New initiative helps empower local faith-based, community and government groups to support vulnerable children and families
Media Contact: Nicole Burton
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 16, 2018) – First Lady Glenna Bevin today visited Owensboro for a community engagement event aimed at empowering local faith-based, community and government groups to support Kentucky’s vulnerable children and families. The event is part of the First Lady's new foster care and adoption initiative, “Uniting Daviess County: A Community of Care,” and featured officials from the Governor’s Office of Faith and Community Based Initiatives and Orphan Care Alliance.
“The support of the local community is critical to creating healthy environments for our most vulnerable children and families,” said the First Lady. “Matt and I are abundantly grateful for those citizens and organizations in Owensboro and across the Commonwealth who are committing to stand united alongside our foster and adoptive families. With the dedication and support of faith and community groups, Kentucky’s goal of having the best foster care and adoption system in the United States will quickly become a reality.”
This afternoon’s meeting at the H.L. Neblett Community Center provided details on important resources available to support, encourage and help meet the needs of children and families within the local community.
“We are excited to share with the wonderful people of Daviess County the great opportunity to come alongside vulnerable children and families to provide care and support,” said Chris Johnson, Special Advisor to the First Lady in the Governor’s Office of Faith and Community Based Initiatives. “There are so many ways to get involved. We look forward to seeing how this community is going to join with local partners to make a difference in the lives of others!”
"Our goal in Daviess County Family Court is to problem solve and find ways for families to be healthy and safe together," said Daviess County Family Court Judge Julie Hawes Gordon. "We live in a generous community of servant leaders eager to improve the future for our children. On behalf of Daviess Family Court, I am excited to partner with the First Lady's Community Engagement Initiative to bring our community together to support our most vulnerable children and families."
According to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health & Family Services (CHFS), there are currently more than 9,550 children in the Commonwealth’s foster care system. This includes a total of 137 youth in out-of-home care within Daviess County — 15 aging out of foster care, 28 available for adoption, 29 in kinship care and 90 with the goal of reunification.
“I think it is great that the First Lady is gathering government, faith-based and community resources together to care for the children of Kentucky,” said Darren Washausen, Executive Director of Orphan Care Alliance. “No one organization can provide all that is needed, so working together is the way to solve this growing concern in our state.
“Our communities will need to pull together if we are to make a meaningful impact for the children of Kentucky. There are ways for everyone to engage, and it will take all of us. I applaud the First Lady for creating this initiative that targets the areas of most need in Kentucky and calling for those in the community to find their role.”
For more information or to participate in the First Lady’s “Uniting the Community” initiative, please contact info@UnitingKentucky.org.