Separating Children from Families

Most everyone is horrified at the inhumanity of separating children from their parents at the border, then putting them in cages with no toys or adult supervision. Sadly, this is not just about other countries’ children. We treat our own callously too.  Millions suffer routinely from…

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Rich Gehrman Comment
Minnesota’s Message to Children

Most years the state legislature gathers all legislation in major areas such as human services, education, and health into huge omnibus bills.  This often precludes getting an up or down vote on individual funding bills or proposed changes in law. This year they went further.  They…

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Support Guardians ad Litem

Our experience with the Minnesota Guardian ad Litem (GAL) program has been great, but legislators receive a steady drip-drip-drip of complaints.  That’s not surprising, since parties to child protection cases often dislike GAL recommendations. The Office of Legislative Auditor (OLA) analyzed these criticisms.  Their report says...

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Rich Gehrman Comments
Day on the Hill

This week Safe Passage for Children held its annual Day on the Hill, when volunteers visit their state Representatives and Senators to advocate for victims of child maltreatment. 32 advocates visited 40 elected officials, with...

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Rich GehrmanComment
Don’t Blame the Worker

Blaming workers and supervisors for the current “house of horrors” story is understandable. But this catastrophe occurred amidst extremely high turnover in Hennepin County child protection, which forced inexperienced staff to manage large caseloads. Recently Hennepin has added caseworkers, strengthened...

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Rich Gehrman Comment
Right-Size Minnesota’s Child Welfare Programs

The core components of Minnesota’s child welfare system include the social services needed to implement case plans, attorneys for children, foster homes, and staff – for child protection, foster care, guardians ad litem and County Attorneys.  What is the ‘right-size’ for this system, meaning how much funding does each component and the program overall need to do the job?

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Rich GehrmanComment
A #ProtectChildrenToo Movement?

Nearly everyone deplores Larry Nassar’s assaults on gymnasts, and the workplace sexual harassment unmasked by #MeToo.  After being historically silenced, courageous women are speaking out.  But Minnesota’s children are still being silenced – by alleged abusers who get opportunities to coach and intimidate them before a caseworker arrives.

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Rich Gehrman Comment