Kentucky Child Abuse Panel Considers Drug-Testing Parents

Jul 23, 2013

A group of professionals ranging from doctors to state lawmakers is reviewing cases of child abuse and neglect in an effort to improve Kentucky's child protection system.  The Child Fatality and Near Fatality Review Committee met Monday for the first time since a new state law took effect. 

Dr. Tracey Corey said she  would like to see mandatory drug and alcohol screening.

“I’ve noticed that over the years, many times when there is an accidental death of a child, it is reported that the parents have been intoxicated," said Corey.

Joel Griffith with Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky agrees, but wants to be deliberate in how they approach collecting data.

“We don’t exactly know many cases of unexpected child deaths involve drugs so what we need to do is get some baseline data and then move forward from a data informed approach before we just make a jump that could be hard received for people who are going through the death of a child," remarked Griffith.

The group also discussed the need for more education, especially in hospital ERs so that signs of child abuse can be identified and treated more quickly.

A report with recommendations is scheduled to be submitted to lawmakers and the Governor by the end of the year.