Kentucky's ranking improves on child abuse, but officials say help is still needed
The head of Court Appointed Special Advocates of Lexington says a positive change in the number of reported cases of child abuse isn’t always a good sign. CASA Director Melynda Jamison said Kentucky has moved from the worst in the country for child abuse and neglect to about fifth-worst. But, she noted some of that can be attributed to a period of COVID when detection was more difficult with children not in school.
“I think the biggest issue we have right now in Kentucky is a lack of preventive services to work to keep children and families out of the system and to break the cycle. So, even though we’ve seen the numbers decrease, I don’t think that we can celebrate too long on that because I think the issue has been a lack of eyes reporting,” said Jamison.
CASA serves seven central Kentucky counties. Trained and supervised volunteers advocate for children through the family court systems. Jamison said there is an ongoing need for additional CASA volunteers.
April is designated as Child Abuse Prevention Month. CASA pinwheels are currently displayed in several central Kentucky counties. In Lexington, the grouping is found off Nicholasville Road. Jamison said the 724 pinwheels represent individual children with petitions filed over the last year.
Here's more with CASE of Lexington Director Mylenda Jamison: