Beshear: Nearly $220,000 in Grants Awarded to Prevent Child Abuse

Nearly $220,000 in grant funding from the Child Victims’ Trust Fund (CVTF) has been allocated to help child sexual abuse prevention organizations protect children across the state, Attorney General Andy Beshear has announced.

Beshear said the Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Prevention Board, attached to the Office of the Attorney General, announced grant recipients for the 2020 fiscal year, which begins July 1, 2019.

The state’s 15 Children’s Advocacy Centers will receive in excess of $74,000 to cover costs related to more than 990 child sexual abuse medical exams.

Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky will receive $33,078 for statewide prevention programming. Three regional programs: south central Kentucky’s Phoenix Rising Inc., northern Kentucky’s Family Nurturing Center and western Kentucky’s Child Watch Counseling and Advocacy Center will receive more than $85,000.

The fund also provides $25,000 to organizations hosting conferences related to preventing child sexual abuse. Organizations can apply for sponsorships in amounts up to $5,000 by filling out the application at icareaboutkids.ky.gov under the “How We Help” tab.

“Protecting Kentucky’s greatest resource – our children – has been my priority,” Beshear said. “Donations to the Child Victims’ Trust fund are awarded to organizations that have a proven track record of protecting children, because we want to make sure they have the resources they need to continue to help victims and prevent child sexual abuse.”

Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky received $33,078 for “Reinventing Our Message: Phase II,” a statewide project building upon the fiscal year 2019 CVTF-supported program.

“The funding will help propel our messaging around child sexual abuse prevention,” Jill Seyfred, director of Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky, said. “This effort will be the first of its kind in the nation to launch a statewide re-messaging campaign aimed at the prevention of child sexual abuse.”

Phoenix Rising Inc. received $10,446 for its “Warrior Conference and Wise Choices Trainings” program, serving Allen, Barren, Butler, Edmonson, Hart, Logan, Metcalfe, Monroe, Simpson and Warren counties. The program includes a conference series and a six-week human trafficking and exploitation prevention program targeted at children ages 6 to 18 and adults.

“Phoenix Rising would like to thank CVTF and the Kentuckians who donate for their ongoing support of life-changing programming,” Dr. Azurdee M. Garland, founder and executive director of Phoenix Rising Inc., said. “This grant will help us educate, mentor and encourage kids affected by human trafficking and exploitation. We look forward to another year providing services to our kids.”

Family Nurturing Center received $56,000 in funding for its “Stewards of Children” prevention and reporting training programs, serving Boone, Campbell, Grant and Kenton counties. This funding will provide 225 Stewards of Children trainings in the community to 3,000 adults.

“We are so grateful for the continued support and generosity of the Child Victims’ Trust Fund,” Jane Herms, executive director of the Family Nurturing Center, said. “This partnership allows us to leverage other funding and work together to end child sexual abuse in our region.”

Child Watch Counseling and Advocacy Center received $19,600 in funding for its “Safety Tools and Golden Rules” program, serving Ballard, Caldwell, Calloway, Carlisle, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Livingston, Marshall and McCracken counties, and will provide sexual abuse prevention training to more than 12,000 children and 300 campers of the Kentucky Sheriffs’ Boys and Girls Ranch.

“Children have the right to be safe, which means learning at an early age to recognize abuse and the steps to take to prevent or stop it,” Janie Criner, executive director of Child Watch Counseling and Advocacy Center, said. “We are beyond excited to partner with Attorney General Beshear again this year for this critically important program.”

Since Beshear took office, CVTF has allocated more than $610,000 to support child sexual abuse prevention programs and helped to pay for more than 2,700 child sexual abuse medical exams.

A donation to the Child Victims’ Trust Fund can be made in three ways: through a private donation; purchase of an “I Care About Kids” license plate or a donation made through the state income tax refund check-off program.​​​​​​​​​​​

Beshear reminds Kentuckians that everyone has a moral and legal duty to report any suspicion of child abuse to local law enforcement or to Kentucky’s Child Abuse Hotline at 877-597-2331 or 877-KYSAFE1.