Mara Powell

Louisville, KY – Kentucky Youth Advocates (KYA) today announced a collaboration with Aetna Better Health of Kentucky (Aetna), a CVS Health company, to reinvent care for the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable children and youth.

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services selected Aetna to serve as the single statewide Managed Care Organization (MCO) to oversee and coordinate services for the new Supporting Kentucky Youth program, also known as SKY. As the only MCO selected to manage the new SKY program, Aetna will serve as the sole statewide coordinator of physical and behavioral health, dental care and social services for children and youth in foster care, Medicaid eligible youth in the juvenile justice system, former foster youth under age 26, youth placed with fictive kin, and adoption assistance youth.

“Building and running the SKY program, which represents a significant change in the care model for the child protection and juvenile justice population, requires trusted, proven partners like Aetna,” said Terry Brooks, Executive Director of Kentucky Youth Advocates. “The health care and social needs of the SKY population are vast and compounded by their circumstances. The children in the program are often at the intersection of multiple public systems and tend to benefit from a whole family approach that meets the needs of children and families. Aetna understands that all these factors impact the overall well-being of the youth, and we are excited about the opportunity to provide support in this critical effort.”

Jonathan Copley, CEO, Aetna Better Health of Kentucky, added “We are committed to engaging our members and their networks of support – their families, friends, neighbors, communities. Kentucky Youth Advocates has extensive knowledge of the child welfare system in Kentucky and the work underway to improve Kentucky’s response to families at risk of crisis. They are the premier independent voice for Kentucky’s kids and together, we have an opportunity to help the 28,000 children and young adults in the SKY program achieve better health outcomes. We know it takes a village of dedicated and passionate people to serve vulnerable populations. We are thrilled that Kentucky Youth Advocates will be by our side as we begin this transformative program.”

Paramount to the success of Aetna’s innovative model is the establishment of collective partnerships to achieve the following shared goals:

  • Reduce the number of children removed from biological parents due to neglect;
  • Return children from long-term out -of-home placements to their families, specifically children placed out of state and or residential care;
  • Ensure that older foster youth have permanency plans that include lifelong connections with biological relatives and other important, informal relationships;
  • Each child has a multiple life domain care plan with at least two community-based resources which addresses unmet needs across multiple life domains.

The SKY program will begin on Jan. 1, 2021 and provide coverage for youth across the state. Aetna has already begun implementing SKY, including hiring key staff, engaging with stakeholders, and providing training and education across the state.


About Kentucky Youth Advocates
Kentucky Youth Advocates believes all children deserve to be safe, healthy and secure. As THE independent voice for Kentucky’s children, we work to ensure policymakers create investments and policies that are good for children. Learn more at