My mission in life and in this cause is moral, but my arguments begin with the practical. Public education is the real world for 90 percent of your children, and America’s. The wisest path to public education reform in our country is to deliver the children in far better shape to formal school. That is what early investment is all about. It is neither socialism…nor the creation of a “nanny state,” but rather simple decency and wisdom and what our country is about when we are at our best.Details
Fewer children are entering the foster care system during the pandemic.
This is not because there is less child abuse and trauma.
Families are more stressed than before COVID.
Drug and alcohol use, domestic violence and child abuse are up because of this.
The following information is gathered from local MN news sources over the last 60 days.Details
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
20,000 American infants and 2 year olds were proscribed psychotropic medications in 2014 and billions in fines were levied against pharmaceutical companies for illegally selling these drugs to pediatricians for use on children (to no apparent affect).
Every year, 1/3 of foster kids in the U.S. use psychotropic medications & 2/3 of youth in the juvenile justice system have diagnosable mental health problems (half that number have multiple, serious and chronic conditions – and tons of psychotropic medications).
The lack of data and transparency about mental health services being provided to troubled children, juveniles & adults in schools, jails, prisons & child protection means that legislators and the public to avoid the hard conversations that could determine the steps required to address these problems.
When 6 year old foster child Kendrea Johnson suicided by hanging in Brooklyn Park 2 years ago, the Medical Examiner and Deputy Police Chief dithered over the cause of death and finally remarked that 6 year olds very rarely committed suicide. While it is true that six year olds have a very hard time succeeding at suicide, it is not true that state ward children don’t try.
I’ve come to know many children in child protection taking psychotropic medications. The data on children in child protection on these drugs is also overwhelming (and a well kept secret). Four and seven year olds behaving in extremely dangerous ways and trying to kill themselves should be extremely rare in any civil society.
I did not find it rare among the children in my caseload in child protection.
America is way behind other advanced societies in dealing with mental health issues and it is killing poor vulnerable children and way too many veterans.
Goodbye Tom, you were a great friend and I will miss you.Details
Now is the time to participate! Next week, April 11-15, is the Week of the Young Child. The goal of this week is to educate legislators about the importance of high quality early learning programs in their communities, and to encourage them to properly fund early learning initiatives.
But we need your help to get this important message across! Below are ideas, projects, meetings and resources. Your participation will make a difference in the lives of children across Minnesota.
1) Set up a meeting with your legislator(s). Whether you are a child care provider, parent, or early childhood advocate, your perspective and story are important, and legislators want to hear from you. Set up a meeting with your legislator any time during the week of April 11-15 to share your experience.
Here’sa form to help set up the meeting
There are some tips about how to prepare for the meetinghere.
If you want to encourage support for a specific bill,here’s a resource for proposed legislation related to early care and education.
2) Advocate for early learning by mail. Complete a simple activity on your own or with staff or children. Send it in to your legislators to remind them to let our children shine. You can find the materials for the activity here. To find your legislator’s mailing address at the Capitol, go to this website and enter your address.
Toddlers with guns have murdered 5 people with guns in America this year, terrorists 3. Would we be safer if the NSA were spying on children, or just keeping an eye on pistol packing families?
Here’s a list of this years toddler murder spree from the Jewish Daily Forward;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
Teachers that lived through the Bush era No Child Left Behind fiasco understand the impossibility of making students succeed and schools look good with inadequate resources and classrooms bulging with kids that can’t read, Prozac, and violence.
The “Texas education Miracle” that lead the NCLB’S deconstruction of America’s schools proved to be as wrong and dysfunctional as the erasures on thousands of test questions executed by hundreds (if not thousands) of teachers in Georgia and now DC (and there may well be other states as yet undiscovered).
If you study the DC memos being made public you will see just how hard it is to identify and pursue this kind of criminal activity (if it weren’t for excellent journalists at the Atlanta Journal, none of this would have been discovered).Details
A 25-year-old man admitted in court Monday in northwestern Minnesota to inflicting deadly head and neck injuries on the 22-month-old daughter of his girlfriend.
Raul Perez, of Ada, pleaded guilty in Norman County District Court to second-degree murder in the death of Ariel Reyes last August.
Perez lived with the girl and her mother.
A doctor at Sanford Medical Center in Fargo noted many injuries to Ariel, including bruises to her jaw, forehead, thigh, shoulder and the base of her spine. Also diagnosed were numerous severe brain injuries and bleeding at the back wall of an eye.Details
Children need and deserve a voice in the system that rules their lives. Their only chance of having that voice is if there is a guardian ad-Litem speaking for them in child protection.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.
Watch KARA’S recent Invisible Children presentation at the DFL Stone Arch Education Foundation; (video – 23 minutes)
Great audience participation and terrific question and answer period following (audio only)
Invite us to start a conversation at your organizations next function
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