We can look for inspiration to successes around the country and the world. One model of success is the Harlem Children’s Zone in New York. The Minneapolis Foundation recently sponsored a visit here by Geoffrey Canada, the Zone’s leader. Their goal is to have all the children who grow up in the 100-block zone graduate from college. Harlem Children’s Zone offers a Baby College for new parents, universal education for 4-year-olds, good public schools, chemical dependency and health counseling, and housing stability programs. All children there are wrapped in a variety of support systems designed to help them and their families succeed.Details
Young people unite, get involved in changing the rights of the poor and our assault on the planet was Pope Francis message to thousands of South America’s young people yesterday. Bring your hope and strength and demand change.
Friends, let’s take the Pope’s message to all of our leaders (religious and political) and push for helping young families and improvements in child protection and juvenile justice in America. The more people involved, the faster change can happen.
All adults are the protectors of all children. All religions are the protectors of all children.Details
Teachers, social workers, justice workers, and parents today are forced to collude with big pharma to medicate children who would no more be able to handle suicidal ideation than they could handle rape. If you know someone using psychotropics, ask them if they have had the experience of suicidal ideation.
There is nothing like it. There is no good excuse for ignoring mental health on a national scale (especially where five year old’s are concerned).Details
NO, it is we the people that have voted to underfund our schools and social programs (and 35W bridge maintenance) that have created the painful failure we are living with today. The bridge fell in the river for the same reason our schools, jails, and child protection systems are struggling so mightily-we failed to maintain it.Details
Jeremy Olson’s hard hitting piece in today’s Star Tribune about this communities not caring enough for children to provide them with essential services to lead a normal life starts a badly needed conversation.
The child protection program he writes about came into play a few years ago when the County budget got tight & workers were given no other option but to not answer the phone & offer services instead of removing children from toxic environments (far fewer calls are investigated than were a few years ago – see Indiana – Wisconsin – almost any other Southern State).
Toxic environment means something different to a child protection worker than it does to someone unfamiliar with child abuse. My first visit to a 4 year old as a volunteer guardian ad-Litem was the suicide ward at Fairview hospital.Details
If you can read this, and you are a poor child in Louisiana, beg your mother or father to take you to Arizona, Colorado, Utah, or almost any other state. Your chances of reading at a third grade level, graduating from high school, not going to prison or becoming a preteen mom will be exponentially improved. Please pass this on.Details
If you are or have been a CASA, and like research and writing, contact KARA and let’s talk. Mike@invisiblechildren.org
If you know someone that is or has been a CASA, please share this with them.Details
Please join me, as I talk about my book Invisible Children on Igniting a Nation, Inc. LIVE June 12 at 12 PM CT/1 PM ET. You can join the conversation and watch my interview LIVE. Join us here: https://ianbn.com/watch-live-now/ #InvisibleChildren #KidsAtRiskAction #FBLive #RevealingtheTruth IANBN.COMDetails
While this article was about children in America’s day care centers, I draw your attention to the terrific increase in brutal violence against children outside of day care.
As a guardian ad-Litem for Hennepin County I have witnessed indescribable violence against children (none of which was ever made public).
As stated in this Star Tribune article; “we don’t even know where or how to establish a baseline for this”.
Day care workers in America are paid less than food service workers (the lowest paid employees in the nation).
The rest of the industrialized world long ago recognized the value of healthy children and qualified day care centers.Details
Mike Tikkanen, audio book, listen here for freeDetails
Because we don’t like to talk about it, there is little understanding of the core problems that are driving the terrible statistics of public safety, crime, school performance, and public health (diabetes, obesity, psychotropic medication).
At risk children & their stories are being overwritten by the loud public noise of war, economic distress, and the extremely high volume of mean spirited political rhetoric of today’s media. Kids are really suffering today.
For years, the data reflecting children’s abuse, poverty, sexually transmitted diseases, public safety, health and mental health, child protection, and juvenile justice indicate a significant trend in the wrong direction.
The correlation between juvenile justice and criminal justice has long been established (almost all felons came through the juvenile justice system).
The correlation between child protection services and juvenile justice is less well known, but equally significant.
In the words of MN Supreme Court Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz, “The difference between that poor child and a felon is about eight years” and, “90% of the youth in Juvenile Justice have come through Child Protection Services”.Details
This article by Safe Passage for Children about the need to re-engineer child protection reporting so that social workers can concentrate on the child and not data entry could be an important first step in modernizing a very troubled institution.
As a longtime volunteer CASA guardian ad litem, it hurts me that social workers with extraordinary caseloads are expected to work miracles with traumatized children and abusive families without the right resources or training in a system that can’t (or won’t) track results and make them public.
If the public knew how well or poorly children and families were responding to the institutional efforts of child protection workers, they could tell their legislators who then could support the people, programs and policies necessary for improving the lives of millions of American children.
This short TED talk hits the nail on the head
All Adults are the Protectors of All ChildrenDetails
One of my guardian ad Litem boys Alan – not his real name, was tied to a bed, left alone for days at a time (from 4 to 7 years of age – four whole years), sexually abused, starved and beaten so badly that he was covered head to foot in bruises on both sides of his body when I first met him.
This boy’s new adoptive caregiver had a court order in place from another state forbidding him contact with young boys because of what he did to them – but this was not found out at the time and custody of this poor four year old boy was granted to this violent sex offender.
Alan was taken from a perfectly fine foster home to be starved, raped and beaten for four years – until his caregiver first brought him to school when he was seven years old and turned into child protection.
Alan already cost the County/State over 3 million dollars by the time he aged out of foster care. This number does not include the teacher he beat up, a school mate he stabbed, or any of the terrible things he did to the 29 foster and adoptive families that tried so hard to save him or the violence he did to people and things in his daily life.
He also had AIDs and was on one of the most expensive medications I had ever encountered (about $40,000 / year for the pills alone).
Alan has always been a state ward and most likely will always be a state ward. We became friends over a 12 year period and I understood why he did what he did, why he hated authority (you get that way when you are horribly abused by a parent or caregiver) and how the rest of his life was most likely going to play out after he aged out of foster care.
80% of youth aging out of foster care lead dysfunctional lives.
Blaming Alan for violent outbursts and hurting people is like blaming the 35W Bridge for killing and injuring all those men, women and children when it fell in the river a few years ago.
Federal and State engineers said at the time that it was when, not if this bridge would fail for lack of maintenance. The bridge was in the bottom three percent of all bridges in America when it collapsed and it was no surprise to those that know bridges.Details
Learn About Speaking For An Abused Child In Court (HELP Save a child – save the date – Thurs Feb 8th 630pm)
CASA guardian ad litem: Please join us as we come together as a community in the name of abused and neglected children!
When: Thursday, February 8, 2018 @ 6:30pm Where: SeilerSchindel, PLLC
5901 Cedar Lake Road Minneapolis, MN 55416
Food & drink provided!
Discussion Topics:*What is a volunteer Guardian ad Litem/Court Appointed Special Advocate?
*What are the requirements & training aspects to serve as a volunteer? All Adults Are The Protectors of All Children (share this)Details
Friends, these videos from the CASA National website clearly articulate the CASA mission and shed light on the institutions and circumstances of abused and neglected children in America today.
Feel free to pass one on to a friend;
I Am For The Child
Dr Phil Show April
The CASA Difference
77,000 CASA volunteers speak for over 200,000 abused and neglected children throughout the U.S. today. The need for child advocacy in our communities is huge and only partially met by this organization and other American institutions today.Details
People respond to money. Most of us can’t grasp the long-term costs to the community of a child born into a dysfunctional family that never has the opportunity to develop the social skills necessary to lead a healthy life. The ability to learn, play well with others, and live in society is not delivered by the stork.Details
Laurie Kusek Awarded Rotary’s Highest Honor Given To A Non Rotarian (for her volunteer work with CASA MN)
It’s always fun to see good people recognized for their efforts. 2 weeks ago Laurie Kusek was honored by the Minneapolis Rotarians for her persistence and energy in helping CASA MN (nonprofit) continue to recruit and retain volunteer guardian ad-Litems and promote the CASA guardian ad Litem program’s efforts to advocate for children in child protection.
Accepting the award Laurie spoke clearly about how critical the role of a guardian ad-Litem is as the voice for an abused child removed from home living under court jurisdiction. Hopefully our new Rotarian friends will know some future volunteers for the guardian ad-Litem program. All Adults Are the Protectors Of All ChildrenDetails
Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) – 791
Tonight’s special guest is Mike Tikkanen from Minnesota, founder of KARA (Kids at Risk Action), whose web site is at www.InvisibleChildren.org. He’s also the author of the free book “Invisible Children; the American cycle of abuse and its… more
by Bill Murrayin Self Helpyesterday
Even if you know that African Americans are arrested at a greater rate than their white counterparts, it’s still a shock to see the scale of the disparity. To wit, according to a new study published in the Journal of Crime & Delinquency, nearly 50 percent of all black males have been arrested by the age of 23. Overall, 30 percent of black men, 26 percent of Latino men, and 22 percent of white men have been arrested by age 18, and those numbers jump—respectively—to 49 percent, 44 percent, and 38 percent after five years.Details
Killing your parents is against the law in every state. No matter what they have done to you or for how long.
Killing your children is legal in 27 states. Religious exemptions make it legal to withhold lifesaving medical care for your child.
American children have no rights. Children are property in America.Details
In May of 2012, at the tender age of 3, Kilah Davenport was cruelly beat by her stepfather. She had to have emergency brain surgery that involved removing a portion of her skull to relieve swelling on her brain but was still left with permanent brain damage and in a wheelchair. The injuries she sustained caused complications that led to Kilah’s death in March of 2014, just a few weeks before her 5th birthday.Details
It is up to us as citizens to have the depth of understanding and concern with our community to see how what happened in Pennsylvania is happening by degrees to youth throughout our state and our nation (just without the commissions).Details
Kids At Risk Action (KARA) has posted videos on our YouTube Channel of the 2008 KARA Forum held at Century College. To view more videos of our events, visit our page at YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/kidsatriskaction.
Here is a sample of the 2008 Kids At Risk Action (KARA) Forum:
Abused and neglected children need our voices.
KARA is working with TPT TV to give them a loud and clear voice &
a path to a safer, better life.
Below are short clips from KARA’s documentary project
Watch & Help KARA make this happen.
These brief (2 minutes each) video interview excerpts tell powerful stories of child abuse and child protection in our community.
Share these links with your friends and networks & remember KARA presentations for your next community, religious or business event topic.Details