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Issue No. 14 - September 2014
In This Issue
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TRC Team Member Appointed to Statewide Panel

Dr. Blake Jones, a program coordinator with the TRC, has been appointed by Attorney General Jack Conway to serve on the Child Fatality and Near Fatality External Review Panel.  The purpose of the Panel is to review cases of child fatality and near fatality in Kentucky, with a specific focus on those with involvement by the Department for Community Based Services.  Upon his appointment, Blake said, "This is a terrific opportunity to join with other professionals to look at the systemic causes of child deaths.  We look at it from every angle, not just in terms of the child welfare agency.  The work is hard, but if our work can assist DCBS and others in ameliorating this risk, it will be worth it."


Medically Fragile Training Schedule
FY 2015
The schedule of upcoming trainings provided by the Medically Fragile Training Program is available here .


For more information, contact Lisa Casebier, Medically Fragile Program Coordinator.
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TRC Annual Report

Our mission is to provide training, technical assistance, service, and evaluation to professionals and caregivers working to improve the well-being of families, children, and communities. Through a collaborative partnership with the University Training Consortium and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services Department for Community Based Services, the team of staff and associated faculty at the TRC furthered this mission in fiscal year 2014 by providing training and support to thousands of Kentuckians. Services were provided to child welfare professionals, foster and adoptive families, and relative caregivers through an array of programs.


Fiscal Year 2014 also saw continued development of new ideas and the ongoing improvement of existing efforts. To learn more about all of the services provided by the UK TRC from July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014, please view the TRC Annual Report here.  

Click to view the TRC Annual Report


ASK Program Welcomes
New Adoptive Parent Liaisons

Adoption Support for Kentucky (ASK) welcomes Melanie Ballard and Samantha Wilson as the Adoptive Parent Liaisons in the DCBS Two Rivers Service Region. Their contact information and schedule of upcoming support groups can be found at  


Our new liaisons in their own words:  


Melanie Ballard 


My husband and I had been married eight years when we started our foster
Melanie Ballard
care journey back in 2008.  We were excited and ready to get our first foster placement, which was a sibling group of three kids. Boy was it a shock to go from just the two of us to a family of five!  They were with us less than a month before they left to live with a relative.  Our next placement is very near and dear to our hearts as we adopted the sibling group of three amazing kids.  It was August 2010 when their adoption was finalized, Maggie was 9 years old, Vanessa was 7 years old, and Chris was 5 years old at the time.  In January 2011, we received our next little miracle when we got a call for a baby placed in Safe Haven. Jacob was only two days old when we picked him up from the hospital and his adoption was finalized July 2012.  We have been blessed to help over 20 kids placed in our home over the last six years and we look forward to the next call. I look forward to meeting and working with adoptive/foster families through ASK.
Melanie and her family


Samantha Wilson


I was born and raised in Glasgow, KY on the same street on which my husband

Samantha Wilson
and I built our home. I am the youngest of three children and so is my husband. We have been married for 11 years and foster parents for six years. During that time we have fostered 20 children and adopted five of them. My brother passed away a few years ago, and although his three kids live next door to our family with my parents, they are a very vital part of our family also. That is why they are in all of our family pictures! Our oldest child, Shawn Patrick is 12 years old. We have twin girls, Katherine and Abigail, that are 11 years old. McKenzie is our bubbly 8 year old girl, and sweet Karoline is 3 years old. Quintin, Ally and Mary are my nephew and nieces and they are 9 years, 6 years, and 5 years old. We are an avid baby wearing, camping, lake going, pontooning, crazy active family. Our favorite vacation spots are the Smokey Mountains and just about any beach. I have a Bachelor's Degree in Management and Finance from WKU. I am a stay at home homeschooling Mom. Foster care and adoption are near and dear to my heart. The opportunity to serve as an Adoptive Parent Liaison for ASK is much more than a job. It is an opportunity to train and support other foster and adoptive parents and help them be more successful in all that they do for children.
Samantha and her family

 For more information regarding Adoption Support for Kentucky, contact Christine Sauer, ASK Program Coordinator .

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The University of Kentucky College of Social Work's Training Resource Center (UK TRC) is dedicated to providing training, technical assistance, service, and evaluation to professionals and caregivers working to improve the well-being of families, children, and communities.
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