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Panel Overseeing Kentucky Child Abuse Cases Asks for Increased Budget

An independent Kentucky panel in charge of reviewing child abuse cases is requesting over $400,000 from the state’s budget to perform its duties.

The Child Fatality and Near Fatality Review Panel was created following criticism of accountability in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, which handles child abuse cases.

Retired judge Roger Crittenden is chair of the panel. He says the group is made up of volunteers who review scores of cases, and the funds would be used for staff.

“There’s some staff members that include legal services and other analysts, to provide people that will take the data, take the files that we’re looking at...take what we’ve suggested and then make some sort of analysis.”

The panel’s first annual report is due in December. Crittenden says members have praised the cabinet’s actions in some child abuse cases while criticizing slow response  times in others. He says most files seem to lack organization, making the children’s stories hard to follow.

Devin Katayama joined WFPL News in summer 2011. He adds to the newsroom a diverse perspective having lived and reported in major cities across the U.S. and spending time in Peru reporting on human trafficking. Devin earned the 2011 Studs Terkel Community Media Scholarship Award for his report on homeless youth in Chicago. He reports on education affairs in Kentucky and Indiana.
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