Bellewood & Brooklawn: 7-Year-Old Foster Child Dies at Louisville, KY Residential Psych Treatment Center

July 26, 2022

After three days of few answers as to what happened to a boy who died Sunday in a children's treatment center in Louisville, many are wondering what new information has come to light.

Here's what we know:

Who is the child?

The child's name is Ja'Ceon Terry. He was identified by the Jefferson County Coroner's Office on Tuesday. Ja'Ceon was 7 years old.

He was a part of the foster care system like most children who live at Brooklawn, a children's treatment center for mental health services and a number of other services for children.

"We are able to confirm the tragic death of a 7-year-old child in foster care," Susan Dunlap, a spokeswoman for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, said in an email Monday.

Ja'Ceon is the second child to die within six weeks while in the care of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. A 9-year-old boy fled the Children's Home of North Kentucky and was found dead in the Ohio River after possibly drowning June 4, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

How did Ja'Ceon Terry die?

The cause of Ja'Ceon's death remains undetermined and is considered "pending," according to a news release from the coroner's office.

He was pronounced dead at Norton Children's Hospital, according to the coroner's office.

Most children who are in Kentucky's foster care system have been removed from homes because of abuse or neglect.

How many children are in foster care in Kentucky?

About 8,700 children are in foster care in Kentucky, according to the cabinet's website. In Jefferson County, the number is about 800.

What is Brooklawn?

Brooklawn is a residential center off Goldsmith Lane that provides mental health treatment for children, many of whom are in the foster care system in Kentucky.

The children's treatment center merged with Bellewood, another treatment center, to create Bellewood & Brooklawn in 2012. The merged residential care center provides care as part of the Seven Counties Services, the region's mental health agency. Bellewood and Brooklawn have more than a century's worth of history in the state.

The residential center is one of many privately owned care residences in the state that the cabinet uses to provide care for children in the system. These children cannot be taken care of in traditional foster homes due to significant mental health or emotional needs.

Who is investigating Ja'Ceon Terry's death?

Several agencies have opened investigations into Ja'Ceon's death, and the coroner's office will continue to investigate.

The Cabinet of Health and Family Services said that "multiple cabinet investigations" began Sunday.

And the Louisville Metro Police have opened an investigation and are waiting for more details to surface from Kentucky's Medical Examiner, LMPD spokesperson Aaron Ellis said in an email to The Courier Journal.

Source: Caleb Stultz, “What we know about Ja'Ceon Terry's death at the Brooklawn children's center in Louisville,” Louisville Courier Journal, July 20, 2022, URL:  


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