Two high-ranking Republicans say they’ll hold legislative meetings to examine the state’s troubled Department of Children’s Services. The Tennessean reports House Speaker Beth Harwell and Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey plan to announce meetings to be held later this month when the Tennessee General Assembly reconvenes in Nashville.
The DCS has come under intense criticism recently for refusing to share details about the cases of 31 children who died in the first six months of 2012. Those 31 children had previously been brought to the attention of the DCS, leading to questions about whether more could have been done to place the children in a safer environment.
Democratic Rep. Mike Turner has previously called for a legislative investigation into how DCS protects vulnerable young people in the Volunteer state. The New-York based group Children's Rights is also pressing Tennessee to get the DCS to release case records.
Officials with the Family Enrichment Center in Bowling Green say the tough economy is having an impact on the amount of child abuse in the region. Lynn Hulsey is the Director of Programming for the organization, and she says hard economic times increase the amount of stress in many households. She says about ten percent more children were abused or neglected in the Barren River Area Development District last year than in 2010. Dan Modlin has more on the story..........