More children died in Kentucky from abuse and neglect than in any other state – that’s according to numbers from 2007 collected by the group Every Child Matters. Forty-one child deaths that year were ruled to be caused by abuse or neglect.
Kristen Riddick is the President of the Court Appointed Special Advocates – or CASA – of the River Region. She says low socioeconomic status and family histories play a role.
“People that don’t have the right life skills to begin with, so you have families that have not had an educational background to better themselves potentially, maybe don’t have the skill set they need in this environment, economy,” says Riddick. “So that perpetuates the problem.”
Riddick says drug abuse is also a factor – up to 80-percent of fatal child abuse and neglect cases in Kentucky involve children of drug-abusing parents.