Monday, January 22, 2007

Social worker speaks out in favor of investigation

Readers' Forum: Poverty's role in neglect
Louisville Courier-Journal, Jan. 19, 2007, pg. A8.

Kudos to the thorough investigation of Kentucky's child welfare system, particularly of Child Protective Services.

Unfortunately, the issues uncovered are not isolated to Hardin County. As a social worker who organizes parents who have gotten a rotten deal in the child welfare system, I am sickened by the stories I hear and have documented of families are torn apart.

Neglect makes up over half of all cases of child maltreatment, more than physical abuse and sexual abuse combined. Poverty plays a big part in many cases of neglect because families lack housing, good-paying jobs and other basic human rights to care for their children.

Changes have to be made across the board, as indicated by the inspector general, and at the same time we need to address poverty.

Until we start addressing poverty and guaranteeing everyone's economic human rights (housing, living-wage jobs, health care) as outlined by the United Nations, we will continue to see a child welfare system overflowing with poor families who lack these basic human rights.

-Jennifer R. Jewell, Louisville 40203


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