Getting more people involved in gathering and disseminating information about the issues of child abuse and what can and should be done to protect and serve vulnerable children has to be a good thing.Details
All Adults Are the Protectors of All Children Support KARA (BUY the book INVISIBLE CHILDREN) listen to the audiobook for free Receive Free Friday KARA E Updates Christmas can be a painful time for adult survivors of child abuse. NAASCA is an established organization that speaks candidly about the issues and this article hits the nail…Details
For every successful child-suicide there are an estimated 25 attempts.
The suicidal hanging of six-year old foster child Kendrea Johnson opened my eyes to the fatal flaws of Prozac and very young children and foster care.
The dearth of mental health trained foster families and the number of traumatized children in child protection systems can only lead to exponential growth in dysfunctional and dangerous behaviors that last a lifetime.
Nationally, about a third of children in foster homes take psychotropic medication like Prozac (they have no choice – the drugs are forced on them).
The note seven-year old foster child Gabriel Myers left when he suicided by hanging was specific about his hatred of the drug he was forced to take and that he would rather be dead.
In 2014, America forced Prozac like drugs on 20,000 + one and two-year old children. One manufacturer (Johnson & Johnson) was fined 4 billion dollars for illegally selling these drugs to pediatricians for use on very young children (with 4 thousand cases awaiting trial and that is just one manufacturer).
My first visit to a four-year old child as a volunteer Hennepin County guardian ad Litem was at the suicide ward of Fairview Hospital. I know suicidal ideation by medication and caution anyone using these drugs on children to learn about it.
During my first years as a CASA GAL, I experienced multiple suicidal children in my caseload. All of them were under ten-years old. The amount of Prozac like drugs forced on these children was remarkable. So remarkable that a Hennepin County judge shared the records she kept of medicated children with me and talked openly about her dismay that these drugs were being used on very young children.
There are no records kept of suicide attempts by children in child protection or foster/adoptive homes.
Only successful suicide attempts make the paper or are made public. In 2013, 494,169 Americans were admitted to hospital emergency rooms for self-inflicted injuries.
In Minneapolis MN, our HCMC hospital sees almost one thousand emergency room psychiatric visits each month.
For the first time in our nation’s history, mental health parity (a piece of the Affordable Health Care Act) will make mental health services available to the poor traumatized children I have worked with.
How we treat our most vulnerable children define the heart and soul of this nation.
If there is one thing to fight for in the coming battle over repealing the ACA, please join me in the demand for mental health care for our youngest citizens.
Friends, this practical approach of the Children’s Survival Network to dealing with child abuse and the misunderstood and underfunded agencies that treat it impresses me greatly.
Watch this brief video & pass it on to your friends;
Children’s Survival Network, Inc.
Thank you Hayley Foster for showing me the Children’s Survival Network.Details
Not all states give voice to our weakest and most vulnerable citizens. This rally is a big step for children and it deserves to be copies and repeated.Details
Dr. Bruce Perry http://www.childtrauma.org/ctamaterials/default.asp gives credible argument that 25% of Americans will be special needs people in few generations if we do not act forcefully to mend our approach to the mental health needs of abused and neglected children.Details
And most of all, how we can become comfortable being “the voice” for At Risk Children in our communities.
I have delusions about how to be helpful to CDF for Item B.
Half of an experience like this is meeting so many smart and committed people from every corner of the country. We can learn so much by just sitting next to someone from Missouri, Chicago, or even St. Paul.
The nice lady from Missouri understood why her state was getting such terrific results from their Juvenile Justice system. She could have taught us some very important things (but she was not on the agenda).Details
Today’s Star Tribune article nails it. Thank you Annie Mogush Mason for your clear explanation of how child abuse impacts schools. Coping skills (learning skills) are not brought by the stork. Add to that, the terrible things done to at risk children in the home, children bring fear & high anxiety into the classroom instead of the ability to sit still, play well with others or learn.
Teaching *traumatized children is different than teaching other students. Way different.
The sadness that is child abuse triggers unpredictable and often violent behaviors in the classroom. Many a teacher has talked to me about the larger percentage of their daily efforts being directed toward the one, two or three disruptive students in their classroom. I know educators that have quit their jobs in tears and with genuine fear of going to work every day because of this.Details
When I began as a volunteer CASA guardian ad Litem, there were 34 Minnesota families on a waiting list for subsidized daycare. Today there are over 7000. Our prior Governor shifted those dollars into the general fund claiming that subsidized daycare had no value. Why even apply? Your child will be in high school by the time a space opens up.
Today’s Star Tribune hits on two of the most common realities in communities without adequate childcare;
Infants murdered by babysitting drunk boyfriends because working mom could not find affordable daycare (institutional daycare in MN is $14,000 a year). People earning minimum wages don’t take home that much annually. The number of children beaten, raped and murdered by drunk uncles hard to believe (read it here).
The commonality of women forced to leave the workforce because they cannot afford decent daycare hurts poor families, the economy and is a terrific injustice to women everywhere.
About 3 out of 100 Americans are incarcerated, on the way to being incarcerated, or have been released from incarceration. When broken out by race, these numbers are dramatically worse for people of color.
Minneapolis, MN for instance, arrested 44% of its adult Black men in 2001. There were no duplicate arrests and 58% of those men went on to be rearrested for a second crime within 2 years. America now leads the world in incarceration; 5% of the earth’s population and 25% of its prison population.
The children of incarcerated parents have higher rates of pregnancy, dropout and expulsion rates from school, STDs, mental health issues & criminal behavior. In fact, the children of incarcerated parents have more involvement with the criminal justice system than their offending parent did.Details
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear is hiding the records of dozens of dead children (from child abuse) because life for abused children is so awful in his state he wants it hidden from the rest of the nation.
The core issue in this nightmare of crazy people killing and abusing their children is the hiding or destruction of court records.
If you think your state doesn’t live by the same standards as Kentucky, look again.
Many states delete records of horrible abuse after three or four years.
My own state, Minnesota has the problem, Indiana, has the problem (the state known for cancelling funding promised to parents that adopt special needs children).Details
Mass Incarceration: Where it Starts, With Our Youth
Following up from last weeks show on Mass Incarceration, which focused on adults, this week the focus is on mass incarceration of our youth. In contrast to adult incarceration, where there has been bipartisan attention from U.S. Politicians, the youth problem is all but ignored during the campaigns. The issue is a big one so it is hard to understand why it is avoided like the plague by our politicians. In fact, I could not find a single quote on the internet about youth incarceration from politicians.
Perhaps people just do not want to hear about something so depressing. Newspaper and magazine publishers claim that they will lose their readership if they cover these issues. Television believes people will turn the channel or tune out. Maybe people will not read this blog either, but it’s an important subject, so I made the decision to do the right thing and cover the issue. If awareness can increase, the likelihood of positive change can increase too.
Here are some facts:
The U.S. has the worlds highest youth incarceration rate at 225 per 100,000 (as of 2015). The next highest rate amongst developed nations is South Africa at 69 per 100,000. The U.S. is 6 to 10 times that of the other developed nations.Details
Because of the media’s coverage of dog food eating seniors living under bridges, Bud and Margaret were able to live a clean, modest lifestyle and not die in the pain and disgrace of poverty, living in tents or under bridges.
Today, America has children living under bridges (lots of them).
The number of homeless students attending Duluth public schools jumped 21% this year (a statewide trend and worse in many parts of the nation).
Among the *industrialized nations, (the 24 nations with long established infrastructures and democracies) the U.S. ranks number 1 in child poverty with 23% of our children living in poverty.
Homeless children are 3 times more likely to be sexually assaulted than those living at home. Homeless children find it much harder to succeed in school or in life and their delinquency & crimes rates are far higher than the general population.
There is not a religion on the planet that abandons children & those people claiming there is do not have real religion (point that out to them).Details
Many American newborns remain untested and untreated for very treatable metabolic disorders, hearing, sight & blood lead level s. 48 States allow religious exemptions from vaccination.
Some states allow religion to keep children from TB testing in school. 43 states give some kind of criminal or civil immunity to parents injuring their children by withholding medical care on religious grounds.
Six states let parents keep teachers from teaching their children about disease in school.
Over the years KARA has reported on children dying because their parents withheld medical treatment because the church told them to do so.
Some religions allow child neglect and abuse & some states allow a religious defense against charges of murdering their child – and “some can’t be charged with murder at all” (Slate).
2 years ago, Kansas State Rep Gail Finney vowed to pass a bill that allowed caregivers to leave bruises and cause bleeding. Arkansas State Rep Charles Fuqua promoted the death penalty for rebellious children (based on religious grounds).
As a volunteer County guardian ad-Litem, it has been awful to observe sexually abused two and four year old children and children suffering from violent physical abuse and neglect live through that abuse & try to overcome the terror and traumas inflicted upon them to make for themselves a normal life. Not many do.
KARA believes the U.S. should ratify the International Rights of the Child Treaty (we are the only nation not to have done so).
There are many cults in America that need to be exposed for the terrible way they treat children. Here’s one reported on by the Daily Beast this morning (send KARA your examples & forward this to your state rep).
Here’s a breakdown from Children’s Healthcare that shows a breakdown of states and their religious exemptions.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.
ID: Bill to protect children of faith healers in Idaho will not get a hearing
Associated Press – February 26, 2014
House leaders ruled out a hearing on a bill meant to curb the number of children who die because their parents choose faith healing and not medical assistance for religious reasons.
Children who are badly abused sometimes seek help from teachers, extended family, or social workers. When they get none they feel profoundly betrayed by adults. This can have lifelong consequences for the children and society, as this PBS story illustrates.
Today’s dominant political view is that children are nearly always better off with their families. This creates systemic pressures to leave children where they are even when abuse is extreme.
Decisions should be based on each child’s best interests. Children shouldn’t be vehicles for the politics of ideology, culture or race. They don’t care about these things. They just want the pain to end.
Children don’t participate in policy-making. Their interests can only be factored into child protection practices by adults who comprehend their anguish and speak out for them.Details
Children at the Border “Torture; “extended exposure to violence and deprivation” (World Health Organization’s definition of torture)
The psychotropic medicating (Prozac, Ritalin and Zoloft type drugs) of very young children was deemed worthy of billions in civil fines for big pharmaceutical companies not long ago. Today, America is illegally drugging migrant children with psychotropics without parental consent. It is a crime.
Torture is what happens to a child separated from her mother at a U.S. boarder crossing. Torture results in trauma. Children in cages – toddlers in pens? Traumatizing children has a very real effect on a child’s developing brain, impacts mental health and can last forever. To think this government has a policy of drugging and torturing children should be a wake up call that this administration will stop at nothing to achieve a small political gain.
It’s wrong and we should all be ashamed.Details
CHIP provides health care coverage to nearly 9 million children. Approximately 1.9 million children are at risk of having their CHIP coverage terminated during the month of January if Congress takes no action.
Call your Senator & let them know that playing politics with the life of a child is awful. Be bold and tell them that you could not support someone who would allow the life of a child to be less important than a political party chit.Details
Total U.S. Child Welfare Spending Drops for First Time in Decades
An across-the-board downturn in federal dollars sparked an overall decline in child welfare spending, according to research by the group Child Trends, and it did not fall by a slight percentage. Total local federal, state and…Details
REVIEW FINDS THAT CHILDHOOD TRAUMA CAN LEAD TO PSYCHOSIS
An international team of researchers, led by a University of Liverpool psychologist, has published a review of recent research and concluded that there is strong support for the hypothesis that early trauma in childhood (including abuse and neglect) can effect brain development in ways that increase the probability of developing psychosis later in life.
Anomalies in the brains of people diagnosed with mental health problems such as ‘schizophrenia’ have traditionally been used to support the notion that such problems are biologically based brain disorders that have little to do with life events.Details
This powerful ACEs Too High article contains tons of statistics and information related to the prevalence of child abuse in America. What has struck me most is the impact abuse has on school engagement and the number of states where being an at risk child can be dangerous. The list of states with a lack of prenatal care and poor services for young mothers, lack of insurance, affordable day care and other early childhood programs has grown to about 1/3 of America.Details
Donna Jackson Nakazawa book CHILDHOOD DISRUPTED explains how a child’s biography becomes her biology and how to heal. It may be the first self help book about ACEs and speaks to why chronic disease, mental illness, violence, suicide, and addiction are so common to abused and neglected children.
Donna is a science journalist that writes about toxic stress and childhood development in a way we can all understand. She presents 13 stories of trauma about people she followed for a year and how childhood stress can lead to a life of illness and sadness.
The happy part of the book is the research that shows how self-care, exercise, adequate sleep, meditation, safe environment/relationships and smart therapies can heal.
You will finish the book understanding how toxic stress changes a person for life, how genes impacted in childhood develop various illnesses and mental health disorders (and what epigenetics is).
This book repeated the experience of my 65 year old attorney friend who bought me lunch when I wrote the book INVISIBLE CHILDREN in 2005. At Lunch he told me in confidence that he had never spoken to anyone about his abuse by a priest as child. When he was 45 years old, smoking, drinking, overweight and on his 3rd marriage and 4th business partnership he finally sought out a therapist who he sees to this this day (about 30 years).
As a long time volunteer CASA child protection guardian ad-Litem, I am convinced that Donna’s truths are profoundly accurate and they explain the sadness and behavioral problems impacting millions of children, our schools, public safety, crime, and community well being.
At some point, we must recognize the crisis our society faces by the terrifically high number of child abuse reports (6 million children annually) and support Donna’s plea for a new medical paradigm with a system in which physicians offer, “not just a drug, but a recovery plan” would make a huge difference in the lives of at risk youth. Send this article to your doctor.Details
Children are suffering from a hidden epidemic of child abuse and neglect. Over 3 million reports of child abuse are made every year in the United States; however, those reports can include multiple children. In 2007, approximately 5.8 million children were involved in an estimated 3.2 million child abuse reports and allegations.Details