Local social worker recognized

The most prescient matter at the Oct. 17 Bell County School Board meeting was that of the Elgin social worker update.

The Elgin Foundation is based in Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia and its mission statement is to provide help and care for underserved children in underserved areas.

Child neglect and abuse is still a massive issue that warrants discussion, and Bell County Superintendent Yvonne Gilliam made it a note to highlight the excellent work the local social worker Brooke Hurley does in handling cases of child neglect and abuse.

Gilliam stated to the board that many of the cases handled were absolutely terrible and “beyond imagination.”

Hurley dealt with over 200 cases of child neglect and abuse by herself last year.

“I think we are so fortunate to have an excellent social worker. She doesn’t waste a minute…there’s no way you can get to that many cases a year sitting in your office taking care of paperwork,” said Gilliam.

Gilliam also stated that they are dealing with a process right now where the children may be removed from the home.

“There’s a lot of child support that rolls out of this district that a lot of people don’t know about. Most people think we’re in the education business. And we are — and proud of it and successful at it, but I want you all to know, and the public to know, we are in the business of taking care of our children outside of their classrooms as well,” she stated.

As stated by Gilliam, Hurley sees to every single case that lands on her desk and not one has fallen through the cracks.

The Elgin Foundation placed a full-time social worker in the school district, which makes it one of the only districts in southeastern Kentucky to have one. Gilliam made it a point to mention that through the efforts of the Elgin Foundation the excellent work provided by Hurley may not be possible.