- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 17, 2015

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - The number of Kentucky children who have been removed from homes because of abuse or neglect has reached nearly unprecedented levels.

The Courier-Journal (https://cjky.it/1JXIR1h ) reports that there are currently 8,208 children who have been removed from their homes and placed in foster or residential care. Five years ago, that number was about 7,000.

Teresa James, commissioner of the agency that oversees child protection in Kentucky, says that statistic is close to an all-time high.

Jefferson County Family Court Chief Judge Paula Sherlock says much of the blame for the trend lies with the public’s growing use of heroin.

Kentucky lawmakers this year passed a broad bill aimed at combating addiction and getting more people into drug treatment.

James says the state uses about 3,500 foster homes, and is seeking more.

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Information from: The Courier-Journal, https://www.courier-journal.com

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