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writing for godot

The Unbelievable Cost of Ignoring Abused Children

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Written by miket   
Monday, 01 January 2018 10:43

Unless you are a teacher, social worker or a foster / adoptive parent it’s hard to know the depth and scope of child abuse in America today.  There’s almost no transparency, accountability or media attention in the lives of abused children & they have no voice in their homes, the courts or the media.  Four year old kids just don’t have a platform to get their message out.

Because the topic is so painful and the coverage is so poor, the vast majority of people have no clue about the terrific pain and tremendous cost of child abuse.

20 years as a CASA volunteer guardian ad litem removing children from unbelievably toxic homes has proven to me the forever impact of extended exposure to violence and deprivation* suffered by state ward (foster) children.  So many teenage felons, preteen mothers with drug problems, violent boyfriends and no parenting skills and so few of their children making it in school, with their peers or in life.

All of the fifty children I helped find safe homes suffered from horrific traumas caused by a very damaged birth parent.  I don’t have happy ending stories for the kids I worked with.  When six year old foster child Kendrea Johnson successfully hung herself, her social worker did not know she was seeing a therapist and no one mentioned Prozac.

My governor (Dayton) call child protection in MN a colossal failure upon the slow murderous of 4 year old Eric Dean who had his face mostly chewed off and arm broken during the course of 15 reports of abuse (by mandated reporters).

All of the families I worked with in child protection came from multiple generations of abused children.  The study of epigenetics is instructional.  Nature or nurture (about equal I think).

A single boy in my CASA caseload cost the state about 3 million dollars by the time he aged out of foster care (without any consideration for the person he stabbed, teacher he beat up or terrible things he did to 29 foster families he lived with).

37% of American children are reported abused by their 18th birthday unless they are from African American families & that number is 54%.  80% of children aging out of foster care lead dysfunctional lives (the economics of this are just unbelievably bad). 60% of our youth in the juvenile justice system are suffering from a diagnosable mental illness and half of that number have multiple and serious diagnosis.  American prison recidivism is reaching 80%.

The push for tougher laws and more enforcement means more prisons (and privatized prisons) costing billions more and maintaining the ever growing longitudinal direction from child protection through juvenile justice and into prison.

50 years a state ward is horrifically costly and morally unsupportable.

MN had been a leader in child protection.

Article by Mike Tikkanen (data in article supported at website below)

www.invisiblechildren.org

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