Kentucky moves to fire six social service workers

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - State officials plan to fire six social service workers in the wake of an investigation into misconduct in Kentucky's foster care system in the Elizabethtown area.

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services cited poor work performance, inappropriate conduct and falsification of records as the reason for the action.

An inspector general's report released earlier this year identified a culture in the Elizabethtown office that thrived on the power of controlling families by removing children from their biological parents and terminating their parental rights. Investigators said supervisors there were allowed to accept, reject or alter established procedures at will.

A grand jury cleared the workers of any criminal wrongdoing last month but expressed frustration at the state's lack of "any serious disciplinary action" against the employees.

"We found it both disturbing and shocking that these few employees were able to act in such a manner toward the families involved, as well as toward the court system, without any significant disciplinary measures being taken," the grand jury said.

Community Based Services Commissioner Mark A. Washington said in a statement Friday that disciplinary actions in the case were necessary.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-09-08-07 0600EDT

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