Child Welfare & Safety

All children need safe homes and caring families in order to thrive. In Kentucky, too many children experience abuse and neglect, exposure to caregivers who are impaired by substance abuse, preventable childhood injuries, and other threats to their development. In the face of such challenges, Kentucky should work to strengthen and keep families safely together by providing access to treatment and support. When removal from the home is necessary, children and youth do best when they can live with relatives, known as kinship care, or with foster families.



  • Support prevention and effective responses to child abuse and trauma by child-serving professionals, including child care providers, schools, and health care providers.
  • Invest in substance abuse treatment, family preservation programs, and support services that can keep families safely together.
  • Increase financial and other supports for children raised by grandparents and other relatives, known as kinship care.
  • Ensure kinship families are informed of all available services and supports, legal options, and how to access the courts to ensure safety, permanency and well-being for children in their care.
  • Ensure that foster youth who transition to adulthood without a permanent family have uninterrupted access to the health care coverage for which they are eligible until age 26.



  • Face It® – Initiative led by Kosair Charities to end child abuse and neglect in Jefferson County by 2023.
  • Kinship Families Coalition of Kentucky – Raising awareness of the issues surrounding kinship care in Kentucky and promoting policies that increase supports for kinship families.
  • Kentucky Strengthening Families – Partnership promoting resources, supports, and coping strategies to help children and their families deal with stress, increase school readiness, and prevent child abuse and neglect.


Blog Posts

  • A Journey to Find a Family

    youthWhen the child welfare system enters a child’s life and determines they are not safe at home, the child’s journey into the out-of-home care system begins. Potential placements include: A recent story on NPR’s Youth Radio details a young man’s … Continue Reading

  • Kentucky Youth Speak Up: Hands Holding You!

    dsc03182We know that youth in Kentucky are key to creating positive change for kids, and their leadership galvanizes other youth, parents, educators, community leaders, and legislators. In the Kentucky Youth Speak Up series, students advocate for policies, encourage other youth to serve … Continue Reading

  • Alarms Sounding, Kids Need Help

    TerryBrooks-KYA-featThis post originally appeared as an op-ed in the Courier Journal on December 28, 2016. I was genuinely touched and felt some steel in my patriotic veins as we paused to remember the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor.  Even though I’m on … Continue Reading

  • I Know You Want to Hug the Baby, but Let’s Ask Him First

    20160918_171107The holiday season is upon us, and with that comes a series of festive gatherings. If your family or group of friends is anything like mine, you’ve already been to some holiday parties and still have other family gatherings ahead … Continue Reading

  • Guest Post: Let’s Ensure School Safety for All Students

    clc-logoBy Amanda Bear Schools should be a safe, secure place for all children. A recent report released by Children’s Law Center, Inc. finds the use of restraint and seclusion on children in Kentucky schools is often unnecessary – especially for young … Continue Reading

More from our Blog



Report-Child-Abuse150 If you believe a child is being abused or neglected you should report it:

Call 1-877-597-2331 or visit


FaceIt_info Learn more about normal childhood stages, how to recognize and report abuse, and what you can do to prevent child abuse:

View the Face It® Movement infographic


grandma-and-girl150 The following affidavit form can be used by kinship caregivers without a legal relationship with children in their care to obtain access to health care and educational services for them:

Download the kinship affidavit form here: Kinship Caregiver Authorization Affidavit


KinshipCare150 Learn more about relatives raising children in Kentucky:

View our Kinship Families Infographic


kidscount_dc150x90Find state and county level data on child safety:

Visit the KIDS COUNT Data Center