Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky Provides Guidance for Educators in Unprecedented Times of COVID-19

Lexington, KY – Teachers across the state are learning to get creative in the way they engage with their students. From car parades, to virtual classrooms, to Skype tutoring, Kentucky’s educators are stepping up to the challenges that come with the COVID-19 pandemic. To make the transition to the virtual classroom a little smoother, Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky, a statewide nonprofit dedicated to the prevention of the abuse and neglect of children, has created a guided toolkit with prevention tips for educators. 

“Teachers are the heart of their community. They have stepped up, in unprecedented times, to make certain every child in Kentucky has access to quality education. This toolkit, provided by PCAK, is a wonderful resource for our educators.” said Lieutenant Governor Jacqueline Coleman.

All Kentucky residents are mandated reporters of child abuse and neglect. However, according to U.S. Department of  Health and Human Services, the highest amount of reports of child abuse and neglect come from educators. With fewer eyes on children and higher risks of abuse for families in isolation and extreme stress, teachers can change children’s lives with the decisions they make every day.

“Families need social connections, but necessary COVID-19 prevention guidelines have made it difficult for families to sustain these connections,” said Executive Director Jill Seyfred. “Educators are playing a vital lifeline for students and their families.”

Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky’s toolkit for educators holds advice for assessing the safety of families, helping children cope with crisis, at-home activities for students, and resources to assist in virtual learning.

“The physical distancing currently impacting our lives has underscored the important role educators play in the lives of Kentucky’s children. We hope this guide provides some helpful tips to make educators’ jobs just a little easier, as they in, turn, help shape the lives of our future leaders.” 

To view the educators’ resource toolkit and to learn more about PCAK’s mission, please visit www.pcaky.org

Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky is the Commonwealth’s leading nonprofit committed to the prevention of the abuse and neglect of Kentucky’s children through advocacy, awareness, education and training. Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky serves parents and families to ensure healthy, safe environments for all children, they are the Kentucky affiliate of Prevent Child Abuse America.

Una lección mas de la pandemia: como el Censo ayuda a los mas vulnerables entre nosotros

La pandemia del coronavirus nos ha provisto un numero de lecciones para nosotros como individuos, como miembros de la comunidad, y como nación. Hemos aprendido lecciones importantes como lo que es mantener la distancia social y cómo ponerla a prueba, al igual de lecciones básicas como cuánto papel higiénico usa una familia al mes.  Otra lección que es más clara ahora para nosotros es: qué tanto impregna el censo decenal las instituciones, programas, y servicios de los que dependemos, especialmente los más vulnerables entre nosotros.

Esperamos ya hayan escuchado del censo decenal, el cual se hace cada 10 años y de acuerdo con la constitución requiere contar a todos los residentes en los Estados Unidos.  Mientras que el censo fue creado para determinar cuántos asientos cada estado recibe en la Cámara de Representantes de los Estados Unidos, el censo ahora se usa para mucho más, incluyendo cómo 1.5 trillones de dólares son alocados cada año a los gobiernos estatales y locales, organizaciones sin fines de lucro, negocios, y hogares en toda la nación.

Esto incluye fondos para asistencia de salud pública (Medicare, Medicaid, y el programa de Children’s Health Insurance) y cuidado de salud (por medio de subsidios a hospitales y clínicas) – los cuales son siempre importantes, pero aún más en situaciones críticas como esta.  Esto también incluye subsidios para asistencia alimenticia como WIC, SNAP, y almuerzos en las escuelas, los cuales muchos distritos escolares están poniendo a la disposición de familias para que los estudiantes no pasen hambre mientras las escuelas están cerradas.

Para los estudiantes universitarios que son parte del sistema de hogares de tránsito, los estados usan los subsidios federales para ayudarles a encontrar alternativas de vivienda especialmente a los que tiene que abandonar los dormitorios y no pueden regresa a casa con la familia.  Todos estos subsidios son basados en los datos del censo.  Y la lista continúa…

De hecho, hay mas de 300 flujos de subsidios federales que usan los datos del censo para determinar como dividir los 1.5 trillones de dólares, pero Kentucky no recibe la porción justa que le corresponde por información incorrecta del censo porque miles de residentes no fueron censados.  Sabemos que los niños fueron los menos contados: por lo menos 12,500 niños menores de 5 años en Kentucky no fueron censado en el 2010.  Este bajo recuento le costó a nuestro estado más de $12 millones cada año en subsidios para cinco de los muchos programas federales que son críticos para el bienestar de los niños. Un conteo incorrecto de los niños es un error que dura 10 años – la mayoría de su niñez.

Hay dos pasos fáciles a seguir para asegurar que cada niño en Kentucky sea contado:

  1. Asegúrate de responder al censo del 2020 en cuanto llegue la invitación a tu casa (cuenta todos los bebes y niños que viven ahí), y
  2. Pasa la voz con tus parientes, vecinos, compañeros de trabajo sobre la importancia de que ellos participen también.

Completar el censo es rápido, seguro y fácil de hacer desde la comodidad de tu hogar.

Cuando tu hogar reciba la invitación (revisa tu buzón), sólo tomará 10 minutos para responder en internet (my2020census.gov) o por teléfono en uno de los 13 idiomas disponibles.  Sus respuestas al censo son privadas y NO serán compartidas con nadie – no serán compartidas con oficiales de la policía, agencias de inmigración, propietarios de vivienda, u oficinas de beneficios públicos.  Cualquier empleado actual o anterior del departamento del Censo que divulgue información personal puede ir a prisión por hasta cinco años o ser multado hasta $250,000.

Para más información sobre el censo del 2020 visita countmeinky2020.com o 2020census.gov.  Contemos a todos en Kentucky.

Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky Pledges to Assist Families through Basic Needs Funding and Support Amidst COVID-19

Lexington, KY – Many families are struggling to make ends meet in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky (PCAK), a statewide nonprofit dedicated to the prevention of the abuse and neglect of children, is selling t-shirts in honor of Child Abuse Prevention Month with proceeds benefiting basic needs funding for struggling families.

“We know through research and experience the risk of child abuse and neglect increases drastically under circumstances of extreme stress or uncertainty,” said Executive Director Jill Seyfred. “The COVID-19 pandemic is the perfect storm – with families facing extreme social isolation, financial instability and stress, we knew we could step in and help struggling families.”

With t-shirts PCAK had purchased to sell throughout the month of April, Child Abuse Prevention Month, the nonprofit is instead raising money to distribute to families through partnering direct service providers, including their parent education provider network. The t-shirts, designed by Grant County Elementary student Kaylee Muse, will be sold at-cost, for just $15 each, with tax and shipping already included in the price. All proceeds will assist families by providing them with basic needs, such as groceries assistance with utilities and rent payments.

“Now is the time we need to rally around families and children more than ever before,” Seyfred said. “As a state and as a community, there are actions we can all take to decrease the risk children will face throughout the pandemic.”

PCAK has developed a toolkit for educators with tips to connect with their students while they are not physically in the classroom, as well as developing an activity calendar for parents to follow throughout the month. A resource toolkit for parents and caregivers is also in the develop-mental stages and will be released before the end of April.

In the meantime, PCAK offers this advice for parents and caregivers to provide stability for children during these unstable times:

• Maintain a schedule that promote appropriate bedtimes, schoolwork, mealtimes, hygiene and exercise. Make sure you include time for family fun!

• Limit electronics, gaming and TV. Limit your family’s exposure to social media and news coverage. Ensure everyone is practicing internet safety.

• Enjoy being outside, while practicing physical distancing. Go for a walk, play catch or explore the seasonal changes and check out new blooms and plants.

• If you feel yourself becoming frustrated or stressed, you are not alone. Take a time out and practice self-care. Contact a friend or neighbor if you are feeling overwhelmed and need to talk.

• Let children talk about their worries. Share your coping skills with children. Ask your children what helps them feel better when they are anxious.

• Take this opportunity to teach life skills to children and youth. This can include laundry, cooking, washing a car, or building something.

“Even if you don’t have children, you can still join our prevention efforts by purchasing a shirt, saying hello to your neighbors from across the street, checking-in with family members, planting a home pinwheel garden, or donating to PCAK,” said Seyfred. “Everyone can prevent child abuse and neglect, especially now.”

To learn more about PCAK, find COVID-19 resources for professionals, parents and caregivers, purchase a shirt or home pinwheel garden, or to donate to their cause, visit www.pcaky.org.

Covid-19 Resources

We’re here for you.

During this time of uncertainty, we know many parents, caregivers and professionals are struggling. We want to be here for you and assure you that you are not alone. We’re all in this together KY. That’s why for the next few weeks, we’ll be continuing our mission of prevention by offering resources, activities and support. If at any point you need a listening ear or resource referral beyond what is provided below, please call us at 1.800.CHILDREN – a free, confidential, resource referral and helpline. 

We are #TeamKentucky. 

Kentucky specific resources:

Professionals and self-care:

Parents and Children:

Social Connections are more important than ever…

Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky knows social connections are key to preventing child abuse and neglect. To help make staying connected despite physical distance a little easier, we have developed this “Hey Neighbor!” Card Give this to your neighbor, a family who just moved in or someone you may think needs encouragement. We are all in this together. 

During this time of instability, it is important to provide children support, security and HOPE. Check out this blog post from Dr. Bob Sege, MD to learn more about HOPE-informed approaches to the restrictions from COVID-19. 

One More Lesson from the Pandemic: How the Census Provides for the Most Vulnerable Among Us

The coronavirus pandemic has provided a number of lessons for us as individuals, as community members, and as a country. We’ve learned serious lessons like what social distancing is and how to practice it, as well as lighter lessons like how much toilet paper our families use in a month. Another lesson that has become increasingly clear to us: how much the decennial census permeates the institutions, programs, and services we rely on, especially the most vulnerable among us.

Hopefully you’ve heard about the decennial census, which is a constitutionally required count of every resident in the U.S. that takes place every 10 years. While the census was originally created in order to determine how many seats each state gets in the U.S. House of Representatives, the census is now used for so much more, including how $1.5 trillion is allocated each year to state and local governments, nonprofits, businesses, and households across the nation.

That includes funding for public health coverage (Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program) and healthcare (through grants to hospitals and clinics)—which are always important, but even more crucial during a crisis like this. It also includes funding for food assistance like WIC, SNAP, and school lunch programs, which many school districts are now making available to families through pick-up sites so students don’t go hungry during school closures.

College students who spent time in the foster care system? States can use federal funding to help find alternative housing for those being evacuated from college dorms with no family to go home to. That funding is based on census data. And the list goes on and on….

In fact, there are more than 300 federal funding streams that use census data to determine how that $1.5 trillion is divided up, but Kentucky doesn’t get its fair share of the pie if the census data is incorrect because thousands of residents weren’t counted. We know young children are missed the most: at least 12,500 Kentucky children under age 5 were missed in the 2010 census. This undercount cost our state more than $12 million every year in funding from just five of the many federal programs critical to child well-being. An inaccurate count of young children is a mistake that lasts 10 years – most of their childhood.

There are two simple steps each of us can take right now to ensure every Kentuckian gets counted:

1) Make sure your household responds to the 2020 census as soon as you get invited (and count all babies and children living there), and

2) Spread the word to your relatives, friends, neighbors and coworkers it is important their households also participate.

Completing the census is quick, safe, and easy to do from the comfort of your own home.

When your household receives its invitation (by the end of this week), it will take only 10 minutes to respond online (my2020census.gov) or by phone in one of 13 languages. Your census answers are private and NOT shared with anyone – not law enforcement, not immigration agencies, not landlords, and not public benefits offices. Any current or former Census Bureau employee that releases individual data can go to prison for up to five years or pay a fine of up to $250,000.

For more information on the 2020 census visit countmeinky2020.com or 2020census.gov. Let’s get counted Kentucky!

Our Top 10 Moments and the Annual Report for 2018

As the year comes to a close, we reflect on donors, staff, volunteers, and community partners who have made a difference in preventing child maltreatment and strengthening families throughout Kentucky in 2019.

10. INCREASING OUR PRESENCE ON SOCIAL MEDIA TO A TOTAL OF 10,099 ACROSS ALL PLATFORMS. WE THINK SOCIAL MEDIA IS HERE TO STAY!

9. WORKING WITH 236 PARTNERS IN PREVENTION TO HELP MOVE OUR MISSION FORWARD.

8. OBTAINING PARTICIPATION FROM EACH OF KY’S 120 COUNTIES IN OUR CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH, TO INCLUDE 453 ACTIVITIES/EVENTS(THANKS TO WELLCARE HEALTH PLANSFOR THEIR SUPPORT THROUGH COMMUNITY MINI-GRANTS). THE MONTH WAS LAUNCHED BY KEYNOTE SPEAKERS, (NOW) GOVERNOR BESHEAR AND TREASURER ALLISON BALL AT A KICK-OFF AT THE CAPITOL.

7. PROVIDING 112 TRAININGS AND PRESENTATIONS TO 4,979 PEOPLE; AND DISTRIBUTING 157,393 RESOURCES AND MATERIALS STATEWIDE.

6.  PROVIDING 15,495 INCIDENTS OF SERVICE THROUGH OUR PARENT EDUCATION PROGRAMS. PARENTS DEMONSTRATED SIGNIFICANT POSITIVE CHANGES IN ALL FIVE AREAS OF PARENTING AND CHILD REARING BEHAVIORS ASSESSED IN THESE PROGRAMS.

5. SECURING FUNDING FROM THE CHILD VICTIM’S TRUST FUND TO ASSESS WHAT WE SAY, HOW WE SAY IT, AND PROVIDE A NEW TOOLKIT TO ENCOURAGE MESSAGES THAT POINT TO PREVENTION SOLUTIONS FOR CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE.

4. OFFERING THE 23RD ANNUAL KIDS ARE WORTH IT! CONFERENCE WITH 639 ATTENDEES FROM 88 COUNTIES.

3. PARTICIPATING IN A SMALL, BUT MIGHTY, COALITION OF AGENCIES WHO LAUNCHED THE COMMONWEALTH CENTER FOR FATHERS AND FAMILIES – MOTHERS AND FATHERS MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN A CHILD’S LIFE!

2. WORKING WITH WELLCARE HEALTH PLANS, INC AND THE KY HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION TO DISTRIBUTE A VIDEO ONSAFE SLEEP AND PEDIATRIC ABUSIVE HEAD TRAUMA PREVENTION – WE HOPE NEW PARENTS IN EACH OF KY’S 46 BIRTHING HOSPITALS WILL BE IMPACTED BY THIS VIDEO.

1. AND, MOST IMPORTANTLY – ACTING AS GOOD STEWARDS OF DONATED FUNDS, WITH .84 OF EVERY $1 DONATED GOING TOWARDS STATEWIDE PREVENTION PROGRAMS AND SERVICES.

WITH A GIFT OF $243 YOU WILLPROVIDE SUPPORT FOR FAMILIES CALLING 1.800.CHILDREN FOR AN ENTIRE MONTH. 

WITH A GIFT OF $146 YOU WILL PROVIDE540 NEW PARENTS INFORMATION ON THE DANGERS OF SHAKING A BABY. 

WITH A GIFT OF $72 YOU WILL PROVIDE500 KENTUCKIANS RESOURCES TO RECOGNIZE, REPORT AND PREVENT CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT. 

THANK YOU FOR MAKING OUR MISSION OF PREVENTING CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT ONE OF YOUR PRIORITIES. WE COULDN’T DO OUR WORK WITHOUT SUPPORTERS LIKE YOU. 

DOWNLOAD THE 2019 ANNUAL REPORT

Support Child Abuse Prevention Now!

THE KENTUCKY CHAPTER OF PREVENT CHILD ABUSE AMERICA.