© 2024 Louisville Public Media

Public Files:
89.3 WFPL · 90.5 WUOL-FM · 91.9 WFPK

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact info@lpm.org or call 502-814-6500
89.3 WFPL News | 90.5 WUOL Classical 91.9 WFPK Music | KyCIR Investigations
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Stream: News Music Classical

Kentucky's Child Welfare Cabinet Reports Fewer Child Fatalities

Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services has released its annual report on child abuse fatalities, which show fewer fatalities this year when compared to previous years’ data. But it may be difficult for lawmakers to use this information in comparison, said Terry Brooks is executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates.The report is three months past, due but the important numbers seem to be down. The cabinet has recorded 18 fatalities this past fiscal year; the total for last year was 33.The cabinet struggled to report data that was still pending in the courts and some of this years numbers may still fluctuate, said officials. The Cabinet for Health and Family Services has faced criticism for lacking transparency after a case worker was accused of neglecting investigation of an incident leading to a child’s death.Brooks said reports the past two years have varied from previous years and that makes it difficult for lawmakers to use as a tool for change.“We count on the governor looking at hard pieces of data when they make decisions about the budgets, about policies, about practices. And if we don’t have a common set of data all of a sudden we fall into the arenas of opinion and we sink,” Brooks said.The cabinet calls the report objective and evaluative.“Hopefully, this report can facilitate a greater level of understanding of the work conducted in Kentucky’s child welfare system and facilitate a constructive conversation about improvements and  systemic needs,"  officials wrote to WFPL in an email.Gov. Steve Beshear says he wants Kentucky to make mandatory the release of certain child welfare records. The cabinet is not currently required to make all data public.Click here to see the annual report of fatalities and near fatalities.

Can we count on your support?

Louisville Public Media depends on donations from members – generous people like you – for the majority of our funding. You can help make the next story possible with a donation of $10 or $20. We'll put your gift to work providing news and music for our diverse community.