Local/Regional News
12:17 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Panel Asks Lawmakers For $420,000 To Improve Child Protection

A panel created by the governor to review child deaths and severe abuse cases plans to ask lawmakers for $420,000 to help it reach its goal.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that Child Fatality and Near Fatality Review panel chairman Roger Crittenden told the group during its meeting Monday in Frankfort that that the $420,000 would be used staff members and other overhead costs.

"Everything that we have asked for, we can justify," he said.

The panel has been tasked with reviewing case files of children who died or nearly died from abuse or neglect and making recommendations to improve the state's child protection system. It was not designated any funding.

Although the panel has met for a year, it has struggled to review files and develop a system to analyze and capture data that would lead to improvements.

An expert in child fatality reviews suggested that the panel needed staff to help coordinate reviews and get data from other agencies to help back up recommendations.

Meanwhile, the panel agreed that its first report, which is due Dec. 1, would emphasize how it can improve so that it can provide solid direction to state officials in the future.

The report, which is expected to include recommendations on how to staff the panel, will be presented at the panel's Dec. 2 meeting.