-Thank your state Representative and Senator for supporting Senate Bill 1 to increase student safety. Take action HERE.

-Thank your Congressmen for making investments in child care that allow more parents to work, contribute to the well-being of children, and strengthen our economy. Take action HERE.

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Kick Butts (and E-cigs) Day

Today is National Kick Butts Day, a nationally recognized day led by Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids dating back to 1996, that empowers teachers, youth, and health advocates to stand up and speak out about the issues created by tobacco use in their community, to encourage youth to be tobacco-free, and to urge elected officials to protect youth from tobacco. There are many ways you can participate in Kick Butts Day. Check out the list of [...]

By |2019-03-20T09:22:48+00:00March 19th, 2019|Blog, Education, Health|

Upset Wins for Kentucky Kids

This post originally appeared as an op-ed in the Herald Leader on March 15, 2019.  A high and holy season in the Bluegrass is upon us – March Madness. I will deeply dive into the metrics of winning basketball before completing my bracket. And my grandkids will consider elements like favorite mascots and team colors before completing theirs – and they will beat me. So, while I may be unable to accurately project winners, this I know: [...]

Practicing Self-Care, Especially When You Love Your Job

Image from the New Social Worker® Social workers (and other helping professionals) often work in demanding contexts and help people process difficult situations. We’re expected to be keenly aware of the negative impact this work can have on our well-being and capacity for burnout. However, during my first years in the field, my understanding of self-care was synonymous with (and limited to) taking a bubble bath or getting a massage after a bad [...]

2020 Census: The Clock Is Ticking

Though Census Day is officially April 1, 2020, most people will receive their first invitation to complete the decennial census next March. This means we have only 12 months left to make sure our state is fully prepared to ensure each Kentucky resident is counted once, only once, and in the right place. If you’ve been reading our blogs on the census you know that mission is easier said than done. While the proverbial clock [...]

Celebrating and Sustaining Investments in Child Care in Kentucky

As spring approaches, there’s nothing more wonderful than finding the early blooms peaking their way through the hard, brown soil. They represent hope for warmth and growth to come. This March, we are starting to see early blooms peeking out from seeds planted by Congress and state leaders into Kentucky’s child care system. And we know beautiful growth is ahead! This calls for both celebration and continued attention to ensure that all working families in [...]

By |2019-03-06T15:13:06+00:00March 6th, 2019|Blog, Child Welfare & Safety, Economic Security, Education|

The Family First Prevention Services Act and the Impact on Kentucky Kids

By Cortney Downs and Shannon Moody While there are still some unknowns about how and when states will implement the new federal legislation known as the Family First Prevention Services Act, it is clear that Kentucky is ready to be one of the first. Commissioner Eric Clark of the Department for Community Based Services has testified on their intent to be ready for implementation by October of 2019. And with House Bill 158, sponsored by [...]

By |2019-03-06T11:40:12+00:00March 6th, 2019|Blog, Child Welfare & Safety|

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 2019 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 fulfill that critical [...]

By |2019-02-28T17:26:06+00:00February 28th, 2019|Blog, Youth Justice|

Smiles Beyond Children’s Dental Health Month

As February comes to an end, so does Children’s Dental Health Month 2019, but that doesn’t mean advocating for children’s dental health and maintaining good dental hygiene is not important all year round! One of the most important components of maintaining good overall health throughout our childhood and our adulthood is through establishing positive dental habits at an early age. According to the 2016 Making Smiles Happen surveillance study, socioeconomic status is a major predictor [...]

By |2019-02-28T16:53:59+00:00February 28th, 2019|Blog, Health|

Corporal Punishment: An Old Wives’ Tale

Type into Google, “False Old Wives Tales” and you will get a rash of fascinating and fun reads. What? It DOESN’T take seven years for a piece of gum to digest after you swallow it? And cracking your knuckles DOESN’T cause arthritis? And eating right before you go swimming DOESN’T cause cramps? And going out with wet hair WON’T cause you to catch a cold? Both of my beloved grandmothers must be turning over in [...]

By |2019-02-21T18:09:28+00:00February 21st, 2019|Blog, Child Welfare & Safety, Education|

It’s Time to Talk: Promoting Healthy Dating Relationships Among Teens

I met Nicole* in the emergency room at a children’s hospital when she was 17-years-old. She had been assaulted by her 18-year-old boyfriend and would possibly need surgery to repair the broken bones in her arm. This was not the first time he had assaulted her, but it was the most severe. Some of Nicole’s friends and family knew that they argued a lot or thought they spent too much time together, but no one [...]

By |2019-02-20T13:16:31+00:00February 20th, 2019|Blog, Child Welfare & Safety, Health|