Kentucky Child Abuse Fatality Epidemic
Shonda Sheppard
A Review of the Problem
In a six-month review of the problem, it was found that:
• Child-protection officials, day-care wo...
Justifications
Social workers say that they don't have
time to fully investigate cases or to follow
up with families.
State Level Self-Preservation
Secrecy within the child-protection system
protects it from scrutiny rather than
protecting ...
Investigations
Since 2000, Kentucky Child Protective
Services officials have investigated reports
of problems in cases of ...
Kentucky Child Abuse Fatalities
One Recent 12-Month Period
41 children died — the highest rate of any
state, according to a recent report by the
Every Chi...
Kentucky CPS Debacle
Nearly 270 Kentucky children died of
abuse or neglect during the past decade —
more than half of them...
Tragedies
Katelynn Stinnett, 2
Lexington, Kentucky
Brian Crabtree pled guilty
on Monday, September
19, 2011 in Fayette Circuit
Court...
Gaige Pyles, 7 months
Kenton
County, Kentucky
Gaige died from brain
injuries that resulted from a
shaking, according to a
...
Stephen Troy, 23
months
Laurel
County, Kentucky
An autopsy revealed bruises
on the child's lower
back, abdomen and the top...
Antoine Dixon Jr. 17
months
Louisville, Kentucky
The Jefferson County
Coroner's Office says
Antoine Dixon Jr. died of
blun...
Robert Ross Jr., 3
months
Covington, Kentucky
After the battering that killed
him, an autopsy revealed
previous bruises an...
Kayden Branham 20
months
Monticello, Kentucky
Twenty-month-old Kayden
Branham died from burns and
internal injuries after ...
Amy Dye, 9
Elkton, Kentucky
State police found Amy Dye’s
lifeless body Feb. 5, 2011, near
Dogwood Lane, between
Trenton an...
Under Scrutiny
Perpetrators
Perpetrators of child abuse or neglect are
most often the child’s own parents.
The largest remaining category...
Reasoning
Child maltreatment occurs across socioeconomic, religious, cultural, racial, and
ethnic groups.
Risk Factors
Risk factors associated with child
maltreatment can be grouped in four
domains:





Parent or caregiver ...
Kentucky Child Abuse Statistics
The System
21 cases involved 10 or more notices.

State officials had received two or more reports of
suspected mistreatme...
The Death Toll
Continues
Karlie Renee Mellick, infant, passed
away Thursday, June 11, 2009 at
Kosair Children's Hospital. ...
Warning Signs
Just days before 9-month-old Karlie Mellick
was fatally battered at her home, her
mother, Kara Mellick, four...
No Report
Yet no one reported the marks, even on
her face and ear, which experts say are a
key warning sign of abuse.
June 11
Karlie died. She had suffered a
severe head injury, a broken arm and
leg and fractured ribs.
Mother’s Boyfriend Convicted
Matthew Vaughn pleaded guilty to
manslaughter charges in the death of
Karlie Mellick.
Vaughn ...
Future Outlook
American children are the helpless victims of a society
being ripped apart by
drugs, poverty, homelessness,...
A Child’s Safety is an
Adult’s Responsibility

Kentucky law explicitly states that anyone
who suspects or has reasonable c...
Kentucky Child Abuse Fatality Epidemic CIT 105
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Kentucky Child Abuse Fatality Epidemic CIT 105

  1. 1. Kentucky Child Abuse Fatality Epidemic Shonda Sheppard
  2. 2. A Review of the Problem In a six-month review of the problem, it was found that: • Child-protection officials, day-care workers, and parents, friends and relatives missed signs of abuse such as suspicious bruising and evidence of previous injury, or were hesitant to act. • While reports of abuse have soared, the rate at which social workers substantiated child abuse and neglect has declined.
  3. 3. Justifications Social workers say that they don't have time to fully investigate cases or to follow up with families.
  4. 4. State Level Self-Preservation Secrecy within the child-protection system protects it from scrutiny rather than protecting children, many judges and critics believe.
  5. 5. Investigations Since 2000, Kentucky Child Protective Services officials have investigated reports of problems in cases of 149 of the 267 Kentucky children who subsequently died from abuse or neglect.
  6. 6. Kentucky Child Abuse Fatalities
  7. 7. One Recent 12-Month Period 41 children died — the highest rate of any state, according to a recent report by the Every Child Matters Education Fund, a Washington child-advocacy group.
  8. 8. Kentucky CPS Debacle Nearly 270 Kentucky children died of abuse or neglect during the past decade — more than half of them in cases where state officials already knew of or suspected problems.
  9. 9. Tragedies
  10. 10. Katelynn Stinnett, 2 Lexington, Kentucky Brian Crabtree pled guilty on Monday, September 19, 2011 in Fayette Circuit Court to murder, firstdegree rape, first-degree sodomy and two counts of sexual abuse in the slaying of 2-year-old Katelynn Stinnett. He will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole.
  11. 11. Gaige Pyles, 7 months Kenton County, Kentucky Gaige died from brain injuries that resulted from a shaking, according to a police report. His father, Matthew Pyles was convicted of seconddegree manslaughter and was given a 10-year prison sentence. However, he was released after serving fewer than four years for Gaige's death.
  12. 12. Stephen Troy, 23 months Laurel County, Kentucky An autopsy revealed bruises on the child's lower back, abdomen and the top of his head, along with fractures in his legs. Amanda Johnson, Stephen Troy's mother, was convicted in that case, but the Kentucky Supreme Court overturned the mother's abuse conviction and ordered a new trial.
  13. 13. Antoine Dixon Jr. 17 months Louisville, Kentucky The Jefferson County Coroner's Office says Antoine Dixon Jr. died of blunt force trauma to multiple parts of his body. No one has been charged at this time.
  14. 14. Robert Ross Jr., 3 months Covington, Kentucky After the battering that killed him, an autopsy revealed previous bruises and healing broken bones, indicating that he “was subjected to child abuse throughout his short life,'' according to records from the murder case against Aaron Allen, who was convicted of Robert's death Nov. 5 after a three-day trial in Kenton Circuit Court. Allen was sentenced last week to 30 years in prison.
  15. 15. Kayden Branham 20 months Monticello, Kentucky Twenty-month-old Kayden Branham died from burns and internal injuries after drinking Liquid Fire from a cup at the dilapidated mobile home his mother and father allegedly used as a meth lab. The 20-month-old boy and his 14-year-old mother, Alisha Branham, had been placed under the supervision of the state system for abused and neglected children before Kayden's death.
  16. 16. Amy Dye, 9 Elkton, Kentucky State police found Amy Dye’s lifeless body Feb. 5, 2011, near Dogwood Lane, between Trenton and Guthrie, on a farm a few hundred yards past the road’s dead end. With signs of blunt force trauma to the head, it was evident she was beaten to death. A Todd County grand jury indicted 17-year-old Garrett Thomas Dye late Friday morning in the death of 9-yearold Amy Dye.
  17. 17. Under Scrutiny
  18. 18. Perpetrators Perpetrators of child abuse or neglect are most often the child’s own parents. The largest remaining category of perpetrators were the unmarried partner of a child’s parent.
  19. 19. Reasoning Child maltreatment occurs across socioeconomic, religious, cultural, racial, and ethnic groups.
  20. 20. Risk Factors Risk factors associated with child maltreatment can be grouped in four domains:     Parent or caregiver factors Family factors Child factors Environmental factors
  21. 21. Kentucky Child Abuse Statistics
  22. 22. The System 21 cases involved 10 or more notices. State officials had received two or more reports of suspected mistreatment in 60 percent of the 304 cases in which a child died or suffered life-threatening injuries during the past 10 years. In 21 of those cases, there were 10 or more reports of suspected mistreatment.
  23. 23. The Death Toll Continues Karlie Renee Mellick, infant, passed away Thursday, June 11, 2009 at Kosair Children's Hospital. She was preceded in death by her greatgranny, Marva Salls. She is survived by her mother, Kara Renee Mellick; grandparents, Allison and Buck and Marvin; great grandparents, Bill Mellick Sr., Marvin "Bill" and Bertha Stone, and Keith Salls; uncle, Brad (Stephanie); aunts, Brittany and Chelsea; and her cousin, Kaden. Visitation will be 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday, June 15, 2009 at Owen Funeral Home, 5317 Dixie Highway. Funeral and burial will be private. Expressions of sympathy may be made to the family in care of the funeral home.
  24. 24. Warning Signs Just days before 9-month-old Karlie Mellick was fatally battered at her home, her mother, Kara Mellick, four day-care workers and a physician all noticed the infant's bruises.
  25. 25. No Report Yet no one reported the marks, even on her face and ear, which experts say are a key warning sign of abuse.
  26. 26. June 11 Karlie died. She had suffered a severe head injury, a broken arm and leg and fractured ribs.
  27. 27. Mother’s Boyfriend Convicted Matthew Vaughn pleaded guilty to manslaughter charges in the death of Karlie Mellick. Vaughn was sentenced to 17 years.
  28. 28. Future Outlook American children are the helpless victims of a society being ripped apart by drugs, poverty, homelessness, unemployment, violence and a pervasive sense of hopelessness. The dozen men and women, all of them involved in child welfare issues, quickly reached that bleak consensus Monday as they testified before members of Congress meeting in the federal courts building in Chicago.
  29. 29. A Child’s Safety is an Adult’s Responsibility Kentucky law explicitly states that anyone who suspects or has reasonable cause to believe that a child is experiencing abuse or neglect has a duty to report it. If ever in doubt about making a report, please call the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Children throughout our community are counting on you to speak up for them. To report abuse or neglect in Kentucky, call 1-800-752-6200. For reports outside the state of Kentucky, call 1-800-422-4453. If a child is in need of immediate help, dial 911.

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