Special to The Times-Tribune
A Barbourville woman is among 17 people selected to serve on a panel responsible for reviewing child fatality and near fatality cases, according to a release issued from Gov. Steve Beshear’s office.
Maxine Reid, of Barbourville, will represent Family Resource and Youth Service Centers. She was selected by the Attorney General.
The panel’s aim is to help ensure that state agencies meet the policies and standards expected in cases of child abuse and neglect.
Created by an executive order in July, the Child Fatality and Near Fatality External Review Panel will conduct comprehensive reviews of child fatalities and near fatalities that are determined to be the result of child abuse or neglect.
“In those instances when a child dies or is critically injured because of abuse or neglect, we must carefully examine the practices of the government entities whose job it is to prevent such tragedies,” Beshear said. “What we learn will help us implement new policies if needed. This panel will play a critical role in our efforts to protect Kentucky’s children.”
The independent panel will be attached to the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet for staff and administrative purposes. Its members include a wide range of disciplines and stakeholders, including those of law enforcement and social services, and representatives of all three branches of state government. The members who are not serving by virtue of their office are nominated by external peer committees and selected for service by the Attorney General.
“The child fatality and near fatality review panel’s work will help guide state leaders in improving the critical social safety net for our most vulnerable children,” Attorney General Jack Conway said. “I am confident each of the appointees I have selected to serve will endeavor to add his or her professional perspective to this important effort.”
Members will 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 (CHFS), the Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) and to any other public or private agencies involved with the family relating to protocols, practice, training or other protections to keep children safe.
The panel will also publish an annual report of case reviews, findings and recommendations that will be submitted to the governor, the CHFS Secretary, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the General Assembly and will be available to the public on the websites of both the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet and CHFS.
“The Justice Cabinet stands prepared to offer its support and resources to Chairman Crittenden and members of the panel as the group takes on this important responsibility,” said Secretary J. Michael Brown of the Justice Cabinet.
“In a perfect world, there would be no need for this panel because all of our children would be safe. But this is the real world, and the tragic deaths of innocent children are an unfortunate reality,” said CHFS Secretary Audrey Tayse Haynes. “The Cabinet is pleased that Governor Beshear has appointed such a distinguished and well-rounded group of professionals to serve on the child fatality review panel and pledges its full support and cooperation as the panel reviews cases and makes recommendations that will further improve our investigations process.”
“Child safety is paramount to the work of the Department of Community Based Services, and we welcome any opportunity to improve the protection of Kentucky’s children,” said DCBS Commissioner Teresa James. “The department appreciates the willingness of the panel members to do the difficult job of reviewing heartbreaking cases that involve the death or near death of a child. We look forward to the panel’s recommendations, which we are confident will enhance the health and safety of Kentucky’s children.”
Other members of the panel are Rep. Tom Burch, of Louisville, Sen. Julie Denton, of Louisville, Teresa James, Commissioner of Department for Community Based Services, Family Court Judge Brent Hall, of Elizabethtown, Dr. Carmel Wallace, of Lexington, Dr. Melissa Currie, of Louisville, State Medical Examiner Dr. Tracey Corey, of Louisville, Andrea Goin, of Evansville, Ind., Kevin Calhoon, of Frankfort, Joel T. Griffith, of Dry Ridge, Jenny Pitts Oldham, of Elizabethtown, Sharon Currens, of Frankfort, Dr. Ruth Shepherd, of Frankfort, Robert Walker, of Lexington, Carmella Yates, of Lexington, and Judge Roger Crittenden, of Frankfort.
Special to The Times-Tribune
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