These are the words of Federal Judge Janis Graham Jack speaking to Texas Child Welfare officials recently, exclaiming that “children are dying on your watch” and calling them “callous”, saying “they do more to protect their bureaucracy than the children in their care“.  Safe Passage for MN’s Children recent investigative reporting on Minnesota children murdered by their caregivers while in Child Protective Services might prompt a similar judicial response in the months to come.

Ten years ago Governor Mark Dayton remarked on the “catastrophic failure” of CPS in the slow tortured death of four year old Eric Dean after 14 largely ignored reports of abuse in Starbuck MN. The child was never seen by social workers. Broken bones and severe facial and head biting had been reported repeatedly over years before he died. Ironically, Pope County faced no legal penalty for its role in the child’s death and it was not one of the four Counties that screened out 90% of child abuse calls when Eric Dean died in 2013. We must wonder what life was like for children in those four Minnesota counties at that time.

KARA believes that current Child Protection efforts to eliminate the community CASA volunteer Guardian ad Litem child advocates will further reduce child safety and increase child suffering and maltreatment death in Child Protective Services.

Eliminating 1000’S of community volunteers and the passion, commitment & objectivity CASAs (Court Appointed Special Advocates) bring to the highly stressed institution of Child Protective Services will harm even more children than have been identified by the Safe Passage Report.

Regular Visits With A Trusted Community Volunteer Guardian ad Litem have value to the child and the institution of Child Protection. Most importantly, these visits go a long way towards keeping children safe.

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Mike Tikkanen speaks about child abuse/trauma/healing and community

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send an email to with SPEAKING in the subject line. 

Mike’s INVISIBLE CHILDREN book can be read and listened to (for free)here.

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This article submitted by former CASA guardian ad Litem Mike Tikkanen.