Being the one constant in the lives of abused and neglected children has its obvious rewards but the words of a recipient conveys the meaning in one child’s life. Says Melissa, “My CASA volunteer was a positive constant in my life…I thank her for showing me that my biological mother may have taken away my childhood, but I am in control of what I will do the rest of my life.” And the meaning it holds for volunteers? Susan, a CASA advocate since 1994, puts it succinctly. “…It has been and remains one of the most rewarding and meaningful experiences in my life.”Details
Today’s Grand Magazine Radio Show Cancelled – it will be rescheduled.
Barb Beach, the talk show host had a family medical emergency. Best wishes for you and your family Barb.Details
Art Rolnick Ted Talk Video; Federal Reserve Bank Study (Highest Return On The Tax Dollar – At Risk Children)
18% return on investment (without siblings, children of the children, education success) Could Be 20%. Dr Bruce Perry “25% of Americans will be special needs people by the end of this generation if this investment is not made. Prenatal care, Empower Parents, Bring it to scale.Details
School Starts Soon Be Glad It Does; Uneducated Citizens Value Football, Beer, & Reality Shows Above Safe Streets, Healthy Children, or a Functioning Democracy
The foundation of democracy is an educated citizenry; not an incarcerated citizenry – the U.S. has 5% of the world’s population & 25% of the world’s prison population (Minneapolis MN arrested 44% of its adult black men in 2001, no duplicate arrests).
Politicians making political hay by berating teachers for failing schools instead of identifying and solving the problems should be forced into a course on what the student body looks like today and required to make sensible statements about programs and solutions that might work.
What we do to our children they will do to our society (Pliny 2500 years ago – explain this to your neighbors)Details
Tune into: www.gabradio.com
2) CASA Reno Keynote Recognition Dinner Talk September 19, Reno NV
3) CASA MN Fundraising Dinner September 29th This is a Great Organization and you are invited to attendDetails
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
On several occasions in my guardian ad-Litem work I was unable to bring charges against very dangerous child abusers and I observed their continued violent and sexual abuse of children over many years (I would venture one of these men is still having sex with very young children 16 years later).
Both the judge & my supervisor explained to me that in these cases, the choice was to remove the child or live through watching a child disintegrate on the witness stand and remain in the home with the perpetrator.
In Iowa’s case in the above article, the counties are out of funding and sending children back home to serious perpetrators of child abuse by simply erasing past histories. Every state does it, some are awful (Kentucky)
If there are no records, no one is accountable when terrible things happen to children.Details
Marcia Angell, former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine and a leading critic of the Big Pharma, puts it more bluntly: “Psychiatrists are in the pocket of industry.” Angell has pointed out that most of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the bible of mental health clinicians, have ties to the drug industry. Likewise, a 2009 study showed that 18 out of 20 of the shrinks who wrote the American Psychiatric Association’s most recent clinical guidelines for treating depression, bipolar disorders, and schizophrenia had financial ties to drug companies.Details
While this article was about children in America’s day care centers, I draw your attention to the terrific increase in brutal violence against children outside of day care.
As a guardian ad-Litem for Hennepin County I have witnessed indescribable violence against children (none of which was ever made public).
As stated in this Star Tribune article; “we don’t even know where or how to establish a baseline for this”.
Day care workers in America are paid less than food service workers (the lowest paid employees in the nation).
The rest of the industrialized world long ago recognized the value of healthy children and qualified day care centers.Details
Today, 60 percent of fourth and eighth grade public school students in all racial and income groups, more than 75 percent of Hispanic and more than 80 percent of Black children cannot read or do math at grade level. Only three percent of eligible infants and toddlers receive Early Head Start and our nation has been unwilling to ensure high quality universal pre-kindergarten and kindergarten systems to get all children ready for school or excellent and equitable public schools to ensure that children are college ready and prepared for productive work. A child unable to read or compute at grade level and graduate from high school college or workforce ready is being sentenced to social and economic death in our globalizing and competitive economy.Details
CASA volunteers-also known as Guardians ad Litem in the State of Minnesota-are everyday citizens whom judges appoint to advocate for the safety and well-being of children who are in the court system as a result of abuse and/or neglect.
They stand up for these children and change their lives. CASA Minnesota is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization that supports Minnesota CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) programs and the volunteers who have helped more than two million children find safe, permanent homes.Details
I repeat Pliny’s quote often because I believe it clearly articulates how almost every problem our nation has ties directly to his point; “What we do to our children, they will do to society”, Pliny the Elder, 2500 years ago.
The rest of the industrialized world has recognized the value of healthy citizens. Maybe because the second world war left Europe with such horrific death and ruins, those nations rebuilt their societies with the understanding that poverty stricken crazy people are something to avoid, not produce.Details
I know parents who have lost children to murder and violent death. It ruins lives far beyond the coffin. Violent Death spouse and children images stay with us forever.
Still, no likes the conversation. Virginia Tech, Mental health, child rape, babies in dumpsters are forgotten quickly as they happen. Blame someone and move on.Details
Read and listen to the important issues raised on this blog while supporting our efforts to “get the word out”.
Pass it onto your friends & ask the library to carry it. This information has been kept under wraps for far too long.
Buy or sample the INVISIBLECHILDREN audiobook
Best wishes from the team at Kids At Risk ActionDetails
Twin Citites Marathon – Late Registration Supporting Guardian ad-Litem CASAMN If you or someone you know missed the general registration for the marathon and are interested in fundraising, please reply by email directly to Kelly Hudick at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. I would also greatly appreciate if you would help me spread the word that we have late registration entries available by forwarding this email to your runner friends and family.
CASA Minnesota is committed to ensuring every abused or neglected child can be safe, establish permanence, and have the opportunity to thrive within a stable environment. Participation in the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon program will help spread the word about CASA Minnesota and the work of our volunteers. Our goal is to help raise more than $5,000 through the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon charity program in 2012.Details
The National Holocaust of Innocence Tour and Documentary/Research Project August 1, 2012, we will be kicking off from Shreveport, Louisiana and will end after May 25, 2013 Washington D.C. two day Rally and Million Survivor March, at the Jefferson Memorial. We will tour the U.S. prevention and education of child sexual advocating prevention of child sexual assault, researching the current needs of our communities, and producing a film documentary of the process. The Holocaust of Innocence is the time someone is sexually assaulted, their lives are never the same, causing them to have trust and emotional issues the rest of their lifetime. http:// theholocaustofinnocence.blogspot.com/Details
Thank you Florida legislators for recognizing the needs and value of abused and abandoned children.
Please keep up the good work. You are a shining example to the nation.Details
A Note On Paxil, Wellbutrin, Avandia & GlaxoSmithKline’s Paying Kickbacks to Doctors & Treating Children With Unapproved Psychotropic Medications
Today’s 3 Billion Dollar fine of GlaxoSmithKline for hiding information, bribing doctors, & promoting unapproved (and dangerous) drugs to children, included criminal as well as civil settlements.
Hennepin County Judge Heidi Schellhas shared a list she kept of psychotropically medicated children that passed through her courtroom in child protective services over a one year period. The list was staggering (some as young as 5).Details
Texas GOP 2012 platform seeks elimination of mandatory pre-school & kindergarten & no more teaching of “higher order thinking skills” as these things challenge “student’s fixed beliefs” and “parental authority”.
Should deliberately make your children stupid in the 21st century in America be a crime?Details
Court Rules American Children Will No Longer Be Incarcerated For Life (& we recently quit executing juveniles)
Some states still charge 11 year old children as adults in this nation (25% of youth are charged as adults in America).
MN Supreme Courts former Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz is remembered for her statements about how abused and neglected children correlate to crime & prison.
“The difference between that poor child and a felon is about 8 years” &
“90% of the youth in juvenile justice have passed through child protection” are 2 powerful Justice Blatz statements that should cause us to reflect on how we treat the youngest and most vulnerable among us.Details
What’s Wrong With New Jersey’s Half Way Houses Is What’s Wrong With America; The Illusion That Privatizing Social Services Saves Money Or Provides Social Services.
First, it is the same government money being spent, just that it goes to an entrepreneurial lowest bidder.
Second, New Jersey’s half way houses are managed the same way privatized day care, juvenile justice, prison systems, & schools are run (to make money for Chris Christy’s friends).
What else explains the lawsuits for understaffing, undertraining, dead children in daycare, and that U.S. daycare workers make less than food service workers (the lowest paid work in America).
This is what we think of children in our nation. Indiana is trying to pay less than $18/daily for foster care & the state redirected funds promised to parents that adopted abandoned special needs children (five hundred children) – after the adoptions took place). Thank you Mitch Daniels. What cruelty.Details
Just like Arizona & Pennsylvania, Mississippi has found big money in abusing youth & privatizing juvenile detention centers. A federal judge calls what goes on in Mississippi’s youth prisons, a “cesspool of unconstitutional and inhuman acts”.
U.S. Justice Department investigators found Mississippi’s privatized centers denying basic health care, employing gang members as guards, and sexual misconduct between staff and inmates worse than anywhere else in the nation.
The GEO group knows how to squeeze the biggest return on investment and keep the staff happy – don’t spend money on healthcare and let your employees sexually abuse the inmates (Mississippi Youth).
Pennsylvania private companies found it so lucrative that they could pay commissions to judges for every youth sentenced – thereby guaranteeing capacity crowds and big money to the investors.Details
Last week KARA board members Sam Ashkar, Bob Olson, & I attended the Child Well-Being meeting to learn current information on the status of abused and neglected children in MN. The data came from the Citizens review panel, Office of the Legislative Auditor, and a powerful report from Safe Passage For Children.
Information is important in how one frames and speaks of a problem. Being grounded in facts is always superior to what one hears from the talking heads (and blogs).
Statistics are evidence of the success or failure of important process and programs.
Last Year there were 58,163 reports of child abuse 2/3’s of them were screened out (were not investigated).Details
Not talking to others about our personal lives and problems can make a person feel alone and helpless. As a society, we don’t like mental health conversations, as individuals we often avoid “too personal” comments. This is a stain on our community. We are complex beings that need others to help us cope during the hard times.
I have written about the suicidal behavior of the children in my child protection cases over the years & just when I think I understand this thing, it becomes evident that I don’t.
Ron is my fourth suicide this year, of which two of them were much loved friends. I will miss you Ron.
Be kind to the people around you. It is impossible to know what they are living through.Details