BRACAC working to continue services with less state funding

BRACAC prepares to continue community work with less funding
Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 6:08 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - The Barren River Area Child Advocacy Center is preparing to serve communities with less after fundings from the state have been cut.

A majority of the funding for the center comes from the state’s Victims of Crimes Act. The funding allowed for the center to add four therapists to the staff, and more space for work in their building.

“We received a 30% cut two years ago,” said Jennifer Bryant, the Executive Director for BRACAC. " We received a 20% cut this year, and we’re anticipating another 30% cut next year ... we’re looking at pre-2018 totals going into the 2023-24 year.”

Bryant said the state distribution went from $45 million to what is anticipated to be $9 million next year.

“The fund continues to replenish itself ... based o fees taken from federal offenders,” said Bryant, adding that it will ultimately take time to replenish the funds.

Bryant said there are ways for the public to help the center.

“Becoming a donor the child advocacy center is important,” she said. “We offer two fundraisers each year, Over the Edge, and the Great Teddy Bear Run.”

Those wanting to donate or help can visit the center’s website.

The Commonwealth of Kentucky has experienced three years of significant decreases in the federal VOCA award due to nationwide reductions in funding at the federal level.

To supplement this reduced funding, the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet’s 2023-2024 biennial budget includes an additional $10 million each fiscal year from the State Fiscal Recovery Fund of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

This will provide additional funding for programs that focus on crime reduction, or directly assist crime victims in the commonwealth, according to a release in August from Gov. Andy Beshear’s office.