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Actions to Mitigate Food Insecurity in the United States

By Nikky Patel, Intern at Kentucky Youth Advocates In the past year, many Americans have experienced a lack of access to healthy food and, although food insecurity is not a new issue, we have vividly felt its effect throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the federal government and Congressional leaders have been responsive to this issue and continue to apply lessons learned throughout the pandemic to take action that will address hunger and food insecurity in [...]

Trauma-Informed Plans: An Opportunity for More Positive Learning Environments

When the gavel sounded on the 2019 legislative session, advocates across the state celebrated the passage of Senate Bill 1, the School Safety and Resiliency Act. This bipartisan effort brought together lawmakers, behavioral health experts, and school administrators to ensure all students can learn in a safe and supportive school environment. While the bill encompassed multiple areas of school safety, including requiring procedures and oversight to strengthen school security if a threat occurs, it also [...]

By |2021-06-10T17:09:09-04:00June 10th, 2021|Blog, Child Welfare & Safety, Education, Health|

Statement on JCBE School Suspension Decision

Contact: Mara Powell Statement by Dr. Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates LOUISVILLE, KY – The decision by the Jefferson County Board of Education to “suspend suspensions” for our youngest children is far more than a simple change in disciplinary procedures. Instead, it is an affirmation of Superintendent Pollio’s persistent efforts to create a student-centric school system. This change in disciplinary processes will create a ripple effect with an impact than cannot be [...]

Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth Health and Mental Health

The Kentucky legislature has proven that a bipartisan blend of head and heart can be effective when addressing young people’s well-being. From school safety and resilience to reforming the child welfare system, they have shown that finding common ground to achieve common sense solutions results in critical systemic changes. And issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity, though strongly polarizing, do not have to be any different. There should be an unanimity of voice [...]

By |2021-05-20T11:42:19-04:00May 20th, 2021|Blog, Child Welfare & Safety, Health|

Statement on Expanded Statewide Efforts to Combat Child Trafficking

Contact: Mara Powell Statement by Dr. Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates LOUISVILLE, KY – Ending the trafficking and exploitation of children is a key component of keeping all Kentucky kids safe – from our cities to our most rural communities. That is why we were encouraged to hear Governor Andy Beshear’s announcement today to expand efforts in the commonwealth to prevent, recognize, and intervene in instances of human trafficking. By continuing to [...]

By |2021-05-19T17:32:18-04:00May 19th, 2021|Child Welfare & Safety, News Room|

Closing the Gaps in Behavioral Health Care for Kids in Louisville

In partnership with the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence, Kentucky Youth Advocates hosted a virtual behavioral health summit on May 11th. The Closing the Gaps in Behavioral Health Care for Kids summit brought together over one hundred youth, parents, and professionals from various sectors including educators, mental health professionals, legislators, juvenile justice system staff, child advocates, child welfare system representatives, Kentucky’s philanthropic community, and more. The event featured a data presentation on the recent research conducted by KYA and supplemental data from Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) providing context to [...]

Youth Speaking Up for Youth in Foster Care

By Dana Cole My name is Dana Cole, and I am a new member with the Voices of Commonwealth. I chose this job because it is my passion to help advocate for other foster youths — former and current. I was in foster care for about 10 years, so I have been through and have seen some things throughout my journey. I think being able to advocate and help others that may not have a [...]

By |2021-05-18T15:58:18-04:00May 18th, 2021|Blog, Child Welfare & Safety|

True Up is Joining Kentucky Youth Advocates to Maximize Impact on Older Youth in Foster Care

CONTACT: Mara Powell LOUISVILLE, KY – Kentucky Youth Advocates and True Up are pleased to announce a formal partnership between the two organizations. As of April 1, 2021, True Up is officially an affiliated initiative of Kentucky Youth Advocates. True Up Executive Director Nikki Thornton has joined Kentucky Youth Advocates’ team with the intent to expand on True Up’s successful track record of engaging, empowering, and connecting young people ages 16 and older who are currently [...]

By |2021-05-13T09:03:59-04:00May 12th, 2021|Blog, Child Welfare & Safety, News Room|

Statement on Facebook’s Plan to Create an Instagram for Kids

Contact: Mara Powell Statement by Dr. Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates LOUISVILLE, KY – Mental health, cyber bullying, and safety online are among the top concerns for families, schools, law enforcement, and child advocates prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and especially now as our kids must navigate the virtual world more regularly. With the announcement from Facebook to launch an Instagram for kids, those concerns will amplify for many. When used properly, [...]

Launching Visitation Project to Support Children with Incarcerated Parents

Parental incarceration has often been referred to as a ‘shared sentence’ because of the impact it has on the community, caregivers, and most importantly, the children. In Kentucky, approximately 12% of children have been separated from a parent due to incarceration, the third highest rate in the nation.   As a state, we have taken critical steps to address some of the factors contributing to the rise in parental incarceration. However, there are still tens of thousands of children being impacted. It’s imperative that we work to identify ways to [...]

By |2021-04-30T14:51:09-04:00April 28th, 2021|Blog, Child Welfare & Safety, Justice|
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