A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month — Join the Face It Movement to be a face that ends child abuse

Every adult has a role to play in preventing and ending the unacceptable high rate of incidents of child abuse and neglect in Kentucky. Whether you are a parent, grandparent, concerned neighbor, or someone in the helping professional, we each can take steps to ensure every child can grow up happy, healthy, and hopeful. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and the Kosair Charities Face It Movement...

Recent study reveals gaps in behavioral health services for Louisville’s vulnerable youth

Kentucky Youth Advocates, in partnership with the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence, conducted 10 virtual focus groups and disseminated an online survey to learn more about behavioral health supports and services available to youth in Louisville, along with gaps in services and proposed solutions to close those gaps. “The Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence is dedicated to improving the health...

Survey: Students say pandemic has increased students’ use of ‘vapes’ and other tobacco products

More than a third of Kentucky middle and high schoolers responding to a recent survey say the pandemic has increased students using e-cigarettes, or “vapes,” and other tobacco products. And more than 14 percent said they believe e-cigarettes are safer for them to smoke than traditional cigarettes, according to the survey, conducted by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and Kentucky Youth...

New legislation would ban juvenile cases involving kids 12 and under from being brought before a judge

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service Kentucky kids as young as five or six can legally end up in juvenile court because the state currently lacks a minimum age threshold, but new legislation would ban kids 12 and younger from being tried before a judge. More than 2,000 children younger than 10 were arrested in 2019 nationwide, according to data from the National Juvenile Justice Network. Despite a...

Home-based childcare alternatives face obstacles, but could play an important role beyond pandemic

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service Community advocates say home-based family child care could play a major role in closing gaps in access across Kentucky during the pandemic and beyond, but current zoning creates obstacles for individuals interested in opening licensed and regulated home child-care centers. In a recent survey conducted by Kentucky Youth Advocates, one in four current family child-care...

Smoke-Free Tomorrow coalition holds rally (Moser, Raque Adams take part) aims to stop teen smoking

Amid signs that e-cigarette use, or “vaping,” has increased during the pandemic among some Kentucky teens, health advocates from across the Commonwealth urged legislators this morning to give local communities more tools to combat youth tobacco use. At a virtual rally hosted by the Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow, the advocates said adding those tools means restoring local tobacco control...

Kentucky Youth Advocates leading weeklong series of virtual events urging lawmakers to invest in kids

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service Young people and their advocates are participating in a weeklong series of virtual events urging Kentucky lawmakers to prioritize kids’ safety, health, education and economic well-being in this year’s legislative session. The events are part of Kentucky Youth Advocates’ Children’s Advocacy Week. Felicity Krueger, an Adair County high-school...

Kentucky teens say pandemic has led to increased vaping and other tobacco use among peers

More than a third of Kentucky middle and high schoolers responding to a recent survey say the pandemic has increased students using e-cigarettes, or “vapes,” and other tobacco products. And more than 14 percent said they believe e-cigarettes are safer for them to smoke than traditional cigarettes, according to the survey, which was announced today by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky...

Terry Brooks: If oxpeckers and zebras can practice synergy, surely so can the donkeys and elephants

Oxpeckers and zebras. Oxpeckers are small African birds which count on zebras as their key nutritional sources, eating the ticks that cluster on zebras. And zebras? Well, they depend on oxpeckers as pest control agents. The oxpeckers also make a hissing sound whenever they sense a threat, acting as the zebras’ early warning security system to escape to safer locales from impending predators. This...

Webinar on ‘Stopping Vaping and Substance Use’ free on Jan. 11; how to prevent youth risky behavior

Substance use among youth is a persistent problem in Kentucky according to the 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Self-reported vaping during the high school years – when the overwhelming majority of adult tobacco users got started – is at a rate of one in four in Kentucky, and that rate was rising dramatically through 2019. High school alcohol use, while declining for more than two decades,...

Smoking during pregnancy can cause long-term problems for babies; stop smoking now

By Maridith Yahl KyForward reporter Smoking during pregnancy affects how the baby takes in oxygen, how the baby develops and has negative effects which can present from birth into adulthood. “When a mother smokes while pregnant, the baby is absorbing carbon monoxide, nicotine, and other cancer-causing chemicals in cigarettes,” says Cady Cornell, Tobacco Health Educator, Northern Kentucky Health...

Kentucky Youth Advocates brief addresses impact of maternal incarceration, offers possible solutions

A new Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children brief released Wednesday by Kentucky Youth Advocates, Data Trends and Policy Recommendations to Address the Impact of Maternal Incarceration on Kentucky’s Children, shows that the number of women incarcerated has grown at an alarming pace in Kentucky in recent decades and that women incarcerated are more likely to be a parent. The brief highlights the prevalence...

Kentucky Youth Advocates launch Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children’s 2021 policy, budget priorities

Kentucky Youth Advocates and partners from across the commonwealth have launched the Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children’s 2021 policy and budget priorities. The Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children is a coalition of nonprofit, public and private organizations that stands on three pillars: thriving communities launch strong families, strong families launch successful kids, and successful kids launch...

Digital divide means Ky. kids risk falling behind, especially as pandemic limits in-person instruction

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service More than 1 in 3 students of color in the Commonwealth, and 30% of all students, lacked adequate technology at home before the pandemic, putting them at higher risk of falling behind in school, according to a new KIDS COUNT County Data Book. Alicia Sells, director of innovation and communication at the Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative, works with high school...

2020 Kids Count Data Book looks at impact of ‘dual pandemics’ on Kentucky’s Children and Families

The 2020 Kentucky KIDS COUNT County Data Book examines the impacts of the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racial injustice on children and families with data disaggregated by race/ethnicity. The 30th edition of this publication also features the latest data on 17 measures of child well-being, showing whether outcomes for children across the commonwealth have improved, worsened, or stayed the...

Cameron joins Kosair Charities, Kentucky Youth Advocates to release Child Abuse Prosecution Toolkit

Attorney General Daniel Cameron joined Kentucky Youth Advocates, Kosair Charities, and statewide partners in the Face It Movement to announce the release of a Child Abuse Prosecution Toolkit. Developed by the Attorney General’s Criminal Division, the toolkit equips Kentucky prosecutors with best practices and resources to prosecute child abuse cases. “The Child Abuse Prosecution Toolkit provides...

New reference guide includes tips, information for Kentucky’s thousands of kinship families

A new handbook, created by the Kinship Families Coalition of Kentucky in collaboration with the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Office, features resources for grandparents and relative caregivers navigating Kentucky’s child welfare system and caring for vulnerable children. In A Kentucky Grandparent and Relative Caregiver Handbook, caregivers will find information on the basics of...

Kentucky Youth Advocates, Casey Family Programs discuss COVID-19 impact on child welfare community

Kentucky Youth Advocates, with the support of Casey Family Programs, hosted a forum on Aug. 4 to discuss challenges youth and families connected to the child welfare system are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, along with solutions to move forward as the commonwealth navigates recovery efforts. While the pandemic is affecting many Kentuckians in different ways, a look into the impact on...

Survey of Kentucky parents highlights families’ concern regarding child care amid COVID-19 pandemic

According to a recent survey of Kentucky parents and families, nearly 30% of respondents are struggling to find child care following the end of mandated closures in June due to the COVID-19 crisis. Additionally, more than half of the 1,570 survey respondents reported being moderately to extremely stressed about sending their child back to child care. The Prichard Committee, along with other national...

Annual health policy forum to focus on preventing youth substance abuse, suicide and risky behaviors

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky’s 20th annual Howard L. Bost Memorial Health Policy Forum will highlight policies and programs that reduce the chances of disease and unhealthy behaviors that often begin in childhood, including substance use, suicide and vaping. The forum, which typically draws 350 policymakers, health advocates and health care providers, will become a monthly webinar series...