WHAT EVERY PARENT SHOULD KNOW

INFORMATION ALL PARENTS NEED TO KNOW



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It’s normal for survivors of sexual violence to experience feelings of anxiety, stress, or fear. If these feelings become severe, last more than a few weeks, or interrupt your day-to-day life, it might be a condition known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

What is PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder that can result from a traumatic event. You may have heard the term used in relation to the military, but it can apply to survivors of any type of trauma, including sexual violence. Survivors might experience uncharacteristic feelings of stress, fear, anxiety, and nervousness—and this is perfectly normal. With PTSD, these feelings are extreme, can cause you to feel constantly in danger, and make it difficult to function in everyday life.

While all survivors react differently, there are three main symptoms of PTSD:

  1. Re-experiencing: feeling like you are reliving the event through flashbacks, dreams, or intrusive thoughts
  2. Avoidance: intentionally or subconsciously changing your behavior to avoid scenarios associated with the event or losing interest in activities you used to enjoy
  3. Hyper-arousal: feeling “on edge” all of the time, having difficulty sleeping, being easily startled, or prone to sudden outbursts

Where can I get help and more information?
Living with PTSD can be challenging, but learning more about the condition can encourage you to ask questions and find the help you need. You can learn more about PTSD at theNational Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) or Mayo Clinic.

If you are currently a member of the military or have family members in the military, you can Call the DoD Telephone Hotline at 877.995.5247 or visit the DoD Safe Helpline online chat platform.

To speak with someone who is trained to help, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE(4673) or chat online at online.rainn.org.

Please note that content on this site does not constitute medical advice and RAINN is not a medical expert. If after reading this information you have further questions, please contact a local healthcare professional or hospital.

https://www.rainn.org/effects-of-sexual-assault/post-traumatic-stress-disorder

 

A couple of months ago, a guy who'd been harassing and threatening Jake for a while pulled a gun on him as he was walking home. Luckily, the police arrived and no one was hurt, but soon after that Jake started feeling jittery and easily irritated, he had trouble sleeping and concentrating, and he couldn't stop thinking about it, even when he was trying to do something else. He even had nightmares about it.

The things Jake was going through are normal after a traumatic event. They usually run their course and go away within a few days or weeks. But for Jake and other people with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), things are different. When someone has PTSD, the symptoms of stress are intense and last for longer than a month.

What Is PTSD?

Posttraumatic stress disorder is a set of symptoms — feeling jittery, sleeping problems, trouble concentrating — that someone develops after they experience something harmful, terrifying, or upsetting.

Any kind of extreme stress can lead to PTSD. It often develops after a direct experience in which someone is seriously injured or threatened with injury or death. It also can happen to people who witness stressful events or learn about an unexpected or violent death or injury to a family member or close friend.

In some cases, PTSD can develop after repeated or extreme exposure to traumatic events. This can be the case with people such as policemen, firemen, and EMTs.

What Causes PTSD?

When you're in a stressful or dangerous situation, your body responds by producing hormones and chemicals as part of the "fight-or-flight" reaction (so named because that's exactly what the body is preparing itself to do — to either fight off the danger or run from it). Usually, when the danger is over, the body goes back to normal.

But when someone has PTSD, his or her stress response system doesn't switch off as it should.

Traumatic events that can cause PTSD include:

  • violent assaults, including rape
  • fire
  • physical or sexual abuse
  • acts of violence (such as school or neighborhood shootings)
  • natural or man-made disasters
  • car accidents
  • military combat (this form of PTSD is sometimes called "shell shock")
  • witnessing another person go through these kinds of traumatic events
  • being diagnosed with a life-threatening illness

MORE ON THIS TOPIC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://kidshealth.org/teen/your_mind/mental_health/ptsd.html

What is Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

When in danger, it’s natural to feel afraid. This fear triggers many split-second changes in the body to prepare to defend against the danger or to avoid it. This “fight-or-flight” response is a healthy reaction meant to protect a person from harm. But in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), this reaction is changed or damaged. People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they’re no longer in danger.

PTSD develops after a terrifying ordeal that involved physical harm or the threat of physical harm. The person who develops PTSD may have been the one who was harmed, the harm may have happened to a loved one, or the person may have witnessed a harmful event that happened to loved ones or strangers.

PTSD was first brought to public attention in relation to war veterans, but it can result from a variety of traumatic incidents, such as mugging, rape, torture, being kidnapped or held captive, child abuse, car accidents, train wrecks, plane crashes, bombings, or natural disasters such as floods or earthquakes.

 

Causes

Genes. Currently, many scientists are focusing on genes that play a role in creating fear memories. Understanding how fear memories are created may help to refine or find new interventions for reducing the symptoms of PTSD. For example, PTSD researchers have pinpointed genes that make:

Stathmin, a protein needed to form fear memories. In one study, mice that did not make stathmin were less likely than normal mice to “freeze,” a natural, protective response to danger, after being exposed to a fearful experience. They also showed less innate fear by exploring open spaces more willingly than normal mice.

GRP (gastrin-releasing peptide), a signaling chemical in the brain released during emotional events. In mice, GRP seems to help control the fear response, and lack of GRP may lead to the creation of greater and more lasting memories of fear.

Researchers have also found a version of the 5-HTTLPR gene, which controls levels of serotonin — a brain chemical related to mood-that appears to fuel the fear response. Like other mental disorders, it is likely that many genes with small effects are at work in PTSD.

Brain Areas. Studying parts of the brain involved in dealing with fear and stress also helps researchers to better understand possible causes of PTSD. One such brain structure is the amygdala, known for its role in emotion, learning, and memory. The amygdala appears to be active in fear acquisition, or learning to fear an event (such as touching a hot stove), as well as in the early stages of fear extinction, or learning not to fear.

Storing extinction memories and dampening the original fear response appears to involve the prefrontal cortex (PFC) area of the brain, involved in tasks such as decision-making, problem-solving, and judgment. Certain areas of the PFC play slightly different roles. For example, when it deems a source of stress controllable, the medial PFC suppresses the amygdala an alarm center deep in the brainstem and controls the stress response.5The ventromedial PFC helps sustain long-term extinction of fearful memories, and the size of this brain area may affect its ability to do so.

Individual differences in these genes or brain areas may only set the stage for PTSD without actually causing symptoms. Environmental factors, such as childhood trauma, head injury, or a history of mental illness, may further increase a person's risk by affecting the early growth of the brain. Also, personality and cognitive factors, such as optimism and the tendency to view challenges in a positive or negative way, as well as social factors, such as the availability and use of social support, appear to influence how people adjust to trauma. More research may show what combinations of these or perhaps other factors could be used someday to predict who will develop PTSD following a traumatic event.

The Next Steps for PTSD Research

In the last decade, rapid progress in research on the mental and biological foundations of PTSD has lead scientists to focus on prevention as a realistic and important goal.

For example, NIMH-funded researchers are exploring new and orphan medications thought to target underlying causes of PTSD in an effort to prevent the disorder. Other research is attempting to enhance cognitive, personality, and social protective factors and to minimize risk factors to ward off full-blown PTSD after trauma. Still other research is attempting to identify what factors determine whether someone with PTSD will respond well to one type of intervention or another, aiming to develop more personalized, effective and efficient treatments.

As gene research and brain imaging technologies continue to improve, scientists are more likely to be able to pinpoint when and where in the brain PTSD begins. This understanding may then lead to better targeted treatments to suit each person's own needs or even prevent the disorder before it causes harm.

Signs & Symptoms

PTSD can cause many symptoms. These symptoms can be grouped into three categories:

1. Re-experiencing symptoms

  • Flashbacks—reliving the trauma over and over, including physical symptoms like a racing heart or sweating
  • Bad dreams
  • Frightening thoughts.

Re-experiencing symptoms may cause problems in a person’s everyday routine. They can start from the person’s own thoughts and feelings. Words, objects, or situations that are reminders of the event can also trigger re-experiencing.

2. Avoidance symptoms

  • Staying away from places, events, or objects that are reminders of the experience
  • Feeling emotionally numb
  • Feeling strong guilt, depression, or worry
  • Losing interest in activities that were enjoyable in the past
  • Having trouble remembering the dangerous event.

Things that remind a person of the traumatic event can trigger avoidance symptoms. These symptoms may cause a person to change his or her personal routine. For example, after a bad car accident, a person who usually drives may avoid driving or riding in a car.

3. Hyperarousal symptoms

  • Being easily startled
  • Feeling tense or “on edge”
  • Having difficulty sleeping, and/or having angry outbursts.

Hyperarousal symptoms are usually constant, instead of being triggered by things that remind one of the traumatic event. They can make the person feel stressed and angry. These symptoms may make it hard to do daily tasks, such as sleeping, eating, or concentrating.

It’s natural to have some of these symptoms after a dangerous event. Sometimes people have very serious symptoms that go away after a few weeks. This is called acute stress disorder, or ASD. When the symptoms last more than a few weeks and become an ongoing problem, they might be PTSD. Some people with PTSD don’t show any symptoms for weeks or months.

Do children react differently than adults?

Children and teens can have extreme reactions to trauma, but their symptoms may not be the same as adults. In very young children, these symptoms can include:

  • Bedwetting, when they’d learned how to use the toilet before
  • Forgetting how or being unable to talk
  • Acting out the scary event during playtime
  • Being unusually clingy with a parent or other adult.

Older children and teens usually show symptoms more like those seen in adults. They may also develop disruptive, disrespectful, or destructive behaviors. Older children and teens may feel guilty for not preventing injury or deaths. They may also have thoughts of revenge. For more information, see the NIMH booklets on helping children cope with violence and disasters. (from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) )

Who Is At Risk?

PTSD can occur at any age, including childhood. Women are more likely to develop PTSD than men, and there is some evidence that susceptibility to the disorder may run in families.

Anyone can get PTSD at any age. This includes war veterans and survivors of physical and sexual assault, abuse, accidents, disasters, and many other serious events.

Not everyone with PTSD has been through a dangerous event. Some people get PTSD after a friend or family member experiences danger or is harmed. The sudden, unexpected death of a loved one can also cause PTSD.

Why do some people get PTSD and other people do not?

It is important to remember that not everyone who lives through a dangerous event gets PTSD. In fact, most will not get the disorder.

Many factors play a part in whether a person will get PTSD. Some of these are risk factors that make a person more likely to get PTSD. Other factors, called resilience factors, can help reduce the risk of the disorder. Some of these risk and resilience factors are present before the trauma and others become important during and after a traumatic event.

Risk factors for PTSD include:

  • Living through dangerous events and traumas
  • Having a history of mental illness
  • Getting hurt
  • Seeing people hurt or killed
  • Feeling horror, helplessness, or extreme fear
  • Having little or no social support after the event
  • Dealing with extra stress after the event, such as loss of a loved one, pain and injury, or loss of a job or home.

Resilience factors that may reduce the risk of PTSD include:

  • Seeking out support from other people, such as friends and family
  • Finding a support group after a traumatic event
  • Feeling good about one’s own actions in the face of danger
  • Having a coping strategy, or a way of getting through the bad event and learning from it
  • Being able to act and respond effectively despite feeling fear.

Researchers are studying the importance of various risk and resilience factors. With more study, it may be possible someday to predict who is likely to get PTSD and prevent it.

Diagnosis

Not every traumatized person develops full-blown or even minor PTSD. Symptoms usually begin within 3 months of the incident but occasionally emerge years afterward. They must last more than a month to be considered PTSD. The course of the illness varies. Some people recover within 6 months, while others have symptoms that last much longer. In some people, the condition becomes chronic.

A doctor who has experience helping people with mental illnesses, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist, can diagnose PTSD. The diagnosis is made after the doctor talks with the person who has symptoms of PTSD.

To be diagnosed with PTSD, a person must have all of the following for at least 1 month:

  • At least one re-experiencing symptom
  • At least three avoidance symptoms
  • At least two hyperarousal symptoms

Symptoms that make it hard to go about daily life, go to school or work, be with friends, and take care of important tasks.

PTSD is often accompanied by depression, substance abuse, or one or more of the other anxiety disorders.

Treatments

The main treatments for people with PTSD are psychotherapy (“talk” therapy), medications, or both. Everyone is different, so a treatment that works for one person may not work for another. It is important for anyone with PTSD to be treated by a mental health care provider who is experienced with PTSD. Some people with PTSD need to try different treatments to find what works for their symptoms.

If someone with PTSD is going through an ongoing trauma, such as being in an abusive relationship, both of the problems need to be treated. Other ongoing problems can include panic disorder, depression, substance abuse, and feeling suicidal.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is “talk” therapy. It involves talking with a mental health professional to treat a mental illness. Psychotherapy can occur one-on-one or in a group. Talk therapy treatment for PTSD usually lasts 6 to 12 weeks, but can take more time. Research shows that support from family and friends can be an important part of therapy.

Many types of psychotherapy can help people with PTSD. Some types target the symptoms of PTSD directly. Other therapies focus on social, family, or job-related problems. The doctor or therapist may combine different therapies depending on each person’s needs.

One helpful therapy is called cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT. There are several parts to CBT, including:

  • Exposure therapy. This therapy helps people face and control their fear. It exposes them to the trauma they experienced in a safe way. It uses mental imagery, writing, or visits to the place where the event happened. The therapist uses these tools to help people with PTSD cope with their feelings.
  • Cognitive restructuring. This therapy helps people make sense of the bad memories. Sometimes people remember the event differently than how it happened. They may feel guilt or shame about what is not their fault. The therapist helps people with PTSD look at what happened in a realistic way.
  • Stress inoculation training. This therapy tries to reduce PTSD symptoms by teaching a person how to reduce anxiety. Like cognitive restructuring, this treatment helps people look at their memories in a healthy way.

Other types of treatment can also help people with PTSD. People with PTSD should talk about all treatment options with their therapist.

How Talk Therapies Help People Overcome PTSD

Talk therapies teach people helpful ways to react to frightening events that trigger their PTSD symptoms. Based on this general goal, different types of therapy may:

  • Teach about trauma and its effects.
  • Use relaxation and anger control skills.
  • Provide tips for better sleep, diet, and exercise habits.
  • Help people identify and deal with guilt, shame, and other feelings about the event.
  • Focus on changing how people react to their PTSD symptoms. For example, therapy helps people visit places and people that are reminders of the trauma.

Medications

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two medications for treating adults with PTSD:

  • sertraline (Zoloft)
  • paroxetine (Paxil)

Both of these medications are antidepressants, which are also used to treat depression. They may help control PTSD symptoms such as sadness, worry, anger, and feeling numb inside. Taking these medications may make it easier to go through psychotherapy.

Sometimes people taking these medications have side effects. The effects can be annoying, but they usually go away. However, medications affect everyone differently. Any side effects or unusual reactions should be reported to a doctor immediately.

The most common side effects of antidepressants like sertraline and paroxetine are:

  • Headache, which usually goes away within a few days.
  • Nausea (feeling sick to your stomach), which usually goes away within a few days.
  • Sleeplessness or drowsiness, which may occur during the first few weeks but then goes away.
  • Agitation (feeling jittery).
  • Sexual problems, which can affect both men and women, including reduced sex drive, and problems having and enjoying sex.

Sometimes the medication dose needs to be reduced or the time of day it is taken needs to be adjusted to help lessen these side effects.

FDA Warning on Antidepressants

Despite the relative safety and popularity of SSRIs and other antidepressants, some studies have suggested that they may have unintentional effects on some people, especially adolescents and young adults. In 2004, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducted a thorough review of published and unpublished controlled clinical trials of antidepressants that involved nearly 4,400 children and adolescents. The review revealed that 4 percent of those taking antidepressants thought about or attempted suicide (although no suicides occurred), compared to 2 percent of those receiving placebos.

This information prompted the FDA, in 2005, to adopt a “black box” warning label on all antidepressant medications to alert the public about the potential increased risk of suicidal thinking or attempts in children and adolescents taking antidepressants. In 2007, the FDA proposed that makers of all antidepressant medications extend the warning to include young adults up through age 24. A “black box” warning is the most serious type of warning on prescription drug labeling.

The warning emphasizes that patients of all ages taking antidepressants should be closely monitored, especially during the initial weeks of treatment. Possible side effects to look for are worsening depression, suicidal thinking or behavior, or any unusual changes in behavior such as sleeplessness, agitation, or withdrawal from normal social situations. The warning adds that families and caregivers should also be told of the need for close monitoring and report any changes to the physician. The latest information can be found on the FDA website.

Results of a comprehensive review of pediatric trials conducted between 1988 and 2006 suggested that the benefits of antidepressant medications likely outweigh their risks to children and adolescents with major depression and anxiety disorders. The study was funded in part by the National Institute of Mental Health.

Other Medications

Doctors may also prescribe other types of medications, such as the ones listed below. There is little information on how well these work for people with PTSD.

  1. Benzodiazepines. These medications may be given to help people relax and sleep. People who take benzodiazepines may have memory problems or become dependent on the medication.
  2. Antipsychotics. These medications are usually given to people with other mental disorders, like schizophrenia. People who take antipsychotics may gain weight and have a higher chance of getting heart disease and diabetes.
  3. Other antidepressants. Like sertraline and paroxetine, the antidepressants fluoxetine (Prozac) and citalopram (Celexa) can help people with PTSD feel less tense or sad. For people with PTSD who also have other anxiety disorders or depression, antidepressants may be useful in reducing symptoms of these co-occurring illnesses.

Treatment After Mass Trauma

Sometimes large numbers of people are affected by the same event. For example, a lot of people needed help after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Most people will have some PTSD symptoms in the first few weeks after events like these. This is a normal and expected response to serious trauma, and for most people, symptoms generally lessen with time. Most people can be helped with basic support, such as:

  • Getting to a safe place
  • Seeing a doctor if injured
  • Getting food and water
  • Contacting loved ones or friends
  • Learning what is being done to help.

But some people do not get better on their own. A study of Hurricane Katrina survivors found that, over time, more people were having problems with PTSD, depression, and related mental disorders. This pattern is unlike the recovery from other natural disasters, where the number of people who have mental health problems gradually lessens. As communities try to rebuild after a mass trauma, people may experience ongoing stress from loss of jobs and schools, and trouble paying bills, finding housing, and getting health care. This delay in community recovery may in turn delay recovery from PTSD.

In the first couple weeks after a mass trauma, brief versions of CBT may be helpful to some people who are having severe distress. Sometimes other treatments are used, but their effectiveness is not known. For example, there is growing interest in an approach called psychological first aid. The goal of this approach is to make people feel safe and secure, connect people to health care and other resources, and reduce stress reactions. There are guides for carrying out the treatment, but experts do not know yet if it helps prevent or treat PTSD.

In single-session psychological debriefing, another type of mass trauma treatment, survivors talk about the event and express their feelings one-on-one or in a group. Studies show that it is not likely to reduce distress or the risk for PTSD, and may actually increase distress and risk.

Mass Trauma Affects Hospitals and Other Providers

Hospitals, health care systems, and health care providers are also affected by a mass trauma. The number of people who need immediate physical and psychological help may be too much for health systems to handle. Some patients may not find help when they need it because hospitals do not have enough staff or supplies. In some cases, health care providers themselves may be struggling to recover as well.

NIMH scientists are working on this problem. For example, researchers are testing how to give CBT and other treatments using the phone and the Internet. In one study, people with PTSD met with a therapist to learn about the disorder, made a list of things that trigger their symptoms, and learned basic ways to reduce stress. After this meeting, the participants could visit a website with more information about PTSD. Participants could keep a log of their symptoms and practice coping skills. Overall, the researchers found the Internet-based treatment helped reduce symptoms of PTSD and depression. These effects lasted after treatment ended.

Researchers will carry out more studies to find out if other such approaches to therapy can be helpful after mass trauma.

Living With

“I was raped when I was 25 years old. For a long time, I spoke about the rape as though it was something that happened to someone else. I was very aware that it had happened to me, but there was just no feeling.”

“Then I started having flashbacks. They kind of came over me like a splash of water. I would be terrified. Suddenly I was reliving the rape. Every instant was startling. I wasn’t aware of anything around me, I was in a bubble, just kind of floating. And it was scary. Having a flashback can wring you out.”

“The rape happened the week before Thanksgiving, and I can’t believe the anxiety and fear I feel every year around the anniversary date. It’s as though I’ve seen a werewolf. I can’t relax, can’t sleep, don’t want to be with anyone. I wonder whether I’ll ever be free of this terrible problem.”

Clinical Trials

NIMH supports research studies on mental health and disorders. See also: A Participant's Guide to Mental Health Clinical Research.

Participate, refer a patient or learn about results of studies inClinicalTrials.gov , the NIH/National Library of Medicine's registry of federally and privately funded clinical trials for all disease.

Find NIH-funded studies currently recruiting participants with PTSD.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/index.shtml

Mary Jo Pitzl, The Republic | azcentral.com6:49 p.m. MST April 20, 2015

 

 

Gov. Doug Ducey's handpicked second-in-command at the state's child-welfare agency has moved on after 2 ½ months.

Vicki Mayo's departure from the Department of Child Safety comes as the agency is also losing its two in-house attorneys, and adds to the churn that has characterized its upper ranks since Greg McKay became director in February.

Ducey's office said Mayo is transferring to a position at the state Department of Economic Security after she helped to get DCS off to a "strong start."

"We are pleased that she will be bringing her passion for children and families to a critical division at DES," Ducey spokesman Daniel Scarpinato said in a prepared statement.

Ducey's spokesman did not return a phone call seeking comment on why her tenure at the child-welfare agency was so brief. Nor did agency officials answer a similar question. Mayo was not available for comment.

At DES, Mayo will serve as deputy assistant director of the division of Employment and Rehabilitation Services. In that role, she will oversee programs such as child-care assistance, unemployment insurance, employment services and rehabilitation services.

RELATED: Some child-abuse reports won't be probed immediately

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RELATED: Ducey fires head of Arizona child-welfare agency

Ducey tapped Mayo, along with McKay, to lead DCS after firing Director Charles Flanagan in February. In naming her as DCS deputy director, Ducey praised her record of advocacy for children's issues and cited her business background for providing needed managerial skills.

But soon after, McKay moved Mayo into a post that oversees the agency's business operations and contracts.

 

In addition to Mayo's transfer, deputy general counsel Beth Broeker is moving to the Department of Juvenile Corrections, where she will serve as chief hearing officer. DCS general counsel Allister Adel also resigned, effective April 24.

Adel filed a whistle-blower complaint against McKay earlier this year, although the reason for the filing remains unknown. Ducey's office has claimed attorney-client privilege in refusing to disclose the complaint, although Adel was acting as McKay's attorney, not Ducey's.

In her resignation letter, Adel alluded to internal turmoil, citing "the myriad of legal, process related and policy concerns I have raised and observed." She did not elaborate, but said she felt she could be more effective in advancing child safety "from a distance, given current circumstances."

The resignations continue a string of departures as McKay works to revamp the agency.

Last month, he fired all but one of the eight members of the internal-investigations staff, after saying they would be welcome to apply for other positions within the agency. The eighth staffer accepted a lateral transfer.

McKay has also dismissed program managers who lead regional field offices, announced the agency will not immediately investigate every report it receives and issued a detailed dress code intended to project a more professional demeanor in the community.

McKay has made no apologies for his management style, saying he's trying to make it clear it is imperative for the agency to "put eyes on every child" who comes to DCS' attention.

Reach the reporter at maryjo.pitzl@arizonarepublic.com or at 602-444-8963.

http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/arizona/politics/2015/04/20/top-arizona-child-welfare-official-departs/26104473/

A Lithuanian talk show has accused Norway of seizing foreign children and fostering them to Norwegian parents in order to combat “the highest inbreeding in the whole world”.

    The Lithuanian talk show ‘An Hour with Ruta’, on the independent LNK channel, last week ran a slot on Norway’s controversial Child Protection Service (Barnevernet), arguing that it was deliberately targeting Lithuanian children.

    “In Norway, Lithuanian children are taken away from their parents. Lithuanian children in Norway are a sought-after commodity,” the programme began, before interviewing Neringa Ozolina, a Lithuanian based in Ålesund, who has become an authority in the Baltic state on Norway's child protection regime.

    “The birth rate is the lowest in Norway,” Ozolina told the show's host Rūta Mikelkevičiūte. “Inbreeding in Norway is the greatest in the world, and the same is true of the percentage of children born with Down syndrome and other birth defects.”

    The issue has come to prominence in Lithuanian this year largely on the back of press coverage of the struggle of Gražina Leščinskiene, a Lithuanian whose son Gabrieliaus has been taken into care by Norway's Child Protection Service, to get her son back.

    According to Leščinskiene's lawyer, Gabrieliaus was seized after he apparently displayed "sexualised behaviour", including frequent visits to the bathroom and obsessively washing and sniffing his hands.

    Dag Halvorsen, Norway’s ambassador to Lithuania, said the controversy over Lithuanian children taken into care in Norway was now taking up more of his time than any other issue.

    “This issue has been the biggest news story in Lithuania this year, and has taken up most of our time in recent months,” he told Norway’s NRK channel.

    “It is said that there is a history of inbreeding in Norway and that there is a high incidence of Down syndrome among Norwegian children. They argue therefore that it is important for Norwegian authorities to obtain fresh, foreign children, such as Lithuanian ones, to strengthen the genetic material.”

    Halvorsen has recently hired a Lithuanian public relations company to try and counteract what he sees as Lithuanian misconceptions about Norway's child protection regime.

    Norway's Child Protection Services is the subject of almost non-stop controversy over its decisions to take the children of foreign parents into care.

    In February the president of the Czech Republic, Miloš Zeman, accused it of behaving "like the Nazis" by not allowing the mother of two Czech boys seized to talk to her children in Czech.

     

    For more stories about Norway, join us on Facebook and Twitter

    The Local (news@thelocal.no)

     

    http://www.thelocal.no/20150413/norway-child-agency-seizes-children-to-combat-inbreeding

     

    MyFamily Mobile select PodsystemM2M multi network SIMs to locate and track family members

    San Francisco, CA and London, UK – 14 April 2015.

    PodsystemM2M, the expert in multi-network data SIMs for the M2M and IoT industries, has today announced that its Best Signal Multi Network SIM cards have been selected by MyFamily Mobile for their wearable children specific voice & data messaging and smart locator anti-kidnap devices.

    MyFamily Mobile offers a range of voice & data messaging and mobile personal emergency response services for families via durable and simple to operate wearable devices, controlled from any mobile, tablet or PC.

    MyFamily Mobile devices use a blend of GPS, GSM, RFID and WiFi to provide the most accurate location information, indoors and out. Safe zones, or geo-fences, can be defined to alert loved ones if the boundary is crossed. In the event of a kidnap or other emergency, devices are equipped with a panic button that triggers an automatic location beacon and, if necessary, an armed response team to help recover loved ones that are in danger.

     

    For MyFamily Mobile, the highest priority is the safety and protection of their customers’ young family members in a dangerous world. With “mission critical” tracking, when a child’s safety is at stake, reliable connectivity is crucial. This is why MyFamily Mobile has selected PodystemM2M’s multi network SIM cards. These SIMs can connect to several networks in each country and will automatically swap networks if the signal is lost. This is essential for the type of situations in which MyFamily Mobile tracking devices are deployed, as the wearable device is much less likely to lose coverage as it roams, even in rural areas.

    MyFamily Mobile is headquartered in the UK, with operations in Nigeria, and plans to extend its services to the SADC region by Q4 2015 covering South Africa, Botswana and Malawi.

    Seyi Opanubi, Co-Founder and Director of Operations and R&D said, “Podsystem’s Best Signal Multi Network SIM cards are in all the MyFamily Mobile devices our subscribers use. The SIM cards are embedded in the devices so not seen, but form the backbone upon which MyFamily Mobile has built a reliable service for our mission critical applications, from smart messaging, safe zone, breadcrumb and speed alerts to SOS response and global roaming.”

    MyFamily Mobile are developing their devices on a new server platform for use in the US and Europe. With Podsystem’s flat rate US and EU data and support from a team of IoT and M2M experts, Opanubi said, “PodsystemM2M’s technical support is key to MyFamily Mobile and Podsystem has never let us down in this area. Our subscribers have never experienced a down time even when travelling abroad. We are very happy with the quick and proactive response to queries and issues and with our mission critical operations we find the 24 hour emergency support invaluable.”

    Group MD of Podsystem Ltd Charles Towers-Clark said, “MyFamily Mobile have a really interesting application with the potential to reach a huge marketplace of parents throughout Europe and the US seeking the reassurance of knowing exactly where their children are and that they are safe, even when out of sight.”

    Podsystem Inc. CEO Sam Colley added, “We are very pleased to be able to provide the reliable multi network mobile connectivity needed to ensure MyFamily Mobile can continue to provide an invaluable child protection service to families in Nigeria and worldwide.”

    -ends-.

    Editor’s Notes

    About Podsystem M2M

    As a division of Podsystem Group Ltd, we form part of an independent MVNO specializing in data connectivity solutions for the M2M and business travel sectors. At Podsystem M2M, we specialise in multi-network and multi-IMSI data solutions, offering reliable coverage worldwide, flexible pricing plans and 24 hour support with our team of M2M experts. For more information please visit our M2M websitewww.podsystemm2m.com

    At Podsystem Group, we serve customers throughout Europe, the USA and across the globe from our headquarters in London and Buckingham, UK and our offices Spain (Seville) and the USA (San Francisco, CA). Our mission is to enable our customers to grow by optimizing the value of mobile data through global connectivity. We are obsessed with customer care. We listen.

    For more information please visit our group website www.podsystem.com(link is external)

    About MyFamily Mobile

    MyFamily Mobile offers a range of voice & data messaging, smart locator and mobile personal emergency response services to families across the globe. The services are designed amongst others to permit each family member to monitor each other or alert each other whenever danger is lurking around.

    MyFamily Mobile is headquartered at Oxford, UK with presence in London and Lagos, Nigeria.

    In-store demos are available for parents to test the capabilities of MyFamily Mobile devices in a safe environment. A tablet device is allocated to a parent and a tracking device is allocated to their child and the parent can relax and experience the functionality of MyFamily Mobile, whilst their child plays in one of the company’s themed play

     

     

    http://www.machinetomachinemagazine.com/2015/04/15/anti-kidnap-child-protection-in-wearable-devices/

    Clare Clancy, The Canadian Press
    Published Monday, April 20, 2015 7:44PM EDT
    Last Updated Monday, April 20, 2015 10:39PM EDT

    REGINA -- Saskatchewan's children's advocate says he's concerned about the quality of case work in child protection services and says inconsistency is especially problematic.

    Bob Pringle commented Monday on the outcome of a coroner's inquest that finished last week in the death of Lee Bonneau, who was killed by an older child on a reserve.

    Six-year-old Lee Bonneau was found with head injuries in a wooded area on the Kahkewistahaw reserve in 2013. He had last been seen walking with an older boy outside a recreation complex while his foster mother was playing bingo.

    RELATED STORIES

    PHOTOS

    RCMP update on suspicious death of child

    RCMP have identified six-year-old Lee Allan Bonneau as the youngster who died after disappearing in an aboriginal community in southeastern Saskatchewan. (RCMP)

    On Friday, the jury released 19 recommendations, which ranged from improving mental health supports to funding a facility for children under 12 with complex needs.

    Pringle determined in a report last year that the 10-year-old boy who killed Lee had behavioural issues and probably should not have been in the community unsupervised. Because he was under 12, he could not be charged under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

    Pringle said the inquest made it clear that agencies need to communicate better with each other and social workers are struggling under heavy work loads.

    "We know that the (Ministry of Social Services) is in a situation where, when they take a child into care, they are not able to keep up with their case planning and their contact standards," he said.

    The jury's recommendations were mainly directed towards the Ministry of Social Services and the Yorkton Tribal Council Child and Family Services. They included addressing communication shortfalls and revising the size of service centres for rural offices.

    The jury also recommended that fetal alcohol syndrome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and mental health issues should be addressed as soon as they are identified in children.

    Pringle said several witnesses who testified appeared to be absolving themselves of responsibility for children's welfare.

    "There were some turning points there."

    He said one example is that assessments weren't properly done to determine if Lee's father could offer him a suitable home.

    Both children fell through the cracks, he said.

    "In both cases the lack of identifying important risk factors are a concern."

    Pringle said since the release of his report last year, both the Ministry of Social Services and Yorkton Tribal Council Child and Family Services have made important strides.

    This includes improving training methods and quality assurance.

    Social Services Minister Donna Harpauer said the government is reviewing the recommendations and will formally respond in two to three weeks.

    "A lot of work has been done over the last two years," she said, adding that some of the recommendations from the coroner's inquest overlap with those of the children's advocate.

    "It was so obvious in this particular issue that there was a communication breakdown from service providers."

    The Yorkton Tribal Council Child and Family Services have since implemented an electronic database system, she added.

    NDP social services critic David Forbes said he's "shocked and disappointed" by systemic problems.

    "This is happening far too often here in Saskatchewan. We know between 2010 and 2013, 81 kids died in Saskatchewan care. Here we have a circumstance that really calls for immediate action," he said.

    He said the recommendations around mental health and fetal alcohol syndrome are particularly important.

    "We'd like to see this government bring forward protocols so that kids who are in need ... can access services right away. We can talk about jurisdictions later."

    http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/case-work-inconsistent-in-child-protection-services-sask-advocate-1.2336666

     

    Jewish Daily Forward - ‎Apr 16, 2015

     

    The Maryland parents who are being investigated for allowing their two children to play in a park unsupervised are suing the state’s child protective services and Montgomery County police.

    An attorney for Danielle and Alexander Meitiv, in a statement released Tuesday on the Facebook page of Danielle Meitiv, said he would file a lawsuit on behalf of the Meitivs “in their effort to vindicate their parental rights.”

    The couple’s children, ages 10 and 6, were picked up on Sunday by police a few blocks from their Silver Spring home. They were walking home from playing in a local park and taken to CPS, where they were held for several hours and not permitted to call their parents.

    It was the second time that the Meitivs have been accused of neglecting their children in the past five months — in December the children were picked up by police in a park near their home.

    The family is part of the “free-range parenting” movement, which believes in giving children more freedom to make choices without parents hovering nearby.

    In February, the Meitivs received a letter from CPS notifying them that they had been found guilty of “unsubstantiated neglect” of their children, a designation the couple is fighting to have overturned.

    “The Meitivs are troubled by the county’s discretionary use of power to subject this happy, healthy and independent family to invasive, frightening and unnecessary government oversight, when there are other pressing challenges for county families in need,” their attorney, Matthew Dowd, said in the statement.

    Written by
    JTA

     

     

     

    http://forward.com/news/breaking-news/218696/free-range-parents-sue-maryland-police-for-seizing/

     

    The father of two young sisters who are locked inside their alarmed bedroom at night to protect them from their paedophile stepdad has blasted social services.

    Their furious biological father is demanding they reverse the decision to allow the convicted abuser to move in with his girls, who are both under 13.

    They say the man, once jailed for attacking a girl under 13, would have to climb over the mum from his side of the bed to get to the girls - and would therefore wake her up.

    The imprisoned children have been given a baby monitor to call for their mother if they need to

    Their biological dad, who was with their mother for more than 25 years before they split four years ago, said: “Who in their right mind lets a paedophile live with children?

    “Who is to say that they are sticking to this supposed safety set-up? There is no-one from social services monitoring it. Where are the children when their mother is having a shower or a bath? The whole thing is just a shambles.”

    He said his ex asked him to leave the family home before she got together with the sex offender, a man in his 40s, who she had previously dated in the 1980s.

    As a convicted abuser on the Sex Offenders Register, he is banned from having unsupervised contact with under-16s.

    A year after the couple from Devon began dating the mother applied to be an ‘approved person’ to provide supervision of contact between the paedophile and her children.

    That move was approved by a body called the Devon Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub made up of police, probation officers, social workers and other agencies.

    The couple married the following year but a council children’s services review of the case found there remained a “continuing risk” that the paedophile would sexually abuse the girls.

    A request to social services for him to “stay overnight occasionally” was at first refused by Devon County Council before they made the shocking U-turn.

    They agreed after the mother bought and installed the lock and alarm in her two-bedroom home to protect her children from her lover.

    Alarmed: Room the children sleep in (picture posed by model)

    Their biological father said: “We were stunned by that decision.

    “How can my children have a normal upbringing? Sooner or later the kids are going to say ‘mum, I want my friend to stay round’.

    “Are they going to explain this to the other kid’s parents?

    “I said to her when they got together ‘of all the people on the planet you go and pick someone who is convicted of that!’

    “The only solution is that they must make him move out.”

    Last year the man was given the right to stay overnight at the family’s house following a lengthy appeal to the council.

    The identity of the paedophile, his wife and the children cannot be revealed for legal reasons.

    The biological father had regular contact with the girls for years but claims their mother put a stop to this when he got together with his current partner.

    He added: “I just want to have contact with them again.

    “Before he was living there I could tolerate it because I could speak to them on a regular basis and tell if they were ok.

    “No social worker knows my kids like I know them.

    “They know they have made a mistake but they are not changing things because that would mean admitting they got it wrong.”

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/dad-girls-locked-bedroom-mum-5551545?ICID=FB_mirror_main

    BY AL HENKEL

    Reporters are often consumed by the things we cover. Certain stories take over our lives and can shape our careers. So it is with the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah building in Oklahoma City, on a sunny April day in 1995.

    The NBC Dallas team managed to get to the site on that Wednesday morning quickly; the smoke was still coming out of the building when we drove into downtown. That day we wrote the first of over 700 stories I've done on the bombing, the investigation, the trials, the healing, and the horror of the attack.

    Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols and the other conspirators were trying to avenge what they considered to be a U.S. government attack on the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, several years before. In their minds that might have happened, but the bombing of the Murrah building shook our country to the core.

    McVeigh and Nichols killed people who worked for the federal government, but they also killed innocents: the 15 children from the daycare center on the first floor, people who were just trying to get a replacement Social Security card, several people from surrounding buildings, a nurse who was running to help and was hit by a falling piece of debris. It was truly a terror attack; random and violent, and it changed our country. The next day, we saw concrete barricades around federal buildings, blast-resistant construction, security perimeters. Most of those changes are still in place today.

    We got to know survivors and their families, the families of those who died, the responders who went through the unimaginable hell of trying to dig people of out of the remains of the building. I've sat in their living rooms and churches, cried with them, prayed with them, screamed with them, drank with them, watched their kids grow up, and saw their pain fade away.

    One hundred sixty-eight people died in the attack. I went to dozens of their funerals. First responders went through years of hell. Several committed suicide, others quit their jobs, unable to cope. Their collective pain was, and still is, a hard thing to see.

    I lived and worked in Oklahoma years before the bombing, and I can personally attest to this: Oklahomans are tough. They can get through anything.

    But on this 20th anniversary, say a prayer for all of those impacted.

    First published April 19th 2015, 3:06 am

    AL HENKEL

      Al Henkel is a producer for NBC News.

       

      http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/oklahoma-city-bombing-reporter-remembers-tragedy-n343481?cid=sm_fc

      What you are going to read will totally break your heart!
      Obama’s administration covered up the 2011 massacre of eight U.S. Air Force personnel and one civilian contractor at the Kabul airport in Afghanistan.

      The Kabul massacre happened on April 27, 2011.

      According to Conservative Post:

      The Air Force personnel were at the airport that day investigating Afghan military corruption when Afghan Air Force Col. Ahmad Gul gunned them all down.
      U.S. Air Force and U.S. Central Command launched an investigation, but claimed they could find no motivation for the killings. However, others questioned how so many American military members were killed so quickly with no signs that they were able to defend themselves. In addition, it was suspicious that there were fourteen Afghans in the room who were not hurt at all.
      Eventually, Obama’s Pentagon claimed that the deaths were an isolated incident resulting from “cultural incompatibility.” When other U.S. military personnel tried to protest this ruling, they were punished with changed assignments and were effectively muzzled.

      It looks like the Pentagon tried to cover up the Kabul massacre in an attempt to not embarrass Afghans aligned with the U.S. This resulted in the Pentagon claiming the Taliban was not involved in the shooting, even though they claimed responsibility right away.

      Now it has been revealed that Gul may have been paid off by the Pentagon for his role in the killings.
      Thomas Creal, a task-force investigator for the Pentagon looking into terror financing in Afghanistan, found that Gul had connections to criminal networks. After the shooting, he received a sizable $250,000 deposit in his family bank account, allowing him to pay off all his debts.

      Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Sally Stenton, the legal officer assigned to the Kabul airport on the day of the massacre, said that either the Pentagon is “completely inept or they were complete, bald-faced liars.”

      Basically, Obama’s Pentagon is either completely incompetent or they are covering up this massacre.

      What do you think?

       

       

      http://conservativepost.com/breaking-obama-administration-exposed-covering-up-mass-murder-of-us-soldiers/

      Beth Smith has struggled for eight years to help her daughter escape the clutches of heroin. Kendal’s addiction took a terrible toll, but now she’s off the drugs and eager to help other families understand the causes and warning signs.

      When Beth Smith found a needle and spoon in her 16-year-old daughter’s bedroom, she did what most parents would do. She called the cops and watched them cart away her daughter’s much-older, drug-using boyfriend.
      But as the police hauled him away, he shouted that Kendal was using too.
      Beth didn’t believe him for a moment: Not her beautiful, smart, well-raised daughter.
      And in that moment of denial, she missed another in a long sequence of chances to save her child. She couldn’t believe it then, but Kendal was already a full-fledged heroin user.
      The full nightmare for the family lay just ahead. For the next six years, Kendal bounced in and out of rehabilitation facilities and drug court, gave birth to a methadone baby, dated men in and out of prison and stole from her parents, family and stores anything she could get her hands on to get high.
      She’s straight now, but facing a jail sentence. She and her family are also eager to tell their story, in hopes of saving other Payson families from the trauma, ruination and near tragedy their family suffered.
      Unfortunately, her tale’s not unusual, according to a mounting number of studies of drug abuse. That especially includes heroin, with a surge in addiction and overdose in Rim Country and across the country.
      Research shows that the temptation to drink or use drugs can overcome almost any child, regardless of grades, family background, family support, intelligence or social class. Moreover, research suggests that genes and biology play a key role. Some people can drink or use drugs without becoming quickly addicted. Other people become dependent after trying a drug only a few times — although drugs like meth set their hooks in the brain much more quickly — especially in the vulnerable, developing brains of teens.
      However, the research has also revealed an array of risk factors that make teens especially vulnerable — as well as highlighting changes in behavior and characteristics that can offer parents early warning signs.
      One of the most subtle, important and persistent risk factors remains low self-esteem, which studies show make teens much more vulnerable to depression, eating disorders and other problems associated with drug use.
      One nine-year study showed that children who showed signs of low self-esteem at 11 had a significantly greater chance of both experimenting with drugs and becoming addicted than children who felt better about themselves.
      Mother missed warning signs
      Looking back, Beth says she didn’t understand the warning signs that appeared when Kendal was just a girl — but her daughter’s struggle with depression and low self-esteem offered the first, tragically overlooked clues.
      Teased from second grade on because of her early development and beauty, Kendal felt hopeless and depressed.
      With drugs came acceptance and validation from peers and a way to numb the pain of rejection.
      Beth says she kicks herself every day that she didn’t step in earlier and help her daughter. Instead of bolstering her esteem, her mother’s efforts to make her life easier and prevent any pain actually fostered dependence and a sense of helplessness.
      Beth and Kendal were among those who recently spoke out at a heroin meeting put on by the Payson Police Department. The meeting generated so much feedback, the PPD is holding a follow-up event Tuesday, April 21 at 7 p.m. in town hall, 303 N. Beeline Highway.
      This meeting will focus on treatment options, community resources for addicts and their families and new ways for the community to reduce the rising toll of drug addiction that touches countless families, said Police Chief Don Engler.
      The Smiths decided to break the silence and shame of addiction.
      Provided photos
      On the outside, Kendal looked like she had everything, but low self-esteem rooted in bullying and depression set her up for years of heroin addiction.
      Silence lets addiction win
      “I want to get this out and reach out and maybe help someone or inspire someone,” Kendal said. “We often want to keep quiet, but that is letting the addiction win.”
      Drugs find their way into a person’s life in countless ways. Some get hooked on prescription painkillers after sustaining an injury, others try them to fit in with their peers and others start with alcohol, then inch into drugs like marijuana, meth and heroin.
      For Kendal, who has battled low self-esteem since the schoolyard days when girls made fun of her weight, drugs offered a way to gain acceptance.
      Researchers have found a correlation between the use of drugs and low self-esteem in adolescents. One study found the higher a teenaged girl’s self-esteem, the lower the likelihood of drug abuse.
      Using drugs at an early age often leads to addiction. In fact, in 97 percent of cases, addiction originates with substance use before the age of 21, when the brain is still developing and so vulnerable to the effects of drugs, according to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Colombia University.
      “If you’re a parent of a young child and you notice that the child has very low self-esteem, that should be a warning signal that this child needs some attention or perhaps professional counseling,” said a researcher in a Florida State University study.
      Beth wishes now she had understood the link between depression and anxiety and substance abuse.
      She herself used when she was younger, but overcame her addictions quickly. She took care to raise her daughters in a good home where alcohol abuse was not present and she rarely fought with her spouse.
      But Beth says she did everything for Kendal, from making her bed in the morning to lying for her to get her out of slumber parties.
      Parents were enablers
      “We enabled her,” she said. “I taught her poor life skills and I blame myself for some of this.”
      But Kendal’s low self-esteem started with childhood teasing.
      At 14, she attended her first party and in one night tried alcohol and marijuana.
      She continued to party every weekend, preferring the parties to school where she felt isolated and rejected.
      Fresh off a breakup with her boyfriend at 16, Kendal met a 23-year-old man. Much later, she discovered he was one of the biggest drug dealers in town.
      He introduced her to pills, Oxycodone and other painkillers. Eventually, he got her to try heroin. It was easy. Kendal didn’t think much of herself and didn’t have much going on. Her boyfriend and drugs dominated her life and her thinking.
      Beth now knows she should have done more to keep Kendal active and in school. Because of the bullying, Beth didn’t push her to get involved with other kids.
      Now, Beth wishes she had guided Kendal into an activity, whether it was theater or sports.
      “If you have a child with low self-esteem issues, you should address that. I regret it every day for not getting her into the proper counseling when she was young,” Beth said.
      Kendal’s use of drugs escalated, but her mother remained in the dark. Kendal’s drug dealing boyfriend shot her up with heroin and one night almost killed her by injecting her with a huge dose of heroin while she slept.
      Beth knew Kendal’s boyfriend was a user, but remained in denial for a long time that Kendal could be using too.
      At 18, Kendal went through her first drug detox.
      By then, Beth knew her daughter had a terrible problem. The signs were visible all over her body. She had lost weight, had sunken eyes and her color was off.
      As Kendal struggled to get back on track, she met a counselor at a drug rehabilitation program and was instantly attracted.
      They started dating and Kendal noticed he made frequent trips to the bathroom.
      She realized he was using. But instead of breaking up with him for her own sobriety, she joined in.
      “I was like, ‘Let’s do it together, why aren’t you sharing?’” she said. “That was my sick mind. ‘Why aren’t you doing it with me, why are you hiding this from me?’ So, we started doing it together.”
      They moved into a Valley apartment and got high every day. He got fired from his job for using and Kendal for stealing money out of the register.
      When their dealer got evicted, they invited him into their apartment.
      Police raided her home
      Police raided the home and arrested the dealer, but Kendal managed to escape arrest.
      She went back to detox and returned to Payson to get well.
      But instead of focusing on sobriety, Kendal moved back in with another friend who was selling drugs. She got pregnant and by the time she realized she was pregnant, the baby was also hooked on heroin.
      Although her mother checked her into a hospital that gave her methadone to protect the baby and prevent life-threatening withdrawals, Kendal remained out of control in a way she says horrifies her now. She secretly sold the methadone and kept using heroin. At six months pregnant, she wound up in jail. That finally reached her. She gave up heroin and her daughter was born healthy.
      Child Protective Services investigated her, but let her keep the baby when she showed she was attending meetings, not using drugs and working to straighten her life out.
      But heroin can overwhelm the best of intentions once it takes root. When she suffered another heartbreak, Kendal returned to the drug.
      After several failed attempts at short-term rehab programs, Kendal found her way to Prescott, with its wealth of longer-term programs. Even there, she failed one placement before getting the treatment she needed.
      “It was very strict, almost militaristic,” she said of the Canyon Crossing rehab program.
      Although she has not completed treatment, Kendal has been sober 72 days today.
      On Monday, a judge will likely sentence Kendal to prison for violating probation months ago.
      Kendal hopes to pick up in the program where she left off.
      Beth says the current, long-term treatment program has finally started to focus on the life skills Kendal never acquired. Things like getting a job, paying bills and working in the community will all help build up Kendal’s self-esteem.
      While she still has a long road to go, Kendal finally has perspective on why her life went so terribly wrong.
      “If I had got counseling for teasing back then, it might have helped,” she said.
      Instead, she dropped out of high school as a sophomore and turned to drugs for validation instead of healthy activities like sports or school.
      Despite her months of sobriety, Kendal knows she’s still on shaky ground.
      “Still, I love that I wake up today and that I don’t want to use.”
      Research Findings
      • Three-fourths of high school students have used some sort of non-prescription drug in the past year.
      Source: Northern Illinois University College of Education
      • Low self-esteem could lead to lack of development and/or tendency toward drugs or alcohol consumption.
      Source: 2011 Kerman University of Medical Sciences
      • Prevention and education efforts focused on children with low self-esteem can markedly reduce the risk of drug use at a later age.
      Source: Florida State University study
      Warning Signs of Drug Use:
       Lack of interest in grooming
       Withdrawal
       Isolation
       Fatigue
       Depression
       Aggressive behavior
       Deteriorating relationships with family
       Change in friends
       Drop in grades
       Loss of interest in hobbies and sports
      SELF-ESTEEM AND TEEN DRUG USE
      Low self-esteem increased relapse rate
      Self-esteem played a key role in whether teenagers in drug treatment programs both avoided a relapse one year later and managed to cope with everyday social and emotional problems, like family conflicts, school and relationships with peers. Parents and teens filled out questionnaires. The scores on measurements of self-esteem accounted for 16 percent of the relapse rates and 25 percent of the difference in handling life problems. The study was published in the Journal of Substance Abuse.
      Low scores raised risk of drug abuse
      Researchers in New Zealand administered personality tests that measured self-esteem to a large sample of teenagers ages 9-13. They later resurveyed the teens to determine whether self-esteem affected the later development of problems, including drug use. They found low self-esteem significantly increased the risk of drug abuse, suicide, eating disorders and multiple other social problems. The research was published in the Journal of Adolescence.
      Low scores dramatically raised addiction rate
      Low self-esteem and peer approval at the age of 11 significantly raised the use of drug abuse by the age of 20, according to a nine-year study of a random sample of 872 boys by researchers from Florida State University. They found children with very low self-esteem were 1.6 times more likely to become drug dependent. The low self-esteem had a strong impact on very early drug use, which increases the odds of eventual drug addiction 18-fold. By the time they hit 20, 64 percent had used drugs and 10 percent had become dependent.
      Array of studies support findings
      The National Association for Self Esteem website posted an array of studies linking self-esteem and drug use including:
      Low self-esteem either causes or contributes to neurosis, anxiety, defensiveness, and ultimately alcohol and drug abuse. Guidepost.
      The use of drugs is often used to compensate for low self-esteem and feelings of a lack of control over one’s life. Prevention of Drug and Alcohol Abuse.
      A program designed to increase self-esteem significantly changed the attitudes of students regarding their alcohol and drug use. Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education.
      Sample questions from self-esteem test
      1. On the whole, I am satisfied with myself.
      2. At times I think I am no good at all.
      3. I feel that I have a number of good qualities.
      4. I am able to do things as well as most other people.
      5. I feel I do not have much to be proud of.
      6. I certainly feel useless at times.
      7. I feel that I’m a person of worth.
      8. I wish I could have more respect for myself.
      9. All in all, I am inclined to feel that I am a failure.
      10. I take a positive attitude toward myself.

       

      Paris Achen, Free Press Staff Writer8:53 p.m. EDT April 10, 2015

      MONTPELIER – The House Committee on Human Services has unanimously advanced an overarching child-protection bill after scrapping a controversial provision that would have created a new felony crime of failure to protect a child.

      The committee's adaptation of S. 9 would ratchet up fines for three existing crimes against children and provide a road map for scrutinizing and improving all the moving parts of the child-welfare system. The deaths of two toddlers whose families were in the state's child-welfare system provided the impetus for the legislation.

      "Clearly, a bill cannot prevent child abuse and neglect, but this bill is a good start to an ongoing conversation about how to improve the system," said committee Chairwoman Ann Pugh, D-South Burlington.

      The bill, approved in February by the Senate, now proceeds to the House Judiciary Committee.

      The committee wrapped into its 55-page draft separate legislation (H-41) known as "Jordan's Bill" that is designed to help provide child protection from hazing.

      The four-page bill, introduced by Rep. Ron Hubert, R-Milton came in the wake of the August 2012 suicide of Jordan Preavy, 17, of Milton. The former Milton High football player killed himself one year after a hazing ritual for the team.

      Crimes against children

      The committee scratched a section of the legislation that would have created a new felony crime — punishable by up to 10 years in prison — against any caregiver who fails to act when the person "knows or reasonably should have known that the child is in danger" of death, serious bodily injury or sexual exploitation.

      Opponents of that provision argued the law could be used against a teacher, caseworker or babysitter who inadvertently overlooks information about a possible risk to a child.

      "We felt it was far too punitive and would create more problems than it would solve," said Sheila Reed of Voices for Vermont Children.

      David Cahill of the Vermont Department of State's Attorneys and Sheriffs said he will continue to ask for language in the bill that criminalizes knowingly or recklessly exposing a child to risk of bodily injury, death or sexual exploitation.

      "It's pretty clear that the Judiciary Committee is the committee of final jurisdiction on the crimes," Cahill said. "They will be hearing from me, other law enforcement and the children advocacy community on what should or should not be criminalized."

      In place of the new felony, the Human Services Committee doubled the fines for failure in mandatory reporting, neglect of duty by public officers and cruelty to a child. The mandatory reporting law applies to nearly 40 professions and requires them to report any suspected child abuse or neglect within 24 hours.

      The committee kept another controversial provision that imposes a prison sentence of up to 30 years and a fine of as much as $1.5 million on people found guilty of manufacturing methamphetamine in the presence of a child. Methamphetamine production is particularly toxic to children.

      20150410 child protection 1Buy Photo

      Members of the House Committee on Human Services talk after approving a child protections bill Friday. (Photo: PARIS ACHEN/FREE PRESS)

      Halting hazing

      More than two dozen legislators signed onto Hubert's anti-hazing bill, which received strong support from the Preavy family, Chittenden County State's Attorney T.J. Donovan, Gov. Peter Shumlin and other key figures.

      Hubert sought the four-page legislation after Donovan told about 200 Milton residents at a community meeting last fall that he was unable to file charges against members of the Milton School District because of what he believed was vague wording in the state reporting law.

      Donovan's decision was poorly received by the community. An independent investigation is underway to determine if the Milton School District mishandled the case by not reporting the allegations when they learned about them.

      Older football players subjected younger players to sexual hazing with a pool cue and broomstick. Five former Milton players were arrested and one still faces an attempted sexual assault charge.

      Donovan told the House committee Tuesday that it was critical to mandatory reports to both law enforcement and the Department of Children and Families within 24 hours for anybody hearing about any possible child abuse.

      "When in doubt, report it out," Donovan said while testifying by phone.

      "We don't want the institution to do the internal investigation," Donovan explained. He noted the problems the Catholic Church faced nationwide by trying to handle allegations of sex abuse by priests.

      Shumlin has said the state must provide the tools for prosecutors to be able to file cases to help protect children.

      Hubert said he is pleased the critical needs proposed in the House under "Jordan's Bill" are moving forward. "It is unfortunate the legislation won't have his name on it," he said.

      When "Jordan's Bill" was introduced in January the legislature gave a standing ovation to the Preavy family. Hubert called Preavy's relatives "a strong and courageous family" as he introduced the bill.

      Improving the child welfare system

      The bill tasks the Department for Children and Families with bringing consistency to policies and procedures and application of those policies and procedures.

      The department also will be required to monitor for six months any household where parental custody has been restored.

      The bill calls for a joint legislative child protection oversight committee made up of four senators and four representatives from committees on education, human services, judiciary and health and welfare.

      The committee would be responsible for evaluating programs in the child-welfare system and determining deficiencies, and would report at least annually to the Legislature. It would sunset in June 2018.

      A short-term working group, made up of judges and representatives from state agencies, also would study and make recommendations on improvements to the child-welfare system. It would begin its work in November.

      In addition, the bill makes post-adoption agreements enforceable. The idea behind the change is that parents would be more willing to give up parental rights if they have an agreement with adoptive parents that they will be able to maintain some form of contact with the child, which could be as limited as receiving an annual photograph.

      Such post-adoptive agreements already exist but without any enforcement mechanism.

      Contributing: Staff Writer Mike Donoghue. Contact Paris Achen at 660-1874 and pachen@freepressmedia.com. Follow her at www.twitter.com/parisachen andhttps://www.facebook.com/ColTrends.

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/news/politics/2015/04/10/child-protection-bill-progresses/25611707/

      Some of the money is dependent on quick and frequent visits by caseworkers.

       

      The first of several planned overhauls in the state’s child protection system would withhold some county dollars until caseworkers prove they can respond early and often to abuse reports, marking the first time such funding in Minnesota is performance-based.

      The plan, unveiled before a key Senate panel Wednesday, comes in the wake of sweeping reforms to the state’s child protection system, the first of which were passed unanimously by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Mark Dayton in March.

      The legislation stems from preliminary recommendations by the Governor’s Task Force on the Protection of Children, launched after Star Tribune reports on the death of 4-year-old Eric Dean, who was beaten to death by his stepmother despite 15 reports to Pope County child protection. The new laws will place child health and safety over keeping the family intact when social workers make decisions on how to intervene. It also reverses a law passed last year that barred social workers from taking previously screened-out reports into consideration during investigations of suspected abuse.

      With greater demands come an influx of cash to pay for them. Dayton’s supplemental budget includes $22 million for additional child protection staffing statewide. For each county, half will be distributed based on the population of children in the county, 25 percent will be distributed on the number of “screened-in” abuse reports, while another quarter would be distributed based on the number of open child protection cases in the county. Regardless of numbers, no county would be awarded less than $75,000 annually — guaranteeing a funding boost for at least 30 counties. An additional $10 million would be distributed in a similar manner for third-party services like family counseling or mental health screening. Sen. Kathy Sheran, DFL-Mankato, author of child protection measures and a task force member, said that spending among the counties was disproportionate — from $99 per child in some counties to $600 in others.

      “We want to make sure that we recognize the commitment that some counties made despite deficits and cuts, while recognizing that other counties may have taken money that could have been used somewhere else,” she said.

      Each year, 20 percent of each county’s money would be withheld as a “performance allocation.” To receive it, counties must have timely face-to-face contact with at least 90 percent of children in screened-in abuse reports. Second, case managers must make monthly face-to-face visits to children in foster care and kids in the home receiving child protection services 90 percent of the time.

      “The concept there is that unless they’re doing the work, they shouldn’t get the full allocation, and the work required by the Task Force is that they see children early — right away if there’s an allegation of abuse, and they see constantly if those children are in need of child protective services,” said Ralph McQuarter, director of management operations for Children and Family Services at the Department of Human Services. “We want to see outcomes for children being improved, not just workers showing up at the door and being visible.”

      Last year, nearly a quarter of cases in Minnesota would have failed to meet those criteria. According to DHS statistics, initial contact was made within 24 hours in cases where serious harm was alleged just 76 percent of the time. Statewide, monthly face-to-face visits with a caseworker were also completed 76 percent of the time.

      The new standards have broad support from the counties that came to sort out the new terms with DHS, said Rochelle Westlund, a health and human services policy analyst with the Association of Minnesota Counties.

      “While not typical, counties have some experience with performance incentives in other human services program areas, and we are confident that counties will strive to achieve these standards.” she said.

      Sheran said after years of drastic cuts to the state’s child protective services during lean years, it’s time to recommit to child protection with increases in staffing and services. She said incentive-based funding will likely motivate counties to do better.

      “It’s our way of giving them a sense of direction of what’s important,” she said. “It supports the recommendations of the task force, and communicates that by putting money behind it.”


       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/health/299135241.html

      Please Make Note

      Please make note that I, Jessica Lynn Hepner the creator of What Every Parent Should Know, is not giving legal advice. I am not a lawyer. I am giving you knowledge via first hand experiences.

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      Save A Life by Angie Kassabie
      I URGE ALL MY FRIENDS TO READ & SHARE THIS; YOU COULD SAVE A LOVED ONES LIFE BY KNOWING THIS SIMPLE INFORMATION!!! Stroke has a new indicator! They say if you forward this to ten people, you stand a chance of saving one life. Will you send this along? Blood Clots/Stroke - They Now Have a Fourth Indicator, the Tongue: During a BBQ, a woman stumbled and took a little fall - she assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics) ...she said she had just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes. They got her cleaned up and got her a new plate of food. While she appeared a bit shaken up, Jane went about enjoying herself the rest of the evening. Jane's husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital - (at 6:00 PM Jane passed away.) She had suffered a stroke at the BBQ. Had they known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps Jane would be with us today. Some don't die. They end up in a helpless, hopeless condition instead. It only takes a minute to read this. A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke...totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed, and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough. >>RECOGNIZING A STROKE<< Thank God for the sense to remember the '3' steps, STR. Read and Learn! Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions: S *Ask the individual to SMILE. T *Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently) (i.e. Chicken Soup) R *Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS. If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call emergency number immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher. New Sign of a Stroke -------- Stick out Your Tongue NOTE: Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick' out his tongue. If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other that is also an indication of a stroke. A cardiologist says if everyone who gets this e-mail sends it to 10 people; you can bet that at least one life will be saved. I have done my part. Will you?

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