Nearly $1 Million Awarded to Teach Young Kentuckians Parenting, Finance Skills.

Award will develop responsible parenting and economic mobility interventions for teens, young adults

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 10, 2020) – Eight states, including Kentucky, have been tapped by the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families (ACF) to develop nine programs that educate teens and young adults who do not yet have children about the financial, legal and emotional responsibilities of parenthood. The agencies will collaborate with youth job development programs, foster care transition services, juvenile justice agencies, teen pregnancy prevention programs, community colleges and public schools to integrate child support and responsible parenting education into a wide range of youth-centered systems.

“As the dad of a 10- and 11-year-old, I know personally that parenting is the hardest and most rewarding job in the world,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “That’s true under any circumstances, but if Kentuckians become parents at a young age, they will face additional challenges as they balance their own educational, career and personal goals with their children’s needs, sometimes with limited financial resources. That balance has only become more difficult to achieve during the COVID-19 pandemic, when so many Kentuckians have lost work and child care options. Programs like these help make sure our young people are fully informed before taking on the responsibilities that come with being a parent.”

The Kentucky Department of Income Support (DIS), an agency of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, has been awarded $942,294 for fiscal year 2021 to advance this demonstration project. DIS will advance this effort in partnership with the University of Louisville’s Kent School of Social Work, the Louisville Urban League and the Louisville Metro Office of Resilience and Community Resources (Neighborhood Place), Jefferson County Public Schools and their Family Resource Center Coordinators.

“We are pleased that Kentucky will be participating in the three-year project, called Charting a Course for Responsible Parenting and Economic Mobility Demonstration,” said Eric Friedlander, secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. “This investment will help Kentucky teens and young adults gain the knowledge, skills and access to resources likely to lead to success in pursuit of life goals, economic mobility and responsible parenting.”

Steve Veno, commissioner of the Department for Income Support, said the first year of demonstration participation will focus on refining the program design, evaluation plans and curricula and formalizing collaborative partnerships with public and private agencies serving teens and young adults. Pilot testing will also be a part of the first year. Years two and three will be devoted to implementation, tracking, evaluation and refining program activities.

“Program activities will help teens and young adults make more informed decisions in their relationships, so that if and when they become parents, they are as prepared as possible for that special yet challenging role,” Veno added.

Other states awarded participation include Colorado, Iowa, Georgia, Minnesota, Missouri (two projects), Ohio and Texas.


University of Louisville Project Abstract: Sexual Awareness, Values and Generational Empowerment Project

Children represented in Title IV-D caseloads are disproportionately born to unmarried parents. Many of these parents face significant challenges with regard to paternity establishment, child support compliance, and securing visitation. In response, several state child support agencies have developed educational interventions aimed at assisting youth in following the “success sequence” in which they achieve their educational goals, get married, and have children in chronological order. However, not all youth have access to the relevant educational, social and vocational resources to reach their goals. Therefore, the proposed project, the Sexual Awareness, Values, and Generational Empowerment project represents a partnership between the Kentucky Department of Income Support-Child Support Enforcement and the Kent School of Social Work to provide adolescents residing in Louisville, Kentucky with a comprehensive intervention featuring group-based workshops, individualized case management, and peer mentoring services. These services will be provided to increase participants’ knowledge regarding the social, legal and economic implications of parenting; connect them to supportive resources in pursuit of their post high school or career goals; and to equip them with the skills needed to make positive decisions regarding their romantic relationships. To test the effectiveness of these services, the proposed project will also include an evaluation featuring an experimental research design that will produce results to inform the field and advance the state of knowledge in the area of youth development.

Grant Sponsor: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Support Enforcement

Grant period: September 2020-September 2023

Funding amount: $942,294 (Kent School Subaward-$668,447)

Kent School Key Personnel:
Armon R. Perry, Ph.D., MSW (PI/Project Director)
Cheri Langley, Ph.D., MPH, CHES
Danielle Whiteside, MSC, Marriage and Family Therapy Associate
William Mack, BA


State press release source: 

National press release can be read here