ACE Study Highlights

The ACE study over 8 years & 440,000 people proves beyond doubt, that social workers, teachers, psychologists, judges, & pediatricians can not fix the millions and millions of American children suffering from adverse childhood experience.
These youngsters will continue to fail in school & life until we as a society agree to provide resources that will end the inter-generational transmission of child abuse.

Failure to care for children has cost America its leading nation status in most quality of life indices and certainly, safety and trust within our communities has made living in many American cities painful and dangerous for adults as well as children.

For a real learning experience, visit the people who created the ACE study, www.avahealth.org but by all means,

Watch the short version (at the end you can view other segments).

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Not Enough

The state has agreed to pay $2.85 million to a 21-year-old woman who allegedly endured physical and sexual abuse after a child abuse investigation conducted by the state Department of Social and Health Services.

I accept that the dollar amount sounds impressive, but I challenge the DSHS assertion that this young woman’s life will ever be made whole by the financial settlement. I’ve spent years in child protection and never met a fully recovered victim. Abuse lasts forever and it takes great strength and help to make a happy life. Help is not easy to find, and very expensive. Allot of people just suffer.

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Child Well Being Minnesota

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).

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Making Big Money With Abused & Neglected Children; Mississippi Has The Plan

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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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Michael Swanson, Jeff Weise, James Holmes, Virginia Tech; Tons of Avoidable Pain

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.

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The Cost Of Ignoring Reality

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.

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A Note From The Children’s Defense Fund

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.

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Little Is Known About Deaths & Serious Injuries To Children In America

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.

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Mass Psychosis in the U.S – Important Insights Into Big Pharma, Psychotropics, & Children

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.

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Destroying Child Protection Records In Iowa, A Better Iowa For Children?

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.

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National Grandparents Day September 9th & A Great Day To Recognize All Grandparent Caregivers

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 commitment

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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)

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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.

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Indiana’s At Risk Children & Governor Mitch Daniels;

efforts of a governor currying political favor at the cost of poor young lives.
Mitch Daniels needs to be identified for his personal policies ruining young lives; these policies are at the same time costing the state more money than useful and promising policies would.
By eliminating funds guaranteed to families adopting special needs children, he put the state in the precarious position of defending lawsuits and made the adopting of special needs children a giant problem in the years to come (who will adopt Indiana’s special needs children next year?)
These are recent Indiana child protection headlines for the State Of Indiana;

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Everything Seems To Be Wrong With Them; The Other America

It is a very rare child that can walk from traumatic abuse into a classroom and just “be normal”. The biology of trauma means physiological change happens. Before a human being can proceed to the next level of growth, like sitting for 8 hours a day in a classroom & passively soaking in lesson after lesson while interacting normally with other children, adults, and figures of authority, real healing needs to happen.

I have seen very competent extremely committed foster and adoptive parents come unglued when faced with the insanity shown by 5, 7, and 9 year olds who have been tortured. The World Health Organization defines torture as “extended exposure to violence and deprivation”.

All of the 50 children I worked with as a CASA volunteer had “extended exposure to violence and deprivation” (about half of them had been sexually abused, some as young as 2).

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Best Interests Of The Child; ICWA, Politics, & Media

It’s obvious to almost anyone that reads this article that the best interests of the child weren’t even considered when Sierra Goodman was ripped from the Campbell’s adoptive home by ICWA. It was a home she loved and flourished in.

But the best interests of ICWA were not being served, as is again the case with baby Veronica Rose in the same disturbingly anti child court case being held in South Carolina.

Living in 20 foster homes, passing through 13 schools, and leading a tortured life, Sierra Goodman, now 28 is allowing her story to be told in the hopes of bettering the lives of the many children passing through child protection systems that are not allowed to consider the “best interests of the child” when ICWA is involved.

What have we become to use children as a football to advance out political and institutional objectives above and beyond their own precious souls?

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Cruel & False Savings Are Cheating America’s Abused & Neglected Children (again)

Because the State refused to spend the $500 to do a basic background check on his father before assigning dad custody, even though dad had a court order in an adjacent state forbidding him from being around young boys because of what he did to them and even though dad had spent 2/3’s of his adult life in prison, Andy (the child) was taken from a loving foster home to spend 4 years (from 4 to 7 years of age) sexually abused, beaten and starved by his biological father. From 4 to 7 years old, Andy was left alone in an apartment for days at a time without food or drink, tied to a bed.

Bruised from head to toe when dad finally brought him to school (at 7 years old), placed into child protection services and not treated for mental health issues, Andy became a very disturbed young man.

Prozac, Ritalin, & other psychotropic medications, multiple suicide attempts and intermittent months of sporadic & very expensive “suicide watch” therapy (including airplane trips to emergency facilities) & group homes were the State’s underfunded, misguided attempts to manage a terrifically damaged beautiful young boy were too little and too late.

Andy has been a ward of the state now for 16 years & will most likely remain a ward of the state for the rest of his life.

If he lives to 60, he could be a 10 to 20 million dollar burden to the state, without calculating any amount for his violence, the people he hurts, & the damage he does.

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What David Brooks Didn’t Say

FYI, the World Health Organization defines torture as “extended exposure to violence & deprivation”. Every child in my CASA guardian ad-Litem caseload suffered from being tortured (half of them had been sexually abused). This explains why children in child protection suffer from PTSD at twice the rate soldiers returning from Iraq & Afghanistan do, why 2/3 of the youth in juvenile justice have mental health diagnosis (and why fully half of them have multiple, serious, & chronic diagnosis) & why 80% of youth aging out of foster care lead dysfunctional lives.

Mr. Brooks, please continue your research & writing on this issue because no other big time news people are & this is why our prisons are full, schools are troubled, & so many communities are becoming unlivable (Flint Michigan no longer has a police presence after 5pm – and they really need one).

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