A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

New online system completes background checks faster for child care providers, schools

A new online system will help child care providers and schools process staff background checks faster, expediting the process while ensuring the safety of Kentucky’s children. The Kentucky Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) has launched its Child Abuse/Neglect (CAN) Payment and Verification online portal, which allows users to request a check of the CAN Registry electronically instead...

Marta Miranda-Straub named DCBS Commissioner; spent past 40 years as social worker, activist

Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Eric Friedlander has announced Marta Miranda-Straub as the new Commissioner of the Cabinet’s Department for Community Based Services. Miranda-Straub will begin her appointment on July 1. Gov. Andy Beshear said Miranda-Straub’s 40 years of experience in organizational and clinical social work practice and her passion to serve are just part...

Kentucky students eligible for new emergency food benefits; families can apply for federal assistance

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) and the Kentucky Department of Education are partnering to provide food assistance to families who have lost access to free or reduced-price school meals during the novel coronavirus emergency. Beginning May 23, Kentucky families with students who normally receive free or reduced-price meals at...

Beshear says more social workers needed to protect Kentucky children, supports additional staffing

Gov. Andy Beshear and Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) Acting Secretary Eric Friedlander met with social work staff to talk about the needs of state child welfare professionals and how Beshear’s proposal to add 350 more staff can help better protect families and children. Beshear and Friedlander visited the L and N Building in Louisville – which houses the state’s largest social...

Kentucky awards new contracts to five managed care organizations to serve Medicaid beneficiaries

Following a request for proposal (RFP) process and a state procurement procedure through the Finance and Administration Cabinet, the Department for Medicaid Services (DMS) within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) has been notified of five new statewide contract awards for managed care organizations (MCOs). Aetna Better Health of Kentucky, Humana Health Plan, Inc., Molina Healthcare...

State social services staff gets enhanced training to help families with substance use disorder

Kentucky’s Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) staff began specialized training on Thursday in best practices to address substance use disorder in the families they serve. The training is part of the Kentucky Opioid Response Effort (KORE), the Cabinet for Health and Family Services’ overall effort to combat the opioid crisis. DCBS trainees will learn about stigmas surrounding substance...

State social services staff receive technology upgrade; tablets will save time, paperwork

A new technology upgrade will allow hundreds of Cabinet social workers across Kentucky to spend less time on paperwork. Approximately 1,800 social workers and social services staff will receive tablets to replace their laptop and desktop computers. This new approach will save time and allow staff in the Division of Protection and Permanency (DPP), part of the Cabinet’s Department for Community Based...

Eric Clark named new commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Community Based Services

A new Commissioner has been named in the Department for Community Based Services (DCBS). Eric Clark begins the role of DCBS Commissioner immediately. Clark is an experienced government administration professional who specializes in organizational leadership, program development, public policy, project management, and advocacy. He has been with the Cabinet since 2015 serving as Legislative Director...

Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services recognizes human services employees

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) has recognized several human services staff from across the state for their exemplary service to the commonwealth. The employees, part of the CHFS Department for Community Based Services, were honored at the Governor’s Mansion this week for leadership and accomplishments over the past year. CHFS Secretary Adam Meier told the honorees they...

Green River Area Development District invites public to ‘Stand’ against child abuse April 12

Stand Against Child Abuse is set for April 12 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on the lawn of Kentucky Wesleyan College in Owensboro. This annual event is sponsored by Green River Area Development District’s Community Collaboration for Children (CCC) Regional Network and the Kentucky Cabinet for Health & Family Services’ Department for Community Based Services (DCBS). The event is held during the...

State providing financial assistance to family foster caregivers; relatives, fictive kin could get payments

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) has begun financial assistance payments to eligible relative and fictive kin caregivers with children placed in their home by CHFS. An October 2017 federal court ruling by the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in the case D.O. v. Glisson requires that Kentucky must pay relatives who serve as foster parents in the same manner it pays adults...

Kentucky simplifies Child Care Assistance Program application process with online service benefind

It’s now easier for Kentucky families to apply for child care assistance funds. The Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) has moved eligibility services for its Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) into benefind, the public assistance web portal used by customers to apply for other state assistance programs. The online service, benefind, is already...

State agencies join forces to provide over 2,000 handmade teddy bears to foster children

A gift of teddy bears is helping to make winter a bit warmer for some children in need. The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services’ (CHFS) Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) has 2,000 handmade teddy bears that social services staff can use to help comfort children during crisis situations. “These cuddly teddy bears are such a comfort to children who are facing trauma because...

Increased stress levels during the holidays can put some children at risk for abuse, neglect

Stress can increase during the holidays, even in the most loving of families. And that can put some children at risk for abuse or neglect. With children home from school, holiday travel and seasonal shopping and associated expenses, parents can get frazzled more easily than usual. What is typically a fun and joyful time for children can become devastating when parents or caregivers cope with stress...

Residential child-care facilities to receive rate increase after emergency order issued

Residential child-caring facilities in Kentucky that care for foster children with elevated needs are getting a rate increase to better support those children, effective Oct. 1. Gov. Matt Bevin and Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) Secretary Vickie Yates Brown Glisson signed an emergency regulation amending the state’s existing regulation guiding private child-caring facilities. The change...

April declared Sexual Assault Awareness Month; need for intervention and prevention stressed

The prevention and advocacy efforts of several individuals were highlighted Friday as part of the kickoff of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The Capitol Rotunda event was cosponsored by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) and the Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs (KASAP). At the ceremony, Governor Matt Bevin signed a proclamation declaring April as Sexual Assault...

Problems with Benefind system won’t interrupt receipt of government benefits, Bevin, Deloitte say

Gov. Matt Bevin, along with officials from Cabinet for Health and Family Services, and technology provider Deloitte, held a news conference Thursday to assure the public that their government benefits administered through the Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) will continue through April. The announcement addressed misinformation and confusion generated by Kentucky’s benefind system....

State, social workers, school boards create new 'Educational Passport' for foster kids

Kentucky children in foster care will now be able to quickly and easily access their education records, no matter where they may live, which will reduce unnecessary interruptions or delays in their schooling.   Representatives from the Kentucky Department of Education and the Department for Community Based Services, with input from the Kentucky School Boards Association, have developed a mutually...