Kentucky leads nation in child abuse cases, foster parents needed

Sunrise Children's Services is holding two holiday fundraisers to support kids in need.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – There’s a growing need for foster parents in Kentucky as a child is removed from an abusive home in this state every 50-minutes, according to Sunrise Children’s Services. Sunrise Children’s Services says Kentucky is number one in the country in child abuse. Sunrise says with nearly 10,000 kids in out-of-home care in Kentucky, the need for foster parents and support is critical.

“We need parents, foster parents, who can provide that stability and that hope and future for them,” says Rick Burslem, Sunrise Children’s Services Vice President of Marketing and Advancement.

Sunrise Children’s Service is a Christian organization that wants to do more than just give these kids a home. Sunrise helps kids of all ages, including teenagers about to age out of the foster care system with an independent living program where they are given free tuition, a safe place to live and mentorship to chase their dreams.


hen kids age out, they’ve been so broken and tossed to and fro in the system and the difficulty with that and this is the cost, it’s the cost of a dream,” says Burslem.

Sunrise Children’s Service says schools are usually a child’s first line of defense against abuse as their teachers and school counselors are the ones who typically notice and report the abuse, but that line of defense was taken away during the pandemic.

“COVID didn’t do a lot of people a lot of favors and dysfunctional families during COVID maybe amplified and exacerbated all of those issues and brought it more to the forefront,” says Burslem.

With the holidays quickly approaching, Sunrise Children’s Service is currently holding two fundraisers to benefit the kids. Sunrise’s Thanksgiving fundraiser goal is $20 from 200,000 people. The second fundraiser is to buy Christmas presents for the nearly 300 kids in Sunrise’s care.

The goal is to spend $150 on each child’s presents.

“The meaningful aspects and it’s so important to understand these kids need to be re-socialized and be a normal kid,” says Burslem.

For more information on how to become a foster parent or donate to the Thanksgiving and Christmas fundraisers, visit

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