Ending Generational Child Abuse

 

Star Tribune’s 10.10.2018 Chris Serres report on the lawsuit facing Child Protective Services by unhappy parents is the tip of the iceberg of sadness facing everyone involved in the Child Protection System.

Dwight Mitchell’s claim that beating 6 & 11 year old children repeatedly & leaving multiple large bruises with a belt (or as Adrian Peterson did with a stick) or punching the 6 year old 16 times is “ordinary punishment” is hard to fathom.

In dad’s defense, Dwight was raised that way.  Dwight thinks he has turned out fine & has the right to inflict injury on his child.  If a nonfamily adult hit those boys that hard, the offender would be sent to jail.

Dad’s Fine perhaps until he sees his grandson beaten in the same awful way in a few years by his dad.

Generational child abuse & trauma is an awful truth in our community. Until this cycle is broken, tens of thousands of MN children are being raped, beaten & neglected every year…

Traumatized children impact our schools, courts, public health & public safety in ways people cannot possibly understand. For if we did, we would care a great deal more for at risk children & their families.

Traumatized children too often become dysfunctional traumatized adults filling our prisons & jails, jeopardizing public safety & are a huge cost to public & community health.  A single CASA GAL child in my caseload cost the community 3 million dollars by the time he aged out of foster care (not including all the people he has hurt & damage he has done to innocent people).

Also of questionable veracity in the article is the claim that “500 cases of abuse were false or disputed” (out of at least 30,936 in 2016).

Of the 50 children I worked as a CASA volunteer guardian ad Litem to remove from toxic homes, very few families did NOT dispute the charges.

False means false, including the “disputed” language is deliberately misleading & just wrong – almost all caregivers dispute the charges.

Injuring a child is “injuring a child”.

All Adults Are The Protectors of All Children 

Every nation in the world except the U.S. has signed the International Child Rights Treaty, leaving children  in our nation with the same rights that women had in 1917 (chattel).

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This article has caused me to pause. The sad reality is there are many awful things that continue to happen to children once in CPS. I run a school with many foster children. The things we witness the system doing to our students is of equal if not worse measures than the original offense for which they were pulled. 

If we want to truly speak about ending child abuse, we must acknowledge that pulling kids has been our primary mode of operation for a long time now, which is also very traumatic AND puts kids at an even greater risk for trauma. And that it is not working either. 

There are MANY cases where supporting the entire family system toward a process of parental buffering and generational healing, would change the cycle. But that is not what we do as a society.

I also oversee 5 parent projects, where we DO that. The transformation for families is breathtaking. However, it is messy hard work and it takes time. So I live a holistic approach to this that is working.

In Kansas, the state decreased safety net resources 6 years ago to vulnerable families, (food stamps and TANF). Which caused, annually 2600 more foster kids to end up in our already overwhelmed system.  I have one student who is picked up from our school every day and taken to a city nearby, where he sleeps on an office floor every night.

He is a teenage boy and if he gets on social media they threaten to take him from us- the school...  A place where we have 5 adults who adore him! Anyways, I am tired of worn out conversations of "good guys and bad guys". 

The system is not the "bad guy". I point these things out because, it is overwhelmed, like many of our parents... who are not the "bad guys" either. We defend these children, but truth be told, as soon as one of these kiddos turns 18 and does the same thing to their children, we will punish them for that too.

 

We MUST create a better way.

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