DiversityWe know that what gets measured gets changed. In this past weekend’s Forum in the Courier-Journal, readers were able to hear various community members’ perspectives about issues impacting children and how data can be a driver for change. We thank the Greater Louisville Project and the Courier-Journal for recognizing the role data plays in bettering outcomes for children in Louisville and across Kentucky.

The Forum featured six op-eds focused on the safety, health, justice, economic security, and education of children in our community. Review each op-ed below.

Dr. Terry Brooks of Kentucky Youth Advocates shares his hope that the voices heard in the Forum, along with the data that accompanies, will animate readers’ thinking about how data can be an intentional driver of policy decisions around children and families in the Metro Louisville area and across the Commonwealth. Read the full op-ed by Dr. Brooks: GLP Focuses on Better Outcomes for Children.

Jerry Ward, the Chair of the Board of Kosair Charities, shares alarming child abuse and neglect statistics for Jefferson County and explains the work of the Face It® Movement in ending child abuse. Read the full op-ed by Jerry Ward: Child Abuse Statistics Called ‘Alarming’.

Libby Mills, the executive director, and Steve Jenkins, a member of the board of Restorative Justice Louisville, discuss the disproportionate number of African-American youth who are involved in the juvenile justice system and how restorative justice practices provide better outcomes for youth and more satisfaction for the persons harmed. Read the full op-ed by Libby Mills and Steve Jenkins: GLP Helps Youths Survive Justice System.

Jennifer Hasch, a public health hygienist for Park DuValle Community Health Center, gives insight into the under-utilization of children’s dental health insurance and the opportunities for Kentucky to increase access to the dental care kids and families need. Read the full op-ed by Jennifer Hasch: Oral Health Problem: Insured and Underserved.

Dr. Jay Miller, an Assistant Professor of the College of Social Work at the University of Kentucky and the president of the Foster Care Alumni of America – Kentucky, tells his story of involvement with the foster care system and emphasizes the need for a vibrant continuum of care for kids that supports families’ needs. Read the full op-ed by Dr. Miller: Care Needed for Kinship Families.

Emilee McCubbins, a senior at DuPont Manuel High School, expresses her concern for the school fees that can be economically devastating for multi-child low-income families and the limits the fees can have on student success. Read the full op-ed by Emilee McCubbins: Free Education Should be Just That – Free.