lacey mcnary2This past Sunday, three community leaders wrote op-eds for the Courier-Journal, highlighting specific solutions relating to data in the newly released KIDS COUNT County Data Book. Following are excerpts from their op-eds; visit the Courier-Journal online to read the full text.


Keeping Kentucky children safe from harm by Randy Coe

Randy Coe is president of Kosair Charities®. Read his full op-ed, including specific policy solutions to keep kids safe from abuse and neglect here.

“KIDS COUNT data show that nearly 18,000 children in Kentucky and nearly 3,000 in Jefferson County are abused or neglected in a given year. Kosair Charities believes that one victim of child abuse is one too many. That is why we joined with Kentucky Youth Advocates to start the Face It® Movement to end child abuse and neglect….Kosair Charities is working with Face It not only to intervene when children are being harmed by abuse but also to prevent that abuse from ever occurring. It is a long road and will take many years. But that is exactly our commitment to create safe and thriving communities. We can work together to ensure children are safe and protected. Everyone in the community can help end child abuse and neglect. You can talk to your kids, friends and family. Visit to learn the signs of and how to report child abuse and neglect.”

We must invest in families in order to help kids by Natalie Harris

Natalie Harris is the executive director of the Coalition for the Homeless. Read her full op-ed, including policy solutions that would help working families and their children, here.

“The truth is that Kentucky’s future does rely on our children and that future is precarious for the more than one in four children in our state now living in poverty….Do we really want a strong future for our commonwealth and the children who will be its future? If so, we must invest in the families that will make them strong. As the director of The Coalition for the Homeless, I see families every day that are working hard but not making enough to meet all of their basic needs. What they need is the same thing all families desire – employment with a living wage; educational opportunities; safe, affordable child care; and the opportunity to succeed and save for the future.”

Justice reform positions KY to lead nation by E.L. Palmer Sr. 

Pastor Palmer is head pastor at Sign of the Dove Church in Radcliff and serves as chair of the Subcommittee for Equity and Justice for All Youth and on the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board. Read his full op-ed here.

“Those practitioners employed to serve these children – who are transitioning, and at times troubled –  must understand the many complex issues children and families bring with them when they interact with the youth justice, child welfare, education, and behavioral health systems. I encourage those entrusted with making the laws and policies that address how we manage our youth in troubled times and situations to consider the developmentally appropriate response for assisting youth and families in a way that produces the best possible outcomes. I believe it is imperative that policymakers learn what the data reveals about critical issues facing our youth….I strongly believe that with the recent juvenile justice reform, and the efforts now being put forth by the aforementioned bodies, we are postured to lead the nation in effectively addressing the inequalities that are evident in our youth-serving agencies.”