April 4

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time to recognize the important role that communities play in protecting our children. According to the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, in 2012, an estimated 686,000 children were victims of abuse and neglect nationwide. Additionally, statistics show that most of these children were abused by someone they know and trust. In Kentucky, I am committed to ensuring that programs serving our most vulnerable children are funded.

In March, I had the opportunity to unveil ICareAboutKids.ky.gov, a newly-designed website created for the Child Victims’ Trust Fund (CVTF). The CVTF provides necessary funding to regional and statewide child sexual abuse programs. As your Attorney General, I proudly serve as chair of the Child Sexual Abuse Exploitation Prevention (CSAEP) Board, which administers the CVTF.

ICareAboutKids.ky.gov allows Kentuckians to support the CVTF with just a few clicks of the mouse. Your donation helps fund evidence-based programs that provide our children with personal safety skills, teach adults how to keep kids safe from sexual abuse and exploitation, and educate the public on how to report suspected child abuse, which Kentucky law requires. As the parent of two young daughters, I want to ensure that the public has access to this crucial information. The "I Care About Kids" website is the focus of my latest column, and I hope you take time this month to read it and also visit ICareAboutKids.ky.gov to learn more about how you can help us fund programs that are truly making a difference. My column is available online here.

Today I met with fellow members of the Substance Abuse Treatment Advisory Committee during our public meeting held at the Capitol. We received a great response from community groups and treatment providers that submitted ideas on how to best utilize approximately $20 million allocated for juvenile substance abuse treatment grants through the KY Kids Recovery program. The grants will be used to help expand treatment beds at existing facilities across Kentucky and create new juvenile treatment programs. The committee is currently reviewing the submissions and will invite the best responses to submit a second formal proposal. Additional information on KY Kids Recovery is available here.

Earlier this week, I was invited to teach a class at my alma mater’s Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. It was such an honor to receive the invitation. I enjoyed speaking with a group of very bright and talented students about current issues involving civil rights and social change.

Finally, I want to wish the University of Kentucky Wildcats good luck as they prepare to take on Wisconsin during Saturday night’s Final Four matchup in Dallas. Let’s bring another national title back to the Commonwealth!