Protecting children the Minnesota way

Crime - the media loves it, people fear it, and criminals get away with it!
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CraigInTwinCities
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Protecting children the Minnesota way

Post by CraigInTwinCities » Fri Mar 16, 2007 12:07 am

You know, for a state that spends as much as we do on "social services," we're pretty darn backward in MN about protecting kids.

I won't share many specifics here, but my wife and I have a nephew who was adopted out of my sister's home, and younger nephew who still gets to visit his older brother once in a while, despite it being a "mostly closed" adoption.

So, we had younger nephew up to visit recently and he revealed to us that last time he visited hsi older brother, there were some very strange sleeping arrangements.

Older brother slept in the same bed as Dad, and younger brother slept on a sleeping bag on the floor. Older brother also complained about not having his own room. This, despite the fact that older brother's adoptive father has a very big house with lots of rooms. Cause for concern, right?

Well, we don't know all the details because it's a closed adoption, so my wife and I felt pretty powerless to do anything, even though we suspect there's some abuse going on in the home. Living in Minnesota nearly all my life (and my wife for a good decade or more of hers), we pretty much know one truth: Minnesota absolutely SUCKS at protecting children and absolutely excels at protecting victimizers. So we felt like we had our hands tied.

Then, a relative of a family friend, who works in child protection in Tennessee, talked to us and filled our heads with ideas like, "the state cares about getting kids out of harm's way," and "report what you know, even if you don't know everything," and "we can use Lexis-Nexis as long as you have a birthdate and a birth name... we can't release the kid's location to you, but we can FIND them and investigate, if you have a cause for concern."

And, silly us, we believed her, because heck, that's how it works in Tennessee.

Well, Tennessee has a lot up on Minnesota.

Going off this person's advice, we called Hennepin County Child Protective Services. Here's what we were told:

"An adult sleeping in the same bed as a teenage child is no cause for concern, unless there's a specific allegation of sexual activity."

"You're not qualified to report anything to us, because you don't work with this child in a professional capacity."

"We can't do anything about investigating the adoptive father unless you have name, address, phone number, work schedule and what color urine he pees on St. Patrick's Day."

(Apparently, MN hasn't heard of the Lexis-Nexis search tool that Tennessee uses to track down kids.)

"The child would have to report such an allegation to a professional for us to investigate it."

Which is about as bloody likely as him walking up to a girl he likes in school and saying, "Hey, my dad molests me, wanna go to the prom?" It's not gonna happen.

So, let's review:

Tennessee: Willing to at least investigate, track down and check into things when there's a concern, using modern tools to accomplish it. And they don't spend NEARLY as much doing it as Minnesota does.

Minnesota: Call us when the kid's blown his brains out because he can't stand being victimized anymore. We might want to charge you for the coroner's fees. Until then, hope the kid bares his soul to an authority figure/complete stranger he has no reason to trust... and STOP CALLING when you know something, unless you're QUALIFIED to know it... and they get a lot more funds to ignore problems than Tennessee does to investigate....

Way to go, Hennepin County. Our tax money at work!

OdinofAzgard
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Post by OdinofAzgard » Fri Mar 16, 2007 3:05 pm

I share your disgust with the way Hennepin County protects children (and particularly, children the County returns to perilous situations without adequate County supervision) but contrary to what Reaganites have been wont to say, government isn't the problem. Or at least it's not the primary problem.

Usually, children born to semi-worthless parents are taken in by relatives. Your family didn't step up and protect these kids and now you whine about the County not doing it. What are your family's values?

CraigInTwinCities
Posts: 715
Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2006 7:29 pm
Location: Twin Cities, MN
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Post by CraigInTwinCities » Fri Mar 16, 2007 4:52 pm

Odin,

I'm breaking my "silent treatment" of you this once to warn you not to get personal with me about my family. That's crossing a line.

The reason I ignore you is because you can't have a civil discussion without insulting the person you're talking to. You want to be that kind of person, that's fine on most topics, but do NOT cross the line when in comes to people's family's.

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