Minnesota’s struggle to keep a strong CASA volunteer force advocating for abused and neglected children in the state has captured the interest of Naomi Schaefer Riley, author of NO WAY TREAT A CHILD and writer with City Journal (a national publication).

Read her complete article here.

Excerpt from Naomi’s article:

“One major problem with child welfare, both in Minnesota and nationally, is that it is a closed system, with little public oversight. It is not uncommon to hear that the lawyers for the agency, the parents, and the professional guardians ad litem have made decisions about the placement of a child before they even go to court. Without programs like CASA, the only people who see the system up close are the professionals who are paid to be there and the families involved in it. And the outsiders who do get to see the system’s inner workings—foster families, for example—often must keep silent, lest the professionals retaliate against them. One of the reasons family courts seem to operate outside of the law is that few people watch over them. Family court rulings are rarely appealed.

In New York, family court judges seem to be going rogue more frequently. One court recently placed a baby back with a father who had lacerated her tongue on a supervised visit, with tragic consequences for the child. Another New York family court judge recently propositioned a mother on a swingers’ website after she appeared before the judge in court.

CASAs tend to be professionals who often have a background with kids and a desire to help. They are not worried about their pensions. They don’t have an ideological axe to grind. They are the kinds of people we want to get an inside look at the child-welfare system. We want them to spend more time with these kids—to see whether they are safe and well cared for in their homes. We want someone to follow up with the professionals who are paid to look out for the children’s interests. In a system often wrapped up in the desires and needs of adults, we need people dedicated to being a voice for children. Unfortunately, many child-welfare professionals don’t like being watched.”



Is CPS creating what it was designed to stop?

There are many forces at play on Child Protective Services today

The punishment model still rules in courts, schools and public policy

better tracking and reporting

of outcomes-based metrics in CPS

and the over-institutionalizing

of children in detention and jails are

dehumanizing trends.

First, we need to save abused children from

more trauma, more punishment, early pregnancy,

and the lifetimes of crime

that comes from early incarceration.

KARA reports on the issues of invisible children

This article submitted by Former CASA Guardian Ad Litem Mike Tikkanen

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All Adults Are the Protectors of All Children



“What we do to our children, they will do to our society”

(Pliny the Elder, 2000 years ago)