Program areas at Kentucky Youth Advocates
Child welfare: kya works to strengthen and keep families safely together by ensuring access to services like counseling and needed supports. When removal from the home is necessary, kya works to ensure children can be placed with relatives or with foster families so that the children are able to stay in a home setting. Kya supports policies that focus on prevention and effective responses to child abuse and trauma by child-serving professionals, including child care providers, schools, and health care providers. Recent successes include helping to reform Kentucky's adoption and foster care system, improving state supports for kinship caregivers, closing the gaps in fingerprint background checks, and strengthening the statute of limitations timeframes for misdemeanor sexual abuse offenses.face it movement to end child abuse: kya coordinates the kosair charities face it movement to end child abuse across Kentucky. With over 100 partners across Kentucky, the movement focuses on a three-pronged approach to addressing child abuse and neglect: promote best practices in child abuse prevention and intervention, build awareness and engage the community, and advocate for effective policies to improve the child welfare system.
The bounce coalition: this initiative builds the resiliency of children and families by improving knowledge about the impact of adverse childhood experiences (aces) and the skills to help Youth bounce back from adversity. Our coalition of community partners are moving "upstream" to address these root causes of poor health in our most vulnerable people. We support individuals and organizations to implement trauma-informed approaches in practical, everyday settings. Bounce educates and trains to build resilient children and families, provides evaluation services to measure impact and consultation to integrate healing-centered practices, and Advocates for policies that support trauma-informed communities by increasing public and decision-maker awareness of trauma and how to address it.
True up: this initiative empowers young people in foster care to gain the critical life skills they need to make a successful transition from a structured environment to self-sufficiency in our communities. True up, which was founded in 2011, is a landmark partnership among foster care agencies that serve as surrogate parents for hundreds of children and teens in Kentucky. True up is committed to helping Youth transition from agency care to independent living.
Education: kya works to ensure that all children have access to a high-quality education and early learning experiences, beginning at birth and continuing until they are adults. Recent successes include amending local planning and zoning laws to allow regulated home-based family child care options and strengthening licensed child care program standards on healthy eating and drinking, active play, and screen time.oral health: kya provides staff support for the Kentucky oral health coalition, which aims to promote positive oral health of all kentuckians and is funded by the carequest institute for oral health, Inc. Since 2010, the coalition has operated with the theory that it takes a collaborative network of engaged partners from across the state to meet the core mission to improve oral health for all people of Kentucky. With the support from the carequest institute for oral health, Inc. and operating with a network mindset, kohc has established itself as a leader for oral health Advocates in the commonwealth. Kya also works to promote oral health literacy and increase preventive care such as sealants to improve oral health of children.health: kya promotes health solutions that ensure children have their physical, mental, and oral health needs met. Recent successes include ensuring Kentucky complies with the federal minimum legal sale age for all tobacco products and eliminating purchase, use, and possession penalties for Youth up to age 21 so children and teens can grow into healthier adults and enacting a state excise tax on e-cigarettes to help prevent use among youth.justice: kya supports a system of justice that holds Youth accountable for their actions while using effective, evidence-based interventions to help those children on a path to becoming productive citizens of our commonwealth. Kya supports further reforms that would end the practice of locking up children in detention centers for behaviors that do not pose a risk to public safety and ensure all children receive fair and equitable treatment regardless of their race, ethnicity, or gender. Knowing that Kentucky has one of the highest rates in the nation of children who have experienced parental incarceration, kya also works to reduce the adverse effects on the kids who have a parent incarcerated by implementing family-friendly visitation policies and practices.economic security: kya promotes policies to ensure that all families are economically secure and that children have the best opportunity to thrive. Current priorities include reducing the number of children living in poverty and in areas of concentrated poverty, enacting a state level earned income tax credit (eitc), and assisting families in accessing benefits for which they are eligible and simplifying the application process to receive those benefits.policy collaboratives: kya works with several partner organizations and trains and mobilizes Advocates to promote positive policies for children and families. Kya coordinates several coalitions including a statewide coalition with over 100 partners - the blueprint for Kentucky's children - which promotes a unified policy and budget agenda to help children. Recent successes include over 1,000 virtual attendees throughout children's advocacy week and mobilizing blueprint partners and Advocates to speak up for policies that are good for kids.youth engagement: kya educates Youth about issues and systems that impact them such as education, Youth justice, health, and child welfare. Kya provides advocacy and leadership trainings to empower Youth leaders to speak with local and state elected leaders on policies and issues important to them and create positive change.bloom Kentucky: this initiative is focused on statewide policy change that aims to prevent and mitigate the impacts of adverse childhood experiences (aces). We know that thriving communities launch strong families, strong families launch successful kids, and successful kids launch a prosperous future for Kentucky. Bloom Kentucky addresses the multi-generational challenges of childhood adversity, how communities can help foster opportunities for all kids and families, and the future of Kentucky's workforce and prosperity.kids count: for over 30 years, Kentucky kids count has provided the latest child well-being data, and because it is seen and used by everyone from groups of Youth in eastern Kentucky to cabinet secretaries in frankfort, kids count data is a catalyst for change. We at kya use that data as the foundation for policy recommendations, and many other across the state - including educators, government officials, social workers, and more - utilize the book for everything from grant proposals to classroom materials. This book provides data on 17 measures of child well-being and data profiles for each Kentucky county.