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Child Abuse Prevention Month – Op Ed

Together, we can, and we must, end child abuse and neglect.

April 25, 2023

Kentucky ranks among the top 10 states in child abuse and neglect. We must do better. – Pam Darnall

Every April, we celebrate Child Abuse Prevention Month. This month, which can be identified by pinwheels and the color blue, signifies a goal we should all want to achieve: ending child abuse and neglect.

While we have made strides in this goal, we know we can do better. The most recent Child Maltreatment report shows Kentucky has dropped from #5 to #6 (rate of child abuse/neglect is 14.7 victims per 1,000 children) in the nation and Indiana remains at #11 (rate of child abuse/neglect is 13.6 victims per 1,000 children). We can, and we must, do better.

In Kentucky specifically, the recent report from the Kentucky Child Fatality & Near Fatality Review Panel found that 69 children died and that 90% (194 children) of the 215 cases reviewed were preventable. We can, and we must, do better.

Children are innocent and vulnerable. They deserve to be cared for and nurtured. They deserve to live a cheerful and happy life. They do not deserve a life filled with abuse and neglect by those who are supposed to love and take care of them. The most devastating thing is knowing this treatment is preventable.

This year Family & Children’s Place is celebrating our 140th year serving the community. Through our Child Advocacy Center and partnership with the Crimes Against Children’s Unit of LMPD, our Greater Louisville Headstart and HANDS home visiting, our counseling, and school-based services, we work tirelessly to support children and families, so they are safe, happy and healthy. We can’t do this work alone. We are grateful for our partners and all their hard work, but we need your help, too.

In Kentucky and Indiana, everyone is mandated to report child abuse and neglect. By law, if we suspect a child is being abused or neglected, we are required to report it. We understand this could be uncomfortable and hard for some, but by doing so, you could save a child’s life.

I encourage you to learn more about our work at Family & Children’s Place. By signing up to volunteer, becoming a donor, or simply spreading the word about our services, you will help make a difference in a child’s life. Together, we can, and we will, end child abuse.

Pam Darnall is the CEO & President of Family & Children’s Place and has been involved in the organization since the 1990s. If you know of anyone in need of our services, please send them to

Link to Courier-Journal story.