HA recently launched an online support group open to Minnesota adoptees and fosterees over age 18. Registered members are able to interact with one another 24/7 using the discussion board. Adoptees Julie Hart and Amy Fjellman facilitate the group, ‘live’, the first Tuesday of every month from 6 to 7 p.m. CST and check in with the discussion postings periodically. This is a secure environment that generates anonymous usernames to protect the privacy of its members. If you would like the join the conversation, visit this link to fill out four simple questions: We look forward to meeting you!Details
If there is a core meaning to all religious teaching, it is being seen this week at Cretin Durham High School in St Paul. Thank you from Kids At Risk ActionDetails
“We have children dying in our region and we are awarded with recognition of system improvement. Really?” he wrote. “The timing of this award is hard to accept given the recent tragic death of 10-year-old Tramelle Sturgis.
“How many more kids will die before we all take a deep look at what is going on with child welfare services in Indiana and reverse the draconian cuts in funding and see how those cuts are negatively affecting the safety net of child welfare?”Details
This BBC report (video link) articulates the sorrowful truths that this guardian ad-Litem has reported on over the years.
It’s frightening and moving proof of the epidemic that is preventable child death in America and the fast growing army of future child abusers.
Why is it that important reporting like this are created by other nations (and not right here in America)?Details
To appreciate the meanness of some states I point to (Mitch Daniels) Indiana’s stealing (redirecting) the funding promised to parents that adopted abandoned special needs children (after they had been adopted) & the fiscally irresponsible de-funding of subsidized daycare which forced the county to place children in foster homes because their father’s job did not pay enough to afford daycare.
It costs way more to place children in foster care than it would have to subsidize his daycare payments. Thank you Tim Pawlenty.
It cost Hennepin County millions of dollars to pay for the care of the four year old boy the court thought would be better off with his father even though dad had a court order to stay away from young boys because of what he did to them. My client is now is now 23, has AIDS, and has been in over 30 foster homes and he will be a ward of the state until he dies. He was been tied to a bed, starved, beaten, sexually abused and left alone for days at a time from 4 to 7 years of age. That never made the paper. Nor did the four year old girl who I visited in the suicide ward of Fairview hospital (her sister’s story was much worse).Details
Grace Brown created “Project Unbreakable” in October, 2011, and the tumblog appears to really be gathering momentum. The idea: “Use photography to help heal those who were sexually abused by asking them to write a quote from their attacker on a poster and photographing them holding the poster.”
So many stories from so many different people. Men, too, not only women. I was so moved by this post, which includes both a photograph and an audio narrative by an elderly woman who was sexually abused as a 12-year-old girl during World War II in Germany. Do listen to her story.Details
It is up to communities to understand the nature and scope of these issues and treat children with sufficient care and resources to end the madness as stated by MN Supreme Court Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz; “The difference between that poor child and a felon is about eight years”.
Let’s all get behind child friendly programs and politics and end the pipeline to prison & preteen pregnancies that America now promotes.Details
Annual Justice Week Cretin Derham HS – An Important Educational Event – Feb 9-13 – 2012 Common People Creating Uncommon Change.
This is the most tuned in high school I am aware of-digging deeply into social justice issues from Africa’s child soldiers to American juvenile justice. I will speak to classes on Weds the 15th.Details
There are two nations (of the 196 nations in the world) that have not ratified the Universal Rights of the Child. Somalia and America.
Somalia, because it has no functioning government, and the U.S. because we will not stop training child soldiers*.
Americans are proud of and outspoken about spirituality, values, and freedom – making proclamations about human rights, women’s rights, and so on.Details
I am unable to respond quickly as my normal work can keep me away for days at a time. This site and my efforts are designed to provide information and resources on and about child abuse and at risk children.
The Blogroll, Links, & Resources links on the right side of the page (located below the comments section) provide telephone numbers and contact information for organizations that have staff and can be of help (KARA has no staff).Details
KARA board member David Strand has written a powerful article in today’s Minneapolis Star Tribune pointing out how America’s politics continue to bring communities generational poverty that has resulted in the problems this CASA volunteer has worked with over many years.
“Their methods for leveling the economic playing field start with providing all young children with healthy conditions for physical and mental development. Surprisingly, much of the research they rely on comes from America’s best universities.
The proof is that it works — these countries have broken the link of intergenerational poverty that afflicts our country.”Details
It Costs Way Less To Hire & Train Social Workers;$68 Million Settlement Proposed for 10 Children Fraudulently Adopted and Abused
It would be far less expensive (see the studies & long term costs) and the right thing to do to see that foster & adoptive parents were well funded, well regulated, and early childhood programs set up to insure that every child had a chance to have a meaningful life in America.
Until then, let’s sue the pants off of states and counties that refuse to care for children.Details
Yesterday Was A Bad Day For At Risk Children In Minneapolis; 11 year old boy stabs his dad after repeated beatings & abuse;
Terrell has a fund set up at M & I Bank: Re-post from Don Samuels: A special fund has been established at M&I bank for the family of Terrell Mayes. Call (612) 904-8000 and mention the Terrell Mayes Fund.Details
I expect that the same is true all across America; families are finding it harder to support at risk children on lower incomes; http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_19628951
It just seems to me that America’s children should all have a chance to have a childhood.
I find it hard to accept that on top of being abused, having special needs, or neglected, these children are punished again by a society too cheap to make a place for them at the table.Details
A powerful 90 minute conversation addressing the strengths and weaknesses of today’s child protection systems and the civil rights of youth in America today.
Brutal truths and best practices.Details
I will be talking about my experiences as a CASA child protection volunteer on an upcoming interview with Bill Murry & his Stop Child Abuse Now / Community Matters Radio Show http://naasca.org/index.html on December 12th Monday Night 730pm Call in phone: 323-552-6150
As a long time guardian ad-Litem I’ve encountered too many suicides and suicide attempts that are a direct result of child rape.
I have not read the suicide note written by the seven year old foster child that hung himself in Florida, but I have read the most powerful suicide note ever written by a person raped as a child and it is printed below.Details
Molesters like Sandusky destroy the lives of hundreds of children over their lifetime. The child remains severely damaged year after year until help comes from somewhere (usually nowhere). I’ve said about several of the sex abuse children in my caseload that this child has never had a nice day in her life.
Anxiety, terror, Prozac & Ritalin are predictable parts of the life of an abused child. They feel dirty and often blame themselves for the crime. Not being able to function normally in school makes life miserable and too often criminal or sexually active & a preteen mother or father. Just how does one un-teach sexual behavior to a nine year old without professional help?Details
The mission of CASA Minnesota is to broadly support volunteer advocacy on behalf of abused and neglected children in our state. We believe that every abused and neglected child in Minnesota court proceedings should have a volunteer advocate working for their best interests. In pursuit of this goal, we do the following:
Assist in the recruitment and retention of Minnesota volunteer guardians ad litem
Provide initial and continuing education and support to Minnesota volunteer guardians ad litem
Increase public awareness about child welfare and guardians ad litem
Provide a network for communication among Minnesota volunteer guardians ad litem
Advocate for legislative change, public policies and best practices that enhance the quality of advocacy and care for abused and neglected children
I’ve written on the police tasering ten and twelve year olds, the growing movement to try very young children as adults, and the chronic over representation of African Americans in jails & prisons everywhere.
In my experience as a guardian ad-Litem, all children want to be “normal” and lead nice lives, but too many of them are born into toxic homes and their communities are quick to punish and incarcerate instead of nurture & enhance their lives.
How can America’s youth ever hope to lead normal lives when so many of them have serious criminal records & drug problems (legal and illegal) by the time they are eighteen?Details
U.S. states where children are worse off than if they lived in emerging nations. http://boingboing.net/2011/11/02/video-judge-beats-disabled-daughter-for-using-the-internet.html Pass this on & support public advocacy for at risk children (they need your help). Support KARA’s effort to stop punishing children; sponsor a conversation in your community (invite me to speak at your conference) / Buy our book…Details
It was clear after talking with adoptive and foster families at their annual conference that Indiana’s failure to protect it’s children is due to the politicizing of children’s issues and not the hard work being done by foster & adoptive parents, educators, & social workers that are trying to provide homes, education, and services.
We all know that healthy children become healthy adults & contributing members of our community & that unhealthy children become preteen mothers & juvenile felons that cost our cities and states a fortune over a lifetime.
Wake up Indiana politicians. Your citizens depend on you to understand basic humanity and economics.
Citizens, wake up your politicians (the children can’t do it without your help).Details
Children have no lobby, no voice, & can’t fight back when a MN Governor* states that “children that are victims of failed personal responsibility are not my problem, nor are they the problem of the State Of Minnesota”.
There’s nothing a five year old can say to the governor of Indiana about the elimination of the state’s newborn screening fund (paid for by birth fees collected from parents), or the retroactive termination of adoption subsidies to the five hundred families that adopted special need children based on the promise that they would have assistance for their special needs children.
I doubt that a nine year old could clearly explain the problem facing California foster children because 1,000 state-licensed facilities match sex offenders’ addresses;Details
I was impressed with the tenacity and commitment of Indiana’s foster and adoptive parents in the face of this state’s mean spirited children’s politics.
The evening before my talk I listened to story after story of the “fluid” nature of Department of Child Services policy, families not being allowed to question decisions or policy for fear of being blackballed, and what it’s like to watch long established, workable policies disappear to be replaced by whimsy and bullying.Details