Hope article sheds light on system that needs to change


The article "Failed by Family Court" brought back many memories for me of living in a county just north of the Twin Cities, teaching a life skills class for high risk students at the local high school and running a county-wide mentoring program for high-risk students. This county has an above average rate of alcohol and drug abuse, including meth. It is also one of the two counties in Minnesota with the highest rates of poverty. Many of the students I worked with came from families where there was some type of drug or alcohol abuse, neglect, or extreme poverty.
I remember saying often that the problems in this county reminded me of inner city issues, but these were White kids living in trailer homes in the country. I made so many reports to child protective services in my time there that the county attorney told me that my name came across her desk more than any other name had in years.
I constantly asked why more was not being done to follow up with my concerns or hold the parents accountable for these reportable items with their children. I was told that "they were working on it," but that "the law favored the children to stay in the home with the biological parent," and that it took "an extreme situation to remove the child from the home." I was both shocked and saddened with the level of abuse and/or neglect that needed to happen to constitute the child being removed from the home.
I hope this article will shed light on what happens with CPS, the schools, and law enforcement do not act in the best interest of the child. It's a tragedy that needs to change!
Nicole Sheldon
Standish resident


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