Op-Ed - Family Prevention Services: A win, win for Kentucky!!

By Michelle M. Sanborn, MSW - President Children's Alliance

"How many of your foster children want to go home?" I remember asking a group of foster parents. One foster mother raised her hand and said, "110%.

"Every foster child wants to be with their family, and now, thanks to the bold leadership of our Kentucky state legislators, more Kentuckychildren can remain with their families and avoid the trauma of being removed and placed into foster care.

Kentucky's General Assembly made a prudent investment in children and families by allocating $20 million dollars to keep Kentucky families together, safe and supported.

In 2019, providers of family prevention services successfully kept children at risk of out-of-home placement in their homes and with their families 96% of the time. In addition, the families demonstrated improved parental skills and greater capacity to provide for their children's needs. Family prevention services are effective, and they are a huge cost savings! Currently, Kentucky spends about $50,000 per child on out-of-home care expenses, whereas family prevention services only costs about $6,000 per child.

It works for Kentucky's children and it saves the state's taxpayer money.

Marie Liles Bates, a mother struggling with addiction and on the brink of losing custody of her children said, "if it weren't for the staff at Ramey-Estep, I would have lost my marriage, children and possibly my life. They worked with my family and today my children are happy, healthy and healing."

Marie is working as a Senior Peer Support Specialist at Ramey-Estep in Ashland, Kentucky helping other families facing similar disparaging challenges overcome their struggles. Marie and her family are the epitome of success. Now, thanks to our state legislators, many more families can succeed as well.

Please join me in thanking our state legislators for investing in Kentucky's children and families!!! It's a true win, win!!!

Michelle M. Sanborn, MSW


Children's Alliance

420 Capital Ave.

Frankfort, KY 40601
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