Tell Kentucky to Protect Children From Abuse!
America has the best health care in the world, or so the Tea Party keeps telling us. So why do thirty Kentucky children die of abuse and neglect in an average year? The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services is supposed to help children caught in abusive circumstances, but that agency is stonewalling a media request for records relating to the death of children under its supervision.
Two leading Kentucky newspapers, the Courier-Journal and Lexington Herald-Leader, have sued for access to these documents. And a Franklin Circuit Judge ruled in their favor last year, noting that the deaths of children being monitored by Health and Family Services were "not inevitable." Even so, the cabinet has still not released those records.
Now the state Supreme Court has the opportunity to decide the case and set a precedent for transparency in public agencies that is conspicuously missing from this state. Ask the Supreme Court to hear the open records request case brought by Kentucky newspapers.
To the Kentucky Supreme Court:
We the undersigned are gravely concerned about the high rate of mortality among Kentucky's children. It appears that the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services is hiding something because that agency refuses to release records concerning many dead children who were being monitored by social services. Public agencies like this one have a duty to the public, a duty of transparency. So far, the cabinet seems bent more on protecting its own interests than in fulfilling its commission to rescue abused children. Please hear this case. It offers an opportunity not only to set the record straight on a number of tragic deaths, but also an opportunity to make Kentucky agencies responsible to the public they serve.