In a recent blog post from the Kentucky Youth Advocates (KYA), KVC Kentucky’s Family Preservation and Reunification Programs were recognized as a smart investment for Kentucky families. KYA urged that as budget decisions are made during this legislative session, we should prioritize keeping families safely together by ensuring access to these high-quality services.
KVC Kentucky provides family preservation and diversion services throughout the Commonwealth to help keep families safely together. At times, families need guidance on the use of effective tools, such as parenting and coping skills, before problems escalate and potentially lead to an unsafe environment. When appropriate for a family, these services keep kids from experiencing the further trauma of being removed from their home.
The KYA blog also features a story as told by a KVC Kentucky Diversion Specialist, who recalls a case in which long term adoptive parents were considering giving up custody of a child due to their behaviors:
“This child had a very long history of trauma, including sexual abuse prior to his adoptive placement. I was able to utilize evidence-informed therapy specifically for trauma with the child and create a “trauma narrative,” which is a technique used with individuals to help them organize and manage their thoughts and feelings by documenting their story to help aid in their treatment. We worked with the parents on increasing their understanding of trauma and safety planning for this child. KVC was able to utilize the available flexible funding to purchase tools to aid in the child’s use of learned coping skills. When the child read his trauma narrative, it was an emotional experience and very positive for all involved. After that, the family reported a significant decrease in challenging behaviors and a better understanding of the effects of trauma. At our last contact with the family, one year after discharge from Diversion services, the child maintained placement in the home.”
This story could have ended very differently, but with the services and resources available through KVC, another family remained intact and grew stronger from the tools we could provide. From this story and the experiences of countless other families, it is clear that family preservation programs are effective at helping Kentucky families create a safe home environment for their children while also saving money by avoiding the cost of removing the child from their home.