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Kentucky needs more social workers


Richard Dawahare

Cheers to Kentucky attorney Richard Dawahare for urging the state to hire more social workers in his column in the Lexington Courier-Journal.

Dawahare said part of the reason Kentucky has an absymal child fatality rate is that social workers have caseloads almost twice the recommended federal standard of 18 to 20 per worker. Dawahare said there is no way overstressed workers can protect all the children in their care.

“Social workers are Kentucky’s front line soldiers in the war against child abuse and neglect,” he wrote. “The vast majority of them are tireless servants to their calling.”

Dawahare’s column comes at a time when social workers are not getting good press in the state.

A judge recently ruled that caseworkers failed to properly protect Amythz Dye, a 9-year-old who was beaten to death by her 18-year-old adopted brother. However, news headlines mistakenly said the caseworkers were trained and licensed social workers.

Gov. Steve Beshear also ordered the release of records of children who were killed or almost killed due to abuse or neglect, an action that has raised concern among social workers.

To learn more about how social workers protect children visit the National Association of Social Workers’ “Help Starts Here” Kids & Families Website by clicking here.




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