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40 Years of Showing Up for Kids

Since our founding in 1977, we at Kentucky Youth Advocates have made it our vision to make Kentucky the best place in America to be a kid. Forty years ago, with a much smaller staff and budget, advocates came together to find solutions for Kentucky’s kids. What we lacked in resources we made up for in our unwavering commitment to ensure a brighter future for our youngest citizens. As we kick off our 40th birthday [...]

By | 2017-05-22T11:53:29+00:00 May 22nd, 2017|Blog, Safety, Youth Justice|

Ending the “One Size Fits All” Approach

A “one size fits all” approach works much better for some situations than others. A “one size fits all” hat with an adjustable strap, for example, could work for all. A “one size fits all” pair of shoes, on the other hand, wouldn’t work for most. And a “one size fits all” approach doesn’t work well in our youth justice system. Changes that have been implemented in recent months in juvenile court reflect that sentiment, and youth [...]

By | 2017-04-20T10:15:44+00:00 April 20th, 2017|Blog, Youth Justice|

Kids Win When Leaders Step Up

The 2017 legislative session recently wrapped up, and kids and families won on several fronts. The General Assembly took action on a number of Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children legislative priorities ranging from supporting children who have to be removed from their home due to abuse and neglect to promoting work when people return home from incarceration – a critical piece for the many Kentucky children who have had a parent incarcerated. Advocates are celebrating several [...]

By | 2017-04-13T11:23:28+00:00 April 13th, 2017|Blog, Economic Security, Safety, Youth Justice|

Helping Kids Who Stay on Track Succeed

By Alexandra Arachikavitz The General Assembly passed a bill that will allow youth to expunge additional juvenile records and help kids get back on track. When kids get back on track, we must help them be prepared to succeed in the future as adults. Their records should not hold them back from opportunities to learn by attending a college or trade school, get a good job, and contribute to their communities. During the 2016 legislative [...]

By | 2017-04-05T09:37:10+00:00 April 5th, 2017|Blog, Youth Justice|

First Do No Harm: A Role for Pediatricians and Healthcare Providers in Youth Justice Reform

A common principle exists in the medical field that physicians should “first, do no harm.” A new journal article by the American Academy of Pediatrics draws to light the need for that principle to be applied in the youth justice field as we hold youth accountable for the behavior that brings them into the youth justice system. The research has been clear for years that locking up youth can disrupt a child's development just as [...]

By | 2017-03-22T16:51:07+00:00 March 22nd, 2017|Blog, Health, Safety, Youth Justice|

Kids Are Cheering! Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children Bills Are Off to the Governor

While this year’s Kentucky General Assembly isn’t quite over because a couple of days remain for final concurrence between the two chambers, Kentucky kids can already cheer for big Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children legislative wins! Three Blueprint legislative priorities—SB 195, SB 236, and HB 180—are on their way to the Governor’s desk. One final legislative priority—SB 120—has passed both chambers, and we expect that it will get through its final concurrence and be on its [...]

By | 2017-03-17T09:38:06+00:00 March 17th, 2017|Blog, Economic Security, Education, Health, Safety, Youth Justice|

Getting the Most out of the KIDS COUNT Data Center

Our annual County Data Book has quite a bit of county level data on how kids are faring across Kentucky’s counties, yet it represents a small fraction of the approximately 100 indicators we have posted to the KIDS COUNT Data Center. If you’re not using the KIDS COUNT Data Center, you’re missing out on important information about the children and families in your community. The KIDS COUNT Data Center puts the power of data at [...]

By | 2017-03-09T14:14:58+00:00 March 9th, 2017|Blog, Economic Security, Education, Health, Kids Count, Safety, Youth Justice|

Apply for the National Juvenile Justice Network’s Youth Justice Leadership Institute

As Kentucky continues implementing the juvenile justice reforms passed in 2014 and seeks to build upon that work with additional policy changes during the 2017 Kentucky legislative session, it is imperative that the perspectives and input of people of color are sought and incorporated, as youth of color are over-represented throughout our youth justice system. The Youth Justice Leadership Institute is one opportunity to grow emerging advocates of color into strong leaders who can help [...]

By | 2017-03-09T10:14:54+00:00 March 9th, 2017|Blog, Youth Justice|

Let’s Simplify the Maze of Youth Justice

This post originally appeared as an op-ed in the Courier Journal on February 13, 2017. I am that rarest of species – a male who admits he is directionally challenged. In fact, my wife Judy believes we don’t even need a GPS. It’s simple. If I think left, we go right. And if I think right, then – well, you get the picture. And can I simply say that I can’t think of anything more befuddling than finding my way out [...]

By | 2017-02-14T15:40:36+00:00 February 14th, 2017|Blog, Youth Justice|

Keep Kindergartners Out of Court

A new issue brief released today by Kentucky Youth Advocates, Keep Kindergartners Out of Court: More Effective Responses to the Behavior of Young Children, highlights the importance of responding appropriately to young children who get in trouble to build safer communities and more successful kids. “Kids whose favorite book is Green Eggs and Ham can be charged with a crime in Kentucky,” said Dr. Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates. “We need to [...]

By | 2017-02-02T13:10:42+00:00 February 2nd, 2017|Blog, Youth Justice|