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Health and Family Services Cabinet
State Announces $80,000 Grant for McCracken Drug Treatment Services; Funding will help families at risk for child abuse

Press Release Date:  Thursday, November 30, 2006  
Contact Information:  Anya Armes Weber, (502) 564-6180 or Vikki Franklin, (502) 564-7042  

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 30, 2006) – The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) today presented an $80,000 check to McCracken County officials for a substance abuse prevention and early intervention initiative.

The funding will be used to provide in-home services to McCracken County families impacted by drug addiction. The grant is from the CHFS Department for Community Based Services (DCBS), the cabinet’s child welfare and family services agency.

A $50,000 grant specifically provides in-home services for families at-risk because of substance abuse and early intervention case management from local providers.

The remaining $30,000 goes toward child care assistance for parents in treatment.

Governor Ernie Fletcher praised the project and said community leaders can use this grant to help change the lives of many area children.

“Children of substance abusers are at risk in their own homes,” he said. “This grant may mean new beginnings for several Western Kentucky families.”

CHFS Secretary Mark D. Birdwhistell said the grant indicates the department’s stronger approach toward enhancing the prevention-related resources that target child safety, family preservation and reunification.  

“This funding gives the Paducah community the means to better remove the barriers that keep so many parents from getting treatment for an alcohol or drug abuse problem,” Birdwhistell said.

Tom Emberton Jr., DCBS commissioner and acting undersecretary for Children and Family Services, said DCBS is strengthening its efforts in local community partnerships that target substance abuse prevention and treatment for parents. The goals are to reduce the rate of children’s re-entry into foster care and the number of chemically dependent parents.

DCBS will provide intensive case management services to chemically dependent parents of children at risk, with the goal of reunifying the family.

A community planning team will develop child abuse and neglect prevention programs and community partnership activities to keep families together.

Emberton said a high number of DCBS clients are affected by drug issues. More than 80 percent of children removed from their homes and placed in state care are from families with substance abuse problems.

“Beyond protecting children who are already affected, we want to reduce the factors that put kids at risk for being removed from an unsafe home,” Emberton said. 

Primary prevention services will include parent education classes open to anyone in the community and family support programs. Prevention activities will be targeted at families that have one or more risk factors including substance abuse, teen parents, parents of special needs children, single parents and low-income households. Secondary prevention services include parent education classes targeted for high-risk parents, respite care for parents of a child with a disability, or home visiting programs for new parents.

“Substance abuse has ill effects on every area of family life, and the state often pays to remedy those issues,” he said. “Through better prevention and treatment efforts, we can save money and preserve families before they get to a point of desperate need.”

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Last Updated 11/30/2006