Mon December 14, 2009
Fewer Child Abuse Cases Confirmed, Less Oversight?
By Angela Hatton
Louisville, KY – A newspaper report says Kentucky social workers are confirming far fewer allegations of child abuse than they did a decade ago. Advocates say that could be a sign that social workers are carrying too many cases, causing them to miss dangerous situations. The Courier-Journal reports that social workers found abuse or neglect in 12.5 percent of such reports this year. The newspaper's analysis found that number was down dramatically from 27 percent nine years ago. Some cases from 2009 are still under review. David Richart, a child advocate and consultant in Kentucky, says those numbers mean investigations are not being done thoroughly. Patricia Wilson, the state cabinet's commissioner for social services, says better screening of reports accounts for some of the decline.