CASA guardian ad-Litem News Feb Thru May 2017 Part III

FIND YOUR CASA here – CASA’s around the U.S. If you are not listed, send me your info and we will include it.

Find out what the other 975 CASA’s from around the nation are up to.

Last year, more than 76,000 CASA and guardian ad litem volunteers helped more than 251,000 abused and neglected children find safe, permanent homes, according to casaforchildren.org. Volunteers are everyday citizens who have undergone screening and training with their local advocate program.

Volunteer to be a CASA guardian ad Litem,

Help KARA maintain this page; info@invisiblechildren.org (do you know an active or retired GAL that might have time to gather guardian ad-Litem news?)

All Adults Are The Protectors of All Children

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Foster Care & Adoption In America (families and change needed)

Almost every state needs more foster / adoptive families. This shortage reflected in the articles and stories below point to one more overwhelmed part of America’s troubled child protection system.

There are correctable reasons children are being left in hospitals and state facilities because there are no foster / adoptive homes.

To name a few;

Some states pay a base rate to foster families lower than the actual cost of feeding a child and almost no help for adoptive families.
Too many states make it hard for grandparents and other family members to adopt or foster a state ward child.
Some states provide far to little help to foster /adoptive families for the trauma & behavioral problems state ward children often bring with them into the home.
A quick review of the articles herein give you a sense of the depth and scope of the problems state ward children are facing and a better understanding of why so few of the 12 to 18 million children reported to child protection in this nation each year are receiving the help they need to become contributing members of our communities.

These sad stories go a long way in explaining why schools are so troubled and jails are so full.

Feel free to share this article widely (especially with policy makers and legislators – include a personal note and speak for a child).

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High Hopes For Hennepin County’s New Child Protection Model (keeping up with reports of abuse)

Today’s heartening Star Tribune article gave me hope that I’ve not had in decades for the saving of abused and neglected children from extended traumas and ruined lives.

“No longer will a child need to endure maltreatment before they get social services in Minnesota’s most populous county, an unprecedented step in the state”.

Thank you Task Force on Child Protection, Safe Passage For Children, Governor Dayton and all the legislators and supporters standing for the weakest and most vulnerable children in our community.

Additional funding for staff, reduced caseloads, responding to child abuse reports at all hours (including weekends) and focusing on the child’s well-being instead of the crisis mode required after traumatic abuse has been endured (usually for years) will make a huge difference in the lives of these kids.

By making services available to struggling families and insuring that very young children reported as abused receive face-to-face assessments and the help they need, we will be interrupting patterns of behavior that can ruin a child’s life forever and making their lives safer and happier.

The ACE’s (Adverse Child Experience) medical studies have proven the negative mental health outcomes of childhood trauma.

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Save the Date (CASA guardian ad Litem event) August 3rd 630 pm

When the court is making decisions that will affect a child’s future, the child needs and deserves a spokesperson — an objective adult to provide independent information about the best interests of the child. While other parties in the case are concerned about the child, the Guardian ad Litem is the only person in the case whose sole concern is the best interests of the child and he or she is assigned as an advocate for the child for the duration of the court process.

This is unlike any other volunteer experience. The impact you can have on a child’s life is tremendous. Currently, there are approximately 375 children in Hennepin County, alone, waiting for a GAL, waiting for their spokesperson, their advocate. Thank you for thinking of the abused and neglected children in our community!

We look forward to seeing you and please feel free to invite others!

RSVP, yes’s only please, before July 28th to Monica Bordonaro: mjbordonaro@gmail.com

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A Brief History of Four Year Olds and Prozac

Medicating very young children with psychotropic drugs is accepted protocol in foster homes and child protective services throughout America.

States vary, but 33% of state ward children appears to be the lowest percentage of children being medicated. Florida is at 50% Texas has had 67’% of its state ward children between the ages of 13 & 17 medicated).

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June Sad Stories 2017 Part I

KARA tracks current news about at risk children bringing transparency and attention to our youngest and most vulnerable citizens. Please note that what you see here is only a sampling of what should be reported – the great majority of child trauma & abuse never gets reported.

American states are struggling to find answers for saving at risk children and reversing the explosive growth of child abuse and neglect. Today, many state ward children are the 4th and 5th generation of abused children raising their own families without parenting skills and with serious drug, alcohol and mental health issues

37% of children overall and 57% of Black children are reported to child protection services in America by the time they turn 18. (American Journal of Public Health 1.17)

12 million children a year are reported to child protection services each year and in many states, 1/3 of foster children are required to take psychotropic medicines

ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN

Compilation of information and writing on this page is the hard work of David Vang, Mike Toronto, Jamar Weston, Adolf Nchanj and Blaz Zlate, Callie Benscoter, (student volunteers at Century College) Katie Frake, Boston College, Julie O, and KARA.

Please donate now and support these pages &

1) KARA’s FREE Traveling College/University/Museum Exhibits

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Send KARA Links to Articles/Video, TV/Radio Shows About Child Abuse & Contact Us To Find Out More About This Exhibit

Have you thought, “people need to see or hear this” when experiencing a powerful video or radio interview or story about how children are treated in America? KARA wants to include those links in a child abuse / child protection exhibit we are sending for free to colleges around the nation.  Take a minute to…

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A Painful Reality About Guardians ad Litem (and other child protection workers)

Recently, I asked an acquaintance who had finished an intense volunteer experience (overseas) if she would consider CASA volunteer guardian ad Litem work or something supporting the program. Her response was surprising. She explained to me how less than useless the CASA guardian ad litem program was, how poorly trained and counter productive the volunteers were and implied pretty directly that I was quite the meathead for being a part of it or asking her to help.

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July Sad Stories Part I

This is only a sampling of what should be reported – the great majority of child trauma & abuse never gets reported.

American states are struggling to find answers for saving at risk children and reversing the explosive growth of the traumatic impact of child abuse and neglect. Today, many state ward children are the 4th and 5th generation of abused children raising their own families without parenting skills and with serious drug, alcohol and mental health issues

37% of children overall and 57% of Black children are reported to child protection services in America by the time they turn 18. (American Journal of Public Health 1.17)

12 million children a year are reported to child protection services each year and in many states, 1/3 of foster children are required to take psychotropic medicines

ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN

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July 2017 Sad Stories Part II

Kids At Risk Action tracks current news about child abuse & neglect bringing transparency and attention to our youngest and most vulnerable citizens.

This is only a sampling of what should be reported – the majority of child trauma & abuse never gets reported.

American states are struggling to find answers for saving at risk children and reversing the explosive growth of the traumatic impact of child abuse and neglect. Today, many state ward children are the 4th and 5th generation of abused children raising their own families without parenting skills and with serious drug, alcohol and mental health issues

37% of children overall and 57% of Black children are reported to child protection services in America by the time they turn 18. (American Journal of Public Health 1.17)

12 million children a year are reported to child protection services each year and in many states, 1/3 of foster children are required to take psychotropic medicines

ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN

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Your Tax Dollars At Work (why profit driven schools fail our children)

If you look hard and long at who is hurt the most by the Globes and Trumps of the world, it is almost always poor people that don’t have the education, the background or the ability to know when they are being scammed.

Ten years later, the Federal or State government steps in and after a long and drawn out legal battle forcing the scammer out of business. In the mean time, our society struggles to bear up under the ever increasing numbers of troubled, uneducated people that just can’t get a break.

All Adults Are the Protectors of All Children

Here are a few articles about vouchers and the private schools that will become an ever increasing part of our worries as public schools struggle for lack of resources and public support (send us your stories and captured articles on the topic;

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KARA Radio Interview National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse (Bill Murray/Mike Tikkanen)

This compelling interview covers the landscape of how abuse and trauma impact children and communities throughout America and shines a spotlight on what has to change to save children and build healthy communities. Bill Murray conducts a powerful in depth review of child protection, Prozac and very young children, foster homes and much more. Click below for the whole show;

Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) – 1678

Tonight’s special guest is Mike Tikkanen from Minnesota, a returning NAASCA family member who founded KARA (“Kids at Risk Action”). He’s also the author of the free book “Invisible Children; the American cycle of abuse and its… more

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The Best Article On Child Protective Services Ever (this is worth the read)

the impossible dilemma faced by child protection workers, judges and parents when a child abuse claim is made. What shouldn’t happen and what should happen for the safety of a child and the integrity of the institution of child protection.

Repercussions of a child abuse report last forever (what’s it like for the child to hear the specific abuse charges brought against you), parents sometimes not allowed to say goodbye, what is imminent danger and how long before you get a hearing (in some communities a year is common).

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Mental Health Service Calls Police & Health Care (thank you Minnetonka Officer Scott Marks & HCMC)

All service providers are struggling to meet the increased volume and severity of mental health related cases they are forced to deal with every day.

In Minnetonka the crisis and mental health calls are on track to reach 377 this year (from 120 in 2005).

Community Engagement Police Officer Scott Marks of Minnetonka MN has just received a national “Why We Serve” contest for his proposed “Aftercare Program” training of officers to visit patients that have been sent to the hospital and help them find resources after they are released.

Programs like Officer Mark’s will make our communities safer and more livable. As a long time volunteer CASA guardian ad Litem, I have watched far too many traumatized teen and preteen children behaving badly and treated like criminals when what they need is the aftercare this police officer is working to make happen.

Share this with your networks and send it to your local police department with a donation you can afford and a request that the money is used for a program like Officer Scott Marks is building.

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The Problem With Accommodating Hate (& hateful people)

Wanting to get along is a blessing and a curse.

Most of us lean towards accommodation and away from conflict.

We avoid conflict and accept behaviors & beliefs in others that stretch us to our limits. Caring friends may argue or give guidance to hateful people but once the poison of hatred and bigotry has been ingested, tepid arguments and kind suggestions just don’t work.

The failure of a “reasoning” strategy becomes evident when hundreds or thousands of hateful mean spirited racist people gather to spread their vile and pernicious message in the public square. Poisoning the people that talk to and the people they hate, great fear is spread and great harm is done.

Can you imagine what it was like for the five year-olds on the buses carrying only women and children from Central America when they were attacked by hate groups in Arizona and California screaming obscenities and “send them back”?

What will the six year-olds of Charlottesville learn in their first year of schooling about the screaming haters that filled their streets and televisions with maniacal hate mongering?

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Minnesota’s At Risk Children’s News (first 6 months of 2017)

What’s it like to be an abused child in Minnesota? The stories and articles below shine a light on the sadness and traumas faced by five year-olds, infants and other helpless children in our state. These stories are only a tiny percentage of the pain suffered by at risk children in our state. The vast majority of violence against children is unknown outside the family. Share this widely and consider supporting a child friendly legislator or service providing organization with your time or dollars. Be a voice for abused and neglected children (they can’t call their state representative to ask for help – they need us to do it for them).

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Risky Child Protection Practices In MN Persist (thank you Safe Passage For Children MN)

Safe Passage For Children of MN has pointed out today that obvious child protection steps in our state are not being followed and might need legislation to be accomplished. Yes to protecting children and making these changes. Far too many children spend far too many months/years being repeatedly traumatized because our system allows risky practices.

Making the first child protection visit unannounced instead of scheduling it in advance
No longer conducting initial interviews of children in the presence of their alleged abusers
Training workers to do fact-finding

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Don’t Blame The Mandated Reporter (why child abuse reporting is sporadic)

This review about the dangers mandated reporters are facing is taken from a series of excellent articles on child abuse by the Daily Kos

As a longtime volunteer CASA guardian ad-Litem, I have too much experience with failure to identify/failure to report terrible things done to children. Reporters genuinely fear for their safety and reputation and fail to report (0r, “see”) horrific abuse to avoid potential damage to themselves.

Support KARA’s Public Television Documentary project to bring attention, awareness, and change to children’s issues.

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