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All Kentuckians are mandated reporters. If you believe a child is being abused or neglected, call the Child Protection Hotline.

1-877-KYSAFE1 or 1-877-597-2331

For contact information in other states, please visit our Report It page.

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Face It® 2016 Progress Report

Download a PDF of the Face It 2016 Progress Report here.


For more than 90 years, Kosair Charities® has protected the health and well-being of vulnerable children in Kentucky and Southern Indiana by providing support for clinical services, research, pediatric healthcare education, and child advocacy. Throughout our history, we have solved complex problems that affect children to create a brighter future.

In 2013, we actively took on an issue that can be tough to talk about but is a tragic reality for many children: child abuse and neglect. We launched the Face It® Movement to end child abuse and have worked hard over the last three years with community partners to prevent and end child abuse in our community.

Face It believes in order to stop this complex problem, it takes everyone, including you and me, to be the face that ends child abuse and neglect. We must stop the maltreatment of children that is occurring and prevent child abuse and neglect from happening in the first place.

We are excited to share this 2016 Face It Movement Progress Report to highlight Face It accomplishments over its first three years of work. We now have nearly 30 partners actively working with us, including nonprofit agencies, educational institutions, government and civic agencies, and many others to tackle child abuse together. We have raised the profile of child abuse and neglect, educated community leaders and professionals who interact with children to know how to recognize and report abuse, and successfully advocated for policy solutions that better protect children.

We look forward to building on the success of Face It to have a greater impact in the coming years. We are expanding our scope of work to more comprehensively address the root causes of child abuse. We plan to tackle early intervention for vulnerable families and provide needed family supports and resources by working with our community partners. We also are expanding Face It across Kentucky to make a greater impact, including a partnership with First Lady Glenna Bevin’s office.

This is a long journey with many steps. There is no magic wand to end child abuse—and that is exactly why we have made such a comprehensive and long-term commitment. We can work together to ensure children are safe and protected. And we need your help, too. You can talk to your kids, friends, and family. Most importantly, learn the warning signs of abuse, and watch for those signs in children you care about. In Kentucky, anyone who suspects child abuse or neglect is required by law to report it by calling 1-877-KYSAFE1 or visiting

One child victim of abuse is one too many. We will not stop until no child experiences the tragedy of child abuse, and we hope you will join with us in that journey. For more information, visit Face It. End it.

Jerry Ward, Chairman of the Board of Kosair Charities

Movement Launch and Partners

Formed in 2012 in response to the public outcry against the increasing number of child abuse deaths in the Commonwealth, the Face It® Movement began as a 10-year initiative with the vision that all children in Jefferson County will be free from abuse and neglect by 2023. Led by Kosair Charities®, the Face It Movement officially launched in April 2013 and focuses on best practices in child abuse prevention and intervention, community engagement, and promoting effective policies to improve the child welfare system.

Face It is a growing effort with 29 diverse partner agencies, including area child-serving organizations, neighborhood centers, healthcare providers, Kentucky Courts, and the County Attorney’s Office. Kosair Charities has emboldened the Movement by lifting up the work of nonprofit partners to address this important issue. Kentucky Youth Advocates coordinates Face It on behalf of the Charities by strengthening the collaboration of partners and building on expertise of members of the Face It Movement.partner-orgs-xsl2

Community Engagement

Face It is committed to engaging with a variety of groups, including the general public, about how they can prevent and end child abuse. Working through a number of communication channels, Face It has reached a broad audience since 2013.


As Face It formed, a group of nonprofit Face It partners met regularly during the first year to discuss branding and direction for community engagement. The group held focus groups with partners and other community members to determine how to brand Face It. Child abuse is not only a tragedy; it is hard to talk about. The result of several conversations was the message and brand “Face It.” “Face it” means that we all have a role to play in ending child abuse and tells the story of the simple ways everyone can take a stand against child abuse:

Child abuse has a thousand faces: The face of the parent who knows it won’t stop until she speaks out. The face of the teacher who suspects it and says so. The face of the coach who knows the difference between tough love and a hurting child. The face of the pastor who chooses to be a guardian angel. The face of the neighbor who hears it and raises his voice against it.

In 2015, Face It enhanced this messaging with a suite of young characters and the tagline “Kids are kids.” These fun, positive images appeal to children and parents and build upon the original Face It prevention messaging.


Partner Liaison Team

With this positive and head-on approach to combating child abuse, Face It has worked hard in the last three years to raise the profile of child abuse and neglect and the solutions to end it.

A catalyst for community engagement and outreach has included the Face It liaison team. Each Face It partner has identified a Face It liaison to come together quarterly with other liaisons to share resources and events and brainstorm ways to better reach the community with important child abuse information. Liaisons provide input on Face It materials and also commit to sharing Face It information via their organizations’ communication channels. The liaison team has also been key in helping partners stay informed about other partners’ on-the-ground work.

Rally to End Child Abuse

For the last three years, Face It partners have collaborated with Family and Children’s Place on a Rally to End Child Abuse in honor of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. Hundreds of community members including parents, youth, and adults have rallied each year to encourage the community to take a stand to end child abuse. Several honored guests attended in 2016, including Governor and First Lady Bevin, Attorney General Andy Beshear, Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad, and County Attorney Mike O’Connell.rally-photos

Social Media 

social-mediaWith more than 700 followers on Twitter and nearly 4,000 fans on Facebook, social media has elevated the brand of Face It and educates the general public about child abuse and neglect. Through social media interactions we have reached over 2,000,000 people with important information on the signs of abuse, how to report child abuse, and how to promote healthy families with prevention tips and family resources.


Nearly 10,000 visitors have accessed since the launch of the Movement to find resources, data, and information related to child abuse and neglect. We are now in the process of revamping the website and tailoring it to specific audiences such as parents, kids, and professionals and to be more user-friendly.

Brochures and Posters

brochure-distFace It Liaisons collaborated on two early versions of an infographic to spread important information about child abuse in Louisville. The third and latest version of the infographic became a fold-out brochure and poster. The response to these two new resources has been overwhelming across the state, due in part to a partnership with the First Lady’s Office. To date, we have distributed nearly 2,000 posters and nearly 10,000 brochures to Family Resource Centers, family health centers, Neighborhoods Places, health departments, family courts, child care centers, Head Start programs, public and private schools, a youth leadership group, therapists in private practice, HANDS programs, child protective services, public libraries, and several other child-serving organizations. Face It’s child abuse prevention and recognition tips have reached communities in over 50 Kentucky counties.

Community Events 

Face It engages in community events to raise the profile of the Movement and distribute important information about child abuse. Our goal is for child abuse to be something that we can talk about at events instead of something people shy away from. In the three years since Face It launched, Face It partners have engaged in several events including the Kosair Charities Fall Festival, St. James Art Fair, Nulu Fest, and the Turtle Live Action Corn Maze at Popes Creek

Training Videos

videosFace It has created a series of training videos for various audiences focusing on the signs of child abuse and neglect and how to report suspected abuse. Videos include experts such as Dr. Melissa Currie, Chief of the Kosair Charities Division of Pediatric Forensic Medicine at the University of Louisville, and Pam Darnall, President and CEO of Family and Children’s Place, along with other Face It partners, including Kosair Charities, Boys and Girls Clubs of Kentuckiana, 4-C, and Kentucky Youth Advocates. Three of the videos focus on educators and will be distributed across the state to help schools implement the new requirement for SB 119—a Face It policy win in 2015—which requires educators to be trained on how to recognize and report child abuse. The other videos focus on child care providers, youth-serving organizations, and the general public. Videos are available on YouTube and will soon be utilized in trainings across the state.

Media Coverage

The media is a powerful voice in the community and Face It aims to work with the media to raise awareness of child abuse and how to end it. Face It actively reaches out to reporters to provide expertise and information when a tragedy of child abuse occurs, and stories range from prevention tips to highlights of partner work. Several Face It partners have also placed op-eds and discussed Face It in news stories over the last three years.randy-article

PSAs and Ads

know-moreFace It has produced several PSAs, including a series that corresponds with the training videos. These PSAs appear on TVs across the Commonwealth to spread the word about ending child abuse and neglect.

Face it has received statewide attention for its efforts. In 2013, Face It was nominated and selected to be featured as part of the “kNOw MORE Nonprofits” Television Series. In order to motivate people to find their passion for helping their community, kNowMore Nonprofits provides current, informative, and educational overviews of impactful nonprofits located throughout Kentucky, recognizing that without these nonprofits the health and stability of our communities would be at risk.

Best Practices

Several Face It partners served on the initial Best Practices work team in 2012, initially Chaired by Dr. Melissa Currie who is chair of the Kosair Charities Division of Pediatric Forensic Medicine at the University of Louisville. The team spent several months discussing various groups in the community that Face It needed to focus on in order to ensure those who interacted with children on a regular basis knew how to recognize and report child abuse. After months of discussion and research, the group identified the following groups to initially focus efforts: child care professionals, medical professionals, youth-serving organizations, educators, and youth. The Best Practices work team morphed into work teams focused on each of these groups as Face It officially launched in 2013.

Child Care Professionalsshared-services-portal

The Child Care work team began meeting in 2013. The team first conducted a survey of child care providers to better understand the needs and gaps related to child abuse recognition and intervention. Child care providers were already required to be trained in child abuse recognition and reporting by law, but the survey revealed child care providers were interested in ongoing access to information about child abuse recognition and child abuse prevention. Having access to a clearinghouse of resources would provide them with information at their fingertips. Out of this finding, Kosair Charities supported Community Coordinated Child Care (4-C) to create a Face It section of the Kentucky Alliance for Shared Services Portal. The support allowed all Jefferson County providers to access child abuse prevention information relevant to child care providers via the portal.

Since the Face It section of the portal was created in 2014, 4-C has focused on growing the number of child care professionals who access child abuse information through the portal and provided trainings on the portal to child care center directors and staff. As of April 2016, 2,168 child care professionals have membership access, representing 271 centers serving approximately 16,802 children.

4-C has expanded membership and use of the portal by incorporating a focused email marketing campaign, a national portal scavenger hunt for prizes, and regular direct contact with directors through a monthly Director’s Roundtable. 4-C will continue to add additional resources to the portal and plans to expand to 400 child care centers, with the potential to impact 28,400 children.

In addition to giving memberships to child care centers, 4-C has provided portal access to partners working to support early childhood efforts to end child abuse, including the Archdiocese of Louisville, Child Care Aware of KIPDA, Home of the Innocents, Ohio Valley Education Cooperative, Jefferson County Public Schools, Safe Kids, STARS for KIDS NOW, Sunrise Children’s Services, and YMCA of Greater Louisville.

In 2016, two additional early childhood professional development opportunities were created for using the portal and its child abuse prevention resources:

  1. “Resources to Strengthen Families” provides an in-depth overview of resources available on the portal, discussions of five protective factors and how child care providers can support families, and connections to other supportive resources such as 211, the Ages and Stages Questionnaire, the Center for Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning, and Face It.
  1. “Kentucky Shared Services: Resources for Teaching and Directing” is an independent study module developed for early childhood professionals to explore the portal in depth at their own pace within their own centers. The module will allow 4-C to educate the community with a wider reach than face-to-face trainings can do alone. 4-C offers this one-hour study module free of charge with the support of Face It.


4-C has also used the “Face It, End It: How to Recognize Child Abuse” video presented by Dr. Melissa Currie to train all new teachers and directors and distributes Face It materials to providers who attend 4-C trainings.

Youth-Serving Organizations youth-training

The Youth-Serving Organizations Face It work team formed in 2014. It is led by Boys and Girls Club of Kentuckiana and has the following members:

  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Kentuckiana
  • Family and Children’s Place
  • Neighborhood House
  • ECHO
  • Peace Education
  • YMCA Safe Place


The team surveyed youth-serving organizations in 2014 and identified the need for trainings on child abuse prevention and recognition as a top priority. The team collaborated on a pilot project supported by Kosair Charities in 2015 to offer evidenced-based trainings free of charge to youth-serving organizations in the Louisville area.

Trainings include:


Kosair Charities also supported Peace Education in 2014 and 2015 through Face It to work with youth in 11 schools and neighborhood sites. Peace Education teaches conflict resolution and mediation skills, and in these trainings they partnered with school and neighborhood sites to reach 790 youth. In addition, Face It support provided partial scholarships to 14 neighborhood adults in the train-the-trainer workshop Street Peace: No More Red Dots Program. The adults in turn, taught the workshop to hundreds more youth.The youth-serving organization team is still in the process of training organizations to complete their pilot project. To date, this team has trained 297 volunteers or staff at organizations that serve a total of 7,108 children annually.

K-12 Education jcps

Michelle Sircy with Jefferson County Public Schools has been an active member and participant of Face It and worked with Face It to bring Dr. Currie to train 90 Family Resource and Youth Services Center Coordinators and 250 school counselors on child abuse recognition and reporting in spring of 2015. With the passage of Face It policy priority SB 119, all public school educators will have to receive education on child abuse recognition and reporting.

Archdiocese of Louisville

Face It has partnered with the Archdiocese of Louisville to implement the Childhelp “Speak Up, Be Safe” child abuse prevention curriculum in every Kindergarten and 6th grade classroom.

archdiocese“Speak Up Be Safe” is a research-based, comprehensive primary prevention education curriculum that equips children in grades K-6 and their adult community with the skills they need to play a role in the prevention or interruption of neglect and physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.

The program provides materials to engage parents and caregivers, teachers and school administrators, and community stakeholders in an effort to prevent child abuse. In addition to increasing knowledge of abusive behaviors and how children can protect themselves, there is a focus on creating a safety network with peers, teachers, parents, caregivers, and other adults that the child identifies as safe. Children take home resources that can be used to engage their parents or caretakers and reinforce important concepts.

With the support from Kosair Charities through Face It, the Archdiocese has implemented Speak Up, Be Safe with 8,054 students in grades K-6 in the 2014-15 school year and 8,025 students in grades 1-6 in the 2015-2016 school year. In 2014, they also trained 200 teachers and have held additional roundtables with teachers since the program was implemented.

Youth youth

From early on, Face It partners recognized the importance of involving youth in the Face It Movement. Face It originally partnered with the local YMCA, through support of Kosair Charities, to work with students in the Metro Youth Advocates program, which helps to inspire and develop youth leaders in the community. A group of Metro Youth Advocates students focused on child abuse and neglect prevention and solutions to help protect children in the community. One of their identified solutions was to ensure their teachers were trained on recognizing and reporting child abuse. This solution eventually became a state policy with the passage of Face It policy priority SB 119 in 2015. Face It has begun to collaborate with the newly launched First Lady’s Youth Leadership Council, which is promoting policies to positively impact vulnerable children. The Movement continues to explore new opportunities to build up youth as leaders in child abuse prevention.

Medical Professionals

Face It has partnered extensively with Dr. Melissa Currie and the Kosair Charities Division of Pediatric Forensic Medicine at the University of Louisville, which provides a standardized approach to the assessment of child abuse and neglect issues.

Face It worked with Dr. Currie to successfully pass a bill in 2014 that ensures medical professionals receive training on pediatric abusive head trauma. Since then, Dr. Currie has conducted extensive trainings with medical professionals on pediatric abusive head trauma and is working on an online module for doctors across the state to access.


Face It recognizes that in addition to on-the-ground work, fundamental shifts in policy are necessary to help improve the child welfare system and prevent child abuse. Face It formed a Policy Work Team early in the effort and encouraged a diverse group of member organizations to join. Current members represent the following organizations:

  • Boys and Girls Haven
  • CASA of the River Region
  • ECHO
  • Family and Children’s Place
  • Kentucky Courts
  • Kentucky Youth Advocates
  • Kids Center for Pediatric Therapies
  • Louisville Metro Police Department Crimes Against Children Unit
  • University of Louisville College of Education and Human Development
  • University of Louisville Early Childhood Research Center
  • University of Louisville Kosair Charities Division of Pediatrics
  • Volunteers of America


The Policy Team is Chaired by Dr. Melissa Currie, Chair of the Kosair Charities Division of Pediatric Forensic Medicine at the University of Louisville. Previous Chairs include Bill Smithwick of Kids Center for Pediatric Therapies and Dan Fox, Former CEO of Family and Children’s Place. The Policy Team continues to analyze issues relating to child abuse and neglect intervention and prevention that need to be addressed at a policy level. Each year, Face It puts forward an agenda that will move policy in the right direction to protect children. Since the official launch in 2013, Face It has supported several policies that have become reality for Kentucky children.

Data Dashboard 

One of the first priorities the Face It Policy Team tackled was the need for a uniform Data Dashboard that could be agreed upon by government and nonprofit partners. The goal of the Data Dashboard is to provide a consistent and uniform way to track child abuse and neglect data over time in order to evaluate progress made and challenges that remain.

The Face It Policy Team worked with local and state Department of Community Based Services branches on data points and definitions related to child abuse and neglect. The Face It Data Dashboard went live in 2014 and continues to be updated as new data is available. This simple, yet profound success will allow Face It to measure progress as the Movement continues forward.


State Policy Wins 

2013 Win 

Advocated for a panel to reduce child abuse deaths– HB 290 put into law a panel to review child abuse deaths, improve practices in the child welfare system, and prevent future child abuse deaths.

2014 Wins

Helped reduce child deaths from pediatric abusive head trauma– HB 157 equips doctors with education on how to recognize early warning signs of pediatric abusive head trauma and successfully intervene.

Secured funding for the child fatality review panel– Funding for the panel allows it to more closely review child abuse death tragedies and develop recommendations to help prevent future deaths from occurring.

2015 Wins

Equipped all educators with information on how to recognize and report child abuse– SB 119 ensures all public school educators receive training about child abuse and neglect so they can help protect children.

Protected teens and children from effects of dating violence– HB 8 extends protective orders to victims of dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. This protects many teens in dating relationships and children whose parents experience violence in dating relationships.

2016 Win

Broadened the scope of a child’s testimony in court – SB 60 allows courts to consider a child’s more generalized testimony about a pattern of abuse, known as a continuous course of conduct.

While Face It has seen much policy success since it began, much work remains to ensure policies are in place to keep children safe.

Future Directions

Face It has accomplished a lot in three years due to the leadership of Kosair Charities and the commitment and active involvement of partners. However, Face It recognizes that much work remains to make Jefferson County—and the rest of Kentucky—free from child abuse and neglect.

Three future directions will animate the next phase of Face It:

Build on Current Efforts

The current Face It projects and work-teams are still in an infancy stage. Face It hopes to expand the work of current partners to have a greater impact in best practices, policy, and community engagement.

Prevention and Early Intervention

Face It knows that if we want to end child abuse, prevention is key. In the past three years, Face It has worked on limited prevention efforts. Kosair Charities provided support to Jewish Family and Career Services (JFCS) to help reach not only youth, but also their families. JFCS provides counseling and parent education and coaching to over 1,200 people each year. Many of the parents have a history of abuse in their past, and JFCS works on strategies to avoid the replication of past patterns with their own children. In the next phase of work, Face It plans to explore community gaps and opportunities and move forward on a prevention effort to strengthen families and prevent child abuse from ever occurring.

Expand Geographic Reach

Although Face It has primarily focused on Jefferson County, the Movement has reached other parts of the state through the brochures and posters. Face It is beginning a partnership with the First Lady’s Office and plans to extend Face It across the Commonwealth.


Download a PDF of the Face It 2016 Progress Report here.