The Race, Community and Child Welfare (RCCW) initiative/project is a collaborative agreement between Casey Family Programs, the Kentucky Department for Community Based Services, and Kentucky Youth Advocates (KYA). The purpose is to build community awareness, desire, and capacity to address and rectify the disproportionate number of and disparate outcomes for African-American youth who enter, reside and exit out-of-home care (OOHC).
The counties currently involved in the RCCW initiative are Christian, Daviess, Fayette, Graves, Hardin, Jefferson, Kenton, and McCracken Counties. These communities are actively engaged in developing and implementing strategies to reduce the number of African-American youth entering out-of-home care and increase the number exiting OOHC.
In order to accomplish the overall goal, KYA initially conducted qualitative interviews among identified key stakeholders in each county to assess the community’s readiness and support level to accomplish the goal. County specific data profiles were developed so that data can guide the efforts of each RCCW team to focus on the greatest factors contributing to the racial disproportionality.
Casey Family Programs is the nation’s largest operating foundation focused entirely on foster care and improving the child welfare system. Founded in 1966 by United Parcel Service founder Jim Casey, Casey Family Programs works to provide and improve ─ and ultimately prevent the need for ─ foster care in the United States. As champions for change, Casey Family Programs is committed to their 2020 Strategy for America’s Children – a goal to safely reduce the number of children in foster care and improve the lives of those who remain in care.
Casey Family Programs has decades of front-line experience in foster care and is committed to helping states, counties and tribes implement effective child welfare practices. Casey Family Programs provides nonpartisan research and technical expertise to child welfare system leaders, members of Congress and state legislators so they may craft laws and policies to better the lives of children in foster care, children at risk of entering the system and their families.
The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Department for Community Based Services (DCBS), administers child protection and permanency and family support programs including adoption, child abuse, child care, child support, food stamps and foster care. DCBS receives calls from community members regarding suspected abuse and neglect, and they are charged with investigating the allegations and taking action to keep children safe. Within each county, the Service Region Administrator and local office staff are partnering with community members to achieve the goals of the RCCW project work.
Kentucky Youth Advocates (KYA) provides technical assistance to counties to reduce the overrepresentation of youth of color in the foster care system. KYA is a non-partisan, non-profit, children’s advocacy organization. KYA represents a voice for Kentucky’s most precious asset – its youth. KYA believes that Kentucky’s youth deserve the opportunities and resources necessary to ensure their productive development and health.