28 Dec Thank you for a great year!
As 2022 comes to a close, it’s important to look back personally, professionally, organizationally, and as a community to reflect on goals that were accomplished, challenges that were overcome, and areas to continue working towards in the new year. Over the past year, we have seen many wins for the well-being of Kentucky’s kids and the Face It Movement has continued to advocate for the protection of kids from abuse and neglect. However, there is still work to be done. As we gear up for the continued work ahead, we want to take a few moments to highlight the hard work and accomplishments made by Kosair Charities’ Face It Movement and its incredible partner organizations.
Partnerships: Protecting kids from abuse and neglect requires meaningful partnerships, and Face It has over 130 partners across the state to collectively address the complex issue of child maltreatment. Face It continues to build relationships with organizations that help us strengthen parent skills, reduce risk factors, and build community capacity to respond effectively when abuse occurs to achieve the overarching goal of ending abuse and neglect in Kentucky. These partnerships help inform Face It’s policy and engagement strategies at a local, regional, and state level and bring opportunities to expand the reach and overall impact of the work with populations that traditional messaging might not reach.
Best Practice: Face It directly reached nearly 17,000 youth through trainings and programming around recognizing and reporting abuse, body safety, cyber safety, conflict resolution, and mediation. An example includes the “Speak Up Be Safe” program at the Archdiocese of Louisville. This program helps prevent or mitigate child abuse and neglect by teaching children and young people to identify unsafe situations and how to identify and talk to safe adults.
Face It partners also reached over 2,600 parents and caregivers directly through parent skill-building events, trainings, counseling services, and workshops around strengthening family bonds, all of which are proven prevention strategies. As an example, Family Nurturing Center in Northern Kentucky offers Nurturing Parenting Programs that are strengths-based and designed to help families replace negative patterns with new, positive, nurturing patterns.
Face it trained 4,078 professionals and adults across Kentucky communities on everything from how to recognize the subtleties of abuse/neglect and how to intervene to educating youth about what are safe and appropriate boundaries. These efforts have resulted in an increase of recognition and reporting of child abuse and neglect and strengthened parents and caregivers’ ability to safely parent their children.
TEN-4 Day: Face It has been expanding efforts to train professionals who interact with parents and families across the state and there is no better example of this work than our TEN-4 efforts. To raise awareness of the TEN-4 Bruising Rule, Face It hosted five Pediatric Abusive Head Trauma trainings with more than 224 social workers, medical professionals, dentists, dental hygienists, EMTs, early childhood educators, and FRYSCs in attendance. Participants learned the early warning signs of maltreatment and the various injuries and conditions that may result from vigorous shaking, slamming, or impacting the head of an infant or young child, as well as tools for dealing with a crying infant and ways to share information with parents to prevent abuse. Professionals trained are now equipped to go out into their communities and recognize signs of abuse that might otherwise go unnoticed.
Policy Change: Just as critical as direct programming to parents, families, and professionals across the state, policy and systems-level change allows us to better protect all of Kentucky’s kids. During the 2022 legislative session, Face It had three policy wins that will strengthen the state’s response for children who have experienced abuse, improve efforts following a child fatality or near fatality, and invest in programs proven to keep kids safe and support families.
Community Awareness & Education: Throughout 2022, Face It collaborated with the Kentucky Children’s Hospital (KCH) and Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center (KIPRC) to bring awareness to the importance of safe medication storage in the home to prevent accidental ingestions and keep children healthy and safe. The new campaign – Medication Safety in the Home – offers families and professionals who work with families tips to safely store medicine. Face It, KCH, and KIPRC have been distributing medicine lock boxes, resources, and safety tips to improve child safety, support families, and prevent child fatalities in the Commonwealth.
Face It continues to educate the public through the development and promotion of educational materials and content. This past year, we distributed over 55,000 print resources in both English and Spanish with materials reaching families in 71 Kentucky counties. Our messages on social media have received over 709,000 views and our media mentions have an estimated reach of over 2.9 million.
While Face It and its many partners have worked hard over the past year to raise awareness, provide resources, and ensure lasting change, there is still much work to be done. We look forward to continuing this important work into 2023 until every child in Kentucky is free from abuse and neglect.