LETTER TO THE EDITOR

A Letter to the Community:

“When I lay down at night, I wonder what life would be like to have a daddy that would teach me to ride a bike. Or a mommy I could bake cookies with. I wonder what life would be like if yelling was replaced with laughing and hitting was replaced with hugging. What if I could just play with my toys instead of making sure my baby sister is fed? What if I could lie down in a warm bed knowing I am safe? I know I come broken, hurt and hopeless. I know it will be hard sometimes for both of us. Would you even want me?”

Kentucky averages 9,750 children in foster care at any given moment. Each child in that statistic has a name, face and story. With abuse and neglect being the “why” for any child who comes into care, we can’t sit still any longer and accept that the future of our state lies with broken, hurt and hopeless youth.

During this immensely challenging time, a significant number of Kentucky’s at-risk youth have been impacted by the social distancing guidelines and widespread closures of schools, daycares, and activities that have isolated them from caregivers outside the home. These restrictions have put our at-risk youth further away from our community members. This is important because our community is the voice for these children and report signs of abuse and neglect. As daycares, schools, activities and businesses reopen, we expect an increase of these abuse and neglect referrals.

You may be wondering what you can do to help these children and how you can make a difference in the lives of Kentucky’s youth. Become a foster parent! We urge you to consider opening your heart and home with StepStone Family & Youth Services. StepStone is a therapeutic foster care agency that licenses foster parents and respite providers to provide safe, caring homes for at-risk youth who are in care. We provide the training and support necessary to help you meet the unique needs of these children.

With your help, we can provide a safe and stable environment for at-risk youth in care that promotes normalcy and stability to overcome their trauma. Children are resilient and with your care they have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Are you ready to make a difference? Find out more information at www.StepStoneYouth.com or call our local office at (270) 527-8388.

Most sincerely,

Kristen Rudesill

StepStone Family & Youth