By Ben Keeton
The merger between Uspiritus and Centerstone creates one of the most comprehensive child welfare agencies in the state of Kentucky and gives children a true continuum of care that currently does not exist in the foster care system.
By joining forces with Centerstone, Uspiritus can do what is most needed for the youth in their care. As a combined entity, the goal is to create shorter stays in residential care and get children back to more stable home settings while continuing to serve their needs.
Over the next year, Centerstone plans to reduce reoccurring traumatic disruptions for vulnerable youth across Kentucky. They want to stop kids from bouncing from placement to placement by increasing intensive wrap-around services for both kids and families.
By working together, they plan to step up the support of transitional age youth – kids that turn 18 and lack the life skills needed to survive and thrive on their own.
Centerstone currently has a program called TAYLRD that is a drop-in center, and every afternoon, teenagers who are homeless or couch surfing with friends, stop by for a hot meal, counseling and employment services.
This merger allows Centerstone to expand on these efforts and start earlier, before kids turn 18 to help them finish high school, apply and keep a job and obtain stable housing. By wrapping deep expertise around these kids, Centerstone will transform their lives.
And, as Kentucky leads the nation in efforts to keep families intact longer, Centerstone is poised to wrap behavioral health services around parents and children to ensure kids are living in stables homes and leading successful lives.
Abby Drane stepped forward to lead Centerstone’s Kentucky operations as regional Chief Executive Officer in December 2018. Before this role, Drane was the president and CEO at Uspiritus and most recently as the COO at Centerstone in Kentucky through the merger between the two organizations.
She has more than thirty years of experience in behavioral health services, including positions in finance and operations. She has led organizations focused on treatment, outcomes, regulations, human resources, financial and advancement programs helping vulnerable children in Kentucky.
Drane and her four siblings would have benefitted from the Family First Prevention Services Act. At age five, she was removed from her home, placed in an orphanage and then placed with her grandparents. In less than a year, her grandmother died suddenly leaving the siblings to be separated.
If someone would have asked her mother what she needed earlier, and wrapped them in services, it would have spared them a childhood full of disruptions and trauma. She wants to stop this cycle for other children in Kentucky and keep as many families together as possible.
Drane is thrilled to bring her firsthand experience, passion for helping children and strategic mind to the role of CEO at Centerstone. She says, “As we come together as One Centerstone family, I look forward to the future and our commitment to providing youth the very best services in Kentucky.”