FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – A new program designed to provide early intervention and protection for neglected and abused children in families affected by substance use disorder was unveiled at a press conference on Tuesday.
Volunteers of America and the state’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services are joining together in the Family Recovery Program, which will begin as a pilot program in Clay, Hardin and Lincoln counties to support families with drug-addicted parents and are being supervised by the Cabinet’s Department for Community Based Services.
VOA Mid-States President and CEO Jennifer Hancock said, “Volunteers of America knows how to provide life-changing support for families struggling with substance use disorder, and we know we can make a difference for families who need the right resources and assistance to stay safe, healthy, and united. We know the Family Recovery Program can protect kids, strengthen families, and build better, healthier communities.”
As part of the program, VOA staff and clinicians will share space at local DCBS offices in the three counties. They will provide assessments and recommendations for care, make links to treatment, participate in prevention planning, and coordinate case management with the treatment provider and the DCBS team.
The goal is to provide an alternative to out of home placements for children, by keeping families unified while providing necessary treatment and support.
Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman said, “Every child is worthy of our respect, our support, and when necessary, our protection. The governor, myself, and everyone on Team Kentucky, is working to produce a future worthy of the greatest potential of every Kentucky child.”
VOA says they hope to address the nearly 10,000 children who are currently in out-of-home placement. In Clay County, nearly 10% of children are in out-of-home placement, where substance use disorder contributed to, or was a risk factor, in two-thirds of those cases.
The University of Louisville Kent School of Social Work will assess the pilot program to determine its effectiveness and possible expansion to other parts of the state.