my reading of the article). One visit from a social worker would have discovered the boys awful circumstances and impending death.Details
MD: Youth homelessness in Baltimore higher than previously thought
The Baltimore Sun – November 30, 2016
More than 1,400 young people under the age of 25 were unaccompanied by a parent or guardian, without a safe, stable, affordable place to live, according to data collected by homeless advocates, service providers, the University of Maryland, the city and other stakeholders.
NY: ‘What Did They Do?’ Officials Question ACS Response in Jaden Jordan Case
DNAinfo – December 01, 2016
Law enforcement officials probing the nearly fatal beating of a 3-year-old boy are questioning why a city child welfare caseworker – and not a trained investigator or the NYPD – was called days before the tragedy to check out a tip that the toddler was being kept in a dog cage by a Brooklyn man, DNAinfo New York has learned.
NY: A Better, But Still Broken, NYC Child Welfare System Means Another Child Murdered (Opinion)
The Huffington Post – November 30, 2016
As CEO’s of three of the oldest and largest charities serving New York City’s children, we are determined to learn any lesson we can to protect children from harm. We stand with all New Yorkers in demanding accountability, and we want to see pragmatic and meaningful reform that truly protects children.
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 CHILDRENDetails
KARA (Kids At Risk Action) tracks current news about at risk children bringing transparency and attention to our youngest and most vulnerable citizens. This is only a sampling of what should be reported. Most child trauma & abuse never gets reported. 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 medicinesDetails
CA: Culp: Looking at 2016 in the Rear-View Mirror (Opinion)
TechWire – December 28, 2016
One of the biggest sessions at the American Public Human Services Association’s Information Systems Management Conference this year was California’s showcase of its move to agile development and modular procurement approaches to its new Child Welfare System. The feds are getting impatient with states’ efforts at connecting systems and providing a more holistic view of a person and/or a family – and the federal government is backing up its guidance with technology funding parameters. Although the federal wave seems to be confined to one department at the moment (in terms of strongly worded advice), there are plenty of signals that suggest more is to come.
CA: San Gabriel Valley Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio appointed first Latina chair of human services committee
San Gabriel Valley Tribune – December 28, 2016
State Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio, D-Baldwin Park, has been appointed as the first Latina chair of the Assembly’s human services committee, her office announced Tuesday. The committee oversees child welfare services, foster care, CalWORKs, developmental disabilities services, adult protective services and other human services programs.
IA: ‘Numerous’ abuse reports made in starved child case, lawmaker says (Includes video)
Des Moines Register – December 29, 2016
Natalie Finn and her siblings were the subjects of “numerous” reports of alleged child abuse and neglect before the 16-year-old died in October of starvation, a state lawmaker said after a confidential briefing Thursday with top officials in Iowa’s Department of Human Services.
IN: Need for Indiana foster homes surges as opioid addicts leave children behind (Includes video)
Fox59 – December 27, 2016
Adoption advocates are calling on Hoosiers to foster children as Indiana battles yet another symptom of the opioid epidemic. The Villages of Indiana reports a surge in children being pulled from homes where parents are addicted to drugs. As a result, they are running out of good foster homes.
MS: State reminds people of safe haven law
WDAM – December 28, 2016
The state of Mississippi is stepping up its effort to remind people of a very important law. The safe haven law allows mothers to “leave their baby, up to 3 days old, with an employee at any emergency medical provider, hospital emergency room or a licensed adoption agency”.
NE: Editorial, 12/28: Child abuse investigation is justified
Lincoln Journal Star – December 28, 2016
In the last three years, there have been 36 reports of sexual abuse in state licensed facilities and the child welfare system, a chilling accumulation that has rightfully prompted an investigation by the state inspector general for child welfare.
OR: NBC5 News Investigation: Inside OnTrack Part 3 (Includes video)
KOBi5 – December 28, 2016Details
Defining a democracy by how it treats a state ward child www.invisiblechildren.orgDetails
This government study shows the frequency of children, most under two, almost all under ten, that are deliberately burned by their caregivers. It is striking in that it gives clear definition & how to interpret a child’s burns. This is perhaps a more technical/professional piece than is usually found here, but I think it is important.Details
On several occasions in my guardian ad-Litem work I was unable to bring charges against very dangerous child abusers and I observed their continued violent and sexual abuse of children over many years (I would venture one of these men is still having sex with very young children 16 years later).
Both the judge & my supervisor explained to me that in these cases, the choice was to remove the child or live through watching a child disintegrate on the witness stand and remain in the home with the perpetrator.
In Iowa’s case in the above article, the counties are out of funding and sending children back home to serious perpetrators of child abuse by simply erasing past histories. Every state does it, some are awful (Kentucky)
If there are no records, no one is accountable when terrible things happen to children.Details
Will Minnesota Sheriff’s sue Counties over failure (Star Tribune Today) to provide services to mentally unhealthy inmates? Is the Hennepin County Commissioner “failing in her public duty and violating a judge’s order”?
Senator Al Franken & and Sheriff Rich Stanek call the failure of leaving mentally unhealthy inmates to rot in jail cells “our dirty little secret”. I applaud Franken and Stanek for their candor.
State law requires that inmates in need of mental health services get those services within 48 hours, but there are not enough beds to make this happen (Hennepin County Medical Center alone sees 800-1000 emergency psych visits each month).
Do six year old state wards (foster children) not deserve the same legal protections as adults in this state?
If so, can social workers and foster parents sue the County for failure to provide mental health services to state ward children that don’t receive the mental health services they need?
When six year old Kendrea Johnson hung herself with her jump rope and left her suicide note, was she receiving the mental health services she needed? Her social worker was not aware that the child was seeing a therapist (she was).
Gov’t, UNICEF, partners launch action plan vs violence against children
The Philippine Plan of Action to End Violence Against Children (PPAEVAC) is a set of strategies and recommendations resulting from the National Baseline Study on Violence against Children in 2016. It is a product of consultations between the government, UNICEF and its partners, and details the roles …
Des Moines man pleads guilty to beating baby boy, causing skull fractures, brain bleed
An 18-year-old Des Moines man pleaded guilty Friday to charges he beat his child, sending the baby boy to the hospital with two skull fractures and a …
Flag as irrelevant
Why domestic abuse and anti-gay violence qualify as persecution in asylum law
The Conversation US
Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently upended decades of U.S. legal precedent by asserting that women fleeing domestic violence will not generally …
It is not maltreatment, the word maltreatment does not describe traumatic violence to a child – to a child, the trauma of watching your mother being beaten or raped is very much the same as being beaten or raped – being left in a crib alone for days at a time with no touching, no food or love is also a trauma that lasts forever.
Kids At Risk Action writes and reports on child abuse issues
providing a passionate voice for at risk children
All Adults Are the Protectors of All Children
Dr. Phil referenced this video on the reality of how domestic violence impacts a child. In America, a child watching her mother being beaten or raped does not qualify for child protection services.
A few decades ago in Minnesota, a once progressive state, changed child protection statutes to allow children subjected to horrible domestic violence to be reported as abused (and receive some relief).Details
Watching mom beaten or raped is terror. Homeless mothers and children are many times more likely to be assaulted and molested.
Children of addicted and alcoholic moms and dads are beaten and raped more often too.
Trauma is *torture. Watching mom being raped is torture.Details
As part of KARA’s TPT documentary project I interviewed Minneapolis City Councilman / Mayoral candidate Don Samuels recently. He described his experiences as a volunteer CASA guardian ad-Litem, North Side resident, and city councilman that were relevant to child well-being and child protection.
Don had a powerful observations about how much better it would be for children and the community if our child protection system concentrated on the needs of that at risk child at the moment of need instead of the systematic institutional approach that occurred each time he (Don) saw a child engaged in the child protection system.
He spoke of being in the courtroom representing a child as a CASA guardian ad-Litem, noting that the child had an attorney, the mother and father each had attorneys (they were divorced), there were social workers and a health worker for the child, the County Attorney, and the usual bailiff, Judge, and courtroom staff, and the huge costs related to all these people in this courtroom trying to make justice happen (not necessarily in the best interest of the child).
The Don Samuels story that will stick with me forever is the five year old boy (call him James) trying to commit suicide by jumping out a third story window at school. Because the boy’s teacher could find no mental health resources for this child, she called her City Council member, Don Samuels for help. Don became involved with James over about fifteen years years and came to know the traumatic life the boy lived and the very bad outcomes James kept having from the institutional care he had received.Details
This review about the dangers mandated reporters are facing is taken from a series of excellent articles on child abuse by the Daily Kos
As a longtime volunteer CASA guardian ad-Litem, I have too much experience with failure to identify/failure to report terrible things done to children. Reporters genuinely fear for their safety and reputation and fail to report (0r, “see”) horrific abuse to avoid potential damage to themselves.
Support KARA’s Public Television Documentary project to bring attention, awareness, and change to children’s issues.Details
The perfect way to part with treasures that can keep on giving (and to children). St Paul and Georgia locations provided below & please read the book donation rules.
KARA supports this effort and asks you to share this link on Facebook and other social media.
All Adults Are The Protectors of All Children
Books For Africa appreciates all book donations. It costs 50 cents to ship each book to Africa. Consider making a financial donation to cover the costs of shipping the books you donate. Please send financial donations separately in an envelope to the BFA office: Books For Africa, 26 East Exchange Street, Suite 411, St. Paul, MN 55101, USA. Or make a donation online.Details
This comprehensive NPR interview with DR Vincent Felitti identifies how child sex abuse lasts for ever and how the medical community has grown to understand the epidemic of abuse in our nation and how their ACE (Adverse Childhood Experience) study brings into focus the problems and the solutions. Listen to the Story (take the quiz/below)…Details
Addressing Generational Child Abuse As A Public Health Issue (14 minute video) & how to heal damaged children to make our communities happy and safe again
Take a moment and share your response to KARA’s short video overview of child abuse & child protection in America as an online comment to this post or by email; email@example.com.Details