Family Resource Youth Services Centers have been significantly impacting the lives of students and families in Kentucky for more than three decades. Following a declaration by the Kentucky Supreme Court that Kentucky’s education system was inefficient and inequitable, the Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA) was established.
In response to growing concerns and desire to remove barriers to educational success, the Kentucky General Assembly created Family Resource Youth Services Centers (FRYSC’s) as an integral part of the reform system. The need for education and human service systems to engage in the joint provision of services and support to children, youth and families had rapidly increased. The growing number and complexity of problems faced by our society (e.g. poverty, family restructuring, teenage pregnancy, substance abuse and domestic and youth violence) have caused increasing levels of stress on families and children-stress that children bring to the classroom, which creates barriers to learning.
These problems have also placed a greater demand on public service agencies and demonstrate a need for community and schools to work together to restore family and child well-being. KERA provided an unprecedented state-level partnership between Kentucky’s Department of Education and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. These partnerships share the responsibility of implementing and sustaining centers across the commonwealth.
The Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the Division of FRYSC have the responsibility for administration of this program, while the Kentucky Department of Education continues to provide technical support for the public education mandate. Now more than two decades since inception, the Kentucky Family Resource and Youth Services Centers are recognized as the nation’s largest school-based family support initiative.
These centers are designed to address the needs of children by developing partnerships with school, family and community to help all public school students reach proficiency. Recent surveys report that educators, parents and community partners feel that the Family Resource and Youth Services Centers are a “necessary component of Kentucky educational programming and “a program vital to students, empowering families, and helping to improve schools.”
In 1991 just over 100 Family Resource and Youth Services Centers were opened in Kentucky. In 2021, centers have now grown to 857 serving 1200 schools. Mayfield Independent Schools hosts two FRYSCs. Mayfield Elementary’s F.A.C.E. Center serves PreK - 4th grade students. The director of the program is Lori Beyer. The Center can be reached at (270) 247-0313. The Mayfield Youth Services Center, serving Mayfield Middle and High School students in 5th - 12th grades is led by director Natalie Crawford. The center can be reached by phoning (270) 247-7256.
This year, Family Resource Youth Services Centers across the state are being recognized the week of February 8-12. Legislators are working on legislation to make the 2nd Wednesday of February of each year FRYSC Day in Kentucky. It will be February 10, this year. To celebrate this week we are asking for businesses to please display a picture of the Logo that week in their business, organizations, and churches. The hashtag #FRYSCStrong is being promoted to recognize the dedication that these centers provide to students and their families every day.