Parental Drug Use Killing Children in Pennsylvania at High Rates (investigative report)

KARA follows investigative reporting on child death and near death by caregivers while the children are known to CPS (Child Protective Services). Please send us links to the reports in your state and we will make them available to a larger audience.Parental Drug Use Killing Children in Pennsylvania at High Rates (investigative report)

Closing Group Homes, Child Sex Abuse, Suicide & Costs (where you live)

KARA reports on the issues of child abuse and child protection This article submitted by Baypath University Student Lauren Begin KARA Public Service Announcement (30 seconds) KARA Signature Video (4 minute) INVISIBLE CHILDREN campus programs here Mount Pleasant officials want state regulators to close Westchester County child treatment center Officials in Mount Pleasant, New York…

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.

Remembering Young LGBTQ Lives & Moving Interview (guest post)

How did you come to terms with your identity?

Being queer and the sexuality part wasn’t as hard for me. I always knew I liked women. The journey was then finding out who else I liked and what I didn’t like. I feel like when you first join the community, you’re not always presented with how many identities there are. I feel like a lot of people tend to come in uneducated, and I think that’s definitively how I came in. I come from a very homophobic town, so we didn’t have that many people that were out. I didn’t know much. I started identifying as queer because I’m still not sure. My gender identity took a lot longer…

LGBTQ Foster Care, Suicide & 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

Child & Youth Suicides Feb 2023 (find your state here)

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,

2 Year-Old Sophia O’Neill Death & Why (from the Safe Passage Investigative Report)

This is one of the 88 stories of children dying at the hands of their caregivers reported in the recent Safe Passage For Children investigation of child death in Minnesota. The report suggests why this tragedy is happening in our state and how we can make life safer for at risk children (in the read more at the end of the article). Please share this with your contacts and State Representative. Sophia O’Neill, Hennepin County

Alito’s Story

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.

Do Kids Count? (it depends on where you live)

Conditions in Child Protective Services (CPS), foster care or in the lives these children live are unknown to most of us.

When the community doesn’t perceive a serious problem it will ignore it and the problem festers. This is why many city dwellers are afraid to ride the bus, prisons are full, and schools are struggling.

49 % of America’s Black Youth Arrested Before Their 23rd Birthday (40% of White Youth)

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.

Education in 2023 – Teaching At Risk Children (what tomorrow looks like)

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.

200,000 Youth Tried As Adults Each Year; Temple University

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…

Florida’s Child Protection System Today (it can’t happen here?)

“I’m not for killing kids and stuff” (officer Omar Bellow). For eight seconds officers fired 66 rounds from Glock service weapons towards the children. You can read the NY Times article details here. There is nothing easy about being in law enforcement in America today (or teaching, or social work, health services or child care). The numbers of seriously troubled youth are off the charts and so many children have serious often violent behavior problems. 

Let’s Stop Counties Stealing Money From Foster Children

Repurposing Federal Foster Care dollars have become a “revenue stream” for counties because taking foster child money goes “unnoticed” (from the article). In a perfect world, a County person would raise hell about repurposing foster child dollars to adults (but they don’t because they could lose their job). There is little reporting of and no transparency in the Child Protection System.

Fosters, Grandparents & Thanksgiving Hunger

This Thanksgiving, about 6 million American children are being raised by their grandparents (double what it was in 1970). Almost half of these grandparents have economic or social service needs for themselves and their grandchildren that are unmet.

It is estimated that for every child in foster care with relatives, there are 20 living outside of care with relatives (usually grandparents).

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.

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.

Politics & Children – A Zero Sum Game

A recent MN Governor ended subsidized daycare in the state – the waiting list went from 34 families to 7000.

At the time, two percent of MN children were enrolled in high quality early childhood education programs- the national average was 25% and MN had the lowest rate among the 38 states that offer the programs.

Cutting the pie smaller for children is destructive, leads to failing students and schools, troubled communities, and the highest crime rates in the industrialized world.

COVID IMPACT ON AT RISK YOUTH

Introduction This report was submitted by Business Analytics Student Michelle Kocins at Cambrian College Support KARA efforts reporting on child abuse & trauma during COVID here. To download this study as a pdf, click here. Analysis of Child Abuse in the U.S and Emerging Trends due to COVID-19 Michelle Kocins KARA at Invisible Children Business…

Child Trafficking: Singular Story and Global Perspective

Human trafficking is the third most profitable criminal activity nationally and in the world. It is superseded only by the trafficking of weapons and drugs.   Human trafficking generates $32 billion in the US alone annually and $150 billion globally. While sex trafficking is largely associated with girls and women, young boys are just as likely to be…

Women’s Rights & Children’s Rights

100 years ago, women were property (legally) and a husband could do just about anything to his wife. Murder was still murder, but anything else was treated by law enforcement much like animal abuse was in the day (not a big deal for the courts to be concerned with).

20 years ago I became a volunteer *CASA guardian ad Litem (voice for the child) in County child protection and saw first hand what it’s like for an American citizen to have no voice in the home, no voice in the courts and no voice in the media.

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 and not to be enslaved).