Mara Powell

LOUISVILLE, KY – One child who has experienced abuse or neglect, is one child too many – and a child fatality or near fatality should never happen in the first place. Yet, in 2020, there were 22 fatalities and 53 near fatalities due to substantiated cases of abuse or neglect in Kentucky.

As the Commonwealth continues to reform the child welfare system, a critical component that must be considered is following the death of a child, and Senate Bill 97 seeks to do just that. SB 97, sponsored by Senator Danny Carroll and passed today by the Kentucky Senate, will strengthen efforts following a child fatality or near fatality, including requiring coroners to immediately notify law enforcement, the Department for Community Based Services, and local health department upon the death of a child. The measure also strengthens the External Child Fatality and Near Fatality Review Panel, which is tasked with reviewing cases and making recommendations to relevant state agencies to prevent these horrific outcomes from happening again.

With our partners in the Kosair Charities Face It Movement, we thank Senator Carroll for championing SB 97 and the Kentucky Senate for supporting its passage.

Stay up-to-date on Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children priorities and other bills that are good for kids on our Kentucky General Assembly Bill Tracker.


About Kentucky Youth Advocates
Kentucky Youth Advocates believes all children deserve to be safe, healthy, and secure. As THE independent voice for Kentucky’s children, we work to ensure policymakers create investments and policies that are good for children. Learn more at