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Thank you Star Tribune and Brandon Stahl for your in depth reporting on the awful state of child protection in Pope County MN.


A few months ago Brandon Stahl presented Star Tribune readers with the sad fact that four Minnesota counties screen out 90% of child abuse calls.  Today, you have shown us how a child can be reported to Child Protection Services fifteen times with egg sized lumps, multiple bite marks, broken arm,  swollen cheeks, black eye, facial scabs and puncture wounds and have those reports screened out as unimportant fourteen times.


Eric’s death was as violent and tortured as his life was.  Eric’s day care providers tried again and again to report to Pope County Child Protection the bleeding and bruises that had been visited on a helpless child but even these mandated reporters finally gave up when they realized that the County had no intention of taking any action to save this child.


This story has been repeated 54 times in Minnesota since 2005 (children that have been murdered by their caregivers after being reported to child protection).


29% of abused MN children are sent back into the abusive conditions they were rescued from.


MN now ranks 47th among the states on the amount it spends on children in child protection


30% of Minnesota families reported for abuse receive services


The waiting list for subsidized daycare in MN is over 8000 names long (people just quit signing up)


80% of Minnesota’s abused children are abused again while under court supervision (this data from

U of M CURA Reporter Summer Fall 2013).


For all the talk about how precious children are, some Minnesota children are more precious than others.  This is how Minnesotans value other people’s children.


As a longtime CASA guardian ad-Litem, I have seen horrific things done to very young children and feel compelled to repeat their stories.  We need to have this conversation if anything is going to change.


I know what abuse and violence does to children – and the effects of abuse and violence are with that child forever.


These terrified and tortured children have no rights, no lobby to be heard at the State House, and with no CASA guardian ad-Litem, no voice to describe what it’s like to be tortured to death as a three year old in your own home.


Think about just how lucky you were to be born into a family that loved you (or at least didn’t beat, neglect, or molest you).


Minnesota’s under-funding of programs that could provide reporting and services to at risk children is a moral failure.  


If it were not for Brandon Stahl’s reporting on Eric Dean’s very avoidable senseless death, just the few people who had him in their daycare center would know about this tragedy.  There is something amoral in community that allows three year old children to be tortured to death and then forgotten about.


At times like this, the path of least resistance is to hate and blame Pope County and their Child Protection Services.  


I argue that it is us, as a State and its voters, that have just not deemed these children important enough to make the reporting and investigation of child abuse a priority and mandate standards to insure that 3 year old children are not tortured to death in the presence of Child Protection Workers.


Support KARA’s TPT Documentary Partnership Project (pass this on to your friends)



Peggy Peterson Photography/Penn Medicine

Mary White makes house calls. She’s a senior community health worker in Philadelphia in the IMPaCT program at the Penn Center for Community Health Workers. She has 25 of the University of Pennsylvania Health System’s toughest patients. It’s her job to help them set health goals and, step by step, carry them out.

One of her patients is Grover Wilson, an engaging man of 56 who weighs 515 pounds. Wilson had long been athletic and sociable, the organizer of a long-running community volleyball game. But depression and an injury led him to gain weight. Now he lives in a tiny basement apartment packed floor to ceiling with boxes of his possessions, and is trapped and isolated by his weight.

In 2010, researchers from Penn began interviewing patients who lived in high-poverty neighborhoods about what they saw as barriers that kept them from getting health care, and kept them sick. Those responses — from long interviews with 115 patients — became the basis of the Penn Center and IMPaCT, which stands for “individualized management for patient-centered targets.”

The center’s community health workers, or C.H.W.s — seven now, but there will be 30 next year — visit some of Penn Medicine’s poorest and sickest patients: people who live in high-poverty neighborhoods, are hospitalized or have two chronic diseases, and either have Medicaid or no insurance at all. Since they began seeing patients in 2011, they’ve treated 1,800 of them. They expect to work with that number every year starting in 2015.


[For more of this story, written by Tina Rosenberg, go to http://opinionator.blogs.nytim..._type=blogs&_r=0]


NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has announced new guidelines for how the league will handle incidents of domestic violence and sexual assault. The change in policy, explained an open letter to team owners, come a month after the NFL was criticized for how it handled player Ray Rice's arrest on domestic violence charges.

Goodell says that the new policies were developed after conversations with outside experts, team owners and the NFL Players Association. The open letter describes several ways in which the NFL plans to provide training, support and resources to personnel, players and their families. It also sets down guidelines for how sexual assault and domestic abuse will be punished in the future.


[For more of this story, written by Camila Domonoske, go to]


(Editor's Note: NPR's Michel Martin was invited by St. Louis Public Radio to moderate a community conversation on Thursday around race, police tactics and leadership following the shooting death of Michael Brown. The following story is based on what happened at the event.)

Ferguson, Mo., is a study in contrasts. It boasts spacious Victorians in its historic section, with lush green lawns, many featuring "I Heart Ferguson" signs. Just blocks away, there's a burnt-out QuikTrip. The signs here read "Hands Up, Don't Shoot." In some cases, there are boarded-up windows advertising plans to reopen, or decorated with the town's thanks for the love and support.

Not far from either: A mound of teddy bears and dried flowers marks the spot where 18-year-old Michael Brown fell after being shot by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. Brown's death not only put a spotlight on these contrasts, but has also encouraged people to try to address them.


[For more of this story, written by Michael Martin, go to]


Lack of sleep not only puts teens at risk for poor grades, it also puts them at increased risk for obesity, researchers warn.

The study authors analyzed data collected from more than 10,000 Americans when they were aged 16 and 21. Nearly one-fifth of them got less than six hours of sleep a night when they were age 16, and this group was 20 percent more likely to be obese at age 21 than those who got more than eight hours of sleep per night at age 16, the investigators found.


[For more of this story go to]


Here is a bit that I just wrote around the connections of "GTD weekly review", safety and trauma informed care.  Trying to do some real cross connecting!  Here is an excerpt:


At Hopeworks, we say we work in a trauma informed manner.  This means, that we understand that our city and Keep FIreour youth have been exposed to massive amounts of toxic stress.  As an organization,e daily are bombarded by the same level of stress.  We are all in this together.  We are all impacted together.  We can all be in trying to “survive” together.  In seeking to create a healing community, we need safety.  We develop the bedrock for growth as we tend to increasing safety at all levels. Noticing and tending to safety allows us–encourages us–to pause, re-regulate, and choose so that we can reflect on what is happening.  At Hopeworks, we are learning that we need to take time to review–to review our inboxes, to review our weekly priorities and to review what has happened to us and is happening to us.  This is a fundamental exercise of care that we need to do to  engage and invite a different and dynamic sense of safety.  Yes, the particulars manifest in inboxes, meetings, emails, and priorities and these things all inform the choices we make. Recognizing and owning even the smallest of choices over and over again increases our power over the future–we begin to create a different world, choosing instead of being victimized by it..

GTD is just one of many tools that we are using at Hopeworks to regulate the changing world we live in.  In Camden, many of those changes come about because of unjust structures–violence, poverty abuse and neglect.  An overflowing inbox seems disconnected from being shot at in the street—until we connect survival patterns common to both. The patterns of behavior that help us survive bullets are the same ones we apply in the office, to our own detriment



Read the full article at:

Photos (1)
Keep FIre In Your Life

Arguments between parents may damage their relationships with their children, a new study indicates.

Parents in more than 200 families were asked to make daily diary entries for 15 days. At the end of each day, mothers and fathers rated the quality of their marriage and their relationship with their children.

On days when parents reported conflict and tension in their marriage, their dealings with their children were also strained, according to the study recently published in the Journal of Family Psychology.


[For more of this story go to]


Let’s start with what we don’t know: the precise circumstances under which a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo., shot dead an unarmed black teenager named Michael Brown.

But here’s what evidence does strongly suggest: Young black men in America suffer from widespread racism and stereotyping, by all society — including African-Americans themselves.

Research in the last couple of decades suggests that the problem is not so much overt racists. Rather, the larger problem is a broad swath of people who consider themselves enlightened, who intellectually believe in racial equality, who deplore discrimination, yet who harbor unconscious attitudes that result in discriminatory policies and behavior.


[For more of this story, written by Nicholas Kristof, go to]

This recording of "Beauty and the Brain," a session hosted by Guy Raz at TED 2014, brings popular speakers back to the TED stage with updates on their work and personal lives.  Tierney Thys talks about how being in the natural world engages your...
Hi all-   As many of you likely are aware, the influx of immigrant students from Central America will likely have a significant impact on schools. I know some of the local districts by me have hundreds of enrollments as they prepare for the new...
Too many suffer in Silence and from a result of them :Being Silent". This cycle MUST Be Broken so that People can begin the Process of Healing!
If an agency has all of its staff attend a trauma-informed workshop, does that mean it's trauma-informed? If an organization does training about trauma-informed care without mentioning the ACE Study, is that being trauma-informed? If a healthcare...
Posted by  Tina Marie Hahn, MD, FAAP  on July 26, 2014 at 2:30pm View Blog As we move towards working with state legislatures, or thinking about this, I believe it is important to devise the best screening scale.  This should take into...
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