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Report: Kentucky Children Still Dying from Abuse, Neglect

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A report from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services shows most of the children who were abused or neglected in the past year suffered at the hands of adults. 

An annual report on child fatalities and near fatalities shows parents were the most frequent abusers.  Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates, says most of the children who died were in families that were under investigation or had prior involvement with the Department for Community Based Services.

"That is not to place blame on any individual worker because they have heavy caseloads and lots of pressures, but in a majority of these cases, they were not surprises," Brooks told WKU Public Radio.  "We have to speed up DCBS response and investigations.  We can't afford for kids to be in danger and action is so slow that a fatality results because of it."

At least nine Kentucky children died in the past year from abuse or neglect, but the number is preliminary because of pending cases. 

More than 40 children suffered life-threatening injuries.  Most of them were under the age of three.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.
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