Ky.'s child protection system scrutinized

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - During the past decade, nearly 270
Kentucky children died of abuse or neglect, and state officials
already knew of or suspected problems in more than half the cases,
a newspaper reported Sunday.
A longtime child advocate called the statistics "pretty
The Courier-Journal reported that during one recent 12-month
period, 41 children died - the highest rate of any state, according
to a report by the Every Child Matters Education Fund, a
Washington, D.C.-based child advocacy group.
In a six-month review of the problem, the Louisville newspaper
found that child protection officials, day care workers, and
parents, friends and relatives missed signs of abuse such as
suspicious bruising and evidence of previous injury, or were
hesitant to act.
The rate at which social workers substantiated child abuse and
neglect has declined, while reports of abuse have soared, the
newspaper reported.
Nine years ago, problems were substantiated in 27 percent of the
reports received, compared with 12.5 percent this year, according
to reports by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

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