Mara Powell

Statement by Dr. Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates

LOUISVILLE, KY – Today’s passage of the state budget proposed by the Kentucky House signals the fast-track nature of the 2021 budget process. As it unfolds, we are encouraged to see a clear focus on Kentucky’s kids and families in the immediate and as our commonwealth addresses the deep impacts of the pandemic.

As the state budget discussions continue, Kentucky kids are counting on state leaders to prioritize investments that create a brighter future where all children can thrive, such as:

  • Sustaining funding for the Medicaid and KCHIP programs, and invest in closing the remaining gap in child health coverage
  • Investing in infrastructure to close the digital divide so that kids can access the educational resources and telehealth services they need
  • Sustaining funding for Family Resource and Youth Service Centers (FRYSCs), who work with families to remove barriers to student learning
  • Ensuring dedicated funding to implement the Expanded Care Services policy to support student mental health
  • Sustaining investment in critical services and financial supports for kinship families
  • Increasing funding for family preservation and treatment programs that allow families to stay together safely while parents work to achieve sobriety and access mental health and parenting supports
  • Expanding investment in child abuse forensic services so all children who experience maltreatment can receive the best care
  • Investing in the Health Access Nurturing Development Services (HANDS) in-home visitation program to provide critical supports to new parents
  • Protecting funding for safety net programs, including KTAP, CCAP, SNAP and WIC, and ensure they are not modified in ways that prevent children from receiving needed services

We often hear how the state budget is a priority and value document rather than just a dollars and cents proposal. Kentucky’s over one million kids are counting on the House, Senate, and Governor to prioritize them as the budget process advances in Frankfort.


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