A volunteer panel reviewing the deaths and near-deaths of abused or neglected children in Kentucky is planning to hire additional staff to analyze hundreds of social worker case files.
The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that the Child Fatality and Near Fatality External Review Panel hopes to hire a lawyer by August and additional staff by fall.
The panel was appropriated $420,000 during this year's legislative session to hire more staff to handle the analysis and recommend how to improve the state's child-protection system.
Retired Franklin Circuit Judge Roger Crittenden told a legislative panel on Thursday that hiring the additional staff will allow the 20-member panel to back the recommendations with solid data. Crittenden says the panel was supposed to meet quarterly but now meets every other month.