Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

April is National Child Abuse Prevention month. According to the latest report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Kentucky ranks number one in the nation in child abuse rates. McCracken County Family Court Judge Deanna Henschel says she's seen child abuse cases increasing. In fact, they're nearly double what they were when she became a family court judge in 2016. Henschel believes drugs and domestic violence are the two largest causes of child abuse in McCracken County. Henschel said “Probably the hardest part of my job is removing kids from their homes and deciding when and if they can safely return.” Henschel explained that the system is overburdened with many agencies in "survival mode" and they have "more cases than the daily court schedule will allow.”