12 May Face It Youth Ambassadors Panel Discussion
Don’t miss out! If you were unable to attend the Facebook Live Face It Youth Ambassadors Panel Discussion, it’s not too late! Members of the Kosair Charities Face It Movement Youth Ambassadors discuss why child abuse prevention is important to young people, what youth can do in their community to raise awareness around prevention efforts, and the role youth can play in advancing state policies to prevent child abuse and neglect.
Youth ambassadors Cynthia, Felicity, and Hunter shared their views as they responded to curated questions by discussion host Nikki Thornton, Executive Director of True Up.
The quotes below are indicative of the impressive perspective these young people brought to the panel discussion.
Cynthia – “I believe child welfare is one of the most important things we can focus on as advocates. If we can limit the amount of trauma that children face now, we can guarantee a better future. I help friends by listening to them, understanding them without judging and trying to help them where they are. Youth can get involved. You can start anywhere by just listening to others story’s or learning about upcoming bills by using the Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children.”
Felicity – “Child abuse prevention is important because no child should ever feel alone or hurt. Youth know best what is happening to youth. You can’t do something that involves youth without including them. Youth can be a helping hand and a listening ear to their peers as well as educating themselves about the signs of abuse.”
Hunter – “There’s no reason to not be an advocate. Speaking up can change someone’s life in ways you may never understand.”
Attendees of the panel discussion had the opportunity to gain insight from the following presenters:
Lindsay Wehr– Kosair Charities Senior Vice President of Strategy and Outreach explained Kosair’s long standing mission to enhance the health and well-being of all children in Kentucky and Southern Indiana.
Mary L. Carpenter– Acting Director of the Division of Protection of Permanency within the Department of Community Based Services (CHFS, DCBS, DPP) shared additional information on how youth can get involved and advocate to eradicate child abuse throughout the state.
- Family Resource Youth Service Centers (FRYSC)– Advocating youth can contact the director in their school and inquire how they can serve as the youth representative on the advisory council. The primary goal of these centers is to remove non-academic barriers to learning as a means to enhance student academic success. Access Division of Family Resource and Youth Services Centers – Cabinet for Health and Family Services (ky.gov) for more information in your area.
- Kentucky Partnerships for Family and Children or KPFC is an agency that encourages peer support and advocacy. KPFC supports Kentucky Youth Move and their mission to create a statewide network to help all youth entering a youth serving system. Move empowers youth to persevere, share their voice and be self-sufficient in living a life without stigma and to reach their fullest potential.
- KY RISE – VOC-Voices of the Commonwealth is a team of current and former foster youth advocating for the betterment of children and families involved in the child welfare system. Their lived experience makes them experts on the unique issues youth in foster care face. They have been instrumental in changing multiple policies and laws to better serve this population across the state of Kentucky.
- Regional Interagency Councils (RIACs) operate as the regional point of accountability for the System of Care Grant through the Department of Behavioral Health, providing a structure for coordination, planning, and collaboration of services and supports to children and transition-age youth with or at risk of developing behavioral health needs and other challenges, and their families.
Knowing the signs of abuse and neglect is important to help keep kids safe. Remember, all Kentuckians are mandated reporters. If you suspect child abuse or neglect, report it at the hotline 1-877-KYSAFE1 (1-877-597-2331) or at reportitky.org
Blog written by: Tammy Donoho- Kentucky Youth Advocates