Kentucky CARES campaign to help improve student care, wellbeing

Kentucky CARES stands for Communities are Acting to Reach, Engage and Support (CARES). (Cabinet for Health and Family Services)
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) and the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) are working together on the Kentucky CARES campaign.

The campaign's goal is to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of Kentucky’s youth in schools, homes and communities.

“This platform seeks to empower students, parents and caregivers, educators and mentors to engage with youth to promote resiliency and reduce vulnerably and violence,” said Adam Meier, CHFS Secretary. “By promoting engagement and participation with and among youth, Communities are Acting to Reach, Engage and Support (CARES).”

It hopes to offer research and mentorship for students that may need help along with activities that encourage positive engagement in and out of the classroom.

The departments say they have also reached final approval of a Medicaid state plan amendment.

Officials say that could help students' physical and mental wellbeing if enrolled in Medicaid.

“Whether that is facilities, transportation or any of the other safety. This is the thing that will help us in the health and physical health area to really get students learning ready so they can come, be in school and ready for instruction," said Department of Education Associate Commissioner Robin Kinney.

Leaders plan to roll out the programs this school year.

It could offer as much as mental health screenings to dental care.