I had the good fortune of meeting Tom Daly who wrote a history of Shakopee women’s prison and he told me how women benefited from the educational offerings and the ability to visit with their children while in prison (his book featured below). It was Tom’s opinion that the the recidivism rate stayed well below thirty…Details
Tony Fischer and Tiffini Flynn Forslund conducted KARA’s first interview (of many being scheduled) with St Paul School Board, Vice Chair Keith Hardy.
Keith Hardy. Keith Hardy setting his sights even higher
Keith knows how abused and neglected children need help to achieve the outcomes necessary to succeed in school and he has solid ideas for improving outcomes for both children and schools.
This was a great beginning to exploring issues impacting at risk children and what needs to happen to make life better for children, our communities, and our institutions.
The systemic issues that affect our schools are key to changing the same systemic problems in our society.Details
altimore Sun Mandated Reporters (sanctions for not reporting)
CA: Former foster youths graduate with help of Journey House
Pasadena Star-News – July 23, 2014
When youth grow too old for the foster care system, they often go into “survival mode” seeking shelter and food, Journey House Executive Director Tim Mayworm said. Many end up on the street. “Most foster youth never even think they can go to college, let alone graduate,” Mayworm said.
CT: Child advocate agency raps child welfare officials
WRAL – July 23, 2014
The Connecticut Office of the Child Advocate criticized state child welfare officials on Wednesday for their handling of a transgender girl held at a detention center for boys on accusations she fought with other girls at a psychiatric center.
CT: Giving Adoptees and Their Kids the Rights They Deserve (Opinion)
News Junkie – July 23, 2014
More than 65,000 adoptees in Connecticut have been legally barred from accessing their birth records.
Working with abused and neglected children and dysfunctional families is complex and grueling and needs more not less understanding and support.
Blaming social workers when a baby is found in a dumpster is not so different for blaming teachers for failed schools.
Troubled students not only don’t learn, they disrupt and make teaching the rest of the class much more difficult.
This is not so different from blaming law enforcement for the boy in the squad car (admit it, that would be ridiculous – but the analogy works in both prior examples).
Support teachers, support social workers, support justice workers. It is very hard work inside of institutions with very bad governance (and that my friends is our fault).
Support KARA’S TPT documentary project to bring these issues into the limelight and help our children get a fair start in life.Details
While the CASEY Foundation ranks MN 5th in the nation for child well-being, there are serious flaws in our racial disparity and early childhood numbers.
Almost half of MN’s African American children live in poverty. In 2001, half of the adult African American adult men were arrested (no duplicate arrests and 58% of those men went on to be rearrested for a second crime within 2 years).
Our educational performance racial disparity is among the worst in the nation.
From the CURA reporter
MN ranks at the very bottom of states that provide early childhood education to four year old’s (2% vs the national average of 25%). We now have 8000 families on a backlog for subsidized child-care.Details
Minnesota screens out 66% of child abuse complaints overall, but 4 MN counties screen out 90%. The only good thing to say about conditions in Virginia is that there seems to be some transparency in the reporting which one would hope will lead to more concern for what happens to abused and neglected children. All this talk about how we value children in America seems to be just talk.Details
This strong new piece from Rich Gehrman at Safe Passage For Children makes a powerful case for why Minnesota’s abused and neglected children are being shortchanged and what we must do to fix our troubled systems; SafePassage Video
MN Public TV is partnering with KARA for a once in a lifetime opportunity to make a difference in the lives of abused and neglected children. To do this we need your help.Details
State Ward Children As Medical Guinea Pigs (or parents withholding medical treatment for religious reasons?)
Justina Pelletier’s sad case of medical experimentation on state wards in Massachusetts and the religious freedom to deny children with treatable diseases medical care in so many states, proves the awful truth that children have no significant rights in this nation. Almost five hundred children have died in Florida after DHS contact, more than seventy children died in California from 2008 to 2011, and the Governor of Kentucky (Steve Beshear) hid the evidence of dozens of children murdered by their parents.
* thousands of five, six, and seven year old children in child protective services in this nation are prescribed psychotropic medications to mask their terrible behavioral problems (generally without any significant therapy), &
* the explosive growth of privatized detention centers and prisons that provide inadequate and poorly supervised services for at risk youth which has lead to the exponential growth of prison populations and preteen moms,
and the picture of how America values its children becomes pretty gloomy.
That America pays day care workers about the same as it pays food service workers really shows the low value of our youngest citizens. Most other industrialized nations demand more training and credentials of their daycare workers and they pay them more (a genuine indication that children have value in those societies).
State ward children used as guinea pigs in medical experimentation needs way more scrutiny than it receives as does the consumption of Prozac like drugs on very young children.
America’s youngest citizens need more rights to safety, health, and well-being (sign our petDetails
Take a moment to check out KARA at Indiegogo and share it with your friends. All the tools and perks are there. Get perks, make a contribution, or simply follow updates. If enough of us get behind it, we can make “At Risk Children’s Documentary Project with TPT TV” happen.
We are the only three nations in the world lacking paid maternity leave for working moms. Most developed nations offer 15 to 52 weeks of leave for a new baby to be with mom.
Another stunning statistic was the cost of childcare as a percent of net family income; the majority of the industrialized nations fall between five and ten percent – Americans pay 23.1 percent of their income for childcare.
The majority of advanced nations offer paid paternity leave for dads. We are at zero.
For a nation that talks big about family values, this is embarrassing. If you don’t call your State Representative (and other politicians) to support these policies, there is a good chance that nothing will change.Details
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
FL: Daniel Kids offering foster care training classes: More than 8,000 children are currently in Florida foster care (Includes video)
News 4 Jax – June 01, 2014
Here in Florida there are over 8,000 children currently in foster care. There are many ways for the community to get involved and help these kids who are in transition from foster or adoptive parents to volunteers and mentors. There’s one group of children who need a special type of foster care.
FL: How DCF kept 30 child deaths off the books
Miami Herald – June 01, 2014
Documents obtained after Innocents Lost was published show that starting at least as early as last November, as the Herald was grilling DCF on its problems in preventing the deaths of children under its watch, one branch of the agency deliberately kept as many as 30 deaths off the books – ensuring they would not be included in the published tally.
Early Childhood Education Boosts Academic Achievement and Career Success Tuesday, June 17 6 p.m. Pizza and Social 6:30 p.m. Program Brooklyn Park Council Chambers, 5200 85th Avenue N Please RSVP and Share on Facebook or to Carol Woehrer, firstname.lastname@example.org A question and answer session will follow the presentations. Sponsored by the Maple Grove, Osseo, Brooklyn…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
Congratulations Rich Gehrman and Safe Passage For Children for your effective and important work making life better for Minnesota’s at risk youth. Today, Governor Dayton signed your legislation into law. Omnibus Bill HF 2402 sets higher standards for counties keeping track of child abuse reports. A big and successful effort and it will make a big difference to our state’s most vulnerable children. Best wishes to you in all your future efforts.Details
Seven children died last year from abuse or neglect despite prior knowledge by Minnesota child protection agencies that their lives were at risk, records provided to the Star Tribune show.
That total is the highest in the state’s records, which go back to 2005. The Department of Human Services said it will study each case to probe whether county social workers missed chances to save the child, but an initial review has found that some counties could have done more.Details
ore than 10,000 American toddlers 2 or 3 years old are being medicated for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder outside established pediatric guidelines, according to data presented on Friday by an official at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The report, which found that toddlers covered by Medicaid are particularly prone to be put on medication such as Ritalin and Adderall, is among the first efforts to gauge the diagnosis of A.D.H.D. in children below age 4. Doctors at the Georgia Mental Health Forum at the Carter Center in Atlanta, where the data was presented, as well as several outside experts strongly criticized the use of medication in so many children that young.
Continue reading the main storyDetails
MN Public TV is partnering with KARA for a once in a lifetime opportunity to improve the lives of abused and neglected children. To do this we need your help.
KIDS AT RISK ACTION (501(c)3 non-profit, is partnering with Minnesota Public Television (TPT) to tell the INVISIBLE CHILDREN’s story through compelling interviews with children and adults within the world of child protection. KARA needs your support and asks for your gift to help make this project happen.
Larger donors will be featured on the program, invited to the pre-screening party at TPT (St. Paul), and receive priority consideration for all new projects as they develop. This project will be a big part of our ongoing efforts at KARA.
Donate Button or Contact me directly to help KARA complete this project email@example.com
Program purpose; Create awareness of the critical issues impacting at risk children & identifying how to break the cycle of child abuse and neglect.
Program themes; Mental health and coping skills, and the basic rights of children to safety, healthcare, and education.
Program production; Experts and personal stories of children and adults within the child protection system.
Program look and sound; Serious and inspiring
Target audience; General public with attention to legislators, and everyone touched by our child protection system
The recent International Labor Organization study proves that the U.S. is one of three nations on the planet that does not provide some kind of monetary payment to new mothers who’ve taken maternity leave from work. America also provides the least amount of maternity leave among the industrialized (and many emerging and third world) nations.
That is what we think of children in America. New Zealand and Norway provide up to 14 weeks of paid leave, and 70 nations provide paid leave for fathers.
In America, we pay our daycare workers what we pay food service workers (the lowest paid people in the nation) and have almost no requirements for education or training for the difficult and important task of raising our youngest citizens.Details
MI: Littlest victims: Here’s one easy way you can (and should) fight child abuse (Includes Video)
mLive – May 01, 2014
This video, titled Make the Call, is a community effort to encourage people to make that call.
MI: DHS Launches new Child Welfare Software
MI News 26 – April 30, 2014
The DHS used a “soft launch” to debut the new (Michigan Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System) on Wednesday morning.
It hurts me to see people in high positions who are responsible for child protection make claims that there’s nothing to see here, things are just fine, child protection is working as it needs to (“Counties are committed to safety of kids,” April 25).
There is very little fine about it, and by accident or by design, information about it is hard to find and rarely published. By almost any measure and from my perspective over many years as a volunteer guardian ad litem within the system, there are not enough resources, record keeping is poor, child protection cases need to be over the top to get into the system, and children stand only a small chance of getting what they need to recover from the years of abuse and neglect they have suffered.
Things have gotten worse since Minnesota went from screening out one-third of the cases to screening out two-thirds. Screening out 90 percent of cases (as four Minnesota counties do) is a very big deal.Details
Great News For Colorado’s At Risk Children (child abuse data is now public – people will become aware)
DENVER (AP) – Colorado has created a website that provides the public with child-protection and child-abuse information for each county, the latest in a series of reforms that follow a number of child deaths in the state.
According to reports, 202 children died of abuse or neglect between 2007 and 2013 in Colorado. Among those, 75 had parents or caregivers who were known to the child-welfare system before the child’s death.
“At the end of the day, the goal is to be transparent with the public and to keep our families safe and healthy,” said Julie Krow, director of the Office of Youth and Families in the Colorado Department of Human Services. “This is something we can’t do alone. We need our community to help us.”Details
Responding To Toni Carter’s Star Tribune Article Yesterday (County Commissioner & Pres MN Assoc. of Counties)
Minnesota’s counties received nearly 68,000 reports of child abuse or neglect last year but closed most of those cases without investigation or assessment.
A review of state and federal data by the Star Tribune shows that the number of child abuse reports being screened out without any protective action rose last year to the third-highest rate in the country.
In all, the state screened out more than 48,000 such abuse reports last year — and authorities often made their decisions after only gathering information from a phone call or a fax.
What happens to those cases is largely unknown. Records are not open to the public. Many counties also don’t keep track of closed cases, potentially resulting in multiple reports of abuse of a child without intervention. A bill advancing through the Legislature would require counties to keep information on screened-out cases for a year to spot recurring child abuse.
“We’re finding gross discrepancies in what one county does vs. another,” said the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Jeff Hayden, DFL-Minneapolis.Details
Sare the information discovered by Star Tribune writer Brandon Stahl in this article (and his future writings on the topic) with your social media and friends. The more people understand the core issues, the greater the chance that legislators will respond to an educated populace and make the lives of abused and neglected children a little better.
Minnesota now screens out more child abuse cases than 47 other states (this is a terrible fact if you are an abused child).Details