Child Friendly / Less Friendly Candidates For Governor (thank you Safe Passage For Children MN)

Safe Passage deserves big kudos for this survey of declared candidates for MN Governor. Until recently, not many legislators understood the depth and scope of the problems facing at risk children in our state (or any state).

It is only by asking lawmakers to express their knowledge and views about child abuse and child protection that we can vote in people that understand the traumas these kids suffer from, heal them and l interrupt the epidemic of trauma and abuse in our community that is wrecking our schools, public health and safety.

Read candidate responses here and share this link with your friends and contacts.

Thank you Safe Passage For Children MN

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Child Well Being State by State March 2018 (X)

HI: Girl who was severely beaten after state returned her to mom gets $450K payout (Includes video)
Hawaii News Now – March 02, 2018
Twelve years ago, Shari Rodrigues suffered permanent brain and internal injuries after she was beaten by her biological mother’s boyfriend. The state initially took the girl, who was 2 at the time, away from her mother. The girl was then returned.
http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/37636849/girl-who-was-severely-beaten-after-state-returned-her-to-mom-gets-450k-payout

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Child Abuse, Death & Trauma March 2019 (IX)

Tuesday morning baby death is Milwaukee’s 13th of the year
WISN Milwaukee
Tuesday morning’s death of a five-month-old girl is the 13th baby death so far this year, a medical examiner’s office spokesperson said. Emergency crews called to a residence near North 45th Street and West Glendale Avenue around 3:45 a.m. confirmed the death, which was later said to have been …
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Child Abuse & Trauma State by State (March 2018) VIII

AL: & AZ: Lawsuit was catalyst for cutting caseloads in Alabama (Commentary)
Arizona Daily Star – March 08, 2018
Across the state, average caseloads were 65. Within six months, James was the only one of five people hired with him who hadn’t quit. But Alabama’s child welfare system was on the cusp of wholesale reform that took place county by county after a sweeping 1988 lawsuit filed by advocates on behalf of a foster child known as R.C.
http://tucson.com/news/lawsuit-was-catalyst-for-cutting-caseloads-in-alabama/article_c3a733aa-224b-11e8-b859-477daa1e1099.html

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What’s a Well Trained Social Worker Worth?

It hurts me to know that I live in a state that pays the least of almost all states in training social workers and continues to underfund the federally mandated guardian ad litem program so severely that over six hundred children do not have a Court Appointed Special Advocate even today. A Court Appointed GAL is the only voice abused children have in court once they have been removed from their homes.

The list of underfunded programs for the most vulnerable citizens in our community is long and been growing (we have the money*).

Without the Star Tribune’s continued reporting on child abuse issues, trauma and abuse would still be non-issues as they were when 3-year-old Dennis Jergens was tortured to death in White Bear Lake in the 1960’s. His mother Lois Jergens went on to adopt four other children by moving out of the state.

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Child Abuse & Trauma (March 2018) VII

Scale of child abuse survey ‘needed every 10 years’
BBC News
Thousands of children should be surveyed to build a true picture of sexual exploitation, experts have said. The government says it does not know how many girls have been groomed in the wake of questions about sexual exploitation in Telford. But the Centre of Expertise for Child Sexual Abuse is …

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Child Abuse & Well Being State by State March 2018 (VI)

CA: Social Workers Concerned With Increase in Babies Exposed to Meth
Santa Barbara Independent – March 15, 2018
An increasing number of infants exposed to methamphetamine have raised concern among Santa Barbara social workers. In the last three months, about 30 babies were in need of a court-appointed special advocate, better known as a CASA. Most had been exposed to meth.
https://www.independent.com/news/2018/mar/15/social-workers-concerned-increase-babies-exposed-m/
CA: County official seeks to expand support for foster youth

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Death of 6 Year Old Justis Burland Arnett

Justin’s mother abandoned him years ago to the custody of her own mother. Grandmother could not manage the boy & gave custody to a couple that were grossly unfit to care for children. They killed him.

In grandmother’s defense, there is nothing easy about being 65 years old and trying to care for an out of control child traumatized child. An adopting grandmother once told me tepidly, “when that child is 18, I will be 88 – I sure hope I can make it”.

Bobbie Christine Bishop and Henry Wynhoff beat the six year old repeatedly, duct taped him to a wall & let his infections kill him (from my reading of the article). One visit from a social worker would have discovered the boys awful circumstances and impending death.

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Child Well Being Statistics, Stories & Trauma March 2018 (V)

Woman Arrested In Death Of 11-Month-Old Girl
CBS Boston / WBZ
QUINCY (CBS) – A 27-year-old Quincy woman is facing charges in the death of a baby. Prosecutors say Shu Feng Hsu assaulted 11-month-old Chloe Chen in February. Police say that she either shook her niece or struck her in the head. The baby died two days later at Boston Medical Center.
DA: Quincy woman to be charged in death of baby girl – Boston Herald
Woman accused of assaulting baby who later died – WCVB Boston
Quincy: Arrest & Arraignment in February Baby Death Investigation – 95.9 WATD-FM (blog)
Full Coverage

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Child Well Being & Child Abuse State by State (March 2018) IV

CA: LA County Board looks to shut down pipeline from foster care to juvenile hall
City News Service – March 20, 2018
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to reevaluate the treatment of youngsters in the county’s care, aiming to keep foster children out of juvenile halls and camps.
http://theavtimes.com/2018/03/20/la-county-board-looks-to-shut-down-pipeline-from-foster-care-to-juvenile-hall/

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International Visitor Leadership Program & Guardian ad Litems

On Wednesday I was part of a team invited to address judges, lawyers, professors and other officials from developing nations about child abuse, child trauma and specifically, the CASA guardian ad litem program that was of most of interest to them on their visit to Minneapolis. I have great hope that these smart, committed professionals succeeded on their extensive U.S. journey learning about the many moving parts of justice, child rights, courts, domestic violence, child protection systems, child advocacy, foster care/adoption and children’s mental health.

It was an honor to speak with these people and uplifting to know that the CASA guardian ad Litem program is identified all over the world as a powerful voice for children and that any nation can create this program to save vulnerable children.

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Child Protection & Volunteer Guardians ad Litems

It hurt me to see no mention of Minnesota’s hundreds of volunteer CASA guardians ad litem in Susan Miles’ Child Protection article in Friday’s Star Tribune.

I’m all for paying people for hard work and especially those working with troubled children and families.

Volunteer guardians come from the heart of the community, they do their work solely of concern for abused children & take fewer cases than paid guardians.

Fewer cases means they can be more involved with the child and family. Paid guardians need to handle 25 sometime 30 cases – most volunteer CASA guardians only take a few.

State Ward children have commented many times to me that I was different because I was the only person from the County not being paid to be with them. This meant something to them.

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Tolerating Child Death in Minnesota (thank you Safe Passage for Children of MN)

This short powerful article from Safe Passage for Children of MN identifies the how and why two girls could be beaten with bats, starved, raped and chained over 12-15 years in the same house and over 50 police calls to the home never resulted in an investigation. The neighbors knew, the police knew, the county knew – but nothing was done.

It’s how Eric Dean the 4 year old was tortured to death while 14 reports of abuse by mandated reporters were ignored. The single visit to the home by child protection workers did not interview the child. If they had, they would have seen the bite marks on his face and head, broken arm and other scars.

We need state wide guidelines to maltreatment reports, statewide coordination of child protection activities and standards for child protection with a focus on keeping children safe.

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Child Well Being & Abandonment March 2018 (III)

Opinion | Home visits a key to trauma-informed care for kids
The Commercial Appeal
As evidence of the impact of childhood trauma continues to permeate child-serving institutions, teachers, social workers, pediatricians and caregivers are changing the way they interact with children who have been subjected to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Of the many techniques and …

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ACE Study, Crime & Ramsey County (reprinted from 2006)

ACE research shows a strong historical pattern of criminality in families of child delinquents. Using Cohen’s estimates, we calculate the multi-generational “multiplier effect” to be between $3.4 and $11.5 million. In these families, criminality is likely to grow exponentially.

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Child Well Being State By State March 2018 (II)

AZ: Fixing Our Foster Care Crisis
Arizona Daily Star – March 27, 2018
After peaking with nearly 19,000 children in foster care in 2016, Arizona set out to keep more families together and pull fewer kids from their homes. Some changes are taking hold, and the number of kids in out-of-home care is trending downward.
http://tucson.com/fixing-arizona-s-foster-care-crisis/article_10fe027e-31f5-11e8-b4b8-ef0126c7b046.html

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Child Well Being & Trauma March 2018 (part I)

Perris Couple Accused of Torturing Children Return to Court
NBC Southern California
David Allen Turpin, 56, and Louise Ann Turpin, 49, are charged with 12 counts each of torture and false imprisonment, as well as nine counts of child abuse and seven counts of cruelty to a dependent adult. David Turpin is additionally charged with one count of lewd acts on a child under 14 years old, …
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Child Protection & Unassigned CASA Guardian ad Litem Cases

Success Stories & Failure (unassigned child abuse cases)

We all like a happy ending. Especially when kids are involved. Read the Guardian ad Litem Sucess Stories below. You’ll love’em

It’s harder to read about children are starved, raped or beaten and the child protection system is just too overwhelmed to assign a Guardian ad Litem to speak for the child – but read them too. These children should be heard, especially since they did not have a guardian ad Litem voice in the system.

Governor Dayton is recommending an increase in funding for the Guardian ad Litem program to provide Guardian ad Litems for the over 500 children that don’t have one, but it’s questionable if legislators know enough about the facts you are about to read to make the right decision.

Share these stories with your legislators – it could make all the difference to the children in these stories

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Sad Stories Part VIII Feb 1-13 (child protection – find your state here)

KARA (Kids At Risk Action) tracks current news about at risk children bringing transparency and attention to our youngest and most vulnerable citizens. KARA’s reporting is only sampling of what should be reported – the great majority of child trauma & abuse is never known.

American states are struggling to find answers for ending adverse childhood experiences and saving at risk children by 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

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Sad Stories Part VII Feb 13-28 (child protection – find your state here)

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

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You’re Six and On Your Own in the Court System (not having an advocate leaves abused children even more vulnerable)

The fear and aloneness in the eyes of the child sitting next to me in court as the judge decides where she will live after being taken away from the only home she has ever known is palpable.

Here, in a roomful of adults she has never seen before about to determine what will become of her family, where she will live and what school she will go to are too monstrous for words.

How would you as a six year old respond? Remember, coping skills for these events don’t exist is six year olds.

It’s always been terror and trauma for these kids. Torture, trauma and abuse in the home. Terror and trauma of the unknown as the institution takes over every aspect of her life.

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Sad Stories Feb 2018 Part VI (foster care stories and statistics)

KARA (Kids At Risk Action) tracks current news about at risk children bringing transparency and attention to our youngest and most vulnerable citizens. KARA’s reporting is only sampling of what should be reported – the great majority of child trauma & abuse is never known.

American states are struggling to find answers for ending adverse childhood experiences and saving at risk children by 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

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Sad Stories Feb 2018 Part V (child abuse and mental health)

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

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

KARA’s INVISIBLE CHILDREN Campus Exhibit

All Adults Are The Protectors of All Children

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House of Horrors (not investigating child abuse = not caring for abused kids)

Twin girls beaten with bats, starved, raped, chained & abused over 12-15 years on the 4200 block of 17th Av South in Minneapolis. Over 50 police calls to the home, developmentally disabled and pregnant in high school.

“The neighbors knew. The police knew. The county knew. We all knew…But nothing was done.”

“How many times the county received reports of abuse and neglect remains unclear” (from the star tribune article).

This is not uncommon. It’s how 4 year old Eric Dean was tortured to death after 15 ignored reports of abuse by mandated reporters and how 6 year old foster child Kendrea Johnson died by suicide and how my 7 year old CASA guardian ad litem case child was prostituted over 2 years and 49 police calls to her home where gun fire and prostitution were the reason for the police calls.

I’m just one of hundreds of volunteer MN CASA guardians and I know dozens of these stories. It’s awful.

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Good Governance, Betsy DeVos & Education For the Rest of Us

Institutions define us (they keep us safe, educated and healthy)Why anyone with a stake in a safe, functioning community would withhold support or throw rocks at people doing this work is incomprehensible.

Turning our schools, highways, corrections and care of the young, sick and elderly into the hands of greed driven Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli and Trump University folks is not helping build healthy communities. It’s to be expected that institutional outcomes (public health, public safety, public education – don’t forget bridges) are suffering. Performance of any complex institution or endeavor demands support & critical thinking.

A safe, livable community requires support for the worker bees laboring in schools and other social institutions for those institutions to perform well. It’s for your own good.

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