Youth Movement

Kentucky’s Youth-Guided System of Care

Young people have the right to be empowered, educated, and given a decision-making role in the care of their own lives, as well as the policies governing care for all youth with emotional and behavioral challenges.

For an overview of Kentucky’s Youth Movement, take a look at the following powerpoint/slideshow: KY Youth Movement (1)

What does Youth-Guided mean to youth in Kentucky?

  1. Interventions from adults should include our input
  2. Don’t create a plan (treatment, service, diversion, education) without including us
  3. Youth should be able to speak up about their own care or treatment
  4. Our opinions should matter, our perspective should be valued
  5. We need access to other young people who have experienced difficulties similar to our own
  6. We need to know what we are diagnosed with, why we are taking medication, why we see a therapist, etc.
  7. We need to have knowledge about our symptoms, our diagnosis, and our options
  8. Give us opportunities to lead – we will surprise you


Kentucky Youth M.O.V.E. (Motivating Others Through Voices of  Experience)

The Youth M.O.V.E. Kentucky council is made up of eighteen youth who are between the ages of 14 and 26 years old and have an emotional or behavioral health diagnosis.

The council’s goals are:

☼ Reduce the stigma related to children’s mental health challenges

☼ Improve our own leadership skills

☼ Provide a united voice to advocate on behalf of ourselves and other youth with behavioral health disabilities

☼ Access to a peer group that can provide support

Activities of Kentucky Youth M.O.V.E. include:

☼ Advocate for the development of Regional Youth Councils across the state

☼ Assist with KPFC’s annual Youth/Parent Conference

☼ Provide training to professionals and parents on issues related to youth

☼ Sit on various local and state committees

☼ Serve as board members on the KPFC Board of Directors

☼ Develop awareness materials for youth, parents, and professionals

☼ Serve as Youth Trainers for various trainings such as the KY Family Leadership Academy, Service Coordination 101, Trauma Informed Care, Wraparound Fidelity

☼ Speak at events such as Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day to share experiences and concerns

☼ Bring a focus on issues we are concerned about such as

1. reducing seclusions & restraints,

2. successful transition to adulthood,

3. youth rights and voice in treatment,

4. the need for peer to peer support,

5. adequate insurance coverage for youth and young adults

Regional Youth Councils

Regional Youth Councils are usually (but not always) started and supported by the Kentucky IMPACT program within each region of the state

The Kentucky IMPACT program and the Community Mental Health Center decide how the council in their region is organized – when and how often they meet, where, ages of youth, and who is eligible (i.e. IMPACT only, any youth with an open chart, etc.)

Generally, the youth council meets once a month for an hour and a half

Regional Youth Councils support positive youth development by:

☼ Building assets that are supported by nurturing adults and communities

☼ Ensuring that youth have the opportunity to explore talents and interests and to develop a sense of competence and personal identity

☼ Encouraging youth to engage in leadership and develop a sense of control over their future

The areas that the youth councils focus on are:

☼ Independent living skills – employment, education, medical, self-care, healthy relationships, housing, transportation, etc.

☼ Peer to peer support – having access to a peer group that has issues similar to their own, peer mentoring

☼ Community service – giving back, connecting with their community in a positive way, seeing that they have the ability to help others

☼ Leadership development – developing appropriate and effective skills to have a voice in their own treatment, on their own team, and possibly within their community or state

☼ Youth engagement and empowerment – strong partnerships with adults, understanding their diagnosis and symptoms as well as the services they are receiving or have access to


If you would like more information about the Kentucky Youth M.O.V.E.  please contact Kate Tilton or Stephanie Sikes-Jones at Kentucky Partnership for Families and Children, or

If you would like more information about Regional Youth Council’s, please contact Carmilla Ratliff

KY Partnership for Families and Children, Inc | 600 Teton Trail | Frankfort, KY 40601 | (502) 875-1320 | Toll Free: (800) 369-0533

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