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)

International Rights of the Child Treaty (& why jails are full)

Over 25 years ago the rest of the world (194 nations) decided that children have basic human rights and begin signing the International Rights of the Child Treaty. Under this document, children are to have the rights to education, safety and well being including not to be made soldiers, not to be enslaved).

America is the only nation that has not signed that agreement, largely because we still demand that southern states continue to militarize youth as young as eleven, through military schools.

A Courageous Vote! Thank You Minnesota Guardian ad Litem Board For Saving CASA Volunteer Program

Thank you, Former MN Supreme Court Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz, for your comments and questions at this board meeting. Your words enlightened board members of the need for an open and objective investigation into the CASA volunteer program in the effort to provide safety and stability to Minnesota’s abused and neglected children.

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 Abuse & Trauma Post COVID Statistics (guest post Lauren Begin Baypath U)

The COVID lockdown has kept at risk children in toxic homes for long periods without access to mandated reporters or the safety they provide. The traumas suffered and behavior issues that follow severe abuse need to be addressed for these young citizens to lead normal lives.

Inside the Henn Cty Guardian Ad Litem Office Today

The push to diminish/eliminate the CASA Volunteer workforce of Hennepin County’s Guardian ad Litem Program is impacting office morale for both paid and volunteer GALS. We’ve gone from about 250 volunteers to 32 remaining under new leadership in the last five years. CASA’s supporting program, CASAMN has over 200 volunteers waiting to be GALs –…

Saying Goodbye to the CASA Guardian ad Litem Volunteer Program

SAYING GOODBYE TO 1000’S OF VOLUNTEER CHILD ADVOCATES & Community Involvement & Trust In One More Community Institution. Since 1981, thousands of community volunteers have spent thousands of hours working to better the lives of Minnesota’s at-risk children.  End this program, they will disappear and no more will follow.

This will result in weakened community awareness, less community involvement and an incalculable loss of…

Children Are Dying On Your Watch (said the judge to CPS)

children are dying on your watch” and calling them “callous”, saying “they do more to protect their bureaucracy than the children in their care”.  Safe Passage for MN’s Children recent investigative reporting on Minnesota children murdered by their caregivers while in Child Protective Services might prompt a similar judicial response…

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.

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.

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…