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House Panel Approves Bill for Child Fatality Panel

Rep. Susan Westrom

FRANKFORT, Ky.  The Kentucky House Health and Welfare Committee has given its approval to a bill that would create a panel of experts to review cases in which children are killed or seriously injured because of abuse or neglect.

Democratic state Rep. Susan Westrom of Lexington is pushing the legislation that requires the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services to provide staff and administrative assistance to the group.

The Courier-Journal, the Lexington Herald Leader and the Todd County Standard have been focusing attention on the issue of child abuse deaths, in part through a legal battle with the state over access to records.

Westrom's bill creates an 11-member panel - which would include legal, legislative, medical and law enforcement representatives - to review child deaths.