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Workers concerned about outdated "Safe Place" signs

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - If you've lived in Central Kentucky very long, you're probably familiar with the yellow, diamond-shaped "Safe Place" sign often posted outside of fire stations, libraries, and other public places. Arbor Youth Services, who designate the training for a Safe Place, say that there are some places where these signs are out of date, and that may not be actually designated a "Safe Place".

Shaquita Andrews of Arbor Youth Services works with certifying Safe Places. Andrews says the Safe Place designation is good for a year, and then employees have to be retrained on the proper procedures to maintain their certification. The problem, she says, is that some businesses are letting their certification lapse, but not taking down signage. They say it should be easy to tell because the old signs, showing two people hugging, were phased out about a year ago.

"They go up to that establishment thinking it is a current safe place site," Andrews said, "and then they're not able to get the resources and the help they need."

In fact, she says the Lexington day care where police say a child was abused still had an out-of-date Safe Place sign out front.

"We have made attempts to reach out to them over the past year, including knocking on their door and talking to them and we've not been able to get that sign removed," said Stephanie Spires, executive director of Arbor Youth Services.

She says she's had trouble getting some places to either remove the signs or get recertified. Spires says if children go to something thinking it's Safe Place-certified, but actually isn't, there could be problems.

"There's a lot of training that goes in to this to make sure that they do not re-traumatize these children who are already suffering emotionally," says Spires.

The updated sign is yellow and says 'Safe Place' with a small shelter in the middle, and children can seek help at these locations.

The sign from the daycare in Lexington was removed on Thursday.


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