Kentucky School Districts Ban Use of Corporal Punishment in Schools

Following an administrative regulation that required school districts to create a policy on the use of corporal punishment in schools, and advocacy efforts by Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky and partners, every school district in Kentucky has now prohibited the use of corporal punishment. The administrative regulation requiring districts to formalize rules around corporal punishment went into effect on Aug. 30.

“Corporal punishment is both ineffective and a violation of a child’s human rights,” said Myranda James, program coordinator at the U.S. Alliance to End the Hitting of Children. “It is consistently linked to increased behavioral problems, increased aggression and defiance, and lower moral internalization. It is also linked to an increased risk of mental illness in adolescence, drug and alcohol abuse, and a greater likelihood of domestic violence into adulthood. It has no place in schools.”

The decision by Kentucky school districts is in line with the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation that corporal punishment settings be abolished in all school settings in all states and replaced by alternative forms of student behavior management. Corporal punishment remains legal in many public and private schools in the United States and is disproportionately used among Black students and children with disabilities, according to the AAP. Additionally, national data show that among students who received physical punishment at school, 16.5% were served under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; making students with disabilities overrepresented among students who are physically punished at school.

“The decision by every school district across all 120 counties to formally prohibit corporal punishment in schools is a win for students and the commonwealth,” said Alex Young, a Kentucky native and student at the University of Notre Dame who advocates for ending corporal punishment in schools. “For seven years, we have worked tirelessly on advocacy efforts at the state and local levels to ban paddling. And from here on, students in the commonwealth will be safer, no longer having to attend school in fear of being hit by trusted adults. I am grateful that school boards and district leaders across Kentucky are in agreement that the archaic and inappropriate practice of corporal punishment has no place in our schools. Kentucky children deserve to receive quality education in a safe environment, and today’s announcement is a monumental step in the right direction.”

The Kentucky Department of Education’s 2022-2023 School Report Card, released on Tuesday, showed there were five incidents of corporal punishment in schools last year. All five incidents were in Pike County and involved white male students.

“Ending corporal punishment in schools is an issue we have been strong advocates for going back many years,” said Prevent Child Abuse Director Jill Seyfred. “It is encouraging that every Kentucky school will now be free of this harmful practice and will provide healthier, safer environments for all children. This is wonderful news for the future of the commonwealth.”

Building Blocks

The Building Blocks of Prevention

Utilizing the Building Blocks of Prevention all year long is a key way to prevent abuse and neglect of Kentucky’s children, ensuring that all children experience happy and healthy childhoods. Thanks to sponsorship from The Ridge, we are promoting our Building Blocks of Prevention as a tool for anyone to use, not just during Child Abuse Prevention Month, but every day! Read more about each Building Block in the following pages, and use the blocks to build a healthier Commonwealth for children and families by downloading the guide here.

New Program Aims to Educate the Public, Providers on Link Between Opioid Crisis and Child Abuse

The Kentucky Opioid Abatement Advisory Commission announced a $243,050 grant to Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky to prevent child maltreatment in homes with caregivers experiencing opioid use disorder. The grant was funded from the over $842 million awarded to Kentucky from settlements with pharmaceutical and other companies in 2022 for their role in exacerbating the deadly opioid crisis.

Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky, or PCAK, is the state’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing child abuse and neglect before it ever occurs. The grant will fund a Child Maltreatment & Opioid Use Disorder Cohort, which will determine gaps in addressing the connections between opioid misuse and child maltreatment prevention. The cohort will be selected based on experience in the field of prevention, family engagement, recovery and lived expertise.

“The link between opioid use disorder and child abuse is an ever-present concern in the commonwealth,” said PCAK Executive Director Jill Seyfred. “PCAK is in a unique position to collaborate with our 272-member statewide partners to help service providers and the public better understand how opioid misuse among parents or caregivers impacts children and improve supports for families currently experiencing the effects of the opioid crisis.”

Substance use among caregivers in the home increases the likelihood of child maltreatment and is a risk factor for child abuse, neglect, near-fatalities and fatalities. In 2021, substance misuse was documented as a risk factor in 64% of Kentucky’s reports of child maltreatment with a finding of substantiated or services needed.

While the state has multiple resources and tools to assist those already experiencing opioid use disorder, there are not specific tools focused on both the prevention of opioid misuse and child abuse for the public, service providers and the press, said Seyfred.

As part of this work, PCAK will offer an opioid use disorder track at their 2024 Kids Are Worth It! Conference, the state’s largest child abuse and neglect prevention educational event. The opioid use disorder track will allow national experts in the field of substance misuse prevention to speak to statewide child welfare professionals, who will take what they learn back to their communities.

To increase public awareness around opioid misuse and child abuse, the grant will also support a virtual press room housed on PCAK’s website, giving the media access to footage, tools, stories and more to disseminate to their audience statewide.

All aspects of the program will be evaluated by the University of Louisville’s Center for Family & Community Well-Being.

The Kentucky Opioid Abatement Advisory Commission was created in 2021 by House Bill 427. It comprises nine voting and two non-voting members and includes stakeholders from the prevention and treatment community, law enforcement and victims of the opioid crisis. The Commission’s purpose is to distribute Kentucky’s funds from settlements reached with opioid companies resulting from 4,000 claims from state and local governments across the country. PCAK was one of 24 organizations that received grants on Thursday.

“These 24 organizations will join us in keeping our promise to this state that we will be accessible, transparent and accountable for the results we will deliver in order to save the next generation that is growing up in the midst of this travesty,” said W. Bryan Hubbard, executive director of the Kentucky Opioid Abatement Advisory Commission.

New resources help protect kids from online threats

Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky, in conjunction with the Kentucky State Police, released new resources to help parents, caregivers and professionals keep kids safe on the internet. June is National Internet Safety Month, dedicated to increasing Americans’ understanding of cyberthreats and empowering them to be safer and more secure online.

The three new tipsheets cover internet safety, cyberbullying and gaming safety. The tipsheets are available free of charge on Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky’s website and will be distributed statewide to organizations serving families and children.

“As the nation recognizes June as National Internet Safety Month, the Kentucky State Police Electronic Crime Branch joins Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky in notifying parents about the risks involved with social media, online gaming and other internet use by distributing strategies to protect their kids from harm and exploitation,” said Lt. Mike Bowling, commander, Electronic Crime Branch Kentucky State Police. “Unfortunately, the Electronic Crime Branch has seen an 82% increase nationally (2021-2022) in the number of online enticement complaints, which is mainly due to the alarming spike in reports involving financial sextortion. KSP has received 14,491 total CyberTips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for Kentucky, compared to 4,989 in 2021. Cybercrimes are on the rise which is why KSP has developed these guidelines to help Kentucky parents keep their kids protected from those who wish to do harm to our most vulnerable population. KSP remains committed to doing everything necessary to protect our children and reduce electronic crimes. To achieve this mission, KSP calls upon all Kentuckians to contact law enforcement immediately if illegal activity is suspected or you are notified of harm to our children.”

Around 95% of teens have access to a smartphone, computer, tablet, gaming technology or other electronic device, making them a common and easily accessible tool for cyberbullying and exploitation.

Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky has been advocating for internet safety awareness and education for more than 15 years. This work includes a free online training, Electronic Crimes Against Children: How to Educate, Monitor, and Communicate Internet Safety, that provides insight into how perpetrators groom children online and what parents and caregivers can do to keep kids safe.

“Technology evolves so quickly, it is difficult for any caregiver to keep up with the latest potential threats or pitfalls facing kids online,” said PCAK Executive Director Jill Seyfred. “That’s why we work closely with the experts in the Electronic Crime Branch Kentucky State Police to ensure parents, school professionals and other caregivers know how to protect children and can effectively teach kids to protect themselves as well. We are proud to be at the forefront of this important work.”

Announcing our 2023 Kids Are Worth It! Conference Video Competition Finalists

Thank you to our Partners who participated in our Partner in Prevention Video Contest for our annual Kids Are Worth It Conference!  Watch the videos submitted by The Nest and the Kentucky State Police Victim Advocacy and Support Services and vote for your favorite by liking, commenting, or sharing their video.  The winner of our contest will be announced after May 15, and they will receive a free registration to #KAWI2023!


Kentucky Nonprofits Celebrate $75 Million Investment at State Capitol

Kentucky Nonprofit Network, the state association of nonprofits, returned to the state Capitol on March 9 after a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic to celebrate Nonprofit Day at the
Capitol and more specifically, celebrate the impact of a $75 million investment of State Fiscal Recovery Funds from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 in relief grants for eligible nonprofit organizations.
Lt. Governor Jacqueline Coleman, Senate President Pro Tempore David Givens, and Minority Caucus Chair Representative Cherylynn Stevenson were on hand for a rally in the Rotunda announcing the impact of the funding.

KY Nonprofit Network day at The Capitol, Wednesday March 8, 2023 in Frankfort, Ky. Photo by Shelly Dawn Fryman Mahan Multimedia
KY Nonprofit Network day at The Capitol, Wednesday March 8, 2023 in Frankfort, Ky. Photo by Shelly Dawn Fryman Mahan Multimedia
KY Nonprofit Network day at The Capitol, Wednesday March 8, 2023 in Frankfort, Ky. Photo by Shelly Dawn Fryman Mahan Multimedia

Read more about this historic investment in Kentucky’s nonprofit sector here.

We’re Hiring- Join our team in the Manager of Resource Development role!

Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky is hiring a Manager of Resource Development! We are seeking a passionate individual to move our mission forward by organizing special events, securing sponsorships, expanding our funding base, and developing sustainable relationships with supporters. This is a full-time salaried position with benefits that include health insurance, dental, a 401 (k) plan and generous holiday, vacation and sick leave.

Click the links below for more information on the position and how to apply.
Hiring Notice
Apply via Email
Apply via the Kentucky Nonprofit Network
Apply via LinkedIn
Contact Janna Estep Jordan with questions.

The Child Abuse Prevention Month Resource Guide

Child Abuse Prevention Month is just around the corner!

Join us during April, Child Abuse Prevention Month, as we continue building together for all children! Annually, April is declared Child Abuse Prevention Month by Presidential and Gubernatorial proclamation. Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky, along with our Prevent Child Abuse America sister chapters, as well as our 270+ member Partner in Prevention Network, work collaboratively across the nation and our respective states to ensure heightened awareness of child maltreatment and its prevention occurs throughout the month.We hope you join us as we plant seeds of support for all children during April.

View our Community Resource Guide below, which is full of materials and information to help you find the resources you need to get involved in Child Abuse Prevention Month 2023!

New this year: Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky Garden Kits

We are excited to introduce our Garden Kits ahead of Child Abuse Prevention Month!

Included in the kits will be garden flags, PCAK branded garden tools, and other educational materials!

We hope you will be able to get years of great use out of these awesome new products!

We are still working on finalizing pricing for the kits, so make sure to check our website and social media often for updates!

You can see the full list of items in the Garden Kits below.

  • Pinwheel Garden Flag
  • Soil Pucks
  • Biodegradable Pinwheel Planters
  • PCAK Branded Garden Tools
  • 2 Pinwheel Lapel Pins
  • “10 Things You Can Do to Prevent Child Abuse” Tip Sheet
  • About PCAK Brochure
  • “Thank you for participating in the Pinwheels for Prevention Campaign” Talking Points Tip Sheet (English and Spanish)

New PCAK Resources and CAPM Resource highlights

The Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky staff has been hard at work recently developing resources covering several topics to make available to our partners and supporters across the state.

We recently added nine resources to our Information and Data Center, many of which are available to the public on our digital downloads page.

The new materials are below:

  • “How are Families Impacted by Shift Work?” Brochure
  • “Understanding Abusive Head Trauma” postcard
  • “Why is My Child Acting Out?” Brochure
  • “10 Things You Can Do to Prevent Child Abuse” Tip Sheet
  • “Being a Male Role Model: How Can I Improve Outcomes for My Kids?” Tip Sheet
  • “Trauma Informed Practice for Attorneys” Downloadable information sheet and training opportunity
  • “What Should I Do? When A Child Talks About Child Sexual Abuse” Brochure

In preparation for Child Abuse Prevention Month, we also want to highlight some resources we think will be great assets to organizations throughout April. You can also find them on our digital downloads page.

  • “How to Prevent Childhood Drowning” Tip Sheet (available in English and Spanish)
  • “Safety and Awareness for Every BODY” Tip Sheet (available in English and Spanish)
  • Warm Fuzzies (available in English and Spanish)
  • “Effective Fatherhood Engagement” Tip Sheet
  • “Parenting Over 50” Tip Sheet
  • Prevention Pal Tip Sheet (available in English and Spanish)
  • Prevention Pal Stickers (available in English and Spanish)
  • “My Body When” Tip Sheets (available in English and Spanish)
    • Baby-Age two
    • Two-Five Years Old
    • Five-Eight Years Old
    • Nine-Twelve Years Old
    • Teenager
  • Home Safety Checklist (available in English and Spanish)

We also released resources made specifically for first responders at the scene of investigations involving children.

  • Responsibilities of First Responders at the Scene of a Child Fatality or Near Fatality – Extended Guidance
  • Child Fatality/Near Fatality Checklist

For more information, or to order checklists and booklets, free of charge, you can email

As part of the first responders checklist and booklet release, PCAK also created an educational video, which can be viewed here.