Dear Reader,

KARA sent this letter to Guardian ad Litem State Board members last week.

Please forward it to;  Assistant to Governor,  Legislative Coordinator,  Assistant to Governor,

your State Rep (and others in your circle that might have persuasive power in this soon to be made decision (35 days).

Find your State Rep Here



Have Governor Walz State Board members

been mislead about Program Management’s

efforts to eliminate the volunteer

CASA Guardians ad Litem program?

Short KARA video about how this decision has come to be made.

Recent reporting by KSTP, the Star Tribune and the (Safe Passage) Investigative Report on Children Murdered by Caregivers while in Child Protective Services suggest directors and administrators revisit important decisions about to be made that could end the CASA volunteer Guardian Ad Litem Program.

There is growing awareness and interest in how the MAD report was constructed and the board’s involvement with the decision-making process in the potential elimination of the CASA volunteer program.

Allowing the State board to eliminate 10,000 future volunteers (over the next 40 years) at a time when we are reporting on children murdered by their parents may be an unfixable mistake costing even more children their lives.

Rebuttals to the State MAD report from several top child advocates here;

Gerard Bodell, CASAMN President

Rich Gehrman, Founder Safe Passage for Children of Minnesota

Mike Tikkanen, KARA Founder

Many people close to this process believe that the GAL board is making this decision under dubious reasoning and based on a biased and misleading program report which was paid for and directed by the program. CASAMN offered to share the cost of the report, but the offer was refused.

Program manager Tami Baker Olson stated to Gerard Bodell (CASAMN President) that she can compel employees to communicate and perform, and that volunteers are a different model. This indicates her primary reason for ending the CASA volunteer Guardian ad Litem program was that controlling employees was easier than controlling volunteers. More control with up to 30 cases and over 50 children per employee results in less time per child, less transparency and is not in the best interest of children. More children will be placed in harm’s way due to employee caseload standards. This at a time of full budgets – caseloads climb in down budget years.

In light of these developments, we are asking you, the GAL State Board members to revisit this State statutory language and consider that “Duties and responsibilities” are to the children and not management.

Subd.2. c. 1

(c) The board may:

(1) adopt standards, policies, or procedures necessary to ensure quality advocacy for the best interests of children; and

(2) propose statutory changes to the legislature and rule changes to the supreme court that are in the best interests of children and the operation of the guardian ad litem program.

Finally, CASAMN would like to work more closely with the board to develop more timely and meaningful policies for future State Board considerations.

Feel free to reach out to me for further discussion.

Best wishes,




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

at schools, colleges, workplaces, events, etc.; To learn more:

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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  • Mike is A KARA founder/Executive Director and founding board member at CASAMN.



For in depth coverage of this issue click here

KARA welcomes rebuttals. Objectively written rebuttals will be published at KARA’s discretion. Include your name and whether or not you want the article to be attributed to you – send to; with “Rebuttal” in the subject line.

KARA Public Service Announcement (30 seconds)

KARA Signature Video (4 minute)

INVISIBLE CHILDREN campus programs here