A COVID WAVE? (the double whammy of 2 years of ACEs on children and community)
Finally removed from the home forever, but not healed. The invisible scars we carry remain.
Life with our painful childhood memories, triggered behaviors and habits in this world is terribly difficult to manage.
Healing from a broken past is difficult.
No more punishment please.
What’s it like to be a CASA guardian ad Litem (child protection worker) unable to find safe housing and mental health services for the 14-year-old struggling foster boy in your caseload? This child’s self-harming and violent behaviors could change if there was help to manage behaviors triggered by childhood traumas. These children can go on…
Growing up in a home beaten, raped or starved by the most important authority in your life, means that for you, authority is not to be respected – it is to be hated and feared. Real life stories about this here.
Uncooperative often violent response to authority figures is normal for traumatized children. It’s driven by repeated pain and terror visited upon a child that has been unable to escape repeated trauma and abuse.
Repeated childhood trauma does cruel things to children. Things that never go away. Those things (behaviors/thoughts/self-harm/suicide) can be managed with help. Without help, depression, pain and sadness often become overwhelming.
This short article by Laurel Ferris in Women’s Press clearly articulates what CASA Guardians do and why children need them.
From the article;
When we say it’s not brain surgery it’s because a task is easy – it doesn’t demand much training or experience. There are times the phrase is meaningful and times it is painfully inappropriate. This article in the Star Tribune explains that corrections officers, human services technicians and staff in state veterans homes will not…
The American Medical community has joined forces to declare a national emergency in children’s mental health, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Today’s declaration is an urgent call to policymakers at all levels of government — we must treat this mental health crisis like the emergency it is,” said AAP President Lee Savio Beers, MD, …
Social media, political and community outrage
and COVID Lockdown stress are overwhelming mental health caregivers and institutions in every community – Child suicide/self-harm are rising dramatically Speak out, Share this widely
During the lockdown, abused children were literally trapped at home with their abusers. This multiplied the stress on Child Protection Services as an institution and on the social workers doing their best in an impossible situation.
COVID’s impact on children’s mental health will be felt for a very long time. Especially vulnerable are children suffering from extended exposure to violence and deprivation that lived in toxic homes without access to help during the pandemic lockdowns – Read the MedPage article here…
What’s it like to be a CASA guardian ad Litem (child protection worker) unable to find safe housing and mental health services for the 14-year-old struggling foster boy in your caseload? His self-harming and violent behaviors could change if he had help to manage childhood traumas. He could go on to lead a productive life.…
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Children’s Hospital Association have joined forces to declare a national emergency in children’s mental health, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Today’s declaration is an urgent call to policymakers at all levels of government — we must treat this mental health crisis like the emergency it is,” said AAP President Lee Savio Beers, MD, in a statement.
People suffering from untreated mental illness are 16 times more likely to be killed in interactions with law enforcement. Recently in Utah, a 13-year-old boy with autism was shot several times by police after his mother dialed 911 to request help as her son was experiencing a mental breakdown.
Repeated self-harm and hospital trips for healing were his normal behavior when he was depressed. He would cut himself and stuff objects into the wound – a paper clip, staple or anything he could find. This poor boy was a product of rape and incest.
His mother was raped by her father when she was 13. She abandoned her son to State Care at birth. Acanto never experienced love or the warmth of a family. Alito shared with me that the only love or tenderness he ever felt was nurses caring for his wounds.
We know that the punishment model does not facilitate healing or learning – It is responsible for most failed grade level reading, math and history scores. It is a primary reason for underperforming schools.
This is a synopsis of Education Week’s last 12 months of reporting on conditions in American schools today with attention to educating abused and neglected children. It’s a deep dive into what it means to be a teacher in America today.
LA & New Jersey ending prison and jails for juveniles and Colorado’s super successful juvenile restorative justice
“Mental Health Crisis + Emergency Rooms” is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s a strong piece demonstrating the huge increase in chemical restraints and ER mental health visits by children, but it misses the heart of the story.
We the people are serious about continued investment in our punishment model.
Expelling kids from daycare and elementary school is common. Charging youth in adult courts is too. The nation’s Supreme Court recently reinstated lifelong (no chance for release) sentencing for crimes committed by juveniles.
Instead of investing in healing broken children we invest our tax dollars into courts that punish kids from traumatizing violent and toxic homes. Are we bad at math or pro growing crime, criminals and broken communities.
Out of the blue murderous psychosis in normal people is rare.
It’s not likely that this boy led a normal life prior to this violence.
As former Supreme Court Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz so aptly stated, “the difference between that poor child and a felon is about eight years”
Vote for mental health services and child friendly programs for at risk children and call your state legislators and tell them to do the same.
Once these very troubled children become old enough to impact their surroundings they do so in a most troubling manner. That’s why our jails are full and our schools are troubled.
From the study; “In other words, by one mechanism or another, more than 200,000 individuals under the age of 18 are prosecuted in criminal court each year. There are three trends in the data worth noting…
For most of us in Child Protective Services, KARE 11 / Lauren Leamanczyk’s investigative reporting on the absence of facilities for troubled foster and adopted State Ward children is a recurring nightmare.
California’s Surgeon General Nadine Burke Harris has declared Adverse Childhood Experiences a public health problem and public school crisis in her state. About 1/3 of all state ward children (nationally) are forced onto psychotropic medications. Suicide is now the 2nd leading cause of death among 10 to 24 year olds. Over 1 million children under 6 are…
This article from the ACEs Too High website provides an everyday guide with must know information for folks working with traumatized children and youth. With too many children not being afforded an escape to the safety of a classroom because of the Covid19 virus, there will be a growing danger as substantially more badly abused children fill our classrooms in the fall (or winter or spring) of next year.
When I met her, I saw a beautiful, quiet and curious little girl. I was Isabella’s (not her real name) first teacher and wish to remain anonymous.
After 7 full years of abuse and neglect she entered my special ed classroom in Arizona…
Terrible trauma (like generations of slavery) and the behaviors and conflicts it creates need to be identified and discussed if they are to be fixed. Do we want higher graduation rates and lower crime and recidivism rates for our at risk youth and families?
Charlamagne Tha God has Launched a Mental Wealth Alliance Foundation to establish fundamental and far-reaching generational support for Black Mental Health.
Share this widely.
how COVID is impacting children’s mental health
and hammering education and child well-being and Tips for Helping Students Recover From Pandemic Stress
These short videos capture the realities of child abuse.
Share them widely and more of us will know how to do more for kids in painful places.
Trauma empowerment comes from identifying and understanding what has happened. As a CASA guardian ad litem, I’ve come to know many abused children. I was the second person John ever told of the things that were done to him when he was a boy – he died last year at 80. John lived for 30…
Trauma, Children, Family, Community
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.
This powerful ACEs Too High article contains tons of statistics and information related to the depth and scope of child abuse in America. What has struck me most is…
Growing Up Foster, ‘The foster care system is broken’
There are an estimated 12,000 foster children in Minnesota, more than 8,000 of whom live in foster homes,
Adolescents who had more than one suicide attempt prior to their initial hospitalization were 102% more likely to be re-hospitalized within 5 years for a suicide attempt than adolescents who had no prior attempts2.
COVID is punishing AT RISK CHILDREN at a rate and severity never seen before. How can we help them? Tracking and reporting issues of violence, trauma, neglect and abuse of children is not transparent or robust – it never has been. Few people are aware of the terrific impact trauma has on children and how…
This had to have been one of the most detailed Childline referrals the county had ever seen, not to mention Sally had a wonderful, dedicated psychiatrist. As the time went by, the treatment team eagerly awaited the results of her abuse referral, as she had won over the hearts of all the hospital staff and we all wanted to see her safe and free from harm.
The referral came back as unfounded.
Due to her intellectual and neurodevelopmental disabilities, she was deemed in-credible.
ACE research shows a strong historical pattern of criminality in families of child delinquents. Using Cohen’s estimates, we calculate the multi-generational “multiplier effect” to be between $3.4 and $11.5 million. In these families, criminality is likely to grow exponentially.
America’s pilgrims brought with them a punishment model that remains the heart of our civic and group think today.
6.4 million American youth are diagnosed with ADHD. This article from ACEs Too High by Rebecca Ruiz makes clear the overdiagnosis of ADHD and underreporting of childhood trauma. This goes a long way in explaining the overdosing of youth in foster care with psychotropic medications and giant fines paid by big pharma for illegally selling these drugs to pediatricians for use on very young children.
A sobering story of her life-mate Tom at 78 years old still living with the pain of trauma and abuse inflicted upon him as a child and how the ACE (Adverse Childhood Experience) based programs are working to heal today’s suffering children.
I believe that the challenge addressed in this document has to do with ACES and other escalating problems in our society. Please let me know your thoughts.
Sadly, the combination of American “bootstrap” culture, harsh individual freedom driven capitalism and defining success as “more money/winning at any cost” are denigrating social sciences/human services and anything else that gets in the way (including “science”).
Our institutions are paying a terrible price demonstrated by the cost of and underperformance in quality of life indices across the board (public health, public education, public safety).
This nation no longer leads the world in the things that make for a safe and livable society. We lead in teen STDs & pregnancies, prison populations, recidivism & incarcerated juveniles, poverty and in most financially rewarding areas of endeavor.
Add to that, the concurrent explosion of trauma related mental health problems (ACES) facing institutions service providers; educators, social and health workers, law enforcement, court and detention personnel are finding their level of training severely inadequate, jobs much more stressful and dangerous with a lack of success across most institutional venues.
The level of violence in hospitals, care & detention centers, foster homes and schools is high and growing and our reliance on Prozac like drugs in managing these problems bodes ill for any long term solutions (without treatment these problems grow exponentially)
Generational child abuse and trauma is the most misunderstood and powerful social disease present in this nation today and there are few signs of its abatement.
KARA (Kids At Risk Action) tracks current news about at risk children bringing transparency and attention to our youngest and most vulnerable citizens.
This reporting is only sampling of what should be reported – the great majority of child trauma & abuse is never known.
37% of children overall and 54% of Black children are reported to child protection services in America by the time they turn 18.
(American Journal of Public Health 1.17)
Share this with your friends and networks – it will make a big difference in the lives of children and the people that live with, work with and love abused children
Oprah calls Trauma Informed Care “game changing,” addresses long …
2 days ago – Oprah calls Trauma Informed Care “game changing,” addresses long-term effects of trauma on 60 Minutes this Sunday, March 11 … Take a look at the interview Oprah did on CBS This Morning (the link is below) but be prepared – as people dedicated to ACEs awareness and trauma informed care, it will …
Its official. Trauma informed teaching of coping skills by Big Bird makes it so. 37% of American Children are reported to child protection by the time they are 18. Trauma has become a big part of growing up in America.
Unseen and unknown, America’s abused & traumatized children lead painful lives that without help do not improve much as they age.
Do at risk children in your community need more support to lead normal lives? Would more information and community involvement make their lives better?
Check out Kids At Risk Action traveling exhibit provided free to colleges where you live and build support for the better answers these children need.
All Adults Are The Protectors of All Children
Thank you Chris Serres & Star Tribune for identifying how severely the St Cloud Children’s home for children fails abused and neglected kids.
Children live here because a judge found their birth homes so dangerous that the child needed to be removed from the home and placed at the St Cloud Children’s Home.
Instead of providing a safe haven, this facility has been tagged repeatedly with multiple violations over many years. Children having sex in the presence of a staff member, head banging to the point of black eyes, swollen faces and abrasions.
To put a human face on what these violations look like;
As a volunteer CASA guardian ad litem, one of my 11 year old child protection boys (call him John) was misbehaving at a Cambridge Children’s Home.
John was forced outside by a low paid, undertrained staff member, on a ten degree MN night and told that he would be allowed back inside in an hour.
Instead, John walked home, in a T shirt, on the highway from Cambridge (35 miles). 11 year-old traumatized youth don’t often make good decisions (especially children on multiple psychtropic medications).
John was in child protective services (and this group home) because his father tied him to a bed and left him alone for days without food or water from the ages of four to seven.
John was regularly sexually abused, beaten & starved over 4 years living with his dad. When I met him, this 7 year-old boy was covered in bruises from head to foot and on both sides of his body.
Grounded in compassion and learning, we must act forcefully to promote transparency, understanding and change to reform how abused and neglected children find safe permanent homes and deal with the traumas that brought them into child protection. Beginnng this year, the ACA makes advanced mental health services available to traumatized children giving them a chance to heal and thrive.
This effort requires focused support for achievable objectives.
When we’ve done that, we will have transformed the System.
Possible actions include:
Activist organizations uniting in every community to push for awareness of and changes in policies that are failing or demonstrably superior.
Action teams in each Congressional district communicating regularly with their Congressperson (support these teams where they are and create them where they don’t exist).
Child-affirming activist communities whose members build awareness and understanding of programs and policies impacting at risk children can improve those laws and policies.
With this approach, we can address the child, the family and the system.
Why Many People Don’t Talk About Traumatic Events Until Long After They Occur [TheConversation.com]
After traumatic events, such as physical or sexual assault, domestic violence or combat, that threaten to rob us of our dignity and spirit, people typically don’t tell others. In fact, many trauma survivors either never speak to anyone about what happened to them or wait a very long time to do so. The reasons for this are multi-fold and likely include shame, perceived stigma of being a “victim,” past negative disclosure experiences and fears of being blamed or told that the event was somehow their fault. And when it comes to reporting sexual harassment, women fear for their jobs, promotions or placements.
Register for the 2016 Conference on Adverse Childhood Experiences [ACEsConnection.com]
Join Center for Youth Wellness October 19-21 for the 2016 Conference on Adverse Childhood Experiences in San Francisco. The conference is a unique opportunity for every expert and practitioner committed to advancing the ACEs movement to come together to build a better future for children exposed to early adversity and trauma.