Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Note to legislators: Don't play dumb, just because you don't want to spend the money

Readers' forum: Seven years of blue-ribbon study on Boni Bill issues
Louisville Courier-Journal, March 25, 2007, pg. H2.

The Kentucky legislature is arguing about, among other things, the "Boni Bill' and components of this bill.

Some in the legislature believe we need a blue-ribbon panel to determine the need for an increase in the number of social workers, for the improvement of social worker safety and for supervised visitation centers in Kentucky.

Kentucky is fortunate to already have five blue-ribbon panels, namely, the Citizen Review Panels, located throughout the state.

These are federally mandated panels that meet on a monthly basis to review child protective service issues.

The Citizen Review Panels have made recommendations for over seven years regarding the need for more social workers, as well as voicing concerns regarding the safety of social workers.

Why waste further time and potentially more social workers' lives by appointing another blue-ribbon panel?

Legislators need only to read the annual reports sent to them every year by the Citizen Review Panels.

Additionally, some in the legislature seem to think that supervised visitation centers are "untested."

Supervised visitation centers have been in Louisville for 10 years and have protected many children from harm while affording parents an opportunity to visit with their children.

These centers have been hugely successful and should be a service available to all in the commonwealth.

The members of the Jefferson County Citizen Review Panel, on whose behalf I am writing, implore the legislators to take a look at the work we have been doing for seven years and move forward to increase funding for more social workers and provide funding for more supervised visitation centers.

These issues can no longer be ignored or put on the back burner.

Chairman, Jefferson County Citizen's Review Panel
Louisville 40206


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