CHFS: Inmates Make 2,000 Teddy Bears for Foster Children

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – A gift of teddy bears is helping to make winter a bit warmer for some children in need.

The Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) now have 2,000 handmade teddy bears that social services staff can use to help comfort children who are transitioning to foster families.

“These cuddly teddy bears are such a comfort to children who are facing trauma because they have been removed from their birth family,” says Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Vickie Yates Brown Glisson. “Our DCBS case managers are so appreciative of efforts like this that help our children cope during a difficult time.”

The bears, sewn together by inmates from the Luther Luckett Correctional Complex, were the result of a partnership between DCBS and the Kentucky Department of Corrections. Luther Luckett started the program in 2014, providing inmates with a way to give back to the community. Seven inmates are currently participating.

“This program serves the dual purpose of helping children in need while teaching our inmates about empathy, kindness and the importance of community,” said Kentucky Justice Secretary John Tilley.

Each of the state’s nine DCBS regions received 222 bears that were distributed to county offices. Staff is using the bears where they will make the most difference – by giving to all children in care, having them available in family visitation rooms, sending to families having financial struggles during the holidays or providing to children just coming into care because of abuse or neglect.

Secretary Glisson said that the state is not able to purchase items like the bears with state funds, and that makes them even more appreciated.

“This time of year, we see community organizations and the general public giving gifts to our children in foster care, and we greatly appreciate that generosity” she said. “One of the greatest gifts we can give Kentucky’s children is permanency through a loving, safe home – they all deserve that. We hope that more families will choose to open their hearts and homes to our children in foster care.”

Secretary Glisson said there are about 8,100 children in out of home care, which is meant to be transitional until children can safely return home or be adopted.

Families interested in fostering can log on to http://adopt.ky.gov/Pages/index.aspx for more information or call 800-232-KIDS to request an information packet.

Categories: News, State News

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