Friends of KARA, if you emailed us yesterday, it did not get to us as we changed web hosts and had a 12 hour problem with emails (all correspondence was lost). Please resend your notes today as all is working now (and you will find that the pages load much faster than ever before).Details
Yesterday, (December 29th,2005) I had the opportunity to speak on Ember Reichgott Jung’s radio show* on the topic of Invisible Children. It was a terrific conversation that has further convinced me that there exists a core issue that must be addressed before meaningful change can take place. It is that people in positions of power…Details
I visited Indiana a few years ago after the governor redirected funding from parents adopting special needs children after the adoptions had been completed (AFTER). Then governor mitch daniels directed those dollars to people most successful in dismantling services to abandoned children.
The complaint (new lawsuit) alleges that Indiana removes children from their homes to be placed into foster care at a “staggering rate — more than double the national rate” and then fails to keep them safe while in DCS custody “often placing them in inappropriate, unstable or overly restrictive placements; fails to provide necessary support services and medical and mental health care; and fails to provide meaningful case management.”
This important science (NIH & U of Utah) explains how children in troubled families become biologically impacted by their home environment and what we need to teach young moms.
How does food change a child’s gene expression, how normal brain function and mental health are impacted by gene-regulating signals the cell receives?Details
The language in today’s Star Tribune describing the bloody whipping of Viking’s star Adrian Peterson’s four year old boy *(Tyrese Robert Ruffin) demonstrates the lengths my community will go to to protect the rights of 250 pound men to brutalize their 45 pound four year old children. MN Vikings Adrian Peterson beat his son repeatedly with a stick and had used belts to beat him on numerous other occasions (the child’s words in the Houston police report).
Beaten savagely by a 240 pound professional athlete, this very young child had leaves stuffed into his mouth and suffered open wounds on his back and buttocks, and a bruised penis. He still had welts a week after the beating.
The Star Tribune today ran two articles about this poor traumatized boy with “not reasonable” and “reactions dwell on line between discipline & abuse” in the titles. Nowhere in the articles is child protection mentioned. It is mostly a discussion about football.
Adrian’s defense was that his father beat him the same way. For the religious among us, “visiting the iniquity (horrors) of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”
or the much easier to remember, “like father, like son”.
None of this will help Tyrese become a normal, coping child and there is reason to believe that the he suffers from some behavioral problems already (I would argue a result of the traumas inflicted upon him by his monster of a father).Details
Sunday is the third anniversary of Eric Dean’s death. His story and those of 55 other children killed by their caregivers prompted the state to recommend major child welfare reforms last March.
It’s not easy to tell how things are progressing. Read MoreDetails
Ethan was 17 years old when I met him. Again, what I know of his story is limited, but the ugliest truths of it seemed to jump off the page and into my brain as I read his file to prepare for our interview. At his first foster care placement, he was sexually and physically abused by his foster father who had an alcohol problem. His foster mother was aware of the abuse going on, but because she was a victim of the domestic violence herself, was unable to stand up for the children in her home. Whether Ethan was removed from this placement (I refuse to refer to it as a “home” given the state of things) before or after this information came to light, is unbeknownst to me.Details
Brussels — Belgium faced fresh protests Wednesday as its parliament debated whether to extend a ground-breaking euthanasia law to terminally-ill children, making it only the second nation to allow minors the right to die.
“To see a sick child die is revolting, it is not just,” said Socialist parliamentarian Karine Lalieux as MP crossed swords on the ethically tough question that will be put to the vote on Thursday.
“But euthanasia doesn’t consist in killing a person but in freeing them from suffering,” she said. “Every child, every family must be allowed the choice to deliver a child from pain.”Details
A few weeks ago I listened to Larry Rosenstock from High Tech High in San Diego talk about his inner city high schools that send one hundred percent of their graduates onto college. It is real, it is achievable, and it is simple in how it works. Educators and students are given ample…Details
It is a very rare child that can walk from traumatic abuse into a classroom and just “be normal”. The biology of trauma means physiological change happens. Before a human being can proceed to the next level of growth, like sitting for 8 hours a day in a classroom & passively soaking in lesson after lesson while interacting normally with other children, adults, and figures of authority, real healing needs to happen.
I have seen very competent extremely committed foster and adoptive parents come unglued when faced with the insanity shown by 5, 7, and 9 year olds who have been tortured. The World Health Organization defines torture as “extended exposure to violence and deprivation”.
All of the 50 children I worked with as a CASA volunteer had “extended exposure to violence and deprivation” (about half of them had been sexually abused, some as young as 2).Details
photo compliments of Richard Ross David R Dow (voluntarily) represents the poor on death row – no one else cares. Two people a month are executed in Texas. Lawyer Dow points out that it is children in need of protection that have no way of avoiding the juvenile justice system that end up in the criminal justice system. The very worst cases end up on death row. How can we intervene? This is not rocket science. Points of interventionDetails
Help KARA find smart committed people that understand and want to improve the lives of at risk children.
KARA needs people with some combination of the following;
Experience with abused and neglected children and the institutions that work for them,
Grant writing, resources, and familiarity with fund raising for nonprofits,
Legal and CFO backgrounds in the nonprofit area,
A passion for protecting and improving the lives of at risk children
If you are looking to make a difference, send me a cover letter describing your background and level of interest.Details
Every day, Every thought, Every act
Tainted by prior trauma
That part of the mind effortlessly calculating numbers, finding words and laughing at funny things
Is absent in a tortured child*
The darkness from before
Spits out bad words, regrettable behaviors and violent reactions to unexplainable triggers
And small brain space left for math, trust or coping
For other children
Sitting in the chair at the desk in the classroom
Is a peaceable journey of learning and friend-making
Not so for me
PTSD is a foul meaningless nonword
Raped and traumatized by a monster many times my size deserves a more meaningful definition
A bit more understanding from the rest of you
*The World Health Organizations definition of torture is “extended exposure to violence & deprivation”Details
40-day old Aiden Braden’s mother Kristina reported Aiden’s death on Facebook 38 days after social workers had responded to a child abuse hotline in Tollhouse California. Only after Aiden died did the County workers visit the home and remove Aiden’s twin brother.
Kristina Braden had already lost custody of her 3 oldest children because of her drug addiction and a long history of child neglect.
Blaming social workers for not physically intervening when they were in lockdown solves nothing.Details
175 helpless children have been beaten, starved, suffocated and burned to death in Colorado these past 5 years. Colorado and Minnesota are almost the exact same population size and have very similar child death records. The difference is in the reporting.Details
8 month old Brandon Schaible died of treatable pneumonia because his parents don’t believe in medicine.
This is not as rare as one would hope. In Idaho, 144 children have died in the Followers of Christ Church due to lack of medical care. Religious shield laws are everywhere (does your state have them?
Idaho makes it legal to deny children medical care (including to death). In Oregon 15-month-old Ava Worthington. 16-year-old Neil Beagley. 8-month-old Alayna May Wyland. 9-hour-old David Hickman died that way. Below are articles related to child death due to religious practice and the legal underpinnings (further down) that make withholding medical treatments from children legal.Details
Two members of an Oregon Sect that believes in faith healing were charged with murder in the death of their premature infant daughter. What would Jesus do? this is not a difficult spiritual question.
8 month old Brandon Schaible died of treatable pneumonia as did two year old Ella Foster because their parents didn’t believe in medicine, Two of Herbert and Catherine Schaible’s children died years apart from each other for the same reason.
Children in Idaho have been dying by the dozens for years at the hands of their parents. By 2014 144 children lay in the Peaceful Valley Cemetery because their parents denied them available medical care – it is likely that the number is above 200 today.
This U.S.is the only nation on the planet to not sign the International Rights of the Child Treaty, most likely because the treaty bans training children as soldiers which our Southern States do regularly (military schools).Details
This article in yesterday’s NY Times, (from AP) shows how at least 786 children died awful deaths while in full view of child protection authorities. The numbers are most likely much higherDetails
Local CASA Volunteer’s Success Story
Contributed by: Fran G.
I was given my first case in February of this year a family of three children: A 13-year-old boy with mild autism, a 9-year-old girl, and a 4-year-old, all living with a Great Grandmother (74 years old).
The children have lived with their great grandmother for 4 years. There were so many questions that needed to be answered and I found that I had the time to find those answers. The lawyers, and social workers all cared for the family but lacked the time to get to know the family as well as I could.
I found, for example, that the 13-year-old boy had missed 54 days of school and had been late for his first hour class 34 times. There were several reasons, and all were easy to fix.
He needed an alarm clock, needed to stop spending the night at his favorite Aunt’s house, and needed to take responsibility. I told him he was not allowed to be late or miss school anymore. I was able to check daily via a computer how his grades were and his attendance, and so was he.Details
Dyers sentenced to 15 years for felony child abuse
Two Fort Collins parents convicted of neglecting their daughter’s seizure condition and allowing her to all but waste away were sentenced Thursday to …
Fort Collins couple Doug and Leah Dyer sentenced to 15 years in child abuse case – Loveland Reporter-Herald
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MILO: ‘I Was A Victim Of Child Abuse’
“I am a gay man, and a child abuse victim.” wrote MILO in a Facebook post shortly after his press conference, “Between the ages of 13 and 16, two …
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AKARA 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 – the great majority of child trauma, abuse & tragedy are never reported.
American states are struggling to find answers for saving at risk children and reversing the explosive growth of child abuse and neglect.
The U.S. is experiencing 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 January 2017)
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 Florida reports 48% of its foster children are forced to take Prozac like drugs.
ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDRENDetails
KY: Westerfield introduces bill to set age of criminal responsibility for youth
Kentucky New Era – February 08, 2017
Criminal complaints filed have been filed against children as young as 4.
Information Gateway resource: Youth Involved With Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/youth/collaboration/dualsystem/
MA: Report: Despite efforts, 35 kids died in state care
Boston Herald – February 10, 2017
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 gets…Details