In 2020, 688 youth transitioned out of the Kentucky foster care system. We know that youth who have spent time in foster care face a particularly steep climb on the road to adulthood due to adverse experiences during their early years. Despite important federal reforms in child welfare, many young people continue to face significant barriers to opportunities to succeed in school, work, and community life. 

Journey to Success is a federal policy advocacy campaign that seeks to improve the quality of life for individuals in foster care and ones who have already exited. Along with the Partnership for America’s Children and other state-based campaign partners across the country, Kentucky Youth Advocates and True Up are leading a project to build advocacy momentum in Kentucky for the Journey to Success federal policy reform campaign.

In August, the young adults working on the Journey to Success Kentucky campaign met with staffers of our federal Congressional delegation to discuss the important ways to support current and former foster youth in Kentucky.

The team highlighted issues such as expanding services for young people up to age 26, ensuring those services are meeting the needs of the youth they serve, and supporting young people as they transition out of care.

Staffers from Leader McConnell’s office, Senator Paul’s office, and the offices of Representatives Guthrie, Barr, and Rogers heard personal experiences from the young adults as well as policy recommendations that can be made to better support current and former foster youth throughout the state. All staffers welcomed continued conversation and asked to be updated on specific asks and needs as the work continues.

In the coming months, the young adult team will be publishing op-eds and seeking other media opportunities to raise awareness of the significant barriers faced by this population. 

Check out the Journey to Success Kentucky fact sheet to learn more about the project and the specific policy recommendations being lifted up. Stay tuned for more updates and check out ways to get involved.