Mara Powell

JEFFERSONTOWN, KY – Hundreds of Kentuckians from across the Commonwealth, including over 200 children and youth, are convening in Frankfort today for the 13th annual Children’s Advocacy Day at the Capitol. They are urging elected leaders to support the Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children, a common agenda for child advocates across the state.

“This is a moment when many seem to focus on what divides us at a state and national level. In a remarkable contrast, the issues around kids give elected leaders and citizens a real chance to find common ground and common-sense solutions,” said Dr. Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates.

Youth and advocates joined Senate President Robert Stivers and several other legislators and state officials at the Rally for Kentucky Kids at 10:00 AM, which included performances by several groups of children and youth.

The following legislators were honored with 2017 Champion for Children awards:

  • Senate President Robert Stivers
  • Senator Danny Carroll
  • Senator Whitney Westerfield
  • Representative Joni Jenkins
  • Representative Darryl Owens
  • Representative Addia Wuchner

In addition to the rally, advocates are meeting with legislators throughout the day and attending committee meetings. Several groups of youth are meeting with key leaders throughout the day including Lieutenant Governor Jenean Hampton, Senate President Robert Stivers, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, Attorney General Andy Beshear, State Treasurer Allison Ball, Representative Regina Bunch, Representative Bam Carney, Senator Danny Carroll, Senator Max Wise, and others.

“Youth advocacy is really important to me because I never really had a say in what happened to me,” said Tessa Bowling, a high school senior from Covington, Kentucky, who shared her experiences in the child welfare system during the Children’s Advocacy Day rally. “We are leaders, and we have a voice. We are here today to ignite change.”

Advocates are pushing for several policies on the Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children agenda ranging from protecting children from abuse and neglect, building safer communities and stronger kids with effective responses to children who get in trouble, and helping kinship caregivers provide for children in their care.

“Small steps in improving policy should never be discounted. And yet broad and fundamental change is in the air in Frankfort when it comes to children. I firmly believe that the Governor and legislative leadership are poised to launch core reform in youth justice, child welfare, and the K-12 system. That kind of sweeping change is what our young people need and it is what they deserve,” said Brooks.

Children’s Advocacy Day at the Capitol is made possible with the support of sponsors and Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children partners. For more information, visit

For more information about the Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children visit

For questions about Children’s Advocacy Day or to schedule an interview, please contact Mara Powell at or 859-496-5524.


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.