KARA Award Winning Video (6 minutes)

Who Will Speak For The Children?

Child Protection work is hard. Community CASA volunteers (Court Appointed Special Advocate) speak for abused and neglected children in County Child Protection.

Volunteer CASA Guardians ad Litem spend their days with abused and neglected children that have been raped, neglected, beaten, and tortured by other means. 

Part II: NonTransparency in Child Protective Services (CPS)

The lack of transparency regarding the well-being of children in Child Protection Services leads the public to assume that everything is satisfactory, which is frequently not the case. Unlike any other American institution, Child Protection closely guards its client outcomes metrics. The extent of childhood trauma, torture, suicide, self-harm, depression, school failure, and mental health crises remains largely unknown to us.

DATA WORTH HAVING (for making informed decisions) 

Is Child Protection Services (CPS) creating what it was designed to stop?   KARA reports on the issues of invisible children This article submitted by Former CASA Guardian Ad Litem Mike Tikkanen Signup For KARA’s FREE Friday Morning Updates All Adults Are the Protectors of All Children INVISIBLECHILDREN – KARA (KIDS AT RISK ACTION This…

KARA – CASA Ad Grant Initiative ($120,000 annually)

KARA’s Google Ad Grant Initiative for CASA’s

The U.S. has 950 CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) organizations consisting of community volunteers trained as County Guardian ad Litems advocating for abused and neglected children in Court within Child Protection Services.

Leadership and Child Protection

What should leadership look like in Child Protective Services?  What should leadership look like in Child Protective Services? The CASA guardian ad Litem volunteer program motto is “For the Child”. The heart and soul of the CASA program is to give voice to the child in the institution of Child Protective Services (CPS). Being removed…

Mike Tikkanen’s Public Comments to the Guardian ad Litem Cost Effectiveness Analysis Report

Mike Tikkanen’s Public Comments on the Guardian ad Litem Cost Effectiveness Analysis
for the Minnesota Guardian ad Litem Board Dated September 15, 2023
This report (the actual final report is posted below)

Highlights on Family Assessment and Child Death from Star Tribune Child Abuse Reporting Part I

These highlights on Family Assessment and Child Death from recent Star Tribune Child Abuse reporting (1, 2, 3) are the tip of the iceberg. Read to the end to get KARA’s historical perspective of how Child Protective Services (CPS) has evolved over the years and its current iteration.

Child Endangerment (IN HARM’S WAY)

It hurts me to hear KARA writings referred to as hyperbolic. Decades of Child Protection work and KARA research consistently prove to me that Minnesota children are dying in big numbers and thousands are suffering repeated unspeakable harms while in the system.

This one year investigative
Star Tribune report (new series)

(please read the first 200 words)

makes the case that parental rights
to harm, torture, kill their children
outway the child’s rights to safety.


This is a book about childhood trauma, its impact on children and the impact traumatized youth are having on our communities and society. It is a guide to seeing and dealing with the most critical issues and causes of abuse, and solutions.

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.

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.

Body Memories – Why Child Sex Abuse Never Ends (letters from survivors and non survivors)

Dear Doctor,

As a medical professional you have taken an oath to do no harm, but there are ways in which you can hurt your patients without even recognizing you are doing so. What seems to you as a simple exam may cause injury to those who have been victimized by someone’s touch. This is a subject that we, survivors of sexual violence, have been meaning to discuss with you for some time now, but your authority can be more intimidating than you may know. I am also unsure if you are aware just how much power you, as a physician, hold and to the extent that you affect the lives of all of your patients. Your interactions with us travel much deeper than the physical core.

The relationship between patient and doctor is also mental, built on trust, understanding, and the security of knowing that your doctor has your well-being at heart. We, as your patients, entrust in you the most intimate parts of our bodies and our lives. But this trust has to be earned, and it is much harder for us patients who have been so severely violated. The intent of this letter is not to in any way criticize your work as a