Trauma, Children & Overwhelmed ER’s in Minneapolis

Fairview Masonic Children’s hospital has been overwhelmed with 145 emergency pediatric psych cases since September. A makeshift shelter in an ambulance garage is all that’s available at Fairview Masonic to protect children suffering from the traumas of child abuse and homelessness.

American Crime Costs & Statistics

California and Arizona have used failed 3rd grade test scores to assist in forecasting prison capacity growth.  (Corrections Digest, April 12, 2002)

In 2022,  23% of Black and American Indian third graders in Minneapolis MN read at grade level.

6.11.21 NY votes to raise the minimum age of arrest from 7 to 12  and considers prohibiting the shackling of children and youth in family court.

Tennessee’s Child Marriage Bill & Taliban Doctrine

Massachusetts has the lowest minimum marriage age with parental consent of 14 years old for boys and 12 years old for girls. Afghan parents sell their 7 year-old daughters into arranged marriages & the Taliban has for years practiced child sex abuse.

Tennessee may soon have child brides in common with the Taliban and Afghan parents.

LGBTQ Foster Care & Ground Truths

about a third of kids in NY’s foster care identify as LGBTQ and nationally, about 24% do.  40% of homeless kids in NY City identify as LGBTQ and 42% of them had been in foster care.

This NY Times article focuses on how hard life is for them.  Many of these youth and children are in foster care because their parents rejected them.

Many are homeless, depressed and leading dysfunctional lives.

Every year about 12,000 children aged 5-14 years old are admitted to psychiatric hospital units for suicidal behavior. This and all the information following are PRE COVID.

Young children who have attempted suicide are up to 6 times more likely to attempt suicide again in adolescence

Foster Care vs Dog Care (Reimbursements)

For decades foster families have found most states unwilling to cover the costs of caring for the poor kids placed in care because of abuse and neglect.

In about half the States, kennelling/dog boarding pays more dollars than fostering a child. Dogs don’t need diapers or the near constant attention a troubled youth from Child Protective services does.

People food is also more expensive than dog food. Dogs don’t need shoes or shirts or money for “things” that children need and do.

30.2 % of America’s Youth Arrested Before Their 23rd Birthday (25% of us are state wards & special needs people)

This Annie E. Casey Foundation survey of Black youth in February 2021 demonstrates a rising trend of Black youth incarceration Post COVID. 

Black youth in juvenile detention on Feb. 1, 2021, reached a pandemic high, while that of white youth was the second lowest recorded in more than a year.

Is This About Child Protection or Something Else?

It has been stated by program management that CASA volunteer time spent with abused and neglected children is of no value. Ask that question of any child removed from the only home they have ever known now passing through the cold scarey institution of judges, courts, foster and group homes where you don’t know anyone and new adult faces come and go after short periods.

Plenty of data Stories and literature provide proof

Kendrea Johnson, Gabriel Fernandez & Child Suicide

Not far from my home, six year old Kendrea Johnson suicided by hanging while in foster care.   Gabriel Fernandez & Seven year old Gabriel Myer suicides drew national media attention about the same time.

My first visit to a four year old State Ward as a CASA volunteer guardian ad Litem was at the suicide ward of a local Hospital.  That visit to a tiny little girl who failed to kill herself has caused me to rethink child protection.

When Hope Dies (child suicide & self harm – part 1)

Kendrea (6) and Gabriel (7) successfully hung themselves a few years ago.  They came from different states but suffered the same afflictions.  Kendrea lived not far from me.

As a CASA guardian ad Litem, the commonality of self hate by the children I worked with in child protection – being so different, so unlovable that even your mother abandoned you, is devastating.

FREE COLLEGE FOR MN FOSTERS (Village Gathering Info Session 9.9.22)

  School is about to start for students across the state. For many of our Foster leaders, the classroom was a place of refuge, where, unlike their time in foster care, they had agency and connections. Over 80% of high school Fosters want to continue with post-secondary education, but that dream was financially out-of-reach for…

Arming Teachers/Shooting Students (advocating for less violence and a more civil society)

After the COVID19 lockdowns are lifted, and children and teachers return to the the classroom after months of fear and isolation, wouldn’t it be wonderful if students and teachers do not have to replace the daily fear of a virus with the daily fear of violence? 

What can the community do to make that happen?

How many teachers have combat training or signed up to pack a weapon when they entered the profession?  Turnover in education is already a huge problem.  Packing a gun is what police and soldiers do. Shooting someone takes training – shooting the right person takes extensive training.  For decades now, guns have been more often used for suicide than self-defense in America.  This is true also for domestic violence.

Self-Destructive Habits & Institutions (Professionalism – Part 5)

Self-Destructive Habits & Institutions (Professionalism – Part 5)

Volunteers lack “professionalism” is a primary argument management is using to eliminate the community CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer guardian ad Litem program in Minnesota.

Self-Destructive Habits & Institutions (Guardian ad litem program in MN Today – Part 2)

Let’s imagine a government that controls (1) automobile safety standards, (2) the state inspection for compliance with automobile safety standards (3) the automobile repair industry, all within the same department, and all done in official secrecy so as to protect the privacy of would-be drivers.

And let’s also suppose that the people who drive automobiles are, 98% of them, poor and very young people, who have no effective political voice.

Kamari Gholston’s Death & Child Protection in MN

Star Tribune’s Investigative journalist Paul Walsh coverage of toddler Kamari Gholston’s death today shines a light on the importance of public understanding and support for Child Protective Services in our state. 

Kamari’s death resembles Eric Dean’s case of 2014. Except Kamari…

Child Sex Abuse & The Mormon & Baptist Church (stopping child abuse requires adults report it)

The KARA article below from 2016 about the Mormon & Baptist Church hiding abuse provides insight into how hard it is to achieve transparency and accountability in children’s rights issues. This May 2022 NY Times article captures the fact that not much has changed.

MN Child Daycare, New Moms & Paid Leave

How we value children in MN. 2/3 of new moms take unpaid leave after childbirth. Minnesota is the 4th most expensive state for infant daycare ($16,087/yr). Nationally, single moms and the working poor are often paying over half their income for infant center care and married parents would  pay over 100% of their household income for center based care (but they don’t because it just doesn’t work).

April is Financial Literacy Month (Fostered/Adopted Youth Invited)

Financial Literacy and Grant Program: The KARA financial literacy program is a place to learn, discuss and ask questions, find meaningful guidance and help teenagers and young adults start their financial journey off on the right path. Join our monthly peer group discussions about personal financial issues and real-world financial tools, seed funding, and problem-solving for each participant.