254 Children, 220,000 Crimes, 12 Months

Drug use and sale in American schools has been the highlight of much research. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University conducts a survey each year aimed at discovering trends in teenage drug use. The survey this year has identified a drastic increase in the percentage of children attending middle schools considered “drug-infested,” meaning that drugs are kept, used, or sold on school property. This year’s survey showed that 32 percent of middle school students were attending drug infested schools, compared to 23 percent in 2009.

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Response to Star Tribune Article

Yes to constructive solutions; more resources for troubled families and help for abused and neglected children.

No to destructive and inflammatory criticisms of people trying hard to make life livable for terribly abused and neglected children within an overwhelmed social services system and not enough resources to do the job. It’s almost impossible work and there is little support for the worker or the child these days.

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Really Good Child Advocacy Links

AZ: Child abuse isn’t a priority in Arizona
Arizona Daily Star August 31, 2010
Michael is the sixth Pima County child to die in recent years while under the watch of state Child Protective Services. Each killing spurred outrage and demands that things be done better, that children be saved from the relatives who do them harm. “Reforms” were put in place in 2008. Little, it appears, has changed.

http://azstarnet.com/news/opinion/editorial/article_627221d8-c0b6-55f4-b03b-a663abc9e15c.html

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Attitude Adjustment; Children Count

The good news is we have created workable models to heal terribly abused children. The bad news is our communities are shutting down services that would heal terribly abused children. This will cost us for generations to come.

We will only recover our place in the world as a productive first place nation, if we recapture our sense of humanity and concentrate on making children healthy enough to become productive citizens.

It is economically sound policy and caring about children is the right thing to do.

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What Oklahoma Will Show The Nation

The original plaintiffs were nine children who are alleged to have suffered in DHS placements. The case has since become a class-action lawsuit with thousands of children in DHS custody as plaintiff

How many states have caseloads that are just too high to provide a realistic safety net for the children they support? How many states need more training and education for the agency employees, foster parents, and adoptive parents?

I would add that without educating judges, court workers, and criminal justice people, this nation is still on the path to maintaining excessive prison populations and disastrous school performance among the population of abused and neglected children.

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Art Rolnick & Pliny, Friends of Children

Lori Sturdevant points out in her July 4th Star Tribune column how our state has done very well by investing in children and how Art Rolnick’s extensive studies as director of research at the Federal Reserve Board have made those investments measurable.

Just like investing in the stock market or tax increment financing, putting money into early childhood programs brings solid financial and social returns back into a community.

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Tip Of The Iceberg; Abused Children Dying Due To County Backlogs

“The social worker staff simply cannot keep up with everything we are asking them to do,” she said, adding that she planned to make the case to county supervisors that hundreds of additional social workers were needed. “All of the things that equate with quality do take time.”

In the end, Ploehn never submitted a budget request for additional social workers, citing the county’s tight finances.

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