The Fayette County office of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Protection and Permanency, is already in crisis mode and headings towards disaster. According to one source, there are only a dozen investigating workers and, due to budget constraints, none are being hired. This means a either referrals that normally would be accepted are being turned away, or these workers are stretched beyond reason. I suspect many other counties in Kentucky are faced with extremely excess case loads. And upon whom will the blame fall when the next child fatality occur? Sorry, that is rhetorical. It will be the front line worker despite not having the resources to do an adequate job.
I have also learned that other services, specifically the juvenile services team, are losing workers to retirement and better job prospects with no present means to fill those vacancies. This teams works with youth who are exhibiting behavior problems and/or moderate criminal activity to prevent further criminal involvement. I fear the consequences to our community and those youth with services being curtailed out of sheer necessity from understaffing.
We want a safe community where vulnerable people are protected and crime is minimized. It is time we become willing to pay for the services that will achieve those goals and insist our law makers find appropriate revenue sources (this means increased taxes, the end of corporate welfare, and/or monies redirected from industries that can survive without government incentives) to fund these agencies.