To help combat the growing number of abuse cases in eastern Kentucky, Pikeville College has a new social work degree program they hope can help.
Pikeville College representatives did a study and found there are not enough social workers in Appalachia to meet the growing demand.
They started a new social work degree program to help.
The idea is for the graduates to stay and work in the region.
Program directors say the region's abuse problems are growing faster than the area can get enough resources to fight them.
The new social workers are expected to make a difference immediately.
“Our students are going to be so well-prepared and skilled in working with rural populations that they will be able to make some real changes,” Genesia Kilgore-Bowling said.
The first class graduates next year.
The students plan to advocate for better services in rural areas as well.