cab health family redFRANKFORT, Ky. (3/20/13) – Governor Steve Beshear today signed into law House Bill 290, which establishes an independent review panel to investigate cases of child deaths and near-fatal injuries. The bill places in statute the Governor’s initiative to ensure that child protection agencies meet the policies and standards expected in cases of child abuse and neglect.
 
The bill closely mirrors the executive order issued by Gov. Beshear in July 2012, retaining the original 17 members appointed by the Governor, while expanding the panel’s membership by three.
 
“We all share the same goal of keeping our youngest citizens safe from harm, but sometimes abuse and neglect lead to tragic circumstances,” said Gov. Beshear. “When that happens, we must take a hard look to see whether and how what we call ‘the system’ broke down. House Bill 290 creates a permanent process to review those cases, so we can ask the right questions and make any appropriate changes in order to protect other children.”
 
The independent 20-member panel will remain attached to the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet for staff and administrative purposes, with added oversight by the Program Review and Investigations Committee of the Kentucky General Assembly, which will conduct an annual evaluation of the panel, monitor operations and procedures and make a report of findings to the General Assembly.
 
“I hope one day we will live in a world where this panel is no longer needed, but to address today’s problems, I am so honored to have been a part of seeing the passage of this bill. Families and children are first,” said Rep. Tom Burch, of Louisville.
 
New members of the panel will include the commissioner of the Department for Public Health, who will serve as an ex officio, nonvoting member; a representative of the Community Mental Health Centers, to be selected by the Attorney General from a list of three names provided by the Kentucky Association of Regional Mental Health and Mental Retardation Programs Inc.; and a member of the Citizen Foster Care Review Board, selected by the chief justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court.
 
“The review panel is designed to gather and analyze information from multiple sources to aid the prevention of child abuse,” said Judge Roger Crittenden, who serves as the panel’s chair. “This legislation resulted from the work of many public-spirited Kentucky citizens and organizations and the continued support from Rep. Burch and Sen. Denton. And it was Gov. Beshear's Executive Order that was the catalyst that changed an idea into reality and formed the basic framework for a review panel that is already functioning.”
 
“The establishment of this panel will now allow us to understand the role that all of us – doctors, neighbors, CPS workers, law enforcement...everyone – has in protecting our children,” said Dr. Melissa Currie, chief medical director, University of Louisville Pediatrics-Forensic Medicine. “It demonstrates a long-term commitment to our children that we will learn everything we can from these heartbreaking cases in order to prevent future child fatalities and near-fatalities. We owe this to our kids.”
 
“While we are sad we have to talk about child fatalities, it is a day to celebrate because we have taken a significant step toward prevention,” said Jill Seyfred, executive director of Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky. “With passage of this legislation – the culmination of a lot of hard work and careful deliberations from all branches of government, child advocates and concerned citizens – Kentucky joins other states who know there is much to gain from having a panel of experts look at each tragic child fatality.”
 
House Bill 290 provides for unredacted case files to be reviewed by the panel members, who will be bound by confidentiality requirements. The bill also permits the panel to go into closed session to allow for open discussion while preserving the privacy of innocent individuals whose names are included in the files. This has been a matter of particular concern for a surviving child of a near-fatality and non-offending surviving family and household members of any child whose case is subject to the panel’s review.
 
Members will continue to meet quarterly to review official records, case files, or information relating to child fatalities or near-fatalities and analyze the medical, psychosocial and legal circumstances of the child to identify conditions that contributed to the death or serious injury. The panel will recommend improvements to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, the Department for Community Based Services and to any other public or private agencies involved with the family relating to protocols, practice, training or other protections to keep children safe.
 
SurfKY News
Information provided by the office of Governor Steve Beshear
Photo provided by SurfKY Graphics

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

In Other News...

Summer Evening Shows, Star Parties at Golden Pond Planetarium, Observatory

KENTUCKY (5/3/15) — Summer Evening Planetarium Shows begin May 30 with Firefall at Golden Pond Planetarium followed by… Read More

Marshall, Lyon, Caldwell Among Counties to Receive Disaster Assistance

FRANKFORT, Ky. (5/1/15) — Governor Steve Beshear was notified late Thursday that President Barack Obama has authorized… Read More
1 DOW 18,024.06
+183.54 (1.03%)    
2 S&P 2,108.29
+22.78 (1.09%)    
3 NASDAQ 5,005.39
+63.97 (1.29%)    

Most Read This Week

April 28, 2015 4068

Search for Stolen Vehicle Ends with Woman Charged…

by SurfKY News
April 27, 2015 3415

Online Petition Seeking Re­opening of Shanice…

by Samantha Carver, SurfKY News
April 28, 2015 3273

Man Charged with Stalking Smoke Shop Clerk

by MPD
April 27, 2015 2824

Hopkins County Drug War ― Are We Winning?

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
April 30, 2015 2714

Family Says 'Goodbye' to Dog After It Allegedly…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

April 17, 2015 15283

An Open Letter from an Addict

by Olivia Kirks
April 23, 2015 8412

Man Charged with Sodomy, Incest/Victim under 12

by SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

May 02, 2015 1080

Frymire’s Life Accomplishments, Dedication to MCC…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 01, 2015 833

Above and Beyond: Leighann Stroud

by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
May 03, 2015 698

Two Injured During Two-Vehicle Collision

by SurfKY News
May 02, 2015 609

Don't Bet on Supreme Court Overturning Marriage…

by Richard Nelson
May 02, 2015 560

Homegrown by Heroes Receives Donation from…

by Ted Sloan
May 02, 2015 537

Weeknight activities the whole family can enjoy

by SurfKY News
May 02, 2015 511

New Mather Metals to Expand in Franklin

by Office of the Governor
May 02, 2015 475

Hooked on Science - 'Kentucky Derby Balloon Race'

by Jason Lindsey
May 02, 2015 447

Happenings, Meetings Listed for Following Week

by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News