I’m now hated by one of the children I was best friends with as a guardian ad-Litem. She wants to be reconnected with her mother (which I agree with) and have her younger siblings moved back into her mother’s care (which I don’t agree with). This will be my fourth court battle with her mother…Details
Nancy Zupfer Has It Right (Governor’s task force should represent children – not agencies and parents)
Nancy Zupfer Has It Right (Governor’s task force should represent children – not agencies and parents)
Star Tribune Today, Nancy’s observations that child protection protects state and county agencies, and parents and abused and negelcted children “seem to be collateral” has been my experience as a long-time volunteer guardian ad-Litem.
It has always hurt me to see the physical reality of traumatized children in yet another foster home (29 placements for one boy) or failing to make an adoption work or painfully waiting for life to improve as she sits at St Joe’s Home For Children or other short term care facility.
The problems facing these kids are real and require significant resources and thinking to improve their lives. That our complicated overwrought institutions give these kids very little voice, no rights, and protect agencies and parents over the well-being of children is a real poke in the eye to youth that have already been dragged through often unspeakable experiences (generally over years).
As our televised interviews with adoptive parents move forward, we are hearing more stories and seeing more and more examples of hammer wielding agencies using harsh and abusive tactics to protect their reputations instead of recognizing and providing for the serious issues facing families that adopt traumatized youth.
Do we value children as a community? If we did, we would have more crisis nurseries, subsidized daycare, and a more transparent and robust child protection system that focused on the needs of the child.
National Adoption Month (statistics, books, videos & articles of, by & about foster and adoptive children)
One out of 25 U.S. families have an adopted child. Half of the 135,000 adoptions are from the foster care system. There are over 100,000 eligible children waiting to be adopted. The average age of a foster child in the system is 7.7 years old and 29% of those children will be in foster care for at least three years. There are 438,000 children in foster care in America today & in 2016, 687,000 children spent time in foster care. 37% of American children are reported to child protection services by their 18th birthday.Details
NCPCA sends its senior attorneys throughout the country and abroad to lecture and deliver presentations on all aspects of child abuse investigation and prosecution. The federal Children’s Justice Act supports multidisciplinary training on investigation and prosecution of child abuse. Contact APRI’s National Center for the Prosecution of Child Abuse for expert help in developing training programs or requesting a trainer.Details
It hurts me to think that babies and very young children need to have lawyers to enforce their rights in my community, but it has been my experience.
One of my first CASA cases was a badly burned little girl whose cousin placed her into a tub of 161 degree (scalding) water when she was a little baby (because her mom was all cracked out and her diapers were 3 days old and very poopy & her 7 year old cousin could not know that the landlord had let the cold water pipes freeze & compensated by turning up the hot water heater to “scalding” to compensate).Details
CLASS CERTIFIED IN MISSOURI PSYCH MEDS LAWSUIT
August 1, 2018
In an historic ruling, United States District Judge Nanette K. Laughrey has granted class certification to all Missouri foster children “who presently are, or in the future will be, prescribed or administered one or more psychotropic medications while in state care.” The ruling in M.B. …Details
Developed in 2004, the Child Advocacy Studies Minor started at Winona State University in Winona, Minnesota. The curriculum was designed to bring the goals of the National Child Protection Training Center to the field by providing students with real-world experienceDetails
From my guardian ad-Litem experience a few years ago, I want to thank the single grandmother who adopted 4 of her grandchildren (one a quadripalegic six year old) and all the other hard working committed kinship caregivers that have stepped forward to make life better for their children’s children when the troubled family could not be kept together. In my case, this sweet lady explained that when the youngest child was 18, grandma would be 88.
What courage, love, and commitmentDetails
*Kendrea Johnson was 6 when she suicided by hanging, Gabriel Myer was 7 (both were foster children).
*Only 1 out of 150 suicide attempts by very young children are successful (suicide is hard for a 6 year old to understand and execute).
*99% of those children only succeed in hurting themselves and cementing the feelings of failure and self-hate – none of these children make it into the newspaper or onto nightly news.
No one knows about the 149 children who tried to kill themselves or the hundreds/thousands of foster children that deliberately hurt themselves and othersDetails
Last year, 33 states held children and juveniles with mental illness in detention centers without any charges.
In 2001, nearly 2/3 of California local law enforcement departments did not have written guidelines governing the care of children whose sole caretaker had been arrested (Marilyn Moses, article in Police Chief, Sept 2005Details
The following article brings to light the commonality of for profit youth prisons and I think the abundance of meanness and poor management that combine to further damage the lives of America’s youth.Details
Those of you willing to tell your stories on camera so that others may learn more accurately how American institutions are treating children.
We are limiting interviews to the Minneapolis, St. Paul area to begin with & hope to expand our reach in the future.
Send KARA a few sentences about your story; Mike@invisiblechildren.orgDetails
A settlement has been reached in the civil lawsuit surrounding the disappearance of a 2-year-old foster child. The natural parents of Everlyse Cabrera sued Clark County when their daughter went missing from her North Las Vegas foster home three years ago.Details
Last night KARA boardmember Bob Olson & I attended the Academy on Violence and Abuse in Bloomington & viewed the powerful information the medical community has assembled on the consequences of Adverse Childhood Experiences. Their information is a stunning revelation of how critical and long-lasting abuse is over a persons lifetime.
The Academy on Violence & Abuse’s demonstrates the importance of preventing child abuse and the direct cost of failure in disease, dysfunction, & shortened life expectancy.
Watch this video & visit www.avahealth.org for their comprehensive and stunning research on child abuse.Details
This is KARA’s next book about child abuse and child protection in America. It includes chapters written by professionals as well as children, birth, foster and adoptive parents and families. I need your stories to add to the growing body of evidence that change in child protection laws, politics and policies are overdue. For a…Details
The equation works like this; if fewer cases are investigated, that must mean there are fewer cases of child abuse, which leads to less funding and fewer resources for terrified and traumatized children.Details
NJ: Many post-foster care teens lacking needed mental health care
NorthJersey.com – October 27, 2015
In many states, children who live in foster homes age out of this system by the time they turn 18 or 21, a transition that can leave some at least temporarily without access to health insurance or unable to continue care with doctors who were treating them before. Information Gateway Resource: Transition to Adulthood and Independent Living Programs: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/outofhome/independent/programs/
NJ: Advocate: New Jersey making progress getting kids adopted
New Jersey 101.5 – October 12, 2015
Cecilia Zalkind, executive director of the Advocates for Children of New Jersey, said she believes overall, progress is being made in the state, from kids going from foster care into legal, permanent families through adoption.
NJ: Several N.J. child welfare offices receive death threats
nj.com – October 08, 2015
Eight state child welfare offices have received calls this week “threatening to shoot up the site or kill everyone in the building,” according to emails from the Department of Children and Families obtained by NJ Advance Media.
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
NY: Editorial: Answering foster care, adoption need brings rewards
Amherst Bee – April 27, 2016
Becoming a foster parent or adoptive parent means an person can change the course of a child’s life, and while it can be difficult, the rewards are great, and there is no shortage of children in the United States who are in need of a temporary or permanent home.
NY: Connections: Fragile Lives Series Looks At The State Of Foster Care (Audio)
WXXI – April 13, 2016
In honor of Child Abuse Awareness month, WXXI News –in participation with Side Effects Public Media– is presenting Fragile Lives, a series about the health outcomes of children in foster care.
Reporting compiled and submitted by KARA volunteer Corey Wasser NY: New York State’s Safe Harbour Project is working to combat human trafficking (Opinion) Buffalo News – January 24, 2016 The New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) works to combat human trafficking through efforts that include the Safe Harbour Project, which assists…Details
NY: Foster agency previously sent kid to abusive foster mom
Daily News 724 – March 30, 2016
The nonprofit agency that repeatedly sent kids to accused perv Cesar Gonzales-Mugaburu was previously forced to pay about $17 million to foster children caged, beaten and tortured by another sick foster parent.http://www.dailynews724.com/new-york/foster-agency-previously-sent-kid-to-abusive-foster-mom-h673900.html
NY: Equal justice for all kids on sexual abuse
New York Daily News – March 30, 2016
Allowing a victim to press criminal charges or to file a civil suit forever for some crimes but limiting them from going to court for other, very similar sex offenses is nonsensically unjust.
This page compiled by KARA volunteer Corey Wasser NY: One More Problem Faced by Transgender New Yorkers: Food Insecurity Slate – November 21, 2015 As health care access is clearly still a problem, the report requests that policymakers “Assure that all transgender people, including those in the foster care system, juvenile detention or criminal justice…Details
New York State Ranks 44th in adoption of state ward children and 40th in moving children off of the state ward list.
At a cost of about $666/per child, abused and neglected children have had a personal volunteer CASA voice speak for them in the cold, hard, underfunded institution that is child protection in New York. CASA graduates in New York are half as likely as non CASA children to re enter the system (and a whole host of other positive measurements). One of my CASA case boys alone has cost Hennepin County several million dollars (without counting the people he has stabbed, teacher he assaulted, lives he has crushed, or property he has destroyed).
In his case, my county saved the money (under $500) it would have cost to complete a background check on the man who requested custody of his son while he was still in prison.Details
National experts on juvenile crime urge states to invest in this type of counseling and rehabilitation, instead of confinement and punishment, as a way to stem adult crime and incarcerations. But for the last 20 years, most states have gone in the opposite direction, said Liz Ryan, director of the Campaign for Youth Justice.Details
Narcotic addicted babies are born every 19 minutes in America. 27,000 in 2013.
A federal law requiring hospitals to report drug addicted moms to child protection services is largely ignored. This heartbreaking series about the preventable deaths of drug-addicted babies ends includes ideas that can solve the problem. Reuters filed more than 200 Freedom of Information Act requests and reviewed almost 6000 child fatality reports to identify these cases.
Only 7 states specifically tracked referrals of newborns in drug withdrawal and only half the number of cases that were diagnosed were tracked in those states. Most states only require reporting only babies exposed to illegal drugs – but prescription drug addiction is growing to become an even larger problem.
In 2005, 598,000 emergency drug related admissions included legal pharmaceutical overdoses. According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, teens who abuse prescription drugs are twelve to twenty times more likely to use illegal street drugs than those that don’t abuse prescription drugs.
In 2010 2.4 million Americans used prescription drugs non medically for the first time.Details