A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

CHNK Behavioral Health earns national recognition with Innovator Status in child welfare, a first in KY

In 2016, CHNK Behavioral Health became the first agency in the Commonwealth to earn the national Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation’s All Children—All Families (ACAF) seal of recognition for its cultural competencies regarding youth and families who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ).

Now, in conjunction with the close of Pride Month, the HRC Foundation announced that CHNK has earned Innovator status, the top tier of ACAF recognition for organizations that are fully LGBTQ welcoming and affirming.


CHNK’s new status was announced in the HRC Foundation’s Celebrating Everyday Change-Makers in Child Welfare, a first-of-its-kind report highlighting more than 70 organizations across the country that partnered with the HRC Foundation’s All Children-All Families (ACAF) project to improve the services they provide to the LGBTQ community, including children in out-of-home care and prospective foster and adoptive parents. The report also includes a profile of two of CHNK’s therapists, who discuss why working for an LGBTQ-affirming employer matters.
“CHNK Behavioral Health is firmly committed to addressing the sobering data that indicates that 92 percent of LGBTQ youth hear negative messages about their sexual orientation/gender identity and expression,” commented CHNK Chief Executive Officer Rick Wurth. “Such messaging can have profoundly negative effects for young people who are searching for safe environments to access basic behavioral and mental health services, including addiction treatment.”

Click image to read report.

According to survey data presented in the 2018 Growing Up LGBT in America Report, only 49 percent of LGBTQ youth who participated in the national study felt optimistic about their chances of being happy if they remain in their existing city or town. Such feedback suggests serious barriers to hope and resiliency within a demographic who have higher adverse childhood experiences scores compared to the general population.
Taking that statistic into consideration, Wurth reflected, “CHNK’s achievement of top tier certification with All Children-All Families means one thing: youth and families in need of premier behavioral healthcare services can find allies, right here in the Northern Kentucky region, in a culturally competent environment.”
To view the full Celebrating Everyday Change-Makers in Child Welfare report, click here.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment