Child Rights, Abuse, Crime & Statistics

 

The U.S. is the only nation in the world to not sign the United Nation's International Rights of the Child Treaty adopted in 1989 - leaving children as chattel with no civil rights in the homes they are raised in, voice in courts,  the media or legislature.

As a long time volunteer County CASA guardian ad Litem it has been hard to comprehend the explosive growth of child abuse in my lifetime. This study (lead author Hyunil Kim PhD Student at the Brown School at Washington University St Louis) published in the January issue of the American Journal of Public Health is troubling on several levels.

First, to reach numbers this high by only including reports of child abuse that met County standards for a case to be investigated, indicates that this already high number (37% overall & 53% for Black Children) is possibly even higher than than the study indicates. 

When four year old Eric Dean was murdered in MN by his foster mom after 15 largely ignored reports of abuse by mandated reporters, there were four Minnesota counties screening out 90% of the abuse calls they received.  

The State average was 66% screened out at the time.  

Arizona completely ignored over 6000 abuse reports a few years ago and most states have very little transparency or accountability for how screened out cases are managed or kept track of.

Social workers in MN were not allowed (by statute) even to review prior reports of abuse when investigating a new report of abuse at the time of Eric Dean’s death.  Second, each state and every county has it’s own set of standards for determining what constitutes abuse.  

Like it or not, those states and counties with the least resources for child protection simply require a great deal more trauma & abuse before a child’s case will meet the standards to be investigated.  In other words, children in Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana and other states that put only token resources into child well being/child protection have standards and procedures that lead to workers ditching 6000 abuse files rather than assigning them to workers (that are already overburdened) to be investigated.

To make my point, know this;

Thirty years ago, MN law makers passed legislation accepting the fact that children traumatized by watching their mothers being beaten or raped actually met the standard of abuse requiring a child abuse case to be filed.  Within one year, caseloads doubled and the legislature reversed its the statute to the way it had been because the state would not find the resources required to manage the increased caseloads.

For a nation that prides itself in morality and spirituality, we really owe it to ourselves and our youngest most vulnerable citizens to change these sad facts.

Share this widely.  The discussion is overdue.

MN Child Abuse Statistics

U.S. Child Abuse Statistics

Why 100 Million Americans Have A Criminal Record

Why 30.2% of American Youth Are Arrested By their 23rd Birthday

The Cost of Crime in America Today

ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) videos

Florida's Failing Foster Care System

Kids At Risk Action

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Comments (3)

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I think so too.  It would save money, (the U.S. spends more on education, crime and public health and achieves much poorer results than most other advanced nations).

Healthy students, ready do learn would become productive members of their community & much of the costs of crime and public health would be diminished.

Ending generational child abuse in just one family can be worth millions of dollars (from this CASA guardian ad Litem who has seen a single case child cost the State/County 3 million dollars by the time he aged out of foster care - with no consideration for the many people he hurt along the way).

 

 

 

Isn't this an argument for a new kind of parenting education...one that reaches everyone, everywhere, all the time?  Proactive, participatory, passive, public parenting education could prevent aces so we don't have to deal with the consequences years down the road.

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