March 01, 2024

Maryhurst kids advocate in Frankfort on behalf of foster children statewide

Maryhurst residents meet with lawmakers from the House and Senate to champion the needs of foster children throughout the Commonwealth

A steadfast group of young people from Maryhurst’s residential program spent the day in Frankfort advocating for the needs of foster children throughout the Commonwealth. These young people are taking action at the capitol championing these needs and making Kentucky a better place for youth experiencing hardship and who need help.


Maryhurst kids met with Representatives Stalker (District 32) and Herron (District 42) as well as Senator Neal (District 33). As a result of these meetings, Maryhurst kids hope that their stories can help inform lawmakers about the realities of the child welfare system in Kentucky and humanize the needs of children across the Commonwealth.


These 3 residents have worked to determine discussion points and practice their delivery to lawmakers. These discussion topics include:


  • Better options available for people who have survived abuse and are seeking protection;
  • Increased resources for foster parent recruitment and foster home environment standards and
  • Exploring options for children to exercise autonomy in foster care placements.


“Our residents are using their collective voice to advocate for the betterment of the child welfare system in Kentucky,” shares Paula Garner, Maryhurst chief executive officer. “These young people are championing their needs, and we are incredibly proud of their efforts in Frankfort today.”


More than twelve out of every one thousand children in Kentucky will suffer abuse annually – close to twice the national average according to the latest Child Maltreatment Report from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Additionally, about 8,000 Kentucky children live in impermanence after being removed from their families. These discussions at the State’s capitol will work to keep child welfare at the top of mind for lawmakers throughout this legislative session and beyond.


While Maryhurst is known for its residential treatment programs that provide passionate care for children to heal from trauma, Maryhurst’s Renewal program works in the community partnering with children and families providing therapy and support services. Maryhurst Renewal exists to expand access to quality behavioral health services before crisis, ultimately preserving families and creating a pathway to success for youth and adults in their homes, schools, and neighborhoods. Maryhurst’s goal is to reach additional local families earlier through the Renewal program to provide the right combination of support.


Both Maryhurst and its youth residents are committed to improving children’s lived experience in Kentucky. Maryhurst works to strengthen and empower families in greatest need, and the kids' visit to Frankfort shows their commitment to making Kentucky a better place for children and families.

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