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Kentucky Youth L.E.A.D

By Nellie Ellis Over the past few years, youth across the commonwealth have had leadership roles in many of Kentucky Youth Advocates’ biggest initiatives. The youth have been some of the most influential voices for Kentucky’s kids and families and have been extraordinary advocates for themselves and others.  I am proudly one of these voices. However, as we started to face the unprecedented circumstances of a pandemic, many of these young leaders like myself [...]

Statement on Beshear Administration Allowing HANDS Home Visiting Services via Telehealth

Contact: Mara Powell Statement by Dr. Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates  The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unparalleled challenges for families and obligations for our leaders. Today, the Beshear Administration took pragmatic action by answering the call of advocates to enact emergency regulations for the HANDS home visiting service during this unprecedented public health emergency. Even in “normal” circumstances, parenting is tough, and the lack of knowledge of how to ensure a healthy [...]

By |2020-05-21T12:11:56-04:00May 20th, 2020|Child Welfare & Safety, Health, News Room|

Statement on Official Appointment of Eric Friedlander as Secretary of CHFS

Contact: Mara Powell Statement by Dr. Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates Every Kentucky kid and family won yesterday when Governor Beshear officially appointed Eric Friedlander as Secretary of the Cabinet of Health and Family Services. I have had the opportunity to work with and frankly assess more than a half dozen Cabinet Secretaries.  The formula for success – or the recipe for failure – is pretty clear. The Secretary has to [...]

By |2020-05-05T12:33:05-04:00May 5th, 2020|Child Welfare & Safety, News Room|

Thank You: Wins for Kids in the 2020 General Assembly

While Kentucky was trying to address the immediate needs of families across the commonwealth in the wake of COVID-19, the final gavel sounded on the 2020 General Assembly. There was some good news for kids in this year’s legislative session—including its unprecedented one-year budget—while progress stalled for many policies and budget priorities that would help kids and families. Two types of leaders make these wins for kids possible: legislative champions and, just as importantly, the [...]

Share Your Experience: Virtual Community Conversations for Youth and Families in the Child Welfare System

Kids, young adults, and families across Kentucky are already feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic—and will be for months to come. Those who have been involved in the child welfare system are facing many challenges, and as the state rebuilds and makes plans to support these kids and families navigating tough situations, it is important that our leaders understand their experiences. Kentucky Youth Advocates, in partnership with Casey Family Programs, is hosting nine virtual [...]

By |2020-05-20T10:46:39-04:00April 30th, 2020|Blog, Child Welfare & Safety|

Guest Post: On Baby Day, Make Sure All Babies Count in the Census

This blog was originally posted by the Count All Kids Campaign in partnership with ZERO TO THREE. Even during this time of uncertainty, we know one thing to be true: babies count. They count to their families, of course, carrying their love and hope. But as communities and our nation look to the future, babies are also our up-and-coming essential workers and first responders, our future thinkers, voters, policymakers and neighbors. In times of crisis and [...]

Amid the Pandemic, Supporting Parents is as Important as Ever

These are unprecedented times. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, along with Governors across the nation, has issued strict orders to practice social distancing and stay “Healthy at Home” to slow the spread of the virus. While physical distancing practices are presumably decreasing the positive COVID-19 cases throughout the state, Kentucky is also experiencing another decline that has much more concerning implications for some of our most vulnerable Kentuckians. Recent reports [...]

By |2020-04-22T16:32:14-04:00April 22nd, 2020|Blog, Child Welfare & Safety|

Statement on Passage of the Final State Budget

Contact: Mara Powell 502-895-8167 *122 Statement by Dr. Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates As final state budget discussions shifted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Governor and General Assembly had the needs of kids and families in mind. In the now one-year state budget, we’re celebrating wins and reflecting on areas in which our attention must focus on federal advocacy to ensure there aren’t gaps in critical programs and supports [...]

Monitoring the Impact of COVID-19 on the Child Welfare System

Last updated May 15, 2020 Children in homes where instability was already present are now at an even greater risk with the uncertainty and disruptions in services brought on by the COVID-19 response. Given that Kentucky has the highest rates in the nation for both child maltreatment and kids living in kinship care, we must prioritize investments in the child welfare system and support the kids and families within the system. Investments and state action [...]

By |2020-05-20T18:17:27-04:00April 15th, 2020|Blog, Child Welfare & Safety|

Coping During a Pandemic from the Perspective of a Former Foster Youth

Join a virtual support group with Voices of the Commonwealth members every Friday at 3 PM Central/4 PM Eastern. RSVP to and the Google Hangouts link or a phone number for conference call will be sent to you. By Tamara Vest My name is Tamara Vest. I am a 23-year-old former foster youth from Kentucky. I am currently a senior at the University of Kentucky finishing my bachelor’s degree in Social Work. I was [...]

By |2020-04-09T14:12:12-04:00April 9th, 2020|Blog, Child Welfare & Safety|