A few weeks ago, we met the grandparents pictured left, who have taken on the role of raising their 4-year old grandchild. This scenario of grandparents and relatives raising their kin is becoming more and more common in Kentucky. In fact, estimates suggest there are approximately 63,000 children across the state being cared for by relatives other than their parents. The state recently stopped accepting new applications for the Kinship Care Program which supports people, like the grandparents in the picture, who have stepped up to care for their kin. It’s not a lot of money, but it makes a big difference in this couple’s ability to provide for their grandchild. We want to help these grandparents get the support they need to be successful, but we also understand that, to really help them, we need to make the system work better to support all relatives raising their kin.

That brings us to “advocacy.” We use that term a lot at Kentucky Youth Advocates (KYA). It’s at the core of our mission. It’s in our name. It’s what we do. We help individual children and also – through our advocacy – work to help all children by changing the systems that impact kids. A 2012 study by the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy showed that every $1 you invest in advocacy provides a return of $115 in community benefits. That’s a pretty good return on investment.

Investments in advocacy over the past year helped KYA and key partners successfully accomplish the following community benefits including:

  • The establishment of a review panel to learn from mistakes made in child abuse death cases and improve the child welfare system as a whole; and
  • Ensuring child victims of human trafficking receive counseling and other services to help them recover from their traumatic experiences.

If you are not a financial supporter of KYA, we ask you to consider investing in our work. We need donors, like you, to help us remain loyal to our mission to be “THE independent voice for Kentucky’s children.” That independence allows us to speak out on tough issues facing children and advocate for improved policies and practices that will benefit all children.

We invite you to be a part of the 2013 KYA Champion’s for Children Fund.  Click here for more details. Your investment will help us advocate for the grandparents pictured above  to receive the supports they need to raise their grandchild. It will also help thousands more kinship care givers across the state. We need your help in advocating for relatives who are stepping up to raise their kin. Please consider giving to KYA today. Your donation will provide a significant return in community benefits – a great deal for you and an even better one for Kentucky’s children.

To donate online, go to www.kyyouth.org/donate.

To donate by mail, send your check to:

Kentucky Youth Advocates
11001 Bluegrass Parkway, Suite 100
Jeffersontown, Kentucky 40299

Also, if you or your organization has been impacted by the cuts to the Kinship Care Program, we encourage you to share your story with Governor Beshear. Learn more here.

If you have any questions, contact me, Andrea Bennett, at 502-895-8167 ext. 127 or abennett@kyyouth.org.