Kentucky leads the nation in deaths from child abuse and neglect and at least half the deaths have come after the cases came to the attention of child welfare authorities.

Deborah Yetter:

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.
During 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.
In a six-month review of the problem, The Courier-Journal 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.