Report takes a closer look at childhood experiences

By: Michelle Heron Email
By: Michelle Heron Email

HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) A new report is giving us a closer look at what it means to be a child in the first eight years of life.

The KIDS COUNT report shows Kentucky is tied with Montana for having the highest percentage of kids who have had three or more adverse childhood experiences.

“It really gives nationally and also for us in Kentucky a deep and thoughtful look at what it means to be three years old or six years old in Kentucky,” Executive Director of Kentucky Youth Advocates Dr. Terry Brooks said.

The report uses in adverse childhood experience or ACE Scale as a measuring tool inside the report.

“We know if a child goes through a divorce, if a parent passes away, if a parent is incarcerated, if a child lives at home with mental illness or substance abuse, if a child is exposed to violence, if not directly, if they witness violence.. We know on a hunch, those have very powerful and very negative effects on kids,” Brooks added.

A local program is working to combat these statistics though, called HANDS, which focuses on parent-child interaction.

“We provide support to the parents, we give them activities. There’s a curriculum that we use, the GGK Curriculum. We provide them with hand outs and activities based on their physical and brain development,” HANDS Supervisor Tracy Stacy said.

The program is offered free of charge through your local health department. For more information, just click on the links below.

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