Agencies get $220,000 to help fight child abuse

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) — More than a dozen child abuse prevention programs have received almost $220,000 in grants for everything from medical tests to prevention outreach efforts and services to survivors.

Kentucky’s 15 childrens advocacy centers received more than $65,000 from the state’s Vhild Victims Trust Fund to offset costs associated with administering more than 880 child sexual abuse medical exams.

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CVTF also awarded statewide grants to South Central Kentucky Kids on the Block and Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky totaling $50,045, and presented regional grants to Family Nurturing Center and Child Watch Counseling and Advocacy Center amounting to $81,227.

Kids on the Block, an educational puppet troupe, is committed to ending child abuse in Kentucky through prevention and intervention, said Ashley Reynolds, executive director of South Central Kentucky Kids on the Block.

“Our puppeteers are eager to travel the state, physically and through virtual programs, to impact more 10,000 children,” Reynolds said.

Headquartered in Lexington, Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky received $26,603 to identify communities and individuals across the state who could benefit from child abuse prevention and family strengthening tools.

Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky will analyze survey data to identify areas of Kentucky’s population that may need resources related to child sexual abuse prevention.

“The funding from the Child Victims Trust Fund will allow us to expand our mission of prevention, catching kids and families upstream before abuse has happened,” said Jill Seyfred, executive director of Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky. “We know we still have much work to do in our state to ensure everyone knows child sexual abuse can be prevented and that each of us has a role in doing so. These funds will help us to develop key messages for specific areas of our state to zero in on making sure everyone knows they have a role to play in preventing child sexual abuse from happening.”

The Family Nurturing Center of Florence received $56,574 to provide 220 Stewards of Children community training  for 2,500 parents and adults in Boone, Campbell, Grant, and Kenton counties. The training equips adults working in youth organizations, public agencies, schools, and law enforcement to recognize, prevent, and respond responsibly to child sexual abuse.

“Family Nurturing Center will continue to make robust use of our CVTF funds to prevent child sexual abuse by training as many adults in Northern Kentucky in Stewards of Children as possible,” said L-A Stopa, program specialist of Family Nurturing Centers Stewards of Children Program. “Our ability to offer Stewards of Children to everyone in our community, including parents, teachers, health care workers, and first responders is essential to FNCs mission to end the cycle of child abuse.”

Child Watch Counseling and Advocacy Center of Paducah received $24,653 for its Safety Tools and Golden Rules program, serving 13 Western Kentucky counties including Ballard, Caldwell, Calloway, Carlisle, Crittenden, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Livingston, Lyon, Marshall, McCracken, and Trigg.

The program will provide child sexual abuse prevention education for 400 teachers and staff, 5,000 parents or caregivers, and 13,000 children including campers at the Kentucky Sheriffs Boys and Girls Ranch.

“Funding from the Child Victims Trust Fund makes it possible for us to empower students in elementary schools throughout the Purchase Area with tools to prevent or stop sexual abuse from happening to them,” said Janie Criner, executive director of Child Watch Counseling. “We are honored to partner with General Cameron to bring this life-saving information to children and educators in our community.”

In addition to these grants, organizations can apply for sponsorships of up to $5,000 to host child sexual abuse prevention conferences.

Earlier this year, the fund provided $985 in sponsorship funds to support the 2020 Child Abuse Prevention Conference organized by the Pennyrile Allied Community Services/Community Collaboration for Children.

The fund awards a total of $25,000 in sponsorships throughout the year, and organizations can apply for sponsorships by visiting icareaboutkids.ky.gov.

The Attorney Generals Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Prevention (CSAEP) Board oversees CVTF, a non-profit that provides funding for child sexual abuse prevention programs and reimbursements for child sexual abuse medical exam expenses that are not covered by Medicaid or private insurance.

Kentuckians wishing to join the fight to end child abuse can donate to the CVTF by making a private donation, by purchasing an I Care About Kids license plate, or by donating a portion of your state income tax refund.

To report suspected child abuse, contact local law enforcement or the Child Protection Hotline by calling 1-877-KYSAFE1 (1-877-597-2331).